Vatican reassigns outspoken Oklahoma priest 

Although a lot of people in Oklahoma City knew him as "Father Tony," the pope has decided to call him "Bishop."

The Rev. Anthony Taylor, priest of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Oklahoma City (previously the pastor at St. Monica Catholic Church in Edmond), has been named by the Vatican as the bishop of the Diocese of Little Rock, Ark. He will move on to this new calling soon, leaving behind a congregation of both Spanish and English speakers that grew under
his direction.

Some may remember Taylor from recent headlines. Taylor was among the leaders of the efforts against the consequences of House Bill 1804, which mandated that those knowingly giving transportation and shelter to illegal immigrants would face felony charges.

Taylor said it was immoral to obey such a law, but that it was part of the greater plan if one has to suffer to oppose it.

"It is a sin to obey an unjust law. That applies to anybody," he said. "But we should not deceive ourselves. If you break an unjust law, you have to be willing to suffer the consequences."

That stand by Taylor and other religious leaders in Oklahoma garnered the vitriol of state anti-illegal immigrant groups, whose fiery rhetoric was shouted so loud it surely reached the gates of the Almighty himself.

When the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City delivered a pledge to resist the law officially, Carol Helm, of the anti-illegal immigration group IRON, called it treason.

"With no credible objections to 1804, these radical bishops watch as their congregations and collections are dwindling because of their own immoral stand to openly defy rule of law and advocate anarchy, rebellion and sedition " which is treason," Helm said.

Well, she's got one more bishop to worry about now.

But what about us here in Oklahoma City? With Taylor gone, so goes a voice of opposition against the 1804 law.

Well, in his homily before his largely Spanish-speaking congregation, Taylor said a voice on behalf of the downtrodden was not just coming from him.

"In the Gospel, we have Jesus promising his disciples he will send them a consoler, the spirit of truth, who will lead them in all truth," Taylor told the congregation. "He promised to give them this gift of the Holy Spirit to console them, to empower them, and to guide them forward when they didn't really quite know (what) they were going to do."

A good thing, since nobody is sure how this deal will turn out.

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