Monday, January 15, 2018

More On OLA And Pastors Emeritus

A visitor comments,
In fairness to Fr. Phillips, perhaps he did try to let loose of the reins but parties unhappy with the Archdiocese/OCSP compromise kept trying to hand them back. I do not envy Fr. Lewis. He is battling to keep that fractured parish together, to re-grow a school that has had its enrollment decimated by this public fight and trying to be a full time pastor. I would imagine that the folks cc’ing, including and consulting Fr. Phillips were doing it on the QT, maybe even at the request of Fr. Phillips himself, and Fr. Lewis had to finally come out and make an official request for it to stop.

Fr. Phillips’ wife was the head bookkeeper for the parish and school. She still works in the administration offices, although from the outside, it appears she is being transitioned out as newer employees are brought onboard to learn her job, but surely she has/had access to the inner workings and goings on of the last year. It would not be unreasonable for a husband and wife to discuss, “What went on at work today?”

UPDATE: A visitor reports Mrs. Phillips was moved out of the Administrative offices in November.

I suspect these ”leaks” are coming from many sources. There are still more than a few parishioners and parents that genuinely want/think Fr. Phillips could return when this all blows over. Unfortunately, this thinking is either na├»ve at best or delusional at worst, or some combination in between.

The fact that one full year later this is still a source of animosity and vitriol, used as a weapon to beat up on the Roman Church makes me concerned about the less than Christian charity and lack of Christ-like forgiveness. These people need our prayers. Both sides in this War of the Roses need guidance from the Holy Spirit to do the right thing and assistance from the Virgin Mary for the humility to accept the will of God, regardless if they agree with it.

Until they do, the only “winners” I see are folks that want the Catholic Church to look bad. Who wants to make Christ’s Church look bad? (Channeling my inner Church Lady here ) Can you say. . . Satan!

The tendency I keep seeing throughout the OCSP is to regard its version of small-c catholicism as a special compartment, just another edition of Anglo-Catholicism that at basis is rejecting authority and making it up as it goes along. The succession issue in the OLA parish is one instance, but we also see it in various pronouncements at the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society blog that suggest an "Anglican Patrimony" overrides the ordinary obligations of Catholics.

I think Fr Bergman, who I believe is on the board of directors of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society, has a special obligation to offset this tendency, which he is either ignoring, or about which he is himself unclear -- but if he were acting as he should, such posts would long since have been deleted from the blog.

This is another indication to me that Bp Lopes is preoccupied and not really paying attention here. It also reinforces my view that Cardinal Mahony had the correct understanding of the governing factors behind both the Pastoral Provision and Anglicanorum coetibus.

My regular correspondent has been looking more closely into the Pastor Emeritus question. From last summer:

I doubt that Abp G-S would have named Fr Phillips "Pastor Emeritus" if he had been able to remove him from OLA. The disciplinary process, if successful, would have been a humiliating conclusion to Phillips' career in the Catholic church. Instead his departure took place in a face-saving manner. Presumably knowing that these were his only two options prompted Fr Phillips to treat "Pastor Emeritus" as exactly what he had in mind, so one might make a case that Lopes and G-S were acting in tandem, although I still feel that the latter let things go on too long. But perhaps your speculations about friends in high places are accurate. A very tangled situation.
It seems to me that the "Pastor Emeritus" designation for Fr Phillips was a way for Bp Lopes to temporize with the potentially divisive impact of simply removing Fr Phillips, although from the reports I had a year ago of the disagreements between Fr Phillips and Msgr Steenson, the fact that Phillips would own his house adjacent to the parish property was seen as a major problem in 2012 and seems to have been a factor behind the parish staying out of the OCSP at that time. Clearly, based on the report of current circumstances above, it continues to be a potential problem and a challenge for Fr Lewis. More recently, my correspondent has pointed out,
Relatively few OCSP groups have changed leadership since the Ordinariate was erected. I note that Fr Allan Hawkins is listed as "Pastor Emeritus" at SMV, Arlington, although as far as I know he remains incardinated in the local diocese. He has a blog which seems to avoid any discussion of parish business.

Fr Reid left Annunciation, Ottawa to take over BJHN, Victoria upon the retirement of Msgr Wilkinson, who had been in charge for only a year and was a former ACCC colleague of Fr Reid. This seems to have been an uneventful transition. Msgr Wilkinson continues to assist at BJHN.

Fr Catania and his two assistants at Mt Calvary, Baltimore left that community to make way for a new administrator. Fr Catania eventually took over St Barnabas, Omaha from Fr Scheiblhofer, the founding parochial administrator. There was a transition period during which Fr Scheiblhofer was "Pastor" and Fr Catania was "Associate Pastor" which this post described as a "coadjutor" arrangement.

I believe you had a correspondent from the [St Barnabas] parish who felt that Fr Scheiblhofer was forced out of the parish to make way for Fr Catania. He would have been 64 at the time. In any event Fr Scheiblhofer is now serving at St Robert Bellarmine, Omaha (see page 10 here), as of October 2017 according to the SRB FB page. This would be a more typical arrangement, I would imagine, regardless of the circumstances under which the previous administrator/Pastor retired.

My correspondent then added,
I meant "typical" for a Catholic parish. Nothing in the OCSP is yet "typical."