(LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic priest has rebuked Pope Francis for his calls to decriminalize sodomy during his recent visit to African countries South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The priest called the Pope to repent of his promotion of homosexuality, addressing the Pontiff in a video and asking, “Do you belong to Christ, or do you belong to Sodom?”
Fr. Jason Charron posted to YouTube a video in which he took the Pope to task for making homosexuality more central to his ministry than the defense of persecuted Christians and the preaching of the Gospel, including the call to repent of sin.
“Pope Francis again has called for the decriminalizing of homosexual acts among other things on his return flight from the African visit home to the Vatican,” Charron said. “A lot of the Holy father’s public comments, you know, revolve around this issue of homosexuality as though that were the centerpiece of his ministry. You don’t hear a whole lot of comments from him calling for the defense of the persecuted Christians in … places like China, or the situation of the Christians in places like … Saudi Arabia, or the situation faced by Christian families in the formerly Catholic countries of Europe and North America, places where his faithful flock face persecution for believing in the official teaching of the Church that he leads.”
“So, on the one hand, his flock are persecuted for believing the faith that he is embodying as the visible head of the Church, but, on the other hand, he uses that position as Bishop of Rome and successor of Saint Peter to advocate for things that don’t pertain to his calling as bishop and as Pope.”
However, the priest insisted, “Jesus Christ did not give us the papacy in order to decriminalize sodomy laws.”
The priest then underscored the opportunity that the Pope missed to use his office for the good of souls, saying, “It’s a shame, because he has a great platform, and that great platform can be used for two things: to search out and find the saints and embolden them, and to search out and find the sinners and call them to repentance.”
Refuting the notion that the call to repentance is “elitist,” Fr. Charron highlighted the fact that we are all sinners called to leave behind our sins to follow Christ. “The beauty of this is that we’re all in both of those categories,” the priest said. “We all have sinned and we all have at one point or another encountered someone in our life who loved us so much that they were bold enough to dare to challenge us to raise our game, to follow in the footsteps [of] He who is the great lover of mankind, Jesus Christ.”
Quoting St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter six, verse nine, the priest continued, “‘Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived.’”
“‘Do not be deceived,’ St. Paul says, ‘neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor the drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God,’” he added.
Lamenting the Pope’s apparent abandonment of the mission to strengthen the saints and convert sinners, the priest declared, “This is the pity of Pope Francis, this is the great shame, that that he has abandoned his first love, and instead of preaching the Gospel, emboldening the saints and calling sinners to repentance, he’s using his platform to embolden sinners and to shame the saints into silence and conformity with the world.”
Citing Christ’s words in the Book of Revelation, “You have left your first love … Repent and do the first works, or else I will come to thee quickly and I will remove your candlestick, unless you repent,” the priest addressed the Pope directly, “For the sake of your own dignity, the dignity of your office … repent from this insanity, Pope Francis, and preach the Gospel, calling all people to repentance.”
Speaking to the specific issue of anti-sodomy laws, Charron continued, “What we have here is the Holy Father, Pope Francis, going into these nations and speaking not about the Gospel so much as about urging these people to change their code of civil law, to reflect the zeitgeist (the spirit of the age).”
Rebuking the Pope for such interference in favor of sodomy, the priest asked, “Who do you belong to, Francis? Do you belong to Christ, or do you belong to Sodom?”
“We’re all called to repentance,” he concluded. “And there is no one, no one who receives an exception to the call to repentance … Repent, and return to your first love.”
The priest assured his viewers that he hopes “to address the continuing compromises against the ancient faith by men like Pope Francis, Cdl. McElroy, Fr. J. Martin.”
Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, shared Fr. Charron’s video on Twitter. Praising the courage of Fr. Jason Charron, Strickland wrote, “This priest speaks truth that needs to be shared. Pray for Pope Francis, pray for the Church, pray for our nation and pray for the world. Pray, pray, pray and live the truth.”
This priest speaks truth that needs to be shared. Pray for Pope Francis, pray for the Church, pray for our nation and pray for the world. Pray, pray, pray and live the truth. https://t.co/lBkN05gD4H via @YouTube
— Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) February 10, 2023
Fr. Charron’s comments come after another Catholic priest, Fr. Gerald Murray, openly rebuked Pope Francis for advocating for the normalizing of homosexuality.
In an interview with EWTN, Fr. Murray said, “It’s clearly taught in the Bible and the natural law: sodomy is a mortal sin.” Pointing to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the priest explained that the purpose of anti-sodomy laws is to deter man from sin and protect public morals.
“Now, laws against sodomy are designed to warn people not to commit that sin and to protect society where if that sin were tolerated it might become more widespread,” Murray said. “The story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible is a warning to us.”
The Pope call to decriminalize sodomy met with strong resistance in Africa, with high-ranking South Sudanese cabinet member Michael Makuei Lueth declaring before the papal visit, “If he [Pope Francis] is coming here and he tells us that marriage of the same-sex, homosexuality is legal, we will say no.”