The Curious Case of Fr. Edwin Dwyer is a Lesson for U.S. Catholics


Catholics in the U.S. learned three important lessons recently.


This is my parish and I think the liturgy issues may be a cover story for a confrontation between the priest and the bishop. There is a “black hole” in the story, from which not even light escapes, and that is, what happened at that meeting with the bishop, two other priests, and Dwyer. His treatment seems to be worse than that of disgraced Cardinal McCarrick. Dwyer didn’t take the suggested 3 week sabbatical, so it was shoved down his throat.

If it was merely the bishop overruling Dwyer, I don’t think the action would have been so severe. It’s possible Dwyer was worked up, as a result of the confrontation with the small group of parishioners.

2 bishops back, Bp Robert Carlson had a Eucharistic procession on the streets of the city. I’ve never seen such a traditional thing in Bay City before or since. In general, the diocese tends to be progressive – progressive in the general sense of forgetting the past and doing what feels good.

This brings to mind the leanings of Rudolf Bultmann who wanted to de-mythologize and re-mythologize the faith (his followers never succeeded in that effort) going back a century or so.

3 bishops ago, we had very progressive Bp Kenneth Untener who simply said he wanted to do everything his way, and he gave that a big shot. He had all the big crucifixes in the churches removed and replaced with – I suppose it’s supposed to be Christ ascending into heaven. He definitely wanted to shake things up.

Well, anyway, the big issues are 1) what kind of bishop are we going to get on a permanent assignment? and 2) What happens to Fr. Dwyer.? 3) What if anything is done about "the new evangelization? - 3/4 of Michigan residents have no church affiliation.


Thank you for your perspective as an actual member of this parish. It confirms my suspicion that something else went on between this priest and the bishop. Specifically, I suspected it was like a “contempt of cop” situation where someone is punished severely for talking back to the officer rather than being diplomatic. Only here I would suspect the priest committed “contempt of bishop” by arguing or being disobedient in some way.

I agree that the bishop you get permanently is likely to have more effect on this issue, maybe not on this particular situation as the priest may have been already permanently assigned elsewhere by the time the new bishop steps in. I had mentioned the fact that your bishop was interim in the previous thread on this, but someone apparently considered my post “off topic” (who knows why) and it was flagged and removed. I think it is very on topic and I’m glad you seem to agree.

Did you all ever get the big crucifixes back in the churches?


None of these three things are related in any way that I can think of. Moreover, none of them have anything to do with Mass attendance, Latin Mass, or any of this author’s other talking points. But that doesn’t stop him from attacking “the liberals” in the Church. I guess any excuse is a good excuse for him.


yes, in this very parish where Fr Dwyer was until today. Yeah, this and one other parish, as I notice, so far.


The problem with issues like this is we are never privy to all the pertinent facts. So, we are left guessing why this priest was removed from his post.

I am most definitely not a canon lawyer but I thought diocesan administrator’s could not reassign clergy.

If Fr Dwyer thinks he has been unfairly treated there are provisions in Canon Law for him to challenge this.


Diocesan Administrators can reassign priests. They cannot, however, assign pastors so any priest placed in charge of a parish is named a pastoral administrator until a new bishop is installed. Then the new bishop decides whether to change the designation to pastor or to move the priest again. Just went thru this in my Diocese.


What seems to have happened here is that the diocesan administrator has removed a priest from the office of parish priest. I thought diocesan administrators could not do this.


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