This story broke last week, but BCI missed it in the midst of the Walter Cuenin coverage. Jesuit Fr. Bob VerEecke was the pro-gay pastor of St. Ignatius of Loyola parish in Chestnut Hill, MA for 27 years, until he left in June of 2016. He was replaced at St. Ignatius in MA by Fr. Joseph Constantino, who was previously pastor of the gay-friendly parish, St. Francis Xavier in Manhattan, from 2006-2013 (see below). In other words, the Jesuits more or less swapped the assignments of the two pro-gay pastors at their respective pro-gay parishes.
St. Francis Xavier in Manhattan, is a hotbed for pro-gay dissent and LGBT activism. When same-sex “marriage” became legally recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015, St. Francis Xavier Church’s Facebook page shared a photo of a rainbow flag draping the steps up to the altar.
Here’s are excerpts from the original report by LifeSiteNews, “Jesuit priest from pro-gay parish removed after ‘boundary violations’ with male parishioner.”
NEW YORK CITY, September 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Jesuit priest at a well-known pro-homosexual Manhattan parish has been removed as pastor for “boundary violations” with “an adult male who attended the parish.”
Fr. Bob VerEecke has been removed as pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church and restricted “from the exercise of public sacramental ministry,” according to a September 15 letter from Jesuit superior John Cecero read out at parish Masses last weekend.
A letter from acting pastor Fr. Daniel Corrou posted on St. Francis Xavier website Tuesday revealed the allegations concerned “a recent, unwanted and inappropriate conversation and attention of a sexual nature toward an adult male who attended the parish.”
Corrou wrote that “there was nothing criminal about this interaction” and that VerEecke “agreed that the incident took place, acknowledges his lack of good judgement, and is sorry for the incident.”
This confirms the September 15 letter from Cecero, superior of the USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus.
“About a week ago, the Archdiocese of New York communicated to me complaints by an adult of boundary violations by Fr. VerEecke. I reviewed these complaints with Fr. VerEecke, and he acknowledges a lack of good judgment in his behaviour,” Cecero wrote.
“Consistent with our Province Ethics in Ministry policies, I am removing Fr. VerEecke from the Church of St. Francis Xavier and restricting him from the exercise of public sacramental ministry. I anticipate that many of you will share my regret in taking this action, but we as a Church have learned the hard way that boundary violations must be met with a swift and decisive response from church leadership.”
St. Francis Xavier is notorious for its support of the LGBT agenda, hosting regular meetings for Catholic Lesbians and Gay Catholics. It draped a rainbow flag on the altar steps after the Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex “marriage” and in conjunction with the city’s Pride event, Church Militant reported in June 2015.
The parish traditionally marches in the NYC Pride Parade, which was organized this year by parish staff Robert Choiniere, doctoral student at Fordham University, and co-producer of “docudrama” Full of Grace: The lives of LGBT Catholics.
“Celebrating Pride is about as Catholic as you can get,” Choiniere, who appears holding a rainbow umbrella on a New Ways Ministry report on LGBT Catholics in Dublin for the World Meeting of Families, wrote in the June 24 parish bulletin.
“St. Francis Xavier has been a shining example for many decades of this truth…The sacred procession of Pride is a proclamation of our identity as Children of God,” he wrote.
Indeed, New Ways Ministry, a dissident group that lobbies the Catholic Church to accept homosexuality, lists St. Francis Xavier as one of its “LGBT friendly” parishes.
Jesuit Fr. James Martin, who has been lobbying the Church to normalize homosexuality, is scheduled to speak at the parish October 3.
Martin, “friend of Xavier was present at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin,” will speak on “how the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community can enter into a relationship of respect, compassion and sensitivity,” the parish website says.
“Jim will be at Xavier to speak about his experience in Dublin in light of recent painful events in the church,” the announcement says.
Known as “the dancing priest,” VerEecke has choreographed numerous liturgical dances.
In June last year, VerEecke led parishioners of St. Francis Xavier in a “wave” as he danced in the sanctuary, and several young women swirled around in front of him to “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang.
VerEecke was known for his kooky liturgical dance and other pro-gay advocacy while at St. Ignatius in Chestnut Hill, MA.. Beyond the tragedy of what VerEecke did, there’s another scandal. Cardinal Sean O’Malley welcomed the previous pastor from St. Francis Xavier to be the new pastor at St. Ignatius of Loyola in the Archdiocese of Boston. Surely he knew about his gay advocacy at his parish in New York before accepting the appointment. Here’s what Church Militant reported in 2015 in “NY CHURCH DRAPES ALTAR STEPS WITH GAY FLAG”:
MANHATTAN, June 29, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) – A Catholic church in New York City has posted a photo of its altar steps draped in the rainbow flag.
Saint Francis Xavier, known as a bastion for gay Catholics, has a reputation for gay activism, with members regularly marching in the city’s gay pride parade.
The photo was posted on the parish’s Facebook page on June 27, the day right after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its revolutionary decision legalizing same-sex “marriage” in all 50 states, and during the weekend of gay pride festivities in New York City.
The pastor once wrote a parish bulletin encouraging the Church to rethink its teachings on homosexuality, and the parish hosts regular meetings for Catholic Lesbians and Gay Catholics, as well as a Zen Meditation group. Although the Courage apostolate — the only Church-approved ministry to Catholics with same-sex attraction — is headquartered in New York City, the parish has yet to welcome the orthodox apostolate there.
Cardinal O’Malley should be asked why he freely accepted the appointment of Fr. Constantino to be pastor of St. Ignatius, given his history.
And does anyone else think the Fr. VerEecke story sounds just a little bit similar to what we reported about Fr. Walter Cuenin’s unwelcome advances on a male Brandeis student and Terry Donilon’s “non-denial denial“? He said there was no charge of molestation (which we knew), and then he said no allegation of molestation — which was merely a parsing of words — but would he agree that it was an unwelcome sexual advance after the victim had been plied with alcohol and was unable to say no?