Friday, January 26, 2024

Parish Pastor and Parochial Vicar dismissed by Bishop for teaching the irrelevancy of the Novus Ordo Mass


Kentucky bishop dismisses priests who derided novus ordo Mass as ‘irrelevant’

Daniel Payne

A Kentucky bishop this month announced the dismissal of two priests who he said had repeatedly denigrated the modern form of the holy sacrifice of the Mass in their parish. 

Covington Bishop John Iffert said in a letter to members of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Park Hills, Kentucky, that he had requested the resignation of parish pastor Father Shannon Collins while ordering the removal of parochial vicar Father Sean Kopczynski.

Iffert said he removed the priests — both members of the Missionaries of St. John the Baptist — after developing “serious concerns” about their pastoral leadership. The parish on its website says it is “home to the Traditional Latin Mass Parish for the Diocese of Covington.”

Iffert wrote that he had ordered the dismissals “after becoming aware that Father Collins had preached in the parish that the holy sacrifice of the Mass, as celebrated in the current Roman Catholic liturgy, is ‘irrelevant,’ preserves ‘literally nothing of the old,’ and that the reform of the liturgy was motivated by hatred towards traditional Catholics and the ancient liturgies of Rome.”

Both priests “maintain these errors and refuse the opportunity to renounce them,” the bishop said. “This disqualifies them from being granted permission to publicly celebrate the sacraments using the 1962 Missale Romanum and from leading a personal parish like Our Lady of Lourdes.”

“I did not take this action lightly,” the bishop said. “I consulted with the vicar general, the deans, the judicial vicar, and brother bishops before determining the action I must take in this situation.”

Iffert wrote that he intends “to provide for the pastoral and liturgical care” of the parish, although he noted there were “obstacles” to that goal, including that the Missionaries of St. John the Baptist own the building and are “no longer willing to permit the diocese or Our Lady of Lourdes Parish to use the building.” 

The bishop said he was exploring other locations for the parish’s liturgies.

“You are in my constant prayer as I work to resolve these difficulties and provide faithful and true pastoral leadership for Our Lady of Lourdes Parish,” the bishop told the parish. 

On its website, the parish says that “at this time there will be no public Masses, confessions, or other sacramental rituals offered at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Park Hills for the foreseeable future per order of His Excellency Bishop John Iffert.” 

“Other arrangements are being made for a future location for the Latin Mass and for a priestly ministry to the flock of this personal parish,” the website says. 

The missionaries, meanwhile, said on their own website that they “seek to be teachers of truth” and “have never, to the best of their knowledge, promoted any errors in regard to the holy faith or taught anything contrary to the perennial Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

The dismissed priests, meanwhile, said they “accept the limitations placed on their ministry and pray that a swift resolution to this difficulty may be found.” 

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