NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia, May 18, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Significant backlash from Catholic parents and priests has pushed Bishop Vincent Long van Nguyen of Parramatta to adjust his stance on a bill that would ban gender ideology being taught in New South Wales (NSW) schools from opposed to neutral.
The original submission authored by Catholic education boss Greg Whitby controversially split with Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher and Catholic Schools NSW and opposed the bill because he saw it as “counter to promoting and respecting the human dignity of all” and “an unacceptable incursion into the professional judgement of Catholic schools and school systems.”
In reality, the submission denied the Church’s recognition of parents as the primary educators of their children while implicitly endorsing the concept of gender fluidity.
But after furious critique from Catholic commentators, including a reformed LGBT lobbyist, a public protest outside his own cathedral, and an official petition to the Vatican seeking the removal of both Long and Whitby, the bishop entered full damage control mode.
He began by releasing a Pastoral Letter in which he sought to regain confidence from his flock by “emphatically” rejecting “the notion of gender ideology.”
“We have nothing to fear from a respectful and intelligent dialogue with our sons and daughters, with our deeply committed teaching staff, and in a caring Catholic environment. Life can be complex; but the Church is not a cult that refuses to engage and challenge our contemporary culture. I believe when faced with a choice, we need to acknowledge and stand with those who are ostracised rather than consigning them to the margins of society,” he wrote.
The following week he overruled Whitby’s submission with a new document that merely seeks amendments to the bill.
The new submission clearly “affirms the prohibition of teaching gender ideology in an educational setting.”
Bishop Long cited the Catholic position on gender theory set out by the Vatican in its 2019 paper Male and Female He Created Them, which he adopts an approach to gender theory that is “based on the path of dialogue.” The document’s full title is Male and Female He Created Them: Towards a Path of Dialogue on the Question of Gender Theory in Education.
While some academics thought the paper did not go far enough, it ultimately reaffirmed the Church’s position that “sees sexuality as a fundamental component of one’s personhood.”
Bishop Long’s rejigged submission also made an about-face on the question of parental primacy, stating that he “strongly affirms the Catholic teaching that parents are the primary educators of their children in matters of faith and education.”
In the weeks since the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declared that the Catholic Church cannot bless homosexual relationships, calling such blessings "illicit," hundreds of German priests have defied the ban on "homosexual blessings."
Indeed, more than 500 German priests have vowed to violate the Vatican's directive which states that it is "not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex."
The fundamental reason for this, of course, is that God, "does not and cannot bless sin."
Very unfortunately, however, many illicit "blessings" have already occurred, as more than 100 locations in Germany (including 50 Catholic parishes) participated in a "Love wins, blessing service for lovers" organized by an openly homosexual German priest.
BUT, there is hope!
Many faithful German Catholics are prayerfully protesting at these renegade parishes, reciting the Holy Rosary and saying other prayers as loving acts of reparation for the illicit "blessings."
Please SIGN and PLEDGE TO PRAY in solidarity with these faithful German Catholics, to STOP these sacrileges. You may say any prayer of your choice!
Of course, these so-called illicit "blessings" are only symptomatic of the head-long plunge of the German Catholic Church into what has been called "massive apostasy," and undeclared "schism."
Observers have suggested that this pernicious deviation from the Church's teaching on marriage and on sexual morality by the German Catholic clergy was set in motion by the so-called German Synodal Path - a Church convention run by the German bishops which dissents from Catholic teaching on celibacy, clerical authority, the ban on female ordination, contraception, cohabitation, homosexuality, and gender theory.
And, many attempts have been made in the last year to appeal to Church authorities, both within and outside Germany, to stop the Synodal Path's manoeuvring against the constant teaching of the Magisterium in faith and morals.
Indeed, in the last ten days, a group of faithful Catholic clergy - including a Cardinal, bishops and priests - have approached the Pope asking him to intervene to stop the Catholic Church in Germany from crossing into declared schism.
Calling on the Pontiff to take action, the faithful group of clergy appeal thus:
"Concerned about this sad situation [the drift of the German Church into schism], we Pastors of the Catholic Church and faithful laity committed to the defense of the Truth of the Faith, ask the Holy Father to take the necessary measures to put an end to these drifts of the German Synodal Path and, if necessary, to apply the appropriate canonical sanctions against the promoters of this tremendous deviation from both doctrine and communion with the Keys of Peter."
Please PLEDGE TO PRAY for the Catholic Church in Germany, that the illicit "homosexual blessings" would cease, and that the Church, there, would swiftly reunite itself to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and Her perennial and immutable teachings on faith and morals.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Vatican rejects blessings for homosexual couples' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-vatican-rejects-blessings-for-homosexual-couples
'Priest: Blessing homosexual couples in Germany is a 'sacrilegious … diabolical act'' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/priest-blessing-homosexual-couples-in-germany-is-a-sacrilegiousdiabolical-act
'Over 500 German priests vow to defy Church’s ban on same-sex couples’ blessings' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/over-500-german-priests-vow-to-defy-churchs-ban-on-same-sex-couples
'German bishop involved in Amazon Synod will not suspend priests who bless homosexual couples' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/german-bishop-involved-in-amazon-synod-will-not-suspend-priests-who-bless-homosexual-couples
'Cardinal, bishops, priests ask Pope to stop schism of Catholic Church in Germany' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-bishops-priests-ask-pope-to-stop-schism-of-catholic-church-in-germany
'Bishop Schneider: How Catholics in Germany can remain faithful in face of schism' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/bishop-schneider-how-catholics-in-germany-can-remain-faithful-in-face-of-schism
**Photo Credit: Sachin Jose / Twitter
But Long is not completely in the clear.
Several sources who spoke to LifeSite on the condition of anonymity said that Long said to their faces that he believes in gender fluidity.
On top of this, the Catholic families who protested at his own St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta were not protesting solely based on Whitby’s submission, which was assumed to have had the bishop’s approval.
The protest, as well as the formal appeal to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) requesting Long’s removal, is the culmination of years of protestation and petitioning against the bishop, Whitby, and Vicar for Education Father Chris de Souza, for allegedly promoting homosexuality in Catholic schools.
Other than accusing Bishop Long of alleged canonical violations, the formal appeal contains a series of complaints outlined in a report by Edward Pentin at National Catholic Register.
According to Pentin, the accusations fill 24 pages with 43 attachments.
They include mention of Long’s failure to oppose Australia’s same-sex “marriage” vote in 2017, running a symposium on “LGBT inclusivity” in 2018, and drafting a Catholic school curriculum that promotes gender ideology in 2020.
Two orthodox priests, Father Bob Bossini and Father Warren Edwards, have also left the diocese after standing up to that curriculum and allegedly being pushed out of their prominent positions of Dean of the Cathedral and Vocations Director by Bishop Long.
The CDF has yet to acknowledge receipt of the appeal.