The Vatican has removed Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church from the Archdiocese of San Antonio and it now will operate under a special Catholic diocese based in Houston, church officials announced Tuesday. The move came after weeks of speculation and a months-long tug-of-war between the archdiocese, which wanted to hold on to the Northwest Side parish that worships in the Anglican tradition, and the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, which oversees about 40 such Catholic parishes in the United States and Canada that follow Vatican-approved Anglican liturgy. The Archdiocese of San Antonio had fought the move and Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller had come under fire for his decision in January to initiate removal proceedings against the parish priest, Father Christopher Phillips, citing “pastoral concerns” and the parish’s separate identity from others in the archdiocese. Atonement had been the first Catholic congregation in the nation to be named a Pastoral Provision parish by the Vatican and thus allowed to worship in Anglican traditions. Phillips, married and the father of adult children, was ordained a Catholic priest by the late Archbishop Patrick Flores after having served as an Anglican priest. The ordinariate’s statement expressed “its deepest gratitude to the Archdiocese of San Antonio for welcoming and caring for Our Lady of the Atonement since its inception, and for the Archdiocese’s ongoing commitment to the Church’s care for the unity of Christians.”

Source: Vatican moves San Antonio parish to a special Houston-based diocese