The unnamed bishop whose remarks Archbishop Wenski criticized was Bishop Robert Lynch of Saint Petersburg, who celebrated his 75th birthday last month. Bishop Lynch, whose diocese is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Miami, had written a blog post June 13 reflecting on the Orlando shooting which was re-printed in the Washington Post.
Bishop Lynch had written, "sadly it is religion, including our own, that targets, mostly verbally, and often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence."
Archbishop Thomas Wenski's June 19 homily was at the Mass launching the Fortnight for Freedom in the Archdiocese of Miami. The event hosted relics of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher, who held to the Catholic faith rather than recognize Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church in England.
The archbishop said the two saints rejected the pressure of their time to go along with the king.
"At first cajoled and tempted with bribes, then imprisoned and tortured, they refused to break away from the Church founded by Jesus Christ on the rock of Peter," he said.
The archbishop noted the religious persecution facing the estimated 150,000 Christians now dying for their faith every year around the world.
Archbishop Wenski found cause for concern in trends in the United States and other liberal democracies, where "people of faith are being increasingly subjected to a soft despotism in which ridicule, ostracism, and denial of employment opportunities for advancement are being used to marginalize us."
"We see this when butchers and bakers and candlestick-makers are being put into the legal dock for refusing to renounce their religious beliefs," he added.
A "new religious intolerance is being established in our country," in which Christian pastors face stalking and threats, academics are expelled from universities for their findings, and charitable organizations and religious schools face harassment if they take their religious morals seriously and require their employees to support their mission, the archbishop said.
He said Catholics must continue to give witness in spite of growing intolerance.
Archbishop Wenski cited Pope Francis' words for the 2015 observance of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul: "Authentic witness… is one that does not contradict, by behavior or lifestyle, what is preached with the word and taught to others."
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"If we honor the memories of Thomas More and John Fisher, if we invoke their intercession today, it is because they would not contradict, by behavior or lifestyle, what they preached and what they believed," the archbishop said.