Abuse of power

Dear Fellow Parishioners and Friends of Our Lady of the Atonement.

Our Hopedale office has advised me that they have received close to 600 signed mandates. This is 60% rate of return and more continue to arrive, although at a reduced pace. In other cases where mandates were used, the best we have done is about 25% of the affected group.

Over the past week there has been a spate of rumors concerning a possible decision about the future status of the parish. Even if such a decision has been made, I would urge you to avoid speculation about the details and await the official notification. Within the past few days, there have also been rumors about possible further adverse actions by the archdiocese. Again, I would caution about speculation until we see what actually happens.

I have received several questions and comments about the possibility of obtaining the repair of harm done to the parishioners or patrimony of the parish. In theory, this is possible; but it is not always prudent. Such a petition is called a denunciation and it should not be submitted without professional assistance. At this point, I cannot say if we should do this. Following are the texts of two canons that might apply and I would welcome your comments.

Can. 128 Whoever illegitimately inflicts damage upon someone by a juridic act or by any other act placed with malice or negligence is obliged to repair the damage inflicted.

Can. 1389 §1. A person who abuses an ecclesiastical power or function is to be punished according to the gravity of the act or omission, not excluding privation of office, unless a law or precept has already established the penalty for this abuse.
§2. A person who through culpable negligence illegitimately places or omits an act of ecclesiastical power, ministry, or function with harm to another is to be punished with a just penalty.

Our Lady of the Atonement, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

.–Charles M. Wilson


Atonement parish described as ‘in crisis’ Since Father Christopher Phillips’ removal last month as pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, archdiocese officials have remained mostly mum about the Anglican-turned-Catholic priest’s standing. Observers say tensions have risen among at least some parishioners, while the archbishop has reiterated his “pastoral concerns” for removing him. In Feb. 5 statement, García-Siller’s expressed in more distressed tones what he called “many untrue and harmful statements” being circulated about “my intentions toward the parish.” Wilson has distributed letters to parishioners that encourage them to sign a procurator mandates, documents that essential give Wilson the power of attorney under canon law to represent them. The one-page document opposes “any intention or act by ecclesiastical authority that would result in a change in the canonical status of the parish,” except for its transfer to the Personal ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peters.

Source: Atonement parish described as ‘in crisis’ – San Antonio Express-News