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September 19, 2003. A Thunder Bay, Ontario priest recently criticized, from the pulpit, the Church’s teaching on homosexual unions. Father Scott Gale’s homily, which has appeared in Canada’s largest circulation pro-homosexual, pro-abortion paper the Toronto Star, criticized the recent Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith document teaching against same-sex unions, calling the document’s language “harsh”.
He called for a “re-examination of the Church’s attitudes regarding homosexuality and those persons with a homosexual orientation”. He also objected to the document’s calling Catholic politicians to do their moral duty by fighting against legislation that recognizes same-sex unions, asking “how do we reconcile this statement with what the Second Vatican Council teaches about the dignity of one’s own moral conscience?”
In a subsequent interview with LifeSite, Father Gale attempted to justify his views by emphasizing the “primacy of conscience”, claiming that while as a priest he could not conduct a homosexual marriage, “as an individual I support societal recognition of same-sex marriage”. He further admitted that he was “open to dialogue on conscience and that [he] might not have the right take on it”.
Bishop Fred Colli’s reaction to one of his priests’ blatant rejection of Church teaching was simply to have a “cordial” telephone conversation, during which he expressed a few concerns. He said of Gale: “He wasn’t out to malign the Church but wanted people to make a decision based on a well-informed conscience and that’s what the Church expects everyone to do.” According to him, the matter is closed. He said, “I’m not a controversial bishop, I try to see the good in others. I’m not going to over-react.” Hilary White of Campaign Life Coalition Canada denounced the Bishop’s statements and his inaction, stating “It was distressing that Bishop Colli did not see fit to redress these misrepresentations on the stance of the Church.” She explained that Church teaching “does not support the false belief that anyone can do anything as long as they do so in ‘good conscience’, because conscience — to be truly good — is informed by objective moral norms which everyone can understand according to natural law.”
This incident is just another example of the inversion from which so many in the Catholic Church are presently suffering. Instead of upholding Church teachings and firmly dealing with clergy who undermine them, so many bishops uphold and confirm error, and by doing this they undermine the Church. Meanwhile, those loyal traditionalist priests who uphold Church teaching and celebrate the Tridentine Mass, like Father Stephen Zigrang, and who promote the full Fatima Message, like Father Nicholas Gruner, are the ones who are continually censored and persecuted by their bishops.