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Father Peter West Under Fire

I find this absolutely hilarious:

 

A pro-life activist who previously served as vice president for missions at the group Human Life International, West is an associate pastor at St. John’s Catholic Church in Orange, an ethnically diverse community in Essex County.

He declined to comment on his social media postings when approached by a reporter at the rectory last week, referring questions to Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

In a statement to NJ Advance Media, Goodness said the archdiocese would move to curtail West’s political pronouncements.

“Certainly, a priest doesn’t give up his civil liberties when he is ordained, and he maintains the same right to freedom of expression as anyone else in the United States,” Goodness said. “That said, we are concerned about Father West’s comments and actions, and will be addressing them according to the protocols of the Church.”

The spokesman declined to elaborate or answer additional questions.

A minority of commenters on West’s Facebook page have denounced him as a “hatemonger” who promotes divisiveness, and at least one person complained about him to the archdiocese in December — a development announced by West himself on Facebook.

His response? A harangue against “leftist apparatchiks” and “Comrade Obama.”

Directly addressing the complainant, whom he did not name, West added: “You should be ashamed of yourself for supporting pro-abortion, anti-family politicians. If I get in trouble for denouncing them, so be it! But I won’t be scared off by a totalitarian jerk like yourself!”

The Rev. John J. Dietrich, the director of spiritual formation at the nation’s second largest seminary, Mount Saint Mary’s in Maryland, called West’s comments about politicians, Muslims and liberals “way over-the-top inappropriate behavior.”

“The thrust of his priesthood is not to be political. The thrust of his priesthood is supposed to be sacramental, preaching the Scripture,” Dietrich said, adding, “There’s a red line you don’t cross.”

“We discuss things like this in the seminary,” he said. “We would never countenance anything like this.”

Catholic leaders in recent decades have navigated the intersection of religious belief and politics carefully, stressing, for instance, the sanctity of life but rarely launching personal attacks against politicians who support abortion rights.

One modern exception to the tread-lightly rule has been Cardinal Raymond Burke, a former St. Louis archbishop who made headlines in 2004 when he said presidential candidate John Kerry, then a U.S. senator, should be denied Communion because of his pro-choice views. Francis demoted Burke, also a vocal Trump supporter who has criticized Islam, to a largely ceremonial Vatican position in 2014 amid several public disagreements.

A handful of other outspoken priests took public political stances in the 20th century, said David Campbell, who has written about religion and politics as chairman of the American Democracy Department at Notre Dame University.

Those priests include the brothers Daniel and Philip Berrigan, who led protests against the Vietnam War, and the Rev. Charles Coughlin, an early radio talk show host who challenged the policies of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930s.

But politically hard-charging Catholic priests remain a rarity, said Boston College theology professor Stephen J. Pope, an expert on Catholic social teaching.

“Catholic priests are forbidden from using their office and their priesthood to promote partisan political positions,” Pope said. “A priest’s job is to be a bridge-builder, not a wall-builder.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  The reason I find this hilarious is because I recall all the times I have gritted my teeth as clergy in this country have hijacked the Church to support leftist causes like support for illegal aliens or pouring endless funds into the coffers of secular leftist causes through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.  Father Peter West is coming under fire for doing on his own time what Pope Francis does publicly on a daily basis:  take political positions.  Before plucking out the speck from Father West’s eye, his critics might lug out the  beams from theirs.

 

 

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

16 Comments

  1. Principles must be judged. Persons must be tolerated as death bed converts. Jesus said: “Test everything.” How can the lay person test everything if he is not apprised of every situation? Father West and I am calling him “FATHER” has not mentioned any names to politicize his comments or sermons. Slaughtering the newly begotten sovereign person after conception, addiction to lust and sodomy, the prohibition against The Supreme Sovereign Being in the public square, enslavement of the human soul to the gulag and now assisted suicide, one murderer and one disabled person being denied the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Aren’t these issues of Holy Scripture? You bet they are… and If Pope Francis cannot see that, scandalizing the little innocent one, well, I have a great millstone my father used to sharpen his axes….

  2. The consecrated soul does not forfeit his citizenship. The Ordained bring their consecration to the lay priesthood through their ministry. To deny this truth will jeopardize every practicing Catholic and destroy Justice and the Truth in the nation. Truth and Justice are the foundation of America. Atheism and secular humanism are antithetical to our First Amendment. The atheist must be tolerated as a death bed convert, but not celebrated. Atheism and secular humanism revoke our unalienable human rights, innate human rights that become our civil rights because unalienable human rights are endowed by “their Creator” from the very first moment of existence. The sovereign person, legally and morally innocent, institutes the state. Without the perfectly innocent soul of the newly conceived, our constitutional Posterity, all future generations, America will cease to exist. Abortion is treason. Sodomy is a lie and perjury in a court of law and the rest are crimes against humanity.
    “The rights the state gives, the state can take away.” Thomas Jefferson.
    Our Founding Principles are ratified by every state. Every person is free to leave and he is free to have his opinion ratified by three fourths of the states to become Law of the Land. NO EXCEPTIONS.

  3. The problem for the pro-life priest, especially the zealous ones, is that so many bishops dewref to the sentiment of rich, liberal Catholics. But this is not only because they are timid but their own attachments, usually though their own families, to the Democratic Party. They cannot get over the fact that after George McGovern was nominated in 1972, traditional Catholics like George Meany, quickly lost their power to influence Democratic politicians. This is my impression but one ratified by Archbishop Chaput.

  4. I can personally guarantee you that the priest quoted against Fr. West’s comments is an exceptionally level-headed and staunchly orthodox man, after having had him as a director myself for some time. FWIW.

  5. All our priests are allowed to preach is happy clappy stuff, we must be in prayer. Look where so many of former employees of the USCCB are now, so called Catholic organizations funded by George Soros.

  6. Father West has the message right but the delivery wrong. He would have gotten more support has his use of language been a bit more refined. As for Cdnl Burke, his status speaks for itself.

  7. Fr. West’s comments are not controversial at all but speaking the truth of the Gospel. When we start to “nuance” the Gospel for political correctness, that is when we do a disservice to all.

  8. He speaks Truth: those who can’t abide it will react according to their instincts. Some ferociously, others with legal manouvers , verbal abuse and slander,…The Lord received this and more… let us not be a part of it… pray and support TRUTH. ( I am the Way, etc )

  9. PS what is the name of that Catholic priest in Chicago that spoke often in the church Obama
    went to for 20 years or so..Reverend Wright, as I recall was the preacher against the U. S…and the priest was white with a Black accent to his preaching…against the U. S and various other political topics.. hum..? any push back there?

Comments are closed.