ANAHEIM (ChurchMilitant.com) - The notorious annual Los Angeles Religious Education Congress (LA REC) began its first full day Friday at the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California — and it didn't take long for the distortion of Catholic teaching to begin.
Father Bryan Massingale, a notorious distorter of Catholic teaching, took the main arena stage after lunch and wound his way through subtle perversions of Catholic teaching to arrive at summary statements belittling Catholic sexual moral teachings, dismissing them as merely "rules."
He said we do not have to obey rules, "but be adults in the Faith and adapt the 'rules' to real-life circumstances in a messy and complex world."
He said Catholics were not duty-bound to obey Church doctrine, but rather they may respectfully consider them in their moral decisions, and then arrive at their own conclusions on how to lead their moral lives — even if they are at variance with the Magisterium.
Completely ignoring Church teaching about such things as grace and the demand to live a heroic Catholic life when the "messy and complex" circumstances arise, he falsely claimed that Catholics are only duty-bound to "do the best they can, even if it goes against Church teaching."
The priest used select passages from the documents of Vatican II and Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia to support his presentation of misleading and deceptive comments.
After the presentation, Church Militant's Michael Voris confronted Massingale for a brief moment on his false statements, including his erroneous claim that Amoris Laetitia is magisterial.
In response to the correction, Massingale immediately reacted with anger, again erroneously insisting that the apostolic exhortation is indeed magisterial.
Following the brief confrontation, a number of younger Catholics, recognizing Voris from Church Militant programs, came up to him privately and thanked him for confronting the off-base cleric.
A priest who has written a great deal on race, Massingale openly supports Black Lives Matter, criticizing "White Christians" and the Catholic Church for failing to sufficiently support the activist movement's goals.
"For too many Catholic Christians, their racism and that of their friends, neighbors, and family members is abetted by the silence of their pastors and teachers," Massingale complained. "The silence of the Church's leadership in the face of continuing injustice is the faith community's deepest act of complicity in American racism."
He also rejects the Church's teaching that God created us man and woman, instead embracing gender ideology and claiming the Church must show a more welcoming stance towards transgenders once they've discovered their "true gender identities."
"I was struck by their heartfelt conviction that accepting their true gender identities led them to a deeper and more authentic relationship with God," he wrote after hearing talks at last year's Religious Education Congress workshop on transgenders.
Massingale has written sympathetically of Catholics who choose to leave the Church because of "their deep disagreement with the official teachings on sexual or gender issues and the alienation this causes them."
Voris will be reporting from the Congress throughout the weekend. Stay tuned for reports as they come in.