Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Fr. Kennedy: Church has no teaching on sinfulness of pedophilia

March 17th, 2011, Promulgated by Mike

Matt Abbott, over at, has picked up on some information I have been aware of for a while now.

Father Robert Kennedy of the Diocese of Rochester, who’s presently in public ministry and presumably a priest “in good standing” [click here], wouldn’t say that pedophilia is a sin and said the Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality, according to a book by Paul Likoudis, news editor of The Wanderer, a Catholic newspaper.

Likoudis’ book, AmChurch Comes Out: The U.S. Bishops, Pedophile Scandals and the Homosexual Agenda, released in 2002, is still timely and contains a wealth of information.

The following excerpt comes from the chapter titled “Bishop Matthew Clark and Gay Activism”:

‘Among the facilitators at the October 26, 1996 ‘Day of Reflection’ was Father Robert Kennedy, assistant professor of Liturgical Studies and Coordinator of Student Formation at St. Bernard’s Institute, who, at the time, ‘has been in ministry with gay and lesbian Catholics for 15 years.’

‘At a talk he gave earlier in March that year, reported extensively in The Wanderer of April 18, 1996, Father Kennedy taught not only that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality — he said the Church has no teaching on pedophilia.

‘Scriptural passages which ‘fundamentalists’ interpret as condemning homosexual acts, he said, must be re-interpreted in terms of the cultural beliefs of the time, and are no more binding than ritual prescriptions which bar the eating of shellfish or the wearing of clothing made of two or more different fabrics.

‘At the end of his talk, during the question and answer period, one of the audience asked Kennedy if pedophilia were a sin, and Kennedy responded that he didn’t know of any Church teaching on the subject.’ [pp. 102 and 103] [Abbott is in error here; this quote, while accurate, is actually found on page 62.]

Now, technically speaking, the Catechism of the Catholic Church doesn’t mention the word “pedophilia,” but please! How about paragraph number 2389 of the Catechism? Given the context of what Father Kennedy was talking about and the fact he was attempting to justify homosexual behavior, one could easily conclude by his response to the audience member that the Church somehow tacitly approves of adults having sex with children. (I can just hear the chorus of Catholic-bashers now.)

Again, Father Kennedy reportedly made those remarks in 1996, several years prior to when the clergy abuse scandal first “exploded” in the news. I’ve seen or heard nothing that he’s since publicly retracted them. However, I’ll bet anyone a dollar that, if asked the same question on pedophilia today, he’d have a different response.

Of course, should Father Kennedy e-mail me a clarification saying that he fully supports and promotes the Church’s magisterial teachings on sexual morality, I’ll gladly print it.

Also of note: In 2004, Father Kennedy was one of 35 priests of the Diocese of Rochester who joined 23 priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago in signing a letter protesting “the use of violent and abusive language directed at” homosexual persons by “the Vatican, bishops’ conferences and individual bishops.” (Source) Given that the Diocese of Rochester has been a cesspool of heterodoxy and moral corruption for years, this isn’t at all surprising.

A few bad apples? More like someone poisoned the orchard.

(For those interested in purchasing a copy of AmChurch Comes Out, please e-mail me for the ordering information.)

It would seem that Abbott is currently reading his way through AmChurch Comes Out, as the chapter he quotes from  (“Bishop Matthew Clark and Gay Activism”) is but the first of three consecutive chapters spanning some 50 pages and touching on what he terms the “cesspool of heterodoxy and moral corruption” in the Diocese of Rochester.  In the following chapter, “Always Our Children: Bishops Acting Up,” Likoudis both details the history behind the release of “Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers” and presents a strong critique of its underlying theology.  The chapter also details many of the activities then taking place in DOR in what can only be seen as an attempt to encourage parishioners to be more welcoming of practicing homosexuals and more accepting of their lifestyle.

The third chapter in this trilogy, “Brainstorming In Rochester: Pushing The Gay Agenda In Schools & Parishes,” takes a long look at the 1998 meeting of the National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries which convened in Rochester. Here we once again run into Fr. Kennedy as Likoudis offers his assessment of the conference (page 99),

Even though there were no ground-breaking, creative or original thoughts expressed at this NACDLGM conference, this Rochester meeting was highly significant in several respects:

  • It showed that “queer theology” has reached its completion as a composite of psycho-babble and pseudo-theology, cemented by the language of dissent.
  • It showed the anti-apostolic spirit of homosexual activists who, despite their aged, enervated, debilitated and often sick appearance, are determined to be missionaries for a “queer church” — and have the support of at least 58 bishops.
  • It provided irrefutable evidence of how the pontificate of John Paul II has been rejected by Bishop Matthew Clark and his top theologians, starkly illustrated by Rochester priest Robert Kennedy’s lament the Church needs to develop a “biblical theology of creation… about what our sexuality means” — apparently unaware Pope John Paul II began his pontificate with a most comprehensive commentary on Genesis and the theology of the body and the meaning of sexuality.
  • It demonstrated that Clark’s chancery apparat — his top officials — are determined to deceive Catholics about Church teaching, exemplified by the “pastoral” advice Sister Kay Heverin, SSJ, “pastoral associate” at St. Mary’s Church gave one conference participant: “To be faithful to your conscience, you need to break the [Church’s] law.”
  • It illustrated the consequences of 20 years of institutionalized dissent, and the nasty intolerance for authoritative Church teaching by some of Rochester’s most prominent priests, religious and laity.
  • It proved homosexual activists working in Church structures are rabid in their determination to impose their ideology on parishes and schools, as Rochester Catholic Libby Ford — a partnered-lesbian and artificially-inseminated mother — showed when she exhorted her peers with children in Catholic schools or religion programs to insist children receive “no negative messages” about homosexuality — in effect, making children shills for the gay rights movement in the Church.

Five pages later, after describing addresses by two featured out-of-town speakers, Likoudis gets to three local presenters in a section entitled “Clark’s in-house wrecking crew.”

Among the line-up of speakers at this NACDLGM conference were three men who exemplify and epitomize the advance of the homosexual agenda in the Diocese of Rochester: Ex-priest Marvin Mich, on sabbatical from his position as professor of moral theology at St. Bernard’s Institute (Clark’s theologate); Fr. Robert J. Kennedy, professor of liturgy at St. Bernard’s Institute, and Monroe County Family Court Judge Anthony Sciolino.

Though not “plenary” speakers, Mich, Sciolino and Kennedy are three of Clark’s biggest guns in blasting away at both Church teaching and ordinary Catholic family life in the Diocese of Rochester.

Likoudis reports extensively on all three speeches but, as I am getting a little nauseous wading through all this garbage, you will have to contact Matt Abbott and pick up your own copy of the book to read the details.

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7 Responses to “Fr. Kennedy: Church has no teaching on sinfulness of pedophilia”

  1. Maureen says:

    What a tool. The Church has had plenty of teaching about how pedophilia was wrong. First of all, you’re not supposed to be having sex with anybody you’re not married to, there’s no marriage except to someone of the opposite sex, and there’s no consummating marriage with anybody prepubescent. Second, besides general teaching against sexual immorality, the Church has at times had to teach sternly against men taking “catamites”, which is a boy being used for sexual purposes. Any educated Christian certainly would be aware of this, so obviously this guy is either ignorant or ingenuous.

  2. Maureen says:

    “Pederasty” is the other old word. Plenty of moral theology about that being bad. It’s not like the Church keeps secret its teachings down the ages about what’s a sin. Sheesh.

  3. Dan Riley says:

    Bob Lonsberry wrote a column today about child molestation and mentions Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals.

    At the bottom of the column, you can click on the comment feature to read what your neighbors are thinking about this issue and please feel free to write your own comment.

  4. Louis E. says:

    The Likoudis blog seems more concerned with attacking Israel these days than anything else.

    The thesis that homosexuality per se is not wronger than any other kind of non-marital sex itself opens the door to claims of “equality”.

    NACDLGM is now CALGM,and is holding its annual national conference in Albany in September,while Hubbard is still there…

  5. Scott W. says:

    The simple answer is that one is only supposed to have sexual relations with one’s wife or husband. The only reason for this kind of bizarre thought process is that once you justify premarital sex and homosexual sex you really have no basis for prohibiting pedophilia.

    Those in favor of homosexuality usually invoke the arbitrary Doctrine of Consent against pedophilia–that is, children are not developed enough to give consent like two adults can. This phony doctrine has been licensing all manner of evil for awhile now. It’s a lie of course; people in favor of homosexuality are usually in favor of abortion–and they don’t worry about whether an unborn child can consent or not to being killed.

  6. Raymond F. Rice says:

    Superficially they appear to be sexual sins when in fact they are a spiritual, psychological, and physical assault!!

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