Was Fr Juan Carlos Gavancho silenced

Was Father Juan Carlos Gavancho Silenced Because of His Homily?

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Was Fr Juan Carlos Gavancho silenced
Photo: Brian Morowczynski / Catholic New World

On August 26, of this year, Fr Juan Carlos Gavancho, shortly after giving a sermon,  was told to pack up his bags and vacate the rectory of Our Lady of Sorrows in the Archidicoese of  Chicago, where he was assistant pastor. Was  Fr Juan Carlos Gavancho silenced?


“Father Juan Carlos Gavancho, a priest originally from the Archdiocese of Chicago who had been serving at Our Lady of Sorrows parish in Santa Barbara since early July, was asked to leave that assignment on August 29 and will no longer be serving in our parish or in the Archdiocese. Contrary to rumors and reports, Father Gavancho was asked to leave not due to the content of his homily on Sunday August 26, but rather because of issues with his interpersonal relationships with parish staff and parishioners. The Archdiocese is providing financial assistance during his transition back to the Archdiocese of Chicago, his home diocese.”


Listen to the full audio of the homily  on Fr Gavancho’s FB page or read the transcript, but here are some excerpts that probably riled up some folks.

“So, what are we doing now? Where are we going from here? First of all, we must understand one thing. This Church, the Catholic Church, is the Church of Christ. It is the Bride of Christ. St. Paul is right when he said in the letter to the Ephesians, “He has cleansed the Church with His Cross, with His blood.” She is beautiful. We have betrayed her. This is not an abusive church. This is a holy church that has fallen into the hands of abusive, evil men, who are trying to destroy the Church from within, since they couldn’t do it from the outside throughout the centuries.”

“Second, pray. Do sacrifices. Pray the rosary. Come closer to the Lord. Ask the Lord to be part of his flock. Because you will see many wearing cassocks like this, or chasubles like this, many preaching from the pulpits. They are traitors. So you need to have something that in the Catholic Church is called discernment: the capacity to know where is God and where is not. Regardless of it seems like God is here or it seems like God is there. No, no — now you need real discernment, because the Devil has clothed his children with shepherd’s clothing, to make it more difficult to recognize him.”

“Now, what I’m saying might sound very hard for you, and I have to say I’m sorry, but I had to say it. Because I’m sick and tired of seeing my mother the Church being insulted and portrayed as an institution of criminals. Because it’s not. It’s my mother, it’s your mother! The one who gave you eternal life through baptism, who gave you the courage through confirmation, who gives you the Eucharist every Sunday you come. She’s our mother, and we need to help her in these dreadful times. So my dear brothers and sisters again, I have to say this because I am priest of Christ. Many people don’t say that, and I was afraid to say something like that. There are more things I want to say, but I don’t say it because I want to be here next week.”

These are some harsh words, right?

At first glance it does appear that Fr Gavancho was silenced because of the homily,  but it is important not to jump to conclusions without proof.


The American conservative includes two updates to the story.

Fr Gavancho Weighs In

In one update, Fr Gavancho denies that he had any problems with Our Lady of Sorrows.

“He denies unequivocally that he had any problems with the parish staff at Our Lady of Sorrows. He says he got along with everyone. He also says that when the Archdiocese of Los Angeles states that it is helping him financially manage this transition, what they mean is they’re paying his hotel bill. He has no insurance, no salary, no severance pay.”

Did Fr Gavancho In Fact Alienate People?

solid homilies, but that he was bad with money, and difficult to get along with — even alienating priests and laymen who supported his theological convictions.”

Was the homily just the last straw with a problem priest?  If it was the last straw, why would such a homily be a problem?

What specifically about Fr Gavancho alienated him from priests and laity? Was he too strident in his orthodoxy or does he generally have an alienating personality?

It’s hard for those of us who are not parishioners in the parish to weigh in fairly and it’s important to avoid false accusations?

However, it’s important to point out that priests being silenced after “problem” homilies is not a new thing.

A few years ago, Fr Justin Wiley was dismissed from the Archdiocese of NY after a very frank sermon on the suppression of the Latin Mass, which many believed was speaking specifically about Cardinal Dolan’s attempt to close the Church of the Holy Innocents — a church which, offers daily Latin Masses.

So what do you think? Was Fr Juan Carlos Gavancho silenced because of his homily or was he just a problem employee?

Share your thoughts  in the comments below.

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  1. I do not know about his current parish but when he was at my parish in Chicago everyone loved him. He gave amazing sermons and held a weekly bible study group that was well attended. His pastor got along very well with him. Unless he was stealing from the parish, not handling money well could be said about half the priests in the Catholic church. The financial scandal at the Vatican, hello! That is not a reason to dismiss a priest without notice. I want the truth and I hope he comes back to my parish.

    1. I don’t know anything about him, but I think this way of treating “problem” persist is an old way of handling things! But history show us that that’s the way they should treat the Childs abuser priests and not excuse them and protect them!!! So sad , I love my religion but this is just sad!!!

    2. He was speaking for the truth that other Catholics didn’t know what’s going on in the Catholic Church. We need more priest, Bishops & clergies like him. I appreciate the information he stated on YouTube

    3. Why does the Church cover up and lie? It is transparent that Father Juan Carlos Gavancho is a holy man and beloved by many. My Church is disdainful; starting with Pope Francis.

    4. Yes I believe he was silenced for telling the TRUTH!!! The truth needs to be told and he was brave enough to do it!!!! God bless him!!!!!! We need to pray that more leaders of the church speak out against the bad things going on in the vatican!!!! The catholic church is God’s Holy church!!!!!! God wins in the end!!!!!

    5. Aloha.
      My son’s life was ruined by five priests at St. Anthony’s of Padua Catholic Church in Kailua, Hawaii that were molesting all of the young boys in their parish and school. And I was so happy that he was an alter boy!!! This was to include Monsignor Joseph Henry, Fr. Anthony Bolger and Fr. Joseph A. Ferrario just to name three. Pope John Paul II appointed Fr. Ferrario as Bishop of Honolulu in 1982 knowing full well that he was a pedophile! Parishioners built a special memorial hall named after Joseph Henry and it took 20+ years to get his name removed from the hall building Google: Pedophile priests in Hawaii. It is all there. None of our family attend the Catholic Church or contribute a nickel to pay off law suits. My son won a huge lawsuit but has gone through most of it which actually exacerbated his drinking and drug abuse. More than 70 law suits in Hawaii alone were filed and won. In the meantime they take money from struggling families to build fancy 14+ million dollar church while allowing molestation to continue. My savior is Jesus and my spirit is filled through the work of Billy Graham.
      I would love to speak with Fr. Gavancho and will pray for him. Pope Francis is a politician and a failure! We need more priests like Fr. Gavancho. I will pray for him. Aloha.

  2. I am a parishioner of our lady of sorrows and can attest that father juan carlos was a very good priest who was doing what is right as far as the catholic church is concerned. he did not fit in because he was right in his approach of serving the people of god who unfortunately have not been taught properly. I will pray for father juan carlos and wish him the best he deserve

      1. I know this comment is very delayed, but there is a group of very upset parishioners at Our Lady of Sorrows in Santa Barbara. After years of very poor clerical leadership and watered-down liturgies, there was a buzz of hope and excitement at the arrival of Fr. Gavancho. His unjust dismissal is scandalous to the local community and the response of both the local auxiliary bishop and the Archbishop have been truly disappointing. When will our pastors begin to meet the needs of their flock?

          1. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful had the Church dealt with the predatory pederasts as quickly and decisively.

        1. I use the money I give to show how I feel I cut off the ones I do not agree with. Let them fail at the annual Catholic appeal and have a tough time paying the bills maybe then they will learn what we want and need. We don’t need fake priests!

          1. I’m not so confident about the “power of the purse” these days, as the USCCB gets money to facilitate illegal immigration.

  3. Well done father Carlos..you did what god wants us all to do you are a true deciple of God..and that’s to expose the corrupted priests and cardinal inside the church.the anti-crists that are destroying our truth faith with their lies and sins… May God have mercy on this priests…

  4. He was let go because he was conservative… nothing new in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Conservatives get fired all the time for not “towing the party line”… even if that liberal line goes against the teachings of the Catholic Church.

  5. With tongue in cheek, I dare say that this scenario seems to be playing out more and more, even in Canada. From what I have read here, it appears that the parish had long been awaiting a priest. Without a priest present, the running of the church lies solely in the hands of the vestry. I am going to surmise that, as in many other similar circumstances, the priest arrived and the church wardens/elders and lay readers were upset that they could not continue being in charge. I am willing to even suggest that perhaps, upon realizing they couldn’t control the priest and have him do what THEY wanted, they contacted the “higher ups” and bad mouthed him. I would have ALL parishioners contact them and tell “their side of the story”. In every one of these situations, people MUST act in defence of the priest. If in fact this particular story is factual, this is what needs to happen. A lot of people have been trying to change the Bible to suit their wants and needs, instead of changing themselves to suit God. I see that as evil. He said nothing wrong in his homily. It was matter of fact, and to the point. Suck. It. Up. Princesses. For evil to prevail, good men need only do nothing. Speak out in defence of the priest now.

    1. This is exactly what happened at our parish. A few parishioners ran the parish and the priest had to be their puppet. When the new priest arrived and started catholic teaching, confession, adoration, communion on the tongue etc. they wrote to the Bishop and bombarded him with the most vile accusations. Then many boycotted and left the church (pressurising others to do the same) hoping that the priest would preach to empty pews and beg them to return only to find new people attending from other parishes attracted by this wonderfully pious priest.

    2. I believe he was removed because he hit a nerve and hierarchy didn’t like it. People from his parish need to stand up for him and not be told lies.

  6. There is a wolf loosed among us; the wolf of a soul eater; Father Gavancho speaks the truth. This wolf is the wolf of VaticanII. The Temple of our church is not Conservative no more than it is Liberal or ‘Progressive’; those are world terms of natural worldly politics, which has it’s own church, religion, and theology, made up be sinful men (we re ALL sinful), the Temple of ‘The State’s and it’s Sacrament is abortion.. The Temple of our Church(Catholicism) is supernatural given us by G_d through Moshe’, the prophets, and revealed to us in Jesus the Christ: his birth, his life, his death, and his resurrection: the greatest of ALL prophets, the greatest perfection of ALL Rabbis, and the very physical manifest of G_d in man ( as man) the son of the living G_d through Holy Spirit, which is Life, because Life is Truth and Holy Spirit is the spirit of Truth. One simply CANNOT use silly words like “conservative…..etc.,” to describe Father Gavancho those are the terms of a sinful man made earthly church “Politics”. Father Gavancho is Catholic calling us back to BE Catholics. Does it matter at all if he is a spendthrift does it make the message any less True? The Truth is the Truth no matter heretic Pope’s, Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons who are foul, or the accuracy of the accountant. It is because of “our” sins as Yizrael that man blasphemes, not the Gentile, Pagan, unbeliever, or Atheist. Pray for and bless Father Gavancho and all like him first, and those who are heretic secondly. Pray for the authorities that they will have ‘discernment’ and do justice before the face of the believers. Bless Father Gavancho in the words of Aaharon the first high priest:
    G_d make his face to smile upon him and give him happiness
    G_d keep him in his hand in Safety
    G_d lift up his countenance to him and give him Peace.
    Blessed be the name of the Lord forever……

    1. Vatican II is not the problem but the misinterpretation of it by people with their own agenda is. It is divisive to separate into factions with VII as the hub. We undermine the work of the Holy Spirit when we separate. We are ONE, Holy Catholic AND apostolic.
      I pray for the pruning process that has begun.

  7. I have listened carefully to his homily on YouTube. Though I do not worship in a Roman Catholic Church, however, as a Christian, I know a godly, truth-filled sermon when I hear one. I firmly believed that he realized what this homily could cost him, and he spoke the truth despite the politics of the RCC. For those who have not heard his homily, I would strongly suggest you listen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReeRASz9plQ

  8. Wonderful homily, A very brave and true priest of Jesus , true to his calling and vocation.
    He’s in good company , with the saints of old who preached the truth , no matter what it cost them, prison, torture, loss of their life. They loved the Lord that much and the church he gave us.
    May Fr Gavancho be blessed and supported by those who love the truth regardless.

  9. The truth shall set you free. God bless you Father Cavancho I will pray for you. I hope you are still able to preach the truth.

  10. Be Gavancho has a true heart, true priest of the blessed Lord, he was right that the enemy of the mother Catholic church are from the within…. Satan is furious to all the priest doing the work of God, it’s simple as this thing… If God is with us who can be against us? Otherwise if God is with father Gavancho or to any priest, deacon, bishop, cardinals, who can be against them? If God is with you who can be against you???
    God bless you!!!

  11. Of course I do not know Father Juan personally but basing my opinion only on the sermon he absolutely speaks the truth. Evil men have too long have been allowed to sow the seeds of evil and covering those acts up caused nothing but festering of a terrible wrong. Clericalism must not shelter evil from the flock. “Peter, do you love me, feed my sheep” Only truth must be fed to the laity. I am 82 years old and a life time Catholic and I Know that the gates of hell will not prevail against it but we now more that ever need that shinning light of truth to light our way. You can never compromise with evil. God bless our faithful clergy, may the Holy Spirit guide and lift up these holy men.

  12. Praying for Dear Fr. Juan. It is heartbreaking that these disgusting wolves in sheep’s clothing are left to exist today. Of course the truth hurts.
    The only Blessing is God Wins in the end. So much evil inside of our beautiful church. Those evil should be behind bars. Of course the good priest gets fired. The truth hurts those guilty.
    It literally makes me sick to think the truth, known by Francis, is still being hushed. Archbishop Vigano thank-you. Fr Juan should be restored to his parish.
    Dear God, praying for truth and transparency. It is no wonder the Catholics are leaving the church.
    Fran Keller

  13. ‘The smoke of Satan has entered the church ‘ hmmmn’ the words of a Pope , Isn’t that essentially what Dr. Said ? I always say if the truth offends you, you probably need to be offended. Doesn’t a man have a right to face his accusers . The visible church is truly in the hands of men who are doing their best to conform us into the image of the world rather than the image of Christ . ‘ Those that live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

  14. speaking the truth is sometimes very costly after listening to father gavancho sermon i hear the truth spoken He wont be the last one tp suffer for the gospel

  15. I worked with Fr. Juan in Chicago. I knew him to be a faithful priest, faithful to the teachings of Christ’s Church, faithful to his vows. I know he has suffered greatly trying to find a home in which to serve our Lord.

  16. I listened to Father Gavancho’s homily also, and it was beautiful. Oh to those who are so afraid to speak and hear the truth, even in our holy Catholic Church. May God have mercy on their souls. We must be strong and stand with holy priests in these times especially!

  17. I just watch this video today!
    That sermon is exactly how many in the Church, Country and World Feel!
    I didn’t realize till after I listened to the Sermon that it was from 2018!
    Now, 5 years later look at the mess our Church, our Country and our World is in!!!!

    We want the Truth… but Some Can’t Handle the Truth and don’t want the Truth to exist!
    This is just not the Catholic Church it’s All Churches!

    If we truly follow Christ and want to be more like Christ we See with Open Eyes the Evil lurking all around us!
    Evil has gotten into the Churches and into People of all faiths, sad to say!

    Churches are changing doctrine to the wishes of the People! That shows me at least that it is not right …to Change Christs Teachings to have a Feel Good Church
    It is like Walking away from GOD!

  18. Father Gavancho is a holy priest. I don’t know him personally but I just watched his famous sermon today from EWTN. With what’s going on in our holy church, we really need to pray more and be close to Jesus and Mama Mary. We need to be watchful for the “devil clothed as shepherds.”
    We need to pray for our priests and clergies, ourselves, and the people of the world.
    I will pray for Father Gavancho, he should be reinstated as a Parish Priest, he is an excellent servant of God.

  19. Father Gavancho was “ spot on” with his sermon and parishioners have a God given right to be told the truth – the Vatican needs to recall and remember that “the truth will set you free”.

    I hope and pray Father Gavancho will remain a priest and has set an example for other priests who do not let fear keep them from speaking the truth. God bless him for putting parishioners first and doing the proverbial “WWJD”.

    Please keep us posted on this web site of where and how Father Gavancho is doing.
    Thank you.

  20. JCG, as in Juan Carlos Gavancho, as in Jesus Christ God, as in Jesus Christ who is Son of God, who is God Himself, cannot lie. JC, as in Jesus Christ, is the Way, Truth and Life. In that controversial homily, JC, as in Fr. Juan Carlos, was only leading us God’s flock to the Way, Truth and Life — to the Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed the most serious of all sins — pride, is prevailing in the Church. Not accepting the truth is pride. Not correcting the truth is pride. Pretending that there is nothing wrong happening in the church is pride. Covering the truth is pride. Punishing people for speaking out the truth is pride. God is abounding in mercy. Our darkest sin, God will whiten as the whitest snow. Instead of punishing Fr. Juan Carlos Gavancho, why not urge the guilty to remorse? to repent? There is truth to the saying: history repeats itself. JCG as in Jesus Christ God’s persecution is repeated to JCG, as in, Fr. Juan Carlos Gavancho. Beware persecutors that God’s wrath befalling on you. You are making yourselves prisoners. Seek the truth and the truth will set you free. Keep in mind that justice and truth always prevail. The world is scarce of priests. Priests doing unpriestly acts — evil acts, you may remain as such priests. But for God’s sake, repent! go back to God. If you priests, bishops, cardinals are the cause of us, the little ones, to go astray, it is better for you to hang a millstone around your neck and get drowned deep in the deepest ocean.

    Father God fill us with the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Fill our hearts with love for You above all and love for our fellowmen as we love ourselves. Lead us all to You.

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