Skip to Content

Banished Priest Shows Up At Council To Address Homosexuality

Father Michael Rodriguez, the controversial El Paso priest banished by the bishop to Presidio after reportedly violating church policies, showed up at this morning’s city council meeting to speak out about homosexuality and the recall election.

After speaking at the podium on his interpretation of the church’s teachings on homosexuality, Rodriguez had plenty to say to the media afterward, answering just about every question about his conflict with outgoing Bishop Armando Ochoa.

“I thought it was very important to come today,” Rodriguez said. “If a Catholic does not believe and hold fast to the truth that homosexual acts are wrong, one is no longer Catholic.”

ABC-7 asked Rodriguez about the lawsuit leveled against him by Ochoa for alleged misuse of church funds.

“I would just say that I think it’s a shame, I think it’s a great, great tragedy that internal problems from the Catholic church are now on display publicly,” Rodriguez said. “It never should have come to this. Unfortunately, it has.”

ABC-7 then asked Rodriguez if there was any truth to the allegations of misuse of church funds. “Absolutely not,” he replied. “Every penny of that parish was always used for the spiritual and temporal goods of San Juan Bautista Church.”

ABC-7 then asked Rodriguez to comment on the bishop’s stance in the lawsuit, pointing out that any church improvements need to go through the diocese and be approved.

“I won’t comment on that,” Rodriguez said.

As for members of his former parish, who intervened in the suit and now want the money back they raised for an altar, Rodriguez said, “They are certainly asking for what is just and right.” Rodriguez did say he thinks his speaking out led to his transfer.

“I am convinced that at the root of all this is my effort to be 100 percent faithful to the teachings of the Roman Catholic church,” he said.

ABC-7 also asked Rodriguez if he thinks the disagreement may have led to Ochoa’s transfer to Fresno, Calif.

“I do suspect it does have something to do with it,” Rodriguez said. “Those allegations were raised against me primarily to defame me, to discredit me and even seek to destroy me in some way.”

Rodriguez would not rule out the possibility of a counter-suit against the bishop and a possible transfer back to El Paso at some point.

ABC-7 also spoke with Deacon Carlos Rubio from the El Paso Diocese. He said as far as Rodriguez’s views on homosexuality, “He’s very much expressing his personal views.”

And as for Rodriguez’s transfer, he said it simply had to do with “proper procedures not being followed.”

Finally, as for the bishop’s transfer having something to do with the debate, Rubio said, “The bishop’s assignment has been in the works for a while in Rome.”

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo



KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content