“Im sorry, I can’t hear you; I’ve got an LGBTQ banana in my ear!” In a post-session interview, Bishop McElroy said that in using the banana, he was attempting to demonstrate the way that Catholic anti-gay bigotry makes genuine dialogue impossible. “As Ernie and Bert could not communicate effectively because of the barrier between them, so also are faithful followers of Pope Francis unable to communicate with those who seek to destroy his campaign of mercy and inclusion. The Pope wants to rebuild the Church, as I tried to indicate with my cardboard cutout of the Holy Father bearing gift cards for The Home Depot and other stores. His critics just want to tear it down.”
Following revelations that he sat on a letter that testified to ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s sexual misbehavior instead of passing it along to the man whose job he hoped to one day take (Cardinal Wuerl of Washington D.C.), Bishop Robert McElroy announced a listening tour around San Diego, “seeking input from people in the pews on the pathway to reform.” But at his first meeting this week at Our Lady of Penance in Rancho Santa Fe, the Bishop not only conducted the session with a rainbow-striped banana in his ear, he also answered questions by quoting from his own article in the current issue of America, a Jesuit magazine. A sample:
The Bishop's fruit-based inspiration.
Concerned Catholic #1: Your Excellency, given the revelations surrounding homosexual abuse within an institution that expressly forbids homosexual activity and among men who publicly profess celibacy, extending from the now-disgraced Cardinal McCarrick all the way down to St. John’s seminary in Boston, do you think it’s time for the Church to reassess its approach to homosexuality?
McElroy: Jesus Christ and his church seek to embrace fully and immediately men and women in the LGBT community. Next.
Concerned Catholic #2: When you say, “fully,” what exactly do you mean? It seems a curious term, especially in light of the gross unchastity these clerics have displayed.
McElroy: Many times, our discussions in the life of the church suggest that chastity has a singularly powerful role in determining our moral character and our relationship to God. It does not. Next.”
Concerned Catholic #3: But we’re talking about sexual abuse here. Doesn’t that indicate a singularly serious problem with both moral character and one’s relationship to God?
McElroy: Pope Francis continually reminds us that the Lord unceasingly called the disciples to reject the temptation to judge others, precisely because it is a sin so easy for us all to fall into and one so injurious to the life of the church. Thank you all for coming.