Each and every person who is living in remission from a serious illness attempts to do their very best to enjoy the gift of extended quality of life. While doing our best to follow the advice and directions of our doctors, we live in fear of hearing four simple words: "Your ____________ is back."
I am composing this blog on March 16th, 2015, 320 days or ten months and 20 days since my colleague, Father James Radloff submitted his letter of resignation as priest from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baker Oregon along with his personal membership within the Roman Catholic Church. In doing so, Father Radloff's professional integrity demanded that he would end all of his connections with the Church of Rome in accordance with policy and procedure outlined in "Defectio ab Ecclesia catholica actu formali," ("Defection from the Catholic Church by a Formal Act")
Father Radloff's letter of April 18th, 2014 fulfilled the Canonical prerequisites required by the Church of Rome through demonstration of:
1. An internal act of will;
2. An external manifestation of that act; and
3. communication of the fact in writing to the local Bishop.
Through the execution of Father Radloff's letter, all connections and ties which Father Radloff had with and to the Church of Rome came to its canonical end 320 days ago or ten months and 20 days ago today.
After receipt of Father Radloff's letter of resignation from the Church of Rome buy its Diocese of Baker Oregon, Father Radloff was canonically free to petition for membership within the Evangelical Catholic Church and to begin the process for Clerical Incardination into the Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest.
To those gifted with common sense, Father Radloff's decision leave the Church of Rome and to continue his sacramental and vocational journey with the Evangelical Catholic Church would be viewed as a one-two step process.
At the time in which Father Radloff became a member of the Evangelical Catholic Church, he had the choice to continue his ministry in Illinois or to remain in Oregon. Because of the overwhelming number of individuals and families desiring that Father Radloff remain with them in Oregon, the decision was made to permit him to develop a new mission parish within the greater Bend region and thus came about the birth of Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church.
From the moment of the dedication of Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church, Bishop Liam Cary began a full-time campaign to destroy the potential success of the mission. Beginning in the early summer months of 2015, Bishop Cary published a series of "letters" damning the Evangelical Catholic Church and erroneously applied Vatican II theology to shore up his writings. For the purpose of this blog, I am not going to embarrass Bishop Cary via a litany of his false application of theology and ecclesiology, for in the end the basis of Bishop Cary's writings was simple meanness and vindictiveness towards Father Radloff.
By the end of Summer 2014, Bishop Cary's campaign against us went into remission without any burps from him through Advent and Christmas. As we have all entered into the Lenten Season, we continued to enjoy this remission - until March 10th, 2015 when Bishop Cary published:
BISHOP LIAM CARY
regarding the canonical status of
FATHER JAMES RADLOFF
in the Roman Catholic Church
In Bishop Cary's unsigned five paragraph "statement," Bishop Cary acknowledges receiving Father Radloff's letter of resignation, et al.
In this missive, Bishop Cary expresses his displeasure that Father Radloff's continues to exercise his sacramental and pastoral ministry as a priest of the Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest and pastor of Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church is the areas of:
Visitation and Anointing of the sick at a local secular hospital.
Visitation and Anointing of the sick at local secular nursing homes.
Bishop Cary goes to great lengths to emphasis that Father Radloff, in his ministry to the sick, does so without the authority of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baker. In his continuing ministry, Father Radloff has gone to great lengths to make sure that one and all is aware that he is now functionally with faculties and with the permission of the Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest and I, his bishop. This point being made by Bishop Cary is absent of logic and reality.
In paragraph three, Bishop Cary goes on the state that "Canon 751, of the Code of Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church defines schism as "the refusal of submission" to the Pope and the refusal to remain in "communion with the members of the (Roman Catholic) Church subject to him. Cary goes on to state that "Father Radloff's letter of resignation from the priesthood and his decision to rescind his personal membership with the Roman jurisdiction clearly constitutes such a act of schism on his part. The bombast continues with Cary declaring that "persons who have committed such acts of schism automatically incur the penalty of excommunication."
Just a quick question: How is a resignation synonymous with schism?
Bishop Cary concludes with his grand pronouncement that henceforth, "Father James Radloff is forbidden to celebrate Mass, baptize, perform marriages, to hear confessions or to anoint the sick."
How about that for an episcopal mouthful?
I believe that Bishop Cary realizes that his excommunication is an "after the fact exercise in vindication" akin to what many wives face and experience from their ex-husbands. This excommunication is not worth the paper it is written on but it seems that Cary just can't help himself.
For years, Roman Catholic priests have chosen of their own free will to leave the Church of Rome of their own free will and to continue their vocations and sacramental journeys within other jurisdictions. The dogged campaign by the former Bishop of Father James Radloff is shockingly unprecedented and calls into the question his grasp of Roman Catholic ecclesiology, but self defines him as a psychological predator against the Evangelical Catholic community within greater Bend Oregon.
How I wish that Chicago was nearer to Bend, for I am somewhat frustrated that I cannot be in Bend at this moment in time to protect and defend my two brother priests at Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church and also to protect the People of God who compose the community of Holy Communion by predators in any form.. That is my role and obligation as bishop for the Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest and I embrace my role unconditionally.
To Bishop Cary, I say directly - Jim Radloff resigned and ended his relationship within your jurisdiction ten months ago. It is time for you to let it go. Jim has never misrepresented himself to anyone and you are well aware of that fact. And if you continue to attempt any form of harm again my brother priests or the members of our parish in Bend, I promise that I will be on the next plane to Bend to protect and defend one and all.