Matt C. Abbott
May 31, 2016
Illinois bishop speaks on transgenderism; More Miami vice
By Matt C. Abbott

Kudos to Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, one of the relatively few American bishops willing to speak out on cultural hot-button issues besides immigration.

Bishop Paprocki asserts (excerpted; click here to read his commentary in its entirety):
    Once again common sense has been turned on its head in our culture, this time by transgender activists agitating for people to be able to use the bathroom that they feel corresponds emotionally to their self-identified gender rather than the anatomical gender of their biological sex. The issue has emerged prominently in recent national and local news....

    The Catholic Church has some clear teachings on transgender issues. Catholics are called to treat everyone with compassion. Yet the church maintains that people may not change what Pope Benedict XVI called 'their very essence.' In a speech at the Vatican on Dec. 23, 2008, Benedict directly addressed transgender issues by cautioning Catholics about 'destroying the very essence of the human creature through manipulating their God-given gender to suit their sexual choices.'

    Similarly, in his encyclical Laudato Si, issued last year on the environment, Pope Francis called for men and women to acknowledge their bodies as a gift from God which should not be manipulated. 'The acceptance of our bodies as God's gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home,' the pope wrote, 'whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation' (no. 155).

    In his recent apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), Pope Francis warns that gender ideology 'denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society without sexual differences ... It is one thing to be understanding of human weakness and the complexities of life, and another to accept ideologies that attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality. Let us not fall into the sin of trying to replace the Creator. We are creatures, and not omnipotent. Creation is prior to us and must be received as a gift. At the same time, we are called to protect our humanity, and this means, in the first place, accepting it and respecting it as it was created' (no. 56).


About 11 years ago, I wrote a series of columns on the extensive corruption among clergy within the Archdiocese of Miami under the leadership of then-Archbishop John Favalora.

It appears that the corruption is far from being cleaned up.

From the Miami Herald (May 27):
    The pastor of St. Rose of Lima has been asked to step down after a group from the parish presented a 129-page report to the Archdiocese of Miami filled with allegations of sexual impropriety against Father Pedro Corces.

    'This unfortunate chain of events has fractured the spirit and unity at this long established parish and school,' wrote Archbishop Thomas Wenski in a May 26 letter emailed to parents Thursday afternoon. A printed copy of the letter was being sent home in students' communication folder Friday.

    But far from calming parents' concerns, the letter angered the group, which calls itself Christifidelis. The Wenski letter blames the fracturing of the parish on a small group. 'Slanderous gossip, calumny, detraction – all sinful behaviors – have fomented division in the parish and school communities,' he wrote.

    Miami attorney Rosa Armesto, who has children at the parish school in Miami Shores, is representing Christifidelis. She met with Wenski on May 16.

    'It's such a shameful letter. The archbishop is not upset at what the priest has done but that it has been uncovered,' she said. 'The church isn't upset by the sins of their priests but by the fact that the faithful have had the audacity, the temerity, to bring this up.'
Click here to read the Herald article in its entirety.

I have to agree with Rosa Armesto. The lengthy dossier contains quite a bit of damning information on the priest's alleged sexual and financial improprieties, yet the archbishop's anger appears more directed at the parishioners who exposed the corruption than the priest himself. This type of reaction by a bishop is nothing new, of course.

One "highlight" from the dossier:
    Father Pedro puts the children of the parish in grave danger. He has a history of placing unsuitable characters in close contact with children. During his tenure as vocation director for the Archdiocese of Miami, which ran from 1996 to 2006, he allowed for the placement of Miguel Cala in St. Andrew Catholic School in Coral Springs, where Mr. Cala later sexually abused children and is currently serving time.

    Father Pedro has also apparently circumvented the background checks which are required for hiring employees who may be in contact with children. Most recently he replaced members of his maintenance staff with a felon and prostitute, Santeria practitioners, promiscuous gay practitioners and people who openly mock the Catholic faith.


Related link:

'Homosexuality and the Church Crisis'



© Matt C. Abbott

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.


(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback from readers. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails – complete with email addresses – that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if those emails are marked confidential. Also, please be aware that RenewAmerica is not my website; RA's president and editor is Stephen Stone, who can be reached here. I'm just one of RA's columnists, for which I'm very grateful. I don't speak for the other RA columnists, so please don't email me to complain about what someone else has written. Thank you and God bless!)

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Matt C. Abbott: Click here

More by this author

 

Stephen Stone
'The fervent prayer of the righteous'

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Matt C. Abbott
Few will be saved?

Ronald R. Cherry
Scientific, moral and legal views on abortion

Rev. Mark H. Creech
NC Governor Cooper betrays compromise on bathroom bill

Lloyd Marcus
Living in Trump Country USA

Michael Gaynor
Sharon Waxman and Bill O'Reilly are both right. New York Times spikes legitimate exposes when they don't fit its busines

Kevin Fobbs
GOP voters must bounce Susan Collins from U.S. Senate in 2020!

Curtis Dahlgren
"Pulled from the fire": There were no "minor prophets"

Rev. Austin Miles
Comedian (?) rock star booed off stage after Trump remarks + NFL

Chuck Baldwin
They are coming for our guns

Wes Vernon
The hate America left and Russia: Not just unfit – actually dangerous? (Part 3)

Bryan Fischer
Judges commit impeachable offense, rule against cross

Jerry Newcombe
Pro-life videos garner 85 million views
  More columns

Cartoons


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons

RSS feeds

News:
Columns:

Columnists

Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Jamie Freeze Baird
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites