Monday, December 5, 2011
More on Fr. Francis: And They Call That Justice?
A Guest Commentary by Jerry Boyd
I’ve spent over 45 years working in the criminal JUSTICE system. The operative word here is JUSTICE and, yes I understand that how the Church operates under Canon Law is a bit different than in the lay world’s justice system. The term JUSTICE, however does not have differing definitions depending on whether a Judge or a Bishop is applying it.
Consider the following facts and then ask yourself whether the particulars seem JUST to you under any definition of that term.
On November 29, 2011 the Administrator of the Diocese of Baker (we do not have a Bishop at this point) announces that he has dismissed the Pastor of St Francis of Assisi Parish in Bend and has directed that Priest to return to his home Diocese in Africa. Note, the Administrator is on the record as saying the Pastor has done nothing wrong…it is just that the Administrator wants to make a change. Note also that the Pastor is not simply being transferred to another Parish. He is being dismissed from the Diocese.
For those that care, and the Administrator seems not to, Canon Law has some very specific provisions regarding the removal of a Pastor. It is clear that Canon Law was violated by the Administrator’s actions.
On that same date, November 29th, the Administrator announces that he is installing another Priest, Fr. Radloff , as Administrator of St, Francis of Assisi Parish on December 8th, 2011.
On December 3rd, 2011 the Administrator announces that for a variety of reasons, Canon Law requirements being one of them, he has granted the Pastor whom he summarily dismissed an “extension”…apparently to allow the Pastor to present his case (something which Canon Law provides).
Now just two days later Fr. Radloff announces that his installation as “Pastor” (not Administrator as originally announced by the Bishop) will take place on December 29th, 2011 though he will actually assume his duties on December 17th, 2011.
Now let me see if I can understand this. The dismissed Pastor was given an extension on December 3rd but just two days later his apparent successor announces when he will take over. It seems like the extension was meaningless as the outcome was/is a foregone conclusion.
So my question? Where is the justice? More importantly, where is compliance with Canon Law? The Administrator surely realizes that he has left an electronic paper trail which proves abuse of the dismissed Pastor’s rights, handing those who care to pursue it a ready -made case for violations of both Canon Law and Civil Rights under the Constitution of the United States. Such a ready-made case could lead to financial losses to the Diocese which might rival the losses incurred by the current Diocesan Administrator when he served as Bishop of Spokane. Please Lord give us a real Bishop and soon.
Jerry Boyd- a concerned Catholic of the diocese of Baker