Bishop Rebukes Priest

Fr. Michael Rodriguez whose column from the El Paso Times we posted earlier, gets rebuked by his Bishop.  This is a difficult situation for us at Courageous Priest, because we will not attack our priests.  However, we will post when a priest calls out a fellow priest for legitimate doctrinal or theological errors.   Read this as you will quickly see our dilemma, where Fr. Rodriguez gets rebuked by his bishop.

  • Thankfully Fr. Z did his usual commentary with his emphases and comments.

Bishop Armando X. Ochoa: Catholic Church advocates compassion
By Bishop Armando X. Ochoa Guest columnist
Posted: 08/22/2010 12:00:00 AM MDT

As Bishop of the Diocese of El Paso and chief teacher of our local church,[Which means, rightly, that Fr. R is not…] I would like to share some pastoralreflections [NB “pastoral”] on certain issues that are important for the well-being of all God’s people.

First of all, I would like to state that previous columns claiming to speak for Catholic Doctrine were the personal opinions of individuals and do not necessarily express the belief of the Catholic Church[Right.  The opinions of Fr. R do not, of necessity, express the belief of the Catholic Church.  But, do Fr. R’s view by chance coincide with the Church’s teaching?  Let’s review.  Abortion is murder of an unborn human being.  CHECK.  Homosexual actsare objectively sinful. CHECK.]

[But here is new information…] I continue to pray for peace along our region and offer my condolences to the families on both sides of the border who have lost loved ones to the ongoing unrest[There is a lot of tension in El Paso.] I am also concerned for the families who have had to leave everything behind to escape the violence in Ciudad Juárez. It is my ongoing prayer that our two border cities can work closer to build a more peace-filled community. [So, the bishop is situating Fr. R’s comments in the context of the region’s tension.  Fr. R’s comments were addressed to all Catholics, and therefore most of the Latio community.  The bishops implication is that Fr. R’s comments have made that tension worse.  I don’t know whether that is the case or not, but it is clearly the bishop’s concern.]


The Church has been unmistakable about its consistent defense of the unborn. It continues to call every Catholic and person of good will [Fr. R also addressed all Catholics but he did not speak explicitly about non-Catholics who are people of good will.] to understand the Church’s teaching on the death penalty and other end-of-life issues. Every child has a right to life.

Likewise, the Church is a supporter of the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. These teachings come from a tradition that wants to promote the good of society. [Not just “from a tradition”.  If I am not mistaken, they come from God, and from God to us through both tradition and reason in light of the natural law. But pay attention…] My concern in writing this reflection is not to change these teachings[quod Deus avertat]but to offer a more pastoral understanding in dealing with them. [There is that “pastoral” again.]

When we talk about abortion and homosexuality, we are talking about human beings dealing with all kinds of concerns and unresolved challenges. Our Church does not want to simply judge and condemn, but first to offer Christ’s love and compassion. God’s first and primary law is love and how love of others is at the same time our love for God.  [Okay.  This is so.  At the same time, when Jesus saved and then forgave the woman caught in adultery, He admonished her to sin no more.  It is also a work of mercy, a dimension of compassion, both to admonish the sinner and instruct the ignorant.  It may be – and this is just supposition on my part – that many Catholic and non-Catholic alike, have never heard some of the things Fr. R wrote expressed with that sort of stark clarity.  Is it possible that stark clarity can also be a tool of the compassion His Excellency affirms?]


As Church we want to journey with everyone as they search for meaning in their lives[This is the language most people are used to hearing and reading.] We believe that Christ offers this meaning. The use [wait for it…] ofharsh words of condemnation is not the approach Christ invites us to havetoward one anotherIntolerance closes the door to learning and deeper understanding of each other.  [Let’s pick this fine and correct statement up and turn it about and examine it from all sides.  What popped into my mind as I read this were the Lord’s harsh words in Matthew 23.  Surely the Lord was not lacking in compassion even as he verbally thrashed the Pharisees with the truth.  St. Paul, invoking the meekness of Christ, in 2 Cor 10-13 doesn’t mince words about those who have sinned and have been admonished more than once.  Was it a lack of compassion that drove virtually every single Father of the Church to use scathing invective when defending the Regula Fidei and Tradition?  Have Popes who issued stern condemnations and anathemas throughout the Church’s entire history been without compassion?  Was there a dearth of compassion at the Second Vatican Council when the Council Fathers stated in Lumen gentium 14 that people who reject the Church, knowing that it is the Church Christ founded,cannot be saved, or when they taught in Gaudium et spes 51 that abortion is an unspeakable crime? In every one of these examples, there were high tensions in the community.  I am not disagreeing with His Excellency, mind you.  I am musing to myself about what constitutes “pastoral” and “compassion”.  At the same time I am thanking God that I am not now nor ever will be a bishop, who actually has to make decisions about this dilemma.]


Furthermore, it leads to divisiveness within the body of Christ[cf. Matthew 10:34.] It is time for us to learn how to work with each other, even when and if we disagree. Too many people have suffered because of a profound lack of compassion and a perceived arrogant intolerance.

Recently, in our scriptural readings, we have seen that when the Israelites entered the Promised Land after the exodus, they encountered the Canaanites, whom they considered to be a sinful race which was to be exterminated. This mind-set persisted until the time of Christ[But Christ and the Apostles, and the Fathers, and Popes down through history somehow kept using hard language.  Did they fail to understand something about being “pastoral”?   Pope John XXIII at the time of the Council said that he wanted the Church to shift her style of teaching.  Fine.  But see my examples of the Council’s teaching, above.  There were still moments for blunt language.]

With his arrival, he indicated that this outlook was no longer to be held by his followers. Jesus’ own response to the marginalized was always one of love. He constantly preached that love is not exclusively for those who are dear to us. He proclaimed that we must love our enemies and pray for our persecutors. [To the marginalized, yes!  Look how he treated the lepers and the blind and lame and diseased and widows and Samaritans and some public sinners.  He was gentleness itself with some public sinners.  But not all public sinners.  I cite: “”Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” ]

Our love for others is to be like his own, all inclusive.  Every individual is made in the image and likeness of God and for this reason all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

God is the judge of our lives, and we are called to spread his Gospel of compassion and justice[Were Fr. R’s comments in his op-ed unjust?] While it is important to offer a teaching on human sexuality which may not be popular in modern society, the Church, nonetheless, upholds that each person be treated with dignity and respect[QUERY: Does that mean that we never say that a sin is a sin?]


I urge all of our pastoral agents to reach out to individuals with a homosexual orientation and their families with compassion. This can be done without compromising Church teaching in any way because our pastoral care demands no less from us.

The Most Reverend Armando X. Ochoa, D.D., is Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso

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48 comments to Bishop Rebukes Priest

  • […] God bless Bishop Ochoa! He is doing his best to make Fr. Rodriguez a Saint.  First, he publicly admonishes him, then the Vicar General publicly criticizes him and now he publicly and  formally disciplines […]

  • […] May God bless Bishop Ochoa! He is doing his best to make Fr. Rodriguez a Saint. First, he publicly admonishes him, then the Vicar General publicly criticizes him and now he publicly and formally disciplines him . […]

  • Peggy

    A prayer from the Rite of Episcopal Ordination:

    Lord, our God, You have chosen your servant, Armando, to be a shepherd of your flock in the tradition of the Apostles.

    Give him a spirit of COURAGE and right judgment, a spirit of knowledge and love.

    By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care, may he build your Church as a sign of salvation to the world.

    We ask this through Christ our Lord.
    Amen.

  • Tara M.

    This permissive attitude as displayed by Fr.’s Bishop is the exact reason that we are in the fix we are in today. I highly doubt that society would be in this much of a moral quandary if the majority of our clergy were as forthright as Fr. Rodriquez. With all due respect to his Bishop, this “I’m ok………you’re OK” attitude must go. It is sapping the life out of the Church of Christ, not to speak of sending countless souls merrily on their way to hell. I pray for our clergy daily in my rosary, and I suggest y’all do the same. May God have Mercy on them and on us all. Our God is a patient God, but He is not going watch His Beloved Bride wither away for much longer.

    Please people, keep our priests and our Bishops in your daily prayers!! Satan has been completely unchained and the attacks are vicious and unrelenting. May God Bless all of them and especially give strength and grace to our clergy who are constantly defending the Bride of Christ!! And may the Holy Spirit touch the hearts and open the eyes of those who are mislead.

  • Rebecca

    Where Truth and Love meet, there is the Cross. The truth spoken from love always brings about the cross. Fr. R reminds all of us of the eternal destiny for those who call good evil and evil good precisely because he loves them. Because he speaks, there is the cross. The bishop speaks about the Love of Christ and reminds his people of his pastoral responsibilities in the midst of sin and also reveals to us the cross. This is not a case of either or, but of AND. Both are true and both must be proclaimed boldly and yes, there will be suffering. Why should we be surprised. I am sure Fr. R is not surprised. In this suffering give Glory to Almighty God for being counted worthy to suffer for the sake of the Gospel.

  • God Bless Fr. Rodriguez!!!!!!He has stood tall and firm in his FAITH;sacrificing popular secular opinion and warning those who he truly loves that sin ends in spiritual death!!The vicar however has given a blurred view of sin ;telling people of God to be compassionate towards a lifestyle that warps family life and young teens in formative years with true confusion of what is God’s will for them in this life.God has made us in His image,not a reconstructed sexual preferance.The civil rights movement was over racial discrimination ;the rights of someone born in God’s image ;and was also under slavery.How can the opponents of the Law of God twist the facts of truth and compare a liberal sexual lifestyle ,which is a free will choice, God does give us a free will ,for those that wish to engage in sexual liberties not condoned by the LAW OF GOD, they are not an evolution of man they are a return to pagan, uncivilized culture. Their intolerance of a Priest guiding his flock to obey the Laws of his Heavenly Father; instead of an atheist society which condones every form of liberal perverted behavior,which damages whole societies and cultures across the world; has proven they are the people of no compassion.Every pedofile,molester and pornographic addicted person has a twisted sense of sexual freedom;those that act on it with children are subject to being arrested and labeled for their crime.Those that think those lifestyles are ok as long as they are not with underage people,will soon be in our educational system forcing their ways of life upon our children in textbooks; telling them they have a civil right to experiment with their lives and physical and moral mental health.Shame on you vicar,shame.New York has been brought low and those that allowed this will be held accountable for the souls they have endangered;the politicians who want votes and pretend to be true to their faith;but turn against God and His people.God has wrath and He will continue to allow people to go so far;but He is God and God alone and there is no room for idols; those that construct them will be punished.

  • Ro

    This is why Our Lady at Medjugorje keeps saying (through Mirjana) for us to pray for our shepherds. She says it every month now. The shepherds who are faithful need prayer to stay that way even in the face of rebuke. The shepherds who are not faithful or who are misled, need prayer to turn them back to being children God can be proud of.

  • This ardent priest spoke out as a courageous shepherd to his sheep by teaching the truth. Unfortunately, I don’t know if he got permission to speak to the media from his bishop. Obedience is one of the bulwark of the Catholic Church. So much so that Saints who have despaired about fulfilling their mission because of their bishops or confessors are told over and over again to be obedient to their superior by the Lord. What I have seen from this priest, I have no doubt that he in love and humility accepted the rebuke of his bishop and in doing so has obtained another pearl from his heavenly Father. God Bless Fr. Rodriquez

  • I live in Boston. and I applaud Fr. R.He is doing god’s work. Just because on is in a position of authority or power doesn.t give him special privileges to ignore the commandments or intimidate by his pronouncements what is the Truth!
    Fr. R spoke the plain truth, no beating around the bush, but said it in plain English. Let those who have ears let them hear….What a wonderful example you give in our upside down world where up is down and black i white..Hang in there and
    God be with you always and His Holy Mother watch over you..helen

  • MaryD3

    I was kind and compassionate when I told my adult children I could not ” journey with everyone as they search for meaning in their lives ” attend their wedding if they maried outside of the Church.

    They understood, and because it was important to them that I be there, they did what they had to do to be married in the Church.
    The one who did not, knew I would not be there.

    Had I “journeyed with them “, they probably would have happily married outside of the Church.

    Prayers for the courage of our Shepherds and priests to speak the TRUTH in love.

  • Margaret McConnell

    Think of what St. Jean Vianney, the Cure d’Ars would say to this.

  • Margaret McConnell

    The bishop would do well to speak with FR Benedict Groeschel who works with Courage, a Catholic group composed of men who are attempting to live a celibate life though they have homosexual orientation. That is TRUE compassion, to love the sinner and help him overcome his sin, not “tolerate” it in the name of compassion and understanding. Just as we try to help addicts to overcome addictions, not help make their addictions acceptable in the name of tolerance while the person dies, perhaps, of them. Even bishops seem to fall into the PC trap. Let us pray for both the courageous Fr Rodriguez and Bishop Ochoa in his error.

  • El P. Rodríguez es un perfecto ejemplo de como hemos de ser los sacerdotes. Por desgracia, muchos obispos -y sacerdotes- utilizan un lenguaje demasiado “políticamente correcto”, que se muestra compasivo con el error y fulminante con la verdad. Es la intolerancia de los tolerantes.
    Dear Fr. Michael, be sure a lot of priests are praying for you! An only heart for Christ and his Church in the Catholic Priesthood! Holy Virgin Mary is your power and strength!

  • Robbie

    Father Rodriguez really hit the nail on the head and ruffled a few feathers. God calls us to love the sinner and hate the sin. It is hard to love your homosexual friends and disapprove of their lifestyles but tell them there is Hope and help with Courage. It’s hard love your sister, friend or coworker that has had an abortion and tell her that what she did was wrong and that there is Hope in Rachel’s Vineyard. If we approve of gay marriage, we are outside of Catholic teaching and can’t receive Eucharist. If we approve of a woman’s right to choose (choose what I always say), we again are outside of Catholic teaching and can’t receive Eucharist. Women who have abortions, the people that perform or procure abortions, if Catholic, automatically excommunicate themselves, as do those who live a gay lifestyle and commit homosexual acts.

  • Sue

    Years ago we got a new older priest and every Mass it was fire and brimstone from the pulpit…”Turn off the T and the V!” he would say over and over again. “The devil has a hotline into your homes! Pay attention to what you are watching with your children!” Every single homily felt like a beating and I asked God how will I be able to get my sons to Mass every week for this. Parishoners were leaving, the collections were shrinking. We all thought Midnight Mass surely would be different. It wasn’t. I finally asked God to help me see this priest through His eyes and it was instantaneous (sp?). I saw that this holy man loved, yes LOVED us so much he was willing to risk everything to try to make us wake up and take back our souls. Everything he had been telling us was the truth and it was important for us to know it. From his example I realized that to really love someone is to care about their soul. And I would have to say that Fr. Rodriguez seems to be showing more authentic love. God bless all the priests and bishops who have the courage to really love us, and may He grant courage to those lacking it. Thank you Father Z.

  • Cindy Forman

    Fr. Z was very good in his comments. In being compassionate towards sinners, we must not fall into watering down sin or tolerating it. Jesus said, “Love the sinner, but hate the sin.” He was pretty clear on his attitude. Jesus never tolerated sin but showed love toward the sinner. He did openly admonish the sinner in the face of their pride and self-righteousness as he did to the Pharisees/Scribes and the money changers in the temple. We need to be radical too for God and His ways, not lessening compassion and understanding, but in defending the truth. Fr. R is being radical and calling sin a sin which is losing it’s verbiage even among many clergy who don’t use the word “sin” anymore. We cannot condone what is an abomination against God and His truth, but we can still have an attitude of love in all we do and defend.

  • James

    The Bishop is correct.
    2 points:
    1. The Bishop did not authorize the priest to teach the public through the media. That is the Bishop’s role.
    2. No one, not the priest nor the bishop, can tell you if you have sinned, much less mortally. The bishop can clarify that which is a grave evil, but the soul may be influenced such that it does not meet the requirements of a mortal sin; that is, the act must be gravely evil, the soul must know it is gravely evil, and the soul must act with full will.
    How do any of us know the torment, confusion, and other influences on any soul to assert when that soul has sinned, much less mortally sinned?
    The priest may teach those in his pastoral care what is gravely wrong, but he cannot tell them that they have sinned when they do the act. That is why the priest is not authorized to excommunicate any soul.
    When the Bishop is sufficiently concerned about the behavior of a member of his flock, he may counsel that soul. Then the Bishop alone makes the judgment when that soul should be corrected by excommunication.
    We trust the Bishop to be guided by the Holy Spirit in the execution of his duties. His pastoral duties require his judgment. We must follow him and help him, but we must not judge him. Though he may err, he is the Bishop and the Holy Spirit is capable of handling that without our deliberate interference.
    Being courageous is no excuse for being insubordinate, disobedient, or for assuming authority not properly conferred.
    Let us support this Bishop and this priest in their efforts to tend their flock.
    God bless you.
    James

  • Father Ed Wade,CC

    Way to go Fr. Michael!

    Heaven or Hell, turn or burn…. God bless your courage to speak up and out. I believe it is a virtue against charity not to speak out as priests and bishops. We are here to help people and ourselves get to heaven. The moral law of God, scripture,teaching of the church and even reason clearly shows us that this is a moral disorder.

    Ed Wade,CC

  • Kevin Phillips

    Father Rodiquez

    Thank you for standing for the truth. Regardless of what any bishop or priest says, you will be judged according to what you have done/taught. You cannot teach a lie for the Church will not allow you to. Again, thank you for standing up for the truth.

    Pax tecum

    Kevin Phillips

  • Greg Mont

    What good are MORE documents from Rome, repeating the same moral stance, when the authors of these documents REFUSE to inforce them amongst thier own leadership. For current Bishops, maybe these documents serve a better purpose as “window dressing” while the real stance they take is promoted through the art of omission and commision.

    Actions speak louder than words. Beware of the Wolf!

  • VERITAS

    San Juan Bautista Roman Catholic Church at El Paso, TX: the voice of our Holy Mother Church.
    God Bless, Fr. Rodriguez!!!

  • Barbkw

    Fr Rodriguez reiterated what Pope Benedict wrote:

    Doctrinal document On the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World, July 31, 2004

    “…According to the teaching of the Church, men and women with homosexual tendencies ‘must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity.

    “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided’.

    “They are called, like other Christians, to live the virtue of chastity.

    “The homosexual inclination is however ‘objectively disordered’ and homosexual practices are ‘sins gravely contrary to chastity’.

    “In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty.

    “One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application.

    “In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.”

    Bishop Armando X. Ochoa must have failed to read the document.

  • Anwar

    May the blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ and His mercy be with you all. I am a Catholic, and being a Catholic I believe in the truth that God our Father created us all male and female to go forth and multiply. I believe in the words of His Son Jesus, inseparable from the Father, the Word of the Father incarnate, Who said after being question on divorce ” ..but from the beginning of creation He made them male and female. This is why a man leaves his father ans mother, and the two become one flesh..”(Mark 10:6-8). I believe the the teaching of the Holy Spirit, the Will of the Father, coming from the Father and the Son, Who designed the Catholic church and inspired its doctrines, and it expressively forbids the unnatural same sex marriage.
    Our call is to show mercy as God shows mercy to us for our sins, and to stand for what is right; that homosexuality is wrong and that we must prayer for the these people to be delivered from this addiction. Our God ALWAYS shows us mercy and as Catholics we too must be ALWAYS merciful, but this does not mean to condone those acts that are in opposition to the Will of the Father.
    May God bless us always.
    Anwar

  • adam

    Fr.R. is a diocese priest and not an FSSP priest

  • I THANK GOD FOR FR. R. I PRAY FOR THE BISHOP, I DO UNDERSTAND THAT TO SAY WHAT FR. R. SAID AND WHAT WE SHOULD SAY, SHOULG BE DONE COMPASSIONATELY. BUT I COMPASSIONATELY SAY HOMOSEXUAL LIVING AND ABORTION IS A GRIEVOUS SIN.

    GOD BLESS YOU ALL,
    AGATHA B

  • Amen Father Z and Father R for true compassion and charity!!!

    Robin

  • When did Sin and Hell become obsolet, no one mentions these words any more. It is compassionate to not want any souls to be lost. We must deal in the truth, the truth will set us free. Like Elijah we can no longer strattle the fence. We are at war with the forces of evil in our society today. Mortal sin is never talked about, people are saying if it feels good do it. That is not the message of Jesus, as a priest who better to admonish the sinner? Father is walking in the foot steps of Jesus. God Bless you Father Michael, Padre Pio is proud of you!

  • Deb

    Fr. Rodriguez spoke the truth in a clear manner, about church teaching on these issues. I applaud him!

    Bishop Armando was wrong to rebuke him. It’s the bishop who should be rebuked. Why are Catholics confused about these issues (as seen in the last election)? Because of confusing counter arguments, like this one, by their Bishops.

    Who has more compassion and love? The priest who tells you directly and clearly what you need to know to help save your soul for all eternity or the Bishop trying to dress up grave sin with warm and fuzzy words? Clarity in church teaching is the best kind of compassion and love!

    Deb from AZ

  • The concerns of the Bishop seem to trump the TRUTH of our faith that the Fr Rodriguez was trying to faithfully witness to his flock. This is very seriious because it makes our priests who are trying to have courage in these times of so much heresy to speak the truth. I understand the concern of the Bishop but as a “father to his priests” is he being as kind and understanding and effective by making the rebuke public? This creates more and more division among the Catholics.

    Our faith is not about being popular or loved, but of speaking the truth in love. God reward your work and faithfulness and all our faithful priests in todays confusion that to an old timer like me, is soothing balm to our heart and reenforces our faith that the Holy Spirit is very much with His Church.

    Your sister in Christ.

    Bea F

  • God Bless Father Rodriguez because He spoke plainly there was no wishy washy answer that had or could have had several meanings. Jesus did not do this either. A sin is a sin is a sin. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to know when it is a sin. We need the Church to clarify simply and plainly supporting Abortion, Voting for someone who supports abortion is a MORTAL SIN. Homosexual acts are sinful, mortally sinful. Common sense is this, the devil wants to end population, what better way to do this, end the marital act between a man and woman and there is no more life to be made. This is not what God intended. Simply truth and common sense. What about these same sex marriages where they adopt children? How long will their be children to adopt? Again is not this the devil;s plan. Bishops speak up, speak plainly as Jesus did. You have a great responsibility that is true, BUT you also will have to answer to GOD on this responsibility that He has entrusted to you.

  • Patty

    I am definitely encouraged by Fr. Z’s zeal for the truth. Priests need to be able to call a sin a sin without being admonished. Jesus Christ was unequivocal in His discernments as to all people’s manners of living when He walked here. One of the wonderful things Jesus did not lack was zeal – He probably would have thrashed the vendors in the temple every single day out of love for His Father. But other things needed to be taught during His short stay on earth. With regard to severity and compassion; binding and loosing of people’s sins and sinfulness, please read a small guideline from the Book of Wisdom (16:24). Besides being a factual action of our Creator, I believe that it is a clue for evangelization Jesus would approve of.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    For the creature serving thee the Creator, is made fierce against the unjust for their punishment; and abateth its strength for the benefit of them that trust in thee.

    New Jerusalemn Bible 2nd Ed.
    For the creation, being at the service of you, its Creator, tautens to punish the wicked and slackens for the benefit of those who trust in you

    When the Magdalene repented of her lustful, sick life, Jesus loved her…..She stopped sinning. He could love her without restrictions. When she realized the Truth, she wisely chose a life of penance as her investment towards eternal glory. Happy Mary Magdalene.

    The priest at our parish is unequivocal with regard to homosexuality, immorality, and such. We are fortunate.

    Patty

  • Francelia

    Thanks, for all the support for Fr. Rodriguez. Just one comment, Fr. Michael Rodriguez is not FSSP. He is from the Diocese of El Paso, Texas. If someone can make the correction please. I do not want our Bishop to have something else against Fr. Rodriguez.

  • terrig

    Father Rodriguez told the truth. I am so sick of bishops and priests that sugar coat the gospel. There’s only one old Irish priest that I have ever known that really tells it like it is in my home town. Most of the people don’t like him but I love him because he tells the truth. I was thrilled to discover this website and read what these courageous priests all have to say. If I were Bishop Ochoa, I would start back tracking because when he meets our Lord, he will be held accountable. Too much that has been given, much is expected. I read a book on purgatory and many of the saints said there are many priests and religious in purgatory because they did not shepherd their people like they should. I will pray for both of them.

  • Mary D

    I pray for Father Rodriguez.He is in the company of St Padre Pio,who was also chastized and corrected by his superiors when he had done nothing wrong. He humbly obeyed this suffering for the sake of Christ.
    Blessed Mother pray for Your beloved sons. Amen.

  • Maria

    Pastoral is the key word here… it’s related to pastor, that means shepherd. Now, what kind of shepherd will lead his sheep to a bad place to get hurt?? I think many priests and bishops are using the word “pastoral” as an excuse more than anything, without realizing that in the process they are misleading many people. There is no other way to call a sin, but SIN! and if somebody will get offended or have their feelings hurt with that, then they are the ones who need to hear the most. Are we forgetting what sins do to us? And who is concern with what sins do to God?!

  • Betty

    In my opinion there is no reason for the bishop to do what he did, in no way did Fr. R write anything that was untrue. Also, his comment ” personal opinion of individuals”,
    what lack of respect…. Was it not a priest who wrote this column (Fr. Rodriguez).
    I wrote a comment earlier which I strongly believe, however, I do thank God for you
    courageous priest that stand up to the Truth and not sugar coat the sin.

  • Betty

    I understand where there can be discouragement and yes there should be compassion and at the same time be firm on what is true. There are many many ignorant people and unless you either live with one or know one you might not understand that sometimes you have to explain or teach them as if they were little children, it can be very frustrating. Jesus taught in parables and stories so they would understand. On the other hand, sin should not be sugar coated. What I see that is discouraging is when a bishop, priest, etc. contradicts his own in the public eye, that causes uncertainty. How can we all unite when there is such division. What happened to being humble. We are all far from being holy. I don’t think Jesus would act this way and are we not suppose to be more like Him.

  • Joseph

    Penance, penance, penance! Pray the Rosary every day, too.

  • Kathy B.

    It is too sad that we have come to a point in the Catholic Church where good priests who proclaim Catholic doctrine unapologetically are slapped down. The faithful Catholics in the pews have longed for more priests like this, and have prayed for our Bishops to stand up for the faith and defend those priests who speak the truth. We have been disappointed time and again by wishy-washy, PC bishops…which why I call my own blog Musings of a Hungry Catholic, because for years I have hungered for some real meat and potatoes from our bishops, instead of the pablum which they dish out. I fear for their immortal souls since they will be held responsible for the loss of many souls. We must pray for them.

  • Can’t we all just have a big group hug, as we pass the glittery rainbow-colored clouds, on the way up to meet Jesus?!

    Okay, seriously, no one is moved to repent whilst surrounded on all sides by silly, fluffy yes-men, acting as stunt doubles for true authority figures. Human beings are notorious for grasping at any excuse or hall-pass to avoid taking responsibility for their own little faux pas (gentle, pastoral version) aka mortal sin (for those wearing big boy pants).

    I know! Let’s clone Torquemada and let him deal with them.

    ~Maureen

  • Fr. Z hits the proverbial nail on the head again. He must find it easy to just tell it like it is. Unfortunately, many of our “episcopal pals” are more interested in trying to tiptoe around the tulips than in weeding the beds in which they’re planted. They mince words so much that they end up saying nothing in the face of sin! And then we wonder why so many so-called Catholics are having abortions, voting for pro-abortion candidates to high office, not even attending Sunday Mass on a regular basis, etc. How is this tiptoe approach helping to save any souls? All it’s doing is giving tacit approval to the destruction of souls! A lot of people are going to end up in hell, while all the while “feeling good about themselves” in this life. Ugh!

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