A concerned member of the Diocese notified us that Fr. Michael Haney, OFM, stated in his parish’s bulletin that “climate change” is more important than abortion when it comes to voting in the upcoming election.  Of note is that he quoted Daniel P. Horan, OFM, a noted expert on nothing related to the climate and certainly no expert on orthodox Catholic teaching (more on him shortly).  Here is what Fr. Haney, pastor of Cross in the Woods Parish and National Shrine, had to say (the full bulletin of September 15, 2019 can be accessed at www.discovermass.com):

“While every human life – born and unborn – is inherently valuable, dignified, and must be protected, he [Horan] says we live in a time in which there is now a more fundamental issue that threatens all life:  climate change.  He maintains that it is dangerously shortsighted and myopic to propose directing our attention, argumentative energies, and financial resources to any singular anthropocentric ethical issue.  The preservation of particular human lives is predicated on the future of the planet and delicate ecosystems on it that make life possible at all.”  Fr. Haney goes on to say the following:  “The magnitude of climate change’s threat to life – human and nonhuman alike – eclipses everything else.”

So what’s wrong with all this?  For starters, interested individuals who have looked at this are concerned this represents a political, rather than a religious, dialog.  Specifically, it gives the impression from some readers that Fr. Haney is proposing parishioners can (and should) vote for pro-abortion “climate change” supporting politicians instead of pro-life politicians.  It is well known that with almost no exceptions, Democratic party candidates support abortion and have made “climate change” a banner issue for upcoming elections.  Many but not all Republicans are pro-life.

However, regardless of one’s political leanings, the issue of abortion is first and foremost an issue that Catholics are not to support.  Support of abortion brings an automatic excommunication according to Church teaching (Catechism #2270-2275).  One’s views on climate change do not.

Here’s an excerpt from a voter’s guide produced by Priests for Life (https://www.politicalresponsibility.com/voterguide.htm):

“Intrinsically evil actions are those that fundamentally conflict with the moral law and can never be deliberately performed under any circumstances. It is a serious sin to deliberately endorse or promote any of these actions, and no candidate who really wants to advance the common good will support any action contrary to the non-negotiable principles involved in these issues.”

The Church teaches that, regarding a law permitting abortions, it is “never licit to obey it, or to take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or to vote for it” (EV 73). Abortion is the intentional and direct killing of an innocent human being, and therefore it is a form of homicide.”

“The unborn child is always an innocent party, and no law may permit the taking of his life. Even when a child is conceived through rape or incest, the fault is not the child’s, who should not suffer death for others’ sins.”  (emphasis added by Gaylord Diocesan Watch)

Regarding Catholics, this doesn’t seem to leave much room for “climate change” to “eclipse” abortion in the upcoming election.  The bottom line is that if one candidate is pro-life and the other is pro-abortion and pro-“climate change” activism, it is our obligation as Catholics to vote for the pro-life candidate as this issue is so much more urgent than “climate change”.  Human life is the natural resource infinitely more important than any other living or non-living creature of planet earth.

Fr. Haney quoted Fr. Daniel Horan.  Who is Father Horan?

Father Daniel P. Horan is a pro-LGBT priest who called the annual March For Life  “repulsive and futile” and “basically a gathering for many right-wing anti-abortion hardliners”.  Note how he avoids the term pro-life.  Why is Fr. Haney quoting this person ? How is Fr. Haney allowed to write such troubling information while a truly Catholic preaching priest, Fr. Matthew Cowan, continues to be suspended from preaching in our Diocese?

Source:  https://www.breitbart.com/faith/2019/01/21/catholic-priest-slams-march-for-life-as-repulsive-and-futile/

We are thankful for concerned Catholics who bring these issues to our attention.   If you feel Fr. Haney may be off track with his writing, we encourage you to write him at:

Fr. Michael Haney

Cross in the Woods Parish and National Shrine

7078 M-68

Indian River, MI  49749


We encourage you to send a copy of the letter to Bishop Raica and the Papal Nuncio:


Most Reverend Steven J. Raica

Bishop of Gaylord

611 W. North Street

Gaylord, MI  49735


His Excellency, The Most Reverend Christophe Pierre

Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America

3339  Massachusetts Ave. NW

Washington, DC  20008-3610