STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (ChurchMilitant.com) - The pastor of St. Blase parish in Sterling Heights, just north of Detroit, is claiming the rainbow flag in the vestibule of his parish isn't about homosexuality. Father Randy Phillips also refused to give an answer to the question whether homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered, as the Church teaches.
On Friday, Church Militant entered the parish building of St. Blase and spoke with Fr. Phillips, who claimed the flag was a gift from the Capuchin Franciscans and that, contrary to being a homosexual banner, it was "a sign of unity for all people." As Church Militant staff asked about his views on homosexual acts, Fr. Phillips walked away and refused further comment.
"Do you believe homosexual acts are morally illicit?" Church Militant asked.
"Goodbye," the priest replied. Later, he said, "I'm not willing to talk to you," and told the reporter to leave.
An examination of Fr. Phillips' social media accounts shows a post from the liberal outlet AlterNet featuring a quote from Stephen Colbert, as well as a link to a video of CNN's Chris Cuomo criticizing pro-lifers for believing the Church's unchanging teaching about the death penalty.
Jay McNally, former editor-in-chief of The Michigan Catholic, the archdiocese of Detroit's official newspaper, mentioned Fr. Phillips' close connection to the Dignity network in his two-part report on the homosexual network in the archdiocese. McNally also noted in a Facebook comment that "Phillips is among the most notorious Dignity priests in Detroit."
The exchange between the priest and Church Militant staff took place only days after the archdiocese of Detroit launched its "6-Day Challenge" about the "Unleash the Gospel" campaign. Catholics throughout the archdiocese were encouraged to sign up for email notifications containing animated videos about the Unleash the Gospel "movement."
The scripts of the videos do not mention the Eucharist, the sacrament of reconciliation, Our Lady or the use of sacramentals, although three of the videos contain a five-second shot of someone in confession. The word "archdiocese" is the only word in the 6-Day Challenge booklet that indicates to readers that it was printed by the Catholic Church.
McNally has also reported that Abp. Allen Vigneron plans to use the "Unleash the Gospel" campaign to raise at least $200 million in the archdiocese. Although Vigneron has issued statements touching on the sex abuse scandal in the Church, he has refused to mention the problem of homosexuality in the clergy, in spite of evidence of rampant gay activity among priests in his own archdiocese.