The following follows up on our previous story, “Most courageous” parish priest plans to leave San Diego.
In his 25 years as a priest, Father Richard Perozich worked with the diocesan advisory board on Natural Family Planning, started a Courage chapter for people with same-sex attraction seeking chastity, did prison ministry, worked on ecumenical and interfaith efforts, and learned Spanish.
The “most satisfying” part of being a priest was when Perozich could be “used as an instrument to draw someone to the Lord,” he said. The “best part of being a priest is when one of your people tell me that something I did or said brought you closer to Jesus. Sometimes it can be something I said in a homily, in Confession, [or] in counseling.”
In 2014, Perozich announced to his parish that he was not going to attend a convocation of priests because the speaker was Father Timothy Radcliffe, OP, who has said sodomy can express Christ’s “self-gift.”
Radcliffe “shouldn’t even be given a forum to speak because of his previous expressions on sexual issues and marriage and homosexuality,” said Perozich. “So if you’re going to do that, regardless of who’s going to speak, I’m not going to go.”
He said he didn’t receive any pushback from the diocese for refusing to go.
Perozich said he’s always hopeful about the future, but “realistically,” it doesn’t seem that there will be doctrinal clarity any time soon in the Church.
“I don’t see much ability for that to happen because people are asking for changing of language in the Church,” he explained. “For example, our bishop asked that one of the things in the catechism be changed regarding homosexuality” because calling it “disordered” is “a philosophical term and people misunderstand it as a psychological term.”
“You really can’t change those things because they’ll change the meaning,” said Perozich. And the whole purpose of changing language about actions like same-sex activity is so “that you can indeed change the meaning, change the morality.”
The trend of clergy promoting homosexuality doesn’t seem likely to change, Perozich said.
Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, recently spoke at a New Ways Ministry conference. New Ways Ministry openly dissents from Church teaching on marriage and sexuality.
Father James Martin, SJ, recently named a communications adviser to the Vatican, just published a book that subverts Church teaching and encourages people to say “gay” or “LGBT” instead of “same-sex attracted.”
“Based on that, if those are the kind of people who are coming in, then [we’re] going to get more and more of it. Pope Francis is allowing this to happen. If he didn’t believe it, he wouldn’t allow it to happen,” said Perozich.
Perozich said he finds it “repugnant and reprehensible” to use the language of the gay rights movement.
“I don’t identify people by their iniquities,” he said.
Perozich hopes another priest can take over Courage (the priest who succeeded him has died), but he’s not sure if anyone’s willing.
“I just don’t know that anyone else is really that interested or wants to put themselves out against an administration, not just in our diocese, but against the movement in the church that seems to be stronger among those who have authority over us,” he said. “I really don’t care. For me, the truth is the truth. I need to sleep at night.”
However, “I’m not gonna put down Bishop McElroy,” said Perozich. “I don’t agree with some of the things he says, but those are his emphases in the Church and they’re not mine.”
He’s not going to become a “hermit,” but will simply live a quiet life of reflection. Perozich said he’ll be happy to return to San Diego to help at times if his brother priests need him to, and that he is willing to help out at his new Hawaii parish if the pastor wants him to do so.
He said he has joked with the pastor of his new Hawaii parish that he’s willing to hear Confessions on the beach with a Vatican flag on the back of his chair, but that his purpose in moving to Hawaii isn’t to start a new ministry. He plans to slow down.
“I just need to maintain my own integrity spiritually,” he said.
Full story at LifeSiteNews.