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SANTA ANA, Calif. (ChurchMilitant.com) - While a heterodox priest is speaking at a diocesan event in Orange County, California, faithful laity will gather across the street for a Rosary rally.
On Saturday, theological dissident Fr. Gregory Boyle, who supports gay "marriage" and women "priests," will be the featured speaker at an event in the diocese of Orange, currently under the leadership of Bp. Kevin Vann.
Church Militant's Orange County chapter of Resistance, aided by other Catholic organizations, is hosting a Rosary rally from 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time Saturday, across the street from the diocesan event. The rally is also commemorating the centennial of Our Lady's apparitions at Fatima.
One Resistance member, who wished to remain anonymous, told us in an email that he looks forward to the event. "I pray that this Rosary rally/prayerful protest will bring like-minded Catholics together, and that this will be a turning point for the laity of the diocese of Orange," he commented.
He went on to say, "The laity — particularly the young — have had enough of heterodox Church leaders."
"We are young, faithful and energetic, and we will be the ones to rebuild what remains left after their trail of damage has come to an end," he added.
Father Boyle, a Jesuit priest who ministers to former gang members, will be the featured speaker at the day-long Diocesan Ministries Celebration at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana. The public Rosary rally will happen across the street from the high school, at the corner of Bristol and Edinger.
Church Militant reported on Fr. Boyle's upcoming speech, and the faithful were up in arms. Some Catholics wrote to the diocese to express their dismay. Officials at the Diocese of Orange responded by admitting that Fr. Boyle's perspectives on homosexuality and the all-male priesthood are problematic, but justified his talk.
"While this is indeed disturbing, Rev. Boyle will not be speaking on these topics," the diocese rationalized.
On October 3, fellow Jesuit Fr. James Martin lauded the diocese of Orange on Twitter for refusing to disinvite Fr. Boyle.
Father Martin has fought an online war with orthodox Catholics in recent months, owing to his endorsement of homosexuality and transgenderism. Father Martin and his allies have bashed and labeled his critics, calling them "Catholic cyber-militias" and "the Catholic alt-right" — implying sympathy with extremist ideologies like white supremacy and nazism.
Father Boyle recently spoke at another Catholic event in Washington state, in the city of Yakima. Faithful Catholics wrote to the diocese of Yakima about it, and the diocese responded, "Both Fr. Boyle's Jesuit superior, and Archbishop Gomez of Los Angeles himself, have cleared Fr. Boyle to minister here in the Yakima Diocese."
The diocese of Yakima spokesperson assigned blame, not to Fr. Boyle's heterodox statements in support of gay marriage and women priests, but rather to Catholic media outlets who report on Fr. Boyle's dissent:
I am not aware that Fr. Boyle himself is circulating videos with his problematic comments. We live in an age where almost anything can end up on the web, and those who post them need to reconcile in their own consciences the extent to which they might be creating confusion.
An anonymous source who attended a presentation by Fr. Boyle in 2015 said he was shocked by how the priest created a false dichotomy "distinguishing 'Catholic life' from 'living the Gospel message.'"
Friday, October 13, is the 100th anniversary of Our Lady's final apparition at Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun, when 70,000 people witnessed the sun miraculously change in appearance and move around the sky. The Rosary rally on Saturday is commemorating this anniversary.
According to a flyer for the Orange County Resistance Rosary rally, "over 20,000 public square rosary rallies are planned across the U.S. on October 14th, the Saturday closest to the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun." The number comes from Catholic organization America Needs Fatima, which boasts of registering 21,570 Rosary rallies scheduled for Saturday.
Sign the petition to protest the Diocese of Orange giving a speaking platform to Fr. Boyle.
The Facebook event for the Rosary rally can be found here.