Friday 20th May 2022

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

How Can We Help?… Good Priests Are Being Canceled

August 11, 2021 Frontpage No Comments

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

Two weeks ago, we introduced our readers to Fr. John Lovell, a leader in the newly formed Coalition for Canceled Priests. The Coalition, an initiative of priests and laity alike, has been formed to address a growing problem in the priesthood and hierarchy: “an unwillingness to resist, and even a desire to celebrate, secular corruptions that have been condemned by the Church since its founding.”
Of course, there are many who resist this corruption. They are “faithful priests and bishops who preach and practice the eternal Faith,” according to the Coalition’s website. The problem is that all too often, these good men are persecuted when they boldly preach the faith.
In the language of today’s cultural conflicts, they’ve been “canceled.”
In our first interview, Fr. Lovell discussed how so many priests have been “canceled and warehoused by bishops who are preaching heresy.” In the U.S. alone, these men might number over a thousand, and the problem has been going on for years.
“The canceling in the Church has been going on way longer than in the culture,” observes theologian and retired Professor Dr. Janet Smith.
“About 35 years ago I figured out that the way to find the best priests in a diocese was to look in the most remote and undesirable parishes. Their offense was generally preaching the Gospel unadulterated. Evidently that is not punishment enough so now priests have their faculties removed and languish in exile. Jesus weeps.”
Dr. Smith’s observation hits home here in the Diocese of Arlington. In 1974, the Diocese of Richmond included the entire state, which had a Catholic population of only some four percent. Back then, many good priests had been “pre-canceled” — exiled to the northern part of the state. That providential move provided the fertile ground for the founding of the Diocese of Arlington under the able leadership of Bishop Thomas Welsh. A half-century later, Arlington is one of the most flourishing dioceses in the United States.
Today, the “canceled” problem has risen to crisis levels. The Coalition’s founders have prayerfully confronted this crisis head-on, and they have made a clarion call to action, as well as a plea for help.
But help from whom? With that in mind, we asked Fr. Lovell, “Let’s start with your fellow priests. How can priests help one another?”
“The priests need to come together because only with a united front that will stand up to the bishop will we be successful,” he said. “If you think you could do this on your own or if you try doing it the corporate way or the professional way of the world, it’s not going to work…you’ll just see the good priests knocked off one by one.”
On the practical level, canceled priests need to be defended, so “the coalition is trying to put together a list of solid canon lawyers — better said, solid lawyers that are fighters,” Fr. Lovell added.
We asked if priests still serving in the same diocese can help their canceled brothers. Fr. Lovell was blunt. “I’ve had many priests, close personal friends, who basically stopped talking to me after I was removed. They were afraid of what the bishop might say.” That was a lesson learned, he said. “I always tell active priests, you have to stand up and stand with your brother priests that have been canceled.”
How can the laity help members of the Coalition? Can we even get involved at all?
“Absolutely. Canon 212 can provide the inspiration, or be a springboard, specifically paragraphs two and three. It makes clear that helping good priests is not only your right, but it’s your duty. And if responding to our suffering is your duty, then that puts the onus on the laity to actually stand up when they see an injustice, even if comes from our shepherds. I always tell the laity that you can’t be passive. You have to realize is that God’s calling you to proclaim the good news, no matter how busy your life is.”
[Canon 212, §2. “The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.”
[Canon 212, §3. “According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful.”]
We raised a couple of questions that are on the minds of many among the laity. First, “many of us grew up revering our priests and bishops to the point where they could do no wrong. Bishop Sheen was on the screen and all the bishops were just as wonderful as he was. What happened?”
Well, even though bishops weren’t perfect then, things have definitely taken a turn for the worse. “Lately, it does seem as though we have an abundance of bad bishops or at least indifferent, cowardly bishops. What to do? We have to hold the bishops’ feet to the fire. They need to know that they can’t bulldoze the laity’s good priests. . . . If their sacred pastors go astray, it’s the duty of the laity to stand up.”
Second, some Catholics are asking — mind you, they don’t know anything about “canceling,” at all — “Hey, did these priests you’re talking about disobey a legitimate order of their bishop? Is that why they’re in trouble?”
The answer is clearly no. “Canon Law does give grounds for a bishop to start a ‘contentious trial’ against a priest on specific grounds. But Bishop Malloy [of Rockford] has never done that. It’s frustrating that so many Catholics think that the Church or the relationship between a bishop and a priest is like a religious order or like the military. It is not. It should be (here he emphasizes the point) more of a Father/son relationship. By that I mean more of a Father’s relationship with an adult son. Not as a five year old. We are co-workers with the bishop, not privates in an army. Let’s face it: There are many among the laity who want to follow the bishops blindly without question. That goes against Canon 212.”
We asked about Traditionis Custodes, Pope Francis’ recent motu proprio severely restricting the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass. Would the uproar following the motu proprio’s promulgation lead to more canceled priests?
“First of all, the motu proprio is clericalism at its height, it’s a complete and utter disaster,” Fr. Lovell said. Indeed, many critics of the Latin Mass don’t have a clue as to what it’s all about. They’re condescending, pretending that it appeals only nostalgic older Catholics. They’ve never taken the time to discover that, in fact, many young families love its reverence and beauty.”
Beyond that, however, Raymond Cardinal Burke has called the Pope’s action “harsh.” Newly ordained priests who want to celebrate the Latin Mass have to have permission from their bishop and from Rome. Will they be treated harshly? Will they be canceled? Who will want to celebrate the Latin Mass in the future?
Fr. Lovell looks at the broader picture. “Ultimately, it’s going to become a conversation about what obedience really means. How far does the Pope’s authority go, especially when the previous Pope is still alive? On reflection, it seems like the Vatican is almost daring traditionalists to go into schism.”
So for all priests, not just the newly ordained, the motu proprio presents a problem. It surely isn’t solving any. And the challenge facing canceled priests remains.
That means that the important work of the Coalition will continue. And these good priests need our prayers and our support.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Load More...

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

Today . . .

Justice Clarence Thomas Defends Draft Overturning Roe v. Wade, Tells Abortion Activists We Won’t be “Bullied”

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has a message for the radical abortion activists who think they can bully the Supreme Court into revising its draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade: You can’t bully us. Abortion activists plan to “raise hell” at churches across the country on Mother’s Day with protests and, some fear, violence as outrage grows in response to a leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that overturns Roe v. Wade. But Justice Thomas…Continue Reading

Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights, draft opinion shows

The Supreme Court has voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, according to an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito circulated inside the court and obtained by POLITICO. The draft opinion is a full-throated, unflinching repudiation of the 1973 decision which guaranteed federal constitutional protections of abortion rights and a subsequent 1992 decision – Planned Parenthood v. Casey – that largely maintained the right. “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes.

China expert: Dead bodies from Shanghai lockdown will far outnumber COVID casualties

China expert Steve Mosher warned Wednesday that the deadly toll of Shanghai’s ongoing lockdowns will be “much greater” than any potential lives lost due to COVID-19. “I don’t know how many lives they’re going to save from coronavirus in Shanghai, but I guarantee when they finally go into some of these apartments where people have been locked up for three or four weeks, they’re going to find dead bodies of people who’ve starved to death,…Continue Reading

Colorado legalizes abortion until the moment of birth

DENVER (LifeSiteNews) — Democrat Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado signed a bill into law on Monday that allows babies to be killed in the womb up until the moment of birth. “No matter what the Supreme Court does in the future, people in Colorado will be able to choose when and if they have children,” Polis said at the signing ceremony in downtown Denver, referencing the possible reversal of Roe v. Wade in the coming weeks.

Emails Show Cardinal Cupich Complicit In Mayor’s Draconian Lockdown Policies for Chicago Churches

In May 2020, Mayor Lori Lightfoot was drawing considerable flak over her stance against churches and other places of worship reopening for services amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But she found a behind-the-scenes ally to help her face the backlash from faith communities: Cardinal Blase Cupich, the top Catholic cleric in the Chicago region. Newly obtained emails between Cupich and Lightfoot show the cardinal advised the mayor on May 13, 2020, about how to craft a…Continue Reading

Justice Clarence Thomas Defends Draft Overturning Roe v. Wade

By STEVEN ERTELT WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeNews) — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has a message for the radical abortion activists who think they can bully the Supreme Court into revising its draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade: You can’t bully us.Abortion activists “raised hell” at some churches across the country on Mother’s Day with protests.…Continue Reading

Deicide: The Ultimate Fraud

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER “Since these people did not see fit to acknowledge God, He abandoned them to their depraved way of thinking and to all types of vile behavior” (Romans 1:28). + + With broken hearts and with more than a little anger, we survey the Church’s wreckage and chaos, and we ask,…Continue Reading

Ignores Brutality Of Abortion…. Joe Biden Slams “Brutality” Of Draft To Overturn Roe

By STEVEN ERTELT CHICAGO (LifeNews) — During a fundraising speech to top Democrat donors on May 11, Joe Biden slammed the “brutality” of the Supreme Court’s draft ruling overturning Roe v. Wade but ignored the brutality of how babies are dismembered in abortions.Biden spoke at a Democratic National Committee Fundraiser that Wednesday night at the…Continue Reading

U.S. Trade Deficit With Communist China Is Climbing

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY At the White House press briefing last December 6, press secretary Jen Psaki made it clear that President Joe Biden wanted the People’s Republic of China to pay a price for its human rights abuses.He would do so by declining to send any U.S. government officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics,…Continue Reading

The Narrow Gate

By DONALD DeMARCO In Matt. 7:13-14, Christ tells us something we need to know but are reluctant to accept: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, tt leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Liturgy Unites, Gaslighting Divides

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Guns don’t kill people, people do. People are the source of division, not the things they use to bring about violence. The voice is one of the most beautiful gifts given to men, and yet men use their voices all too frequently in sinful ways to divide and to hate. This is not the fault…Continue Reading

Do You Fear The Right Thing? A Meditation On The Story Of Chicken Little

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this article on May 9, 2022 and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + In the wake of the COVID-19 explosion of fear, we do well to begin reflecting on fear. Fear is a complex passion. On the one hand, there are things that we ought to fear such…Continue Reading

God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sixth Sunday Of Easter (YR C) Readings: Acts 15:1-2, 22-29Rev. 21:10-14, 22-23John 14:23-29 In the Gospel reading today, our Lord tells us that He leaves us with peace, but not just any peace, rather, “My peace I give to you.” He makes the distinction between the peace He gives and the peace the world gives, then…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This series on Apologetics is based on the book Catholicism & Reason. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. You can send them either to the postal mailing address or to the email address below, and we will interrupt this series…Continue Reading

Liturgical And Cultural Diversity

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The same Church leaders calling for cultural diversity are proposing to injure it through a plan to eliminate the liturgical diversity which underlies it.Cultural diversity is a current touchstone in the Church. The Archdiocese of Washington has planned a high visibility meeting about the matter this month. Each parish in the archdiocese has been tasked…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By DEB PIROCH St. Joseph, born in 1603, experienced his first ecstatic vision when he was only elementary school age and, his jaw dropping in astonishment, he was in utter amazement at what was shown him. Classmates not surprisingly bestowed on him the name of “bocca aperta,” or “open mouthed.” The only son of Felix and Frances Desa, he was…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Agnes

By DEB PIROCH “What threats the executioner used to make her fear him, what allurements to persuade her, how many desired that she would come to them in marriage! But she answered: ‘It would be an injury to my spouse to look on any one as likely to please me. He who chose me first for Himself shall receive me. Why…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)