Friday, May 18, 2012

Episcopal Church Web Site Writer Upset That Catholic Church To Laicize Former Catholic Now Episcopal Priests

A Major Episcopal Web Site writer is sort of misleading , and creating a big deal over nothing I think. See RC diocese seeks to turn three Episcopal priests into lay persons

What's is sort of frustrating is the writer here seems to have a disconnect between the last piece of the article he wrote and the first part:

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown wants to declare that three Episcopal priests, who were received from the Catholic Church, are lay people. ( Yes as a matter as to their Status in the Catholic Church YES. They left the Catholic Priesthood so this sort of makes sense)

The Diocese of Allentown seeks to laicize the Rev. Canon Bill Lewellis, the Rev. Canon Michael Piovane, and the Rev. Donald Schaible. They were notified by letter in March that the Catholic diocese intends to use newer, simplified procedures that were designed in 2009 to remove sex offenders and child abusers from the clergy roles without an ecclesiastical trial.

Among other things, the move also seeks to undercut the validity of the ministry of ex-RCC priests in the Episcopal Church (WHAT ? LINK PLEASE )  because in theory The Episcopal Church (which recognizes the validity of Catholic orders) can't receive what's been taken away. ( WRONG. As explained below in the article he writes EVEN and in the comments this moves someone to the Lay State as a manner of Canon Law . It DOES NOT affect their Orders. Once a Priest Always a Priest ). In the Episcopal view, these men did not stop being priests, they only changed the church (jurisdiction) in which they practice their ministry. ( This is actually in some ways the Catholic Church's views except we don't exactly view the Episcopal Church as a jurisdiction).

So instead of using this on Roman clergy who have sexually abused their parishioners, they use it clergy who committed the "grave scandal" of being married--even though the Roman Catholic church will re-ordain married former Episcopal clergy who join their church. ( That was a low and unfair blow. This is being used against Clergy that abused. Further THEY LEFT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. It is just not that they are now married.It should  also recalled that by removing them from Clerical to the Lay State it's removes their Canon Law obligation to be celibate and thus be married. There are certain RIGHTS and OBLIGATIONS to being in the Clerical versus Lay State. For instance once in the Lay State they don't have a right ot be buried in Catholic Clerical Garb.  Again what is the big deal here. The Church is not saying that the they somehow have taken the impact of their Holy Orders away ( to do a valid Eucharist for instance ).

This action is taking (or has already taken) place--it's involuntary and essentially done in secret--many years after the three became Episcopalians and were received as priests. Piovane was received in 1993, Lewellis in 1999 and Schaible in 2007....

Read it all. Again there might be some legal Canon Law issues here about notice.

Despite what is said elsewhere in the article , I think this procedure has been used against Priests that did not abuse children. Dallas Charter Creep person I saw put it , but that is another matter. Maybe a Canon Law blog will address this matter. 

Again I am perplexed. All sort of obligations of being in the clerical state such as obedience to Catholic authority on various matters, celibacy , etc are in play. It's apparent these ex Catholic Priests now Episcopalians don't care about that. So why oh why should the Roman Catholic Church keep them as a matter of Canon law on the "Clerical Rolls".


Undergroundpewster said...

Consider the source.

These are the same people who supported the deposition of Bishop Duncan of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh when his diocese voted to leave the Episcopal church.

James H said...

I Was thinking that! PLus did not the same folks try to take the Ordrs of the Bishop of Fort Worth away?

AJ said...

It hardly matters what the RC diocese does at this point. Having received valid orders and been accepted in the Episcopal church, they are still Catholic priests. Roman is just one flavor of Catholic, as I learned when I in my M.ED in Religious Studies program. Sadly, as a cradle Catholic, I was never taught the depth and breadth of the Catholic churches.