The recent "ordination" of Ray Grosswirth, a married resident of my home diocese and someone who has been active in parishes, as a married priest has led to a spate of discussion on some sites.
I'm not going to get into the issue of his ordination - he excommunicated himself without any overt action needed by the diocese - but rather the fact that some folks have used the incident as a vehicle to attack the diocese.
One of those attackers referred to a Father William Callahan and his break-away church, Spiritus Christi, saying that that church was fading into oblivion.
It was Father James Callan, not William Callahan (to the poster's credit, this was corrected later when the error was pointed out)
But as for fading into oblivion, a recent bulletin of the church I secured (from Dec. 2/3) reports attendance of 1,187 and a collection of more than $19,000. I know a lot of Catholic Churches that would love those figures.
My own parish had an attendance of around 1,200, and a collection of just over $9,000.
Spiritus Christi offers a full range of ministries. It is doing better than a lot of Catholic parishes - orthodox or otherwise. (By the way, the most orthodox parish in my suburb is in upheaval because the traditionalist pastor had to be removed after allegations of sexual impropriety surfaced earlier this year. Sigh)
As for the diocese, why the continued attacks? Bishop Clark does not read all the blogs out there and does not know all the people who are involved in the particualr parishes. Can we blame the bishop because Grosswirth slipped through?
If Grosswirth were allowed to continue in any church position after this act, that would be a different matter.
But on a broader level, just because you don't like a style of music or architecture, does that make the bishop Satan's servant?
When we worship, our minds and hearts should be on prayer, not on critiquing others.
So, other than old rumors and past alleged abuses, what specific liturgical violations is the diocese guilty of? What heretical statements is Bishop Clark making these days?
Are these claims by folks who don't even live in the diocese based in fact, or are they based on flawed information or memories, as happened with Father Callan's name?
And if such a simple fact can be incorrect, how can we be certain of the correctness of other statements?