Thursday, February 01, 2007

Priest Disappears; Diocese Confused

Last week, I heard about controversy brewing in a little parish of the Vancouver Island Diocese. Apparently there was some division over the dismissal of a parish employee, and the parish priest had up and left. The diocese was unable to comment, but for a private letter read to the parish after Sunday Mass.

According to the Globe & Mail (who do us the favour of quoting Peter Jamieson, of the unread and undistributed 'Island Catholic News') the parish employee in question had offended the sensibilities of 'conservative' members of the parish, who in turn petitioned the bishop to remove the employee. Seemingly in protest, the parish priest up and left this past Friday.

It's hard to comment based on the rather one-sided account presented in the article, but I can say from what I have learned about the way the priest ran this parish, his departure can bring nothing but good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Dear Sir or Madam:

I think you underestimate the seriousness of this crisis at Holy Cross. It is not, as some seem to think, simply a matter of apparent discrimination against a homosexual employee.

Rather, the more serious issue that is linked to the problem of the Lacey land fiasco, is that of an almost complete lack of accountability from the Bishop's office with respect to these problems in our Diocese.

May I suggest that you attend the next open public meeting at the parish church scheduled to happen next Friday February 16? You will be able at that event to defend the Bishop's secrecy with respect to these problems if you like, as the meeting moderators will respect all points of view. But be prepared to be harangued by an angry group of Catholics that sometimes forget the admonition of Our Lord to be charitable.

I attended the first meeting there some weeks ago, and found the moderators to be fairminded, despite the raucous mood of most of the people in the audience. They cut off homosexual commentators who wanted to belabour their own irrelevant stories of apparent discrimination, as well as the overly pious who were exhorting the faithful to pray more. The meeting began and ended with prayer, and we were all very conscious, I am sure, that we were in a house of God.

I am not an organizer of the meeting, but would be pleased to meet you in person, if you choose to identify yourself. I read your blog with interest, and check it out almost every day, although I don't agree with a lot of it. However, I think we need more of these blogs and forums for Catholics to speak candidly and respectfully to each other.

Your anonymity could backfire on you, however. One certainly gains more credibility if one writes under one's own real name, in my humble estimation.

Peace of Christ

Gregory Hartnell ("Goyo de la Rosa")