Yesterday we noted with appreciation the excommunication of the "We Are Church" founders by Pope Francis. I perceived the beginnings of a message that dissidence from Church teaching by prominent Catholics would be treated in helpful and decisive manners. Unfortunately that message became (once more) garbled and muddied.
News came (via LifeSiteNews) that last week Pope Francis concelebrated Mass with and kissed the hand of Father Michele de Paolis. This priest has been a long-time activist for "gay rights" and is a founder of a dissident "katholyc gay rights group in Italy called Agedo Foggia. That group's website advertises one of Paolis' books as being written to "help people get out of the quagmire of biblical precepts". (Note: Many people don't need help getting out of that "quagmire". It's quite easy to do; but then they wind up in that nastier quagmire called hell.).
De Paolis is 93 years old. His time is drawing near; with that his time for repentance is growing short. One might hope that the Holy Father would perceive the eternal peril that looms over one of his spiritual sons and take appropriate measures to encourage repentance - even defrocking and/or excommunication. Some might opine that the pope is acting out of misguided sympathy for his age and is trying a lenient approach. But what happened last week is not mere leniency; it is outright affirmation of a wayward priest as he apparently careens towards eternal damnation.
Please keep Father de Paolis in prayer, that he come to repentance and that he makes a good confession. Our prayers may be the only source of grace for him.