Thursday, February 7, 2013

Getting Back To The Issue

in yesterday's main post, I think there was another, and not completely related, reason for the enormous upsurge in anger at Fr Kelley and the parish majority during the spring of 2012. The core dissidents had managed to put four of their members on the nine-person vestry during 2011, which led to the inconclusive vestry meeting of December 11, 2011, in which a letter was presented to Fr Kelley requesting his resignation.

The fact that this took place was a bombshell for the parish rank-and-file, which had been completely unaware of secret meetings between the dissidents, Bishop Moyer, and Bishop Strawn, as well as their overall hidden agendas. The majority of the parish was certainly satisfied with Fr Kelley's performance, and the fact that the move to get rid of him had been kept such a secret was an indication that the people behind it knew it wouldn't be popular.

The result was that, since this unpleasant news came out in mid-December, the rank and file began to talk informally to come up with a picture of what was going on, who was involved, and how that related to the terms of the vestry members. As it happened, most of the key players had come onto the vestry between parish annual meetings, and they faced re-election at the next annual meeting, which would be in early 2012. The fact that these same people, thwarted in their December 11 attempt to remove Fr Kelley, had then gone to Cardinal Wuerl via "Archbishop" Falk with their complaints and had the parish's reception to the Ordinariate delayed, added to the rank and file's desire to have the conspirators off the vestry.

As a result, the rank and file informally came up with a set of candidates for the vestry election in the annual meeting that would replace those in the conspiratorial core. All of the conspirators termed off the vestry in 2012; none was renominated from the floor, and replacements were voted in who were actually representative of the parish as a whole. Marilyn Bush, the current "senior warden", was voted in because the parishioners were not aware of her support for the angry core; had the parish election been held with a valid electorate at the 2013 annual meeting, when she would have termed off the vestry, she would not have been renominated and would not have been re-elected.

One motive for the growing anger at Fr Kelley as 2012 moved along was simply the recognition that he had the support of an overwhelming parish majority, which among other things did not wish to elect the angry core of dissidents to any position of responsibility. It was simply not a coincidence that the first steps "Bishop" Strawn and the late "Canon" Morello took were to remove the elected vestry by any means, however uncanonical and indeed illegal.