DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - New Orleans' Abp. Gregory Aymond is among the names being floated to replace disgraced Cdl. Donald Wuerl as archbishop of Washington, D.C.
Cardinal Joseph Tobin had been another potential replacement, an idea that seems to be have been discarded after it was reported in October that faithful Catholics were angered the controversial cardinal was up for consideration in one of the most influential sees in the United States.
Aymond has been archbishop of New Orleans, Louisiana since 2009, and before that served as bishop of Austin, Texas from 2001 to 2009. Previously, he had served as coadjutor bishop to both dioceses.
In 1998, as coadjutor bishop of New Orleans, he allegedly received information regarding Brian Matherne, a high school coach who was accused of molesting teenage males. The victims came forward to police, and an investigation revealed Matherne had molested 17 males over a 15-year span. Despite knowing about the accusations years before, Aymond had not fired the coach.
The dissident pro-homosexual organization New Ways Ministry has praised Aymond as "more pastoral" compared to other U.S. bishops in 2016.
It notes that Aymond apologized to the gay community on the 40th anniversary of a fire that killed 32 homosexuals and injured dozens more in New Orleans in 1973. It was noted by homosexual activists that Abp. Philip Hannan, then-archbishop of New Orleans, said nothing about the fire, so Aymond responded, "If we did not extend our care and condolences, I deeply apologize."
He also encouraged Catholic groups to keep ties with the Boy Scouts of America despite allowing open homosexuals to be scoutmasters in 2015.
In 2015 Aymond apologized to a homosexual non-practicing Catholic who was denied Holy Communion by the pastor at his mother's funeral Mass. After the Catholic was denied Communion, The Advocate reported, "He grabbed his husband's hand and stormed out of the church."
While the man served Mass in his youth, he admitted he had been away from the Church for years.
Aymond was, however, outspoken following the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing so-called same-sex marriage. He condemned the decision, responding, "As Catholic Christians we believe, and we believe very firmly, that marriage is between one man and one woman. We believe that because of the Scriptures ... also because of natural law, and also because of our 2,000-year tradition."
In 2014, he led a boycott of businesses helping to build a new Planned Parenthood facility in New Orleans, noting, "Every person and organization involved in the acquisition, preparation and construction of this or any abortion facility … are cooperating with the evil that will take place there."
He also joined the list of 80 bishops in 2009 who protested Notre Dame University giving pro-abortion President Barack Obama an honorary degree.