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Inquisition In Reverse! . . . Coalition For Canceled Priests Assists The Persecuted

July 14, 2022 Frontpage No Comments


Late in June I attended the second conference of the Coalition for Canceled Priests, held in Beloit, Wis. It was a great event, which filled the audience with enthusiasm to defend the Catholic faith and in particular to support the good Catholic priests who have been persecuted and canceled — by their own bishops!
Over 600 people attended the dinner to celebrate the first anniversary of the foundation of the Coalition a year ago, and a variety of speakers shared their experiences and knowledge with the people. Twelve priests were present, perhaps as a symbol of the twelve apostles.
Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, “Canceled Prophet & Glorious Confessor: St. John the Baptist”; Fr. John Lovell, co-founder of Coalition for Canceled Priests; Michael Hichborn, “Purification Comes Through the Desert”; A conversation with Vicki Yamasaki (Vicki represents Corpus Christi for Unity & Peace).
And: Dr. Janet Smith (a virtual talk), “To Obey or to Disobey: That is the Question”; Stella Moore, a young university student, “The Challenge of Pro-Lifers at University”; David L. Gray, “There Are No Victims in the Desert; Only Soldiers”; Raymond De Souza, “The Ideology of Canceling Faithful Catholics, Clergy and Laymen, in the Catholic Church: Canceled Priests Panel”; Fr. Scott Duvall, CFCP Priestly Assistance Coordinator; Fr. James Altman, “Lord, Teach Us To Pray.”
But the tragic reality was there for all to see: 12 good priests, faithful priests, are the object of persecution and canceling by their own bishops, while in many instances, dissenters, homosexuals, and modernists of all sorts are defended by the same bishops.
The most recent scandal was reported from the Diocese of La Crosse, Wis., the city where the majestic shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe is situated, built under the sponsorship of Raymond Cardinal Burke. On June 29, Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill has returned to active ministry as a priest in his home diocese, La Crosse, after he resigned last year from his post with the U.S. bishops ahead of reports alleging inappropriate behavior, including his use of an LGBTQ dating and “hookup” app.
The Monsignor was wont to use the homosexual app “Grindr.” His cellphone data indicated he had repeatedly used Grindr and visited gay bars, hundreds of times. He resigned last year in the face of the scandal, but Bishop William Callahan of La Crosse, Wis., announced June 14 that he has appointed Msgr. Burrill to serve as the parochial administrator of St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish in West Salem. He expressed full support for Msgr. Burrill.
The monsignor, at the time serving as general secretary of the USCCB, was addicted to gay bars and the application to find gay partners, resigned, but the bishop gave him a position in a parish.
In the face of this scandal, which involves a sin against nature, a sin that cries out to Heaven for justice, is protected; on the other hand, Fr. James Altman, who spoke up in defense of the unborn against the Democratic Party of death, was canceled by the same bishop, William Callahan!
It is nothing less than the restoration of the tribunal of the Inquisition, but in reverse: The good, orthodox priests, who are faithful to the Holy Mother Church, are persecuted and canceled; while the dissenters, modernists, and homosexual priests are defended and protected!
It is the Inquisition in reverse!
It is unthinkable, but it is real. Any normal Catholic would never have imagined this could happen. But it does. In these United States of America, there is a coalition of priests who have been unjustly canceled by their bishops — not by the dictatorial authorities, as in Communist China, North Korea, and the unhappy Cuba — but by their own bishops!
What is a canceled priest? Let’s be clear by saying what he is not; he is not a priest who has committed a serious sin or flagrantly violated canon law. Yes, priests guilty of serious crimes have been rightly removed, but they do not fall into the category of “canceled” as their removal is due to offenses they actually committed, not due to their defense of Catholic truth.
When we speak of canceled priests, we refer to those who are being targeted by superiors and who are not afraid to stand up for the faith no matter how countercultural it might be.
The canceled priest exudes reverence during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, loving our Lord in the Eucharist. He loves hearing Confessions and doing pastoral work in general. He wants to improve his own education and grow in his vocation, realizing his seminary training may have been deficient.
Above all, a canceled priest wants to help others get to Heaven
One of the biggest problems in the clergy today is careerism. Many good men fall victim to the go-along to get-along mentality. Too many clerics interpret “being pastoral” to mean just ensuring that you don’t “rock the boat.”
Often, seminarians and young priests are told the best priest is the one with the fewest complaints — the one who does the most social outreach; the one who focuses on secular pop-culture concerns such as environmentalism.
Meanwhile, the priest who focuses most on saving souls and offering the sacraments runs counter to our materialist culture — and to the chanceries that have succumbed to it.
Rather than stripping a priest of his faculties, many bishops opt for punishing their priests with an ill-defined “administrative leave.” There are many priests across the country who have been canceled in this way — left hanging in a sort of canonical limbo, in which they cannot lead a parish despite facing no canonical charges.
When a bishop does that to a priest, he is sidestepping canon law.
If the priest wants to appeal this type of decree, he may have recourse to the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome. But unlike a true canonical trial, the priest is not granted discovery, so the bishop may send information to the congregation that is not revealed to the priest and his canon lawyer (if he can afford one). The bishop spends money given by the faithful to the diocese, not his own. The priest has to fend for himself. It is the greatest injustice in the Church!
Many priests have discovered the congregation in Rome just “assumes that whatever the bishop is stating is true.” Period.
The priest’s final recourse, if he loses his case, is to appeal to the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s Supreme Court. This is an expensive endeavor that takes years and often yields no fruit. Rarely does the Signatura reverse a decree by the Congregation.
Many bishops feel they have free rein on removing priests.

Fraternal Support

The Coalition for Canceled Priests (CFCP) was formed to counter the injustices being perpetrated on priests across the country so that they may receive due process of law, spiritual and material support, and the benefit of knowing that they are not alone.
Its full mission statement, eligibility criteria, types of support and other insights may be found on the group’s website (CanceledPriests
The CFCP wants to make sure that a canceled priest is able to make ends meet, that he knows his rights and can find a good canon lawyer and, if need be, a civil attorney. While a bishop has the full use of diocesan stewardship to pay for lawyers, a persecuted priest usually does not.
The Coalition wants to make sure he has a decent place to live and fraternal support. The CFCP is in the process of helping over a dozen priests across the country with legal and canonical needs as well as various expenses of life, like health care and car repair.
The Coalition is dedicated to spiritually and materially supporting faithful priests who — after being unjustly canceled by their bishops — seek to return to active ministry. The Coalition is lay driven and relies upon prayer, fasting, and actions by an array of contributors who rigorously defend these priests and fight back against errant bishops.
It is a fact that 70 percent of Catholics in America no longer believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. It proves that the catechesis in this country was a miserable failure. But the bishops suddenly decided to organize a “eucharistic revival,” costing millions of dollars! But not at the parish level, but in conferences over three years!
If every priest would preach on the Eucharist in their homilies, adult and youth programs, and so on, it would cost practically nothing. But they want your money — as many priests no longer believe, either.
So, please help the Coalition for Canceled Priests instead. They need our support!

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