Fr. Pontifex is a unique blend of rap artist, spoken word performer and Catholic priest. His work, which we've featured before, takes on tough societal issues and tackles them through uniquely creative video performances. In the past, he has addressed atheism, the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate, and other related topics. This week, he released his most controversial performance to date -- "Yes to You," a video about homosexuality.
In the intense clip, Fr. Pontifex takes aim at America's sex-infused culture and has some tough words for judgmental and anti-gay pastors, preachers who remain silent on the issue -- and, inevitably, those who live a gay lifestyle. While he derides faith leaders who have harmed relations between homosexuals and religious communities, he also notes the Catholic Church's stance against gay marriage.
"I never knew of anyone who found freedom from a hate speech in Jesus name -- reckless pastors, who judge, condemn and leave a soul to feel alone," the priest proclaims in the spoken word performance. "Called to shepherd God's people, not cast the first stone. And other leaders do no favors by cowardly choosing silence -- they fail to speak the truth, and offer no guidance."
Aside from the intriguing performance, the video is unique in that its words truly seek to reach every person and entity under the umbrella of the homosexual debate. While Fr. Pontifex tells viewers that the Church opposes the gay lifestyle, he's also adamant that Catholic leaders are willing to help homosexuals.
"Same sex attraction doesn't define you and can be set in place," Fr. Pontifex proclaims in the clip, later adding, "Identity is a choice -- a lifestyle is something you embrace."
The priest also notes that there's "a difference between unchosen sexual attraction and chosen identity." Regardless of "nature or nurture," many people with same-sex attraction "didn't choose this struggle," he contends.
In an e-mail to TheBlaze, Fr. Pontifex explained his motivation for making such a controversial video. He's hoping that people will watch it and realize, regardless of their circumstances, that they are loved. Rather than turn people off to God and the Bible, Fr. Pontifex is hoping that the video will let people know, in a respectful way, what the Catholic Church teaches about homosexuality, while also telling them that they are loved.
"Many times we get caught up talking about issues but we are not dealing with issues we are dealing with people," he explained. "At times, the Christian message has been misrepresented and as a result has driven people away from the Lord."
Watch "Yes to You," below:
Regardless of how kindly the message is delivered, though, it's likely that people will take offense at the mere notion that Fr. Pontifex is speaking out against homosexuality. However, if some find themselves offended, the priest has a message for them: Take another look and the clip and pay close attention to what's being said.
"The purpose of the video is certainly not to offend but to give good information about what the Catholic Church teaches," he explained. "There is a growing misunderstanding that the Church is against those who struggle with SSA (Same Sex Attraction). That simply is not true."
While being attracted to the same sex isn't a sin, acting out and living a gay lifestyle, in Fr. Pontifex's view, is. But he didn't limit his criticisms to gays only. He had a powerful message to everyone who engages in sexual activity outside the confines of what the Christian faith would allow.
"Sin also resides in the heterosexual that is sexually active outside the bond of marriage," he continued.
We'll leave you will the behind-the-scenes footage, during which Fr. Pontifex explains why he produced the video: