Archbishop George Niederauer (appointed to this position by Pope Benedict XVI) visited Most Holy Redeemer Church in the Castro district, known for its tolerant view of homosexuality. Two men in drag, dressed as nuns (members of the notorious Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence) went forward for communion–and Niederauer communed them. Diogenes and Gerald Augustinus have commentary with photos–there’s even a video.
What was Niederauer’s response when asked afterwards about this?
“At Most Holy Redeemer Church Oct. 7, I noticed no protest, no demonstration, no disruption of the Sunday Eucharist,” said Archbishop Nierderauer. “The congregation was devout and the liturgy was celebrated with reverence. Toward the end of the Communion line two strangely dressed persons came to receive Communion. I did not see any mock religious garb. As I recall, one of them wore a large flowered hat or garland.”
Update: On October 11, Niederaurer issued an apology, saying,
Although I had often seen photographs of members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, I had never encountered them in person until October 7th. I did not recognize who these people were when they approached me.
Will that be persuasive to his many critics within the Catholic Church? Time will tell. Mark Shea’s skeptical, especially given the previous record of the church’s pastor, Stephen Meriwether–who is also the Chancellor of the Archdiocese. Gerald Augustinus points us to Niederauer’s defense of a convicted child molester who was one of his spiritual directees as a seminarian.
My call remains the same: Wake up, folks! This is the reality of the Church of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Conservative Catholics longed for change, thought that these men would bring it, and what have they received? This.
See also Matt Abbott‘s comments (and the remarks he quotes from Allyson Smith about the very close relationship between this archbishop and his predecessor, who is now the head of the CDF). Also, Tom Droleskey’s review of Randy Engel’s book, The Rite of Sodomy.
Revelation 18:1-5 comes to mind.
And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
Convicted Catholics close their ears to this, saying: “Where else can we go? Where are there no sinners? We’ll stick with where Christ’s presence is.” That echoes the confident assertions of the people of Jerusalem who shut their ears to the warnings of Jeremiah that the temple would be destroyed. But they would do well to remember the prophet’s response:
Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD!” If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever. But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.
Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”-safe to do all these detestable things? Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD.
Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my Name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. While you were doing all these things, declares the LORD, I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer. Therefore, what I did to Shiloh I will now do to the house that bears my Name, the temple you trust in, the place I gave to you and your fathers. I will thrust you from my presence, just as I did all your brothers, the people of Ephraim.
So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you. Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to provoke me to anger. But am I the one they are provoking? declares the LORD. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame?