That’s how my mom described it. I just got off the phone with her. She had just come home from Mass where her pastor made an announcement that he had been asked to resign by the bishop. No word on why (but it’s not a stretch to guess why), no word on who’s replacing him, nothing.
The way the diocese is handling it seems poor. They sent no one to speak to the parish, no word of what will happen. He was a well-liked priest and whatever he’s accused of doing, the people had a great affinity for him. My mom said people were crying after Mass, others look bewildered, and she said she feels like there’s been a death. It’s not that people condone whatever their priest has done—they don’t even know yet—but they’re scared and confused.
It’s like the chancery is scared of the people. Rather than be strong shepherds leading the people through tough times, the Diocese of Portland, Maine (my mom’s diocese) did nothing to prepare or help the people for the loss of their spiritual father. Now I don’t know the whole story—perhaps the pastor jumped the gun and spilled the beans early. But whatever the case, the people are now hurting and I don’t doubt that the faith of many has been shaken. What are they going to do about it?