ALAMEDA, January 23, 2006 ( – A Catholic priest, pastor of a large church in Alameda California, announced to his parishioners at a Mass in September that he is a homosexual. The Tri-Valley Herald interviewed Fr. Rich Danyluk who attacked the Catholic Church saying that the institution and the Gospel were in conflict on the issue of homosexuality.

Danyluk declined to correct the Herald writer’s assertion that the Church teaches “gay men and women are objectively disordered.” Accompanied by photos depicting the priest in a saintly glow, the Herald quotes him saying, “One can only take so much of hearing how disordered you are. I wasn’t baptized a disordered child of God. I was baptized like everyone else.”

According to Fr. Mark Wiesner, spokesman of the diocese of Oakland, the priest has misrepresented Catholic teaching. “The inclination, not the individual, is objectively disordered,” Wiesner told Indeed, the Catechism of the Catholic Church makes a clear distinction between a person and his disorder saying that like everyone else, those who suffer from the disorder of homosexuality “are called to chastity” and “Christian perfection.”

The priest, a member of the religious order of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary told the Herald that he does not fear censure either from his order or the diocese. Comparing the Church to a dysfunctional family, Danyluk said, “You might have the dysfunctional grandfather, a crazy uncle or two. But you love them anyway, devoted to the idea of family and maybe what it could be.”

Bishop Allen H. Vigneron, however, did not react to the priest’s misrepresentation of Catholic teaching from the pulpit saying only that he was committed to assisting his priests in “living out faithfully their celibate chastity.”

A statement from Bishop Vigneron said, “The Church’s clear expectation is that whatever challenges a priest may face in fulfilling his promise of celibacy, he will be faithful to that commitment and make use of all spiritual means to support it.”

Fr. Wiesner said that since the article only appeared in the last 24 hours, the diocese has not yet reached a decision as to a response. The priest, however, made his announcement about his homosexuality in September and, according to the Herald, received a standing ovation from his parishioners who were in complete support of his claims. The diocese said that they had received no complaints or calls from St. Joseph’s parishioners.

Smiling, Fr. Danyluk did not correct the reporter who asked, “How can you, a gay man, work for an institution that loathes and condemns a part of who you are?” He responded that the Church is at odds with Christ. “There is a difference (between) serving the Church and serving Christ.”

Danyluk said, “We’re broken people,” he said. “It’s a broken institution. It’s the broken body of Christ.”

Danyluk quoted a letter from a friend, “For all the Catholic hate, I experience here a community of love. For all the institutional idiocy, I find here a tradition of reason. For all the individual repressions, I breathe here an air of freedom. … For all the apparent absence of God, I sense here the real presence of Christ.”

The Catechism though, far from expressing “hatred,” sympathizes with those who suffer from homosexual temptations. “This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.”

Read the Herald coverage: