Lou Bordisso, former Bishop of California, for the schismatic American Catholic Church (ACC), on March 4th and 5th, 2017, will sign copies of his latest book at San Francisco’s Most Holy Redeemer (MHR) Parish. According to their “Statement of Principles,” the ACC:
“…will minister to those making commitments for life to each other in Matrimony (for heterosexual couples and homosexual) a lesbian or gay couple might elect to have the rite of holy union. The ACC believes that love between two persons is a gift from God. We believe that the commitment in love between two persons should also be blessed by God through the ministry of the Church irrespective of their orientation. It is good and proper for the Church to recognize this reality in public and witness the bond of love between two persons. Divorce is not, generally, an impediment to remarriage in The ACC and does not bar one from the reception of the Sacraments.”
Bordisso holds a Masters of Divinity degree from the Franciscan School of Theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Bordisso also holds a Masters of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from the Jesuit-run University of San Francisco.
In a 2010 “Letter to the Editor,” appearing in a local Northern California newspaper, Bordisso wrote:
More and more progressive and mainstream churches are embracing and celebrating the gifts that lesbian and gay Christians bring to the Table of the Lord. Sadly, traditional and conservative churches continue to view homosexuality and lesbian and gay Christians as sinful deviant, inferior, and abnormal.
Lesbian and gay Christians too often waste time trying to have a reasonable dialogue with oppressive churches and clergy. The time has come to reject theologies, spiritualities and church teachings grounded in homophobic biblical interpretations, heterosexism, and outdated ancient philosophies.
Lesbian and gay Christians need to pursue a Queer Theology and embrace a hermeneutics of suspicion. Lesbian and gay Christians must interpret scripture and live within church structures in light being a part of the underside of society.
In 2011, Bordisso published his book “Sex, Celibacy, and Priesthood: A Bishop’s Provocative Inquisition.” In it, he wrote: “I suggest that the church consider alternative models that not only recognize the reality of the sexual activity of Roman Catholic priests but also recognize both traditional (sexual abstinence) and a contemporary (sexually active) definition of celibacy.” These “alternative models” include “occasional genital-sexual activity,” and “ongoing genital-sexual activity.” During a 2012 interview, Bordisso stated: “I propose that the Church base its definition of the practice of celibacy not on the idea of sexual abstinence, which is the traditional understanding of celibacy, but a model that is inclusive of all sorts of places a person might be in their journey of celibacy. So I would embrace the reality rather than the ideal, and view celibacy as what I would like to call progressive celibacy – as a person is in formation or a priest who may have denied or repressed or suppressed his sexual orientation and its only now as an adult trying to mature and become a more healthy person is discovering who he is sexually. This model would include the traditional understanding but also those people who are occasionally going to be having sexual encounters…”
To substantiate his claims, Bordisso asked various priests to write about their experiences with celibacy and sexuality; one such volunteer stated: “I think homosexuality as well as heterosexuality is a God-given right since the cause of either one of them is not known.”
Another wrote: “Number one, I have realized and accepted that being gay (hetero or bisexual) is a given of life. It is the way I am, it’s okay…the remarkable contribution of gays through the years makes me realize that being gay is a gift, not a curse. It is something to be celebrated.”
As of 2013, a copy of the book remains in the MHR Library.
Bordisso retired as Bishop from the ACC in 2010, when he became Bishop Emeritus. In 2012, Bordisso said in an interview that he had been “reconciled” during the previous year with the Catholic Church. Currently he is a member of the gay-affirmative Ecumenical Order of Charity. This group of men and women is made up primarily of former Catholics; including an ex-priest, and a former Franciscan who has since been ordained in the schismatic Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch. The Order’s latest “novice” is a partnered homosexual man, a former Catholic seminarian, and, according to a 2016 article about him, has since joined “the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community at Emmanuel Lutheran Church” located in Rockford Illinois.
Bordisso, as of 2015, maintains his support for same-sex marriage. In a July 3, 2015 Facebook post, Bordisso linked to a National Catholic Register article by “gay” apologist priest Thomas Reese, who started out his argument with: “The bishops’ fight against gay marriage has been a waste of time and money. The bishops should get a new set of priorities and a new set of lawyers.”
Links at the “Ecumenical Order of Charity” website include the “Progressive Christian Alliance,” PFLAG, and Dignity USA.