Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Right Wing Bishop Upsets Liberal Berkeley Catholics

I saw this local story tweeted today. See Berkeley parishioners protest at church

BERKELEY -- Parishioners of a liberal Catholic Church demonstrated outside the facility Sunday, protesting what they say is a more conservative direction the parish has taken the past two years.

About 100 members of St. Joseph the Worker Church took part in the demonstration, timed to coincide with a visit by the Most Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, bishop of the Diocese of Oakland, which includes both Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

They were requesting the removal of the Rev. John Direen, the church's pastor, and objected to the ouster of the Rev. George Crespin, St. Joseph's pastor emeritus. Direen was appointed to the parish two years ago.

In the past, St. Joseph's has been used to plan antiwar protests and labor organizing drives; it once was used as a safe house by United Farm Workers founder Cesar Chavez.

The protesters objected to Direen's dismissal of the parish council and its Latino counterpart, the Consejo Latino. Membership of the parish is largely Latino.

In addition, parishioners assert that Direen has closed the conference room in the rectory to the church's Social Justice Committee, the St. Vincent De Paul Society and Berkeley Organizing Community for Action, an interfaith political action group that lobbies the city and the school board on issues affecting the poor.

Phone calls and emails seeking comment from Direen were unsuccessful. ..............

Much more at the link.

Now any Catholic that has been around for a while knows there has to be a lot more to this story. Catholic Bishops, no matter your opinion of them, are pretty pro St Vincent De Paul and pretty pro poor folks. The Diocese wisely perhaps has decided not to comment. However I have to think there are tons of other Catholics that have an opposite positon of those quoted in the story that have an informed position on what is going on. Why are they not quoted? It's that lack of an opposing viewpoint that leaves me skeptical about what is going on as reported.

Again the story leaves me with the feeling that the real problems and issues are not being discussed.


mike said...

Here is another description of what is going on at St. Joseph the Worker. The story is entitled the struggle for Berkeley's Soul


mike said...

and the latest developments with contradictory statements from the diocese and the pastor emeritus.