Dissent not welcome

Dissent not welcome

It’s very rare when one bishop tells another bishop not to come and speak in his diocese, but that’s what the Bishop of Tucson said to now-retired Bishop Thomas Gumbleton. Bishop Gerald Kicanas told Gumbleton he didn’t want him giving a speech to the heterodox group Call to Action because of its support for heresy.

Note, incidentally, that Gumbleton has earned the press-imposed sobriquet of “outspoke advocate for sexual abuse victims and gays and lesbians.” When exactly did he become an advocate? In the last year, perhaps, even as he neared retirement and long after any such advocacy could have done any good? And what has his advocacy consisted of? Lobbying for extending statutes of limitations. Anything else? As for advocacy for gays and lesbians, a true Catholic advocate would be Fr. John Harvey, founder of Courage, which seeks to help those afflicted with same-sex attraction to live lives of chastity in conformity with the truth found in Church teaching.

Anyway, Gumbleton, despite being asked to stay away, will come anyway, but will give his talk at a Protestant church.

Because Gumbleton has been barred from speaking at diocese churches, he instead will speak Feb. 6 at the First Christian Church in Tucson, led by the Rev. Robin Hoover. Hoover’s congregation supports making all religious entities more open and affirming of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Interesting that Hoover thinks it’s his mission to change not his own church, but all others. I thought meddling in other peoples’ faith was verboten, but perhaps not if you’re trying to stop “homophobia.”

It’s important to realize that a bishop cannot preach in another bishop’s diocese without permission. The ordinary is the shepherd and teacher for that flock and the responsibility for teaching and safeguarding them all falls to him. Gumbleton wasn’t simply barred from diocesan parishes, as if the venue was the problem, but from the diocese. It is the heresy he will preach to the people that is the problem.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli