Gay Priest in LA Archdiocese Features Gay Couples in Parish Bulletin

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by Anita Carey  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  November 20, 2017   

Fr. Rich Danyluk, who "came out" in 2005, is refusing to apologize

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SAN DIMAS, Calif. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A self-professed gay priest in the Los Angeles archdiocese is refusing to issue an apology for publishing pictures of same-sex parents in the parish bulletin.

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Holy Name of Mary May 2017 Bulletin

In the Mother's Day bulletin for Holy Name of Mary (HNM) parish, Fr. Rich Danyluk, the pastor, is pushing images of same-sex couples as mothers as well as showing two men with a child. Father Danyluk also composed "A Blessing of Body, Mind and Spirit for Mothers" that repeatedly referenced and called upon the "Divine Mother." It ends with:

O mothers, we call today on the Divine Mother to draw you to her spacious heart, to replenish what needs revitalization in you. May you know her comfort, peace, and tender embrace. May you hear the Divine Mother's song of love humming in you.

After a number of parishioners expressed outrage over the bulletin, it was pulled from the parish website. California Catholic Daily reported a parishioner saying, "Indeed, at least some Catholics at HNM were very offended by the bulletin, and the pastor, Fr. Rich Danyluk, was even made aware of this, though to my knowledge he never issued an apology."

Church Militant reached out to Holy Name of Mary parish and learned that Fr. Danyluk is traveling and unavailable for comment.

Father Danyluk declared he was a homosexual in 2005, when he "came out" to his former parish at St. Joseph Basilica in Alameda. After his declaration, he continued to serve at St. Joseph until 2007. He is currently in active ministry at Holy Name of Mary parish and school. He reported that there was no backlash from the bishop of Oakland at the time, Abp. Allen H. Vigneron, current archbishop of Detroit, whom the priest claimed supports gay clergy.

Father Danyluk was featured in a SF Gate article when he was transferred from St. Joseph Basilica in 2007. In the article, he explained why he spoke up to his parish, saying he was "angered" by Pope Benedict XVI's proposed ban for "those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called 'gay culture'" to enter the seminary.

In Fr. Danyluk's homily where he "came out," he told the story of the death of his aunt. She confessed to him that she was a lesbian and said, "I'm so afraid I'm going to hell." Fr. Danyluk told her, "That's not how God works." He held up the Bible and said, "This is either the good news for everybody or nobody," including all gays and lesbians present in the service, adding, "I'm one of you."

In the 2007 article about his leaving St. Joseph, Fr. Danyluk said he avoided facing his homosexuality for most of his life, claiming he had known since seventh grade. He admits going to rooms of his fellow seminarians in the 1960s and having his first sexual experiences there.

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Fr. Rich Danyluk

He says of it now, "That's sick. That's using somebody," adding, "It was the acting out."

He admitted that within a few years, he began drinking heavily because it "gave me a little more freedom to do things that I knew were wrong," explaining, "It just numbed the senses."

Father Danyluk admitted he would return to drinking and illicit sex until he faced his second arrest for drunken driving in November 1999. He says being sent to a rehab center in Minnesota was a turning point. Ever since, he's abstained from alcohol and has been celibate.

In 2015, Holy Name of Mary parish introduced No Barriers in Christ, an LGBT outreach program. In the first meeting for the group, they planned on showing Who Are We to Judge — Gay Catholics, that shows commentary from Fr. James Martin, S.J. Father Martin claims in the video, "If a spiritual director is gay it doesn't matter that they're homosexual, it matters that they brought people to God through prayer."

The Who Are We to Judge series promotes the idea that same-sex attracted people can be good Catholics while engaging in an active homosexual lifestyle, contrary to Catholic teaching. This video erroneously pushes the narrative that same-sex attractions are "inborn" and not a choice — a theory science has disproven.

Father Danyluk wrote at the time: "The news is not that we are worse than we think, it is that we are better than we think, and better than we deserve to be."

Holy Name of Mary holds weekly "centering prayer "groups. Mother Angelica and Servant of God Fr. John Hardon, a Jesuit priest, both condemned centering prayer as not Catholic. Church Militant confirmed the parish is still holding these monthly meetings.

Church Militant reached out to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles but received no response by press time.

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