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“I Learned That I Need to Keep My Mouth Shut”

The Palm Beach Post (Oct. 11) reports that Fr. John J. Pasquini was relieved of his duties after only three months at St. Juliana Church in West Palm Beach, Florida, and was sent packing to a hospital chaplaincy. Chaplaincies at hospitals are “dumping grounds for clerics,” notes The Post (if you don’t believe that, just recall for a moment what happened to Fr. Cornelius Buckley, S.J., and Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J.).

So, what did Fr. Pasquini do that was so terrible? Well, The Post begins its story this way: “An outspoken Catholic priest who publicly condemned homosexuality and criticized Episcopalians for electing a gay bishop is being removed from his church and transferred to a job as a hospital chaplain.”

Would the Diocese of Palm Beach admit to that? According to the story, the Vicar General of the Diocese, Fr. Charles Notabartolo, claims that the reason for the removal was because Fr. Pasquini’s “homilies were poor” and “he didn’t show enough devotion to Mass.” On the other hand, Fr. Pasquini (who graduated top in his class at seminary, has two master’s degrees, and has written 12 books) says that no one complained to him about his homilies or his devotion to Mass.

The Post says: “Pasquini caused a firestorm of controversy and irked the head of the Anglican diocese when he sent a letter to The Palm Beach Post, published Aug. 15. In response to an earlier column endorsing gay marriages, Pasquini wrote that homosexuality is contrary to God’s law, quoted scripture to support his point and concluded with this aside: ‘Also, about the recent election of a gay bishop, Episcopalianism and its counterpart, Anglicanism, have been on the decline for centuries, and the more this religion compromises with a pagan culture, the more it will continue to decline.’ Last year, as head of the diocesan Right to Life office, Pasquini wrote an editorial in The Florida Catholic that complained about a subculture of gay priests and accused the church of cronyism, and favoritism.”

Judging by appearances, it looks like the Lavender Mafia got its revenge.

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