How To Get Attention From Your Priest/Bishop


#1

Several months ago my wife prematurely delivered a child without the assistance of a nurse for twenty minutes and without the assistance of a physician for an hour in a major metropolitan hospital. Suffice it to say, the child died. When we had been told there was a problem with the baby we asked for a Catholic priest, but were told none was available so my wife performed an emergency baptism on her own.

The next day we made four additional requests to the hospital for a Catholic priest, contacted our own parish which said it was too busy, the diocesan office, and the Catholic Pro Life Committee here in Dallas to get assistance with planning a funeral, Last Rites, etc. all of which were ignored or we were told that the organization was "too busy."

We have communicated with our local parish and wrote to the bishop when we got nowhere. That was over a month ago and we still have not heard back. We have told our parish we are leaving yet still get the donation envelopes despite the fact that they have denied us Communion after the death of a child, denied us a Catholic funeral, etc. without any explanation.

Since the Roman Catholic Church claims to be in favor of families I am trying to understand why they would deny a child a Catholic funeral and why they would not provide any support to a family after the death of a premature infant. I thought to be Catholic meant we actually cared about family, children, and so forth. My question is how do I get the attention of my bishop on this matter since he has thus far ignored the issue.


#2

[quote="csuprun, post:1, topic:252150"]
Several months ago my wife prematurely delivered a child without the assistance of a nurse for twenty minutes and without the assistance of a physician for an hour in a major metropolitan hospital. Suffice it to say, the child died. When we had been told there was a problem with the baby we asked for a Catholic priest, but were told none was available so my wife performed an emergency baptism on her own.

The next day we made four additional requests to the hospital for a Catholic priest, contacted our own parish which said it was too busy, the diocesan office, and the Catholic Pro Life Committee here in Dallas to get assistance with planning a funeral, Last Rites, etc. all of which were ignored or we were told that the organization was "too busy."

We have communicated with our local parish and wrote to the bishop when we got nowhere. That was over a month ago and we still have not heard back. We have told our parish we are leaving yet still get the donation envelopes despite the fact that they have denied us Communion after the death of a child, denied us a Catholic funeral, etc. without any explanation.

Since the Roman Catholic Church claims to be in favor of families I am trying to understand why they would deny a child a Catholic funeral and why they would not provide any support to a family after the death of a premature infant. I thought to be Catholic meant we actually cared about family, children, and so forth. My question is how do I get the attention of my bishop on this matter since he has thus far ignored the issue.

[/quote]

No useful advice. Yes, the CC is supposed to be what you say. But what you found is the human sinner side of the CC.

I would advise you not to leave the CC. That's the best we have: the Church of Jesus Christ, diamonds in fragile pottery. St. Peter denied Jesus, Judas betrayed Him, all except one fled from the cross, St.Thomas did not want to believe unless he saw.

In Heaven we will be perfect!


#3

csuprun,
I'm so sorry to hear about your child. It's always tragic when a child passes away. When our child was in the hospial I called the Priest who was covering the hospital got his voice mail and never heard back from him. I also had him put on the clergy list with the hospital also to no avail. Don't let people push you out of the CC. People aren't perfect. God knows when your bearing a cross and you want to say you held your own during this difficult time. :thumbsup:


#4

May our Lord be with you in this time of sorrow and suffering at the hands of others.

I image bishops get lots of mail and someone else probably sorts though it, so your bishop may not even be aware of your situation. I would suggest that you find out when the bishop will be out in the public (after Mass at your cathedral, events in the diocese, etc.) and go and speak to him in person. You may have to call the diocesan offices or cathedral to find out where he will be.

You have been mistreated by some in the Church. It may be easiest to join another parish at this point. Please don't let this be a reason to leave the Church Christ founded, the devil would surely rejoice if you did so. You have my prayers!


#5

According to the website of the Diocese of Dallas this is the person you should speak to:

Vicar for Clergy: Rev. Gregory Kelly. Phone: 214-379-2826

It might be best to call and ask for an appointment rather than to discuss your situation on the phone or by mail. I am sure he would be able to sort out how this was so mishandled and to help your family.


#6

[quote="csuprun, post:1, topic:252150"]
Several months ago my wife prematurely delivered a child without the assistance of a nurse for twenty minutes and without the assistance of a physician for an hour in a major metropolitan hospital. Suffice it to say, the child died. When we had been told there was a problem with the baby we asked for a Catholic priest, but were told none was available so my wife performed an emergency baptism on her own.

The next day we made four additional requests to the hospital for a Catholic priest, contacted our own parish which said it was too busy, the diocesan office, and the Catholic Pro Life Committee here in Dallas to get assistance with planning a funeral, Last Rites, etc. all of which were ignored or we were told that the organization was "too busy."

We have communicated with our local parish and wrote to the bishop when we got nowhere. That was over a month ago and we still have not heard back. We have told our parish we are leaving yet still get the donation envelopes despite the fact that they have denied us Communion after the death of a child, denied us a Catholic funeral, etc. without any explanation.

Since the Roman Catholic Church claims to be in favor of families I am trying to understand why they would deny a child a Catholic funeral and why they would not provide any support to a family after the death of a premature infant. I thought to be Catholic meant we actually cared about family, children, and so forth. My question is how do I get the attention of my bishop on this matter since he has thus far ignored the issue.

[/quote]

So sorry you've had to experience this. Many of the clergy are on vacation during the summer from mid June til late August. I guess someone at your Parish or the Chancery didn't have the courage to at least return a charitable call. Hope you have more fortunate news from the Vicar or at the very least some secretary.

I will offer some Mass prayers for you and the sad loss of your child.

All the best In the Peace of Christ.
:highprayer::signofcross:


#7

every hospital here has a designated Catholic chaplain who is called when the patient requests it, as it is hard for visiting clergy to just come in without an invitation, especially in treatment areas, so maybe the glitch was with the hospital (who should be sued IMO) not the surrounding parishes

here when we arrange funerals a family member comes to the office to make the arrangments and yes every Catholic parish I know of will do a funeral for a preborn, stillborn infant.

Did you call your own parish? who did you talk to? what was the response? it is doubtful the bishop or other organization would respond but if they did, would simply refer you to your own parish.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for your loss but please do not judge the Catholic Church by the actions of those of us who try to serve but fail so miserably

you do not say why you were denied communion but surely that has nothing to do with the sad loss of your beautiful child.

If you have been badly treated by anyone who should represent the Catholic Church, your diocese has an ombudsman, usually the vicar general who handles such complaints, and the contact info should be on their homepage, and this contact, preferably in person, by email or phone followed up by a documenting letter, will get faster results than a call or letter to the bishop which can get lost in the shuffle.


#8

I realize that this information can’t help with the actual event (the incident of the stillborn baby, for which you have my deepest sympathies) but as you are in Dallas I strongly suggest that you contact the priests at the Mater Dei parish in Irving. Fathers Longua and Wolf are among the holiest and most caring priests I have ever met, and I have no doubt whatsoever that the fact that you are not currently their parishioners will have no bearing at all on their concern for your sorrow and your souls.

They are Fraternity of Saint Peter priests who say the Latin Mass exclusively, and are in full communion with Rome. I should add that even if the Tridentine Mass isn’t the rite you prefer, if you wish to simply speak with a good and holy priest you could do far worse and would be pressed to do better than to speak with these priests.

The website for the church is here, and it has contact information on the home page.

On the denial of Communion–do you mean that no one would bring you the Eucharist, or that you are being refused Communion at your parish?

My deepest sympathies upon your terrible loss. I can only imagine the pain you and your wife must have suffered and must still be suffering. God bless and hold you both during this time of sorrow. Finally, a thousand kudos to your wife for doing the emergency baptism. She may have given your child the greatest gift any parent can, and she is a true and good mother.


#9

An update...

Corki...Rev. Kelly passed it off to someone who has already not answered my requests for assistance. He is on vacation and did not respond to my most recent request.

To Annie....we originally tried to get the Catholic priest from the hospital in question, but he would not return pages or calls while the events were occurring, hence we asked for help from our parish and the diocese.

I guess the real update is there is no update.


#10

I'm very sorry for your loss. And I know how you are feeling.

I had the same experience with our parish when my mother was dying. It was heartbreaking. I am active in the parish, but when I needed them they were not there for me.

I haven't decided on my next step, but one thing I do know is that even if the humans weren't helpful, God never left my side.

I will keep you and your wife in my prayers, I know the pain of loosing a child :(


#11

[quote="csuprun, post:9, topic:252150"]
An update...

Corki...Rev. Kelly passed it off to someone who has already not answered my requests for assistance. He is on vacation and did not respond to my most recent request.

To Annie....we originally tried to get the Catholic priest from the hospital in question, but he would not return pages or calls while the events were occurring, hence we asked for help from our parish and the diocese.

I guess the real update is there is no update.

[/quote]

Wow... that's just - sad. :( I'm so sorry.

And I'm terribly sorry for your loss - I couldn't imagine your pain and suffering.

I don't think it's wrong to continue to try to press for support. You may find more help by asking *specific *questions... such as calling your parish office and asking to speak to the head of the Bereavement Committee... or something along those lines??
You definitely deserve support from the Church Community in this time of suffering... you deserve that and need that - so don't stop pressing for that.


#12

I am so sorry for your loss. Your wife did the right thing baptizing your child. Do not ever second guess that.

UbiCaritas - this time of great grief is not the right time to push an agenda of TLM mass - as you have seen there is nothing more that they can do that any other priest can do.

I would follow up on other posters suggestions to call the Vicar General. You probably will not ever get to hear about any disciplinary matters or training issues, etc because these matters are kept private but you can keep it from happening to someone else by pointing out an issue?

Also you mentioned being denied communion. Does this mean that you and your wife are trying to make your Sacraments or that you have physically gone up for Communion and been told you could not have it?


#13

[quote="joanofarc2008, post:12, topic:252150"]
I am so sorry for your loss. Your wife did the right thing baptizing your child. Do not ever second guess that.

UbiCaritas - this time of great grief is not the right time to push an agenda of TLM mass - as you have seen there is nothing more that they can do that any other priest can do.

I would follow up on other posters suggestions to call the Vicar General. You probably will not ever get to hear about any disciplinary matters or training issues, etc because these matters are kept private but you can keep it from happening to someone else by pointing out an issue?

Also you mentioned being denied communion. Does this mean that you and your wife are trying to make your Sacraments or that you have physically gone up for Communion and been told you could not have it?

[/quote]

joanofarc2008: Oh, goodness, I wasn't trying to "push an agenda" at all. I attend both the Tridentine Mass and the N.O., for the record.

No, the reason I posted this is that I live in the same area as the OP, and while I am sure there are many other good and holy priests in Irving and Dallas (if you aren't familiar with North Texas, Irving is adjacent to Dallas and is in the Dallas diocese), I happen to know only of these two. The OP's problem is that he couldn't get a priest to help them in this dreadful time; the very idea of being in that situation is horrifying.

If I were in, God forbid, a similar situation, while yes, I'd have a slight preference for my own parish priest because he knows me, I'd be greatly comforted to have any priest, regardless of which Mass rite (Tridentine, Novus Ordo, Maronite, etc, etc) he uses, at my side.

I don't know the entire background of the OP, nor why he is being denied Communion or his child a Catholic burial service. The reason I posted about the two FSSP priests is that a good priest can listen to the grief of this couple, can perhaps offer their child a Catholic funeral, and can, I hope, give the OP and his wife some comfort at least by helping them to return to the Sacraments. If I knew of other good priests in Irving or Dallas, I'd have mentioned them, too--and again, regardless of the rite(s) in which they celebrate Mass. I live in a different diocese and forty minutes away, so I offered what practical help (i.e., names and contact information for priests who will not be "too busy" to help grieving parents) I could. Had the OP lived in my diocese, I could have given him several more names of good priests (most of whom, in fact, celebrate the N.O.); I simply don't know the church situation in his area as well as I do that of my own.

God bless and keep you all.


#14

[quote="UbiCaritas, post:13, topic:252150"]
joanofarc2008: Oh, goodness, I wasn't trying to "push an agenda" at all. I attend both the Tridentine Mass and the N.O., for the record.

No, the reason I posted this is that I live in the same area as the OP, and while I am sure there are many other good and holy priests in Irving and Dallas (if you aren't familiar with North Texas, Irving is adjacent to Dallas and is in the Dallas diocese), I happen to know only of these two. The OP's problem is that he couldn't get a priest to help them in this dreadful time; the very idea of being in that situation is horrifying.

If I were in, God forbid, a similar situation, while yes, I'd have a slight preference for my own parish priest because he knows me, I'd be greatly comforted to have any priest, regardless of which Mass rite (Tridentine, Novus Ordo, Maronite, etc, etc) he uses, at my side.

I don't know the entire background of the OP, nor why he is being denied Communion or his child a Catholic burial service. The reason I posted about the two FSSP priests is that a good priest can listen to the grief of this couple, can perhaps offer their child a Catholic funeral, and can, I hope, give the OP and his wife some comfort at least by helping them to return to the Sacraments. If I knew of other good priests in Irving or Dallas, I'd have mentioned them, too--and again, regardless of the rite(s) in which they celebrate Mass. I live in a different diocese and forty minutes away, so I offered what practical help (i.e., names and contact information for priests who will not be "too busy" to help grieving parents) I could. Had the OP lived in my diocese, I could have given him several more names of good priests (most of whom, in fact, celebrate the N.O.); I simply don't know the church situation in his area as well as I do that of my own.

God bless and keep you all.

[/quote]

Thank you Ubi Caritas - and I apologize for my quick assumption. We know what that gets us. It is that in my experience here on CAF which goes back longer than this profile due to some technical issues there are many from the TLM camp which as soon as someone has an issue the solution is find an FSSP priest. Here is one. Thank you for your help. Again my apologies. I am glad this is not what you were trying to do.


#15

[quote="joanofarc2008, post:14, topic:252150"]
Thank you Ubi Caritas - and I apologize for my quick assumption. We know what that gets us. It is that in my experience here on CAF which goes back longer than this profile due to some technical issues there are many from the TLM camp which as soon as someone has an issue the solution is find an FSSP priest. Here is one. Thank you for your help. Again my apologies. I am glad this is not what you were trying to do.

[/quote]

Don't worry about it. :) I must say that I've found most FSSP priests to be good and holy ones, but I've met many, many priests who aren't from the Fraternity and who are exactly the sort of priest I'd want at my side in a crisis like this--i.e., a holy and compassionate father. :)


closed #16

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