By Hilary White

  TUCSON, January 31, 2007 ( – One of the Catholic Church’s most infamously disobedient bishops has been refused a venue in Catholic Churches of the diocese of Tucson, Arizona after his decades-long repudiation of the moral and doctrinal teachings of his Church.

  MSNBC reports that Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, an auxiliary bishop in the diocese of Detroit, was invited to speak by the anti-Catholic group Call to Action, an organization that campaigns against Catholic teachings on chastity, holy orders and marriage. Among his many other questionable associations, Gumbleton was the founding president of the very liberal and frequently gay movement associated Pax Christi organization. Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas has barred Gumbleton from speaking at Catholic churches in the diocese citing Call to Action’s opposition to Catholic moral and doctrinal teaching.

  In 2004, at a meeting in Dallas during the crisis over the question of the status of politicians who oppose moral precepts on marriage and abortion but who nonetheless call themselves Catholics, the US bishops declared as a policy that they would no longer lend their pulpits as venues to anyone persistently opposing Catholic teaching.

  Gumbleton, after decades as one of the US Church’s most notorious opponents of Church moral teachings, has recently shifted his focus from direct advocacy of homosexuality to the even more popular cause célèbre for the mainstream press: clerical sexual abuse of minors.

  Media reporters who had previously only noted his past glories as a radical 1960’s style leftist “peace and justice” activist, now begin coverage calling him “an outspoken advocate for sexual abuse victims.”

  He made headlines last year when he claimed to have been abused by a priest as a youth.
  Gumbleton complained that his outspokenness on the clerical abuse issue prompted his “removal” from the parish he has led in Detroit since 1983.

  The diocese, however, pointed out that all bishops are required under Canon Law to offer their retirement letter to the pope upon reaching age 75. Gumbleton reached the mandatory retirement age two years ago. After decades of public attacks on the Church that was paying his salary, he was asked by Pope Benedict XVI to cease all his activities. He remains a bishop in good standing in the Catholic Church.

  Writing on the popular Catholic weblog, Off the Record, pseudonymous commentator “Diogenes” writes that Gumbleton has “been in the martyrdom business for most of the last decade.”

“He’ll speak truth to power even if it puts him at risk of – younger readers should avert their eyes here – getting written up in the New York Times.”

  Read related coverage:
  Rome Forces Homosexual Activist Bishop Gumbleton to Resign