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Fr. Farrow’s Rebellion, Action against Knights of Columbus
By Deacon Keith Fournier
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Father Farrow has chosen to engage in open rebellion and anti-Catholic activism. He is also trying to destroy the Knights of Columbus.
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - In a June 27, 2009 article entitled “Expose and Engage the ‘Fifth Column’ in the Catholic Church” I wrote about Catholics who use their position within the Church to undermine the Church. I explained:
“I use the phrase “fifth column” in reference to people within our Church, fellow Catholics. These folks have rejected the teaching of the Church in an area of moral truth and, rather than honestly admit it and seek to change themselves so that they can properly inform their conscience and give a religious submission of intellect and will,(which is our obligation as faithful Catholics), they now attempt to confuse the faithful. However, they go even further. They engage in a covert operation intended to undermine the Church.
“This is done in several ways. Sometimes it is through a kind of slow drip of dissent. Other times through a concerted campaign which overtly opposes the ‘Magisterium’ , the teaching office of the Catholic Church, though still containing its rebellion and opposition within the family of the Church. Still other times it goes beyond all propriety by overtly rejecting the clear teaching of the Church. Then, using a public forum, they intentionally try to hurt the Church and cause a scandal. It is to the last group that I now address this article.”
Today I write to expose a suspended priest who is acting in just this way. I begin by asking all of our readers to pray for Fr. Geoffrey Farrow. He was the pastor of the St. Paul Newman Center at California State University at Fresno until he was suspended by his Bishop and removed from his position. This strong action was required and intended to be remedial, as are all canonical sanctions.
Fr. Farrow openly defies the teaching of the Catholic Church concerning marriage and human sexuality. He also openly condemns the Catholic Church in public for her defense of marriage. Let me be clear, Fr. Farrow needs our prayer. We ask the Lord to help him return to fidelity. However, Father Farrow has chosen to engage in anti-Catholic activism. He has decided that he will try to change the Church in an area where her teaching cannot and will not change, rather than change his behavior and be changed through her loving care.
On June 4, 2009 Fr. Farrow published a recommendation on his weblog (http://fathergeofffarrow.blogspot.com) which is an ongoing act of rebellion. He has turned his anger against the Knights of Columbus because of their support for the Magisterium of the Church and their work to defend marriage. He is calling others to rally to his heretical positions (Scandal CCC #2284) and asking them to engage in fraudulent actions intended to cause economic harm to the Knights of Columbus. I fully disclose that I am a fourth degree Knight and I am completely supportive of their apostolate.
However, there is more involved in Father Farrow’s actions than his disagreement with the Knights. He is inciting people to engage in fraudulent acts with the express intention of injuring the Knights of Columbus economically. As a Lawyer, I see potential civil liability issues everywhere in the scheme which he proposes. In addition, I encourage any priest who may be sympathetic to his errant moral and theological positions to be very careful in following his encouragement to not allow the Knights freedom in their parish; Pay close attention to Canon Law as well.
Here is a portion of the posting from Fr. Farrow’s blog entitled “Boycott the Knights of Columbus” which shows his rebellion and exposes his scheme:
From Fr. Farrow's Blog
“Father Donald Cozzens, PhD is a psychologist and the former president-rector of St. Mary’s Seminary in Cleveland, Ohio. In his books “The Changing Face of the Priesthood” and “Freeing Celibacy.” He unveils the fact that a very large percentage of Catholic priests are gay. In his book “Freeing Celibacy” in chapter six, which is entitled “Celibacy and Homosexuality,” he states bluntly “the growing awareness that the priesthood is or is becoming a gay profession” [page 65].
“Many priests have E-mailed me and expressed their rage and anger over the hypocrisy of the Catholic hierarchy in supporting anti-marriage equality legislation. They have often referred to the bishops as “old queens” who blithely support anti-gay efforts, because of their own self-loathing. One of the organizations, which the bishops have effectively employed to do their dirty work, has been the Knights of Columbus.
“Specifically in California, the K of C donated large amounts of monies to the “yes on Prop 8” campaign. Priests feel impotent to fight back because they are kept in positions of economic servitude by their bishops. Cozzens explains why priests are paid in such a Byzantine fashion in his book “The Changing Face of the Priesthood.” Most people express surprise when I tell them that priests are "self-employed" and also receive a "W-2 Form" from the Diocese for their taxes. Self employed persons are not protect(ed) like employees by labor laws.
“Beyond the issue of salary, priests traditionally receive a BA in Philosophy and then, another four-year degree which is a Masters in Divinity. Neither of these two degrees is very easily translatable into secular employment. This effectively makes it very difficult for a priest to transition out of active ministry. A young priest from the Mid-west recently told me “they gave us all the training we needed to be effective counselors, teachers, administrators, etc BUT they made damn sure we never got any of the credentials necessary to get secular employment in any of those fields.” This is no mere coincidence.
“So, what can priests do to fight the anti-gay agenda of the bishops and the K of C? Here is a short list: “1) Divest the full amount of your Knights of Columbus life insurance policy immediately. Take the check and invest the funds with an LGBT friendly fund. If every priest and K of C insurance policy holder were to do this, it would create a considerable capital drain on K of C and cripple their ability to write large checks to thwart LGBT legislation and ballot initiatives. “2) If you are a layperson, write them at tell them why you have done this. If you are a priest, simply inform them that you have decided to use the funds to promote social justice. “3) Pastors have the power to decide what is published in the Sunday bulletin and what is announced at Mass on Sundays. Do not let the K of C publish or announce. 4) Pastors may grant or withhold permission for organizations to use church facilities for their meetings. Most parishes have very tight facility scheduling. Create a program and tell the K of C they need to meet elsewhere.”
End of Blog Quote
In addition to praying for Fr. Farrow and exposing his errors so as to protect the faithful, I propose that our readers demonstrate their fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church and solidarity with the Knights of Columbus by engaging in a concerted action which is the opposite of what Father Farrow suggests: Those who have not yet obtained insurance through the Knights of Columbus should do so. Their products are excellent and their profits further the wonderful work of the Order which, unlike Father Farrow, is fully and completely faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
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Deacon Keith Fournier asks that you join with us and help in this vital mission by sending this article to your family, friends, and neighbors and adding our link (www.catholic.org) to your own website, blog or social network. Let us broadcast, we are PROUD TO BE CATHOLIC!