Monday, March 16, 2015

A request to Bishop Liam Cary: Stop stalking campaign against Father James Radloff and laity of the Evangelical Catholic Church

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:

Statement of
regarding the canonical status of
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.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mr. President, lets to something to end the beheadings of our loved ones

Office of the Presiding Bishop

The Evangelical Catholic Church
Post Office Box 170336  Chicago Illinois 60617-0336
(T)     773-721-5383  (F) 773-721-2581

November 16, 2014

The Honorable Barak Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Via email

Dear Mr. President:

This Sunday morning I awoke to the news that another American has been beheaded by ISIL.  While I remain grateful and supportive of all your efforts to contain the evil of ISIL, I am emboldened enough to respect ask for your consideration of the following:

First, a declaration quarantining the geographical region where ISIL is present and active. 

Second, the ordering of all American civilians within said quarantined areas to return either home or to known safe places where the possibility of being kidnapped by ISIL would be all but eliminated.

I understand that some would dismiss my request as harsh and drastic.  Nevertheless, amongst the goals of our government to find and cut off the financial funding and arms to ISIL, why can we not add cutting off the availability of innocent American civilians for ISIL to kidnap and murder.  Our national family must not have to endure any more slaughtering of our loved ones.

I thank you for considering my request and please know that you have my prayers and support in your efforts to combat the evil of ISIL.

I remain,

Respectfully Yours,

Bishop James Alan Wilkowski
Presiding Bishop for the Evangelical Catholic Church

“A Welcoming Community of Faith Rooted in the Catholic Tradition”

Office of the Presiding Bishop

Press Release

The Evangelical Catholic Church
Post Office Box 170336  Chicago Illinois 60617-0336
(T)    773-721-5383  (F) 773-721-2581

For Immediate Release
Chicago, Illinois

November 16, 2014

Presiding Bishop’s Letter to POTUS regarding latest ISIL beheading

Please find attached Bishop Wilkowski’s letter to POTUS regarding the lastest beheading of a American citizen by ISIL.

For additional information please contact:

William R. Morton
Director of Media and Communication
The Evangelical Catholic Church

“A Welcoming Community of Faith Rooted in the Catholic Tradition”

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My trip of Bend Oregon and the Dedication of Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church

On June 6th, bolstered with several  Jack Daniels & Coke Zeros, I mustered up the courage to board Alaskan Airlines for my first trip to Oregon in nearly 50 years for the dedication of Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church in the city of Bend, Oregon.

The dedication of any new parish is cause for joy and celebration for any community of faith and for the Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest - this dedication was no exception.  

The conception of Holy Communion began when I was contacted by Father James Radloff who was interested in seeking clerical incardination into the Diocese of the Northwest and continuing his sacramental ministry in the Bend community.  Within a very short period of time a Pastoral Formation Team was created and the foundation for Holy Communion was in place ready to begin being built upon.  I must also say that the work of the PFT for Holy Communion will be serving as the template for bringing future parishes online.

My pastoral visit to Bend involved more than just the dedication of a new parish.  It was my obligation and responsibility to introduce the Evangelical Catholic Church to a community that had never heard of us before. While our Church continues to celebrate the historic sacramental and ecclesial roots of Catholicism, we have instituted a few pastoral reforms which needed to be explained and discussed.  I was deeply grateful for the respectful responses throughout our gathering on June 7th.

It was also my obligation and responsibility to begin establishing a trust relationship between myself and the people of Bend. Given the past history of the people of Bend with their bishops, it is important for me to earn their trust after years of past difficulties.  

Our Mass of Dedication on the Feast of Pentecost was a joyous and moving experience - with nearly 450 people in attendance

I believe that the Holy Spirit has been and shall remain strongly present with our new family in faith in Bend and I look forward to sharing that journey with them..

I wish to especially thank the Formation Committee for providing me with a most enjoyable and comfortable stay during my weekend.

I am looking forward to my next visit to Bend -  most likely via Amtrak.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Now Thank We All Our God

As I am preparing for my visit next weekend to the People of God in the community of Bend, Oregon for the formal introduction of the Evangelical Catholic Church via the establishment of Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church, the music and lyrics of the historic hymn "Now Thank We All Our God" keeps coming to my mind.

The creation of any new parish is a very serious and solemn commitment.  It is a tangible presence enabling the witnessing of faith and sacramental celebration of our continuing catholic journey.  It is also an oasis for those who are sacramentaly and spirituality parched from feeling separated from God's altar. For this opportunity to continue our celebration of faith, we indeed thank our God.

We must thank our God for the coming birth of Holy Communion Parish for it represents the unconditional love of God. I believe that our new parish shall be akin to a new flower in God's garden and our celebration of praise and thanksgiving shall give Him pleasure.

We know the genesis upon which our Parish has come into being.  We refuse to be spiritually or sacramentally entangled by past acts and we freely forgive the difficulties of the past. Our focus is to the future and our celebration of our catholic faith for we are, as Paul writes, "One Bread, One Body."

When celebrating Mass, I traditionally begin it by saying "We come together as God's family in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

I hope that all those in attendance with us on June 8th will respond with a loud Amen.

Please join me in thanking God for the gift of our faith, our community and for our new parish.

Thursday, May 29, 2014



an apology, as in defense or justification of a belief, idea, etc.
Literature. a work written as an explanation or justification of one's motives, convictions, or acts.

In recent weeks I have published several blogs to express my unconditional pastoral support to those who are considering becoming members of our planned new parish in Bend, Oregon.

My writings on the situation in Bend has been partly motivated by my concerns regarding the activities of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Baker, Oregon to undermine the hard work of many people to organize and open Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church. It is my personal ecclesiology that serves as to the foundation of my belief that a Bishop must unconditionally stand and protect the People of God from any and all unwarranted attacks against them.

After my most recent blog I received a few emails taking issue with its tone and use of metaphors to emphasis some of the salient points I was attempting to make.  To those who offered their constructive criticism, I was happy to write them back with thanks and express my regrets for any misgivings they had with the posting.

As a priest and bishop in the Evangelical Catholic Church, I am committed to openness and transparency.  I am also committed to accountability for my actions.  Because of these commitments, I wish to respectfully offer my "apologia" for my most recent blog which has stirred some controversy.  I do not believe it necessary for me to re-litigate the points I attempted to make in the post, for they are not the issues of concern.  I wish to focus on my usage of metaphors and analogies.

With regard to the "tone" of my writing style I believe that my promise to care, serve and protect the People of God must never be tepid or diluted - especially if I feel the People of God are being mislead or abused by a bully.  I was raised to stand up to bullies in all life situations.  When pastorally standing up to a bully, I believe that I must do so standing grounded in faith, commitment and resolve and sometimes it is necessary to employ blunt and honest language.  It was my hope my words would serve to holding up a mirror to Bishop Cary's statements for rational analysis and I believe that I was somewhat successful in doing so.  Over the course of nearly twenty years in public ministry, I have authored several pastoral letters covering a wide range of topics.  I would invite anyone to read these Letters to evaluate my tone of my writing style.  I hope that any who does this will experience that I attempt to write from my faith and heart.

With regard to my choice of the Kool-Aid metaphor, it was becoming obvious that as we move closer to the weekend of June 6th and the opening our mission parish, Bishop Cary had escalated his misapplications of ecclesiology.  As these escalations continued to grow, it became obvious that the ultimate threat which Bishop Cary could employ would be public excommunications of any person who chose to visit our mission parish.  I choose the absurdity of the Kool-Aid metaphor to emphasize the absurdity of threatening anyone with excommunication.  The idea that Bishop Cary would "spike" the altar wine in his parishes was not my intention.  Could I have applied a slightly less provocative metaphor and analogy?  In hindsight, I could have.  My goal was to use absurdity to counter absurdity in the same manner in which fire fighters who fight forest fires by employing suppression fires.

For those who felt that my application of metaphors and analogies were inappropriate, I extend my apologies and will endeavor to be more conscious of their use in future writings.

Thank you for your consideration.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

What Next Bishop Cary, the Kool-Aid?

During the slow process of desegregation in Chicago, I saw remarkable responses from homeowners to their new and unwanted neighbors moving in next door to them.

Some homeowners built eight foot brick or cinder-block walls along their property lines.  Some had glass block windows installed on the “bad” side of their homes.  Guard dogs living in outdoor doghouses become popular.  My family and I had a neighbor who put up bars over their windows and had two new steel doors installed each with five deadbolts for each door.  A cloistered convent was less fortified from keeping the outside world out than our neighbors did for their house.

Over the past forty years, new owners of these properties have taken down these walls and have restored the homes and properties to their original states and the neighborhoods once again looks like their original selves.  

Over 60 years ago during the Allied stewardship of Germany after WWII, the Soviet controlled region of East Berlin became worried over the flow of doctors, lawyers, scientists and engineers fleeing East Berlin for the western sector.  To stop what was called back then as the “brain drain” from East Berlin, the communists erected the infamous Berlin Wall – not to keep people out, but to keep people in.

What has revived these images in my mind have been some phone calls from our new friends in Bend Oregon who are supporting the efforts being undertaken by the Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest – in union with the desires of the laity – to establish a new mission parish somewhere in the greater Bend area.  These phone calls have been to share with me the latest hyper-reactive responses by Bishop Liam Cary of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bake Oregon regarding the new parish of the Evangelical Catholic Church moving into the neighborhood.

As the days draw closer to the weekend of June 6th, 2014, when I travel to visit Bend to discuss the new parish and to engage the good people in a Q&A about the Evangelical Catholic Church, Bishop Cary has begun erecting his own Berlin Wall to prevent anyone from his flock from leaving his jurisdiction to consider the jurisdiction of the Evangelical Catholic Church.

For those just joining in on this saga, let me take a moment to catch you up.

The Evangelical Catholic Church and its Diocese of the Northwest has accepted Father James Radloff, former priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bend, into our jurisdiction and is now a candidate for Clerical Incardination as a Priest within our Church.  The gruesome details for the reasons why Father Radloff has come to the Evangelical Catholic Church have been documented by Dan Morris-Young of the National Catholic Reporter.  I urge those who have not to read Mr. Morris-Young’s stories to consider doing so..

After Father Radloff’s resignation from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baker, a significant number of individuals and families who Father Radloff has cared for over the years as their pastor have indicated their wishes for a new parish to be established by the Evangelical Catholic Church in the Bend community.  While Bishop Cary was happy to be rid of Father Radloff, he is not happy with the increasing loss of people and their wallets crossing the street to become part of the new parish community.

Now that everyone is caught up………

In responding to the ECC coming to his neighborhood, Bishop Cary is trumpeting in various keys that the only “true” church in which one can gain eternal salvation is the Roman Catholic Church.  In addition to his trumpet solo, Bishop Cary plans to bring into the score the Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law to outline the possible punishments for those may be tempted to cross the street to visit our parish.

So much for Cary’s fidelity to Vatican II.

Bishop Cary’s actions reminds me of the Stephen King mystery, “The Dome.”  As Cary drops his ecclesial dome over the Diocese of Baker does he sincerely believe this will bring an end to his paranoia over having a some of his people cross the street to the Evangelical Catholic Church?  Left unchecked, any form of paranoia or neurosis can result in more pronounced unhealthy behaviors - especially if nobody on Cary’s staff has the backbone to sit him down and talk some sense into him.  I am prepared to welcome Bishop Cary for a one-on-one visit during my visit to Bend.  Maybe he and I can work through his anger and fears about the Evangelical Catholic Church.  I respectfully want to say to Bishop Cary, "We are not your enemy.  Why choose to be ours?"

For the umpteenth time, the Evangelical Catholic Church is prohibited by policy and tradition from stealing anyone from their houses of worship. We believe that both jurisdictions can co-exist without any difficulties. Yet Cary is fortifying his boundaries in preparation for an all out invasion by an Army of Satan.  Unless he is offered some sound pastoral advice, what else might Bishop Cary considering doing?   The time has now come for this independently-produced drama to come to an end before it brings more scandal to the Roman Catholic Episcopacy. 

My only warning would be to all of the good members of the many Roman Catholic parishes of the Diocese of Baker is this:  If you see deliveries trucks bringing Kool-Aid to your parish, avoid the Chalice at the next Mass.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Message to the People of Bend Oregon

Evangelical Catholic 
Diocese  of the Northwest
Post Office Box 170336   Chicago Illinois 60617-0336
Office:  773-721-5383     Fax:  773-721-2581   

Office of the Bishop

May 20, 2014

To the Community of Bend Oregon:

At the risk of getting entangled in a “Letter War” with my brother Bishop from the Diocese of Baker, I feel it necessary to request your consideration to read and reflect upon the words I wish to share with you.  I promise that this will not be written with threats or bombast, but rather in the spirit of an extended hand of a new friend moving into your neighborhood.

I am looking forward to my upcoming visit to Bend during the weekend of June 6th to meet all those who are considering continuing their Catholic journey in faith with the proposed Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church and to celebrate Mass on Sunday June 8th for those who wish to attend.

In most cases whenever the Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest has opened a new mission parish, the local Roman Catholic Chancery and Bishop pay no attention to such an event.  However the creation of Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church, akin to the creation of Holy Name of Jesus Evangelical Catholic Church in Ashippun Wisconsin, has drawn the ire of the local Roman Chancery and Bishop because the pastors of these parishes were former priests of the local Roman dioceses and had been specifically marginalized and abused by their superiors before being forced into their resignations.  In both of these cases, Father David Verhasselt and Father James Radloff enjoyed the confidence and respect of the laity whom they had served with distinction and when each chose to continue their vocations to the priesthood within the Evangelical Catholic Church – many of the laity came with them – much to the anger of the local Roman officials.

The creation of Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church with Father James Radloff has angered and upset my episcopal brother, Liam Cary.  He is angry and upset over the fact that he might lose some of the “sheep of his flock” to the Evangelical Catholic Church.  I can also state that he and his Chancery are even more livid over the loss of revenue from those who will no longer attend local RC parishes. Thus, in order to keep his sheep penned in and their wallets safe, Bishop Cary has had letters prepared for him larded with ecclesial bombast from centuries past to scare people for visiting or attending Holy Communion.

Bishop Cary has essentially threatened anyone who chooses to attend Holy Communion with eternal damnation via his remarks that the promise of the Kingdom of God in Heaven is reserved for those “in communion” with the Bishop of Rome.  I suspect that in the coming days, Bishop Cary’s next threat will be of excommunication against anyone who visits or attends Mass at Holy Communion.

Bishop Cary’s threats of eternal damnation are the words of a very angry man.  His application of ecclesiology in this case is in error with the ecclesiology of the post Vatican II Roman Catholic Church.

Bishop Cary’s action reminds me of the thought process and justification used by the man in Cleveland who held three young women prisoners in his home for a decade.   Despite the hell he forced these women to endure, he kept telling them that they could not exist outside of his “care” for them.

As the Diocese of the Northwest and Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church begins its welcoming process, I want to state for the record several key points before any further fear mongering takes place.

·          We unconditionally welcome anyone who is interested in learning about how they can continue their Catholic journey in faith with us..  No symbolic guns will be used to force anyone to visit us or to prevent anyone from NOT walking through our doors.
·          The Evangelical Catholic Church does not engage in any form of pew stealing.  If you are a happy member of the Church to which you belong, we guarantee our respect for your choice.
·          Our presence in the community of Bend is not intended to disrupt or destroy the Roman Catholic presence in Oregon.  We are coming here to minister to those who have been pastorally or sacramentally orphaned and wish to belong to a catholic community that will welcome and respect them.

The advent of the missionary work of the Evangelical Catholic Church in the community of Bend is not, as some would have you believe, the work of the devil looking to steal souls from the Kingdom of God in Heaven.

There is no reason why two difference Catholic jurisdictions cannot coexist in Bend with respect for one another.

I wish to conclude with an apology for the threats being levied against the good people of Bend by my colleague Bishop Cary.  I would ask that all would join me in lifting Liam Cary in prayer and ask God to ease him of his anger and internal turmoil and to restore him as a spiritually healthy and emotionally focused priest at the altar of God.

And if I may – please keep Father Radloff and me in your prayers also.

I look forward to seeing you all in the coming weeks.

I am,Respectfully Yours in Christ,

 James Alan Wilkowski
Evangelical Catholic Bishop for the Diocese of the Northwest

“A Welcoming Community of Faith
Rooted in the Catholic Tradition”