Beloved priest, Father Joseph Breen, passes away at age 87 – Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2022-05-21 19:41:52 –

Nashville, Tennessee (WTVF) —Father Joseph Breen, perhaps the most famous Catholic priest in Nashville, and a beloved person who sometimes clashed with church leaders over his progressive attitude. He died of prolonged illness late Saturday afternoon.

87-year-old Breen, known to her friends as “Joe Pat,” celebrated the 60th anniversary of the ordination in December this year.

Controversy within the Catholic community advocating marriage of priests, ordination of women, acceptance of LGBTQ communities in churches, and same-sex marriage was a prominent term. He was publicly rebuked three times by the Nashville bishops for his views contrary to his official Catholic teachings.


Father Joseph Breen

“It was a pretty journey,” Breen said in an Easter message posted on social media.

“When I was young, I really lived my life, so I didn’t regret it.”

After graduating from Father Ryan High School, Breen attended the Theological Seminary at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, and graduated from North American University in Rome. He was ordained on December 20, 1961 at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.

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Father Joseph Breen and Brother Philip.

His younger brother, Phillip Breen, joined him in the priesthood.

Father Phillip Breen died in 2016.

Joseph Breen’s mission in central Tennessee included 10 years at Rosa Church in Lima, Murfreesboro, and 30 years as a popular pastor of St. Edward’s Church in South Nashville.

He has become friends with many people, including the mayor and members of parliament.

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Zurfat Suara and Father Joseph Breen, members of the Metro Council

“Father Joe Pat’s love was endless,” said former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry. “He saw each one as a child of God. He deserves his time, love and forgiveness.”

“When you were in front of him, his eyes were always twinkling, telling you that he loved you and not letting you leave without giving you his peace.”

Barry recalled how Breen invited her to join the Easter brunch as a public symbol of his belief in the power of redemption after a personal scandal led to her resignation in 2018. ..

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Former Mayor Megan Barry and writers Paul Young and Father Joseph Breen

“He said,’I want you to know that Easter is a time of redemption, and I want you to sit with me in public so that people know you are my friend.'” Barry recalled.

Father Breen, who arrived in St. Edwards in the early 1980s, welcomed a girl to an altar server of a class that was previously all boys. This practice later became more common in Catholic parishes in other regions.

Julie Cain Rams, one of the first altar girls, called Breen a “personification of love.”

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St. Edward’s School Children and Father Joseph Breen

“His life was about subsumption,” Lummus recalled. “It was to love everyone, to accept everyone, and to truly show the actions of Christ.”

Rams remembered that Breen was “like a grandfather” and the “equipment” of her family.

“I think he was a family fixture for many people,” she added.

Seeing the growing Hispanic community in St. Edwards, Breen led an effort to buy a building previously occupied by the Radner Baptist Church on Norensville Road and turn it into a Catholic Church.

Our Lady of the Guadalupe Church became the first parish of the Nashville Parish for Spanish-speaking Catholics.

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Part of Father Breen’s ministry included working with the Spanish-speaking community.

“That’s the best I’ve done,” Father Breen told the Diosesan newspaper. Tennessee registration.

Still, when it comes to official Catholic teaching, Breen wasn’t always different.

In an interview with NewsChannel 5 in early 1996, a Catholic priest wondered if hell was real.

“Will mothers and fathers in this world blame their children or impose eternal punishment?” Breen asked.

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Father Joseph Breen and Pope John Paul II

Breen told the parishioners that he did not believe that using contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancies was actually a sin, and that homosexuality was a sin.

He openly advocated same-sex marriage.

As a result, Breen was scolded three times by the Nashville bishops for his public comments.

Faced with the possibility of losing his position in St. Edwards in 2011, Breen apologizes to then-Benedict XVI and then Bishop David R. Chobby after proposing in an internet video that Catholics are free to follow their conscience. I was forced to do that. The problem if they disagree with the teachings of the church.

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Pope Benedict XVI and Father Joseph Breen

“As Father Breen reiterates, it is simply wrong to say that the conscience reveals the individual to the teachings of the Church and frees them from the truths that have been planted,” the late Bishop Chobby said in an official statement at the time. rice field.

“In recognition of his many years of good work among the people of his parish, I would like to correct the mistakes in his teachings and give Father Breen an opportunity to retire gracefully, but in any case. , His recent public remarks were unbearable. “

Three years later, Breen, who retired at the age of 79, revealed that it was not his decision.

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Father Joseph Breen

Still, he claimed he had no regrets about his controversial position.

“You have to be loyal to yourself. If someone has a strong belief in something, I think you have to promote it, especially if it’s for the public good,” Breen said. Told NewsChannel5.

After his retirement, he continued to speak out about his beliefs.

And in Pope Francis, Breen saw the hope that the Catholic Church could become a more comprehensive institution he prayed for, especially in the Pope’s public statement about the LGBTQ community.

Breen said Pope Francis was “God sent.”

“I share his words with you, with the hope and prayer that you may be grateful for his love and compassion for all the children of God,” Breen said on Facebook May 2018. I mentioned in the post.

“Our church has long brought great pain and suffering to our LGBT community. Hopefully Pope Francis has relieved the pain of many who left our church and probably made them. It will help make you feel welcome again. “

Of Father Breen The problem of faith Appearance from 2019 below:

Faith Issues: Conversation with Father Breen’s View of Today’s Catholic Church p2

Beloved priest, Father Joseph Breen, passes away at age 87 Source link Beloved priest, Father Joseph Breen, passes away at age 87

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