Pro-gay Rosica to lead priests through week of contemplation, study

[With a heavily feelings-based theme such as “not to look like sourpusses” at Mass but “to become more animated”]

by Stephen Wynne  •  ChurchMilitant  •  October 20, 2017

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – Heterodox priest Fr. Thomas Rosica has been selected to lead a retreat for U.S. clergy early next year.

Saint Vincent De Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, will host its annual Priest Winter Institute, a week-long retreat for parish priests, January 28–February 2.

Titled “Hearts Catching Fire: How to make the Scriptures come alive for our people,” the aim of the 2018 conference is to help “those who proclaim and preach … understand the meaning of the message of God’s Word.”

For faithful Catholics, the fact that Fr. Rosica is being given a seminary platform, however temporary, from which to mold the minds and souls of priests is cause for grave concern. The strikes against his suitability for the position are legion:

  • Father Rosica has publicly declared his “hero” (his term) to be arch-heretic and openly gay former priest, Fr. Gregory Baum. Baum, who died on October 18, publicly rejected Church teaching on contraception, homosexuality, devotion to Our Lady, Church authority and the nature of the Catholic priesthood. Faithful Catholics describe his influence on the Church in Canada as utterly malign. Monsignor Vincent Foy, the foremost expert on the Canadian bishops’ dissent against Pope Paul VI’s reiteration of Church teaching on contraception, wrote that “If it had not been for the black shadow of Baum … his influence over some bishops, the Canadian theological establishment and pressure groups, the Winnipeg Statement of the Canadian Bishops on Humanae Vitae would not have refused to endorse the teaching of the encyclical as it did.”
  • During the October 2015 Synod in Rome, Fr. Rosica caused scandal by granting gay activist Francis DeBernardo of dissident “Catholic” group New Ways Ministry — a group censured by the Vatican — a press pass, despite the fact that DeBernardo is not a journalist. Credentialed, faithful Catholic journalists, meanwhile, were denied entry into the press hall.
  • Father Rosica was caught in a deliberate falsehood during Pope Francis’ 2015 visit to the United States. Rosica claimed the Pope had not met privately with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk jailed for refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Later forced to backtrack, Rosica said the Holy Father had, in fact, met with Davis, but insisted the meeting was one of several that day.
  • Father Rosica, a robust defender of Fr. James Martin and his pro-gay book, Building a Bridge, went to bat for the heretical Jesuit after Abp. Charles Chaput of Philadelphia penned a correction to Fr. Martin for discarding Church teaching on homosexuality.

These and a host of other theological and ethical red flags dog Fr. Rosica’s years in the Church, and his placement in a position of influence over U.S. priests is prompting concern among faithful Catholics.

The fact that he is leading a retreat in the archdiocese of Miami is unusual because Abp. Thomas Wenski has been an outspoken defender of Church teaching on homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

In April 2013, the archbishop warned that with the introduction of same-sex “marriage” and moral relativism inundating American society, the United States was “on its way to totalitarianism.”

In January 2015, after Florida legalized same-sex “marriage,” the Miami prelate issued a letter to archdiocesan staff reiterating that anyone acting in a manner “inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church” would face disciplinary action up to and including termination.

In June 2016, in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, Abp. Wenski publicly rebuked St. Petersburg Bp. Robert Lynch for suggesting Catholic teaching was partly to blame for the massacre.

“Christians who support traditional marriage did not kill 49 people,” said Wenski. “Religion and freedom of religion did not enable the killing and the maiming that we witnessed last Sunday.”

“Today,” he added, “a regime of ‘political correctness’ wishes to impose itself on us and force us to conform ourselves, our values and our beliefs to the ascendant secularism of our time.”

Church Militant reached out to both Abp. Wenski’s office and St. Vincent De Paul Regional Seminary’s retreat contact for comment but neither responded.

Beyond the prominence assigned to Fr. Rosica, retreat literature currently available suggests a heavily feelings-based theme.

The brochure counsels priests “not to look like sourpusses” when delivering the Word of God and suggests the key to effective ministry is to become more animated.

Pope Francis, it says, “challenges us to be witnesses and not teachers, so the more excited we become about our message, the more excited our congregation will become, and in that way, the message gets under their skin and has a lasting effect.”

The brochure makes no distinction between fleeting, self-generated enthusiasm and divine ardor driven by the Holy Spirit.

In short, the Fr. Rosica led retreat will prescribe emotionalism in place of catechesis as the way “to make the Scriptures come alive” for U.S. Catholics.

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