By Hilary White
SAN FRANCISCO, December 22, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Archbishop George Hugh Niederauer, soon to be installed as the new Archbishop of San Francisco, has told a local news outlet that he is opposed to the Vatican’s prohibition of homosexuals in seminaries.
“Some who are seriously mistaken have named sexual orientation as the cause of the recent scandal regarding the sexual abuse of minors by priests,” Niederauer said Monday in an interview with the Intermountain Catholic News.
Niederauer referred to the “sexual orientation” of homosexual men, what the Vatican document on ordaining homosexual men called “deep seated homosexual tendencies” as merely “a structure of human personality,” that does not preclude such men from being ordained.
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, says he is worried that Niederauer is “gay friendly.” Speaking to MichNews.com’s Matt Abbott, Euteneuer said, “If the pro-gay attitudes, policies and statements of the new Archbishop of San Francisco have been reported accurately—and we have no reason to believe they have not—then his opinions run counter to the spirit and intent of the Vatican instruction on homosexuals in the seminary.”
The evidence that Niederauer is a supporter of the “gay” cause in the Church and in civil society is overwhelming. Glowing recommendations from the homosexual activist movement are flooding the internet news sources.
Francis DeBernardo, who leads pro-gay New Ways Ministry, a movement that has been prohibited by the Vatican as opposed to Catholic teaching, said that he expects great things from Niederauer’s appointment to San Francisco.
“With his pastoral experience in an overwhelmingly gay Catholic parish in West Hollywood, and his political experience dealing with extremism from anti-gay forces in Utah, I think that Bishop Niederauer is one of the best candidates to lead the heavily gay-populated Catholic community of San Francisco,” DeBernardo said.
From 1992 to 1994, Niederauer resided in West Hollywood’s St. Victor’s parish which is identified in the homosexual press as “sizably gay.”“Gay men never felt ill at ease dealing with him,” said Monsignor George Parnassus, a St. Victor pastor emeritus. Parnassus added, “We would be invited to their homes in West Hollywood.”
Niederauer, ordained to the priesthood in 1962, is a prominent member of what some Catholic writers have dubbed the “Camarillo Mafia,” a group of liberal and dissident prelates who graduated from and/or taught at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California, and who were ordained in Los Angeles in the 1950’s and ‘60’s.
The LA Times wrote that the “trail of abuse” in the Los Angeles Archdiocese and its surrounding area dioceses “leads inevitably” to St. John’s. According to the Times, 10% of St. John’s ordinands for Los Angeles from 1950 to ‘65 have been accused of molesting minors. In two classes, 1966 and 1972, a third of the graduates were later accused of molestation.
The group of bishops includes Roger Cardinal Mahony the Archbishop of Los Angeles who has been praised by the homosexual activist group, the Rainbow Sash Movement, for his support for their cause; Patrick Ziemann, the disgraced former bishop of Santa Rosa who was dismissed from his diocese after sex abuse allegations from one of his own priests and Tod Brown, bishop of LA’s neighbouring diocese of Orange whose letters and instructions to priests on homosexual issues have been called “confusing” and whose diocese has been used to house a number of notorious homosexual abusers.
Perhaps the most prominent member of the group is Archbishop William Levada, formerly of the now-bankrupt Portland diocese and lately of San Francisco whom Niederauer will be succeeding. Levada’s appointment by Pope Benedict XVI as head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – making Levada among the three most powerful prelates in the Church – came as a shock to many Catholics aware of the problems stemming from Los Angeles.
Jim Bretzke, chairman of the theology department at the University of San Francisco, told the San Francisco Chronicle that Niederauer’s appointment, “rather than someone more doctrinaire or conservative,” is evidence of Levada’s power in Rome.
When Niederauer was made a bishop in Los Angeles in 1995, the prelates acting as principal and co-consecrators were Roger Cardinal Mahony, Archbishop William Levada and Bishop Tod Brown. Niederauer was a graduate and former English professor, spiritual director and rector of St. John’s from1972 to 1992.
Niederauer is a long-time political activist in the “gay” cause. In 1986, Niederauer wrote a letter to an Orange County judge asking that a priest convicted of 26 counts of felony child sexual abuse be spared prison time. He wrote that the boys involved might have mistaken “horseplay” for molestation. Niederauer later admitted that the letter had been a “mistake.”
In 1996, as bishop of Salt Lake City, he helped form a coalition of religious leaders opposing the ban on high-school “gay-straight alliances” proposed by the Utah legislature.
In 2002, Niederauer told the National Catholic Register, “What I don’t want is some kind of link between being homosexual and being a molester of minors.”
In 2004, he joined other clergy leaders in publicly opposing a Utah ballot initiative that constitutionally banned same-sex marriage. Niederauer said he was troubled that the amendment banned any union beside marriage, a position in direct opposition to Catholic teaching.
Sam Sinnett, national president of Dignity USA, the dissident homosexual activist organization that opposes Church doctrine on chastity and marriage, said, “He is seemingly coming from a position of clearer knowledge of human sexuality than we’re hearing from the Vatican.”
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Vatican ‘Gay’ Priest Ban Forcing Dissidents Out of the Closet
Read LA Times exposé of St. John’s Seminary:
Patrick Ziemann’s Cover-up By George Neumayr
From the Family Research Couoncil
Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse