BILLINGS – Father Ryan Erlenbush, a priest at the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, has condemned Billings Catholic Schools for allowing a gay couple to serve as event chairs for an upcoming fundraiser.
Erlenbush, who lives in Great Falls and is a graduate of the Billings Catholic Schools, posted on his personal Facebook page that the schools "have really let us down with the Mayfair invitation this year."
Here is the full text of his post:
You know a Catholic School has lost its way when a prominent homosexual couple is advertised as the chairs for the annual fundraiser. Billings Catholic Schools have really let us down with the Mayfair invitation this year. Why would any Catholic (indeed, any Christian) attend or donate to Mayfair 2018? What does a Catholic School have to do before people say "enough" and take their kids (and their money) elsewhere? I’m an alumnus of the Billings Catholic Schools, and I say, "enough."
Erlenbush’s post received a majority of responses critical of his view. Some supported his stance.
The Billings Catholic School Foundation declined an interview but stated "we have six wonderful chairs working to make this event happen."
It went on to state it didn’t consider this situation to be an issue or newsworthy. According to the foundation, a number of donations have come in since the priest’s post went viral in spite of his comments.
Pope Francis has reaffirmed in the past the Roman Catholic Church’s position that homosexual acts are sinful, but homosexual orientation is not. He also has called for transsexuals and homosexuals to be accepted and embraced by the Catholic Church, but said he was staunchly opposed to schools promoting or endorsing such “tendencies."