By Austin Ruse, October 26, 2018
Catholic Church employee Aaron Bianco says he has “endured physical and emotional violence” at the hands of Catholic laymen, watchdog groups, and media outlets. Specifically, he charges Church Militant and LifeSite News with slashing the tires of his car, making death threats, and physically attacking him outside of Mass.
Announcing his resignation after what he says has been a year of abuse, Bianco says the final straw was an article published October 16 by the Lepanto Institute that was also posted at LifeSite, a piece that included pictures of Bianco, his boyfriend, and his deceased mother, and supposedly revealed his home address. It should be pointed out that the photographs of Bianco, his boyfriend, and mother first ran with his cooperation in a video produced by the San Diego police after Bianco faced a deranged intruder at his Church office. What’s more, Lepanto/LifeSite did not reveal his home address. Even so, Bianco said the story by Lepanto and LifeSite constituted a hate crime and he was therefore leaving his Church job.
Bianco’s cause has been picked up by dissident Jesuit James Martin who has urged his nearly one million social media followers to get Facebook and Twitter to shut down LifeSite and Church Militant. He also called his followers to complain to their bishops. He, too, believes these groups must be silenced.
But, is any of this even remotely true, or is this the case of Martin and Bianco trying to get social media mobs, the bishops, and powerful corporations to bully faithful Catholics into silence?
Bianco first came to a national Catholic audience in December 2016 when LifeSite News revealed he was running the young adult ministry at St. John the Evangelist Church in San Diego even though he was openly homosexual and a member of the dissident group “Call to Action” that endorses same-sex “marriage” and women’s ordination. LifeSite also reported that San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy supported Bianco, apparently knowing about Bianco’s lifestyle and opposition to Church teaching.
The indefatigable Joseph Sciambra ran with the story, as did Church Militant, which reported on what appeared to be ongoing tension between Bianco and some of the parishioners at St. John the Evangelist. For instance, Church Militant reported that Bianco did not like the daily rosary some parishioners said before the morning Mass and managed to have the Church locked until a few minutes before the morning Mass began. The parishioners ended up saying the rosary in the parking lot.
Bianco says he has received hundreds of hate messages and death threats though as far as I can tell he has not revealed any. And we do recognize that the definition of “hate” is a slippery thing. It can include simply expressing Church teaching that homosexuality is disordered. Bianco may have lots of things like that and consider them “hate.”
Someone did spray paint “no fags” on the conference room wall in the Church. But, quite frankly, “no fags” could have been painted by a Bianco ally. There is an epidemic of fake hate crimes sweeping America. There is even a website to track them that lists nearly 400 such cases going back many years. Even the gay publication “Advocate” ran a story about the plethora of fake hate crimes against homosexuals.
The charge by Bianco that Church Militant and LifeSite literally attacked him outside of church, and threatened his life are patently false and actionable. Church Militant’s Christine Niles told me her group is soon to send Bianco a legal threat letter to cease and desist.
That some laymen have complained that St. John the Evangelist employed an out-homosexual who is “married” to his boyfriend, and who dissents from Church teaching is utterly within the rights of faithful Catholics. In fact, it is their duty. On the other hand, James Martin S.J. thinks it is abominable and discriminatory that the Church might fire unrepentant homosexuals from Church jobs. Hence his campaign to vilify those bringing the charges. It would be deeply regrettable if some Bianco critics have gone too far, though we do not yet know if this is the case.
That James Martin S.J. has inserted himself into this situation demonstrates Martin’s essential hypocrisy. He complains about the vilification of homosexuals in the Church, yet he freely vilifies Church Militant, and LifeSite. James Martin has even called such critics the “alt-right,” a term that may have once meant young conservatives online who wearied of National Review, but after Charlottesville, came to mean fascist, white supremacist, Nazi and nothing else. And James Martin knows this.
James Martin charges that outfits like Church Militant and LifeSite are nothing more than social media mobs sent to harass the innocent. However, counting Facebook and Twitter, Martin’s social media presence is twice the size of Church Militant, LifeSite, and Lepanto combined. And Martin has never hesitated to unleash this sometimes-threatening social media mob.
Making false charges is straight out of James Martin’s playbook. Last year he falsely accused Catholic Vote of making violent threats against him on Twitter. He unleashed his social media mob on them and got them suspended from Twitter. He unleashed them on me, too, and some of them literally called for me to be violently assaulted, something Martin was utterly indifferent to.
The sexual left always needs martyrs. They cannot advance their cause without martyrs. Note the threat that pubescent “transgender” kids will kill themselves if they cannot have puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. And the martyrdom is often greatly exaggerated and even false. Matthew Shepherd was such a martyr, and his story is as fake as they come. The anti-Christian Human Rights Campaign regularly announces the violent death of gender confused people always implying, always without proof, that they were killed because of “hate.”
Note in the current Church crisis how many of us are calling for an end to the priestly homosexual cabals in the Church. And then realize how difficult it has been to get rid of this single layman who has been open about his homosexual marriage and opposition to Church teaching. Now, imagine trying to get rid of a “beloved gay priest.”
Rather than condemning them, we should thank those Catholic laymen who are monitoring and exposing dissenters in the ranks of church employees.
To outsiders, and maybe even to insiders, this may seem like nothing more than the taking of scalps. LifeSite wants the scalp of Bianco. James Martin wants the scalp of LifeSite. But here’s the thing: One is in the right, and one is in the wrong. There is no equivalence. The Church simply cannot allow those with dissident views to teach our young people. It was said that Bianco was actually helping to prepare young people for marriage. Exposing him is a duty. Attacking the whistleblowers, like James Martin does, is a participation in and a cover-up of dissent.
It should also be noted that monitoring and exposing such things is not fun. Faithful Catholics would preferably be about many other things; raising their children, evangelization, worship. No one wants to be the Spanish Inquisition. But when it is needed, someone has to do it. It is clear that certain bishops are not so inclined.
So, we are sorry that Aaron Bianco appears to be without a job. We hope he finds gainful employment soon, just not at another Catholic institution.
Austin Ruse is president of C-FAM (Center for Family & Human Rights), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute. He is the author of Fake Science: Exposing the Left’s Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data published by Regnery and Little Suffering Souls: Children Whose Short Lives Point Us to Christ published by Tan Books. The views expressed here are solely his own.