A parishioner in the St. Paul Archdiocese objects
A reader writes:
I read with more than a little interest the comments of the writer who gave a defense of Archbishop Flynn. In particular, I noticed the claim that the Archbishop, in assigning priests, would attempt to reaffirm orthodoxy: “…a parish which lost a truly Catholic priest through death or retirement was provided with a replacement of the same caliber.” Huh? I am a member of the largest parish in the St. Paul/ Minneapolis diocese, Epiphany parish in Coon Rapids. Our founder pastor, Fr. Rieser, was retired recently. This had been a wonderfully vibrant and orthodox parish—until now. The Archbishop sent us a new pastor whose past assignments included St. Joan of Arc’s and St. William’s churches, parishes not known for their orthodoxy. A “discernment” process was set into motion, wherein several liberal theologians preached to us about Community. Community is God. We are Community! Needless to say, this didn’t go over very well, and heated exchanges were the result of these meetings. So our new pastor then cancelled the remaining session which was to be open to the parish. Now it’s to be closed meetings by a select few, and I mean select. No orthodox need apply. Our Rosary group, which used to say the Rosary in the church before Mass, has now been banished to the chapel. The St. Michael’s prayer that we used to recite at the end of Mass has been dropped, as our new pastor thinks it is “too dour”. (All that silly old-fashioned stuff about Satan, I guess…) Our Teen Masses have incorporated liturgical abuses that we were told were approved by the Archbishop, though our pastor won’t let us see the letter that does so. This all when we were told that no changes would be made until this “discernment” process was finished.
In short, when our priest was retired, we asked, and hoped, that the diocese would send us someone who would be holy, orthodox, and would live on site. I will not presume to question our new priest’s holiness, but I will question his orthodoxy, and he doesn’t live on site and has requested that our new parochial vicar ( a young and orthodox priest) not live on site either. Thanks, Archbishop!! Way to go!!