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Excommunicated Brazilian priest slams ‘out of touch’ Roman Catholic Church

CARDINAL Keith O’Brien’s sexual misconduct may have angered an embarrassed the Catholic Church but no moves have been made, as we reported yesterday, to remove the vile hypocrite from the priesthood – so he gets to keep his red hat.

But with unseemly haste, the Roman Catholic Church this week rid itself of a Brazilian priest for, among other things, supporting gay rights.

Father Roberto Francisco Daniel

Father Roberto Francisco Daniel

According to this report, the rogue Brazilian, Father Roberto Francisco Daniel – known to local parishioners as Padre Beto – was excommunicated before he had the chance to announce his planned resignation from an organisation he described as:

A lukewarm and disengaged church that is out of touch with today’s society.

In a statement released on Monday, the priest’s diocese said Daniel had:

In the name of ‘freedom of expression’ betrayed the promise of fealty to the Church.

It alleged that Daniel had:

Injured the Church with grave statements counter to the dogma of Catholic faith and morality.

His actions amounted to ‘heresy and schism’, the statement said.

The rare punishment follows what Daniel’s bishop and the priest himself said were repeated rebukes he received over  the videos he had made and other public activities, such as a radio broadcast and local newspaper column, in which he challenged Church doctrine.

The 47-year-old cleric, who studied theology in Germany, is popular in the southeastern city of Bauru, where he has been a priest since 2001. He is known for his rock T-shirts, a silver stud pierced through his right ear and his habit of posing, as on his official Facebook page, with a glass of beer.

On Facebook and Twitter, Daniel posted a brief statement about the excommunication:

I feel honored to belong to the long list of people who have been murdered and burned alive for thinking and searching for knowledge.

Daniel’s excommunication, which prompted headlines across Brazil and protests in social media, illustrates the rising influence of more moderate social views in Brazil, Latin America’s biggest country, and much of the rest of the region.

Progressive stances on sexuality, birth control, scientific research and other delicate topics for the Church are increasingly common in Latin America, home to 42 percent of the world’s Catholics, more than any other region worldwide.

In one of the recent videos he posted on YouTube and his own website, the priest said a married person who chose to have an affair, heterosexual or otherwise, would not be unfaithful as long as that person’s spouse allowed it.

If someone is in an extramarital relationship and that relationship is accepted by the spouse, then faithfulness still exists there.

In a telephone interview, Daniel said his statements “are personal reflections that should be considered and discussed in the dialogue of the church.” The excommunication, he said, is:

The sad act of a lukewarm and disengaged church that is out of touch with today’s society.

The diocese retained a church expert in canonical law to oversee the excommunication process. The diocese also initiated a separate process at the Vatican through which Daniel will be stripped of clerical authority.

Last Tuesday, Bishop Caetano Ferrari gave Daniel a letter asking him to take the videos offline and publicly retract his statements. In an interview posted on the diocese website shortly afterward, Ferrari called Daniel “brilliant”, but characterized him as a “rebel son” who “crosses the line”.

On Monday, Daniel said he went to the diocese headquarters planning to renounce his clerical duties rather than retract any of his comments. But before he had a chance, the bishop and canonical expert made him face a committee of Church officials.

It was a trial. I told them I was not there to be tried, that I had not been indicted.

Shortly afterward, the Church issued the statement announcing his excommunication – a move that infuriated many of his supporters. Hundreds turned out for a rally in central Bauru.

rally

23 Responses to “Excommunicated Brazilian priest slams ‘out of touch’ Roman Catholic Church”

  1. barriejohn says:

    A lukewarm and disengaged church that is out of touch with today’s society.

    Has he only just noticed? Anyway, if you want membership of an organization you need to abide by its rules, so what does he expect?

  2. tony e says:

    @barriejohn,

    I think the reason that the rc church came down on him so swiftly, and harshly, was that he was doing what that organisation fears the most and encouraging people think outside the box.

  3. Annette says:

    Actually @barriejohn if the church truly cared for its congregants (which we know they don’t) and were not a bunch of selfish old dudes in dresses— they would accept Padre Beto as a prodigal son. They would understand that he has connected with the people they supposedly want to remain in the church. They’d council him and hold their powder. Of course he’s not a pedophile—so they got rid of him quickly.

    Tick. Tock. They’ll take the whole place down after a while.

  4. AgentCormac says:

    I feel honored to belong to the long list of people who have been murdered and burned alive for thinking and searching for knowledge.

    Yes, that dangerous thing called thinking. The church really doesn’t want you (or anybody else) doing that, Padre Beto. It’s the devil’s work!

  5. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    Be a peadophile and nothing will happen, tell lies and threaten people and nothing will happen, but if you should ever try to promote equality and fairness…….

  6. Trevor Blake says:

    I feel honored to belong to the long list of people who have been murdered and burned alive for thinking and searching for knowledge.:

    Except of course Mr. Daniel has not joined such a list. A list largely written in his country by his former employer.

    He is known for his rock T-shirts, a silver stud pierced through his right ear and his habit of posing, as on his official Facebook page, with a glass of beer.”

    A glass of beer? What’s wrong with that? Everyone who has read Amos 6:1-6 knows that God only disapproves of drinking out of bowls. When Christians drink wine in heaven (Matthew 26:29) with God (Judges 9:13) it will surely be out of glasses, not bowls.

  7. T says:

    Injured the Church with grave statements counter to the dogma of Catholic faith and morality.

    Correction – Catholic immorality.

  8. Canada Dave says:

    From the 1960 film “Inherit the Wind”

    One witness is asked about “ideas” contrary to church teaching.
    The response….

    “Yes ….The individual human mind….. In a child’s ability to master the multiplication table there is more holiness than all your shouted hosannas and holy holies An idea is more important and the advancement of Man’s knowledge more miraculous than all the sticks turned to snakes and the parting of the waters

  9. […] Excommunicated Brazilian priest slams ‘out of touch’ Roman Catholic Church […]

  10. AgentCormac says:

    Injured the Church with grave statements counter to the dogma of Catholic faith and morality.

    Surely such a claim surely wouldn’t have been out place in 1930s Germany. And if all that you have is dogma to sustain and uphold your beliefs then all that you really have is a mental vacuum, a set of archaic rules which betray the fact that you haven’t got a clue, let alone a willingness to discover, explain or understand the truth.

    The rcc really is a Nazi institution. How it is still allowed to exit is beyond me.

  11. mikespeir says:

    If there has to be a Christianity, if there has to be a Roman Catholicism, I’d rather it be Father Daniel’s version.

  12. JohnMWhite says:

    @barriejohn – true, if you want to be a member of a group you ought to be willing to accept its rules, but I think what is really getting people’s nose out of joint here isn’t that Father Daniel was kicked out for his positions, but that he was met so swiftly with the most severe punishment the church has for relatively minor doctrinal quibbles, while those who abuse children or seminarians are shielded by the Vatican. It is a clear demonstration of where the church’s priorities lie: thoughtcrime is much more serious than actual crime, and actual criminals are much more valuable than somebody who might do some good in their community.

    Also it’s clear from the story that Father Daniel expected to not be in the church anymore – he went to the dioceses HQ to resign, after all.

  13. Stonyground says:

    Wouldn’t his most effective way of hitting back at the RCC to be to form his own Church and start poaching the RCC’s members? If he really has such a lot of popular support this shouldn’t be a problem. The Methodists started out with open air meetings because they couldn’t afford even to even hire a building. Go for it Roberto.

  14. barriejohn says:

    JMW: Of course they moved quickly! As others have said, religions can’t have people thinking for themselves; that is anathema to them, as it attacks the foundation of their power and influence. They are founded upon dogma, much of it laid down centuries ago and not open to challenge. Moral error is a much lesser thing to them than “doctrinal error”, and I doubt that the Pope would view these matters as “minor quibbles”. I agree with Stonyground, really. If the guy can see that the church is so wrong, why stay with it? (Maybe he’ll realize one day that religion itself is totally unnecessary, too. Reason and superstition are incompatible.)

  15. John C says:

    With luck this guy will rip the church apart in latin america,his delusion is freindlier than the rest of them.

  16. JohnMWhite says:

    @barriejohn: If the guy can see that the church is so wrong, why stay with it?

    Once more, I have to point out that the guy was in the process of leaving the church. He had turned up to resign before he was fired. It says so in the story and I said so in the post you just replied to. Clearly his conscience had kicked in to some degree, so it is unfair and inaccurate to keep insisting that he stuck with the RCC despite misgivings about its doctrine.

  17. Robster says:

    The catholics are quite happy to keep their mob of kiddie fiddlers on staff but not a bloke who speaks the truth and perhaps offers those running the show why numbers are plummeting and interest dizzolving. The ex-priest should consider starting his own tax-exempt religion, ditch the wine and crackers the catholics munch on and offer a new, exciting Latin American inspired menu, that would get the punters in, replacing the red wine with Bacardi would probably help too. He could follow pope Frank’s example and raise funds for the poor, there are many in Brazil and for the first ever time have a church offer something more than nonsense and hate to its customers.

  18. barriejohn says:

    JMW: I don’t think that that is correct. From the original report:

    On Monday, Daniel said he went to the diocese headquarters planning to renounce his clerical duties rather than retract any of his comments. But before he had a chance, the bishop and canonical expert made him face a committee of Church officials.

    http://news.yahoo.com/catholic-church-excommunicates-brazil-priest-liberal-views-212205334.html

    It seems impossible for these people to actually leave the church!

  19. barriejohn says:

    Politicians are being excommunicated in all but name as well:

    http://www.lifenews.com/2013/05/07/pope-francis-pro-abortion-politicians-ineligible-for-communion/

  20. JohnMWhite says:

    @barriejohn – what part of your quote is anything other than exactly what I said? For the third time now, he was trying to leave the church. He was about to resign. You just quoted that. You are the one insisting that he never even attempted to do so and that he should have tried to get out if he disagreed with the rules. He DID make that effort. You just wrote down in a quote that he tried. He also was, in the end, successful by getting excommunicated. He’s no longer in communion with the church he disagrees with. What is it you are confused about?

  21. barriejohn says:

    JMW: The Reuters report, which seems to be the common source for this story, states that he was about to “renounce his clerical duties”, not leave the church, for which there is no formal procedure anyway. The excommunication appeared to be a shock as far as I can see, but maybe I am wrong.