SAN ANTONIO (ChurchMilitant.com) - Wounds are still raw in San Antonio, where faithful Catholics have blasted Abp. Gustavo Garcia-Siller as a hypocrite, feigning piety while undermining the spiritual good of his flock.
Members of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church are accusing the archbishop of taking reprisal against their flourishing parish.
On January 7, Garcia-Siller ordered a group of nuns attached to Our Lady of the Atonement out of his archdiocese, a year after trying to remove parish priest Fr. Christopher Phillips from his ministry. Atonement parishioners describe the moves as retaliatory tactics — the archbishop's revenge for losing control of the parish last year to the Anglican Use Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter in Houston.
Just one day after sending the sisters packing, parishioners noted that Garcia-Siller took to Twitter to extol the virtues of family.
"Family is at the very heart of anyone who cares," he wrote. "Family is good!"
"Strengthen families. We want our families to be well. ... Let's do all we can for our own families and for any family. Anything opposed to this is not pleasing to God. Let's protect them."
"Anything or anyone that divides families," he added, "is not from God."
An inside Atonement source later told Church Militant, "He talks about the sin of dividing families after he's done everything possible to divide the Atonement family from fellowship with the diocese and divide the sisters from their parish family."
Garcia-Siller's Twitter feed reveals other inconsistencies. As a bishop, he is charged with reinforcing the Deposit of the Faith and fighting intrinsic moral evils like abortion, euthanasia, gender ideology and same-sex "marriage."
Instead, he immerses himself in social justice activism.
A review of Garcia-Siller's tweets from the past three months indicates the archbishop — like so many U.S. bishops today — leans decidedly to the Left.
Terms like "encounter," "dialogue," "belonging," "tenderness" and "joy" pepper his Twitter feed, as do demands for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to ban guns and somehow end war and violence.
Planned Parenthood has a very fiendish plan ... They don't see the bloodshed. They don't see the broken families. They don't see the STDs. They just see money.
"Don't you need a written permission from me or from her mother?" Flores asked.
"No, it's all right," the nurse replied. "You don't have to leave work that day, we can handle it all. We can send anything you might need to sign home with her."
Amazed, Flores then inquired, "Well, if she's not pregnant, is there anything you can help her with? She is being sexually active with her boyfriend."
"Oh yeah," said the nurse. "We have a dispensary here. Planned Parenthood provides condoms and birth control pills for the kids."
"I thought, 'Dear God, what is going on?'" Flores told Church Militant. "These poor families were being targeted by Planned Parenthood."
"Planned Parenthood has a very fiendish plan," he said:
They've done plenty to destroy the black community in the last 50–70 years, so when they see the Hispanic community growing, they see dollar signs — they see dollar signs! They don't see the bloodshed. They don't see the broken families. They don't see the STDs. They just see money. Planned Parenthood has never cared about people.
Aghast, Flores called a meeting with then-Bp. Garcia-Siller to ask him to "talk to the people in the parishes in that area and tell them that the school was doing something wrong," something affecting "a lot of our Catholic, Hispanic families."
The bishop agreed to meet and a few weeks later, he welcomed the CCHD director into his office.
"Did you know that 'x, y, z' school is distributing condoms to these middle schoolers?" Flores asked. "That they're actually making abortion referrals?"
"I expected the bishop to respond like I did when learning this — with mouth agape, his jaw dropping to the floor," he told Church Militant. "I expected him to say, 'That's horrible, Rey — we should do something about it!"
Instead, "he sat back in his chair, rubbed his chin and said casually, 'Well, Rey, as long as it's not us giving them condoms, I don't see anything wrong with what the school's doing.'"
"I couldn't believe that had just come out of his mouth," Flores reflected. "I said, 'But, your Excellency, are you serious? These are the same families that are going to St. Rita, Holy Cross in the Back of the Yards neighborhood ... These people are the same people under your guidance — you're shepherding them — don't you think it would be wise to have the churches educate their parishioners about what this school is doing to their own children?"
He replied, "Well since it is a public school, not an archdiocesan school, I don't know that we have any business doing that."
Flores persisted, countering that the people in the pews "are being targeted," but he said Garcia-Siller "wasn't having any of it. He cut the conversation short."
Flores said he was shocked by what happened next.
"When we got up, he looked at me and put his hand on my shoulder and asked, 'How many kids do you have?' And I said, 5 — at the time we only had 5 — and he said, 'Wouldn't it be a shame if you didn't have your job, having so many kids?'"
"I was silenced. I was completely stunned," Flores recalled. "It was a completely blatant threat." This, he noted, from a prelate who prayed with pro-life advocates at rallies in downtown Chicago.
Bishops like Garcia-Siller, he said, "are guilty of perpetuating the kind of environment where condoms can be given to kids at schools — kids of their own parishes. And these guys don't even bat an eye. It was nothing to him. He didn't see anything wrong with it."
"These bishops who are supposed to be our leaders sit there complicit, either through their consent — their deliberate, willful consent — or through turning the other way," he added.
"They sit there and pat themselves on the back, saying, 'We're helping the unwanted. Give us your poor, your tired, your hungry' and all that garbage — all that feel-good, politically correct stuff. But they're not helping. They're working with the enemy."
"These wolves in sheep's clothing are not our friends," Flores concluded. "They're involved in fiendish, nefarious activities that are contrary to teaching."