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Pro-gay archbishop rips ‘conservative’ bishops for ‘attacks’ on pope

Doug Mainwaring Doug Mainwaring Follow Doug

SANTA FE, New Mexico, September 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A bishop known for his radical pro-LGBT views has issued a letter to the priests of his diocese ripping “conservative” bishops for statements critical of Pope Francis.

Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester accuses “conservatives” within the Church of using recent revelations of homosexual abuse and subsequent cover ups in order to “further an agenda.”

“Sadly, since the recent revelations of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury and the abuse committed by Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, there have been many who, it seems to me, have been using these tragedies to further an agenda,” said the Santa Fe Bishop.

In particular, Wester says he is disturbed by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s testimony which revealed wrongdoing in dealing with sexual abuse at the highest levels of Catholic leadership, including many current prelates and the Pope himself. He goes on to say that Viganò, too, is attempting to “promote a certain agenda.”

Wester minimizes the explosive allegations found in Viganò’s testimony as “ecclesial politics” which serves as a distraction. He suggests that focusing the Church’s attention on anything other than assisting victims is polarizing and therefore harmful.  

“I am deeply saddened by those who attack Pope Francis and even go so far as to call for his resignation,” said Wester in his letter. “Incredibly, some of these attacks are from my brother bishops.”

Earlier this summer, the Archdiocese hosted a conference in Albuquerque run by a dissident priest organization with the full support of Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester.

The conference, put on by the Association of United States Catholic Priests (AUSCP), featured Archbishop Wester as its Episcopal Moderator.  

AUSCP has advocated for homosexuals to be admitted to the priesthood contrary to Church teaching, championed the ordination of married men, and pressed for the “ordination” of women to the diaconate.   

The AUSCP is part of  an “international coalition of heretical ‘church reform’ organizations called the International Church Reform Network,” according to Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute. Hichborn said at the time that Wester was “playing host for heretics.”

“AUSCP has gone to great lengths to hide their true motives by projecting the impression that they are ‘merely’ progressive while remaining loyal,” said Hichborn. “However, new information reveals that the AUSCP has directly undermined the authority and dictates of bishops. But worse than this, the AUSCP is actively involved in a well-funded and long-standing international effort to radically change the face of the entire Catholic Church.”

“Despite this, we are still astounded to see the brazen support the AUSCP is giving to members of this coalition,” he continued. “Organizations such as FutureChurch, DignityUSA and New Ways Ministry are currently exhibiting and freely fostering their false ideologies at the AUSCP exhibition hall.”

New Ways Ministry is a group that dissents from Church teaching on sexual morality and has been condemned by the Vatican and the U.S. bishops.  

“Even more disturbing is Archbishop Wester’s explicit support of this conference in his own Archdiocese,” added Hichborn. “Everything presented here is happening under his watch and with his approval.”  

In advance of the June conference, LifeSiteNews reached out to the office of Archbishop Wester, asking for clarification about his archdiocese's planned hosting of the Association of U. S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP) annual assembly, a group considered by many to be a gathering of Church dissidents.

In particular, LifeSiteNews asked if Archbishop Wester sanctions the views of speaker Fr. Richard Rohr, who over the course of his priesthood has sought to normalize same-sex “marriage”; has denied natural law, insisting that binary genders (male and female) are an imposition of dualistic minds rather than the nature of reality; and has publicly minimized the Church’s teaching on contraception and abortion.

Archbishop Wester’s office offered no response.

Write to Doug Mainwaring at [email protected].  

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