Ex-Priest in Parish


#1

Hi, I’m not sure if this is the right sub-forum for my question but I’ll post it here anyway.

In my parish there is a former priest now living with his wife and children. It is his home parish. Does the Church teach that if a priest leaves the priesthood he should not return to his home parish? Also this same man is heavily involved in parish and pastoral life and his views are contrary to Catholic teaching; he disagrees with teaching on homosexuality, priestly celibacy and woman priests, amongst other things, and he is involved in New- Age practices. If he was keeping his opinions to himself I wouldn’t care, but he is out there, spreading his opinions. Is there anything I can do? My parish priest seems oblivious.


#2

I would recommend that you approach your parish priest with the matter as it appears he is unaware of the situation. If he fails to address the issue, or doesn't not address it sufficiently to resolve the situation, then you should elevate it above him. People are entitled to their own opinions (however wrong or skewed those opinions may be) but anyone who is involved in the parish and pastoral life needs to be in communion with the Church's teachings or keep contrary opinions to themselves lest they subvert others of the faith and lead them astray. Above all, pray for the former priest that he may know and understand the Church's teachings on such matters.

Hope this helps

pax vobiscum


#3

[quote="sealabeag, post:1, topic:325307"]
Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right sub-forum for my question but I'll post it here anyway.

In my parish there is a former priest now living with his wife and children. It is his home parish. Does the Church teach that if a priest leaves the priesthood he should not return to his home parish? Also this same man is heavily involved in parish and pastoral life and his views are contrary to Catholic teaching; he disagrees with teaching on homosexuality, priestly celibacy and woman priests, amongst other things, and he is involved in New- Age practices. If he was keeping his opinions to himself I wouldn't care, but he is out there, spreading his opinions. Is there anything I can do? My parish priest seems oblivious.

[/quote]

Have you talked with your pastor about what you know about this ex-priest and about your concerns?

If so, then I think it's best if you make an appointment with the Vicar General or Bishop. Summarize in writing what you want to say first, and hand it to him. If you can find a few like-minded parishioners to bring with you, all the better.

Thank you for loving the Church, and her founder.


#4

[quote="sealabeag, post:1, topic:325307"]
Also this same man is heavily involved in parish and pastoral life and his views are contrary to Catholic teaching; he disagrees with teaching on homosexuality, priestly celibacy and woman priests, amongst other things, and he is involved in New- Age practices.

[/quote]

His being a (hopefully) laicized priest isn't a problem, but the above IS a problem. As said, go to the priest. If he does nothing, then contact the bishop. By letter, not by phone or e-mail.

Remember to have examples of his wrong teaching/beliefs. This isn't something you can be vague about.


#5

It has always been my understanding that laicized priests are not to be involved in ministry in a parish, although I know that that is not always followed. That can be problematic if the parishioners see them as on the same footing as the Pastor since "once a priest, always a priest."


#6

[quote="Bonnie, post:4, topic:325307"]
His being a (hopefully) laicized priest isn't a problem, but the above IS a problem. As said, go to the priest. If he does nothing, then contact the bishop. By letter, not by phone or e-mail.

Remember to have examples of his wrong teaching/beliefs. This isn't something you can be vague about.

[/quote]

Yes, I think I need to take this advice, thank you! I will do it this week. I have a few firm examples of his wrong beliefs and teachings.


#7

Goodness, there's nothing wrong with a laicised priest attending Mass at his home parish with his family, because the priesthood wasn't his vocation, more than likely.

But if he is preaching and believing in things which are very contrary to the Church's teaching, such as what you've stated, please tell your parish priest the next time you get a chance, because if this is the case he shouldn't really be receiving the Eucharist.

Anyhow, say a prayer for him, the New Age business is dangerous, as is believing things contrary to the Church. God Bless :signofcross::byzsoc:


#8

It is my understanding that there are certain universal restrictions on the future activities in the Church of a laicized priest, and there may be specific restrictions added in an individual case. A friend of mine was laicized and married. One of the conditions for allowing him to marry was that he must not remain in his home diocese. Since this was a specific restriction on him, I assume that it is not a universal requirement.


#9

There are no specific restrictions unless there are unique circumstances. My brother-in-law left the priesthood over 40 years ago and his wife, children, and grandchildren attend the same parish in which he grew uop.

There have been no problems and he is involved in parish activities.

In the particular circumstance the OP mentions, your concerns should of anyone in position of parish ministries who espouses such beliefs in his parish role regardless of being a priest or not.

If this is the case, then you should speak with your parish priest. However, as other have written be very specific in your examples and be certain that his words are in his role in parish ministry. For example, a person may legitimately struggle with the understanding of the discipline of priestly celibacy but as a religious ed teacher teach that this is what the Church believes. There IS a difference.


#10

Get another member of the parish who has heard this man say the same things and follow good ole Matthew chapter 18. Peace!


#11

[quote="Phemie, post:5, topic:325307"]
It has always been my understanding that laicized priests are not to be involved in ministry in a parish, although I know that that is not always followed. That can be problematic if the parishioners see them as on the same footing as the Pastor since "once a priest, always a priest."

[/quote]

It's only problematic if he has been presented as a "former priest." Also the Bishop may dispense with the "not teaching...not involved with ministry" restriction of the laicization rescript.


#12

There's a former priest (laicized) in my parish - his home parish. He attends with his wife and kids. He is much respected, actually, not in any way unorthodox, and quite active in the parish (he and wife are both lectors). His children were altar servers when younger.

I've never heard a bad or critical word about him, and all the parish priests we've had over the years have had no problem with him - they seem to be quite friendly towards him, as indeed everyone is.
But then, he does nothing to offend, in his views or behaviour, unlike the priest you mention.


#13

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