2008: Bishop reaffirms Fresno Diocese’s support of Prop. 8 / Fresno Bee

See the original of this article on the Fresno Bee website at this link.
Thanks much,
Steve St.Clair
Bishop reaffirms Fresno Diocese’s support of Prop. 8
By Ron Orozco / The Fresno Bee
10/06/08 22:42:41

Bishop John Steinbock of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno reaffirmed the Catholic church’s support of Proposition 8 on Monday, the day after a Fresno priest made comments against it at a Mass.
Steinbock made a public statement after getting many calls Monday wanting an explanation after the Rev. Geoffrey Farrow’s unusual actions at a Sunday morning Mass at St. Paul Newman Center.
“He felt the need to make clarification,” diocesan communications director Jesse Avila said of the bishop.
Steinbock’s statement said Farrow had cleared out his office and his parish residence. Attempts by The Bee to reach Farrow on Monday were unsuccessful.
The controversy started Sunday morning at the 11 a.m. Mass. With a camera crew from KFSN (Channel 30) on hand, Farrow told parishioners that he was taking a stand against Prop 8; the constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot seeks to overturn a state Supreme Court ruling this year that allowed same-sex marriage.
Farrow said during the Mass that parishioners had asked him for direction and advice about Prop 8. He said he came to the realization that he had to go against the church.
Before the Mass, he also told Channel 30 that he is gay.
Steinbock made it clear Monday that the Diocese of Fresno supports Prop. 8, which would preserve the traditional definition of marriage in the state constitution as a union between a man and a woman.
“Proposition 8 is not about gay or lesbian orientation, or their legal rights. Proposition 8 is a reaffirmation of the nature of marriage,” the bishop said in a press release. “Proposition 8 reaffirms the dignity of the special covenant between one man and one woman, which has been the building block of the church, and of society, since time immemorial.”
Avila said he didn’t know what the diocese would do next because Steinbock still hadn’t talked with Farrow as of Monday afternoon.
When asked for a possible reason for Farrow’s actions, Avila said, “We can do a lot of speculating; I have to assume Father Farrow had difficult things in his mind only he can explain.”
Farrow, who was born in 1957, has been pastor of St. Paul Newman Center since April. He replaced the Rev. Perry Kavookjian, who was reassigned by the diocese to begin a new parish in Bakersfield.
Farrow was ordained in the diocese in 1985 and served at parishes in Merced, Bakersfield, Visalia and Arvin.

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