Kudos to Rev. Jim Gigliotti of St. Andrews Catholic Church in Fort Worth, Texas.
During a sermon in early November, 2020, he made his views on President-elect Joe Biden abundantly clear, referring to him as a “man without value.” Pointing out that Biden is pro-abortion, Gigliotti reminded us that this stance is in direct opposition to a fundamental teaching of the Church. He went on to describe Biden as “not a good Catholic.”
Sensing that not all in attendance would agree with his position, Gigliotti underscored that it was his responsibility as pastor to speak clearly and forcefully about a basic Catholic belief such as abortion, and that he was doing so with the understanding that it might upset some people. To that end, he said, he was prepared to “let the chips fall where they may.”
It takes courage to speak out publicly – to speak truth to power – when a leader fails short and, for that, Father Gigliotti deserves our praise and admiration. In his widely publicized remarks, he left no doubt that, in his mind, Biden’s beliefs – at least on the topic of abortion – deserve only scorn and repudiation.
That said, it occurs to me that in addition to abortion, there is at least one other issue within the Catholic church that Gigliotti might consider addressing with equal force: the multitude of children who, for years, endured sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic Clergy. In his sermon he could also articulate and deplore the continuing abject failure of Church leaders to deal effectively with this scandal, and the horrors inflicted upon our most vulnerable.
Clearly, it is time for another of Gigliotti’s “scorched earth” sermons. And while he hesitated not a moment in directing his recent scornful remarks at leaders in Washington, this time he ought to identify and excoriate failed leaders in another important location … the Vatican.
At the end of his recent sermon in Fort Worth, Gigliotti expressed his airy willingness to “let the chips fall where they may.” In applauding his willingness to speak out as he did, though, one is left to wonder whether he would be equally cavalier about the manner in which critical remarks about the Child Sex Abuse Scandal might be accepted and responded to by Church hierarchy.
If past history is any indication, the outcome would not be pretty.