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   
Email:  diocesenw@evangelicalcatholicchurch.org

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”

No comments:

Post a Comment