El Paso priest’s ad: the truth about homosexuality

Michael Rodriguez of San Juan Bautista Catholic Church in El Paso, Texas, wrote a four-part advertisement, published in the El Paso Times, on the teaching of the Catholic Church about homosexuality.

Here is a link to an article in the El Paso Times about the priest and his advertisement.

And here is the text of the four-part ad:
The Truth About Homosexuality, Part I
The Truth About Homosexuality, Part II
True Pastoral Care for Homosexuals
In the Beginning: God’s Precious Gift of Marriage

I’ve read all four parts. The teaching in the ads is in complete agreement with the teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality.

The Diocese of El Paso has, unfortunately, not been supportive of this priest’s efforts to speak the truth on a controversial topic.

” ‘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.” (El Paso Times article)

The main objection of the diocese seems to be that the priest briefly, twice, mentioned the recall election of the local City Council, and implied how the Catholic citizen should vote. Certain types of involvement in politics might jeopardize the non-profit (tax-free) status of the diocese or the Church in the U.S.

In addition, the Church generally does not tell the faithful specifically how to vote, but rather teaches the truth on faith and morals, and allows the individual to use faith and reason, in a judgment of the prudential order, when voting. However, it is also true that certain types of laws and certain acts of voting can be intrinsically unjust, and therefore always immoral. Typically, this type of vote pertains to the authorization of an intrinsically evil act by law or amendment or referendum, not to votes for particular politicians.

When voting for a person, as opposed to voting for a law, the voter can take into account the circumstances and especially the consequences of the vote, always attempting to do the most good and the least harm in the act of voting. Since voting for a person is not intrinsically evil, the Church cannot teach that a particular vote for a particular person is immoral.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and Biblical scholar

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