Reaction to Father Farrow's Statements

October 7, 2008 12:39:07 AM PDT
A family member of a Fresno priest who's come out against a November ballot issue is speaking about his controversial statements.Father Geoffrey Farrow's family says they support his decision to express his feelings about Proposition 8, even if it was against the direction of the bishop.

During Sunday mass the catholic priest made a bold statement on gay marriage after feeling pressured by the church to tell his parishioners something he didn't believe.

Late Monday afternoon Father Geoffrey Farrow's brother explained why the priest felt it was important to bring the issue before his congregation.

"May the blessing of almighty god father, son and holy spirit descend on you. And remain with you forever."

At the close of mass, Father Geoffrey Farrow knew his revelations would likely change his status in the Catholic Church. But he spoke his mind anyway and his brother said Monday he's proud of him. "I'm impressed with his courage."

From his home in San Diego, the priest's brother Charles said Farrow thought long and hard before delivering his critical remarks.

Charles Farrow said, "It took him several months of figuring out exactly how he wanted to address this moral dilemma that he was in."

Farrow told action news Sunday he wanted to be honest and upfront with parishioners who have the power to decide next month whether to eliminate the right of same sex couples to marry. "It's just wrong and someone has to say something and I wish it was someone else. I wish it would've been one of our cardinals or bishops who would've said something."

Saint Paul Newman Center is a more progressive parish ... Much of the congregation is young and college aged. Farrow told his family that was part of the reason he wanted to speak out.

Charles Farrow said, "Certainly there are people in the parish that he believes if he were to go along with the stance that the bishop was saying they should take, would've damaged some people there psychologically and he didn't want to do that to them."

Bishop John Steinbock also responded to the father's comments by saying quote "Proposition 8 is not about gay or lesbian orientation, or their legal rights. Proposition 8 is a reaffirmation of the nature of marriage."

During a live chat on abc30.com dozens shared their feelings about the priest's revelation and Proposition 8. It's clear from the postings this is an issue many on both sides are passionate about.

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