Friday, 23 September 2011 12:28

Canadian Priest Removed for Homilies on Sin

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An aged Roman Catholic priest who offered objective moral truth to his parishioners has been relieved of his office. Bishop Valery Vienneau of the Diocese of Bathurst, in New Brunswick, Canada, removed Eudist Father Donat Gionet (left) from his ministry because he gave sermons about homosexuals, abortion, and fornication, clearly enunciating Roman Catholic teaching on the subjects.

Nervous church authorities, under pressure from “the community,” cashiered Gionet because he was not “sensitive” enough in articulating the faith.

So because of the “community,” Gionet says he must now celebrate Mass in secret.

Stop the Sin

Gionet’s trouble arose, LifeSiteNews.com reported, from his homilies in August, during which he denounced three of the key issues facing the Catholic church: abortion, fornication, and homosexuality. Even worse, he did so on the weekend of the local  "pride" march. “Pride” is a word homosexuals use to describe their festivals and other public gatherings.

The offending homilies included remarks that the “gates of hell” are attacking the church, but that alleged Catholics threaten the church more immediately, the website reported.

He [Gionet] pointed to the high number of abortions among Catholics and the presence of homosexuality in the Church. He emphasized that cohabitating couples and homosexuals ought not to receive the Eucharist, but are still welcome to join the Church at Mass.

“After these reflections, there were no other allusions whatsoever,” he says, adding that in the homily he went on to speak of the power of forgiveness offered through the Church.

Catholics in a state of mortal sin may not receive Holy Communion until reconciling through sacramental confession.

So the good priest laid down the law, divine and natural, the website reported, which upset the powers that be. The website reported that parishioners accused Gionet of “homophobia” and other crimes against thought. “His loudest critic,” the website reported, “was the mayor of Saint-Leolin, Joseph Lanteigne, an openly homosexual member of the parish council, who demanded the priest’s suspension.”

Thus, Gionet’s removal.

"Lack Of Respect"

In other words, Gionet’s homilies did not trespass the teaching of the church. He was, to use the argot of the homosexual lobby, “intolerant.”

“It was mainly the pastoral approach that was lacking,” the Rev. Wesley Wade told Radio Canada, LifeSiteNews reported. Wade added:

A lack of respect, perhaps, for the people identified, for the groups of people as well, which caused a division in the community. It was a difficult decision.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Company, the bishop and priests around Gionet tried something like an “intervention” to get him to stop. But the elderly priest was unmoved.

Reported the CBC, “Representatives from Gionet's diocese said they have heard mixed reactions from the priest's congregation, with some supporting his message but others uncomfortable with his sermons.”

“That’s always the challenge in today's world: to be faithful to the callings of Christ and yet respecting people where they are,” said Father Wesley Wade of the Bathurst diocese.

“Unfortunately with Father Gionet, with what we were hearing, it was dividing a community.”

Gionet Steadfast

For his part, the tough old priest won’t budge. According to LifeSiteNews, “In an open letter Thursday, Fr. Gionet laments that the diocese did not give him an opportunity to explain himself before suspending him.”

“To you, the diocesan authorities: did you ask me what I said exactly during the homily in question?” the priest asks. “They did not, but only listened to people who are frustrated.”

When asked if he would continue making similar comments, he says he can only respond “yes.” “And if they asked me about the homily, in its entirety, I could not say ‘no’ because for me it is important to speak the truth,” he insists.

Because Gionet stood steadfast, Bishop Vienneau sacked him. He also apologized to the “faithful” at Gionet’s church.

Gionet admits he offered unvarnished objective truth, LifeSiteNews reported, but said he reminded the congregations to whom he spoke that forgiveness for sin is available through the church.

He told the CBC, “We have to try to fight [homosexuality], destroy it, or do our best to invite people to change their life.” He added:

And that's something which is from my duty as a priest. I have to teach the truth to the people. I have to tell them how they should live to be with the church because if you're gay you're not with the church.

As well, he told LifeSiteNews, his life now harks back to the what the first Christians did at the beginning of the church: "They had to hide in the catacombs to pray or celebrate the Eucharist.”

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