I'll start off by saying that usually when I see a story about an incredibly permissive "Catholic" Church I end up feeling relieved when I click on the link to the story and see that it's an Anglican or Episcopalian Church (not that I'm really relieved to see evil unfolding anywhere... but it is nice when it's not an attack on the Church that Jesus founded with Peter). Not so tonight. I should have been clued in by the fact that it was on CalCatholic in the first place... but still... this story is so incredibly shocking I tried to believe for a little while that it wasn't really a "real" Catholic Church.
Archbishop Niederauer needs to take a stand and soon (the moment he became Archbishop seems like it would have been a good time). The Archdiocese of San Francisco doesn't need a shepherd that turns a blind eye to what's going on in order to keep the peace in a difficult area. While the Archbishop undoubtably has a very tough job in San Francisco, it's also a very important job. And this sort of thing can't be allowed in a "Catholic" parish.
Here's a synopsis of the story as California Catholic reports it:
A member of Most Holy Redeemer parish (which is a parish recognized as "Catholic" by the SF Archdiocese... I checked...) is conducting two workshops at the "Master/slave Conference 2010." Patrick Mulcahey has served in the past as vice-president of Most Holy Redeemer's pastoral council and has also served as a eucharistic minister at Masses.
I will leave the descriptions of what he "teaches" off my site, but for those who doubt how truly horrible this is, CalCatholic will put any questions of how inappropriate this is to rest.
The article goes on to say that "The presence of a homosexual sadomasochistic subculture at Most Holy Redeemer has been well documented. From 2000 to 2008, which includes the period that Mulcahey served as pastoral council vice-president, the church hosted nearly annual events for sado-masochistic groups the Golden Gate Guards and the Inter-Club Fund."
The site goes on to say that as recently as March 27th, 2010 photos of Mulcahey and Most Holy Redeemer liturgy planner David Differding were published on a SF sado-masochistic photojournalism website. Cal Catholic explains that "the two men were attending the 16th anniversary of the Defenders, an organization that promotes "leather spirituality..."
I read this far into the article and wondered if it could get any worse. And of course... it does...
CalCatholic goes on to say that Mulcahey has a long standing relationship with Father Donal Godfrey, SJ, who happens to be the executive director of university ministry at USF (no wonder USF has such a hard time remembering how a Catholic College should conduct itself). In 2002 at USF's New Jewish and Christians Approaches to Homosexuality symposium "Father Godfrey cited Most Holy Redeemer as an example, and quoted Mr. Mulcahey at length."
The article goes on to say:
"In April 2003, at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Father Godfrey offered a preliminary version of his 2007 history of Most Holy Redeemer as partial fulfillment of the requirements for a degree of Doctor of Ministry. When the history was published in 2007, under the title Gays and Grays: The Story of the Gay Community at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, the first person Father Godfrey chose to acknowledge and thank for his support was Patrick Mulcahey. Gays and Grays quotes Mulcahey numerous times.......On December 2, 2008, Books, Inc., located in San Francisco’s Castro District, hosted a discussion of Gays and Grays with Father Godfrey. The homosexualist publication, the Bay Area Reporter, published a blurb for the event: “Executive director of University Ministry at the University of San Francisco, and author of Gays and Grays: The Story of the Gay Community at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church discusses his book and the gay-inclusive parish; writer Patrick Mulcahey joins the discussion.”
It defies common sense to believe that Most Holy Redeemer pastor Father Steve Meriwether or Father Godfrey are unaware of Mr. Mulcahey’s predilections."
It's heartbreaking to see such blatant evil at work in the world, and it's even worse to see it in Catholic institutions and parishes.
Right now I'm just going to take a deep breath and remind myself of the parable of the wheat and the tares...
Oh and in case you were wondering what the Archbishop has done recently:
"In July the archdiocese reappointed Father Meriwether to a second six-year term at the parish."I don't like writing negative things about Bishops' decisions. I would much rather write glowing "Bishop of the Week" posts. But sometimes we also need to speak out and demand change... and this is one of those times.