Monday, July 26, 2010

No Gay 'Marriage' in Church, Now or Ever

This very clear message was delivered to David Cameron, Britain's Prime Minister, by Bishop Tartaglia of Paisley, Scotland. (As reported by LifeSiteNews and the Herald of Scotland.

The British Prime Minister appears to be actively courting the support of homosexual rights campaigners, having hosted a Gay Pride reception in June. In his speech he said:

I am pleased to announce that we are taking a further step, and I think a good step and a right step – ­and I say this as someone who believes in marriage, who believes in civil partnership, who believes in commitment –­ and that is to say that if religious organisations, if churches, if mosques, if temples want to have civil partnerships celebrated at religious places of worship, that should be able to happen and we should make that happen.
Chilling stuff, from a man who has proclaimed himself to be 'Conservative' on the one hand and 'Liberal' on the other. There's nothing conservative or liberal (philosophically rather than politically) in making civil partnerships in places of worship happen.

The good Bishop wrote to Cameron saying:
You and your Government need to be aware from the outset that the Catholic Church will not register civil partnerships nor celebrate same-sex unions: not now, not in the future, not ever, no matter what legislation or regulations your Government enacts or endorses.

At last, a Bishop who says: we'll disobey this unjust law. Very refreshing.

Yesterday, in my homily here at St Peter's, I spoke about the sins crying out to heaven for vengeance in the light of Genesis 18 and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Yes, the Catholic Church still teaches, as does Scripture, that Sodomy is such a sin.


  1. If Cameron is a Conservative, I am a muezzin.

    In calling the government coalition "brokeback coalition", David Davies has been very perceptive.

    Cameron's relentless courting of the minorities will be his undoing. The sooner, the better.

  2. Right to reply27 July, 2010 13:28

    Fr John,
    I'm sorry but this really is a very misleading article.
    The government are not proposing to compel churches or religious institutions to provide civil partnership ceremonies (as you know, we don't have same-sex marriage in this country). In fact, they have stated that they are against making any changes compulsory and are committed to any changes being absolutely voluntary.
    The government are responding to the request by a number of religious institutions (e.g. quakers, liberal jews and other non-conformist christian churches) to be allowed to perform civil partnership ceremonies.
    Therefore there will be no need for the catholic church to 'disobey an unjust law' since it is not proposed that any church will have to provide civil partnerships.
    The bishop's statement (and your accompanying commentary) are nothing but political posturing.

  3. 'Right to Reply' - you are being naive, I think. Civil partnerships optional in churches today - compulsory tomorrow. The good Bishop is quite right to stand up for the Church and her teaching now - not when it's too late.

  4. Right to Reply;
    whilst you are quite right that the Government has said that it has no intention of making this provision compulsory, I do have to ask a single question.

    What makes you think you can trust this Government an inch if it thinks it can make political capital out of something ?

    The Bishop's Statement (although I wish it had come from ++Vincent) is merely a prudent clarification of the Church's position before the issue is raised - just so the Government can't say that it didn't realize the consequences of raising the matter later on.

  5. Parish Pastoral Worker30 July, 2010 18:43

    Sounds like a very pastoral sermon Father. Did you inspire any of the congregation to go out seeking vengence and retribution afterwards I wonder.

  6. I don't think I actually posted my sermon. You can 'wonder' all you like. Unless you were present and heard it you would not be able to come to a judgement.

    Secondly, it is to heaven these sins cry for vengeance, it is heaven that hears the cry and it is for heaven, God, not us, to administer the vengeance.

    But: do you accept the biblical teaching? Do you accept the Church's teaching as in the Catechism of the Catholic Church? If not, what are you doing as a parish pastoral worker? We heard earlier this week Jeremiah being told: tell them all I have told you, omitting nothing of what I have said. I take it you do not pick and choose which parts of the scriptures to impart to those with whom you work pastorally?

  7. Parish Pastoral Worker31 July, 2010 12:19

    Father, I refer you to the leaflet published by the Marriage and Family Life Project on behalf of the Conference of Bishops in England and Wales, What is life like if you or someone in your family is gay or lesbian in their sexual orientation? ... and what can your parish family do to make a difference?”

    Perhaps now Father, we have a glimpse into why you are on sabatical from english parish life? As to your intemporate questions about my pastoral position, I am a pastoral worker in a southern english diocese and my local priest and bishop are quite happy with my work. I have no difficulty reciting the Creed each sunday. If you read the introduction to the CCC, you will see that it does not have to held definatively in all it's expressions. There is a hierachy of truths and not all in the CCC has been declared ex cathedra - please refer to the recent discussion on Fr Hunwicke's Liturgical Notes blog for a clearer analysis than I can expand on here.

    No you didn't post your sermon Father but you did give a brief summary of it - another to give a flavour of the content. Perhaps you could post it in full and then we would be able to judge it more closely. It would be interesting to know how it was recieved bu the congregation, most of whom I imagine would have kept their thoughts to themselves.

  8. Right to reply31 July, 2010 12:31

    Dominic Mary - you really are scaremongering now. Even if the government wanted to compel churches to conduct same-sex civil partnerships or maariage (which they don't), they wouldn't be able to because it would contravene the European Human Rights legislation. Governments cannot interfere with the internal decisions of any religious institution.

    Some religious organisations have asked to be able to allow same-sex partnership services and it is proposed that they be allowed. Those who don't want to, won't have to. That's all there is to it, period. The catholic church doesn't have the right (or power) to stop other religious organisations to do what they feel is right.

  9. No, sir. I will not post my sermon to be 'judged' by you. And, no, I did not post a summary. I merely stated something that I said during my sermon. How dare you be so arrogant as to think you may 'judge' my sermon? I prayed over it considerably, I am fully aware of the sacramental significance of the homily, a moment in which the priest of God must open up the Word so that the people understand what God intends them to hear. I must not give my word but God's Word.

    What is the point in letting you know how it was received: you have already judged silence to imply dissent. Do you think Americans are so stupid as not to speak when they are not happy? And if anyone walked out (I don't know whether anyone did or not) would that mean that what I said should not have been said?

    But in case you would like to know, several people thanked me particularly for my homily. And since then, during the week, a number of people have said how fortunate they feel that I have come to be with them. It goes very much against the grain for me to write about myself. I do so since you asked.

    As to your views about the CCC, I think we can safely say that we shall not agree with one another. It is strange that you can imply that you don't have to accept everything the CCC says. For those anglicans wishing to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church by means of the proposed Ordinariate, acceptance of the CCC is required.

    Could you point out something in the CCC that it's ok not to believe?

    As to the 'hierarchy of truths' argument, you must accept that if something is within a hierarchy of truth, regardless of where it is in the hierarchy, then it must be true, and if it is true it should surely be believed, otherwise it is false and not in the 'hierarchy of truths'.

    Yes, the Trinity is top of the hierarchy. And the teachings of Scripture, being inspired by the Holy Spirit, are truth too. Therefore there are sins crying out to heaven for vengeance as the Scriptures say and as the CCC merely reiterates by quoting Scripture. I cannot for the life of me see any possibility of dissent from this.

    (to be continued - blogger doesn't allow such long comments as I am making)

  10. (continuation of previous comment)

    Your surmising as to why I am on sabbatical in the US is breathtaking and despicable. You may wish to know that my parishioners in England were bereft when they heard I was leaving. I and they went through immense grief. I still receive letters, emails and other messages of immense appreciation. They particularly valued the clear teaching they received on all areas of the Church's teaching and the deep reverence that came to exist in the liturgy and the general atmosphere of prayer that pervaded the parish church.

    They valued my care for their families and my careful attention in sorting out their marital situations. They valued the teachings I gave on the family and, yes, the areas of chastity.

    I happened also to receive some extremely appreciative comments from people who experience homosexual inclination and live that lifestyle who found that I was the only priest they were able to relate to in a human way and as a representative of Christ and the Church, one who (they said) did not stand in judgement of them even though I was clear about the natural, biblical and church teaching on the question. They were very sorry to hear I was leaving.

    Your comments have confirmed that I don't think you would find a place as a pastoral worker in my parish. The fact that I might differ with your Bishop on this is surely not that high in the hierarchy of truths, or does dissent after all have its limits?

    You are, of course, keeping your indentity secret. My identity is well known to all my readers. And all, from bishop to lay faithful, may freely comment and seek clarification on my views. Would you care to be similarly transparent? Would you care to post somewhere your talks so that they also may be judged?

    Read your scripture: Abraham interceded asking God for mercy. That is what we should do and that is what I said in my homily we should do. Now you have a few more words, but still nothing like the whole sermon. Wonder away...

  11. Further comment to Pastoral Worker: apologies if you are a lady, in which case subsitute 'Madam' for 'Sir' in my comments above.

  12. Parish Pastoral Worker01 August, 2010 08:44

    Oh Father, I seem to have hit upon a raw nerve. Of course people judge the content and delivery of your sermons, it's only human to do so. Are you suggesting that the congregation are to merely sit passively and accept uncritically everything you pronounce? You are not infalliable Sir, your sermons are your interpretation of the word of God as best as you can in line with Church teachings. But they are not the word of God itself or final word of the magesterium. I think it says a lot that you are not willing to give further details of the content. You do not want to be judged yet your sermon sounds highly judgemental.

    Nethertheless, I was less questioning the content but your tone towards the subject matter. In your posting describing the sermon, you appeared gloatful and proud of the fact that you had preached in a way that would have been offensive to many. I'm sure some people congratulated you afterwards but I'm sure many others did not bother to voice their disappointment to you.

    I wonder if you also spoke of Cardinal Hume's memorable words eg ALL love comes from God, including among persons of the same sex. I doubt it very much some how.
    ps - I noticed you did not address the latest words of the E&W bishops on this topic as linked in my original comment.

  13. Right to reply01 August, 2010 08:55

    Father, you make it sound like your parish was completely and utterly bereft after you left. I'm sure they'll get over it (as the Americans say) so don't loose any sleep over it!

    I understand your successor to be is quite progressive so it won't take long for the parish to get back to normal. Some of the former parishoners who went elsewhere during your reign may come back again.

  14. Old Parishoner01 August, 2010 09:01

    Father the rumours in the Parish are that you have been sent away for disobedience towards the Bishop. You erected the new wooden altar rails without going through the Diocese's art and architecture commission and getting the correct approvals mandated by the Bishop. He wasn't too pleased at being put in a compromising position which led to your sabbatical to give you time to think about whether you are suited to Diocesean ministry.

    I'm sure it's more complicated than that but that's what people are whispering.

  15. Parish Pastoral worker01 August, 2010 10:36

    Father if the Church's teaching on homosexuality and same-sex partnerships are definitive and not open to further development and discernment, why did Archbishop Nichols say recently that 'we do not know where this path will lead us in the future'?

    And why did Cardinal Schonborn say we should be considering the quality of the relatinship rather than focusing unnecessarilly on the sexual aspects? As you know, Cardinal Schonborn is as conservative as can be, even was consered papible in the last conclave. Are you suggesting he isn't suitable for parish ministry too?

  16. Pragmatic Catholic01 August, 2010 13:08

    Father, I'm sure if you were to preach on contraception then some people would come up and thank you, but that doesn't mean that many others would quietly disagree with you.... and that is a matter for the internal forum.

  17. Peter Vaughan, UK01 August, 2010 13:10

    Good job you didn't give your sermon in front of a group of priests, Father. Many might have felt very uncomfortable.

  18. Dear Pastoral Worker

    No raw nerve, just amazement at your attitude.

    Yes, the people to whom I addressed the sermon can judge and have judged. But why should I submit it to you for judgement?

    And no, I did not address the comments of the Bishops of E&W just as you did not address the CCC content. I will not say that I dissent from the Bishops. But if you can dissent from the CCC, then may one dissent from the Bishops? Just a hypothetical question, you understand?

    And you still continue to maintain a secret identity whereas I am quite open about mine.

    I quote many people, and I quote Cardinal Hume on occasion too. But why should I not quote the CCC? And how do you judge me to be gloating? You jump to conclusions in a very judgemental way, if I may say so.

    I am not infallible, that is for sure. But if I appeal to the authority of Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium, then my teaching will at least not be erroneous. What is the authority for your teaching?

    Of course all love comes from God, but some things that people call love are not expressions of God's love. St Paul teaches about a sacrament (a great mystery) which is indeed a sign of Christ's love for the Church, but I believe he has some different teaching about some ways in which some of the people you mention express 'love'.

    We should help people to avoid all that is sinful and to live pure and chaste lives each in their state.

    Now, I do not wish to foreclose on the discussion. But if you'd like to discuss this with me personally (as I doubt that many others are following this thread) feel free to contact me personally. Just send a comment with your email. I won't publish it and I'll be in touch. I won't be posting any more conversation between you and me here. Judge that as censorship if you will, 'Sir.'

  19. To Peter Vaughan: how do you know? You don't know the content of my homily.

  20. Well Father, considering that studies consistently show around half of priests in America are of a homosexual orientation, with many sexually active - I imagine your denunciation of all things gay would have made them feel very uncomfortable indeed.
    Mind you, it's funny that it is usually homosexually inclined priests who speak out the loudest on these issues. Wonder why that is?

  21. Well, Peter, I have published your comment. It speaks volumes. No need for me to reply really.

  22. For some reason, not all comments have found there way to my email inbox, hence the late publication above. So to answer them:

    Right to reply: yes, they'll get over it. And the new parish priest will take the people forward. Hopefully everyone will be united with him in the parish.

    Old Parishioner: I shouldn't pay attention to rumours. It's not at all complicated, and the whisperings are quite mistaken. I told my parishioners the reasons for my requesting a sabbatical. Those who were present know. Those who weren't can continue whispering. As for the altar rails, they resulted in a huge increase in reverence. Even non-catholic spouses commented on what an improvement they made. Not everyone agreed with them, but I didn't set out to please everyone.

    Parish Pastoral Worker: you'll have to asked Archbishop Nichols what he meant. Cardinal Schonborn is not exactly flavour of the month with the Holy Father, is he?

    Pragmatic Catholic: I have preached on this. I don't expect everyone to agree with me. If they choose to live a sinful way of life, that is up to them. But maybe they might be enlightened to see how contraception contradicts God's beautiful plan for marriage and life.

  23. I received this comment from a former parishioner of mine when I told her about the previous comments:

    Well! This beggars belief. I am totally floored! Who are these people, cowards to be sure as they remain anonymous. We parishioners at St. Simon's could not have had a better, and more holy parish priest, and there were many, many tears shed when you announced that you were leaving.

    As for the altar rails, most people were very happy about them, we were able, at last, to receive Holy Communion on our knees showing a proper reverence for the Sacred host, after so many years of standing in a queue, like queueing at a bus stop! Those who were not happy about that went elsewhere, I feel sorry for them, they were not able to kneel before their God. These are very bitter people and I shall pray for them.

    I have just been reading about Cardinal John Henry Newman, as a preliminary to the Beatification Mass. Here are two quotes from the book. " he was always able to take refuge in the real presense of Christ". And a quote from Lady Lothian "His saying of Mass is most striking. I do not know what makes the difference, but one is conscious of a difference". As I was reading these words, I thought, that is how I felt every time Father John said Mass and I am positive that I am not the only one.

    Bitter, bitter people who want to vilify you for some strange reason, jealous perhaps of the love you so deservedly won from all, but a very few, of your parishioners. As for the homosexual remarks made, You should sue. They are clearly deranged!

    I know, as do others who read your blog, that you had decided to take the sabbatical year way back last summer when you, with your brother, visited Bishop Sample in Marquette. You had worked so very hard in the parish of St. Simon, and for 9 years. I often worried that you were working too hard, impossible to keep up that pace forever, and though I was so sad, I also was glad that perhaps you could have a period of not such intense work.

    Sorry if this is over long but I am furious, I hardly know how express how angry I feel.

    I didn't see these vile comments on your blog, even though I always read the comments.

    Please don't let it all spoil your few days away. You are very much loved by all who really know you, and will never be forgotten.

    One other thing. If the liturgy was changed, in the future, and I fervently hope not, I would not be so petty and smallminded as to leave St. Simon's. It is my parish church and I will stay. I will always be able to remember how beautiful it was in the days of Father John.

  24. I am a parishioner at St Simon's and I would like to add my support to Father John, who helped me to get back into Church. I have been ex-communicated some years ago and away from the Catholic Church for many years and Father John was the person who made me feel welcome. During his time at Saint Simon's, even though in the teaching of the Catholic Church I had sinned, he was not judging me and was always very pleasant. He will be thoroughly missed by my entire family and we will keep him in our prayers.
    With regards to the gay issue, the Catholic Church has a strong view on this following their interpretation of the scriptures. Now whether you agree or not with it, I do not think there is any need for personal attacks towards the person who is following the teaching of his Church.

  25. Parish Pastoral Worker:-
    In 1998, when Pope John Paul II put out his Apostolic Letter Ad Tuendam Fidem, the then Cardinal Ratzinger wrote a doctrinal commentary on this Letter, pointing out the nature of the assent owed to the truths set forth by the Catholic Church Please read it.
    Thank God we have priests like Fr Boyle who are prepared to stand up for the truth, rather than be concerned with political correctness and popularity polls. I was not in his parish but I'm thankful that you're not in mine.

  26. Some people cannot bear the truth, but it doesn't change the fact that it is the truth. Please continue to feed us with the truth Fr, as that is the only way we will gain eternal life in heaven.

    For those interested in the truth of the gay lifestyle, have a look at this article:

  27. The above comments from Right to Reply and from Parish Pastoral Worker provide a full and convincing illustration of the intolerance of liberalism. Sadly, they also provide proof that `a little learning is a dangerous thing`. Parish Pastoral Workers should not be lecturing a trained and ordained Catholic priest on sin or sermons. Most sad of all is the lack of charity. How we must offend Our Blessed Lord with our pride and our in-fighting.

  28. As a member of your Parish of S. Ashford - and knowing you as a friend, as well as Pastor - I am sickened by the stupid re-hashing of such matters as the reconstitution of the altar rails in St. Simon's (which as the above correspondent observes) - has created greater feelings of reverence for receiving Holy Communion as we kneel before God - and do not stand in a 'bus queue'. I cannot believe that those of us - and this is the vast majority - would not feel aghast at the attacks on you, who are so loved, cherished and missed by your parishioners. We STILL feel bereft, (of course doubtless we will get over it) - but we so valued your strong guidance, your courage in speaking your mind on all appropriate matters, your kindness, patience and understanding of many problems, no matter how trivial. You implemented so many good things at St. Simon's - to the detriment of your health you had so little spare time. You are hugely loved - so let the innapropriate rantings of the few, be sqaushed by the accolades of the many!

  29. Kevin O'Donnell03 August, 2010 08:33

    Reading through all the comments, it seems that any criticism of the homosexual lifestyle results in shrieks and cries of "Bigotry!' at the drop of a hat. "Homophobia' is assumed (often quite wrongly) and this is seen as akin to racism.
    However, life is not so simple. The teaching of the Catholic Church denounces homophobia, urging respect and compassion for people of a homosexual orientation. What cannot be accepted and blessed is same sex genital relationships, without commenting on the personal qualities of a gay person, or the reality of any love they have for others.
    You can be an upholder of the Magisterium of the Church without being homophobic or biased. Yet, this will mean that you also uphold sex within heterosexual marriage as the natural, God-given law of things.
    Of course some struggle and fail with their urges and leanings, as we all do at times in different ways. Grace and mercy and forgiveness flow from the Church, but this is not the same as tolerating everything and dissenting from key elements of the truths that the Church stands for.

  30. Thank you Fr John, we need more priests like you.God bless you.

  31. St Simon Parishioner03 August, 2010 11:44

    Father, you are blessed with God grace and your work will be glorified. Don't mind those spit at your on this blessed journey God called you to lead his people, mind you even Jesus was not love by all.In fact those who didn't like you here are mainly those who wanted things in way contrary to the church way and we all know your asnwer to them.
    So Go GO Father John!!! Go GO Father !!!!
    We love you father and God bless you.

  32. God bless you Father - you are doing the right thing. I will keep you in my prayers. Stand strong, and continue to fight the good fight against this evil.

  33. >The government are not proposing to compel churches or religious institutions to provide civil partnership ceremonies (as you know, we don't have same-sex marriage in this country). In fact, they have stated that they are against making any changes compulsory and are committed to any changes being absolutely voluntary.

    This is how the previous administration worked; make something voluntary, then promote it until just about everyone thinks its normal, only when hardly anyone left thinks its a bad idea do they make whatever it is copmpulsory. Its like women going out to work, promoted as a great "right". Why then have I met so many mothers over the last 8 years of organising groups for young families locally who do not want to consign their child to day care but feel they "have to"..
    Be in no doubt that if Cameron promotes gay "marriage" in Churches and starts talking about "rights" amnd "freedoms" what will actually happen is persecution of those Priests who refuse. Look at that poor Christian Couple who wouldn;t let the gay couple spend a night at their B& B...
    Well done Fr John for standing up for true freedom and truth.
    warmest wishes,
    Karen Rodgers

  34. Father, thank you for your blog and recent postings. I know for a fact that in your parish in England - and in your ministry now elsewhere- you are the true "Pastoral Worker". I wouldn't worry too much about others who try to clericalise themselves or go for cafeteria catholicism. Keep up the good work - and thanks again!

  35. Sharon Hortal, former and 'bereft' parishioner03 August, 2010 16:12

    Fr John,

    I too feel compelled to show my disgust at the comments; so vile, that have been posted on here. As one of those who felt 'bereft' at your depature, I can truly say that never has one person affected my life with such enormity as you. To those that wish to 'judge' you I can only pity them for never having the joy of knowing you. I came to you a wounded, lost soul and through you I found God, love and compassion which I never thought possible.
    Perhaps if 'Old Parishioner' had kept faith, then they too may have had the joy of experiencing your teachings of the Word. The wooden alter rails only enhanced the beauty of our church and enabled those of us with posture problems (2 prolapsed discs!) to receive the host in a manner befitting of the gift we were receiving! If one has only 'whispers' and 'gossip' to listen to, then that person deserves our pity.

    As for Peter Vaughen....Fr I believe you are right...."enough said" although I am sure I could think of more to say (but I won't!).

    Those who know you, who sat beside you praying for loved ones who were suffering, who watched you show such love for so many, and were constantly amazed by your LACK of judgement against those who perhaps deserved to be judged (myself included), will always love and be eternally grateful that we were blessed for 9 years to have you as our parish priest.

  36. That's interesting!03 August, 2010 17:49

    Are you thinking about joining the SSPX Father?

  37. Benign Commentator03 August, 2010 18:10

    Methinks the Lady doth protest too much!

  38. Another comment:

    " having read the comments to date it is clear that much is written as merely emotive opinion. Fr John, I have known you for some time now and as a person educated in both primary and secondary school by the catholic church, and as a practicing catholic now in my forties, I can say with some conviction that you are a priest that consistently put your parishes needs entirely before you own. Having been close enough to you I can confirm that you would think long and hard before you delivered a homily, simply because you feel so committed to your role in helping your parish understand our faith. You are consistent with putting faith first, and in the world we are in that is bound to upset many. But"rumours" or "whisperings" are irrelevant, as i said, simply emotive opinion.
    You are a priest, man and friend I admire, and I feel blessed to have cone across you in life. You were an example to me and my family and you moving on is a great loss to us. God bless, Dale"

  39. And another:

    I am stunned at the comments (some of them vile) and am almost lost for words as to how to reply on the blog. These people clearly do not know you as I and many others do.
    The parishioner who emailed you with their message of support said it all really.
    We have a beautiful church where we are truly aware of the Lord's Real Presence in the Eucharist. You always gave us clear instructions as to what was the truth as laid down in Holy Scripture. You were and still are greatly loved by most of your parishioners. Those who opposed you were only a tiny minority. We were very lucky to have you in South Ashford.. As I have said before I will be forever grateful that you were my parish priest.

    When will people realise how lucky we are to have priests who are not afraid to speak their minds?

  40. Further comment:

    How wickedly the devil works through men to speak out so viciously against our good and holy priest. Such is the way in this world, but great will be Father John Boyles reward in heaven. Can these poor decieved people be so certain? After all, ultimately "all that matters is eternity".

  41. I am not a Catholic but through friends have met Father John on a great number of occasions. I have always been amazed at his tireless support and his approachability on ALL subjects. He has touched my life in a very deep way, and given me cause to think very deeply about the Catholic faith. How sad that someone who is in such a position of trust within the Church, such as "parish pastoral worker", who should show love and compassion to all, feels the need to be so judgemental. I will be praying for him/her. And to Father John I say, since ALL the of the messages of support, the silence from "parish pastoral worker" is deafening!!!!!!

  42. A parishioner of St Simon Stock South Ashford04 August, 2010 04:17

    A comment on your Blog Caritas in Veritate of the 26th of July written by an ‘Old Parishioner’ on the 1st of August in which the writer refers to rumours which led to your sabbatical are quite beyond comprehension. So much has been accomplished during the nine years of your ministry in the parish especially the deep reverence in liturgy and your clear teaching, The erection of the new altar rails have resulted in a huge increase in reverence. The devotional atmosphere during Mass was remarked upon by a recent visit by the Rt. Reverend J, Hine after Confirmation on Sunday the 18th of April 2010 (personal communication). You must also be remembered for the establishment of the choir, the redecoration of the church, the enlargement of the Sanctuary and the hangings on the altar, the construction of the new repository and confessional, the brick paving of the piazza and for making the somewhat utilitarian presbytery into a comfortable home only to name a few. What more could be achieved in nine years. You have created a happy and caring parish community, but a tiny minority of the congregation seem to be resistant to change.

  43. Hello Father,

    Don't let them get you down!

    May God bless your ministry and help you to continue preaching the Gospel 'in season and out of season'.

    Those who are on the side of truth, whether they be 'gay' or 'straight', will agree with what you have said.

    Our Lord did not come to condemn, but to save. However, only through humbly professing and acknowledging Truth can we be know that God is Love.

    Those who are attacking you on your blog are yet to accept the Salvation proclaimed by the Church and Her Teaching.

    They don't want the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. They want the Pink Paper.


  44. Father Boyle
    I'm very sorry that you have become the target of this anonymous drive by commenter.
    I imagine that it is probably the work of one individual, but despite the aliases,sadly I have no difficulty in believing that this individual is indeed a "parish pastoral worker" whose local priest and bishop are "quite happy with his work."

    Although I am sorry that you have had to read such unpleasant insinuations, I know that you are more than able to put them in their proper context. Good and faithful priests will share in the treatment meted out to the Holy Father.

    Courage Fr Boyle! Today is the feast of St Jean Marie Vianney. Your friends here on earth and in heaven are praying for you!
    May God Bless you.

  45. The spiteful whining of “Parish Pastoral Worker” against the manifest goodness of Father Boyle is a quintessentially homosexual rant i.e. the puerile outpourings of someone frozen in adolescence, forever rationalising their sins and shortcomings. To further explain the attack, I propose the following interpretation. If wrong in its particulars, which I very much doubt, it still holds true in general.

    To my ears, attuned to these things over many years in the parish trenches, it sounds very much like a fallen priest or nun. But probably a male. In which case one has to bear in mind the additional dimension and weight of the sin which burden this man.

    Like many ‘ex-priests’ in our troubled postconciliar epoch, he swapped his sacred office for a degenerate ‘deathstyle’ (homosexuals, male and female, die on average 20 years before the other 98-99% of the populace, even in the most ‘gay’-friendly countries on earth like Norway and Denmark, and often 30-40 years earlier where AIDs and other deadly diseases are concerned). Now, his youthful days of debauchery in Soho well and truly spent (and thus a non-person on the sodomitical scene), each passing day brings Judgement closer. Understandably, he is deeply troubled by this prospect. This in turn triggers the anger and hatred he feels before Fr Boyle’s compassion towards those enslaved by the deadly homosexual addiction he himself has been unable to beat. While Father’s orthodoxy and fidelity to the vocation he spurned rebukes him in the depths of his wounded soul. Even seeking refuge in a faux-priestly role in a CINO (Catholic In Name Only) parish hasn’t helped.

    There is only one solution to his deep-rooted angst: PPW needs a holy confessor to set him free - via the same supernatural power he once wielded through his own priesthood.

    In any case, let’s pray he finds the humility and strength to approach the confessional before the end; before he meets the just Judge.

  46. Stand up against hatred05 August, 2010 16:23

    Re: Comment by Marguerita at 9.21 (3rd August).

    The link you provide goes to a blog full of hatrful highly insulting and inflammatory dialogue about gay people, drawing upon nonsense stereotypes and simplistic assumptions - all unfounded by any references to fact or science.

    It says a lot about the real attitude and lack of understanding of SOME catholics to people who are gay. Fathers sermon only reinforces and inflames such unfortunate people. May your God forgive you!

  47. Father it seems that even from the few people who have posted comments in your support that there is an acknowledgement that you were a divisive figure that alienated a segment of your parish, and that you were indeed 'sent away' by your bishop.

  48. INTERESTED READER05 August, 2010 16:37

    It seems very strange Father that you continue to refuse to give more details of your sermon. Are you embaressed by your words Father? I thought the modern catholic church believed in transparency and dialogue. Obviously not!

  49. I am not from Fr John's parish but a priest who gives clear, uncompromised Catholic teaching protects not only his own flock but everyone, both Catholic and non-Catholic. You have my heartfelt gratitude and admiration Father for this requires much courage and love. May St Michael protect you.

  50. Interested reader: why should I? My sermon was given to a particular congregation. I am not at all embarassed by my words. This is my blog and I publish what I want to. Sometimes I publish a sermon, sometimes I don't, sometimes I have a printed version, sometimes it's just notes... Why judge my words when I haven't published them? All I said can be found in the Sacred Scriptures and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. And there's nothing that embarasses me in either.

  51. Peter Vaughan: "I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword" (Matthew 10:34) Jesus was crucified because people didn't like what He said. The Word of God is like a double-edge sword: it cuts. I don't set out to upset but I don't expect everyone to like what I say. Like a parent who tries to teach a child but whose child rejects the teaching, a pastor suffers when this happens, but he rejoices in the faithful ones and in those who come back. As you can see from some who have commented above, I can thank God that some sinners have returned to the fold of the Church.

  52. Parish Pastoral Worker07 August, 2010 10:54

    Editor - what a sinister imagination you have. I am not a failed semanarian or religious, nor do I aspire to the priesthood; neither am I gay/lesbian/bisexual.

    I think your assumptions and lack of charity say more about you than me.

  53. AMDG 3.8.2010

    I’m not a parishioner of Fr John's parish, but on the occasions when I attended I was very much attuned to 'le sens du sacré' which permeated the Church, and the beautiful liturgies, making them a most blessed time of grace. Not to say by that Masses elsewhere aren't sacred - however the fruits experienced are better imparted when the soul is led to a meaningful encounter with the Lord -in reverence, in sound teaching, and when the additional courtesy of altar rails to kneel before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is offered.

    We all betray the Sacrament of Love, that is because we have been privileged by Almighty God to have free will to act out our choices, but when we have an informed conscience on moral matters then it is incumbent upon us to submit to the authority of the Church who uniquely has the promise of Christ that He will safeguard Her from teaching in error. Sometimes the hardest lesson of humility is accepting that we are not the arbiters of His Bride the Church and her teachings, He asks of us only to be "meek and humble of heart". I would utterly refute the salacious suggestion of any impropriety in this priest,- this is a holy man who only has the glory of God as his prime concern and the salvation of souls as his abiding vocation. It is does great dishonour to his priestly office, and to the 'Parish Pastoral Worker' to bear such 'false witness' against the Lord's anointed; his sabbatical had been mooted some while before and had absolutely nothing to do with the Bishop sending him away, please get facts right before posting up suggestive, erroneous and libellous comments, especially in such cowardly fashion hiding behind anonymity.

    Cherry – Canterbury, UK

  54. Astounded Bystander08 August, 2010 18:00

    Father, are you really going to leave the foul rantings by Editor unmoderated? Is this is exactly the kind of hatred that your sermons stir up? Doesn't seem very christian or chatitable, does it?

  55. Well I can't win: if I don't publish I'm censoring. If I do, I'm asked to intervene. I have no idea whether what Editor has any basis in fact or not. Maybe you could counter with facts?

    It should be said that the lack of charity began with Parish Pastoral Worker when he insinuated that I might have desired people to seek vengeance and retribution.

    It should be said that my sermon aroused no hatred of any group of people and was not intended to. As I repeat, I have not published my sermon, but one or two people chose to make assumptions about what I might have said and the reaction it might have provoked. I repeat: what I said was all consonant with Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I simply echoed Church teaching in what I hope and truly believe to have been in a sensitive manner. But some have taken exception to my wholeheared acceptance of the CCC. Indeed, some think we are free to accept or not accept certain teachings of the CCC, be they concerning homosexuality or contraception. In which case they might well not have agreed with my sermon. I have also received comments of a very personal nature which I have declined to publish. (Bear in mind you and most commentors are taking advantage of anonymity whereas my identity is clear to everyone.)

    I would hope that we can now close this post and entreat everyone to resort to prayer. It has been a very long-running discussion.

  56. Hi Fr. John, Thank You for answering my e-mail Last week. I am sorry you won't be at the Cathedral when my family is in Marquette. We would really like to meet you. You sound like a holy and faithful priest.May GOD Bless You and may HIS Holy Angels be with You.

  57. Would be good to close this post, Father, on the truly charitable endnote of Editor's contribution, viz:
    "In any case, let’s pray he finds the humility and strength to approach the confessional before the end; before he meets the just Judge."

  58. Being 'new' to a parish will always leave you open to people surmising as to your intentions, but as time unfolds, as it did in Ashford, the congregation will see the sincerity and love for the Liturgy and the Truth that you gave us. Bitterness stems from a lack of love and understaning. We were taught well and with total conviction and were indeed lucky to have had you guiding us. Many thanks.

  59. Dear Father...please keep on speaking out about what you feel is Truth...I as a lay observer feel that the whole anti family/pro gay agenda is destroying family life and indeed the seems if you try and hold on to revealed Truth these days you are abused by many. I try not to judge others as I myself have many faults... but I know them to be faults... and that's the Fulton Sheen rightly said...'Sin is not the worst thing in the world, its the denial of sin'. Please pracy for me and my family.


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