A gay employee at a Catholic church in San Diego, California, has resigned after being on the receiving end death threats and vandalism — a campaign of harassment that he endured for two years.
Speaking to the National Catholic Reporter, Aaron Bianco, who was a pastoral associate at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, said that he finally made the decision to resign when Catholic websites posted pictures of his family and their personal information, including there they live.
This Friday, he resigned “out of fear for my family and myself.”
His resignation letter stated that he “will be looking at hiring legal counsel to stop the slander against me.” He likened the groups that attacked him to “organized crime.”
“These groups are no different then organized crime,” Bianco wrote. “They have gone after me relentlessly hoping to bring me to my knees. These groups, and those who act on their rhetoric must be stopped! We cannot allow this to continue in a Church that was founded on Jesus’ message of love and acceptance. I will be looking at hiring legal counsel to stop the slander against me.”
“They have gone after me relentlessly hoping to bring me to my knees,” he continued. “These groups, and those who act on their rhetoric must be stopped! We cannot allow this to continue in a Church that was founded on Jesus’ message of love and acceptance.”
On Wednesday, the right-wing Catholic group the Lepanto Institute published pictures of Bianco and his husband on their website, revealing where they lived. The article was also linked to on LifeSiteNews, which is a far-right anti-abortion site.
From the National Catholic Reporter:
Headlined “Bp. McElroy Defends Diocesan Employee in Same-Sex ‘Marriage,’ ” a Lepanto Institute-generated narrative was posted Oct. 17 on its website and also carried online by LifeSiteNews.
The account focused largely on “Bianco’s pro-homosexual activism,” Bianco’s “sodomitical ‘marriage,’ ” and McElroy’s support for Bianco and LGBT ministry.
McElroy and Bianco have been the target of a previous LifeSiteNews article.
During his two years at the church, he received threatening messages left on his car and received other through email and phone calls. His tires had been slashed and he was even physically attacked. When came to the church on Monday, someone had spray painted “no fags” on a wall in the rectory office.
As the Advocate, points out, pastoral associates can be male or female, married or single. St. John the Evangelist parish has made a name for itself being welcoming and inclusive. Bishop of San Diego Robert McElroy support for Bianco has contributed to right-winger’s targeting Bianco.
Bianco addressed the church’s congregation at mass last Sunday. His resignation will be effective on October 31.
Thunderous applause from the church supporting Aaron Bianco after giving his resignation speech. He resigned to stop the attacks against himself and the church by hate groups. @10News pic.twitter.com/ORboniJrIi
— Cassie Carlisle (@ReporterCassie) October 22, 2018
Featured image via Twitter