Monday, August 23, 2010

Double talk: Bishop Armando Ochoa of El Paso rebukes Fr. Rodriquez.

And what a queer rebuke.
Last week I watched a clip of Fr. Rodriquez interviewed on television, he was very reasonable, balanced, and very Catholic.  A young priest dressed in his cassock, he defended Catholic teaching as it related to his statements regarding abortion and homosexuality, and he did so with the utmost charity.  Now the bishop of El Paso has rebuked this priest for teaching Catholic doctrine. 
How often do our bishops rebuke dissident priests and religious for their teaching?  I've often wondered why the bishops have never come off as strongly about these critical moral issues as Fr. Rodriguez has?  How many of our bishops actually support homosexuality?  In my last post, Fr. James Martin's support of homosexuality is brought into question, but I have to wonder how many bishops lend their support as well?
“Abortion and homosexual acts are unequivocally intrinsic moral evils.”  - Fr. Michael Rodriguez
Bishop Armando Ochoa of El Paso has rebuked a diocesan priest who wrote that “every single Catholic, out of fidelity to charity and truth, has the absolute duty to oppose (1) the murder of unborn babies, and (2) any and all government attempts to legalize homosexual unions.”
“I urge all of the Catholic faithful to treat homosexuals with love, understanding, and respect,” Father Michael Rodriguez had added in his August 2 El Paso Timescolumn. “At the same time, never forget that genuine love demands that we seek, above all, the salvation of souls. Homosexual acts lead to the damnation of souls.”

And yet the bishop sees it another way?
“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,” Bishop Ochoa responded in an August 22 El Paso Timescolumn. “The Church has been unmistakable about its consistent defense of the unborn … 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. My concern in writing this reflection is not to change these teachings, but to offer a more pastoral understanding in dealing with them.” - Read on. 

So the bishop is telling the faithful this priest is teaching his personal opinion?  What can be more divisive or confusing than that?  Something is off here.
Quote of the day:

Bishops “need spiritual discernment and not just political calculation of the risk of the possibility of the message being received,” said Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the newly-appointed prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, in an interview this week.


  1. Terry - I saw this article too, and I thought - great, another bishop throwing one his priests under the bus.

    My uneducated guess is that the bishop received a lot of heated emails & calls regarding Fr Rodriguez's column and TV appearance, and rather than face the heat, he just deflected it onto his priest.

    I'm praying for both men - one for the strength to continue preaching fearlessly, and the other to begin to.

  2. I'll tell you what's off-- why aren't you a bishop?

  3. Terry ! You're on a rolll...even your pictures make me laff out loud ! ... to say nothing of your words'a'wisdom.

  4. Double-speak is EVERYWHERE.

    I think it is the tool of modernism. Say something... whatever you want and: "Hey you just took what I said wrong." or "Woah, that is your opinion."

    For instance:

    Yesterday at Mass, we were told.

    "Almost everyone gets to heaven."

    "Heaven isn't our goal... our goal is to live in the Kingdom of God."

    Confusion is the best way to keep the people subjugated.

  5. Anonymous12:38 PM

    Joe, funny you mention that...

    Yesterday at Mass, Father, in his homily, stated that it's his opinion that most go to heaven. He prefaced it, true, and I don't really have an opinion one way or the other. I suppose it's just confusing to me in a sense to hear it in the context of a homily and especially for that Gospel where Christ speaks of the narrow way. Ultimately, i think Christ was, in part, telling them to mind their own business and worry about THEIR salvation rather than treat it like some abstraction to be pondered, but nonetheless...

  6. I used to live in El Paso. Used to attend Father Rodriguez' Tridentine Mass at San Juan Bautista, he was and perhaps still is the only one saying the Extraordinary Rite in the Diocese. Don't know, don't live there anymore. Bishop Ochoa used to make things hard for those who wanted Tridentine Mass, hence it got stuck at San Juan bautista in the poor neighborhood. But then the Hispanics preferred this Mass as El Paso was home to a lot of Cristero descendents.

    Just so you know Bp. Ochoa is a product of Cardinal Mahony: that should clue you in.

  7. LeoRufus2:46 PM

    Um, I misspoke: Father Rodriquez was the only 'diocesan' priest saying the Tridentine Mass: there was also the SSPX which had and still has a thriving community in El Paso. Pprobably the only reason Bishop Ochoa allowed the then "indult" Mass because SSPX was taking some of the wealthier patrons from the Diocese.

  8. Leo - thanks for that insight - the whole thing makes more sense now.

  9. Yes, Leo, that puts things into clear perspective...
    Terry, the photo was most appropriate!
    Being "pastoral" means a lot of things to a lot of different folks, I'm afraid.
    Is the salvation of souls the primary intent for some?
    That's what I'd like to know.

  10. I almost WISH my bishop's agenda was homosexuality support...mine is cuddling up to the UNDOCUMENTED illegal aliens and throwing a big pity party for them, how they are so "marginalized." Nothing in his homilies about how they are breaking Federal law and why they are NOT in confession..I wonder how many of them receive Communion.

    And not a small amount of Diocese money goes to feed, shelter, support, medical care, education (in Spanish of course) etc. these lawbreakers...and we are not a very rich diocese.

    I wonder when I write my check to the DDD next year what they would say when I stipulate that NONE of my monies are to go to these people..

    Why are Bishops such wusses??


  11. Sara: Just a thought...the undocumented, illegal aliens are PC...homosex is PC...
    Now, don't get me wrong; federal law must be guidance here; I have no idea of what exactly is going with that...I hope and pray that no one is being mistreated or tortured...but for heaven's sake;
    we have no concept of "right and wrong" anymore.
    It all is with "feelings", as Terry has so eloquently indicated.
    Compassion, yes.
    "Wussiness"? No.
    And the bishop excoriating Fr. R. is a "Mahoney drone" which says a lot; a lot.
    Don't get me wrong; we have to be obedient to the legitimate authority...but C. Mahoney has not exactly been the "poster-child" of obedience nor of legality (re: his depositions in court regarding his treatment of child-abusing priests)...not to mention his "hissy-fit" regarding Mother Angelica's "call to order" regarding his absolutely heretical letter on the Eucharist.
    The chickens come home to roost, I'm afraid.
    We're in a time of apostasy.
    There's no gettin' around it.

  12. A reprise of Bishop Ochoa's response to the Motu Proprio may be read here
    It is a repost on catholic Answers of a Father Z comment: the notorious Father Z has raised an eyebrow or two previously about said Ordinary of ElPaso. I quote:

    "In reality, I can foresee that this might only affect one out of the 55 parishes in our Diocese. In that parish, only one Mass will continue to be celebrated in Latin if the conditions set forth in the Motu Proprio are fulfilled. The remainder of the scheduled Masses, will continue to be offered in English and Spanish. The Apostolic Letter will go into effect for those concerned, on September 14, 2007, the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross."

    And this is a sample of Bishop Ochoa's pastoral sensibility, concern for the offended gay couple over the remarks of the one priest in the one parish that offers the Extraordinary Form of the Mass takes priority over the catholics in El Paso who would like to have the Extraordinary form in more than one parish.

    He really is the inheritance of his mentor cardinal Mahony.

  13. Austringer9:06 AM

    "The floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops" -- St. John Chrysostom (I think).

  14. This may give you a reason to dance in your chair: Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec has been appointed prefect of
    the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops.

    He has stated that: "Bishops need spiritual discernment and not just political calculation of the risk of the possibility of the message being received. We have to dare to speak to the deep heart, where the Spirit of the Lord is touching people beyond what we can calculate.” According to where I picked up this little bit of fabulous news, Cardinal Ouellet is pretty much hated by a number of bishops, but my reply to that spineless mass is, tough patooties.

  15. Oh, and Thom...Terry (to his horror and probably mental breakdown!) would make a great bishop...
    I, on the other hand, would be probably assassinated within a week of my installation...barring the JR Terrier here didn't kill the assailant.
    We could only hope for "Terrys" among the episcopacy...I'm not kiddin'!

  16. The immorality may be larger than the discussion. Since the RCC has tax-exempt status it has accepted the legal obligation not to appear to be openly influencing political decisions; therefore, the problem of Fr. R. Since the Diocese of El Paso exempted itself from Texas' mandatory child abuse reporting laws, perhaps it can no longer afford to be as moral as once it appeared. Funny things; morality/money/legality.


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