One can argue (and many of you are) whether the method of protest by the St. Mary by the Sea parishioners in the Diocese of Orange was prudent or charitable. Even setting aside whether Bishop Tod Brown was right to cast these parishioners out of their parish and the diocese, the greater question for me is whether Brown is being consistent.
Time and again, we hear stories of priests and laypeople alike who openly dissent from the Church’s teachings, including those that are to be definitively held by all the faithful. They openly advocate for homosexuality, for ordination of women, and for all kinds of heterodox beliefs. I’ve spent the last four and a half years documenting them on this web site. But I don’t think I can recall a single time when such people are ever treated like people who openly yearn for a more traditional form of their faith. (And by that I mean tradition more generically. I don’t mean just those who prefer the Tridentine Mass, but also those who are fine with the Novus Ordo and simply want to continue to kneel at the consecration or receive on the tongue or receive from a priest and so on.)
Father Robert Altier in Minneapolis-St. Paul was silenced under obedience, apparently for speaking out against the “safe environment sex education” programs. Altier accepts the silencing, so fine. But when did Archbishop Harry Flynn silence Fr. George Wertin, former pastor of St. Joan parish, who openly defied the Church’s teaching on homosexuality? There appears to be a double standard in the Church in the US.
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