Thursday, March 30, 2017

But What Happens Next Year?

It's been established that Fr Phillips is Pastor Emeritus of OLA. Emeritus usually means retired, so he's formally already that, and while he retains his faculties as a priest, he's no longer in control of the parish, its employees, or its finances. And it's been announced that he will be replaced completely in 2018. For the pro-Phillips faction around the world, this is a very brief and conditional respite. (Heck, there's a retired priest in residence at our parish rectory; he takes masses on the usual schedule -- I assume he has about the same status there as Fr Phillips at OLA.)

So the following are interesting questions:

  • Who will replace Fr Phillips? The OCSP has a limited pool of priests young enough credibly to replace Fr Phillips who could easily be relocated. The stock of Fr Phillips's chief protégé, Fr Bartus, has probably gone down, unless Bp Lopes wants to continue a regime of playing favorites and encouraging cliques. Parties familiar with the situation are suggesting candidates from outside the OCSP, or in the OCSP but currently without parishes, could be in the running.
  • What will happen to the Phillips rectory? A former OLA rectory is currently leased to the Poor Clare sisters, and while the arrangements aren't precisely known, it may not be possible to move them out for the new pastor. This suggests that, in order to bring in a replacement for Fr Phillips some time next year (indeed, an announcement of the replacement could occur as early as the start of Advent), it will probably be necessary to purchase the Phillips home from Fr Phillips fairly soon, or an awkward situation could develop.
Seems like it's a bit early for celebration.