Openly Homosexual Priest Removed from Parish at UC Berkeley

The bishop of Oakland, California Fr. Michael Barber has reportedly removed two priests, Fr. Bernard Campbell and Father Bill Edens, from the Newman Hall Holy Spirit Parish at the University of California, Berkeley. The center was, it seems, long known as very very progressive and gay-friendly.

According to at least one gay friendly Catholic-ish website, Fr. Edens "came out" a few weeks ago.

The Eastbay Express reports:
According to the pastor, Barber had made it clear that the removal of these two priests supported his broader goal "to see a major redirection of ministry at Newman." The bishop had apparently expressed this intention last fall to the leadership of the Paulist Fathers, the Roman Catholic order that has run Newman Hall for more than a century.

The details of this "new vision," as Campbell also described it in his remarks, are not yet clear. In the weeks since the February 16 speech — a copy of which was posted on the church's website — parishioners at Newman Hall have continued to send letters to the bishop demanding an explanation. A day after the news broke, hundreds of churchgoers met at Newman Hall to discuss the situation and ways they might protest. Campbell and Edens did not attend. The bishop and the Diocese of Oakland have not publicly addressed this backlash or responded to individual parishioners who have written letters.

While some are focused primarily on the loss of Campbell and Edens, others said they are equally worried about any larger agenda the diocese under Barber's leadership may be planning for Newman Hall. While it is standard in the Catholic Church to move priests to new parishes, the situation in Berkeley came as a surprise and is controversial for a number of reasons, parishioners said. One notable fear is that Barber, who was ordained as the bishop of Oakland last May, could be pushing to make Newman Hall a more conservative institution. Fueling this speculation is the fact that Edens is an openly gay priest who came out to the parish a few years ago and speaks publicly about his sexual orientation. (While he identifies as gay — a fact that he has discussed in homilies — Edens, like all Catholic priests, is celibate.)

The latest bulletin states that new pastors are already in place. The bulletin also has something like a farewell from the two Paulist priests:
THANK YOU TO THE MANY PEOPLE who have spoken/written to us in response to the announcement about the Bishop's decision. This is a difficult but wonderful opportunity for all generations in this community to be church. In its infancy the church was a sign of bafflement and deep attraction to emperors and commoners, "See how they love one another." May we continue to do so.
Let's hope this doesn't cause too much hurt over there and pray that this decision by the bishop will lead people to a greater faith.



  1. Thanks for the news!

    Bishop Barber, the replacement priests and the congregation definitely need our prayers. These folk are living at the front lines of the culture war.

    As for the two priests who have been removed: may they overcome their personal struggles and deepen their commitment to God and His Church by drawing on the liberating power of Jesus Christ.

    Come Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

  2. I'm the director of a Newman Center that had to be "rebooted" by a predecessor. We were run by a religious order as well. Even in our relatively conservative location it was painful. There is hope some 10 years later. Do pray for all involved.

  3. Yes, we had 2 priests (from an order I won't name) that ran a shrine near here, and they were very… touchy in a solicitous way to each other, constantly, even up on the alter. Gave my husband and I the creeps. It was a blessing when they left and I could take my kids to mass there again at the historical shrine.

  4. The problem I had with it is the reason for re-posting Deacon Sandy's video. It appeared that the original post was not to begin fraternal correction of the deacon, but to hold him and his faith community up for ridicule. When he asked to have it taken down, the correct response is not: 1) Have you learned your lesson yet? 2) We're not done with you and your church yet. It's dealing with Deacon Sandy in charity and the agape love of Christ.

    The liturgical abuse should not be glossed over, and I also love the Vetus Ordo and attend first Fridays when I can with the Friars of the Immaculate, But Deacon Sandy and his people should be met "where they live", so they can be touched with the transformational grace of Christ.

  5. Most, at best, are sub standard pest holes, that don't follow any particular medical standards. They make up their own rules with no oversight and no one to tell them boo! Unless prolifers uncover it and out them. Even when a woman gets hurt or dies, they have local progressive political machinery standing right up there, to run interference for them! They are the worst dishonest dirt bags!

  6. "Coming out" as a celibate priest makes me wonder if these two priests even understood celibacy when it was taught at seminary. If you are celibate then your sexual orientation is the least important identifier about you as a person. This is once again all about needing attention and challenging the Church.

  7. That is all too common with these guys. I actually oversee the Catholic Professionals forum on LinkedIn and we routinely have clergy from these imposter Catholic groups show up and comment without letting on that they aren't part of the Church.

  8. Open letter to planned parenthood,

    I am calling out your accountability!

    I want accurate accountability and documentation from the bottom up, to the top down!
    I want:
    "Regular" facility inspection records and oversight. Names, dates, times and findings. Equipment mantenance checks, medical suppliers, sanitation protocols, medical waste disposal and all outside agencies, associates and companies periodically and or routinely involved with the PP operation. Including referals to other vendors, or service related industries that are recipient or beneficiaries of the PP opperation.

    I also want:
    Direct accountability of how PP money is spent.
    Breakdown as follows:
    Marketing, CEO compensation, employment, supplies, disposal, overhead, building and maintence, vendor sevices(hotels, consultants..)..and any all ancillary costs related to the PP operation.

    This is just getting started. You have a lot on your plate. Not asking for personal patient info, but general statistic tracking info as required by the IRS for billing and record keeping, to know that you are in compliance with federal, state and local business regulations. You certainly don't want problems with them.

    Well, you better get to it!

    As an American citizen, I want to know how our borrowed, public money is spent in regard to your operation. And don't even think about claiming any privilege to privacy or secrecy, you have none! Only your the consumers of services are allowed that privilege.

    I will be checking up on your work and by the way, I won't say thank you.

  9. Sadly, some people are taught that homosexual behavior is not a sin and that homosexual behavior may be used to replace fornication. However, homosexual behavior is assault and battery of another person for it denies the partner's soul.

  10. The newman center adjacent to the (public) university I attended had one religious priest replaced with a sister who ran the place and gave homilies at mass. Thankfully a new order was sent in just before I matriculated and the place is a thriving vocations mill (despite the Christian-rock mass music; alas.).


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