EL PASO, TX, October 17, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Fr. Michael Rodriguez, the Texas priest who was transferred out of his El Paso parish after publishing opinion pieces condemning the homosexual lifestyle, discussed the controversy surrounding his situation in an interview with The Remnant last week.
Rodriguez’s essays, published as paid ads in the El Paso Times, explained the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and urged Catholics to support a local effort to oust El Paso politicians who he said had supported “public recognition and legitimization of homosexual unions.”
The diocese of El Paso announced shortly after the ads were published that the priest would be transferred from his current assignment at San Juan Bautista parish, citing IRS regulations that forbid intervention in the political process by religious organizations.
The priest was reassigned to Santa Teresa Catholic Church in Presidio, Texas, which he said in last week’s interview is located “out in the rural, isolated missions of the El Paso Diocese.”
“The local, and even national, ‘controversy’ that has engulfed me is due to the fact that I have been vocal in promoting what the Roman Catholic Church teaches in regard to the whole issue of homosexuality,” Rodriquez told the news service.
He added: “I’ve made it clear to the Catholics of El Paso (and beyond) that every single Catholic has a moral obligation before God Himself to oppose any government attempt to legalize homosexual unions. A Catholic who fails to oppose this homosexual agenda, is committing a grave sin by omission.”
The priest also said that any Catholic who dissents from the Church’s teaching on homosexual acts “is placing himself/herself outside of communion with the Church.”
In his comments to The Remnant, Rodriguez also discussed at length his love for the Church’s traditional Latin Mass, which he had offered at San Juan Bautista and continues to offer at Santa Teresa.
The priest’s younger brother, David Rodriguez, released a statement last Monday to KFOX14, which said that “the traditional Catholic parish life” established at San Juan Bautista by Fr. Rodriguez was “the greatest spiritual treasure of our city.”
The statement also said that Rodriquez was the only priest in El Paso publicly speaking out against homosexuality and the only priest offering support to homeschooling families.
David Rodriguez told the news station that a petition with over 150 signatures had been submitted to the Bishop asking for the priest’s return. He said that he hopes to have another 350 signatures this week.