Priest appeals to Vatican against his dismissal
Bishop refuses to say why priest was removed
Picture: St Francis of Assisi church, Bend, Oregon http://www.stfrancisbend.org/
The pastor of the Baker, Ore., diocese's largest parish -- St. Francis of Assisi in nearby Bend -- has filed an appeal of his Oct. 1 forced removal from that post by Baker's Bishop Liam Cary.
According to a statement Wednesday provided to NCR through his canonical advisor, Fr. James Radloff is also asking the Vatican Congregation for Clergy for permission to publicly divulge the reasons Cary used to justify the formal decree of removal.
Cary has refused to discuss reasons for the dismissal, writing in an Oct. 1 letter to St. Francis parishioners that he was "not at liberty" to do so. That letter also lauded Radloff for his hard work and accomplishments at the parish, declared that he remains a priest in good standing, and said the priest did nothing illegal.
Fr. W. Thomas Faucher, a canon lawyer advising Radloff, said Cary had ordered Radloff to obtain the bishop's permission to celebrate Mass or do other ministry, but because the priest remains in good standing and has not been convicted of or charged with any church crime, the bishop could not make such a demand.
According to Radloff's statement:
- On Aug. 1, he was asked by Cary to resign as pastor; the priest "responded by asking for mediation and reconciliation, which requests were rejected";
- Radloff and Faucher were consequently "informed of the five reasons for my removal" by Cary;
- In response, Faucher "submitted a long legal brief rejecting all of the reasons," arguing that they did not meet the criteria for removal found in Canon Law;
- Those "detailed objections were simply dismissed by Bishop Cary in one-sentence rejection of them;"
- On Oct. 18 a brief was filed with the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy.
"Bishop Cary ... has forbidden me or my canonical advisor from revealing what the reasons are," Radloff's statement notes, adding:
"His statement that 'Father Radloff remains a priest in good standing and has done nothing illegal,' has resulted in widespread rumors of every type about me. I want the reasons revealed and made public."
Source: National Catholic Reporter
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