A reprimand

A reprimand

Father Allan Hawkins, pastor of the Forth Worth-area Anglican-use parish that allowed a suspended priest to work at his parish was reprimanded. Hawkins told his parish that he’d been reprimanded, but continued to defend his actions. The chancellor said Hawkins had been told he was out of line and should have followed diocesan policy.

Hawkins continued to insist that he’d been given the okay by Clay’s bishop back in Scranton. But that’s not the point (and even those facts are still in dispute). Even if Clay is pure-as-the-snow, Hawkins still failed to inform the diocese that he was at the parish. Why the secrecy? Why the failure to follow procedure? Why bother having policies in place if no one pays attention to them? Policies aren’t there just for the “bad guys”, but for everyone because you can’t always identify who the bad guy is first.

  • I do not condon what Fr. Hawkins did, but I understand it.  I lead a parish not far from his in another diocese … like so many priests we are inundated with demands on our time and patience and often feel more like administrators than ministers of Christ.  Sometimes the only answer is to add some things to the “Do-Later” pile.  Fr. Hawkins erred in not following Diocesan policy.  But I have to be honest: because of the sins of a few priests and bishops we all labor under a cloud of suspicion. No wonder so few men are stepping forward to answer the call of Vocation!  If you would only support and encourage the good men/priests, rather than condemning us all perhaps things will change … but were I thinking about a vocation right now, I would probably think twice: who wants to do an almost impossible job (in the best of times) where you are always guilty until proven innocent.