A priest defends true marriage against the promoters of contrary-to-nature unions

I picked up from the excellent blog The Sensible Bond, authored by a gent in England.  The video is about a priest in El Paso.   The blogosphere is amazing.

Fr. Michael Rodriguez spoke at a City Council Meeting about an ordinance extending health-care benefits to unmarried “partners” of city employees.  Then a City rep, a member of the Council, attacked the Catholic Church in response to Fr. Rodriguez statement.


And if you are wondering, here is a clip of Fr. R saying Mass.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Mark Pavlak says:

    Aside from this humble priest’s courage, also encouraging was the warm reception he seemed to have received from the public. A welcome change.

  2. rcesq2 says:

    Truth vs relativism. What an extraordinary display. Bravo for this brave priest. I notice, however, that his bishop’s letter on the Motu Proprio was the subject of a Fr. Z fisk. Clearly, Fr. Rodriguez is listening to the Holy Father.

  3. JP Borberg says:

    For more info on this priest here’s the parish website.

  4. JP Borberg says:

    Oops, mucked up the anchor. The address is http://sanjuan.webhop.org/

  5. Central Valley says:

    Addresing the city council in cassock…..speaking the TRUTH….the diocese of Fresno is vacant, oh God how we need a man like this in Fresno.

  6. moon1234 says:

    @Central Valley
    I was thinking the exact same thing. Where is the Bishop? It is time for Bishop’s to stand up and defend the teachings of the Church in the public square.

    Very intelligent pointing out that the POPE is the final authority in the Church.

  7. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Okay, I admire this priest’s zeal, but I have to fault his approach. This is a city council meeting, not a group of Catholics, and appealing to the Catholic Church’s divine authority isn’t going to convince the councilors (or many groups of Catholics these days, alas).

    Of course, one of the councilors made a couple of cheap shots, but his first point (that the council is not ruled by any creed or religious authority, even Catholic authority) is true in practice (though certainly, as the SSPX insists, error has no rights in principle!).

    Unfortunately the council is likely to conclude that Fr. Rodriguez is against the measure because he wishes to establish a Roman theocracy in El Paso. Hence the other councilor’s inquiring to Fr. Rodriguez if he was speaking for the bishop.

    Get somebody like Peter Kreeft in there, and I think we would have had more traction. You don’t need to appeal to naked Church authority to argue against legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

  8. Johnsum says:

    I disagree with BB’s comment. Fr, Rodriguez speaks for Truth. TheCity Council makes a choice and they will have to live and die with that choice. This is not about politics.

  9. Joeski5651 says:

    What Father said (in a political setting or not) needed to be said and it was. When was the last time you heard what he said about same sex behavior from the pulpit? How many Catholics actually know the what Father has said about the Church’s teaching? Most think the secular media is repaorting all issues from all sides.
    The Truth plain and simple is beatiful and never should be stopped from speaking.

  10. Mundabor says:

    “Grave depravity”, “under no circumstances”…..
    who does he thinks he is, a Christian?


  11. Cristero says:

    According to Catholic Hierarchy, http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/delpa.html El Paso is supposed to have a population that is just about 80 percent Catholic, so perhaps appealing to the Church’s Divine nature is SUPPOSED to have some resonance.

  12. Liz says:

    God bless him! This is why we have to continue to pray fervently for our priests.

  13. mike cliffson says:

    Alter Christi

  14. Patti Day says:

    Father Michael Rodriguez meek and humble of heart, please come to my city council.

  15. I must say that Fr. Rodriguez presented the teaching both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches quite well. It is unfortunate that in both Churches there are vocal dissenters who are confusing simple people with contrary opinions. Clergy and bishops who uphold the teaching of the Church are often ridiculed and become the targets of abuse. As Mr. Franklin said: Gentlemen, if we don’t hang together, most assuredly we will hang separately. let us therefore uphold one another in the Spirit of Christ.

  16. Andrew says:

    This entire same-sex folly would disappear if this approach was taken up in other places as well. Legislators are scared and they are pleasantly surprised when they see and hear calm and rational arguments.

  17. jlmorrell says:

    Fr. Rodriguez is a hero. He should be made a Bishop immediately.

  18. Athelstan says:

    It should be noted that this council hearing was almost a year ago, in August, 2010. And that after Fr. Rodriguez made this statement, his local ordinary, Bishop Ochoa, made an unusual public statement disclaiming him as having spoken for the Catholic Church:

    El Paso Catholic Bishop Says Priest Was Stating Personal Opinion Concerning Gays
    UPDATED: 11:02 pm MDT August 22, 2010

    EL PASO, Texas — Catholic Diocese of El Paso Bishop Armando X. Ochoa said that a recent newspaper column by a local priest “claiming to speak for Catholic Doctrine were the personal opinions of individuals and do not necessarily express the belief of the Catholic Church.”

    Ochoa made the statement in his guest column in Sunday’s El Paso Times in reference to the Rev. Michael Rodriguez ‘s recent column about the Catholic church and homosexuality. Watch Rodriguez and gay rights advocate Pifas Silva’s talk about the Catholic church and homosexuality on ABC-7 Xtra here.

    “When we talk about abortion and homosexuality, we are talking about human beings dealing with all kinds of concerns and unresolved challenges,” Ochoa said in the column. “Our Church does not want to simply judge and condemn, but first to offer Christ’s love and compassion. God’s first and primary law is love and how love of others is at the same time our love for God.”

    Ochoa also urged all pastoral agents to reach out to homosexuals and their families with compassion.

    Link: http://www.kvia.com/news/24723104/detail.html

    I would include a link to the bishop’s full statement but it no longer appears to be posted online.

  19. Patti Day says:

    Athelstan says: this council hearing was almost a year ago, in August, 2010.

    The You Tube posted has the date June 14, 2011

  20. Athelstan says:

    Hello Patti,

    You are correct, it seems – my error. Fr. Rodriguez’s original statement was indeed in a newspaper column.

    Nonetheless, the history here is striking. Striking that the Bishop of El Paso has already shown a very different reaction to this development; and striking that despite having been already publicy rebuked by the bishop, Fr. Rodriguez was still willing to make this statement to the City Council. I wonder if he will face any disciplinary (perhaps of the “informal” variety) by Bishop Ochoa for being so bold.

  21. Kate says:

    What a great priest. Thank you for posting, Fr. Z!

  22. Ralph says:

    Why is anyone shocked that the Bishop of El Paso has not spoken directly on this issue? How many of our Bishops lack courage and conviction? Doesn’t it seem that it is the rare Bishop who is willing to stand between the wolf and the sheep these days?
    My own Bishop, Gerald Kicanas. nearly prostrated himself to the homosexual apologists after the Holy Father prohibited the inclusion of homosexuals in the seminary. Bishop K. made every kind of excuse and “spin” that he could think of to keep from supporting what the Holy Father directed.
    A question for Father Z or any other priest who might be able to answer. I understand that each diocian priest makes a vow of personal obedience to his Bishop. What is a priests obligation in a case like this in El Paso when the Bishop is teaching in error or failing to teach the truth in it’s fullness? Do you have the right to disagree publicly?

  23. Ioannes Andreades says:

    I also disagree with Baeda Benedictus. Fr. Rodriguez was not asking anyone on the city council to vote against the measure. He was asking the individual members of the city council, many of whom are probably Catholic, to pause and reflect on what the Church demands of them in their role as governmental leaders. He was not telling the council to vote against the measure because the Church says so.
    I do have to wonder, however, where the anti-religious outcry was in the ’50s and ’60s when Christianity was the predominant proponent of the civil rights movement? Why weren’t liberals demanding the separation of Church and State then?

  24. irishgirl says:

    Bravo, Father Rodriguez! Very courageous of him to come into the lions’ den of the City Council in his cassock!
    On the other hand, I would have slapped that city councilor who attacked him!
    I hope Father’s Bishop backs him up!
    And if there are any nearby dioceses vacant, the good Father would be a perfect candidate! He’s not afraid to speak and stand up for THE TRUTH!

  25. Scott W. says:

    Wonderful. Sure maybe Peter Kreeft might have been able to put together a more ecumenical protest. I’ll take Fr’s excellent response to stone-cold silence any day.

  26. rgarcia149 says:

    I have the honor of knowing Father Rodriguez. I lived in El Paso for almost thirty years before moving to Boston (of all places!). He is a brave and saintly priest and he speaks the truth, that truth that needs to be proclaimed as boldly as he does. He is shunned by many of his fellow priests in El Paso because of his strong orthodoxy, as many of them are steeped into the “Liberation Theology” school and have views very much opposite as those of Father Michael. He gives what is probably the only authorized Latin mass in El Paso and is an extraordinary athlete. God Bless him and give him strength. His bishop is Armando Ochoa and comes from the school of Cardinal Mahony, former Archbishop of L.A. (and that says it all).

  27. FloridaJoan says:

    I thank Our Lord for such caring and truthful shepherds as Father Rodriguez and keep him ( and all of our clergy ) in my prayers.

    pax et bonum

  28. Rob Cartusciello says:

    For those of you who haven’t seen it before, that’s what “speaking truth to power” looks like.

  29. Samthe44 says:

    What an amazing priest! He did a great job in emphasising the difference between inclinations and acts.

  30. KAS says:

    May God be praised for the gift of such a fine priest, may God send us MANY more like him and Please God, make some of them into Bishops!

    Praying for our priests and bishops.

  31. John Nolan says:

    Should be Achbishop of Westminster.

  32. Hidden One says:

    Why is this news? It should be normal. I wish it was.

    It is awesome.

  33. servusmariaen says:

    Father Rodriguez also has many of his sermons online on his webpage which are very edifying.

  34. ppagan says:

    BaedaBenedictus wrote:

    «Of course, one of the councilors made a couple of cheap shots, but his first point (that the council is not ruled by any creed or religious authority, even Catholic authority) is true in practice (though certainly, as the SSPX insists, error has no rights in principle!).»

    In order to avoid misunderstanding, one should note the following: All human legislators, whether elected or otherwise, are subject to the transcendent authority of God, the divine Author of the universal natural moral law. If a human legislator, in his capacity as legislator, promulgates a legislative act contrary to the natural moral law, his legislative act constitutes nothing more than an anti-rational act of violence and is not binding in conscience. For God grants no man the authority to do or command what is contrary to the universal moral law established by God, who is the highest Authority and ultimate Ground of all created authorities. If human legislators act as if they do not recognize the foregoing truth, they need to be corrected. They cannot rightly claim to have and exercise temporal authority while simultaneously denying the ultimate source of their participated authority.

  35. Elizabeth D says:

    Wow. He’s obviously telling them rightly what the Catholic Church teaches. It also seems to be a message to his bishop… and almost an attempt to do the bishop’s job for him, which seems to have not gone over well with the bishop. Also it’s clearly true that the Catholic Church is the highest moral authority on earth, and Catholics have a very specific obligation to obedience. Being on a city council and the fact of that being a civil and not religious body, is not a license to dissent.

    Recognizing the capacity of ALL PEOPLE for goodness and moral virtue and that they were made for that beatitude, is certainly respecting them.

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