Featured Image
Fr. James CassidyYouTube

(LifeSiteNews) — A dissident priest at a pro-LGBT Catholic church in Minneapolis told laity this past weekend that he hopes a liberal parishioner attending the Synod on Synodality in October will vote to support women deacons.

Father James Cassidy serves as the parochial vicar at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Community. The church falls under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Bernard Hebda. On Sunday, May 5, Cassidy delivered a heretical sermon during a “gym mass” expressing support for homosexuality and social justice ideology.

In his remarks, Cassidy urged his mostly white, mostly senior citizen audience to have hope that “we can transform this broken and very cautious and fear-filled larger church and its leadership.” He also talked about “Mother Earth” and “food insecurity.”

At one point during his 17-minute sermon, Cassidy, who was wearing a rainbow-colored stole, recalled that Dr. Cynthia Bailey Manns, who runs the church’s adult learning department, will attend the 2024 synod at the Vatican. He noted that she will “vote on many important issues in our Church, including expanding women’s leadership roles in the Church and – pray God – to restore women to the diaconate.” Applause rang out immediately after.

Manns, an African American woman, was one of 10 non-bishop voting delegates chosen by Francis to attend the 2023 synodal gathering. Since 2018, she has served on a Lay Advisory Board that provides recommendations to Archbishop Hebda, who praised her selection.

In February, Manns spoke at St. Joan of Arc about her attendance at the 2024 synod.

“My experience and voice is just as valuable as all the men present,” she said to applause. “I pray for the strength to be fierce.”

Cassidy proceeded to reference remarks made by Pope Francis before stating in his sermon that “in order for our church to fulfill its commitment to truly love one another it needs to commit to having a much larger spiritual imagination, an imagination for all that can be as opposed to a level of fear that will never allow love and justice for all people to flourish.”

The controversial Synod on Synodality has caused much consternation for faithful Catholics since being launched in 2021. Left-wing clergy in the United States, Germany, and elsewhere have sought to utilize the annual gathering to push substantial changes in the Church’s doctrines and teachings. This year’s meeting will take place Wednesday, October 2 and run until Sunday, October 27. Its theme is: “For a Synodal Church: communion, participation and mission.”

Before Cassidy’s Mass on May 5, an openly homosexual man named Joseph St. James delivered a nine-minute talk about his deceased “husband.” St. James invited parishioners to attend a 1:30 p.m. showing of a musical at the parish that he wrote about his “marriage” to his former “husband” titled “Guts and Gratitude: A Widower’s Cabaret.” A digital flyer for the production warns that “the story we tell deals with themes that may not be appropriate for children. Parental discretion is advised.”

Videos of Masses offered at St. Joan of Arc that have been uploaded on its YouTube channel indicate liturgies routinely include guitars, lay ministers of Holy Communion, and other liberal practices. Other left-wing presenters have given talks ahead of Masses as well.

Hebda has been in charge of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis since 2016. In 2021, he expressed support for civil unions for homosexuals, stating that such arrangements “reverence the dignity of those in same-sex relationships.” Also in 2021, the dissident Association of United States Catholic Priests held its annual meeting in his archdiocese.

LifeSiteNews reached out Archbishop Hebda’s office for comment on St. James’ musical but as of the publication of this story has not heard back. This story will be updated if and when that happens.