by Patrick B. Craine Thu Sep 22, 2011 09:26 EST
Tags: abortion, catholic, homosexuality Fr. Donat Gionet, C.J.M. BATHURST, New Brunswick, September 22, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/elderly-canadian-priest-suspended-for-denouncing-abortion-homosexuality
The Catholic Diocese of Bathurst, New Brunswick has removed an elderly priest from active ministry after he caused a storm of controversy by denouncing homosexuality, cohabitation, and abortion in an August homily. 85-year-old Fr. Donat Gionet had retired to his home town of Caraquet in June to serve palliative care patients, and now laments that in his declining years he is being forced to celebrate Mass “in secret.”
Fr. Wesley Wade, the diocese’s vicar general, told Radio-Canada that Fr. Gionet’s comments were consistent with Church teaching, but lacked the proper “pastoral” sensitivity. “It was mainly the pastoral approach that was lacking,” Fr. Wade said. “A lack of respect, perhaps, for the people identified, for the groups of people as well, which caused a division in the community. It was a difficult decision.” Fr. Wade did not return numerous calls from LifeSiteNews over two days.
A member of the Eudist Fathers, Fr. Gionet had been accused by parishioners of “homophobia” in media reports last week after he criticized a homosexual parade in Moncton in an August 20-21 homily. His loudest critic was the mayor of Saint-Leolin, Joseph Lanteigne, an open homosexual and member of the parish council, who demanded the priest’s suspension. In an open letter Thursday, Fr. Gionet laments that the diocese did not give him an opportunity to explain himself before suspending him. “To you, the diocesan authorities: did you ask me what I said exactly during the homily in question?” the priest asks.
Contact Information: Most Rev. Valéry Vienneau, Bishop of Bathurst 645, avenue Murray C.P. 460 Bathurst, NB E2A 3Z4 Tel: (506) 546-1420 Fax