During the show, a caller named “Francis” rang in to tell his own story about how hurtful it is when one is denied Communion. Francis, it seems, is a trans-person who was denied Communion by a particularly cruel priest. Not only did he deny Francis Communion, but this horrible priest had Francis removed from the church by force. Francis told Drew that he is a very devout person, a member of that particular parish for over 40 years, celibate for eight years, and serves in a variety of local Catholic groups. Drew and his guest, a canon lawyer, sympathized with Francis’s situation, and advised him to contact his bishop. Francis assured Drew that he has already told the bishop and that the bishop apologized to him. Furthermore, the police told him that he didn’t do anything wrong.
Francis’s story came across as heartfelt and sincere, and no doubt many of Drew’s listeners sympathized with Francis in the same way that Drew and his guest did.
There’s only one problem. Francis only told one side of the story. For you see, this particular incident happened in my parish and the situation with Francis has been an ongoing and quite public scandal.
In the interest of fairness, I present to you the other side of the story.
Francis was being honest when he said that he had been a member of the parish for over 40 years. During most of that time, he presented as a man. Then suddenly, quite recently, he began showing up for Mass dressed as a woman. Not surprisingly, this caused a scandal, particularly when Francis presented himself for Communion in this guise despite the Church’s clear teachings on transgender behaviors, which even Pope Francis has condemned in no uncertain terms.
The incident Francis described in his call to the Drew Mariani Show did, in fact, happen. But Francis left out a few highly relevant details. First, he was removed from the church after causing a loud and continuous disturbance during Mass when he was not given Communion. Worse, this incident took place during a Mass for the school children when the entire school was gathered together, and included Francis shouting that he is trying to show the children that it’s ok to be transgender. As a result of this incident, adults aside from school teachers are no longer allowed to attend school Masses at our parish. As you might imagine, this change in policy due to one person’s unreasonable demands to be served generated considerable irritation.
Since then, Francis has caused other disturbances during Mass. He has also occasionally appeared in the sacristy dressed as a woman. For those of us with young boys who serve at the altar and who are often in the sacristy preparing for Mass, this is absolutely unacceptable.
I do not claim to know Francis’s motivations, nor am I able to make a good assessment of his mental state. Several of my fellow parishioners have speculated that his purpose is to force the parish to accept his behaviors (which includes using the ladies room at the church while young girls are in it) and, if not, to create problems for our good and holy priest with our bishop and local law enforcement. His actions to date seem to bear out that hypothesis.
And yes, I should point out that our pastor is an outstanding, hard-working, holy priest of many years who wants nothing more than to defend his people from the depravity of the world. The idea that he is somehow awful, rigid, or unsympathetic is, frankly, ludicrous. Again, I can not say with certainty what Francis is truly attempting to accomplish, but I can observe that his actions at the parish do not seem to be those of the devout, innocent, humble follower of Jesus Christ that he portrayed on the Drew Mariani Show.
The ongoing scandal with Francis has been instructive to me as a case-example of what happens when local parishes knuckle under to the urgent demands of the world. For every surrender, new demands will emerge. For every inch of ground that’s ceded, miles more will be required. And for every Francis whose bizarre behaviors are welcomed via the front door no questions asked, a dozen regular Catholic families will exit via the side-door if for no other reason than to protect their children.
I would ask those who carry crosses like the one carried by Francis to put their own wants and needs last in favor of the wants and needs of their fellow Catholics. After all, that's what true love is—willing the good of the other before your own good. Do not cause scandal during Mass, especially in the presence of children. Give serious consideration to the words of Our Lord when he said: "And whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me; it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he were cast into the sea." [Matthew 18:6]
As for the rest of us, we should be very wary of the sympathy-inducing confessional literature that is presented to us by those attempting to inject the novel teachings of the corrupt world into the Holy Catholic Church. Very often, their tales only tell half the story.