LOS ANGELES -- Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles has suspended local priest Father Joseph Palacios from ministry over his promotion of same-sex “marriage.”
Tod Tamberg, director of media relations for the Los Angeles Archdiocese, confirmed to Catholic News Agency Sept. 20 that Father Palacios was put on inactive leave in June.
Because he has had his faculties removed, he is unable to say Mass or distribute the sacraments, may not wear a Roman collar and cannot in any way present himself as a priest in public.
Father Palacios is a founding member of Catholics for Equality, a group which advocates for same-sex “marriage” and other social benefits for "gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender" individuals.
He has identified himself as “a gay man and a celibate gay priest.”
According to the National Catholic Register, he will be suspended as long as he remains politically active. In a Sept. 10 interview with the paper, he said he does not present himself as a priest when promoting same-sex “marriage.”
However, in a February 2011 panel discussion called “Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: Where We Are as a Nation,” hosted by the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, he appeared in a priestly collar and was introduced as “Father Joseph Palacios.”
During the event, he said that the Washington-based Catholics for Equality are trying to portray support for same-sex “marriage” as a pro-life position, adding that “pro-life means pro-gay.”
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, has publicly stated that the organization is not legitimately Catholic, and Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Military Archdiocese has made the same judgment.
Father Palacios is a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, but has identified himself as an ex-Jesuit to the Cardinal Newman Society and elsewhere. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1987. He then entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1992, but left the society in October 2004 without having pronounced final vows, according to the California Province of the Society of Jesus.
“Apparently, he was transitioning into the Society of Jesus at that time,” Tamberg said.
“It appears that he did not profess final vows in the Jesuit community and remained (a) priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.”
Father Palacios is not identifiable as a priest on the Catholics for Equality’s website. He is described only as “Dr.” He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California-Berkeley and attended St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, Calif.