Blazing Cat Fur was the first to pick up on it here. He caught wind of the Northumberland Today article that was at the centre of the latest wave of DeAngelis v. Corcoran noise. In fact, it was the first salvo from Bishop De Angelis.
Before I could get my own piece done though, Scary Fundamentalist had dropped his own bomb on the thing and it is a worthy read here.
Seems the good Bishop has had enough and sent a pastoral letter out to the parishioners in the Diocese. As SF points out, we, the blogging universe have said this already, but we are all happy to hear the good Bishop defend himself as well.
He said in part:
"I fail to understand how secular powers and government agencies should think they are in a position to tell the Church that she is wrong in her internal rules and regulations, even though these have directed and shaped the life of the church during the last 2,000 years. However, this is what we face today."You may recall that the kafuffle resulted from letters to the Bishop by parishioners of St. Michael's Parish in Cobourg, Ontario, complaining about their priest, and mentioning that the head altar server was leading an openly gay lifestyle, and questioning if it was consistent with Church teaching. The Bishop chose to ask Fr. Hood to have him step aside from his voluntary position.
I previously blogged on this travesty here, and here, and here, and here, and here. I highlighted the case a number of times as well in other postings, in total over 15 times.
Northumberland Today also reports about the letter as follows:
In his Sept. 10 letter, De Angelis says it is not a "right" to serve as a volunteer on any parish committee: "Rather, it is an invitation from the pastor or bishop which can also be terminated at any time; particularly when the voluntary service gives rise to tension , animosity, discord or division in the life of the parish. It is for the bishop to regulate, in view of the common good, the exercise of rights proper to Christ's faithful."
The bishop says he had instructed parish priest Father Allan Hood "to kindly invite" volunteers who were objects of disagreement and tension "to step aside and give the chance to other volunteers to serve."
The bishop says "a number of volunteers graciously resigned" in "humility and obedience to the Bishop".
The letter then states, "The only exception was one adult altar server who made the decision to report the Bishop and Diocese to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation".
Jim Corcoran had his say about the Bishop's letter as well in the paper's report:
"The bishop asked me to step aside," Corcoran says, after the bishop was sent a petition signed by 12 parishioners asking for his removal. "I stepped aside -- but I challenged the version of why I was asked to step aside.
"I am not being disloyal to the bishop. I did what was asked -- but I am asking for accountability for the decision. I'm simply asking why I was asked to step down. The only possible answer is because I'm gay."
Actually, a really good reason for asking you to step down is that Father Hood had no right to give you a position of authority in the Parish, without determining if you had sufficient spiritual maturity to be able to handle it.
The paper also reported the following including Corcoran's further comments:Corcoran, you really don't get it. The most homophobic person involved in entire thing is YOU, buddy boy.
Corcoran does not expect the bishop's Thursday letter is going to alter existing viewpoints within the parish: "There's a group that think I'm right and it was high time the Church was held accountable and another group who don't like homosexuals, do what the bishop says and don't like Father Hood. I don't think (the letter) is going to change opinions of these two groups very much.
"However, there are tens of thousands of people in the diocese who are not aware of this case," Corcoran says. "By putting this document in their hands, it's firstly bringing the attention to me once again and, secondly, identifying me as an abhorrent, disobedient Catholic. It's going to start it all up again within the diocese.
"The bishop may be subjecting himself to the possibility of a lawsuit," Corcoran says.
Here's what Scary Fundamentalist had to say about the held accountable crack of Corcoran's:Held accountable to whom?Father Hood, do you have the spine to send Corcoran packing, or are you just a namby, pamby? You started this thing by appointing a man who clearly lacks the spiritual maturity to handle an important, but voluntary position in your church. That alone is a serious indicator that the "12" had a good sense of your competence. Stand up and act like a man.
Any honest Christian will confess that the Church is accountable only to Jesus Christ its head, not busybody government agencies. Individual congregations or denominations derive their authority from their voluntary members, and not the state. It's about the same as using the OHRT to force a bunch of guys playing poker to include someone they don't like.
The other group, Corcoran says, "don't like homosexuals and do what the bishop wants". If he's talking about practicing homosexuals, then that is a crude representation of Biblical teaching.
And you, Barb Hall, back away. You have no business being involved in this issue. This is internal to the Catholic Church. You should give Jim Corcoran the back of your hand for wasting your time with matters that are not your purview. Bet that doesn't happen.
Jim Corcoran said it all when he said "The bishop may be subjecting himself to the possibility of a lawsuit." You sir, are an arrogant ?ss.