Homosexual Activism in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
Part III: Most Holy Reedemer

Most Holy Redeemer Staff

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Most Holy Redeemer Parish Staff: Fr. Anthony McGuire

 

"Under Father Anthony McGuire—‘Fr. Tony—the parish was reborn…. Anthony McGuire became the ninth pastor of Most Holy Redeemer parish in 1982."

 

The atmosphere at MHR can corrupt good priests and laypeople. We are all sinners. We have no desire to attack any person, clerical or lay, for the sake of attacking, but if we are to show the harm caused by the embracing of homosexuality at MHR, we must tell the truth.

Below are some excerpts from Fr. Godfrey's book "Gays and Grays" describing the tenure of Fr. McGuire at MHR.

 

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"They came from the chancery, the personnel board, to ask questions, to see whom to send. We have to replace Fr. Moriarity, they said; ‘What kind of pastor do we need in this parish?’ I said, ‘The parish is gradually becoming more gay. These are the demographics of the area. This needs to be thought about in making this decision.’ There was absolute stone-dead silence in the room. . and the meeting went on to another point." Deacon Laurence Rolle, quoted in Godfrey p27.


"Fortunately, Archbishop John Quinn was well aware the question needed to be asked, and chose a man who turned out to be especially suited to the new sociological profile of the parish. Under Father Anthony McGuire—‘Fr. Tony—the parish was reborn…. Anthony McGuire became the ninth pastor of Most Holy Redeemer parish in 1982." Godfrey p27-28.


McGuire used his marvelous sense of humor to touch his flock’s imaginations and to lubricate tense situations. His humor was even on display at his final Mass of Thanksgiving in the parish. In his homily he deadpanned that when he first arrived in the parish, he just though ‘Hail Holy Queen’ was a good entrance hymn! This line was captured on tape in a television news story about McGuire’s leaving the Castro. Of course, the entire assembly broke into laughter." Godfrey p34.
 


"When a former Catholic asked McGuire if his AA group might use the hall for a Halloween party, McGuire thought it sounded like a very appropriate request. When he said yes, he had no idea everyone would turn up either in drag or wearing practically nothing! The next day the woman who, in his words, was ‘the second most uptight parishioner,’ called and was furious. She berated him over the impropriety of such goings-on on church property. "It was like Sodom and Gomorrah!’ she thundered. To which McGuire answered meekly, with his mischievous humor, ‘Well, maybe Sodom." Godfrey p36.


"Kevin Ballard was there one occasion when someone confronted McGuire, demanding to know how he could accept all those people living ‘alternative lifestyles’:

‘It’s true, (McGuire) said people in our parish do need to be called away from gossip and from promiscuity and much else; but isn’t it easier to for people to make hard moral choices in a community that loves and accepts them. He just avoided the moral stuff…Later people can be challenged if it is needed, or maybe it will just happen naturally." Rev. Kevin Ballard, SJ, quoted in Godfrey p38.


 

"In his early days as Pastor, McGuire also had to deal with protests from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The "sisters" first appeared in San Francisco on Easter Sunday 1979 as a group of four gay men in nun’s habits… ‘What happened was that one day before Christmas a notice on a telephone poll (sic) said the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are coming to Most Holy Redeemer for Christmas Midnight Mass…The Sisters came dressed as Marie Antoinette. Festive garb is the way people dress in the Castro on big occasions. So they came and sat in the front row, and during the homily one of them was giving me these eyes, it was very distracting…’" Fr. Anthony McGuire, quoted in Godfrey p39.


"Well the question in my mind was, the people who make a conscientious decision to live together as a gay couple, and then they come to communion, just like people who make a similar decision on birth control, you don’t harass them. You respect their decision. The next step was, ‘Can a clearly gay couple take on open ministries in the church?’ Like if a gay couple apply for ordination, that would clearly be an obex. What about Eucharistic Ministers? I though maybe I should consult [Archbishop Quinn], but then we already had them!" Fr. Anthony McGuire, quoted in Godfrey p52.

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