After Rev. Michael Rodriguez placed a
series of anti-gay newspaper ads, the Catholic Church of El Paso has
distanced itself from the priest.
The four distinct ads ran in four
consecutive editions of the El Paso Times starting on
“Engaging in depraved and unnatural
sexual acts will lead directly to the ruin of both the homosexual's
body and soul,” Rodriguez wrote in Saturday's ad titled True
Pastoral Care for Homosexuals. “Our very anatomy cries out
against the lie that homosexual acts are 'ok.'”
Rodriguez goes on to suggest that only
a “godless society” would accept gay unions.
“Reflect, first there are (a)
individuals committing mortal sins of a homosexual nature; next, evil
extends its tentacles to (b) society as a whole accepting homosexual
and homosexual activity as 'normal'; and finally, iniquity's victory
is all but sealed when (c) laws are enacted which impose the putrid
homosexual ideology on everyone, while those who, rightfully resist
it, are ridiculed, attacked and persecuted,” Rodriguez of San Juan
Bautista Catholic Church said.
In comments to the El Paso Times,
the diocese said the ads represent Rodriguez's views.
“These paid advertisements are the
personal views and opinions of Father Michael Rodriguez,” said the
Rev. Anthony C. Celino, the vicar general and moderator of the curia
for the diocese.
Rodriguez claims he wrote the passages
but an unnamed couple from Plano, Texas paid for the ads.
“I decided to write these articles
primarily because it's my duty as a Catholic priest to teach the
truth when it comes to faith and morals,” Rodriguez
told the paper. “My mission is to labor for the glory of God
and the salvation of souls. That's why I wrote the articles. The
government has no right to undermine or redefine the institution of
marriage. This is beyond the scope of their competence.”
Passage of a city ordinance recognizing
the partners of gay and lesbian city workers for the purpose of
health benefits has become a heated issue in the city. Passage of
the law last year led to a citizen's initiative which overturned the
ordinance. But the city council voted to restore the benefits,
prompting foes to launch a recall effort against Mayor John Cook and
city Reps. Susie Byrd and Steve Ortega.