Matt C. Abbott
Father Joseph Klee of the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, has been “sidelined” for an indefinite period of time by his bishop, Robert J. Brennan.
I’ve featured the staunchly pro-life, pro-family priest-activist in four of my past columns: here, here, here and here. In 2017, Klee was hit by a car driven by an angry abortion supporter during a pro-life demonstration. Klee has also contributed articles to Homiletic and Pastoral Review.
The following statement was released by the diocese on June 22, 2020:
The Catholic Church proposes a beautiful, life-giving and liberating vision to the world based on the truths about the human person, human sexuality, marriage and the family. We proclaim with one breath the Splendor of Truth and the Joy of the Gospel. The fundamental truth is that every human person is created in the image and likeness of God and as such, must be treated with dignity and respect. While not everyone shares the Church’s vision, I hope we can all show that respect.
While Father Klee has been permitted to live in the rectory at St. John the Baptist, he is not assigned to the Parish of St. John the Baptist nor to the Parish of the Sacred Heart. He does not represent either of these parishes nor the diocese. Father Klee has shown a pattern of making communications to a broad audience on a variety of contemporary issues which are frankly divisive. While these communications seemingly present Catholic moral teaching, they are often offensive and disrespectful to the human dignity of persons.
Father Klee has been repeatedly warned about making these divisive communications and ordered to cease doing so. Further steps are being considered at this time.
I contacted Klee for comment, and he provided me with the following statement (lightly edited):
I write you in these closing days of the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray for the grace to truly respond to His lament so evident in our world today, namely, that the greatest outpouring of love on Good Friday goes largely ignored if not repudiated. Hence, let us make our lives an Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart even after June!
I really shouldn’t disclose details [of my current situation], although a wise and holy pastor counseled me shortly after my priestly ordination, ‘If you don’t fill in the blanks, the people will.’ Suffice it to say, please pray and make sacrifices for the following two intentions in addition to praying that I will be a truly holy priest – that’s all I want.
1) For a tremendous outpouring of graces upon the spiritual leadership of the Church, specifically upon bishops and priests, that they be empowered with the cardinal virtue of fortitude. That they implore the intercession of the martyrs lest they go from being potential victims of satan’s attacks to being actual instigators and accomplices like the Pharisees in Our Lord’s day. Please pray that they be freed from a subtle resignation to despair – specifically of falling into discouragement by believing the authentic Gospel of Christ and the teachings of the Catholic Faith are not the answer, but atheistic socialism is.
2) For men and women – and, increasingly, boys and girls as well – deluded by the false promises of the homosexualist agenda, and especially those in the active homosexual lifestyle, that they be given the grace to break free from the devil’s grasp. We pray they acquire the theological virtue of hope, becoming inspired to believe they can be freed from the sinful enslavement the practice of sodomy entails. We pray that many come to understand that the sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession are indispensable for receiving the necessary graces to resist grave sin.
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