On October 16, the Adult Faith Formation Calendar of San Francisco’s St. Ignatius Church, contained the following entry:
“Sunday, November 29th, 10:50am, Xavier in Fromm Hall “The Theology of Luke” with Vincent Pizzuto. Luke forms the readings for the liturgical Cycle C for the coming year. Pizzuto, a biblical scholar, is on the faculty of USF.”
The Reverend Pizzuto, associate professor of theology and director of the Catholic Studies program at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco, will be familiar to readers of California Catholic Daily. His anti-Catholic positions have been documented in 12 articles dating as far back as March of 2008 “Beyond the confines of the Roman Church” and as recently as October 14, 2015 “Is this really going on at a Catholic College?”
The Reverend Pizzuto, a baptized Catholic, left the Church, and in 2007 was ordained ‘priest’ in the Celtic Christian Church, an “old Catholic” church not in communion with Rome. In 2014 he was received as a member the Episcopal Church, in which he now serves as a priest. Neither of these moves concerned the authorities at USF enough to revoke his mandate to teach Theology, or direct the Catholic Studies program at the ostensibly Catholic university. The most recent CalCatholic article on Pizzuto, excerpted from Catholic Education Daily, reported:
“Despite Pizzuto’s reported apostasy and active homosexual relationship, he remains a theology professor at USF, teaches a course on ‘Homosexuality and the Bible,’ is actively researching ‘LGBT Hermeneutics and Theology,’ and offers workshops, retreats and lectures on ‘gay/lesbian spirituality,’ according to his faculty webpage.”
The hosting of the Reverend Pizzuto is merely the latest in an ongoing series of events at St. Ignatius that indicate that the parish, like Pizzuto, is moving “beyond the confines of the Roman Church.” As documented in CalCatholic, the church has removed its confessionals and replaced them with an art gallery. Following that, the church removed the last three pews adjacent to the art gallery, in order to provide more room for “social gatherings.”
On August 15 of this year, the parish hosted a screening of “Love is Strange,” a movie celebrating same-sex “marriage” by openly homosexual filmmaker Ira Sachs. A majority of Sachs’s oeuvre celebrates the homosexual lifestyle.
In March of this year, the parish hosted Dr. Tim Lewis for an Adult Faith Formation program titled ‘How to Talk to Your Teenage Children About Sex’. The CalCatholic article ‘Strange sex advisor for your kids’ March 26, 2015, points out that Lewis was an odd choice for a Catholic Church, although certainly not for St. Ignatius. Lewis’ profile on the Psyris.com website describes his areas of expertise as: “LGBT and Questioning Individuals” and “Occupational Issues of Persons with HIV.” The profile closes with: “LGBT and questioning individuals face special challenges in life no matter what age or where they are in the coming out process. A therapist who knows and understands these issues can be key in helping you to overcome obstacles associated with living in a heterosexually-biased world….”
The Reverend Pizzuto is quite open about the direction and purpose of his biblical eisegesis—that is, imposing his own meaning on the text– and his November 24 talk on Luke must be seen in that light. The purpose was clearly indicated by a statement he made on KALW Radio’s City Visions show on December 12, 2011. The show’s topic was “Far from Rome: Being Gay and Catholic in the Bay Area.” As reported in CalCatholic, Pizzuto, “…described efforts to change the Church’s teachings as a ‘battle very much under way,’ and said that ‘the Bible, as we understand it really does not address current issues… what we need to change is not so much the scriptures, which of course we cannot change, but the interpretation that has been given to them. And that’s going to take a lot of theologically and biblically interpretive work to move us forward.’”
To contact the Archdiocese of San Francisco about the Reverend Pizzuto being given a teaching forum in a Catholic parish: Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, 415-614-5500.