Skip to comments.Catholic Priest Was Marrying Gay Couples 15 years Before It Was Legal in Massachusetts.
Posted on 03/27/2006 6:02:44 AM PST by marshmallow
The Rev. Gerard L. Branconnier, who was removed from ministry after allegations were made that he sexually abused minors, had a gay marriage ministry in operation 15 years before it was legal in this state. However, gay marriage is not legal in the Roman Catholic church, which has opposed gay marriage and opposes adoption of children to same-sex couples.
Paul A. Guries of Auburn, who settled a suit with the Catholic Worcester diocese, has released a copy of a video that shows Father Branconnier in 1989 marrying two men in a traditional Catholic marriage rite. The video is available here through the auspices of Mr. Guries.
What is even more amazing is that Mr. Guries turned over a copy of the video to Monsignor Edmond T. Tinsley in 1993 after he settled his lawsuit with the diocese where he alleged sexual abuse by Father Branconnier when he was a 16-year-old parishioner at North American Martyrs Church in Auburn. The diocese has had the video since then but no public notification of its existence was ever made by the diocese. Bishop Timothy J. Harrington was bishop at the time the video was received by the diocese and no action was taken. Bishop Daniel P. Reilly came into the diocese in 1994 and still no mention was made of the video.
The diocese is now being served by Bishop Robert J. McManus, who also has not acknowledged that it had knowledge that Father Branconnier was marrying gay couples. Mr. Guries in a letter to Bishop McManus said he knows or has heard that Father Branconnier still may be conducting gay marriages although he was removed from ministry in 1993.
What is even more amazing is that Bishop McManus has taken an extremely public stand against the practice of gay marriages, which became legal in Massachusetts in 2004. He allowed the Catholic churches of the diocese to be used to gather signatures to put on the ballot the question of whether the states Constitution should be changed to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. When two priests in Westboro declined to endorse the drive, Bishop McManus went to Westboro and removed Father George Lange and Father Steven Labaire from the pulpit one weekend and the Bishop showed up himself to lecture Catholics on why they needed to oppose gay marriage. During his homily, the bishop never mentioned that the diocese had a video and knew that Father Branconnier had been marrying gay couples at least as far back as 1989.
Since the prohibition against same-sex marriage was found to be unconstitutional all along, some legal scholars now contend that the 1989 marriage shown on the Branconnier video may well have retroactive legal effect.
Mr. Guries is a former seminarian for the Worcester diocese and studied at the North American College in Rome.
Link to: 1989 Gay marriage video by Rev. Gerard L. Branconnier
The above example is a case in point. If this guy had been removed from ministry when his shenanigans with the sacrament of marriage became known, the Church might have saved itself a lot of problems.
Still, as we all know, there is no evidence of a connection between the homosexual lifestyle and sexual abuse. < /sarcasm>
Yep, it is all those straight guys who like to have sex with little boys.
He was not "marrying" "gay" couples. Acting out a perverse parody of the Catholic marriage rite does not make them "married."
"Catholic Priest Was Marrying Gay Couples 15 years Before It Was Legal in Massachusetts."
So he was seminal in the field?
ONLY in Mass-a-chits....
Correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn't "mocking the Sacraments" an exommunicatable offense.
I was told this once by a Seminarian who told it to me tougue in cheek because they were doing mock confessions the last year before Ordination. I figure he was fairly well informed.
"Simulation of the Sacraments" certainly is! This priest's holy orders notwithstanding, he had no power to be the "official witness" at the "celebration" of a clearly bogus sacrament. The documentation for his subsequent eccleisatical trial should have been readily obtainable, and the verdict open-and-shut.
Mr. Guries in a letter to Bishop McManus said he knows or has heard that Father Branconnier still may be conducting gay marriages although he was removed from ministry in 1993.
Where is the problem? Turned over in 1993 and removed in 1993. Must every scandal be broadcast about?
Good thing you included that line or the pro-homo cheerleaders would have had an absolute hissy fit!