Alexander Santora, a priest in the Archdiocese of Newark, is a frequent contributor to NJ.com. A repeated topic he discusses in his column is the LGBT issue; I read several of them; at best they are unhelpful, at their worst they are highly ambivalent and overly apologetic. In 2013 – as several cases on the State level concerning same-sex marriage worked their way through the Courts, Santora wrote:
Churches tend to makes change at a glacial pace. Yet, in two watershed decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has validated the movement toward same-sex marriage that only began to register with American society a little over a decade ago.
He also quoted the response from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:
“Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Supreme Court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so.”
Then he added the following:
The Catholic bishops appealed to “the common good of all” and called for “a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage.” The Supreme Court of the land, however, has expanded the notion of common good and an expansive view of marriage.
But the strangest piece Santora wrote for NJ.com was an article in which he resoundingly praised the late-Jesuit John J McNeill – the founder of the dissident “gay” Catholic movement. Santora wrote of McNeill: “McNeill’s courage and brilliance started the church on a trajectory that it is still trying to define.” According to Fr. John Harvey: “The dissenting theologian who has had the greatest influence on Catholic homosexual persons is probably John J. McNeill, S.J.” In his landmark 1976 work “The Church and the Homosexual,” McNeill’s primary thesis concerning the inherent ethical goodness of homosexual relations he summarized in the book’s Introduction:
“It would appear to follow that the same moral rules to homosexual and heterosexual attitudes and behaviors. Those that are responsible, respectful, loving and truly promotive of the good of both parties are moral; those that are exploitive, irresponsible, disrespectful, or destructive of the true good of either party, must be judged immoral.”
Before his death, McNeill left the priesthood to marry his same-sex lover.
In addition to his writing for NJ.com, Santora also Tweets – and many of them are rather mean-spirited. He is also a fan of Hillary Clinton. Lastly, Santora made what I thought were uncalled for references to the very real problems of ADD and learning disabilities.
Santora also seems to argue, in an October 25, 2012 post on NJ.com, that it’s okay for a Catholic to vote for a pro-abortion candidate:
Using the image of a table, the bishops ask, “Who has a place at the table?” They say the unborn who are destroyed by abortion, the hungry, those who lack health care, those around the world who lack freedom to practice religion, inner city families, rural families, those who need housing, those who struggle for decent work and wages, but especially those who need hope.
Bishops do not advocate single issue voting but rather to look at the whole spectrum of a candidate’s stands. Someone who claims to be pro-choice, which would allow abortion, might be stronger on the full spectrum of life issues and ultimately lead to a reduction in abortions. While the opposite could be said for a pro-life candidate who might be weak on life issues, including eliminating poverty or the death penalty.
…So on Nov. 6, 2012, I urge you to vote for yourself. Go to the polls or request an absentee ballot by Oct. 30, and mail it right away. Get involved in the political process. Know the issues and the candidates and let your conscience be your guide. Then everyone wins.
Some of Santora’s opinions and writings about homosexuality and abortion:
I included Santora in my history of “gay” Catholic movement: