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A retired Nashville priest is still going strong, peddling heterodoxy and dissent. From decades and decades ago to the present, the cleric continues to publicize his objections to Church discipline and immutable Church doctrine.
In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's William Mahoney has more on the latest and the legacy.
Father Joseph Patrick Breen celebrated 60 years of ordained ministry in December. He retired in 2014, but recently stated he remains "quite active in the ministry."
The Nashville priest continues to publish articles and post videos on YouTube.
Fr. Joseph Breen: "I was over in the church in East Nashville, and they had a beautiful service in honor of gay Pride Week. And I love the opening hymn: [singing] 'Equal marriage, healing, freeing, nurtures body, mind and soul."
Breen is a big proponent of welcoming the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion based on his interpretation of Catholic doctrine regarding conscience.
Fr. Joseph Breen: "The internal forum refers more importantly to your conscience. ... There's nothing they're [the divorced and remarried] doing that keeps them from the Love of God, so, therefore, they should not be separated from the Church."
The unorthodox priest is a darling of liberal media, which, over the years, has been sure to trot out Breen while ignoring orthodox priests.
Fr. Joseph Breen: "I don't know how many more lay Catholics who are gay we can afford to lose anymore."
Wherever Breen appears online, the divided comments follow — from approving atheists and liberals to disapproving conservatives and faithful Catholics.
But the priest was voicing his dissent long before the internet.
Fr. Joseph Breen:
We're not able to wait for this pope or the next pope to wait another hundred years to say, "We made a mistake on birth control or the fact that we do allow women to be at least deacons in the Church and for men to be married and to be ordained priests."
In 1961, Breen was ordained, with his brother Philip present for the ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
Philip also became a priest. He died in 2016.
Fr. Joseph Breen reflects on his priest brother:
Fr. Joseph Breen: "We were both very progressive and perhaps liberal along with our religious training."
From time to time over his priesthood, Church authorities have reprimanded Breen. The Nashville priest has even been forced to apologize.
But despite his promises to stop speaking against the Church's disciplines and official teachings, he continues to do so.
And Nashville's current bishop, Mark Spalding, seems fine with Breen's heterodox musings. Spalding warmly embraced the priest in December, when Breen celebrated 60 years of priesthood.
Fr. Joseph Breen: "What do you think about gay marriage? What do you think about homosexuals? We would tell them a different story. Why? Because we've come to know them. They're good people, beautiful people. And they're the ones who suffer the most."
Much like Democrats in politics, liberal clerics always seem to think more liberalism is the solution to the problems caused almost entirely by liberalism.