Browsing through the headlines today, I came across the following gem:
LOCAL PRIEST FORMS ALL-INCLUSIVE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IN SAN DIEGO
My interest piqued, I clicked the link. I was greeted by the following lead:
(San Diego) A local Roman Catholic bishop is using Pope Francis as an example and creating an all-inclusive Catholic parish that will serve everyone, including divorced people and the LGBTQ community. San Diego Bishop Dermot Rodgers lives by the saying, "Judge none, love all."
As it's Lent, I've been working on the virtue of charity. Really hard. Part of my Lenten practice has been to incorporate meditations on the Sorrowful Passion of Our Lord (from Fr. Lasance's Blessed Sacrament Prayerbook). Yesterday's exterior exercise was "To explain everything in favor of our neighbor."
OK. Maybe this is a Bishop who upholds Church teaching and just wants to create an atmosphere where people living in sin can feel supported in their attempt to change their sinful behavior and get back into a state of grace. That's at least within the realm of the possible, right?
My penitentially empty stomach began to dance a tango with my spleen (a liturgically approved tango, mind you) as I continued reading:
"One of the earliest statements the Holy Father made about equality and about gays and lesbians in the world is, 'Who am I to judge?'" Rodgers said. "And a whole theology is being formed from that very statement, so not only to affect the LGBTQ community, but also divorced and remarried people and other people who feel excluded from the traditional Catholic Church."
OK. Take a deep breath. Assume the best.
I press on.
Then, the other shoe drops. Fox 5 apparently contacted the offices of the San Diego Diocese, and received the following response:
Bishop Dermot Rodgers and the group associated with him are not affiliated with the Catholic Diocese of San Diego, and therefore we have no comment.
Wait a minute. What? Just who is 'Bishop' Dermot Rodgers, then? A quick search pulls up the following:
The Most Reverend Dermot Rodgers is currently in the process of completing his transition for Episcopal Incardination into [wait for it...] the Evangelical Catholic Church.
Evangeli... what? Did not the title of the article say "Roman Catholic"? Did not this 'bishop' refer to Pope Francis as "Holy Father"? What's going on here?
And then I realized that, in my effort to assume the best on the part of my neighbor, I fell headlong into the trap of forgetting that the secular media hates the Catholic Church, and will lie through its teeth to get more click revenue.
Well played, Fox News, Agent of Diabolical Disorientation. Well played.