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Archbishop has Priest Remove Notice from Parish Website About Blessing Homosexual Couples

LifeSiteNews.com

By John-Henry Westen

ST. PAUL, Minnesota, December 21, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has informed LifeSiteNews.com that after a meeting with Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, Father Leo Tibesar, of Saint Frances Cabrini Parish in Minneapolis has agreed to remove from the parish website "any language from the St. Frances Cabrini parish website that is in opposition to Roman Catholic Church doctrine."

Removed from the parish website was a page titled a "Statement of Reconciliation" which bemoaned Church teaching on sexual purity and married chastity and misrepresented these teachings as a form of "oppression." The statement said the parish is committed to "Publicly bless the relationships of a same sex couple after the couple completes a process of discernment similar to that completed by heterosexual couples before marriage." The item had an asterisk referring to a note on the bottom reading "not being implemented at this time."

The news comes less than a month after LifeSiteNews.com published two separate articles on Father Tibesar and St. Frances Cabrini Parish:

One on the web page:
US Catholic Parish set to "Publicly Bless the Relationship of Same-Sex Couples"
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/nov/07112807.html

and another on a recorded homily of Fr. Tiebsar’s:
ON TAPE: U.S. Priest Blasts Vatican Cardinal and Archbishop over Homosexuality During Homily
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/nov/07112602.html

"Father Tibesar has never blessed a same sex marriage nor does he intend to do so, which would be a violation of his priestly vows and state," said a release from the Archdiocese. The release states further that Fr. Tibesar "made this very clear in a public clarification issued by Saint Frances Cabrini’s parish council and following a meeting with Archbishop Harry J. Flynn."

The statement from the Archdiocese also notes that during his meeting with Archbishop Flynn and Auxiliary Bishop Richard Pates, Father Tibesar also agreed "to refrain from statements in any form that are contrary to Church teaching."  The priest confirmed these commitments to Archbishop Flynn in a letter following their meeting. 

Dennis McGrath, spokesman for the Archdiocese told LifeSiteNews.com that Fr. Tibesar claimed that he did not know the controversial statement was on his website. 

Last year LifeSiteNews.com reported that the website of Dignity USA, the most prominent US lobby organization fighting Catholic teaching on human sexuality "from within" the Church, featured Fr. Tibesar as a member of the organization’s National Leadership Team.

In a homily he delivered on October 27, 2007 which was recorded by a LifeSiteNews.com reader, Fr. Tibesar blasted a Vatican Cardinal and an Archbishop over the Church’s teachings on homosexuality.

Fr. Tibesar is still the pastor of Saint Frances Cabrini Parish.

A copy of the "Statement of Reconciliation" now removed from the parish website has been retained by LifeSiteNews.com and can be viewed here:
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/dec/071221a.html

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