Parish Priest to Pope: ‘You are Hurting my Parish’ by Promoting Homosexuality

A Catholic priest in San Francisco published an open letter to Pope Francis accusing the pontiff of “hurting” his parish and ministry by promoting homosexuality and urging him to preach the Gospel clearly.

“My Papa Francesco, I must tell you that you are making my job as a parish priest difficult,” wrote Father Joseph Illo of Star of the Sea Parish in the letter dated October 6.

“I am writing to you in the spirit of parrhesia, a biblical word you have used several times to encourage us to speak freely, boldly, and without fear of disagreement,” the priest said. “Please receive the following words freely, not from Rome, but from the peripheries, from a simple parish priest.”

Father Illo noted that he works “in one of the declining parishes of San Francisco, California, a city that prides itself in having evolved beyond faith in God.”

“In my city, the faith is openly mocked and attacked, and my parishioners are struggling to believe in Jesus. Most of their family members, friends, and co-workers have abandoned the Christian faith,” he described. “My parishioners are clinging to the simple truths of our faith, especially the Church’s teachings about the human person.”

But Father Illo said that Pope Francis’ promotion of homosexuality has harmed his flock and made his work as a pastor “very difficult.”

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