When the archdiocese of San Francisco issued its list of clergy appointments for 2014, perhaps the most incomprehensible was that of two priests from the Kansas City province of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood as pastor and assistant pastor of San Francisco’s notorious Most Holy Redeemer parish.
Readers of CalCatholic may remember the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. On April 21, 2011, in the article “Divisive and exclusionary,” we reported on two priests from the order’s Kansas City province, Father Joe Nassal, C.pp.S., and Father David Matz, C.pp.S. (C.pp.S. is the acronym for Missionaries of the Precious Blood). At that time they served in the diocese of Oakland and the archdiocese of San Francisco, respectively. Both are homosexualist activist priests—among other things, Nassal presided at a November, 2011 DignitySF Mass, while Matz, in addition to celebrating Masses and leading an Advent Vespers Service at Most Holy Redeemer, came out in support of same-sex marriage at a Marin County event in 2008. He also served as the contact for the Missionaries of the Precious Blood extensive LGBT Ministry.
That ministry is now even more extensive. The current webpage of the Kansas City Province of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood has a link (one of only seven) to LGBT Ministry right on its banner. The LGBT Ministry page contains a downloadable Pastor’s Resources. An example of the contents is a caution against using the word family: “When making reference to spouses or families, use terms like ‘one’s beloved’ or ‘household’. This will make other people feel included and welcomed such as engaged couples, good friends, etc.”
The Missionaries’ Pastor’s Resources prints an out-and-out lie about the church’s teaching on sexuality, writing: “The Catholic Catechism’s definition of Chastity: #2337 Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man [sic. woman] in his bodily and spiritual being.” End of given definition. But the actual definition given in Catechism #2337 is “Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman. The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift.”
Given that background it seemed incredible that two priests from the same province of the same order were appointed to Most Holy Redeemer. And the incredulity has proved to be justified. From the pastor’s message in the August 24 Most Holy Redeemer parish bulletin:
“Next Sunday our little brother, (name redacted) will make his First Holy Communion. In this wonderfully good moment for all of us, we gather around the table with (name redacted) and his Dads, Kevin and Brian, and his big brother (name redacted).… Father Matt.” That would be Father Matt Link C.pp.S., the assistant pastor at Most Holy Redeemer.
While the assertion by a Catholic priest that a little boy can have two dads would be blasphemous anywhere, in the archdiocese of San Francisco it is a direct shot at the local ordinary, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. Cordileone is the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. His oft-repeated point is that same-sex ‘marriage’ will harm children, by deliberately denying a child a father or a mother—precisely the situation of the little boy (and his older brother) raised by ‘two Dads.’ His Excellency has written:
“To legalize marriage between two people of the same sex would enshrine in the law the principle that mothers and fathers are interchangeable or irrelevant, and that marriage is essentially an institution about adults, not children; marriage would mean nothing more than giving adults recognition and benefits in their most significant relationship. How can we do this to our children?”
It is worth noting that a number of publications have reported that the archbishop has charitably reached out to the parishioners at Most Holy Redeemer. But so did his predecessor, Archbishop George Niederauer. Archbishop Niederauer’s outreach resulted in his being ambushed by two members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in the communion line, and subsequent international embarrassment. Archbishop Cordileone’s outreach has earned him a slap in the face over his most important initiative, the defense of marriage, the family, and the rights of children.