1. Nathan says

    Fr. Bob is a good and brave priest who has challenged the episcopate on many occasions. Kudos to him for standing up – I hope his colleagues at St. John’s Abbey are able to protect him from the backlash it will inevitably create.

  2. Rick says

    This is all fine and good, but Papal authority is the essence of Catholicism. If you don’t accept the Pope as infallible and as God’s representative on earth, then you are a Protestant, not a Catholic, whether you call yourself a Catholic or not.

    Protestantism stresses a personal relationship with God; Catholicism insists on the authority of intermediaries…..which has always made Protestantism more potentially accessible to gay people.

    How can Catholics who believe the former rather than the latter continue to be Catholics?

    Not a Catholic myself and was not raised one, so it is more an abstract point with me.

  3. Simon says

    Exposing bigotry with the bible.

    Hatred is the greatest sin which goes against the greatest commandments of Christ given to all Christians. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Christ has clearly mentioned that the way to have eternal life for his followers is to through his commandments to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. He has mentioned that those laws are above all other biblical laws of any other prophets.

    Those homophobes promoting hatred are antiChrist who do not believe or pretend to believe in Jesus Christ but do not acknowledge Christ for saying that His 2 commandments to love God and to love thy neighbor as thyself, are the highest of all biblical laws. The antiChrist, like the devil, is a master of quoting biblical verses except those 2 top commandments of love from Christ, they avoid using Christ’s name but use other names, even ‘God’, to bring all sort of biblical verses or ‘facts’, to lie and to prove their justification to hate. AntiChrist deceive people that those 2 commandments of love were not above all laws for Christians, and they are around in many churches and organizations pretending to be of ‘religious’ faith.

    The issue of homosexuality is a test of the Christian faith on that choice of who they really believe in the end, to love (Christ and His greatest commandments) or to hate (succumb to temptation of verses NOT from Christ’s greatest commandments and to justify their hatred).

  4. says

    Papal authority is under fire all over the place. And the Vatican has turned on its own flock. With disasrous conseqeunces for the church.

    Father Bob is a very good man (something “Rick” and his evil twin “Jason” knows nothing about.)

  5. Jack M says

    There are many priests who are in favor of equality for all. The Vatican should beware; their antiquated view of life will eventually come to an end, no matter how hard they try to perpetuate it.

  6. Rick says

    “Papal authority is under fire all over the place”

    Er, it has been under fire since Martin Luther nailed his objections to a church door.

    The point is, however, that if you take Papal authority away (and the authority of the hierarchy under him), you no longer have Catholicism–you just have another denomination of Protestantism.

  7. john patrick says

    So, Rick, does that mean that the young Father Joseph Ratzinger – the now Pope Benedict XV – was not a Catholic?

  8. Caliban says

    It seems the Pope doesn’t, or didn’t, believe in Papal inerrancy himself so bravo to Father Pierson for pointing out that quote.

    As Daffy Duck would say, “Hoist on my own petard!” (Shakespeare said it first but Daffy said it better.)

    The Catholic Church’s recent attempts to purge their ranks of the ideologically impure is unlikely to go how they want. It may be a tenet of Catholic faith that the Pope is infallible and priests are the conduit to the divine, but over two decades of child abuse scandals demonstrated exactly where the faithful (including nuns) stand in church priorities- dead last, far below their reputation and riches.

  9. Bart says

    Most Catholics in America don’t accept Papal rule anymore than the people of Great Britain believe the Queen is running England. Having been through 12 years of Catholic education, I’ve known many priests who believe exactly as Father Bob does. Though I no longer consider myself Catholic as I don’t tithe to them or go to their churches, there are still priests that I know who are friends. Not a single one believes I am living anything but an exemplary life with my partner. In fact, I am invited to come and speak at Catholic institutions every year and when questioned about my family, always mention my partner. No one bats an eye. And this is in the middle of the heartland.

    The Catholic heirarcy in Rome has alienanted many of it’s constituents and many of its own priests. Hell, the number of priests coming from America and Europe is at an all time low. Even believers in Christ don’t want anything to do with what has turned into an organization that pushes a brand of hate and exclusion on the world.

    I like what Simon said above. I’ve never thought of it that way but he could be entirely right. Regardless, he’s onto an interesting theory about the words and actions of the Jesus all Christian/Catholic religions both base their faith on and worship. If you can’t buy his words…or place them second or third behind Paul or the writer of Leviticus (Moses), then call yourself a Paulite or a Leviticite. But don’t call yourself a Christian because that would imply you follow the words and actions of Jesus Christ…not tranlated pages of an ancient book written when people thought the sun went around the earth and the earth was flat.

    I’ve always believed that we were given intelligence by our Creator and expected to use it to evolve. It seems these negative anti-Christ, devisive haters fear growth and evolution of thought because it proves them to be exactly what they are.

  10. BobN says

    It appears that Rick knows about as much about Catholicism as he does about, well, anything else, which is to say not much.

  11. candide001 says


    Unfortunately most anti-gay Christians have convinced themselves that they are expressing Christian love, not hate when they discriminate against LGBTs. They inevitably fall back on the “love the sinner, but hate the sin” nonsense. Christianity has written into its program all sorts of strategies which enable Christians to remain in denial of what they are really doing, while feeling self-righteous and martyred, bound to be misunderstood and rejected by a sinful world. Exclusivist, tribalistic systems like Christianity usually have those defense mechanisms written into their code, such as cautions against false teachers who will say that what you believe is wrong. How do you persuade them that what they are doing is really hate and not love?

  12. jexer says

    If the rest of the Church had this stance, it wouldn’t have lost me as a member.

  13. Guy says

    @Rick: “How can Catholics who believe the former rather than the latter continue to be Catholics?”

    First, Fr. Pierson says it’s OK to oppose the imposition of Catholic teachings on non-Catholics. This is just common sense and has nothing to do with dogma.

    Second, as a post-Catholic, I’m pretty sure that the church’s admonitions against homosexuality are not at the level of dogma. There is very little that is dogma in the Catholic church. So Catholics can still disagree with the pope on a lot of things and still “continue to be Catholics.”

  14. Cr8nguy says

    Just to point out, as a gay man with two degrees in catholic theology, this idea that Papal authority is infallible is widely misunderstood. He is not infallible in all things. The doctrinal issue is specific to an invocation….known as ex cathedra…he, the pope, must invoke infallibility in order for his teaching to be considered as such. The last pope to have done this was in the 70s.

    Everything he says is given great weight, certainly. But this is distinct from being infallible. An infallible teaching is not changeable by a subsequent pope.

    Doctrinally speaking, the conscience is more important in one’s relationship to God through behavior than following a dictate of the heirarchy. They don’t make it seem that way, but that is still the theological reality.

  15. Rick says

    @CR8NGUY Thanks for the explanation; that is what I was trying as a non-Catholic to understand.

  16. dave02657 says

    Unilateral laicization by Rome after being determined as “unsuitable for ministry” by “bringing scandal to the Church” in …

    five, four, three …!

  17. CPT_Doom says

    Fr. Bob brings up the point that gets me the most as an ex-Catholic. I was raised by my Irish-Catholic mother to understand the enormous bigotry, distrust and subsequent discrimination my Catholic ancestors, particularly those of Irish descent, faced in this country. Take a look at the newspapers during the famine and see the depictions of Irish-Catholics as little more than apes, not to mention the INNA (“Irish Need Not Apply”) in job advertisements. The Italian Catholics faced the same sorts of bigotry just a few years later. When JFK was at Harvard, the exclusive clubs wouldn’t take him because of his religion, and even in the 21st century we have had a grand total of 1 Catholic President and 1 Catholic Vice President.

    Now we see the oppressed acting as the oppressors – a story as old as humanity.

  18. fr xavier lobo says

    i fully believe in the supremacy of conscience rather than any other spiritual power mongering.
    national laws can b questioned, reformed or changed. church laws seem to b eternal as if god had directly given them. if the pope today then the young ratzinger could uphold supremacy of conscience then why does he now impose? by becoming pope he has not become god.
    this he should remember.

  19. Mike says

    I am so tired of the homosexual community saying that Catholics are discriminating against them. Homosexual persons have every right to associate with whomever they want. No one is stopping this.

    However, if homosexual marriage is legalized in MN, what will happen here is that I will be forced to accept these relationships, I will be forced to contribute to health plans, I will be forced to acknowledge a relationship that I find unhealthy and not normal as normal, my children will be required to learn that homosexual relationships are normal.

    Many of you have convinced yourself that these relationships are normal and healthy, but I do not think they are, and my belief is based on more than just theory.

    Presently homosexual persons are able to live and associate freely. But that is apparently not enough. This community will not be satisfied until it forces me and everyone else to accept these relationships as normal.

    So, tell me, who is forcing who to do something?

  20. terryp says

    This homosexual is not going to force you MIKE to accept anything you don’t want to.
    You see your “normal” that makes you superior, eh. Go fu6k an egg, you normal 16th century person you.

  21. Chuck Mielke says

    @ Mike: It’s not a question of “normal.” It’s a question of freedom. It’s a question of equality. You don’t want your children to learn that homosexuality is a normal, tho minority, variation on human sexuality, eh? Does that include your gay son, or lesbian daughter? If you have such a child, do you really want him/her to go through life as a second-class citizen? As one condemned, through no fault of his/her own, to a life without hope of a satisfying intimate relationship and the opportunities offered by the privileges of secular marriage?

  22. cbhermey says

    Regrettably the Catholic church and most other “Christian” churches view homosexuality as a choice, and therefore one can ‘unchoose’ it. That’s very convenient for their world view, but as Betty White said to President Obama, it’s really nobody else’s business who we love.

    I completely and utterly fail to see how who I love or am attracted to affects any other third party in how they raise their kids, the strength of their own marriage, or in any other aspect of their lives.

  23. Mike says

    A society can have only one definition of marriage. You can’t have yours and have it different than mine. It doesn’t work that way. If homosexual marriage is legalized, I will have to acknowledge it. It is not a private matter. The current status does not prohibit you from loving someone else. It prohibits me from being forced to acknowledge it. Some may think this is a 16th century idea, and may curse me, but if that is the only defense you have, I win.

    If marriage is expanded to include homosexual relationships, it is no longer founded on a biological complementarity, but only on the desires of a small subset of the population. There are similar subsets who want a poligamous relationship and they love each other. Shouldn’t we then expand the definition to include them? After all, their feelings are sincere and genuine. Their relationships have all the same attributes as a homosexual relationship. Similar things can be said about almost any human-creature relationship. Why, if we expand marriage to include two homosexual persons, should it stop there?

    Not all people who oppose homosexual marriage are bigots. Some of us have brains and perhaps because we have not dealt with a lifetime of hatred, we can actually think more rationally about this than you.

  24. says

    I see the word ” infallible” tossed around. I believe the last “infallible” statement was in the 1950’s when we declared Mary to be the mother of God. Infallibility is only on matters of faith and morals, and it is the Pope IN UNION WITH THE BISHOPS that an infallible statement or teaching can be made.

  25. joe says

    Astonishing. A priest from St. John’s Abbey, a place that houses 19 sex offenders, now comes out swinging in attack of the Church, and its teaching. Anyone who is interested in seeing what kind of thinking this can lead to should visit Behind the Pine

  26. says

    It seems pretty simple: As Christians (I happen to be a Reconciling United Methodist), we’re supposed to be following Jesus — not an ancient bigot on the other side of the world and a bunch of mindless pharisaic drones that do whatever he wants … (-;

  27. David says

    Well, if he’s an openly gay “priest”, he won’t be a priest for long. What a disgusting man.