Tucson Parish Fosters Liturgical Abuses and Affirms LGBT Lifestyles

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by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  August 8, 2017   

Eucharistic bread recipe includes white flour, salt, baking powder and olive oil

TUCSON, Ariz. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A parish in Bp. Gerald Kicanas' diocese of Tucson uses illicit matter for their eucharistic hosts, recites a made-up creed on Sunday and is allegedly aligned with LGBT activists.

Saint Pius X in Tucson, Arizona, has as its pastor Fr. Harry Ledwith, who's videotaped at Mass reciting a made-up creed titled "The Hungry Credo of Concern" along with his parishioners in April. Except for mentioning "One Lord Jesus Christ," the creed is a complete fabrication of social justice issues. One section of their creed recited at Mass during Sundays of Lent reads, "This is hunger gone mad. This is the black horse of the apocalypse, this famine galloping across the dry plains of Somalia, the Sudan and Northern Nigeria, charging wild-eyed through the streets of Calcutta and the countryside of Bangladesh."

A member of Church Militant's Resistance group in Tucson, Verne Dagenais, went to the parish Monday to meet with Fr. Ledwith about the liturgical abuses. The secretary, Kim, who is withholding her last name, told him the priest was unavailable and wouldn't do a phone interview either. Dagenais asked her about the odd looking eucharistic bread used at Mass and she gave him a so-called "recipe," which parishioners used to make communion wafers to be consecrated at Mass. The recipe includes white flour, salt, baking powder and olive oil, which at least renders the consecration illicit and quite possibly invalidates the sacrament.


The Catholic Code of Canon Law for the Latin rite says that only wheat and water may be used to make communion hosts as the species of bread that's used for the consecration into the Body of Christ. Canon 924 reads, "The bread must be only wheat and recently made so that there is no danger of spoiling." It is a grave abuse to use other materials in the process and can quickly render the sacrament invalid if these illicit materials are used in any notable quantity.

Dagenais was told by the secretary at St. Pius church that she thought the Vatican had approved of such material to be used in making communion bread. She also told him Bp. Kicanas was aware of the recipe and gave his approval. He tried to meet with Bp. Kicanas later that day concerning the liturgical abuses but was unable. Dagenais did bring up the illicit material used for communion hosts to the bishop's secretary, who quickly brushed it off, saying it was valid as long as the parish followed Church norms.

Additionally, the priest can be seen in videos not wearing liturgically colored vestments but instead opting for striped and multicolored patterns. The LGBT activist group Rainbow Interfaith Community claims St. Pius X is in unison with their agenda and viewpoints. This group hyperlinks to the parish of St. Pius X on their homepage. This page reads, "We affirm LGBT people by accepting their sexuality and not seeking to change it and strive to overcome the alienation created by past religious condemnation and rejection."

In a video Fr. Ledwith gave an overview of his parish as follows, "Our charism is social justice, prayer and vibrant, holistic liturgy. Our ministry extends to families with children, single adults and persons of all orientations." 

Church Militant is still trying to determine if the bishop is personally aware of the liturgical abuses and if he plans to do anything about them in the future. Dagenais, a convert to the Faith, says the use of extraneous materials for the communion hosts used at the parish has been occurring at Fr. Ledwith's parish as far back as 2011. He's not sure if the bishop is aware of this specific abuse but intends to follow up on behalf of Church Militant with phone calls, faxes and visits to the chancery.

Church Militant reached out to the parish pastor but only spoke with the secretary. She said Bp. Kicanas approved of the "recipe" used by parishioners for making communion wafers used at the parish Masses. She also admitted that the made-up creed was said at Mass but claimed it was recited "in addition to" the actual creed, which was also said at Mass. When Church Militant brought up the fact that the videotaped Mass on YouTube showed only the fabricated creed being recited, she had no answer.

She also distanced herself from the LGBT community, saying the parish had no control over what the activist group published. Asked if her parish was in agreement with their LGBT principles stated above, she said the pastor would have to answer that. Church Militant reached out to the bishop's office for comment but has yet to receive a response.

 

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Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.

Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th. is a staff writer for ChurchMilitant.com.

Follow Bradley on Twitter: @BradleyLEli