Diocese Distances Itself from Priest for Writing “The Truth About Homosexuality”

Vicar General Fails To Support Fr. Michael Rogriguez’s
Mission To Defend the Sanctity of Marriage

Diocese issues second rebuke of their own Priest for his heroic stance to defend the sanctity of marriage and reveal “the Truth about Homosexuality.” 

  • Here is the first rebuke by his bishop.
  • His 4 part article will be posted shortly


by Aaron Bracamontes \ El Paso Times – A recent series of advertisements attacking homosexuality has dragged the Catholic Diocese of El Paso into a citywide political recall debate.

Rev. Michael RodriguexThe advertisements, titled “The truth about homosexuality,” were written by the Rev. Michael Rodriguez of San Juan Bautista Catholic Church and published in four parts in four consecutive editions of the El Paso Times. The ads started running on Saturday and ended Tuesday. The advertisements were also on elpasotimes.com.

While Rodriguez maintains the ads represent the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, officials of the Diocese of El Paso said they do not.

“These paid advertisements are the personal views and opinions of Father Michael Rodriguez,” said the Rev. Anthony C. Celino, the vicar general and moderator of the curia for the diocese.

Celino said the Catholic Church is not taking and cannot take a side in the recall effort.

The advertisements quote several Bible passages and denounce homosexuality and any encouragement of homosexuality. It also alluded to Mayor John Cook and city Reps. Susie Byrd and Steve Ortega, who are currently the target of a recall petition, organized by Word of Life Church Pastor Tom Brown.

“All Catholics have a moral obligation before God to oppose any government attempt to legalize same-sex unions,” Rodriguez wrote in part two of the series. “Here in El Paso, certain City Council members have remained obstinate in promoting public recognition and legitimization of homosexual unions. Whether

they realize it or not, their actions are objectively immoral and gravely harmful to marriage and the family. It should be obvious to all Catholics what our duty is with respect to these members of City Council.”

Rodriguez said he wrote the pieces but did not pay for the advertisements or submit the writings to the Times.

A couple from Plano, Texas, paid for the advertisements.

“I decided to write these articles primarily because it’s my duty as a Catholic priest to teach the truth when it comes to faith and morals,” Rodriguez said in a written statement to the Times. “My mission is to labor for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. That’s why I wrote the articles. The government has no right to undermine or redefine the institution of marriage. This is beyond the scope of their competence.”

Rodriguez said he also did not like the precedent the City Council is setting.

“Furthermore, the government has no right to undermine basic public morality,” Rodriguez said. “Unfortunately, members of El Paso’s City Council have made decisions that are immoral, irrational, and contrary to the common good of our city.”

Byrd said the advertisements are a political action because they alluded to the recall effort.

“To me, that is not the most terrible thing about the ad,” Byrd said. “What is, is the fact that he spent a lot of time and money to harm a group in our community.”

Ortega said he does not believe that religion should be mixed with government.

“I haven’t read his opinion pieces,” Ortega said. “I firmly believe in the principle of separation of church and state and therefore his opinions, as a priest, carry absolutely no weight with me as a public official.”

Brown said the advertisements came as a pleasant surprise.

“I think it’s wonderful. It is freedom of speech,” Brown said. “Ultimately, I agree with Rodriguez.”

Brown said the diocese should not remain silent on the recall because it goes against the Catholic faith.

“I think the Catholics should have an opinion,” he said.

Paul Landernan, an adviser for the El Paso chapter of the Stonewall Young Democrats, said that his organization — a youth-based organization that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the United States — is disappointed that Rodriguez is still stuck in the 19th century.

“He has official duties for the people of his parish,” Landernan said, “some of whom are parents of gay people, related to gay people or work with gay people every day.”

Rodriguez’s words can divide communities, Landernan said.

“Why would a person like this have that level of a violent reaction to the evolution of our society?” he asked. “He suddenly turned the clock back 40 to 50 years to a time when the Jim Crow-type of thinking was acceptable.”

In two weeks, recall petitions for Cook, Byrd and Ortega will be due at City Hall. Landernan said the advertisements’ timing was “curious.”

“It would have been a blip on the radar” if Rodriguez were not a priest, Landernan said. “And really, the church is almost a victim in this. He has almost used the name of the church without authorization.”

The controversy was not limited to the paid advertisements.

On Aug. 21, members of St. Raphael Catholic Church found fliers on their car windshields after church services.

The fliers said, “Éour popes and bishops have reminded us that we must oppose all government efforts to legitimize homosexual unions by attempting to equate them with marriage.”

The fliers also said, “Members of the City Council and the mayor have violated our rights and overturned our popular vote. We must hold our politicians accountable and insist that they truly serve our people.”

The church’s head priest, Monsignor Francis Smith, and the diocese said the fliers were not approved by or affiliated with the church.

“The diocese does not endorse or oppose candidates, political parties, or take actions that can be construed as endorsement or opposition,” Celino said. “Recall fliers claiming to be ‘Catholic’ were not authorized by the Diocese of El Paso.”

Smith said the people who distributed the fliers sneaked into the church’s parking lot during that Sunday’s two largest Masses.

“I always tell my people that if they stick it under your windshield, I did not authorize that,” Smith said. “If it is something worthwhile, then why be sneaky about it.”

The message on the fliers is not what Smith preaches at his church, he said.

“We have been asked several times to take their stance, and we will not,” Smith said. “I do not agree with that lifestyle (homosexuality), but I will help anyone who needs it.”

The fliers also list names and numbers of individuals who filed the intent to recall Cook, Byrd and Ortega.

Two of those individuals, Ben Mendoza and Nacho Padilla, said they had no prior knowledge of the fliers. Neither did Brown, he said.

“I personally would not authorize that,” Mendoza said. “I can see handing it out on the sidewalk, but not on cars.”

Mendoza said he is for the recall because the people’s vote was overthrown and he believes that should be the main issue.

Padilla said the fliers led to more individuals signing petitions.

“What they did has worked really positive,” Padilla said. “We have gotten a lot of signatures. We won’t deny that.”

Brown said he was proud that those who support the recall are acting on their own.

“It’s a free country, and people are free to promote however they want,” Brown said.

Brown said “we’d like to make more progress” as the deadline nears to turn in recall petitions.

“I’d like to say we can predict victory, but we are not there yet. We need to keep working.”


Discover more about our Courageous Priest

Warning: No Gov’t Has The Authority To Undermine Marriage

Fr. Michael Rodriguez Declares The Truth To The City Council

Catholics – Have An Absolute Moral Obligation to Oppose Same-Sex Unions

Father Michael Rodriguez: Any Catholic Who Supports Homosexual Acts…


P.S. – Would you do Courageous Priest a favor and share this info with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or Email right now? We truly appreciate it. Or leave a comment, we would love to hear what you think.

26 comments to Diocese Distances Itself from Priest for Writing “The Truth About Homosexuality”

  • St John Vianney was also given a tiny parish in a desolate area.

  • Esther Marie Ventura Ferencz

    Bravo Fr. Rodriguez. You spelt out with accuracy what the ramifications are to same sex marriage..Its actually unbelievable that you would be held at arms length by your bishops and diocese. Especially when speaking on TRUTH, FAITH, and MORALS of Our faith. The life of the church and its existence depends on TRUTH! The diocese reactions speaks LOUD as to what may well be transpiring in the Bishops quarters. So many say. ‘God Is Love’ and ‘God Loves All’ Both of which is true..God is also FATHER and He has expectations of the humans HE Created..HE is due RESPECT. OBEDIENCE. LOVE ABOVE ALL OTHERS and THINGS. Lust of same sex relations is NOT OF GOD. God Bless You Fr. Rodriguez.

  • Bill

    The overwhelming evidence indicates that at the very least some people are born with a tendency toward homosexuality. This poses a terrible theological dilemma. Both the Bible and the RCC teach that homosexuality is wrong, but then why did God permit these folks to be born with this orientation.

  • Bill

    It’s actually quite simple. To have some priests ranting and raving about homosexuality when a substantial number of their own ranks are gay is a bit ingenuous.


    Hello Bill,

    Again, thanks for the comment.

    Did you realize Bill, that to apply this ideology to parenting would mean that no parent could correct their children?

    Why? Because to have some parents ranting and raving about their children’s misbehavior, when a number of parents misbehave is a bit disingenuous.

    So, let me ask you Bill, does your own ideology concerning homosexuality agree with the teachings of the Bible and the Catholic Church?

    I am looking forward to your reply.

    May God richly bless you,
    John Quinn

  • Bill

    The most conservative estimate I’ve found of homosexuality among priests was 10% with other estimates as high as 50%. I personally believe that it is in the 15-20% range which many would view as an underestimate.


    Good day Bill,

    I’m a little confused Bill, what is the purpose of your comment?

    God bless you Bill,
    John Quinn

  • Bill

    I don’t see anything in what I wrote about misrepresentation. After “goolgling” the good Father, it seems that he obsessed with a few issues. By the grace of God, I don’t live in his diocese so all I have to go by is what I find on the internet. I reminded of the line in Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”


    Hey Bill,

    Thanks again for the reply Bill. Sorry about the confusion, the question was for you to give examples of how Father Rodriguez misrepresented the teachings of the Church. Does that make sense?

    Why do you think he is obsessed with this issue? Is not his job the salvation of souls? You would agree with the Bible, Jesus and the Catholic Church that a practicing homosexual cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven? Let me ask you, what more pressing issue does he have at this moment?

    Don’t you think he’s just doing his job, the salvation of souls?

    That would be like saying ESPN is obsessed with the Super Bowl. Of course, they’re going to focus on the Super Bowl, that is their job. Is it not the same with Father Rodriguez?

    God bless you,
    John Quinn

  • Thank God for priests like Fr. Rodriguez! He’s in my prayers daily. Of course , will pray for the bishop to be converted to the Catholic Faith as well.

  • Bill

    The key point here is exaggeration. I don’t believe that the Pope or Jesus has exaggerated their respective positions.

    Hello Bill,

    I was wondering why, you believe the Pope and Jesus but not Father Rodriguez. Can you please document where Father Rodriguez exaggerates or misrepresents the teachings of the Catholic Church, as revealed to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church?

    Thanks Bill and God bless,
    John Quinn

  • “Celino said the Catholic Church is not taking and cannot take a side in the recall effort.” The Church must speak in on this subject! I will being praying for this Bishop.

  • Bill

    In psychoanalytic theory, reaction formation is a defensive process (defense mechanism) in which anxiety-producing or unacceptable emotions and impulses are mastered by exaggeration (hypertrophy) of the directly opposing tendency.


    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for the research, Bill. We appreciate it. Now, do you realize with this logic, that the Pope actually hates the Catholic Church? That Jesus thinks Satan is a good guy who has been given a bad reputation? Or that you actually support all of the teachings of Jesus Christ as revealed through the Catholic Church?

    Bill we know that these statements have as much truth as what you are implying about Fr. Rodriguez.

    Praying for your conversion of heart and mind.

    God bless you, Bill.
    John Quinn

  • God Bless Father Rodriguez and pray for this cowardly Bishop… There are many wolves in sheep clothing who have entered the City of God like a trojan horse intent on destroying from within…

  • terrig

    I commend Father Rodriguez for doing his job as a good priest. I wish he was my parish priest. I will keep him and all courageous priests and bishops in my prayers. (The head of John Corapi’s order SOLT is headquartered in Corpus Christi, not El Paso for the person that asked). I would hardly compare the two.

  • Kathy16670

    Fr. Rodriguez, you shine like a light in the darkness.
    I will be praying for your courage, comfort, and strength.
    Keep fighting the good fight!

    (I am from the north, in an orthodox Diocese. This situation
    you are in seems absolutely bizarre to me!)

  • George R. Kadlec

    Why is the truth so offensive to some people? It is so refreshing to hear an orthodox Catholic priest.

    Some quotes from Catholic Saints on the issue of homosexuality:

    Saint Catherine of Siena, a religious mystic of the 14th century, relays words of Our Lord Jesus Christ about the vice against nature, which contaminated part of the clergy in her time. Referring to sacred ministers, He says: “They not only fail from resisting this frailty [of fallen human nature] . . . but do even worse as they commit the cursed sin against nature. Like the blind and stupid, having dimmed the light of their understanding, they do not recognize the disease and misery in which they find themselves. For this not only causes Me nausea, but displeases even the demons themselves, whom these miserable creatures have chosen as their lords. For Me, this sin against nature is so abominable that, for it alone, five cities were submersed, by virtue of the judgment of My Divine Justice, which could no longer bear them. . . . It is disagreeable to the demons, not because evil displeases them and they find pleasure in good, but because their nature is angelic and thus is repulsed upon seeing such an enormous sin being committed. It is true that it is the demon who hits the sinner with the poisoned arrow of lust, but when a man carries out such a sinful act, the demon leaves.”

    Saint Augustine is categorical in the combat against sodomy and similar vices. The great Bishop of Hippo writes: “Sins against nature, therefore, like the sin of Sodom, are abominable and deserve punishment whenever and wherever they are committed. If all nations committed them, all alike would be held guilty of the same charge in God’s law, for our Maker did not prescribe that we should use each other in this way. In fact, the relationship that we ought to have with God is itself violated when our nature, of which He is Author, is desecrated by perverted lust.”

    Saint Bernardine of Siena, a preacher of the fifteenth century, makes an accurate psychological analysis of the consequences of the homosexual vice. The illustrious Franciscan writes: “No sin has greater power over the soul than the one of cursed sodomy, which was always detested by all those who lived according to God. . . . Such passion for undue forms borders on madness. This vice disturbs the intellect, breaks an elevated and generous state of soul, drags great thoughts to petty ones, makes [men] pusillanimous and irascible, obstinate and hardened, servilely soft and incapable of anything. Furthermore, the will, being agitated by the insatiable drive for pleasure, no longer follows reason, but furor. . . . Someone who lived practicing the vice of sodomy will suffer more pains in Hell than anyone else, because this is the worst sin that there is.”

  • Karl Ward

    This is truely a Couragous Priest, and we need many more like him.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t this the same Dioceses that Fr. Coropi’s order has it’s Headquarters?

    If it is, it is just more of the same.

  • Nora Torres

    Praise the Lord for courageous priests like Fr. Michael. His bishop should be down on his knees thanking God that God sent him a spokeperson to defend what this bishop can not articulate.

    I am offering a holy hour, Mass and rosary for Fr. Michael. May God continue to make him holy and wise.

  • In his book, Rise Let us be on our Way, Pope John Paul II defines the powerful role of the Bishop who inherites the role of the shepherd who watches over and protects the flock. The phrase, rise, let us be on our way, was said to the apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane just before Jesus was arested. Christ knew what was coming, he chose freely to take up the challenge of the cross in order to save his flock. He also called his apostles to do the same. Today we see many shepherds who work very hard to avoid that cross which would cause them suffering. I will not speak specifically about this Bishop as he may have a perception that he needs to protect the diocese from financial and legal challenges. It appears that wordly prudence is his guide. The tax status of the Church takes precedence, quite possibly. Yet, the virtue of courage does escape many in our day and age. Not so for this very courageous priest. He knows the supernatural virtue of courage. Prudence from the wordly stance is not what he has chosen. Relativism, historicism, even the concept that morals evolve, is not what this priest is about. He will carry the cross in the stead of his ordinary and he will be blessed. Let us rise and be on our way with this courageous priest.

  • mortimerzilch

    El Paso deserves all our attention – the full glare of the Catholic press. The situation is a perfect microcosm of all the issues distilled as no stage play in a theater ever could. Pray for Fr. Rodriguez, and the bishop, and civic leaders. If evil can be withstood here, it can be withstood anywhere.

  • jc

    A call to Rev. Anthony C. Celino, vicar general and moderator of the curia of the diocese, tell us please, your position on the faith and morals of Catholic teaching with regard to your comments printed in this article. We are not asking you to take sides in the recall effort, just asking for your position with regard to your comments.

    And Paul Landernan, we expect you to voice such an opinion as an adviser for the El Paso chapter of the Stonewall Young Democrats. Is this your own opinion? You state that Father Michael Rodriguez has a duty, an official duty to the people of his parish. What do you think that duty is? Tell us please. And can you kindly create clarity regarding your comment of “Why would a person like this having a violent reaction…”. What does that mean?

    Your statement that “…the Church is a victim of this.” Of what? You go on to say,”He has almost used the name of the Church without authorization.” Do you mean he spoke on behalf of the Church, in the way that you spoke on behalf of the Stonewall Young Democrats?

    Rev. Anthony C. Celino and Paul Landernan, thank you and your responses are awaited.

  • LisaG

    Unless priests and bishops clearly state what is sin and what is not sin there will always be loopholes in the minds of parishioners. It doesn’t matter how embarrassing or uncomfortable it makes us or them. Homosexual sex, abortion, contraception, sex outside marriage and abuse of children. When priests and bishops stop worrying about offending people or losing parishioners or money or whatever then our church will grow with the Truth, the Life and the Way.

    • Taliesin319

      Ambiguity has become enshrined among many members of the Hierarchy. The Catechisms of theCouncil of Trent, and St Pius X that catechised Roman
      Catholics throughout the world prior to 1960 and the advent of Vatican II made
      it clear that that Homosexual behavior that involved the practice of Sodomy was among the gravest of sins and one that called to the heavens for vengeance. For two and now going on 3 generations Roman Catholic teaching and Catechesis has created a watered down, politically correct version of Protestant tenets interwoven with Roman Catholic teaching that is totally at odds with the Deposit of Faith. We now have a Pontiff who occasionally offers what looks and sounds like weak allignment with those Catechisms on some days but then exhibits wildly divergent behavior that is in no way in sync with the Teachings of the Roman Catholic body of Faith which no Pontiff has a mandate to change. This results in ignorance of what is required of them from the Remnant of the Faithful seated in Novus Ordo Churches. Social
      Justice and an almost Pagan attraction to the ” Planet ” have become the major topics and any discussion. Salvation, Mortal Sin, Heaven, Hell and Purgatory is
      definitely on the shelf since their mention harms the concept of inclusivity. If
      Jesus arrived at the door he would be asked to refrain from anything controversial.
      One can go to an entire Mass and not see any notice paid to Christ in the Tabernacle or anyone looking in His direction. Father Rodriguez, God Bless him, adhers to the first duty of a Shepherd, Feed My lambs ( Catechesis ), Feed My sheep ( Penance and
      the Holy Mass of the Ages ) Keep my Commandments. May he live and be well
      and teach from the aforementioned Catechisms that we know is the truth. Jesus Christ, Body and Blood,Soul and Divinity is really present in the Holy Eucharest.
      A fact many of our Clergy and Hierarchy no longer believe and make no secret of the fact that they don’t.

  • anne

    Fr.Rodriquez was correct in upholding the church’s teachings. All Catholics need to come out and support him. The time for being silent is over. Our Lord himself said he would spit out the lukewarm.Pray the Rosary every day, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima. Lucia, one of the visionaries said there is no problem the Rosary cannot solve Let’s all pray for this courageous priest.
    Fr. Rodriquez wants us all to get to heaven.What is wrong with discipling his children, as would any father do.
    Catholic families, return to your faith.
    God bless you all,

  • Eugene Kelly

    Fr. Michael Rodriguez spoke the truth in love and loves the sinner but wants to save their soul, so he is willing to approach the issue in an honest and constructive way. Jesus taught repentance and obedience and so as Jesus taught so His apostles need to teach. Jesus did not condemn the sinner but loved them and then told them to go and sin no more. Tolerance and acceptance of sin does the sinner no good because the sinner needs to confess his sin, have a contrite heart and learn what Jesus taught about the necessity for chastity appropriate for one’s state of life. Marriage is a man and a woman agreeing to come together before God and to seek God’s blessing for their union so that their marriage may bear fruit pleasing to God, i.e. children. God is not going to bless a union that is not of God because a sinful union is not pleasing to Him. Jacinta of Fatima, Portugal said before her death and some time after the Blessed Virgin Mary’s appearances in 1917 that our Lady said “Many marriages are not good, they do not please Our Lord and not of God.” So, if the Blessed Virgin Mary said this about some marriages between a man and a woman, imagine how much more displeased He is about desired unions between and man and a man or a woman and a woman. God in the Person of the Holy Spirit in prayer ministry sessions are the most helpful for people in any sort of need. I know because I have needed many of them. Our God is a very loving God and if you come to Him with a contrite heart sincerely seeking help for your sinful behavior, whatever it may be, God through the person of the Holy Spirit who lives in us will help, will heal and restore a person to that which God intended him or her to be. But we must come in a spirit of humility and obedience to God with a contrite heart. God knows our heart so we cannot lie to God. He knows everything about us and still loves us as His children and is always ready to heal us and to love us unconditionally. God is love. We will experience many hard times on our way back to God, it will not be easy, but if we persevere through all our trials and do not give up then God will see our sincere and contrite hearts and love us all the more. To continue to sin and not recognize that your behavior is sinful is a terrible path to take because then you have been deceived by those around you because they have presented tolerance of your sinful behavior as a virtue. A sinner needs tough love that will cause them to be healed of their spiritual blindness, cause them to awakened from their slumber, cause them to rise up and reach for God day after day after day until finally God deigns to reach His hand down and touch them, to heal them and then the love they feel will be an everlasting love that will not be of the flesh, but be of the spirit. This is a love that we all seek. This love endures through all and gives us a sense of peace and rest. We need to be able to rest in God’s love and not seek it in all the wrong places. We need to know that Jesus is waiting for us all to turn to Him and that His name is a name that heals all wounds and has the power to break all chiains of bondage to sin. His name is the name above all names. We can always count on God because His love never fails and He will never leave us if we believe in Him. Then our lives will be driven by a desire not to offend Him and not by a desire to satisfy our flesh, to collect material goods or to fellowship with the evil one’s works. Out sole desire will be to please God in the manner that He desires not in the manner that pleases us. God is love. That is where we should seek love to understand love. Only then can we approach the world in a whole and loving manner stripped of our need for sinful behavior. This is tough love but a necessary love if our souls are to be saved and we are to grasp the gift of eternal life that Jesus won for us on the Cross and promises to all believers in Him. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. There is no other way to salvation, no other way to God the Father but through Jesus.

  • Mavis Hucker

    I think that Fr. Michael Rodriguez did the right thing and I’m ashamed of his Bishop for rebuking him for his stand. May God raise up more priests like Fr. Michael.

  • I commend Fr. Rodriguez for courageously taking a stand for what the Church clearly teaches on the immorality of homosexual relations and, especially, against homosexual marriage. I am conflicted about whether it is right for me to publicly oppose the bishop’s rebuke. I would appreciate any words of wisdom about this.

    Thank you,
    Mrs. Cami Murphy

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