Pope Appoints Fr. Timothy Radcliffe Consultor for Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

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by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  May 16, 2015   

Fr. Radcliffe is a well-known proponent of progressive ideology and the homosexualist agenda

ROME, May 16, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) – Vatican Radio announced today that Dominican Fr. Timothy Radcliffe is being appointed as consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

A former Master General of the international Dominican Order of Preachers, Fr. Radcliffe is a well-known proponent of progressive ideology and has expressed views sympathetic to the homosexualist agenda. He often celebrated Mass for the U.K. dissident group Soho Masses Pastoral Council (now renamed the LGBT Catholics Westminster Pastoral Council), whose gay Masses in London went on for six years before being shut down by Cardinal Vincent Nichols. The Pastoral Council has hosted gay activist speakers, including two openly homosexual priests (one of them “married” to his male partner) at a conference in 2013.

Controversy arose when Radcliffe was chosen to be keynote speaker at last year's Divine Mercy Conference, held in Dublin. A number of groups called to rescind the invitation, and Eternal Word Television Network in Ireland found it sufficiently scandalous to refuse to cover the event. Instead, EWTN Radio devoted an episode featuring commentary from a priest from the Courage apostolate, a faithful Catholic organization that ministers to those struggling with same-sex attraction, to discuss Radcliffe's heterodox leanings.

Radcliffe has spoken of same-sex relations in positive terms. In the 2013 Pilling Report titled “Working Group on Human Sexuality,” published by the Church of England, he offered the following on gay sexuality:

We cannot begin with the question of whether it is permitted or forbidden! We must ask what it means, and how far it is Eucharistic. Certainly it can be generous, vulnerable, tender, mutual and non-violent. So in many ways, I would think that it can be expressive of Christ’s self-gift.

And in 2012, in the liberal U.K. paper The Tablet, he praised same-sex civil unions:

This is not to denigrate committed love of people of the same sex. This too should be cherished and supported, which is why church leaders are slowly coming to support same-sex civil unions. The God of love can be present in every true love. 

In 2006, Radcliffe delivered a keynote speech in Los Angeles titled “The Church as Sign of Hope and Freedom,” and challenged Catholics to “stand with” homosexuals.

We must accompany them as they discern what this means, letting our images be stretched open. This means watching “Brokeback Mountain,” reading gay novels, living with our gay friends and listening with them as they listen to the Lord. ... We are not a sign of God's freedom until we can dare to belong to each other across every theological boundary.

And in a 2005 Tablet article, Radcliffe strongly advocated for the possibility of homosexual priests, in contradiction to Church practice forbidding homosexuals entry to the priesthood:

I have no doubt that God does call homosexuals to the priesthood, and they are among the most dedicated and impressive priests I have met. ... And we may presume that God will continue to call both homosexuals and heterosexuals to the priesthood because the Church needs the gifts of both.

Radcliffe has also spoken in favor of female ordination as well as relaxing restrictions on Holy Communion to the divorced and civilly remarried. In an article for the Jesuit America Magazine, he wrote of a “new way of being church“:

I would conclude with two profound hopes. That a way will be found to welcome divorced and remarried people back to communion. And, most important, that women will be given real authority and voice in the church. [The Pope] believes that the ordination of women to the ministerial priesthood is not possible, but decision-making in the church has become ever more closely linked to ordination in recent years. Can that bond be loosened? Let us hope that women may be ordained to the diaconate and so have a place in preaching at the Eucharist. 

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is the branch of the Roman Curia devoted to social justice and human rights. It works with various international organizations and ecumenical religious groups in carrying out its mission

It employs about 40 Members and Consultors, appointed by the Pope, who serve for a term of five years. They're chosen for their expertise, and regularly offer input with regard to activities planned by the Council. 

Radcliffe currently serves as Director of the Las Casas Institute of Blackfriars in Oxford, England.

 

Watch Michael Voris's Special Report on Fr. Radcliffe here.

 

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Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.

Christine Niles is executive producer and editor-in-chief at ChurchMilitant.com.

Follow Christine on Twitter: @ChristineNiles1