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Father Aiden McAleenanYouTube/Screenshot

OAKLAND, California (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic priest in Oakland who previously called for Pope Francis to remove San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and other conservative prelates declared his homosexuality to his parishioners during a recent homily and admitted to an 11-year relationship with a man before being ordained, according to an essay he wrote for Father James Martin’s LGBT activist group Outreach.

“I’m a Catholic priest. When I came out as gay, my parishioners applauded,” Father Aidan McAleenan boasted in a recent essay for Outreach, which “operates under the auspices” of the Jesuits’ America Media organization.

McAleenan is the pastor at St. Columba, a heterodox, pro-LGBT parish focused on “African American spirituality,” according to its website.

McAleenan added that he told parishioners that he “had been in an 11-year relationship” with another man before joining the priesthood. It is not clear exactly when he announced his homosexuality to the parish, though it appears to have been sometime since December 2023, when the Vatican released Fiducia Supplicans.

“After the publication of ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ last December, when the Vatican allowed church ministers to bless same-sex couples, my coming out made this process easier in our parish,” McAleenan wrote.

That Vatican document, which Pope Francis approved, has caused confusion in the Church and generated backlash from clergy and laity, including prominent prelates and theologians who have condemned the document for containing heresy. Quickly after the release of document, which endorses “blessings” for homosexual “couples,” Martin had a New York Times photographer on hand to document him providing a “blessing” to two men in a homosexual relationship.

READ: Cardinal Sarah strongly rejects Fiducia Supplicans, ‘heresy’ of same-sex ‘blessings’

McAleenan did not respond to an email Tuesday morning that asked when he made the announcement, if he disagrees with the Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality and mortal sin, and if anyone from the bishop’s office had contacted him since.

McAleenan has previously called for the Catholic Church to change its immutable teaching on human sexuality.

“In the Bay Area, there’s been an evolution, a strong evolution of acceptance, of love, of inclusion, and I think out of that experience, it’s become a norm, and therefore I think there’s an invitation, for us as a church to look at the sexual teaching of the church and update it in the light of God living in [H]is people,” the priest told KTVU FOX 2 in 2023.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

Basing itself on sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

It adds that homosexual tendencies are “objectively disordered.”

READ: California doctor who worked as ‘LGBTQ+’ specialist charged with sexual assault of male patients

The Church further teaches that it “cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.'”

McAleenan’s positive discussion of his past relationship is scandalous, by sending the wrong message that it is okay for two men or two women to be in a relationship together.

The priest wrote that he has told the last four bishops he served under about his homosexuality. He was ordained in Northern Ireland.

Even though the Catholic Church condemns homosexual activity as a grave evil and teaches that marriage and sexuality are reserved for one man and one woman, McAleenan wrote that his parish celebrated his “coming out.”

He wrote:

After I made the announcement, I looked into the congregation, and there were many LGBTQ people [sic] in tears. At the end of the homily, the congregation rose in rapturous applause.

What changed after my homily? Honestly, nothing changed in the life of the parish.

But with time, I saw how my announcement had actually increased the bond between the parish and myself. And it allowed us all to be more welcoming.

Diocese of Oakland communications director Helen Osman did not respond to a Tuesday morning email asking if Bishop Michael Barber would be removing the priest or asking him to retract his statements endorsing mortal sin. LifeSiteNews also asked if there was any additional context to add to the situation.

READ: Cdl. Müller: ‘Nobody can change’ Catholic doctrine that homosexuality is ‘grave sin’

The president of the Lepanto Institute told LifeSiteNews that McAlaneen should never have been ordained, given his past. He said the priest should be removed from ministry.

“Since he had been in an eleven-year homosexual relationship prior to entering the seminary, there is no way Fr. McAleenan should have been ordained to begin with,” Michael Hichborn wrote in an email. “And since he admitted it after the fact to his bishop, he should have been removed from public ministry and committed to a life of penance away from all others.”

“By ‘coming out’ to his congregation, Fr. McAleenan has committed a grave scandal not only by normalizing homosexual tendencies, but especially by normalizing them within the context of the priesthood,” Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “Because of this, he should be removed from public ministry.”

“The Church exists for the salvation of souls, not to affirm people in their sinful proclivities,” he wrote further.

“Imagine the dreadfully scandalous headlines if this priest had come out to his congregation that he was a necrophile, a bestophile, a cannibal, or a satanist! Would the congregation have applauded then? Would a bishop hesitate to remove him under such conditions? On a scale of moral depravity, homosexuality is no different than these.”

READ: ‘Married’ homosexual arrested for child pornography allegedly planned to abuse surrogate baby

Parish has a history of promoting homosexuality

Even prior to his announcement, St. Columba Catholic Church leaned heavily into promoting homosexuality, hosting an annual “Pride barbeque,” as reported by KTVU.

“A parish made up mostly of African Americans from the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers, they want everyone – from fellow Catholics to queer folk [sic] – to know they actively and outwardly support the LGBTQ community [sic],” KTVU reported in 2023.

“St. Columba Church supports and celebrates Gay Pride Month,” the parish website says.

It also states, “LGBQT+ PRIDE is included and celebrated during our Sunday Masses during Pride month. Below are three 2022 Sunday Mass homilies.” Two of the three homilies are no longer available on YouTube.

On the same “LGBTQ+” tab, the parish quotes John 15:12–13 above a rainbow heart and next to another pro-LGBT image, blasphemously implying Jesus’ comments on “love” must apply to disordered sexual relationships.

READ: Chicago priest ‘blesses’ lesbians as ‘holy spouses’ in blasphemous ceremony, cites Pope Francis

The priest has previously garnered media attention for calling his own prelate, Bishop Barber, a “racist” and “liar” in summer 2020, after the death of George Floyd, a black man, in the custody of Minneapolis police in May of that year.

“The bishops of the United States have their knee on the neck of the people of God, the church. We need as a church to be able to breathe,” McAleenan said in June 2020, as reported by the heterodox National Catholic Reporter and other media outlets.

McAleenan said Barber is a “racist,” accusing him of saying during a meeting that “black people should be happy with the way the church and this country has treated them.”

“Bishop Barber did not say those words,” a spokesman told ABC 7 in 2020, however.

McAleenan also called for Pope Francis to remove two other conservative prelates, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco and Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Clara, for not being liberal enough.

“We have three bishops in the Bay Area who are not suited to the people of God on the left coast of America,” he said in 2020, as reported by the National Catholic Reporter. “Left coast” refers to the leftist politics of California.

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