BERKELEY, CA, April 7, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Oakland Bishop Michael Barber, Pope Francis’ first U.S. episcopal appointment, has drawn ire from Catholic progressives after replacing the priests serving the University of California at Berkeley campus, one of whom is “openly homosexual.”Newman Hall Holy Spirit Church, which functions as the parish church for Catholic students at the university, has been led by its pastor, Fr. Bernard Campbell, for the past seven years. Fr. Bill Edens, a self-identified homosexual, has served as student chaplain for the last five. Both are members of the Paulist order, which normally appoints priests at the parish.The one time I've ever mouthed off to my bishop was when I overheard him lamenting that our diocese's Newman centers have historically produced so few vocations. I said, "Maybe you shouldn't allow liberal Jesuits to keep running them." My then girlfriend at the time decided to stop attending the Newman Center Masses after their activity for the night was Buddhist aromatherapy.
Barber explained in a letter to the parish that he had intervened in the regular process because he wants to “totally reinvigorate our evangelization efforts for the University Community at Cal Berkeley,” and “reinvigorate and expand our mission ‘to the periphery.’”
I'm pleased that Bishop Barber is making progress in cleaning out the Augean stables. I've had some spirited debates with my Protestant and Godless heathen friends, but by far the most acrimonious quarrels I've ever had have always been with my fellow Catholics. Some Protestants and Godless heathens admit that they know they don't know about Catholicism. Catholics who received a poor or nonexistent formation don't know that they don't know, and they furiously resent it when their pastor or their neighbor attempts the spiritual work of mercy known as instructing the ignorant. I'll never forget that Catholic man who demanded to know who the hell I was to call him a bad Catholic when he never failed to show up to Mass every Christmas and Easter.