But my friends and mentors died or went away and I was left with a community that was not sure what it was about and in many ways was going its own way. From afar, the other province was agitating for a change in the church stance on same-sex relationships. They even accepted to minister in the gay parish in our back yard. I got tire of people in the bay area asking if I was gay. Close at hand, I had a parochial vicar who had voted for (so-called) same sex marriage in the recent elections. More than that, this parochial vicar contradicted me in the confessional, called me all sorts of names because I thought contraception was unacceptable for a Catholic, and ridiculed me for celebrating the Latin Mass and wearing a cassock. He believed it appropriate and acceptable that the only things we agreed on were Jesus and Scotch, single Malt scotch.
That was not enough. The Community saddled me with a Charismatic associate. This was no normal Charismatic associate. This was an Indian with suspect theology from an Indian Ashram who had no concept of normal American relationships or attention to detail. But Charismatic he was; so, when I asked him to observe the norms of the General Instruction to the Roman Missal, he instead provided me with some printed, unbound copies of an unapproved ritual for the American church. This was unacceptable and I told him so.
I witnessed one of his Charismatic liturgies. There was no Entrance Rite, just a time of praise and worship music. Then the priest said a prayer. It was long and charismatic and was not from any approved ritual. Then there was a reading and Responsorial Psalm, followed by an extended time of praise. Then he read the Gospel. The homily was not related to anything resembling Catholic doctrine and then, he proceeded with the Offertory and the Eucharistic prayer. There was no Memorial Acclamation, just an extended time of praise. The Great Amen was replaced with another extended time of praise which included the Our Father. Communion occurred normally. There was no Concluding Prayer or Final Blessing. This was a time for anointing and prayer. The oil of the sick was used, but this was not for those who were ill or close to death; it was for everyone, including young people. Any relationship with the Roman Rite was brief and fleeting, and it was a complete misuse of the Church’s Sacrament of Anointing.
Then there was the provincial who removed me from the “Companion Program” and refused me permission to attend even the meetings of the group. The sponsor who replaced me was gay and opposed me at every step, turning the Companions into an opposition group. New companions were liberal members of the parish, including some who advocated for women’s ordination on their Facebook pages.
So, after my tenth anniversary as Pastor, some of these liberals got the idea to do a letter writing campaign against me, inundating the provincial offices with about 50 or 60 letters. One parishioner complained to the diocese that I was using parish funds for my vacations. They came and did an investigation but everything checked out and the accusation proved to be unfounded. The Province came out and did an investigation, but they only spoke to liberal members of the parish who opposed me. They did not consider that there were 6,000 families who loved the way things were. They interviewed the other two priests who opposed me theologically and liturgically, and they interviewed parishioners who were in favor of contraception, abortion and gay relationships.
So, the Provincial decided to remove me, and the new bishop who did not know me, concurred. They said that the Charismatic associate had complained that he could not minister properly working for me. I have nothing against the Charismatic movement per se. I am strongly opposed to the abuse of the Eucharist and the Liturgy.
By removing me, my Community gave support to parishioners who opposed my preaching on contraception, on women’s ordination, on abortion and same-sex relationships. I asked the vice provincial who did the investigation if he had asked them what they believed. His answer: “What difference would that make?”
There was a time when a CPPS parish was unique. It was different from other places because of the spirituality. That is what this parish was. It provided a home for those who were cast off from other places. We had parishioners who traveled for 20-25 miles for their Roman fix. Those who were not welcome in other places found a home here. The CPPS province destroyed that. Many parishioners are now scattered far and wide and the parish is just like the other liberal parishes in the diocese.
I am a Roman Catholic. I believe everything that the Roman Catholic Church proclaims to be true and revealed by God. I have nothing in common with the Precious Blood Community. They told me that unless I changed, they would retire me, because they had nowhere to put me. I choose to serve the Church where I am needed. I had to find my own job. My Community never appointed me to that place, so I have decided to serve the bishop who did appoint me, as long as the Lord gives me life and health.