SAN DIEGO (ChurchMilitant.com) - Father Richard Perozich, a faithful priest who has served Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in the diocese of San Diego for eight years, is retiring. Church Militant reported on Father Perozich's witness to the Faith as he suffered backlash from Bp. Robert McElroy over an October 2016 column in the Immaculate Conception parish bulletin denouncing the evils of abortion, so-called same-sex marriage and euthanasia.
Church Militant reached out to Father Perozich for comment. We found that contrary to media reports, claiming that he is becoming a "hermit monk," he is simply retiring and plans on living out his priestly life faithfully while resting, saying Mass, praying the Divine Office and getting some exercise.
Perozich told Church Militant:
I'm not going to be a hermit where I'll be all by myself and won't talk to anybody or anything like that. I've had some medical issues over the years. I'm tired, I've worked in the community for about eith years. We did 50 baptisms, 85 weddings, 600 first Communions, 250 confirmations each year with the largest RCIA class in the entire diocese. I only had one Spanish-speaking priest for a little over a year.
He continued, "I intended to retire around this time, so it's not like I'm being forced out or anything like that, it's my choice. I have a small one-bedroom apartment. Every morning, I get up in the morning, I have an hour of adoration, just like I do here."
"I'll say a private Mass, I'll pray the Divine Office every day," Fr. Perozich explained. "I'll continue to exercise and try to take care of myself for good health."
We asked Fr. Perozich for comment on the crisis in the Church and in the world:
For myself, I find myself more and more at the margin because of what I believe versus the things that I hear, so there's a crisis of culture. You're not always going to find that clarity in the Church anymore just as you don't find it in society, in education, in the government; we haven't found that.
Catholics who know the Faith should be encouraged to "get involved, and in their parish to propose the full truth." He continued, "You've got to form intentional communities, you've got to pull yourself apart from that preaching," referring to heterodox teaching.
Father Perozich referred to an interview given by San Diego bishop McElroy in which the bishop expressed support, in the form of what the Union Tribune called a "wish list," for Holy Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried.
"In Catholic thinking," the bishop said, "it is absolutely wrong to reduce someone to their sexual identity or their sexual life."
Father Perozich's October 2016 column, in which he spoke out against attacks on life and family, drew a reaction from McElroy, who forbade him from publishing further columns in the bulletin.
At the time, the priest told Church Militant, "He said the information in my bulletin was not according to the magisterium. The bishop criticized a section I had on the parish website for Christians who suffered martyrdom for their faith wherein I identified the offender as the perpetrator and the martyr as the victim."
"I had put other theological opinions in on Islam, sexuality," he explained. "He [the bishop] said that these were anti-gay, anti-Muslim."
McElroy by that time had already implemented en masse sacrilege by giving the green light for the divorced and civilly remarried to receive Holy Communion without a decree of nullity or an amendment of life.