Fort Worth

Controversy Over Fort Worth Priest's Comments on Joe Biden

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Comments made by a Catholic priest in Fort Worth this week are causing controversy.

The remarks were made by Father Jim Gigliotti during a homily Tuesday at St. Andrew Catholic Church and School.

It began like a traditional homily.

Gigliotti read a scripture then delivered a sermon to children and staff.

But about seven minutes in, Gigliotti spoke directly to faculty about a post on a school Facebook page he said celebrates Joe Biden's victory.

“This is my role to say this. You want to go to court about this, that’s your prerogative. You want to have a fisticuffs fight about it, I don’t do that,” he said.

He continued, “I'm just going to take a stand and let the pieces fall where they may. You are not to celebrate the fact that this pro-abortionist is close to being President of the United States.”

The Catholic church opposes all forms of abortion.

Biden, who is Catholic, is pro-choice.

“So boys and girls, we are in for a time if this man is actually declared the President of the United States along with a Vice President whose name I won’t even pronounce who is grossly anti-Catholic,” Gigliotti said.

Online, the video is getting mixed reaction from supporters calling it a "tremendous, powerful message" and critics, like Dawn Eden Goldstein, a Catholic author who has taught in seminaries, and who holds a doctorate in sacred theology.

“Where he is absolutely wrong is in using his pulpit to shame people because they voted for a particular candidate. That is not Catholic teaching,” Goldstein said.

Goldstein said Tuesday's homily is one of at least a dozen similar sermons made recently by priests across the country.

“The faithful are being scandalized. It’s harmful to people's faith it can drive people out of the church,” Goldstein said.

By phone, a spokesperson for the Fort Worth Diocese underscored the context of Gigliotti’s message saying faculty shouldn't use school social media pages to state personal political positions.

In his homily, Gigliotti said Biden is "not a good Catholic at all" and "without value." He ended his homily with a warning that jobs may be in jeopardy if the posts continue.

“If you're going to celebrate the fact that this person is going to be our President, don't do it on our time. End of discussion,” Gigliotti said.

Biden will be America's second Catholic president after President Kennedy.

Thursday, Biden received a call from Pope Francis to congratulate him on the election.

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