1) Bishop Skylstad violated Canon Law in the manner in which he dismissed Fr. Fancis Ekwugha.
2) Bishop Skylstad violated Canon Law in initially saying that he would install Fr. Radloff as parish administrator; administrators are not installed.
3) In a number of significant cases, Bishop Skylstad’s actions over the last 10 months have gone beyond what an Apostolic Administrator should do while a diocese awaits the appointment of a new bishop. (I have heard that he was given “all the powers of a bishop” with this appointment; even if that is true, his actions are creating problems for the in-coming bishop, and he should arguably have shown some restraint).
4) Bishop Skylstad has acted against the directives of the Holy Father expressed in Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae (the motu proprio and its accompanying instruction, which liberalized the celebration of the “traditional Latin Mass” and made clear that the faithful who desire it should have access to it.
These are facts. They can be substantiated. On each count, it doesn’t matter whether or not Bishop Skylstad had the good of the parish or the good of the diocese in mind; his motivation is not the issue. The fact is, he has violated Canon Law, and he has acted against the Holy Father’s expressed desires and directives.
- Bishops preside “in God’s stead over the flock of which they are the shepherds…” (LG, §21).
- They are “teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach the faith to the people assigned to them, the faith which is destined to inform their thinking and direct their conduct” (LG, §25).
- They “have the obligation of fostering and safeguarding the unity of the faith and of upholding the discipline which is common to the whole Church…” (LG, §23).