A week or so ago I talked about writing a letter to the Bishop. I decided that I would not post that letter, instead I decided I would post the letter that we wrote to our priest and the pastoral administrator about our decision to leave the parish.
Dear Father ######### and Mrs. ######## (pastoral administrator),
Yesterday, we officially pulled our names from the roster of parishioners at St Columba St Patrick’s parish. I wanted to write to you one more time and let you know why.
As we have discussed, we were not happy with some of the changes happening within the parish. Most notably Mrs. ######### giving the homily. Call it what like but that is really what is going on.
As you suggested I have contacted Bishop Clark. I have not heard anything back, but honestly I didn’t suspect I would. This is his policy that is allowing this to happen. I will note that even he says in his book Forward in Hope, that the changes he has made to the Rochester Diocese are not allowed by Church teachings. (if you would like to see what I am talking about read the section about the role of lay administrators starting on page 84.) Nor is it his place to make those changes.
With that in mind we have decided that it is better not to allow our children to be exposed to things like this. And it is better for us not to make coming to Mass a near occasion of sin. When I am so worried about, is Mrs. ####### going to give the homily today. What if she says something wrong? How to I cover the ears of all the kids? How do I explain to the kids after Mass that what they saw shouldn’t be happening? How do I explain to them why no one else in the pews has a problem with this? Instead of paying attention to the Mass and the miracle that is happening right in front of us. At that point going to Mass has become a near occasion of sin, if not actually a sin itself.
Respect of authority is a virtue but how can we teach that in an environment like this?
With all of that in mind, we have decided to leave the parish. Believe me this is not a decision that we take lightly. After a lot of prayer, and discussion with other people we are taking it. We are both deeply saddened by this choice because we felt like St Columba St Patrick had become our home.
Thank you and goodbye.