Saturday, August 09, 2008

Suppression: Such a Harsh Word

Damien Thompson is reporting the suppression of a parish and the punishment of its priest.

The priest:

Fr Lawler told me [Thompson] today: "This is a parish that does exactly what the Holy Father tells us to do, celebrating the Mass reverently in the old and new forms. The bishop is determined to squash it, and to destroy me because he doesn't want me moving to another parish and doing the same thing."

The chancery:

Instead, the Vicar General, one Mgr McQuinn, has written to him [Father Lawler], telling him: "The Bishop ... believes your ministry to be divisive, is uncertain that ordinary pastoral care of parishioners is taking place and does not have confidence that you will celebrate the Ordinary Form of the Mass with a generous heart for the vast majority of parishioners who expect Sunday and weekday Masses to be in English and at an altar facing the people."

Apparently Father Lawler has been on the bishop's list for awhile and this seems to be the climax of much tension. The parish has retained a canon lawyer and appealing to Rome.

I would assume that Mr. Thompson would not report such a blatant act as this without first getting his ducks in a row. That the bishop of Leeds would take such drastic action is telling. I would personally like to know the circumstances behind the 'planned' round of closings and if this church was slated for closure before or after all this cropped up. That would be even more damning.

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