By Kathleen Gilbert and John Jalsevac
VATICAN CITY, April 20, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando, Florida, to become the next metropolitan archbishop of Miami, which has gained a reputation as a "gay-friendly" diocese for hosting homosexualist events.
Wenski will replace Archbishop John Favalora, whose resignation was accepted by the Vatican on Tuesday. Although Favalora will not turn 75, the usual age for requesting retirement, until this December, the Vatican did not give a reason for allowing the early resignation. He led the archdiocese for 16 years.
Archbishop-elect Wenski, who speaks English, Spanish and Creole and will serve a large Cuban and Haitian community in his new archdiocese.
In 2004 Wenski won notoriety for his strong pro-life pastoral care after he warned in a column that pro-abortion Catholics who insist on receiving communion were "boorish and sacrilegious" and comparable to Pontius Pilate. He insisted that bishops have an obligation to rebuke individuals who gravely contravene Church teaching, and compared the failure to chastise pro-abortion politicians with the failure of some bishops to protect young people from predatory priests.
"To fail to rebuke when necessary is to fail in the charity we owe our brethren. (And we bishops will be apologizing for a long time for the failure to rebuke and apply sanctions to those wayward priests who criminally sinned against young people and children)," wrote Wenski.
In addition, prior to the 2004 presidential election Bishop Wenski issued a statement in which he said that all citizens must "oppose uncompromisingly policies and laws that undermine the common good."
"The church - clergy and laity - while agreeing to disagree on other matters of prudential judgment cannot but oppose the evils of abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem-cell research, human cloning and so-called same-sex marriage. In these areas, there can be no other legitimate Catholic position."
In April of last year, Bishop Wenski was one of the 80 or so bishops who weighed in against the University of Notre Dame’s decision to honor President Barack Obama. In a column on the Orlando Diocese website, he wrote that, "Notre-Dame (at least in its Administration and Board) has forgotten what it means to be Catholic."
The Miami archdiocese, on the other hand, has a substantial history of allowing disregard for Church teaching on key issues: in February of last year, Miami's St. Patrick Catholic Church hosted the Miami Gay Men's Chorus, which has been received by archdiocesan institutions in the past. In addition, two of the archdiocese's other parishes were listed as "Gay-Friendly" in a Conference of Catholic Lesbians directory.
Fr. Richard Rohr, a pro-homosexuality and pro-contraception Franciscan speaker, has also found a venue to speak in the archdiocese on multiple occasions.
The archdiocese gave no comment to LifeSiteNews.com when asked about both invitations.
The diocese's St. Thomas University has also hosted Sr. Miriam MacGillis, a "goddess-worshipping" nun who promotes a pantheistic "eco-spiritualism," while the diocese's Barry University has hosted Sr. Elizabeth Johnson, who holds views similar to those of Sr. MacGillis. Both universities are also listed as "gay-friendly" by the Conference of Catholic Lesbians.
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Florida Bishop Rebukes Pro-Abortion, Communion Receiving Catholics
“Gay-Friendly” Miami Archdiocese Features Goddess-Worshipping Nun at Diocesan University
Miami Archdiocese Sponsors Concert by Gay Men’s Chorus
Miami Archdiocese again Features Prominent Gay-Activist Priest