.- Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles has placed Father Joseph Palacios on leave from ministry because of his promotion of same-sex “marriage.”
Tod Tamberg, director of media relations for the Los Angeles archdiocese, confirmed to CNA Sept. 20 that Fr. Palacios was put on inactive leave in June.
Because of the mutually agreed upon leave, he is unable to say Mass or distribute the sacraments, may not wear a Roman collar, and cannot in any way present himself as a priest in public.
Fr. Palacios is a founding member of Catholics for Equality, a group which advocates for same-sex “marriage” and other social benefits for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals.
He has identified himself as “a gay man and a celibate gay priest.”
According to the National Catholic Register, he will be on inactive leave as long as he remains politically active. In a Sept. 10 interview with the paper, he said he does not present himself as a priest when promoting same-sex “marriage.”
However, in a Feb. 2011 panel discussion called “Same Sex Marriage in the United States: Where We Are as a Nation,” hosted by the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, he appeared in a priestly collar and was introduced as “Father Joseph Palacios.”
During the event, he said that the Washington, D.C.-based Catholics for Equality are trying to portray support for same-sex “marriage” as a pro-life position, adding that “pro-life means pro-gay.”
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, has publicly stated that the organization is not legitimately Catholic and Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the military archdiocese has made the same judgment.
Fr. Palacios is a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, but has identified himself as an ex-Jesuit to the Cardinal Newman Society and elsewhere. He was ordained for the archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1987. He then entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1992, but left the Society in October 2004 without having pronounced final vows, according to the California Province of the Society of Jesus.
“Apparently, he was transitioning into the Society of Jesus at that time,” Tamberg said.
“It appears that he did not profess final vows in the Jesuit Community and remained (a) priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” the archdiocesan spokesman added.
Fr. Palacios is not identifiable as a priest on the Catholic for Equality’s website. He is described only as “Dr.” He holds a Ph.D in sociology from University of California Berkeley and attended St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif. He was ordained for the archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1987.
Corrected Sept. 25, 2012 at 3:14 p.m. MST. Changes "suspended" in lede and subsequent paragraphs to "placed on leave."