Above: Current Bishop (Since 2013) of the Diocese of Oakland – Michael C. Barber, SJ.
In a “Letter” posted on the January 2, 2020 issue of the online edition of “The Catholic Voice,” the official news-source for the Diocese of Oakland, the Rev. Ronald G. Schmit responded to a series of two articles written by George Weigel. Schmit wrote:
It appears Weigel, and those who share his ideas, are upset that things are changing. They believed that St. John Paul II had permanently settled debates over celibacy, divorce and remarriage, intercommunion, LGBTQ issues, the role of women in the Church and the ordination of women deacons. Now, Pope Francis has opened up discussions about these issues.
What they had thought was settled, they discover to be more fragile and reversible than they had believed.
He also stated:
Theology changes sometimes slowly, other times quickly. But if theology is going to speak to the present it must resonate within the historical context.
This argument is also often repeated by pro-LGBT Jesuit James Martin:
All these Bible passages that people throw at you; I think really need to be understood in their historical context. I mean Leviticus and Deuteronomy and even the stuff from the New Testament where Paul talks about it once or twice, has to be understood in their historical context…certainly in Old Testament times, they didn’t understand the phenomena of homosexuality and bisexuality as we do today.
Concerning Archbishop Lefebvre and the Tridentine Mass, Schmit wrote:
The real issue was not over the aesthetics of liturgy but what that old liturgy represents. It embodied a clerical-centric world.
Schmit also takes issue with Weigel’s argument that the Catholic Bishops in Germany are leading into schism:
Pope Francis wants the whole Church to enter into a collegial process for discerning the will of God.
The German Church is following the direction of Vatican II and Pope Francis. To accuse it of schism is unbecoming of any serious discussion.
Recently, the Bishops of Germany have publicly signaled their willingness to “bless” same-sex relationships.
Schmit is the Pastor at St. Anne’s Parish in Byron, CA. In 2000, Schmit attended a meeting of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries. One of the founders of this pro-LGBT “Catholic” advocacy group is now retired Diocese of Oakland priest Jim Schexnayder. The group was later re-branded as the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry (CALGM.) Under then Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, in 2012, all board members of CALGM, refused to sign an “oath of personal integrity” to Catholic teaching.
In 1995, Schexnayder said:
There are six or seven Scripture passages referring to same-sex sexual activities and there are over 600 references to heterosexual activity. And this doesn’t mean that God does not love heterosexuals; it’s just that they need more supervision.
In 2002, he said:
I don’t think the Church is going to deal with gay and lesbian marriages, but in its history and those who have done research on this, the Catholic Church and other Christian churches like the Orthodox church, have in fact in history blessed same-gender unions as spiritual bondings, and there are saints who have had very committed relationships.
When “Always Our Children” was being prepared, Robert Nugent was under investigation as part of the same Vatican review that was looking into the pro-LGBT ministry he cofounded with Sister Jeannine Gramick – like Gramick, he was eventually “silenced” in 1999; according to the Vatican, both were “permanently prohibited from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons.”
In 2016, Schexnayder met with Cardinal Cupich of Chicago as part of a delegation from The Association of United States Catholic Priests.
In a 2015 post to his parish bulletin, Schmit shared his thoughts about the recent Obergefell decision which legalized same-sex marriage in the US. He wrote:
The teaching on gay marriage is not likely to change…Yet many of us know family members, friends and co-workers who are gay. Many upstanding, faithful and gay Catholics have said that what they experience in their committed and loving relationships is not sinful but good. We have to admit that this is a moment of joy for many Catholics both gay and straight.
He went on to quote James Martin, and then he repeated the unproven contention that those with same-sex attraction were born that way:
Listen to the stories of LGBT people, science—biology and social sciences, as well as, scripture and Church teaching. The experience of gay people and the sciences show that homosexual orientation is not chosen but discovered. The studies tell us that someone’s sexual orientation is fixed by the time they are three years old. This is before an age of moral reasoning. Increasingly there is evidence of a biological component to one’s sexual identity.
During a 2017 Jesuitical podcast, James Martin said:
God made you this way. You are wonderfully made, just like Psalm 139 says. You were knit together in your mother’s womb this way, you know, it’s a mystery why you were made this way, but this is part of your identity.
In 2018, a priest from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles argued that “Second and Third graders” have the ability to identify as LGBT. He added: “And we are called to journey with them and affirm them in that journey.”
In reality, there is no evidence for a biological or genetic determinant for homosexuality; even the very gay-affirmative American Psychological Association can not claim that anyone was “born gay,” according to the APA:
There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors.