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The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP) has replaced a keynote speaker at its 12th annual assembly (taking place June 12–15 at the University of San Diego) with a university theology professor who claims to be "married" to another man. Cardinal Luis Tagle had to cancel his participation in the assembly because he had been appointed by Pope Francis as his special envoy to the National Eucharistic Congress of the Democratic Republic of the Congo at a time that made his presence impossible.
Replacing Cdl. Tagle is Dr. Brian Flanagan, associate professor of theology at Marymount University and president of the College Theology Society.
Dr. Flanagan openly admits that he is "married" to another man, boasts of his affectionate homosexual activities and publicly broadcasts his homosexual activism, his socialist leanings and even blasphemous images of both Jesus and Mary.
The inclusion of Dr. Flanagan as a keynote speaker for the AUSCP comes on the heels of the AUSCP's recent document, endorsed by the AUSCP Leadership Team, "Being Gay, Ordained, Faithful to the Church and Appreciated by the Church — Are all these possible in today's Church?" As reported by the Lepanto Institute two weeks ago, this document calls for the Catholic Church to ordain homosexual priests and pursue "a new Catholic ethic of human sexuality and sexual behavior."
Dr. Flanagan has made no secret of his "marriage" to Nathan Paxton, policy advisor and legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. Angus King. On June 25, 2020, he posted "marriage" photos of himself and Paxton, writing, "Happy Anniversary to me and Nathan Paxton! Nine years of married adventures, involving books, dachshunds, national parks, and gin."
Paxton corroborated this "marriage" in his profile on Harvard University's website:
Dr. Flanagan's social media feed features many pictures of him and his homosexual partner living together as a domestic couple.
On June 6, 2021, Flanagan wrote a guest commentary titled "The Bodies of Christ (Not a Typo)" for New Ways Ministry, reflecting on his sexual activities "as a gay man." He wrote:
For me, one of the small mercies of being a gay man has been freedom from some stereotypically masculine behaviors that privilege isolation and frown on physical affection between friends. For me, being a gay man hasn't been only about sex, but about daily, embodied signs of peace and love — hugs, kisses, and embraces that go beyond norms that try to limit our physical affection. That experience isn't limited to gay men, but for many of us the freedom to openly embrace the people we love, regardless of their gender or gender expression, was a cardinal freedom of our coming out process.
It's not surprising to find Dr. Flanagan writing articles for New Ways Ministry, considering the fact that he currently serves as a member of its board of directors.
As a regular participant and collaborator with the AUSCP, New Ways Ministry is a homosexual advocacy group that has been officially condemned by both the Vatican and the USCCB and is permanently prohibited from any pastoral work involving homosexual persons. According to the 2010 USCCB condemnation penned by Cdl. Francis George:
No one should be misled by the claim that New Ways Ministry provides an authentic interpretation of Catholic teaching and an authentic Catholic pastoral practice. Their claim to be Catholic only confuses the faithful regarding the authentic teaching and ministry of the Church with respect to persons with a homosexual inclination. Accordingly, I wish to make it clear that, like other groups that claim to be Catholic but deny central aspects of Church teaching, New Ways Ministry has no approval or recognition from the Catholic Church, and that they cannot speak on behalf of the Catholic faithful in the United States."
Read the rest at Lepanto Institute.