Fr. Dale Fushek excommunicated

I don’t know how many of you were at some point influenced by Life Teen, but one of its founders, Fr. Dale Fuscek, has been excommunicated.  The Papist has the goods.

From the Diocese of Phoenix website:

    December 15, 2008-The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, has issued a Decree of Excommunication to Reverend Monsignor Dale Fushek and Reverend Mark Dippre.

    Fushek and Dippre have incurred the censure of excommunication because they have chosen to be in schism with the Catholic Church by establishing and leading an opposing ecclesial community known to the public as the Praise and Worship Center. Both priests have consistently refused to comply with explicit directions by Bishop Olmsted to discontinue engaging in public ministry. The excommunications were incurred after repeated offers of reconciliation were ignored. The decree of excommunication by Bishop Olmsted declares the censure that Fushek and Dippre, as ordained priests, have brought upon themselves. The purpose of these sanctions is to reconcile both men with the Catholic Church and to preserve the integrity and unity of the Diocese.

    … Bishop Olmsted continues to express his grave concern for Catholics who may be misled or confused by the actions of Dale Fushek and Mark Dippre. The Diocese of Phoenix does not endorse the actions of these excommunicated priests and we encourage Catholics to refrain from attending or supporting the Praise and Worship Center. We remind Catholics that the ultimate form of praise and worship is and always will be the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and we urge them to keep the Mass as the center of their lives. There is no substitution for the graces received at Mass and no prayer more edifying.

Marcel has a reaction statement from the current president of Life Teen, Randy Raus, making the point that Fr. Fushek’s involvement with Life Teen is long over:

    This excommunication is not connected in any way with the ministry of Life Teen, as all of the actions that led to this occurred after Rev. Dale Fushek’s involvement with our ministry. Further, I want to make it clear that Life Teen is in no way associated with his new venture.

    Even though it has been almost four years since he has been directly involved with the movement of Life Teen, the media continues to associate Rev. Dale Fushek with Life Teen. While we continue to pray for Rev. Dale Fushek, the movement of Life Teen is in full support of Bishop Olmsted and Diocese of Phoenix in this matter.

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106 Responses to Fr. Dale Fushek excommunicated

  1. TJM says:

    I guess it’s all about him. I’m sure his new “ministry” will be carefully watched by the authorities. If I were him, I’d find another
    line of work which doesn’t include contact with youths. Tom

  2. Sean says:

    You worship like a Protestant, you become a Protestant. Fushek’s excommunication shouldn’t surprise anyone (other than a bishop actually took action).

  3. Gerry Scheidhauer says:

    They had/ have the Life Teen Mass at 6p on Sunday’s at a former place of worship until they recently got rid of the orthodox priest–always tons of energy but seemed each week the band/ chorus was encroaching further into the sanctuary–maybe to the pastor’s liking. I wonder how many easily transfer back into the standard Mass when they become of adult age.

    Gerry

  4. New John says:

    When I have had no choice but to attend a Life Teen Mass, I have observed that the baby boomers are the most fervently attached to it. I think some of the teenagers even think it is ridiculous.

    Gerry- I’m afraid from what I’ve seen, that most cannot “transfer back into the standard Mass”. They find another Life Teen Mass or its equivalent if they go at all.

  5. Andrew says:

    You worship like a Protestant, you become a Protestant.

    Took the words right out of my mouth. This isn’t surprising in the least.

  6. Coletta says:

    I agree with the things said thus far here. In our parish I attend the Life Teen Mass at 6 PM when I want especially to hear the homily of the Priest scheduled for that Mass.

    This is why we need a Latin Mass option in each Parish weekly. I believe that given the option and opportunity there would be fewer in attendance at the protestant style Mass.

  7. PGJ says:

    “We remind Catholics that the ultimate form of praise and worship is and always will be the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”

    Well said!

  8. Diane says:

    I think we are going to be seeing more of this out of a new generation of bishops unwilling to let more people get caught up in ideals that are not in alignment with authentic Catholicism.

  9. Diane says:

    Oh, and pray for our bishops and priests!

  10. Coletta says:

    Oh yes! Pray daily for our Bishops and Priests. Thank God for them. Ask Mary to
    protect and nurture them.

  11. symantic antic says:

    I never went to one of these things, and I never liked the name “Life Teen.”

    Why is it even called that? To me, a relative young person, it sounds stupid.

  12. Nathan says:

    I think this action is indicative of the “brick by brick” restoration of the Church. Of course, along with Fr. Bourgeois, we have to pray for Msgr. Fushek’s full repentance and reconciliation. For years and years, though, it seemed (although probably not competely accurate) that the only ones being punished were those who stood up for the traditional liturgy and traditional interpretations of our Faith.

    It is heartening to see the medicine of discipline being applied, in pastoral charity, in what certainly seems to be a fair standard.

    In Christ,

  13. sacredosinaeternum says:

    Very sad indeed. We must pray for their conversion! However, thanks be to God for Bishop Olmstead and his courageous love. I think these words of Bishop Olmstead are most telling, “We remind Catholics that the ultimate form of praise and worship is and always will be the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and we urge them to keep the Mass as the center of their lives. There is no substitution for the graces received at Mass and no prayer more edifying.” When one begins to play with the Holy Sacrifice as if it is their own property, they lose all sense of divine revelation and reverence, and so are easily lead astray to “Praise and Worship”. LifeTeen was first started by a liberal, dissenting Fr. Dale Fushek. He changed the Holy Mass to make it more “relevant” and look where he has ended up. Kyrie eleison.

  14. Braadwijk says:

    Although I’ve mellowed out quite a bit in my old age (24 in May) from my fanatical youth, I can’t disagree with the seemingly harsh statements made above. I wouldn’t exactly word it as worshipping like a Protestant because I don’t think it accurately describes the underlying motives for these kind of “liturgical” styles, chiefly a weird kind of squishy and emotional narcissism that so well characterizes the generation that gave them to us. Nevertheless the harsh consequences of such attitudes are always the same, and despite my aversion to making harsher judgements these days I can’t deny it. At my local Newman chapter there are a few involved in Life Teen. They’re love of the Church isn’t in question, but I do find myself questioning what will happen after Life Teen.

  15. Braadwijk says:

    ….and once again I see I must proof my comments a bit better before I post. *Their

  16. catholicone says:

    I have to agree with others here about the “Life Teen” Masses (and others in that genre). I am of a ripe old age in my late 20s and also a convert to Catholicism from evangelical protestantism. Catholic worship is God-given, not man-created. It should feel that way.

    Most young men and women are looking for one thing in their worship experience: authenticity. Aging hipsters (or their younger proteges – a dying breed) banging away on drums and guitars is wholly out of place in the context of Mass. That’s my honest opinion.

  17. Charles Sommer says:

    We don’t have much experience with the liturgical aspects of LifeTeen at our Parish, though that may change. (I think I would like to have a TLM at the Parish, but don’t know how much support from the community there would be for one). That being said, there is a positive about LifeTeen that you should be aware of. As one of the Catechists for the High Schoolers, I can say that the last few years have seen an improvement of their catechetical materials and retreat materials. I don’t know what their early stuff was like, but the materials now are pertinent AND ORTHODOX.

  18. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    In my experience, most things operating under the name “Praise and Worship” (which is often followed by (C) or (R) or (TM)) are already fairly close to needing medicinal censure.

  19. symeon says:

    I’ll second the above words of Charles Sommer. I was forced by my parish to participate in the Life Teen program as a teenager to be eligible for Confirmation (my brother was even confirmed by Fr Fushek) and while the liturgical and aesthetic principles were dreadful, the doctrine presented was orthodox.

  20. Erica says:

    I am a Life Teen Core member. I have been now for four years. I am so saddened by the actions of Father Dale and I will be praying for his conversion. I agree wholeheartedly with the Bishop’s decision.

    All that being said, Life Teen is a program that has brought so much good to the teens of our parish. I know that many people misunderstand Life Teen and think it is this ridiculous program, but it is not. I have seen the fruits of it. I have seen teens who refuse to even acknowledge that God exists lay prostrate in front of our Eucharistic Lord in tears praising His Holy Name. I have seen teens who had no relationship with God become so enthusiastic for their faith.

    I ask you not to judge the Life Teen program.

    Recall the words of Jesus.

    “The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you” Mark 4:24

  21. Sean says:

    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.” Matthew 7:15-20

    LifeTeen may teach an orthodox catechism, but their liturgies are wholly outside of Church tradition (East or West). Lex orandi, lex credendi…you worship as a Protestant, you become one. The LifeTeen founder is now (more or less) a Protestant, what does that say for his organization? You cannot divorce orthopraxy from orthodoxy.

  22. Maynardus says:

    “I was forced by my parish to participate in the Life Teen program as a teenager to be eligible for Confirmation… and while liturgical and aesthetic principles were dreadful, the doctrine presented was orthodox.”

    Perhaps, but how can one absorb orthodoxy without orthopraxis? Father X. or “Youth Minister” Y. can quote paragraphs verbatim from the Cathechism and expound with eloquence and sincerity on their truth, but when the whole gang troops over to the “worship space” and participates in a liturgy which distorts and diminishes the essence of the “orthodox doctrine” they’ve just been taught… what happens to the message?

    This is why the liturgy is so important! Actions speak louder than words…

    Think about it – it’s simply an acceleration of what our parents and grandparents went through in the latter half of the 20th century. For the most part a solid grounding in orthodox catechesis (pre-V2) and then a sudden immersion in a sea of heterodox liturgical practices. Is it any wonder that so many from these generations have lost their faith?

    Again, this is why the liturgy is so important! Pope Benedict gets it, Fr. Z. gets it, we ALL have to get it – and live it – and pass it along!

  23. TJM says:

    The liturgy offered to teens should be no different than the liturgy offered to adults. The balkanization of the liturgy into this group
    and that group should end. The Church was a much happier place when we all worshipped the TLM together. Back then, it really was the sacrament of
    unity. Today the Mass has become the sacrament of “divisiveness.” Tom

  24. Sean says:

    Tom,

    Amen!!!

    I live on a block with 10 (yes, 10 on one block) Catholic families and no one goes to the same mass. Some attend a TLM 40 miles away, some LifeTeen, some charismatic, some go to your average suburban parish, others escape the current Roman liturgical pandemonium by going to a Byzantine parish, etc. It is sad.

  25. patrick finley says:

    What I do have to contribute is most people I know who have been apart of the life teen groups, arent exactly what I would call orthodox catholics. Two if them claim they dont believe in penance. Once of those, works for the Church, and has a less then appropriate Living arrangement. Not casting judgement. I am a sinner like anyone else. But at the same time, one cant help but acknowledge that these more “liberal” groups are turning our their fair share of bad seeds. These groups tend to Focus more on the unity of people being in the same place and “feeling good”, rather then the real unity, that of Worshiping Jesus Christ, Lord God almighty in the form of the eucharist and the mass. When you start thinking you are the reason there is worship, and the worship is all about you and your feelings and your group, you have ceased being an Orthodox Catholic. You jsut totally missed the whole point of the mass.

    What is better. Feeling good, and having 5000 people at a mass, or 5 who Almighty God is truly pleased with? I pick Almighty God. I see him all eternity. I see the 5000 roughly 70-100 years (depending on when I kick it)

  26. Ben D. says:

    Erica,

    God bless you for the good work you do. What response do you generally give to someone who objects to ‘contemporary’ music at Mass, to casually-dressed lay ministers, improvisation on the part of the celebrant, etc.?

    No one can object to teens practicing Eucharistic adoration and hearing sound catechesis. But I for one *do* object to horizontal emphases in the Sacred Liturgy, to music, language, dress, decoration, and comportment that lack a deliberately sacred and vertical focus. And I object to these things not as a matter of taste, but because they don’t harmonize with the tradition and teaching of the Church, in particular with the urgent and oft-expressed desire of our current Holy Father to restore transcendence, mystery, and dignity to our practice of the Sacred Liturgy.

    And I object all the more when the horizontality overflows into other, non-teen-focused masses at the same parish. One of our local pastors was (is?) very involved in Lifeteen and it shows in the liturgy at all the masses, teen-focused or not. I think he’s a good and holy priest in many ways — which is why I’m mystified by the liturgical oddities.

  27. Fr Smith says:

    I was in high school when Life Teen came out in a nearby parish. My home parish went from being very conservative to being very blah, and the other parish was on the LifeTeen kick. I ran around with a sizeable group of Catholic kids. I once went to LifeTeen for a Mass and a LifeNite which was so filled with abuses (and I was 16 and even knew better) and heterodox theology that I was disturbed enough to almost leave the Catholic Church and consider going to the Orthodox Church. It was ironically at the same time that I discovered the Latin Mass, which kept me in the Church. Fifteen years later, the only ones of my friends who are still practicing Catholics are the ones who went to me blah parish and though the LifeTeen thing was bogus. Of my friends who went to LifeTeen, not one of them is a practicing Catholic today. There are a lot of good people involved with LifeTeen, but far too often they are not adequately formed on the nature of the liturgy and they enshrine abuses and bad theology just to involve the kids. Meanwhile, my parish has become a big Reform of the Reform parish, and there are a lot of high schoolers who have still go to LifeTeen to see their friends but come to my parish for Mass. To quote one of my cheerleaders turned Latin Mass devotee parishioners, “Like, it’s not really Mass at all; it is SOOOOOOO not Catholic!”

  28. Baron Korf says:

    At my parish we use the Life Teen model for our high schoolers. I got involved when I stayed late after mass one time and talked with the pastor(I’m still confused on how he convinced me). The Sunday evening masses are what most would call the Life Teen mass, but really the only thing different from the rest is the music. The pastor refers to as the “Jesus is my Boyfriend” music because, while they keep it Catholic technically, it has the depth of a teenage crush. The teen’s dress code is deplorable, and I am rebuffed by some of the core when I complain because ‘Jesus is happy enough that they came’.

    After mass we have “Life Night” in the parish gym. This is basically a big pep rally. The program varies from place to place, but the problem I have with the general model is that it is too experiential and not nearly catechetical enough. There is a game/activity that opens the night followed by a few short bits, one a joke (literally) and the other a vocab lesson, a talk (sometimes a lecture, usually a personal story) then we break into our designated small groups and discuss. The night is rounded out with a reflection. While it is all very sincere, its not very deep. As such there are many who are there that find it silly at best. They feel that they are not being fed, and as a ‘Core’ member I have found that there is so much they don’t know that, by high school, they should.

    I’ve turned into the designated answer guy for some of the teens and a few of the core members.

  29. Tina in Ashburn says:

    I personally consider the Life Teen perspective destructive. It separates the youth from attending Mass with the rest of the family. The norm of music employed is non-traditional, theatrical, emotional works. In one local parish, the largest percentage of attendees are charismatic evangelical converts or those from neighboring liberal-leaning arm-waving parishes. The priests are very orthodox and give the usual good sermons, but I see the emphasis of this movement as derailing affection for the traditions of the Church, just to attract certain people.
    The whole thing makes me very uncomfortable. I hope my unpleasant impression is in the minority and that this is generally better elsewhere.
    I also wonder if some clergy feel pressured to sponsor this kind of thing, in spite of their better judgment.

  30. Brandon says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about the article saying that this has nothing to do with Life Teen itself…

    One begets the other.

  31. momof8 says:

    Perhaps Life Teen is run differently in each Diocese. But in my own experience the fruits have not been good. Lack of reverence,the scruffy dress code, arm wavingflapping, clapping, hand holding, bands and so on should have no part in the Mass. It’s a Catholic form of protestant worship, if there ever was such a thing….

    I pray that it’s not like this everywhere. These kids are being misled and are failing to rec’v the full understanding of the Liturgy.

    Brick by Brick.. these things too shall come to pass..

    SAY THE BLACK< DO THE RED!

  32. Chironomo says:

    I find the Life Teen spokesman’s repudiation of Fushek more than a bit amusing. What is Fr. Dale doing at the “Praise and Worship Center” that is any different from what Life Teen is doing? It’s the difference between “Protestantized Catholicism” on one hand and “Catholicized Protestantism” on the other. The only difference is that Fr. Dale at least has the integrity to say that he is in opposition to the Church. Life Teen has yet to come to that kind of honesty….

  33. I recall years ago attending a Life Teen Musicians Conference. Fr. Dale was there in all his glory. On many levels, it was a deeply disturbing event, especially the cult of personality. At one of the Masses, Fr. Dale announced that he believed his way of worshipping at Life Teen Masses represented the development of a distinct “rite” within the Church, deserving of recognition and autonomy.

    Fortunately or unfortunately, he has been duly “recognized” as an excommunicate and is now clearly “autonomous” in the development of his distinct “rite.”

    I pray for this man’s conversion. Clearly he realizes that his actions related to the terrible scandal will preclude him from further ministry in the Catholic Church. So he has set about to maintain his “cult of personality” through his P&W center.

    Thank goodness that Bishop Thomas Olmstead is a good spiritual father to his diocese and to these two excommunicated priests. Let us pray for the return of the prodigals.

  34. TJM says:

    I recall my former pastor, when introducing the Teen Life Mass, said with pride that it was “more loosey- goosey” than the regular Mass. That
    was very telling. By the way, he’s a heretic, par excellence. He said the Catholic Catechism had no “validity” because it did not have
    “inclusive” language. Fortunately, he’s moved on to another parish to undermine its faith. Tom

  35. To borrow a quote from a person “The Life Teen Mass is effectively saying “We know teenagers are immature and stupid, and they do not have the intellectual capacity to comprehend, pay attention to, or get anything out of a normal Mass. They don’t even have the ability to care about their Faith or spirituality on a personal level. Therefore we have to dumb down what Mass truly is and make it seem ‘cool’ and ‘fun’ enough to get them to come, since they won’t respond to actual Catholicism.” MacKenzie Swigart”

    That pretty much sums up how I feel about the Lifeteen Mass…We should be praying for the priests involved to convert back to the Faith.

    It’s been said well, worship like a Protestant become a Protestant

    Save the Liturgy, Save the World.

  36. Mary says:

    It is always sad when someone is excommunicated, but it is especially sad when it is a priest. He apparently had a gift being able to communicate with teens, but what happened? Did he forget that as a Catholic and as a priest, he had to humble himself to submit to authority? Did it become about him instead of about God? It is sad as I said, but the good news is that he was given opportunities to reconcile and that the bishop did his job and actually followed through with a punishment following his refusal to reconcile. We all need bishops like that!

    I pray that one day he will reconcile himself to the Church and he will be welcomed back as the prodigal son was.

    I am not understanding the problem with Life teen masses… course we don’t have them at my parish… Are they different than other masses? I mean really? The mass is the Mass is the Mass… except for the music… right?

    I have 3 teenage children/young adults and the biggest thing they want having to do with Mass is that they want me to take them to a TLM…

  37. ckdexterhaven says:

    Folks, don’t forget to pray for the hundreds (probably thousands) of folks whom Dale Fushek has led away from the Catholic Church. So many people from St. Timothy’s (especially teens who were with Lifeteen from the very beginning) were more interested in “Father Dale” than Catholicism. Dale Fushek wanted it that way, but this phenomenon has been detrimental to folks who are no longer Catholic. Trust me, I know what I’m talkin’ bout.

    I attended St. Timothy’s out of necessity for about 2 years-during the Mark Dippre years. I used to sit there and wonder “if Father Dale weren’t here, how many of these folks would be here?” -this was WAY before his downfall.

    So many souls have been led astray.

  38. Jason Keener says:

    Life Teen may or may not do some things well, but their musical practices within the Sacrifice of the Mass should be totally abolished. The Mass is not the personal possession of Life Teen who has taken it upon themselves to introduce their own kinds of music into the Sacred Liturgy. The official music of the Latin Church is Gregorian chant, not praise and worship music banged out on drums and keyboards. For the sake of unity in the Church, every parish should be using Gregorian chant. Life Teen is by no means the only offender.

  39. Jeff says:

    All of this makes me so sad. I met Fr. Dale, so it is sad to see him drift so far from the truth. Life Teen however is ligit, it has been recognized as a 3rd lay order by the vatican and helped teach me about the need for the Eucharist in my life. Being in college now I rarely attend a lifeteen mass, the “transition to a ‘normal mass’” was not a problem at all because Life Teen taught me that the Eucharist is the source and summit of my faith, so no matter how tone deaf the chior is, Jesus is still there and thats really all that matters. Life Teen was started with good intentions by Fr. Dale and many others, in the last 4 years since Fr. Dale has left he has done some weird things that are completely opposed to what he previously taught when he was a part of Life Teen (such as loving obedience to the Magesterium).

  40. TJM says:

    Jeff, here’s a newsflash. By the time I was ten I could chant, in Latin, more than 5 settings of the Ordinary. I was proud to be a member of a Church which treated me like an adult and did not try to give me “pablum” Liturgy. It also sounds like Father Dale is nuts, which is too bad. Tom

  41. Ben D. says:

    Mary said “The mass is the Mass is the Mass… except for the music… right?”

    Jeff said “so no matter how tone deaf the chior is, Jesus is still there and thats really all that matters”

    Well, sort of. It’s one thing for someone suffering through a horrendous liturgy to console himself with this idea. It’s another for it to be used in defense of habitually bad liturgy.

    We have to see Jesus in the liturgy, and hear him, and smell him, and touch him. We aren’t pure mind. So all the “trappings” — the style of music, the vestments, the use or not of solemnizing items like incense and bells, the design and decoration of the church building — all of this stuff is the means by which we weak and distract-able humans are made aware of the presence of Jesus.

    Consider also this question: For how many people is Sunday mass the main and perhaps even only source of their formation in the Faith?

    If, week after week, we hear banal music at mass, watch the ministers engage in embarrassing antics, gaze on ugly art, and do it all in the setting of a building that would serve better as a warehouse or community center than as the domus Dei — how can we weak and distract-able and fleshly humans avoid thinking of Jesus and the Faith in banal, ugly, and effeminate ways?

    The other bit about the music is that there are these things called the Propers of the Mass: Introit, Gradual, Offertory, and Communion. They are texts, usually Scriptural, that are set to Gregorian chant in the official liturgical books.

    These texts-and-music are actually part of the Church’s Liturgy. They are prescribed for every day of the year, just like the readings and the prayers. And yet who even knows they exist? Almost everyone substitutes hymns.

    The Propers need not be sung in Latin, or even to Chant melodies. In fact they need not even be sung. But they are readily accessible in Latin, and set to chant melodies. If you’ve already decided against Latin and Gregorian Chant, it’s probably a lot easier just to substitute a hymn than to track down a translation and setting of the day’s Propers.

    But if you’re open to using Latin and Chant in the liturgy, the Propers are a natural fit. And then you can start “singing the Mass”, instead of just “singing at Mass”.

  42. ckdexterhaven,

    Your comments are exactly what I meant by the “cult of personality.”

    Prayers for those who have been led astray or abused by this man.

    In ICXC,

    Fr. Deacon Daniel

  43. Shane says:

    Father Dale was my high school pastor, and I still consider him to be a friend, though we haven’t spoken in at least 3 years. I think that this forum has been taken over by lovers of the traditional rite (a noble love) if ever there was one, but a larger question is what does the Church of Rome permit or not permit about the Life Teen mass? My understanding is that Father Dale ( do we still refer to him as Monsignor or Father?)was very careful and meticulous in following the allowable forms of the mass. Are you all insinuating merely that the aesthetic of the mass is in poor taste? Or are you claiming that this mass is not allowed by the Church of Rome? If this mas is allowed by the Magesterium then I recommend that you judeg it a little less harshly.

    I never liked Life Teen, and I feel that teenagers should not be treated as if they need to be entertained, but I believe it is a valid mass? As for Father Dale, I do not believe that he commited the sexual acts of which he is accused. All men, of course, are capable of heinous acts, but knowing the man I have a hard time buying it. It feels like a witch hunt with a lot of people trying to get attention and money. However, his actions of late seem to me to be nearly insane. While I do not agree with the Diocese that his new group is necessarily in schism with the Catholic Church (it is merely a collection of people, of mixed faiths, who meet to pray) he was in obvious disobendience when he continued to participate in the “services.” It was not just dosobedience, it was confusing and misleading to impressionable Catholics.

    A final thought. It is worthwhile for all of us to take a moment and ask ourselves what put this man in this position? Assuming that he was innocent of sexual abuse crimes (yes, a large assumption) he has been hounded by the media, drug through the courts, made a public spectacle. His former Bishop was involved in a hit and run and seemed nearly insane for a while. Father Dale, because of the suspicion of guilt, was taken from the one community and strength that he had when his bishop restricted him from working as a priest. I DO NOT disagree with the Bishop’s decision, and I DO NOT agree with Father Dale’s decision to form an ecumenical service. BUT this man has been hounded, suspect, imprisoned, ridicloued, and cut off from his chosen vocation. At the end he surely even felt betrayed by the Church itself. He had no sanctuary – no place to feel a respite from the onslaught. If he started a prayer group to feel part of something again, to recreate part of a community that had turned its back on him, then I can understand and pity him.

  44. Crusader says:

    I went to one Life Teen Mass a few years ago and I almost lost my faith because of it. I was so distraught over the mockery I had seen and so scandalized that the Holy Catholic Church would allow this to continue… there is no way that Life Teen Masses are in any way connected to the Tradition of the Catholic Church. They are modern day parodies of the Mass, and they insult our Lord who only wants us to reverently offer His Holy Sacrifice at the altar in a dignified and appropriate way. Rock music and swaying priests and teeny boppers (as well as aging boomers who should know better) are not in any way shape or form Catholic. Life Teen Masses are insidious diversions from the True Faith, in my humble opinion. Those who follow them are being deceived.

  45. Jason Keener says:

    Hi, Shane.

    I think everyone here agrees a “Life Teen Mass” is a valid Mass; however, Life Teen has been known to introduce illicit novelties into the Church’s Sacred Liturgy. Some examples are: having teens gather around the altar during the Eucharistic Prayer, changing the words of the dismissal, and using instruments and music not befitting the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Mass is the unbloody re-presentation of Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross. Are electric guitars and drums appropriate in such a solemn setting?

    Life Teen groups should really be radical and offer something different. Replace the praise and worship bands with Gregorian chant scholas. I’m sure the talented musicians who serve in the Life Teen Groups could learn Gregorian chant with a little bit of effort. These group leaders could then teach chant to the Catholic teens. Chant is our true musical patrimony as Latin Catholics, and Chant remains the primary music of the Mass whether it be the Traditional Latin Mass or the Novus Ordo.

  46. Fr José says:

    We have the Life Teen program in our parish. The Mass is celebrated ad orientem. The Kyrie, the Gloria, the Sanctus, the Agnus Dei are chanted in Latin. The music is in English (no drums or electric guitars, etc.). Only the male teens that volunteered and were trained serve as altar servers. Teens, after being trained, serve as lectors and ushers. The homily at this Mass is, for all practical purposes, the same one given at other masses (I can’t see a priest preparing more than one for every Sunday, the examples might be different but not the content). After Mass, the teens go to the Parish hall for Life Night. In the parish Hall, the Life Teen band plays (drums, etc.)–but this is done outside the context of the Mass. The materials for the Life Nights are 100% orthodox Catholic teaching. The Core meets weekly to prepare and to study. I don’t think it is a question of Life Teen–its a question of leadership (the parochus).

  47. Credo says:

    Fr. Jose,

    Do you really think it’s wise and necessary to have a Mass directed only for teens? Since the Life Teen program does give advice on how to have “Life Teen Masses” and you don’t follow it, why do you have a Life Teen Mass rather than just making it a regularly scheduled parish Mass? I’ll bet most of the people who come out aren’t teens anyway. My experience is that the catechesis in the Life Teen program Life Nights is not all theologically sound, especially in regards to describing the Mass and the Sacraments. Have they changed the way in which they present the Mass to youth? If it is theologically better now, just curious how do they describe the Mass? Maybe a quote about the Mass from their catechetical program would help.

  48. Shane says:

    Again, there are three questions regarding Life Teen Mass:

    - What does Rome (and to an extent the American Bishops) permit?
    - Does Life Teen deviate from this?
    - If Rome permits something in a mass isn’t it a little bit arrogant for us to declare it inappropriate? We might declare it not suited to our tastes, and that’s fine. We might decide that it probably doesn’t give Latin “Pride of Place” as it ought to, but we’re not Bishops (of course right after I write this a Bishop will send a response!) If the authority of the Church rests with this mass then it’s inappropriate to insinuate that it is this particular form of worship that leads people astray and/or led Fr. Dale astray.

    And, really, anyone who almost loses their faith from going to one Life Teen Mass has about the weakest faith ever. And there is a certain danger that we lovers of more traditional rites have, and that is both an arrogance (“That’s not the way it ought to be, and I ought to know!”) and a failure to really look at ourselves honestly. Criticizing the new mass (or masses) is much easier to me than criticizing myself. It’s easy to point out that Life Teen has too much swaying, or does not give pride of place to Latin, or occasionally deviates from norms. And we sure love to get worked up when liturgy isn’t done perfectly or with perfect reverence. we get so worked up that we ought to ask ourselves if we’re remembering to pray at all.

    Best,
    Shane

  49. ckdexterhaven says:

    Shane,
    Where does “The Mass Never Ends, It Must Be Lived” fit into the allowable form of mass? It proves the point that Dale Fushek was NOT meticulous. (For those that don’t know, that phrase is how Father Dale ended Mass- he didn’t say “Go Now in peace to love and serve the lord”-

    With all due respect Shane, Dale Fushek is in this situation because of choices HE made. Go back and read the depositions, where he *admitted* (ahem) getting into the hot tub at the rectory with other men not wearing clothing.

    You believe he is being persecuted unfairly. Shane, look at all of the Saints who have been persecuted unfairly. They were persecuted because of their love of Christ. As a Catholic, Dale Fushek had so many Saints he could have prayed to for intercession in his darkest hour.

  50. RBrown says:

    – What does Rome (and to an extent the American Bishops) permit? – Does Life Teen deviate from this? – If Rome permits something in a mass isn’t it a little bit arrogant for us to declare it inappropriate? We might declare it not suited to our tastes, and that’s fine. We might decide that it probably doesn’t give Latin “Pride of Place” as it ought to, but we’re not Bishops (of course right after I write this a Bishop will send a response!) If the authority of the Church rests with this mass then it’s inappropriate to insinuate that it is this particular form of worship that leads people astray and/or led Fr. Dale astray.
    Comment by Shane

    JRatzinger wrote: I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy. Has this liturgy been permited by Rome and the local bishops? Yes.

    I might also add that Rome permitted (via malign neglect) local bishops to let their seminaries turn into doctrinal and moral pig sties.

  51. I never participated in Life Teen, but I have seen good results from it in the lives of many teenagers. At least, in this situation, unlike that of the Legionaries of Christ, the ministry is not tied to indoctrination in the personal writings and teachings of the scandal tainted “founder.” As to the schism issue, plenty of traditionalists are still in schism and have been so for decades. That does not mean that those traditionalists in union with Rome are necessarily bad or poisoned in some way. The same generous, common sense logic applies to the Life Teen situation, if we choose to be consistent.

  52. RBrown says:

    I know nothing about Life Teen, but I am disturbed by the Balkanization of generations in contemporary life. There is a tendency for adolescents now to think nothing is relevant except what has been recently produced specifically for them.

  53. Fr. Jose,

    My compliments to you on the proper integration of Life Teen into parish life. As a former LT and Youth 2000 Music Leader, I came to the belief that the “Praise and Worship” style music simply did not align with the meaning of the Mass, and belonged in a youth group style setting…but NOT the Mass itself! When we introduce entertainment media into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, it diminishes the glory of the offering and the authentic experience of the Kingdom of God it is intended to communicate. Having an orthodox celebration of the Mass with a Life Nite for teens afterwards with fun, fellowship and faith formation is simply a brilliant stroke.

    May God give increase to your efforts!

    In ICXC,

    Fr. Deacon Daniel

    PS: Here is a wonderful article from NLM that many here will appreciate.

    http://ceciliaschola.org/pdf/letter-praiseandworship.pdf

  54. Tina says:

    This is so sad, but I’m sure the hierarchy will reconsider. They have done
    so much, along with shows like Life on the Rock to bring youth to Christ.

    Perhaps, we as laity, should heed the advice of Fr. Groeschel on this news.

  55. TJM says:

    Shane, please read Sacrosanctum Concilium, Sacramentum Caritatis, and the Novus Ordo Missae (text and rubrics) and then see how seriously
    Teen Life Masses deviate from what the Church requires. It is not about personal taste, but apparently that’s the attitude you and your mentors in
    Teen Life are fostering. That the celebration of the Holy Mass is based on the taste of the celebrant and its participants. I view these young
    adult Masses as tasteless, condescending, patronizing, and worst of all, a perversion of the Sacred Liturgy. Tom

  56. Fr. Lane says:

    I do not understand the mentality today that Masses need to be “customized” in order to make them “relevent” to one group or another. There is one Mass, and one Sacrifice that is represented at that Mass. Period. If a person cannot reconcile their spirituality with the Roman Rite as it is presented by the Church, then perhaps they are not Catholic.

  57. Fr. José says:

    Dear Credo: Life Teen is an evangelization program for youth. It is not necessary to have a “Life Teen” Mass as many here have talked about. Our parish didn’t add a Mass, it just invited families with teens to attend the afternoon Mass which was already in existence. The Life Teen program tells its parish members that they can take their materials, use them, modify them, etc. You can even call it something else if you wish. Here is an excerpt from the Life Night called “Consumed” from the curriculum guide for this semester. “The terms “Holy Sacrifice,” “sacrifice of praise” and “pure and most holy sacrifice” are also used in order to stress the sacrificial nature of our Lord’s actions on the cross, which is united with the sacrifice of the Mass—that representation of the cross, death, and resurrection of our Lord. The Church calls the Mass the most holy sacrifice to illustrate its significance compared to the sacrifices made under the old covenants.” Hope this helped.

  58. Michele says:

    I agree totally with Sean. Fushek’s disobedience started at St. Timothy’s …both Dale and Mark’s disobedience began long before starting their new church – The Praise and Worship Center. What is most disheartening and concerning is there are people (many consider themselves Catholic) supporting Fushek and Dippre. May God have mercy on these weak and ignorant sheep.

  59. Fr. José says:

    Dear Fr. Deacon Daniel: Thanks for your encouragement and support. I see many good things in the Life Teen program and am trying, albeit imperfectly, to use it while remaining faithful to the Church’s direction regarding the Mass.

  60. Ben D. says:

    Shane,

    I think it’s a mistake to refer to a desire for liturgical solemnity as a matter of taste or personal preference — some like Latin chant and some like praise-and-worship with keyboards and drums — and to hinge one’s judgment entirely on the question of “does the Church permit it”?

    The Church permits a lot of things that aren’t as good as some of the alternatives. We’re only obliged to receive Holy Communion once a year, for example, and to confess our sins once a year (and if we’re not conscious of grave sin we’re not obliged to confess at all).

    But wouldn’t it be a little odd if a lay group arose that promoted “annual Communion” as one of its main ideas? I suppose you could respond that annual Communion is better than not communicating at all. And that’s certainly true. But it’s not an ideal to strive for or a good habit to inculcate.

    Likewise the Church allows a great deal of leeway in liturgical practice. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that, objectively speaking, a chanted Mass in Latin is the normative and best form of the Roman liturgy and an ideal to strive for. A group whose official and habitual liturgical practice aims in the opposite direction is rightfully criticized on this score.

  61. Credo says:

    Fr. Jose,

    Thank you for providing that quote. I agree that you are doing a great service for the youth attending the liturgies at your parish, but you admit that you have chosen to not follow Life Teen’s suggestions; unfortunately, most parishes do follow their suggestions though. The fact remains it is quite serious that Life Teen propagates bad liturgy through their suggestions to parishes who purchase their programs. Is a group that encourages bad liturgy a good group to encourage others to support and subject our youth to? The Church teaches that the liturgy is the source and summit of our Catholic faith, so if a group chooses to degrade it and abuse the very heart of our Faith then it seems reasonable that Catholics should be very concerned about promoting such a group/program to others.

    The quote you gave from the Life Night is typically ambiguous leaving open many interpretations to someone who is not otherwise catechized. Life Teen programs are good at using traditional terms and language, however, the theology is off which may or may not be intentional. There are ways to simplify theology and still give a good sense of the Church’s teachings. Too often though people see traditional words like “holy sacrifice” and then give the entire program a big stamp of “orthodoxy” without reading into what is really being said (this is not directed to you personally).

    There are a few problems with the quote, one is that it does not give any sense that the Mass really is in fact a True Sacrifice – does this catechetical piece ever state explicity this reality? If not, why? The Church doesn’t call the Mass the “most holy sacrifice” to only “illustrate” typology rather the Church calls it the “most holy sacrifice” primarily because it actually is a True Sacrifice. What does this part mean in explaining the sacrifice of the Mass: “that representation of the cross, death, and resurrection of our Lord”? It doesn’t make sense to me.

    Even though we can disagree on the catechesis Life Teen promotes, surely most would agree with the Church’s teaching on the liturgy as being the source from which everything flows, meaning distorted liturgy does distort the Catholic faith to those who are present.

  62. Shane says:

    Okay – my last posting on this (though I will read and enjoy responses). I love the traditonal rite and do not have mentors in Life Teen. I went a few time to St. Timothy’s Life Teen from 1990-1994 but preferred the 10:00 a.m. mass. I think Life Teen mass is generally silly. However, a lot of comments about it are way overboard and, in my humble opinion come from our own arrogance because it is easier to sit around and judge poor liturgy than it is to be still and come to the altar of our God, the God who brings joy to our youth. And I think it’s easy to throw out titles and volumes as if you were educated on the mass and the liturgy, we can all do this, but we also MUST remember to ask ourselves if we’re judging ourselves at least as harshly as we’re judging poor liturgy. Its just too easy to be arrogant about the liturgy, and that is an easy trap to fall into. Fine, fine, fine, fight for th traditional mass. Fight to avoid abuses in the liturgy, but also remember to fight with a little humility.

    - If memory serves the “The Mass never ends . . ” line was removed from St. Timothy’s when the Church asked for it to be removed. Yes, Fr. Dale should have chosen only one of the three option to end mass to begin with. The other constant abuse that I can think of is inviting people up at the altar. I hate that.

    - Getting into a hot tub (comment by ckdexterhaven) with other men, and admitting it, shouldn’t put any shadow of doubt on Fr. Dale. I have worked out and then sat in steam rooms or hot tubs with naked or barely clothed men, I dunno, dozens of times. But i work out a lot and come from a culture where that’s not considered a homosexual thing to do. It’s considered a locker room. As someone who has worked with the Church for years, I know orthodox bishops, priests, heterosexual men, tough guys, etc. etc. who think (or at least did until anything like that became misconstrued) it common and ordinary to do something like that. Of course these days everybody practices more caution and avoids situations where any accusation could be made, but that wasn’t the case in the 90′s. I also knew Fr. Dale when I was 13 to 18 and he acted only appropriately towards me and, to my knowledge, my close friends. Like all men, he could be guilty, sure, but we should also be wary of witch hunts. Do I think he is innocent? Yes.. . Probably Would I leave my children in his care? No.

    - Re: solemnity. Are we the ones who ought to judge what is or is not solemnity or is the Church of Rome? I dunno. Generally, I find that people who are third rate singers, and who dress poorly for mass, and who like to hold hands during the Our Father are more solemn and sincere than the grump sitting behind them who just keeps getting more and more worked up because things are “inappropriate”. Solemnity begins with humility.

    - Ben D, the bar that the Church sets is a bar low enough to achieve SANCTITY and no less. Sure, go above and beyond and tell yourself that a mass chanted in Latin is the ideal (boy did the Apostles and Mary miss out on that one!) but “Pride of Place” is an ambiguous idea and really give a little credit to the Church’s wisdom in giving a little leeway. Perhaps, just perhaps, there were skeptics and naysayers like us when Pope Gregory was alive?

    - I agree with this group 99% but some people are just way too over the top.

  63. Credo says:

    Shane,

    Life Teen does in fact encourage liturgical abuses as being acceptable, that’s a fact. I have spoken a number of times over the past 3 years with the priest who is the chaplain of Life Teen and answers questions about the liturgy and he does not think there is anything wrong with teens around the alter in the sanctuary (he said so and he knows most Life Teen groups still do it), changing the texts and responses of the Mass, music that is not in line with Catholic doctrine, etc. The priest actually encourages liturgical abuses, although, he doesn’t call them that, of course. Life teen also changes the texts of many of the responses in the Mass, for example, the Great Amen has many words and is more of a song rather than just “Amen” (it may be repeated) which is the only thing authorized. They also change/add the words to the Gloria, the Sanctus, and the Lamb of God – all are liturgical abuses that distort the Mass and Catholic doctrine which are inseparable. What do these things teach our Catholic youth? It teaches them distorted doctrine, disobedience to the Church, and that the Mass is just a nice thing that we can make up as we go along according to our tastes, adding and deleting and changing whatever we want. No one in their right mind shoud think that altering the Mass, which is the very centre and source of our Faith, is acceptable.

  64. Ben D. says:

    Shane,

    It sounds like we’re talking past each other. You bring up people in the pews holding hands, third-rate singers, folks wearing jeans. I don’t care about that stuff. I care about what the ministers (ordained and lay) do on the altar and what the choir sings. You’re absolutely right — it’s wrong to fume in the pews. It’s also wrong for priests and choir directors to indulge in banal liturgical practices.

    You said, “boy did the Apostles and Mary miss out on that one”. I only said that a chanted Mass in Latin is the ideal for the Roman Rite. There are over a dozen rites in the Catholic church and each has its own liturgical tradition. Ours is steeped in Latin and Gregorian chant and that’s just a matter of fact. It’s not simply a matter of taste or personal preference to desire the fullness of one’s ritual heritage — and to criticize the practice of habitually obscuring this heritage.

  65. Ben D. says:

    BTW, it sounds like, when I said \”solemnity\”, you may have taken me to mean \”reverence\” — and what\’s more, the personal interior reverence of those attending mass around me.

    I\’m not concerned with that here and I don\’t think it\’s any of my business. I was using the word \”solemn\” in the technical sense: two readings and the Creed on Sunday (as opposed to one reading and no Creed on weekdays); singing the Mass instead of reciting it; using the Propers of the Mass instead of substituting hymns and a responsorial psalm. That sort of thing.

    The Second Vatican Council says it\’s \”more noble\” to sing the Mass (see SSC 113). And once you start talking about \”singing the Mass\”, it\’s clear that the normative musical settings are those found in the official Roman liturgical books — in other words, Gregorian Chant. I\’m fairly certain that for some texts, these are the only musical settings that exist. I\’m thinking particularly of the Gradual, which is almost universally omitted at mass, in favor of a Responsorial Psalm. The heartbreaking thing is that some of the most stunning works of Gregorian Chant are found among the Graduals. I would guess that most people, including many choir directors, have never even heard of the Gradual.

    As for Latin, here\’s the Council again:

    36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.

    52 … Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.

    The Church permits varying degrees of liturgical solemnity, as the occasion and circumstances warrant. But the Church also teaches that a more solemn liturgy is more noble, and that singing the Mass itself, in its entirety (which means singing the Introit, Gradual, Offertory, and Communion propers) is a crucial way to make the liturgy more solemn.

    And as far as I can tell, the Church does not permit Latin to be entirely abandoned in the Latin rite. So I don\’t think I\’m going \”above and beyond\” when I say that a chanted Mass in Latin is the ideal for the Roman Rite. It is in fact the liturgy of the Roman Rite (I\’m not attending to the Liturgy of the Hours here) — if by \”liturgy of the Roman Rite\” you mean \”the contents of the official Roman liturgical books\”.

    Variations are permitted but they are a less complete expression of our liturgical tradition. This is not a moral judgment; just an observation of fact. I don\’t think that every mass needs to fully express our tradition, but it would be nice if some did. And it\’s not nice when a parish or lay group officially and habitually shuns the fullest expression of its own liturgical tradition.

  66. David B says:

    This is indeed sad news. My wife was a teen in the first Life Teen group founded by Fr. Fushek. When I moved to Arizona and met my wife, I also was attending St. Timothy’s in part because of the reputation as being a “dynamic” parish. I’ll admit, being younger, I was taken in by all the razzle-dazzle of the Life Teen Mass. Anyway, Fr. Fushek officiated at our wedding, so it is painful to see his downfall and his being excommunicated. That being said, I believe it is something the bishop had to do, as undoubtedly, there are people being led out of the Church with the Praise and Worship service started by Fr. Fushek and Fr. Dupre.

    I also know a bit about the liturgical abuses that took place at Fr. Fushek’s Masses. One that I had respectfully brought up to him was the standing during the Eucharistic Prayer, instead of kneeling. I received a very angry response and was told by Father of his master’s degree in liturgy from Notre Dame.

    Sadly, I’ve also heard of for Life Teen participants who have left the faithful practice of Catholicism after their teen years.

    Finally, it is with great sadness and irony, that my wife, a former Life Teen teenage participant, and later core member, of whom I mentioned having Fr. Dale officiate at our wedding, has paralleled somewhat the ruin of Fr. Dale’s vocation to the priesthood, with her own decision to divorce and not live up to her own vows. This was finalized in November of this year. Yes, it’s not been a good year.

  67. Inma says:

    I am greatly saddened by the latest turn of events, but even more greatly saddened by what I read from some in this post. How judgmental we are, yet we claim to be Christians. So many of you are judging a man you don’t even know. Dale today is not the same man he was when he started out. He had mellowed, changed, become more compassionate, and was on fire for the Lord. Shane brings up some very good points, although his time at Life Teen was several years after I graduated from High School. I was at the very first Life Teen night, and stayed throughout my high school years. While, yes, there were cliques, and there was a lot of hype/playing on sensibilities, there was also a lot of good. Was he a bit self centered (ok, a lot)… yes… but there is no perfect program. The original core members are still very active in their Churches, mentors in their communities, and examples of Christian living to their children… Something good must have happened. Many of us who went to Life Teen back then, still today are very close friends and are all still practicing our faiths. We may have had faith challenges, just like any other person, but I don’t attribute that to false teaching from the program. I don’t feel that Life Teen was in any a way a detriment to my faith. I got to meet people from all over, share with my peers life challenges and victories. Dale was very Eucharist oriented, and yes, he may have deviated away from the literal words he was supposed to say, but he tried very hard to instill the love of the Eucharist in each one of us. As for the ending that he USED to use, it was only to get people to realize that the Mass does not end when we say our final Amen, but it continues in our lives…. we are supposed to live the Mass. And he did change it when he was asked to by the Bishops. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked out of a church to see grumpy people who will cut you off as you leave the parking lot. The obligation was fulfilled as by duty, but not lived. Dale tried to get people to participate in the Mass not just stand by and watch the Mass. Many young men became priests, and are still today, after going through Life Teen, and I myself joined a religious order.
    I am saddened that he has chosen to disobey the Bishop, but preaching and ministry is all this man knows. As he recently told me, he has more time to actually minister to people than he did as a parish priest. He’s not teaching anything that goes against the Church… I have been to a few of his Praise and Worship Sundays (yes, after I went to Mass and fulfilled my duty as a Catholic). He is not trying to pull people away from any church, nor is starting a new “religion/church”. I dare say, we don’t excommunicate our Charismatic brothers and sisters for praying in a way that is not of the “Latin rite”. Our Lord himself reprimanded his disciples when they pointed out that someone not “belonging” to their group was expelling demons in His name… If they are not against Me, they are for ME. After Christ died, there were breaks among His followers as well. Those that were for Paul, those that were for Peter, etc. It appears we have not changed much. The building of the church is just that. It’s the people that make the Church. For all I care, we could celebrate Mass outdoors without the need for all the pews, and art work, statues, etc. All these material things are for us, as weak humans, because we need to help our senses along in the faith journey. How many of you have ever said, “I just don’t feel it…” It’s not about feeling, but accepting in faith. I pray every day that the Lord will increase my faith. Should he have maybe waited until after his court proceedings… probably, but he just wanted to move on with his life.
    Is the Life Teen program perfect, for Heaven’s sake NO, but let’s give it a chance. It’s up to the leaders to learn from their mistakes, and make it into a better instrument of God’s goodness.
    As for Dale… he will be the one standing before the Lord when his time comes. Neither you, nor I will be there (thank heavens) to judge. God alone is judge. The Bishop may have had to do “what he had to do”, but I can certainly say, that the Parish of St. Timothy’s has not felt his compassion, deep concern, or love. He has basically left the parish abandoned, except for the occasional “act of presence”, and the Community that I once called home has been torn and is weeping and hurting. All vestiges of Dale have been removed. There are very few original parishioners left. Very sad.
    I pray for Dale, Mark, and all the leaders of our Church that some day we will have some semblance of balance in our faith “Rites”. For now, the pendulum continues to swing and we are either to the extreme left or the extreme right, and their continues to be a rift even among the priests/religious in our Church… I have seen and lived it first hand.
    God Be with you all. I pray that you will all open your hearts and not judge our fellow brothers and sisters by the way they celebrate their faith (Latin Orthodox Mass vs. a more Charismatic celebration). You do not know what is in their hearts, only God does. Both are viable… even our last great Pope JPII supported the a charismatic form of worship… **As long as the teachings/dogmas of the Church are not incurred upon.**
    Thank you for your time and openness.
    Pax et Bene!

  68. Experienced Catholic says:

    I have to say that after reading the majority of posts here, I am ashamed to admit I ever had anything to do with, let alone a leadership position, in the Catholic Church. Ass I read through the self-serving and and self-righteous posts of the people here I can only say that those who posted so admantly about what is THE way to celebrate the Mass, would certainly be more at home among the Pharisees as opposed to Christians.

    To see the audacity and arrogance of those who think that they know the RIGHT way to offer praise and worship to Our Lord, actually gladdens my heart that I decided to leave the Catholic tradition after they installed a small, petty, vicious and vindictive man as the Bishop of Phoenix.

    For those of you who wish to pontificate about the “Latin Rite”, etc, etc do tell me exactly when was it that Christ stated he came to our world to establish a religion with self-appointed Parisees as the arbiters of what is the appropriate way to offer praise and worship to Him?

    I grew up in the Catholic tradition starting as an Altar boy when there were only “altar boys”, I considered entering the seminary under the direction of a very holy and serious priest, who, by the way, was disciplined for be disobedient to the ArchBishop. His “disobedience” was that he preached against racial discrimination in an all-white suburb of Chicago. this was not to be tolerated by the Church’s leaders and they removed him from Parish ministry for decades. Anyway, I was involved in religious education and Confirmation. The majority of my experience was in association with a pastor who was very well respected by the Achdiocese of Chicago and his basic tenet was anyone who came to Mass because of religious obligation was better off not coming and going to a ballgame instead. Living the Mass and being an enthusiastic participant is what God wants, not some arrogant Pharisee who is going to stand up and tell others that if they don’t embrace the latin Gregorian Mass they are abusing the sacrament.

    The previous poster indicated she had attended some of the Praise and Worship Center services as have I and neither she nor I heard or saw anything that would put either Dale or Mark in schism with the Catholic Church. As a matter of fact, they went out of their way to make sure no one felt that they had to stop any other tradition to attend the services at the center. From firsthand knowledge, it is clear that Olmstead acted out of pettiness, envy and vindictiveness and not because of any violation of Church rules.

    I have been vacilating about my direction, but Olmstead, Spaulding and the hypocrites posting here have shown me that the Catholic Church is not an organization Jesus christ would chose to be part of. I believe he would drive you out of any building as he did the moneychangers.

  69. Experienced Catholic says:

    ckdexterhaven, you made the following statement:

    “Where does “The Mass Never Ends, It Must Be Lived” fit into the allowable form of mass? It proves the point that Dale Fushek was NOT meticulous. (For those that don’t know, that phrase is how Father Dale ended Mass”

    Your statement was based on either ignorance or intentional distortion. There are two types of lies, one of commission and one of omission. Since you omitted the complete ending I would have to assign your statement to one of omission.

    The complete statement was; The Mass Never Ends, It Must Be lived. So let us go forth to Love and Serve the Lord. Thanks be to God, Allelulia.

    Now do explain to us how that not only complies with the pablum statement you think is appropriate, but how it does not charge each participant with being more than 1 hour Christians.

    It is unfortunate that you can not recognize that the Catholic Church is so much more than the the limited function frozen in amber that you prefer.

  70. Jeff says:

    Tom, thank you for your ‘newsflash’. Praise the Lord that He choose to work in your life through the sacred Tridentine rite! Just so you know, I do not make the claim to be an outstanding Catholic, far from it actually. I consistently find myself in line for confession to receive God’s grace and mercy for the same sins, I feel as though I am just kissing the Lord and betraying Him once again.

    Though I have my flaws I truly believe that Holy Spirit used the ministry of Lifeteen to draw me closer to God, as stated previously it was Lifeteen (not CCD, conformation classes, or any other ministry within the Church) that taught me that I need the Eucharist, that He is the source and summit of my faith, that I need Him more than the air I breathe regardless of what my emotions are doing, and it is only in and through the most holy sacrafice of the Mass that I can have this intimacy with Him.

    So many of you have been quick to point out Lifeteens flaws in the liturgy, such as having the teens gather around the altar at the time of consecration and epeclisis, or changing the words of the dismissial. Let me say quite clearly that I AGREE WITH ALL OF YOU that these things were and will always be illicit and should not have been done in the first place. However, I have not heard yet from any of you this fact: The very day that our Church asked Lifeteen to stop these practices Lifeteen wrote up a letter and within a short period of time sent it to all lifeteen parish’s explaining that these practices needed to stop, in addition to this Lifteen also sent another letter to all its youth ministers suggesting that this would be a great opportunity to give a talk about the need to be lovingly obedient to the teaching authority the Magesterium.

    During the 2006-2007 academic year I had the opportunity to serve the Lord through NET (National Evangelization Teams) Ministries, a ministry in which about 100 college-age Catholics give a year of there lives and break up into 9 teams and travel all over the USA to “Challenge young Catholics to love Christ and embrace the life of the Church” as our goal stated. During this time I had the opportunity to see many different lifeteen parishes. I came to the conclusion that the greater problem in the Church is the WAY THAT LIFETEEN IS RUN IN THAT PARTICULAR PARISH. If the parish celebrates an orthodox liturgy than the lifeteen mass will be celebrated in that type of way. However if the parish is ‘progressive’ than the essence of the liturgy will be completly lost in the Mass all in the name of “doing a lifeteen mass” when really the mass that is celebrated is far from anything that lifeteen officially says on paper. People often use Lifeteen as a means to achieve what they want the liturgy to be and in so doing deviate from what lifeteen and more importantly the Church herself has asked us to do. It is similar to a person looking at a catholic who dosn’t live out their faith and in doing so says, “the Catholic Church dosn’t teach people to live out their beliefs”. This of course is false, on paper the Church teaches the opposite but many derive their opinions based on what they see. The same is often true of lifeteen.

    Often I do not attend my parishes lifeteen mass. However, when I do, I notice that about half the songs are traditional songs from the music books. So if people have a problem with the traditional songs in the music books than their problem is not with lifeteen but is with the broader issue of the role and type of music in the Liturgy. I often notice that the other half of the music that is prayed during my parishes lifeteen Mass are contemporary songs. I believe that right here is the major issue; contemporary music in the Mass. If this music does not reflect what is happening, or about to happen in the mass than it is illicit and has no place in the Mass. The music should not be simply an end in and of itself, but a means to draw people into the liturgy who may normally not pay any attention at all, is that not what many wonderful songs do such as my favorite ‘Tantum Ergo’. The fact that the song ‘Tantum Ergo’ is sung during Eucharistic adoration does absolutly nothing to add to Gods presence, because He is already just as present as he can possibly be in the Eucharist, the song simply hels ME to come to the Lord and not the other way around.

    As long as a song is reflecting what is going on in the ligurgy and reverently drawing people into the reality of what is happening on the altar than I don’t see why anyone could think that such music is unfit for Holy Mass. Of course the problem arises when the above criterion are not met and as previously stated I agree with probably all of you about that type of illicit music.

    I would also like to say that I disagree with the idea that certain instruments are always illicit to have in Liturgy, its not the instruments, its the way they are used in Mass. For example, a few weeks ago when I went to a lifeteen Mass I saw for the first time in my life an electric guitar used by one of the musicians. Most people (myself included) associate an electric guitar with loud noise and irreverance. I wondered how this instrument could possibly be used in Holy Mass. However after Mass I was amazed to find that it fit wonderfully into the music. The musician used it in the background of the music, almost like a violin, playing it very gently, softly and quietly giving the music a very gentle tone. It was used throughout most of the music in the liturgy and not just the opening and closing songs. Now, if the musician had been using the instrument loudly and irreverantly and at times where silence and contemplation belonged than of course it would have been used in an unfit manner.

    Now some may say, “why all this trouble, why not just do away with lifeteen as a whole, it dosn’t make a difference anyway”. My simple response to them is, “Yes it does, because it has for me.” I have my weaknesses, God knows, but the reason that I care about my faith is because God used Lifeteen to truly bring me to the Eucharist, not just to go up to the altar week after week and just half-heartedly say ‘amen’. In fact it’s because of Lifeteen that I learned the importance of lovingly submitting to the authority of the Magesterium. I don’t mean to propose that Lifeteen is the only way to achieve this for a Catholic, but it’s the way that God did it with me and I can’t betray that truth. The Holy Spirit used lifeteen to get me personlly involved in my faith way back when I was in jr. high, I have been out of high school for over 4 years, go to mass about 3-4 days a week, try and stay close to our Lord and His mother and even find it spiritually enriching to pray the rosary in latin every now and again, none of this has anything to do with Lifeteen, I only say it to show that I am a ‘real Catholic’ I am not just some crazy charasmatic progressive “I am the church” kind of person. But so much of where I am today started with Lifteen’s help to get me to personally commit to our Lord and His Church.-Jeff

  71. Shane says:

    “Experienced Catholic” – Wow, that’s about the most in your face judgemental posting I’ve read in a long time. Some quick corrections to your points:

    - Yes, leaders in the Church, including bishops, make mistakes. So what? Even Jesus missed one in twelve. If 1 in 12 of his picks actually contributed towards killing him, the Church itself probably isn’t going to do much better. It’s easy and cheap to ramble on about the failings of indidivual priests, bishops, Popes, whatever. The larger question is whether or not Jesus founded the Catholic Church and what he meant when he said that the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.

    - “it is clear that Olmstead acted out of pettiness, envy and vindictiveness and not because of any violation of Church rules.” Rather, it is clear that you do not understand Church rules and, most likely do not know Bishop Olmstead.

    - Fr. Dale, as a priest, had an indelible mark put upon his soul. Period. He can claim all he wants that he isn’t leading Catholic services, but his soul was marked as a priest. Anything he did, ANYTHING, was done as a Roman Catholic priest. Thus, he was in disobedience to his bishop and Church when he acted as a pastors at these services. He was instructed to refrain from acting as a pastor. He didn’t refrain. Period.

    - Of course clever lawyers could argue that these services did not creat a schism, but of course they did. 1) The arizona republic quoted parishioners at St. Tim’s saying that they would leave St. Tim’s and attend Fr. Dale’s service 2) Fr. Dale’s service took place at exactly the same time as St. Tim’s mass. It was obviously set up to be direct competition.

    - “Olmstead, Spaulding and the hypocrites posting here have shown me that the Catholic Church is not an organization Jesus christ would chose to be part of.” We should always be wary of ourselves when we claim, or feel that we can claim, to understand how Jesus would judge anything or anybody.

  72. RBrown says:

    Inma,

    It isn’t just a liturgical question. The following is from Wikipedia:

    Allegations of sexual misconduct

    In May 2002, Fushek disclosed to his congregation, that in 1995 the Diocese of Phoenix had settled a sexual harassment suit that had been filed against him by a former Life Teen staff member.[3]

    In April 2004, the newly installed Bishop Thomas Olmsted, who replaced Bishop Thomas O’Brien after his conviction and resignation for a fatal hit-and-run accident[4], accepted Fushek’s resignation from his position as Vicar General.

    In late December 2004, additional complaints against Fushek emerged and the Diocese of Phoenix began to conduct an investigation. Fushek was placed on paid administrative leave shortly thereafter.[5]

    On January 27, 2005, a lawsuit was filed in Maricopa County Superior Court alleging that Fushek witnessed the sexual assault of another, by a priest, and did nothing.[6]

    On April 4, 2005, Fushek resigned as a pastor of St. Timothy’s Catholic Church.[7]

    On November 21, 2005, Fushek was arrested and charged with ten criminal misdemeanor counts related to alleged sexual contact with teens and young adults.[1] Maricopa County prosecutors have not ruled out the possibility of more serious charges.[8] On May 22, 2006, three of the ten misdemeanor counts were dismissed at the request of the prosecution. [9]

    On December 5, 2006, the lawsuit filed on January 27, 2005, was settled by the Diocese of Phoenix for $100,000. The settlement does not imply any admission of guilt, according to the Diocesan attorney Mike Haran. [10] The case was dismissed with prejudice, which means it cannot be refiled. [11]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dale_Fushek

  73. RBrown says:

    Experienced Catholic,

    You seem to depend on others too much. You were thinking about seminary, but a priest you admired was disciplined, and so you gave up the idea. Now you say you are leaving the Church because you don’t like the bishop.

    If I only went to mass when I liked the priest or the bishop, I would have seldom gone.

    Our faith is in Christ not in others.

  74. ranchocazzo says:

    I think everyone here should be more understanding and loving of Msgr. Fushek. What he has done though his Praise and Worship Center is bring even more people to the gospel, breaking down doctrinal barriers. Is that not why Christ came to us – to unite all people, not to discuss theological issues and band people as sinners because they dont believe everything we do. How shallow is the bishop who excommunicated Msgr. Fushek, that he refuses to see the good which Msgr Fushek is doing. Msgr. Fushek has my complete support and offerings of goodwill.

  75. Inma says:

    RBrown: If it’s not just a liturgical question as you state… then what did Mark Dupree do? He was excommunicated as well, and there are NO charges pending against him. His only crime is that he fell in love, something that is only human, got married, and wanted to continue to preach/minister to his fellow brothers and sisters. He teaches nothing that goes against the Catholic faith, what more, he defends it. But heaven forbid, that anyone in the diocese of Phoenix disagree with Bishop Olmstead. I know a woman who left the Roman Catholic Church to become a priest in the New American Catholic Church… was she ex-communicated publicly, dragged through the media in a witch hunt? No, as a matter of fact, she was commended and there was even a very nice article about her in the AZ papers. When it comes to Dale Fushek, he was a very public person, and also a priest, therefore giving the media and all of it’s followers the right to scrutinize, mock, and basically crucify a man without knowing all the facts. The media can be a great thing, but it can also be a vicious dragon. No one here has made one comment on the good this man did for his diocese and teens around the world. He met with Pope John Paul II on more than one occasion. He helped start a place to feed the homeless in the city of Mesa, he was a crucial part of the Papal visit in 87, was a part of many world youth encounters. Yet all we see is what you have chosen to quote from Wikipedia.
    On another note, Wikipedia is something that has been “written collaboratively by volunteers around the world”, meaning that any one can put any slant they want on information. Now, has Dale Fushek been charged with all these things? Yes! Has he been given a guilty sentence yet? Not in the courts, but he has most assuredly been tried, condemned, and nearly hung by the media and anyone who feels that they need to judge. Did he ask questions based on themes of sexuality? Oh yes… to both the young men and women. And you know what? I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the priests that still ask these questions, but they are not being brought up on charges of sexual misconduct for asking them. Several priests that I knew from Opus Dei still ask these questions. Has Mr Fushek made mistakes along the way? Probably, but who are we to condemn him. We haven’t even heard his side of the story yet. Jesus’ disciples didn’t go around condemning sinners. Jesus didn’t either, but instead lovingly and firmly challenged them to change their ways. He didn’t tell the woman that was to be stoned… “See what your sins have caused you. You are a bad person. You need to be tried and stoned”. No, he made everyone think about their own actions/attitudes in life. Then he challenged her to “go, and sin no more”… That is what Mercy is about.
    I’m not taking sides in the guilty, not guilty debate. This man has yet been able to defend himself in a court of law, which as a citizen of this country is his right. I will let the courts decide his fate… but in the end, true judgment will be between God our Father and Dale Fushek.
    My faith lies in Christ, and Christ alone. I professed to live the Gospel, and as far as I know, no where does it give me license to judge others for any reason.
    Pax et Bene

  76. Experienced Catholic says:

    Shane, it is apparent that you have no knowledge of the actions Olmstead took upon arriving in Phoenix or you wouldn’t make the claims you did. The sign of any good manager, and a Bishop is a manager, is to not try and fix things that aren’t broken. Olmstead violated that rule by immediately removing pastors from their parishes and reassigning them. These pastors had not violated any rules or broke any commandments. Olmstead wanted to put his stamp on the diocese and did not want popular pastors leading parishes. If such was not the case then he is grossly incompetent and should not be allowed to lead anything.

    Also, Olmstead had more than enough ability to challenge Dale’s removal from ministry since the charges against him were, according to the prosecutors, the equivalent of a speeding ticket. Teh agreement that Bishop O’Bien reached with the County Attorney’s office was regarding chages of felony, or serious, crimes. The charges against Dale do not rise to that level. Instead of fighting for one of his people, Olmstead left him to swing in the wind. He refused to allow him to follow his vocation and it is Olmstead’s actions that pushed Dale to take his actions. Also, Jesus founded a religious organization and the Catholic Church has claimed ownership, but I doubt. Keep in mind that I come out of the Catholic tradition of an altar boy, CCD instructor, confirmation teacher and active participant in the Catholic Church for over 50 years. I have seen bad priests and good priests as well as Bishops. Olmstead fits into the latter category.

    It is every person’s responsibility to oppose improper behavior. Olmstead had every opportunity to support Dale and assist him in his vocation. Olmstead refused to do so. Again, this was done out of pettiness and vindictiveness or ignorance or incompetence. In either case, it was incumbent that Olmstead be held accountable for bad and immoral decisions.

    People who chose to leave St. Tims, and will leave in the future, have decided that if a church can sanction and support the actions and behavior of a bad Bishop then there is clearly no reason to have any relationship with that church. Also, if services were to be held on Sundaysthey would have, of necessity, conflicted with some Mass somewhere. so the fact that his service overlapped with a Mass is nonsense as an argument to claim schism. Many, many of the people at the services come from the 8:30 mass, which means they are not being dragged away from the CAtholic Church. The claim is bogus and totally without merit.

    I would encourage you to heed your own advice about what Jesus would do or think.

    Apparently you failed to completely read my post. I did not decide against going to the seminary because a priest was disciplined. I met my wife and decided that my vocation was marriage as opposed to priesthood. My point was that another Bishop took action against a priest because the Bishop didn’t like what he did even though his actions put the church’s teachings into actual practice. Apparently living the teachings is something the Bishop couldn’t tolerate. the same is true with Olmstead and Spaulding.

    Also, both my wife and I have decided that for the first time we actually believe we are building a relationship and foundation with Jesus and his Father which is something blindly following a system that places obedience over relationship is absurd and an insult to God. Again we come out of decades of the Catholic tradition and the Praise and Worship Center actually provides us with a desire to deepen our relationship with Jesus as opposed to fulfilling a dictated obligation . You are free to make your own choices, but I will chose to follow the path that brings me more into relationship.

  77. RBrown says:

    Experienced Catholic,

    1. If you’re going to defend him, why not learn to spell his name correctly? It’s Dippre, not Dupree.

    2. Nothing wrong with people falling in love and marrying, unless they have bound themselves before God to remain celibate. Neither man began the process of laicization, after which marriage would have been a possibility.

    In so far as they were not laicized, both still would fall under the jurisdiction of the bishop. The bishop told them to close the center, and they refused. They chose themselves over their vow before God.

    3. Was Fushek convicted? No, but there were multiple accusations, followed by an out of court settlement (paid by the diocese not your hero).

    Hush money is just that.

    4. You mentioned nothing in your previous post about marriage.

    5. I find it interesting that you say that you come out of decades of Catholic tradition. Your comments here indicate that during those decades you learned little about the Church.

  78. RBrown says:

    Also: You say the charges amounted to little more than a speeding ticket.

    The settlement was $100,000. That’s a lot of speeding tickets.

  79. Credo says:

    Anyone who minimizes purposeful distortions and abuses in the sacred liturgy of the Church is seriously in error. The Church has always taught that the Mass is the centre, the source and summit of the Catholic faith. Liturgy and Catholic doctrine are intertwined therefore everything in the Mass represents the theological doctrines of the Church. Change ANY part of the Liturgy, then that changes and distorts Catholic doctrine passed on to the faithful (whether people realize it or not doesn’t change the reality).

    The LifeTeen program suggests changes to the authorized texts. Compare the authorized texts for the people’s responses and acclamations and to Life Teen’s proposed responses and acclamations during Mass – most of them are different by adding or subtracting from the authorized texts. First, this throws off the liturgy-doctrine connection; second, it teaches youth they can be disobedient to the Church if they choose to be “creative” and think they know better. See any problems with that attitude?

    Here’s a real sample of the LifeTeen attitude toward the liturgy: when Cardinal Arinze instructed LifeTeen to stop gathering teens in the sanctuary around the altar (although many LifeTeen groups still do it), there was a lot anger that spewed from Life Teen youth on the website – many of the youth expressed anger that the Church “took away their Mass”, “hates” youth, and many comments that the Church is a bunch of old people who just don’t want youth to have any fun (even LifeTeen staff running the website took jabs at the Church for not understanding youth because they can’t gather in the sanctuary). This is what distorting the authorized Church’s liturgy does.

    LifeTeen needs to get their nose out of the Mass and stick to an after-Mass program. Youth showing up for Mass is not enough if they’re Faith is being undermined and deformed through the abuses and “creativity” in the liturgy.

  80. Experienced Catholic says:

    “1. If you’re going to defend him, why not learn to spell his name correctly? It’s Dippre, not Dupree.”

    If you are going to try and attack me, at least make sure you are quoting my posts. I said nothing about Mark, a poster name Inma entered the information about Mark.

    As far as your comment about a vow of celibacy is concerned, nuns took the same vow and exactly how many of them left the sisterhood to marry and have families and were never excommunicated? The excommunication had nothing to do with marrying. Since it was clear the Bishop had no intention of having either man involved in the church the claim that the “laicization” process hadn’t taken place is irrelevant. Clearly the Bishop could have chosen tht route when these men resigned, he chose not to. Again, another indictment of this Bishop’s complete unfitness for office. The Bishop’s actions clearly show that he chose himself over the word of God and his vow.

    “3. Was Fushek convicted? No, but there were multiple accusations, followed by an out of court settlement (paid by the diocese not your hero).

    Hush money is just that.”

    So you have absolute information as to the guilt of the parties, huh? You do know that the grounds under which the original charges were brought would not be allowed in the majority of the states. Recovered memory is considered less reliable than a lie detector and no state allows lie detector testimony. the fact that this guy made a “claim” in no way makes it true. the diocese settled because it was cheaper for them to do so. Fr. Dale, at the time, indicated that he would never settle and insisted on going to court. So you are right, the diocese settled, not Fr. Dale. Your use of the perjorative “hush money” indicates the bias and prejudice you hold hold. I do not think these are positive attributes a staunch Catholic like yourself should display.

    “I find it interesting that you say that you come out of decades of Catholic tradition. Your comments here indicate that during those decades you learned little about the Church.”

    Oh, I learned much about the Catholic Church during my decades of involvement. the most important was that way, way too many people, including church leaders, have confused ceremony with establishing a relationship with Jesus and his Father. And an even greater number think that blind, unthinking obedience to a heirarchy is something to be prized.

    I know that my wife and I are on a path to redemption and relationship that no amount of robotic adherence to an uncaring, inflexible and occassionally corrupt church could ever provide. If you are happy participating in a ritual that grows ever further from what was intendedby the birth, death and resurrection, then find solace in that immature view – it was one I held for a long time.

    It has been said that when I was a child I thought and acted like a child, but when I was an adult I thought and acted like an adult. Based on your posts it looks like you are still on the growing up journey.

  81. Experienced Catholic says:

    “Also: You say the charges amounted to little more than a speeding ticket.

    The settlement was $100,000. That’s a lot of speeding tickets.

    Comment by RBrown — 7 January 2009″

    I see you are still confused. The diocese settled the claim of the original complainant, not the subsequent charges. Also, I did not make the claim of a speeding ticket, the County Attorney’s office made that claim when they wanted to refuse a jury from hearing the case.

    Also, I suggest you understand the original case. It was brought decades after the alleged action took place, no charges were filed at that time, the priest who subsequently was found guilty of other crimes never implicated Fr. Dale in any way, shape or form. the “victim” had already received justice in that the abuser was found guilty and sentenced to prison. what the “victim” didn’t get was any cash compennsation since he never brought any charges. Now after a lot of “victims” have received millions of dollars of settlement money, he decides to have a recovered memory and simply file a claim for monetary damages.

    No self-respecting attorney should have ever taken such a case and the County Attorney should have tossed it when it reached his office. too bad the County Attorney had an ax to graind against Bishop O’Brien and when he couldn’t get him, he decided that O’Brien’s #2 would have to do.

  82. Jordanes says:

    The self-described Experienced Catholic said: Also, both my wife and I have decided that for the first time we actually believe we are building a relationship and foundation with Jesus and his Father

    It’s not up to you or your wife. We’re saved by grace, not by an act of the human will.

  83. Judas says:

    Many of these posts scare me. Brothers and sisters in Christ pitted against each other, and even implying that some are better than others simply because they celebrate the Eucharist in different manners. I may just be on the road to eternal damnation.
    I thought this post was going to discuss the excommunication of a brother priest. All I see here is the bashing of the Life Teen program that he founded but has not been a part of for quite a few years, the bashing of each other, and the bashing of a Bishop, who while imperfect just like the rest of us, had to make a decision based on his experience. Like it or not, we can only trust in his guidance and that God is working even though we do not understand the why or why nots… God writes straight within crooked lines, or so I was told.
    As for the comments on the “vows” these priests broke, this is an incorrect statement. They broke their promises. Unless the priest belongs to a specific order, he does not make vows. For a diocesan priest, his promise of celibacy is implied, as is his obedience to his Bishop. For a religious priest, vows are stated publicly and a document is signed. There is a difference. Also, religious sisters take vows, but are not anointed with the sacrament of orders as a priest is. Therefore the indelible mark that the Sacrament of Orders leaves behind is absent when a religious sister makes her vows. There is a huge difference.
    Neither Dale nor Mark were excommunicated because they left the Church. Re-read the article itself, without all the additional comments such as how Dale is such “bad news”. As a matter of fact, prior to the articles start, the American Papacy states, and I quote, “Fr. Dale Fushek, best known for being one of the founders of “Life Teen”, has finally been excommunicated.” Finally excommunicated? How long have they been trying to excommunicate the man? I believe this to be quite a statement that has very deep implication, but I’d rather leave it alone as I’m afraid to open another can of worms.
    In Mark’s case, he left of his own accord because he wanted to marry. Dale was forced to leave his life of ministry due to the other circumstances, (I leave his guilt/innocence for his upcoming trial and jury of peers). And truly, in their hearts, neither “left” the Church. It is unfortunate, but the Church left them… because of their actions the Church has deemed that they are not worthy to receive sacraments. And as Catholics we are to blindly follow and cast stones at them…. After all, those of who celebrate the Mass according to the letter of the law, (see all the encyclicals and Cannon law, not the Gospel because we don’t have the gift of discernment like the anointed ones of the Vatican do), we have the right to judge them, right? We are the good ones. We just need to pray for their conversions.
    Forgive my sarcasm, but really read all the posts with objectivity. Maybe I have it all wrong. I mean, who am I to try and understand or live the Gospel when I have the books of rites and rituals, Cannon Law, encyclicals, and of course all of you who celebrate the Mass according to those laws to tell me how to live. Will you also be standing next to me the day I face my maker to make sure I am judged correctly as well?
    I personally have many reasons to have left the Church, (reasons I do not wish to comment on here), but I do not go to a church for the priest or the people, I go to receive our Lord… To participate with the Mystical Body of the Church in the Paschal mystery the best that I, a sinner, can. Oh, and for those of you who feel I’m a deviant of the Church for questioning things, for opening my arms in prayer like the protestants, (forget that the apostles celebrated differently as well depending on their cultures/backgrounds), and not following the Papists way blindly… pray for me, because according to your posts, I may not make it to heaven.

  84. Experienced Catholic says:

    “It’s not up to you or your wife. We’re saved by grace, not by an act of the human will.”

    Well, Jordanes, it is certainly a good thing that I made no reference to being saved by grace or not. I identified the fact that we are building a personal relationship with Jesus and his Father. Jumping to conclusions may be a fine exercise but it certainly makes you a poor person to have a discussion with.

    Very interesting post, Judas. I think your comment about the Bishop being imperfect is the key to the issue. Every person is imperfect, but the essence of humanity is to try and improve and limit the imperfection as much as possible. Olmstead is clearly imperfect and instead of trying to improve he continually takes actions that create greater imperfection. He has approached the position of Bishop as it being a dictatorship as opposed to him being a servant. It is this arrogance and careless damage he has caused that has driven numerous people from numerous parishes away from the Catholic Church and left these people searching for another church to serve and honor God or kept them away from any church.

    I believe the greater sin is notthe ones Olmstead has comitted, but for people to remain silent and not criticize and identify his errors, incompetence and vindictiveness.

    I am not interested in discussing the “right” way to celebrate the Mass as some here wish to do by claiming a Gegorian Latin Mass is the penultimate way and yet they happily ignore the fact that Pope John XXIII instituted options which many people have adopted. The those who claim to know the “right” way I would ask why they accept one Pope’s position, but not another’s.

  85. RBrown says:

    I see you are still confused. The diocese settled the claim of the original complainant, not the subsequent charges.

    That there have been multiple accusations against this man just undermines your entire argument.

    Also, I did not make the claim of a speeding ticket, the County Attorney’s office made that claim when they wanted to refuse a jury from hearing the case.

    You quoted something from the CA as true, thus, making it as your own. I pointed out to you that it is nonsense to consider the $100,000 hush money as a speeding ticket.

    BTW, a speeding ticket refers to a fine levied by the govt. That is not the same as a settlement between two parties, neither of which is the govt.

    Also, I suggest you understand the original case. It was brought decades after the alleged action took place, no charges were filed at that time, the priest who subsequently was found guilty of other crimes never implicated Fr. Dale in any way, shape or form. Tthe “victim” had already received justice in that the abuser was found guilty and sentenced to prison. what the “victim” didn’t get was any cash compennsation since he never brought any charges. Now after a lot of “victims” have received millions of dollars of settlement money, he decides to have a recovered memory and simply file a claim for monetary damages.

    I agree with you about Recovered Memory. Psychology deals with the contents of the mind–not historical events. Just from psychotherapy it is not possible to know what really happened. That there are therapists who don’t understand that is disturbing.

    Thus, any examination of past experiences is by definition only a therapeutic technique, not a discovery of past events that have been repressed.

    No self-respecting attorney should have ever taken such a case and the County Attorney should have tossed it when it reached his office. too bad the County Attorney had an ax to graind against Bishop O’Brien and when he couldn’t get him, he decided that O’Brien’s #2 would have to do.
    Comment by Experienced Catholic

    Whether or not the County Attorney tossed it is not that relevant because there are two possible cases here–the criminal, which would come under the jurisdiction of the CA and determines guilt or innocence–and the civil, which determines liability. Even with no criminal proceeding (or a not guilty verdict), it is still possible to pursue a civil suit.

    It would seem that the $100,000 was to preempt both.

  86. RBrown says:

    If you are going to try and attack me, at least make sure you are quoting my posts. I said nothing about Mark, a poster name Inma entered the information about Mark.

    My mistake. You have been so confused about so much here, it was natural for me to think you were the one who misspelled his name.

    As far as your comment about a vow of celibacy is concerned, nuns took the same vow and exactly how many of them left the sisterhood to marry and have families and were never excommunicated?

    Those religious who left and married were dispensed from their vows.

    The excommunication had nothing to do with marrying.

    I never said it said.

    BTW, because these men still had the status of priests, they were not free to marry. And so their marriages are not valid.

    Since it was clear the Bishop had no intention of having either man involved in the church the claim that the “laicization” process hadn’t taken place is irrelevant. Clearly the Bishop could have chosen tht route when these men resigned, he chose not to. Again, another indictment of this Bishop’s complete unfitness for office. The Bishop’s actions clearly show that he chose himself over the word of God and his vow.

    No, it’s completely relevant. Any priest not yet laicized is still under the jurisdiction of the ordinary. My understanding is that they continued in their association with the center, where they had functioned as priests. It makes sense for the bishop to tell them to dissociate themselves from the center. They refused, and the bishop replied.

    There is also the matter of financial liability. In so far as they still had the status as priests, the diocese would still likely be liable in any civil suit.

    2. So you have absolute information as to the guilt of the parties, huh? You do know that the grounds under which the original charges were brought would not be allowed in the majority of the states.

    See my previous post regarding civil and criminal suits.

    Recovered memory is considered less reliable than a lie detector and no state allows lie detector testimony. the fact that this guy made a “claim” in no way makes it true. the diocese settled because it was cheaper for them to do so. Fr. Dale, at the time, indicated that he would never settle and insisted on going to court. So you are right, the diocese settled, not Fr. Dale. Your use of the perjorative “hush money” indicates the bias and prejudice you hold hold. I do not think these are positive attributes a staunch Catholic like yourself should display.

    Why do think the money was paid? Do you think the diocese just wanted to make a contribution?

    Oh, I learned much about the Catholic Church during my decades of involvement. the most important was that way, way too many people, including church leaders, have confused ceremony with establishing a relationship with Jesus and his Father.

    Vat II said that the liturgy is the source and summit of the Christian Life. Perhaps one day in your nourney you’ll come to understand that.

    And an even greater number think that blind, unthinking obedience to a heirarchy is something to be prized.

    And how do you classify your blind, unthinking loyalty to a man who obligated himself to God, then changed his mind?

    I know that my wife and I are on a path to redemption and relationship that no amount of robotic adherence to an uncaring, inflexible and occassionally corrupt church could ever provide. If you are happy participating in a ritual that grows ever further from what was intendedby the birth, death and resurrection, then find solace in that immature view – it was one I held for a long time.

    I would think you are like many others I have known who are rebelling against their own prior erroneous understanding of the Church.

    It has been said that when I was a child I thought and acted like a child, but when I was an adult I thought and acted like an adult. Based on your posts it looks like you are still on the growing up journey.
    Comment by Experienced Catholic

    We are all on a journey. The difference between you and me is I insist on using the spiritual masters of the past 2000 years as my guide.

  87. RBrown says:

    I am not interested in discussing the “right” way to celebrate the Mass as some here wish to do by claiming a Gegorian Latin Mass is the penultimate way and yet they happily ignore the fact that Pope John XXIII instituted options which many people have adopted. The those who claim to know the “right” way I would ask why they accept one Pope’s position, but not another’s.
    Comment by Experienced Catholic

    What are these options that JXXIII instituted?

  88. Experienced Catholic says:

    It is quite amazing RBrown that you can read and yet not comprehend. It appears to be a question of whether something is over your head or you are ducking. In either case, your logical impairment seems obvious. [Tone it down or I will toss you from the blog. Stick to the issues and SHOW him he is wrong, but leave this sort of comment out of it. - Fr. Z]

    “That there have been multiple accusations against this man just undermines your entire argument.”

    So multiple charges are now the standard for assigning guilt, not an actual trial. Interesting concept of justice you have there.

    “You quoted something from the CA as true, thus, making it as your own.”

    Wow, now that is the greatest leap of logic I have ever seen. According to you, if I quote something Olmstead said then that makes his statments mine. That statment doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

    “I pointed out to you that it is nonsense to consider the $100,000 hush money as a speeding ticket.”

    Still can’t quite get the facts correct, can you?

    the diocese offered a settlement, which Dale opposed and wanted to go to trial, in the original case. The outstanding claims are the ones in which the diocese is not involved and they are the ones the CA have equated to a speeding ticket. Tyr not to confuse the two separate issues.

    “My mistake. You have been so confused about so much here, it was natural for me to think you were the one who misspelled his name.”

    Nice ad hominem attack, but inaccurate and a lazy way to try and excuse your mistake.

    ” My understanding is that they continued in their association with the center, where they had functioned as priests.”

    Your understanding of this is like the rest of your understanding, incorrect. they did not, do not and most likely, will not, function as priests.

    “Why do think the money was paid? Do you think the diocese just wanted to make a contribution?”

    I think the diocese weighd the cost of paying their attorney and Dale’s and decided a $100,000 settle ment was less costly than successfully defending the case. I, personally, won a case on a settlement and it was offered and accepted because the costs were going to be greater than the settle ment. You obviously have no concept of legal costs and time. Such being the case, I suggest you stick to what you know, which seems very limited.

    “Vat II said that the liturgy is the source and summit of the Christian Life. Perhaps one day in your nourney you’ll come to understand that.”

    Yes it did, and if it actually operated in a fashion that actually led one to a greater understanding and relationship to God, the liturgy would be a fine experience. since it doesn’t and people like oLmstead and Spaudling serve to drive more people away, it seems like the church should act to remove these heretics before they actually cause more damage to people and the church.

    “And how do you classify your blind, unthinking loyalty to a man who obligated himself to God, then changed his mind?”

    If such was the case, you might have a point. since it isn’t, you don’t.

    “What are these options that JXXIII instituted?”

    Do you actually don’t know, or are you being obtuse? A couple of the major ones were that the Mass would be celebrated in the local language and not Latin and the local church had much greater flexibility in the choice of music used. Both of those seem to be problems for you.

    Again, if blindly following ritual is more important than taking responsibility for your relationship to Jesus, then be happy with your choice. I would ask that you understand that there are many of us who have chosen a more responsible path.

  89. ALL: I don’t care if you are a newcomer or old timer here.

    Tone it down or I either shut this down or ban someone.

    Thanks. Be careful with each other and my allotment of time to police this blog.

  90. Mark says:

    I’m not certain how many who have posted here actually know Father Dale or (as a young man) actually confided in him in privacy in confession but I imagine probably none or not many with my perspective. I know him & in fact I knew him for several years from the age of 22 into my early 30′s. In fact, he baptised & confirmed me as a younger man after I went through nearly 2 years of RCIA. I have sat with him on numerous occasions discussing religion, faith, sex, drugs, choices in general…& yes, even homosexuality. I can truthfully say that at no time ever did he represent himself anything other than as a true, responsible, respectable & wholesome person. Keep in mind (and this is the important part), I have been hit on by every gay man I ever met. Why? Not really sure…except for my truly awesome “dutch-boy” good looks I guess :o) Just Kiddin there, but I have been hit on by alot of gay men, exspecially during that era of my life. For the record, homosexuality sickens me. It is a perversion comparable with rape, pedaphilia or beastiality…just usually shared between “consenting” adults so seemingly less controversial but a perversion none the less. I only mention this point to establish that defending homosexuality or pedaphilia would never be part of my thinking. Father Dale was in private the same person we always saw on the podium. He didn’t brush up against me the wrong way or ask me probing questions that seemed out of place or more to the point…follow me into the bathroom to get a peek at my wanker or invite me to his house to play naked twister!

    We must each consider that he has at this point still only been accused by people who have a lot to gain financially by these accusations, he hasn’t been convicted of anything. Although, every blog I read or comment I hear seems to chastise him. as far as going to court, the delay has been that the prosecutor has been affixed on the concept that they need to try him on all charges at the same time. Why? Because they don’t feel they will get a conviction unless they can establish (in thier words) a “pattern of activity”. That is interesting to me when I think of it. You mean to tell me that each of these accusors can’t establish 1 event that on it’s own merit would warrent a conviction??????? WOW! Color me stupid, but that sounds exactly like a pointless accusation rather than a crime…which by the way won’t hold ground in court & exactly why the DA has forced this question all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court & failed to get the ruling. Well, now 4 years later Father Dale who has been lamenting in seclusion to the bliss of the prosecutors (because the longer he is out of the public view the easier it is for them to get a jury to hang him) is resurfacing and they don’t like it. They want him tucked away for a long, long time prior to trial so people forget the inspirational, charismatic person he truly is. They want people to wallow in the concept that out of sight & in seclusion = guilty. Or…atleast that is the perception of someone who actually knew the man on the exact same level as many of his accusors did. The primary difference between me & them is that I’m not out to fry a good person for a fist full of dollars! Keep in mind, I could have easily said “Oh, ME TOO, ME TOO!” and waited for payday!

    Lets be clear, he might have said something or did something that can be construed to mean 2 very different things. However, I tend to error on the side reason & give him the benefit of the doubt that the one least offensive is the one he meant. Why? Well maybe it’s because I’m a Christian & I knew the guy.

  91. Mark says:

    Something also worth noting is regardless of his fellings of justification, I find it impossible to agree that excommunication for these 2 is the correct action. Olmsted, with this descision, has demonstrated that he has a divisive, Machevalian Complex that will impair him from ever engaging people (the way Father Dale has) to rise above themselves to be something better. He simply doesn’t “INSPIRE”…in fact, he makes me feel the exact opposite.

  92. Experienced Catholic says:

    Thank you very much for your post, Mark. I have heard from many of those, like yourself, who knew him for an extended period of time and on a persoanl basis. Like you, I have never heard one of them indicate in any way, that Dale did or said anything inappropriate. I believe, like you, that anything taken out of context can appear damning. I am pretty sure that after the DA interviewed many, many people he ran with the five that would actually have something negative to say.

    I always found it interesting that out of the thousands and thousands of young people Dale came in contact with, that the DA could only get five to come forward and the best they could do were to come up with non-felony complaints. I am confident that these charges will be either dismissed or disregarded by a jury and Dale will be exonerated.

    Again, thanks for your post.

  93. Jeff says:

    RBrown, Experienced Catholic, Credo and Jordanes. I posted a comment on the 16th of december and on the 28th of december. I’d be curious to hear your guys, and anyone elses response to my post from the 28th of December since you all seem very passionate on this issue. Thanks for your time. I pray that we live our lives with the same zeal that we have when discussing our faith on this site.

  94. Experienced Catholic says:

    Jeff, I didn’t respond to your post because it didn’t seem to ask a question. I read your post as simply your experience with the Lifeteen program. That having been said, and you asked for comment, let me start by saying that I applaud your zeal and desire, however, I disagree fervently with your attachment to ritual and dictate.

    You used the term “illicit” referring to both music and instruments. To me there is no such thing as either illicit music or instruments, there are only inappropriate music and behaviors. You mentioned a guitar could be illicit if it were played loudly or intrusively. the exact thing can be said of an organ or violin. It is not the instument, but how it is used that is the issue.

    I was also very disappointed in your claim that having young people around the altar is somehow wrong. As I stated, I come out of the Roman Catholic tradition having served as an Altar Boy for years, being a commentator and lector, choir member, CCD teacher and Confirmation facilitator. I was 100% sure that following the ritual and obeying the dictates satisfied the requirement of Faith and being a “real Catholic”. Once I began studying the various rules and dictates I came to understand that so many of the things Catholics take as “gospel” were and are simply the ideas of imperfect and flawed human beings. Some of the most basic tenets were instituted for reasons other than the glorification of God or put in place to bring people closer to God and His son, Jesus Christ. The examples are numerous but just a few are the prohibition on marriage by priests. Prior to the Middle Ages priests were free to marry and it was in order to protect church assets from going to the eldest son that priests were prohibited from marrying. The more recent arguments to support a purely secular decision is the claim that the apostles were not married, so as the first priests, they set the example. This is fine except I think there is disagreement over whether or not all of the apostles were unmarried. But again, the dictate was put in place not based on Biblical requirements but purely financial considerations. The same applies to the ban on eating fish on Fridays. It had nothing to do with faith or scripture but secular considerations.

    Having young people around the altar not only should not be considered inappropriate, but it should be encouraged based on Jesus’ own words to have the little children come unto Him. He didn’t say that they could come except when the Mass is being celebrated and then little children are unworthy to be around God’s representative. How many lay ministers of communion do you see at Mass? When I was young, we were told that only a priest, who’s hands had been concecrated, could touch the host. That rule changed.

    Again, Jeff, I think every person of Faith, and particularly Catholics, need to search deep to understand that which is required to love and serve the Lord and that which is man-made and implemented for reasons other than compliance with scripture.

    I have always been affected by music and lyrics and many, many contemporary Christian songs speak deeper and fuller than the majority of “correct” Catholic music. Some have advocated that the Gregorian chant is the only music that should be allowed. Again, this was a form of music one Pope, Gregory, developed. Most likely based on what his preference was in terms of how he liked to see music presented. As an example, I recited the Creed for decades, and even had it memorized. Then I heard Rich Mullins Creed, and it became a much richer prayer to me.

    I believe the purpose of the church is not to establish and enforce rules for the sake of having rules, but to provide an environment that fosters and encourages each person to develop and comit to a personal relationship with God through His son, Jesus Christ.

    Lastly, some people have violently attacked the change to the dismissal that was used at St. Tim’s. These people have claimed that the only accepted dismissal was, “The Mass is ended, go now to love and serve the Lord”. Dale changed that dismissal to say, “The Mass never ends, it must be lived, so let us go forth to love and serve the Lord”. If one gives it even a moments thought, one would realize the dismissal that challenges you to live the Mass every moment of every dayis certainly a valid, if not more valid, dismissal than one that says the Mass is over get out.

    I would never be so presumptious as to tell another what they should do regarding their personal Faith journey. I can only say that until I realized I was going through the motions and the structure and rigidity of the Catholic Church actually was an impediment to building a life in Christ, I had the trappings of Faith but not the fire and understanding of Faith.

    In closing, Jeff, if your view of church and religion support you, then cling to them. If, on the other hand, you are substituting ritual and unthinking obedience to doctrine as the only way, I humbly suggest you decide whether symbolism or substance is more important.

  95. Jeff says:

    Experienced Catholic, thanks for such a fast response. I responded to you via youtube since I don’t have a whole lot of time today but wanted to get back to you since you were so fast at responding to me. Thanks for your time, I hope this video can effectively highlight the similarities and differences that we have with regards to these issues. I was a little rushed at the end of the video and didn’t have time to say that I appreciate your passion and I hope and pray that you will continue to lead others closer to the Lord, everyone on this website has such zeal. Also at one point I start to talk about JP2′s theology of the body right after saying the word biblical. I didn’t mean to give off the impression that I thought the theology of the body was scripture, sorry about the slight confusion. God bless. For anyone who wants to watch the video the adress is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsoaE8Unk7E

  96. Experienced Catholic says:

    Unfortunately, Jeff, I do not have access to You Tube so I am not able to see your comments.

  97. Credo says:

    Jeff,

    I am aware of and have a copy of the letter which Fr. Fushek sent to all life teen groups after receiving directives from Bishop Olmsted instructing life teen groups to discontinue a number of liturgical abuses. I don’t have the document on hand right now, so I’ll just mention a couple of things from the top of my head.

    1. Fr. Fushek’s letter begins with a very deceptive excuse for the liturgical changes to be made to the life teen Mass. He states that the changes were given by Cardinal Arinze because of the new changes in the new GIRM. This is entirely false. There were no new changes in the new GIRM that had anything to do with the life teen liturgical abuses stated. The abuses taking place were considered such in the old GIRM as well. Why is this relevant? Because Fr. Fushek said that it was due to the new GIRM, it was assumed here in Canada by almost all of the Life Teen groups that they will not change the abuses because we still do not have the 2002 GIRM in effect here. The Canadian life teen groups say, “we don’t have to give up teens called into the sanctuary during Mass because we don’t have the new GIRM with the new directives yet”. Well, the fact is, there are no new directives about this in the new GIRM. Fr. Fushek’s deception surely was to deflect the fault of the liturgical abuses from himself and so he blamed it on the Church. This came out in the anger of many teens who attend life teen, they blamed the Church just like Fr. Fushek did in his letter.

    2. I called Bishop Olmsted’s office and the Vicar General told me that the directives that were given by Cardinal Arinze were for all life teen groups everywhere in the world and had nothing to do with the new GIRM.

    3. I also called the Priest chaplain/liturgical advisor for life teen and he stated that the the directives in the letter sent out were only suggestions and that life teen groups did not have to follow them if what they were doing in the Mass (e.g. changing texts, standing in the sanctuary holding hands around the altar) was alright with their local Bishop. He actually argued for the liturgical abuses as being good things. So, when life teen groups call him he would surely tell them the same things he told me, that they don’t really have to stop the liturgical abuses if they don’t want to.

    4. So, although it’s good that a letter was sent out after Fr. Fushek was ordered to do it by Bishop Olmsted, but it was deceptive and the priest in charge of the life teen liturgy certainly gave the impression that the deception was intentional. Furthermore, despite the letter being sent out, if the priest in charge of the liturgy was still encouraging life teen groups to carry on with the liturgical abuses that’s a big problem. Meanwhile, the Canadian life teen groups continue the abuses because they won’t have the (not-so-new) 2002 GIRM until around 2011 or later.

    I really hope that life teen does get their act together, I really do. There’s a lot of damage that’s been done by life teen and it seems a good idea for those in charge to try a little harder and do more to clean up the mess that’s been created if they want to salvage the reputation of the initiative.

  98. wsxyz says:

    Ex-Catholic: Since you obviously do not believe in the Catholic Church, and think you can find your own way to “spiritual fulfillment”, it is good that you have chosen to leave the Catholic Church. You should now stop calling yourself a Catholic, so as not to confuse people.

    Please take the time to occasionally consider the four last things.

  99. Jeff says:

    Thanks for the response Credo, sounds like Fr. Dale messed up big-time if what your saying is true. I remember when lifeteen sent us the letter, I obviously didn’t read it as carefully as you did. But atleast lifeteen was honoring what the Magestrium asked, even if Fr. Dale didn’t give fully correct reasons as to why lifeteen should stop gathering teens around the altar. Also alot of lifeteen programs do not follow what lifeteen itself recommends (such as your example about lifeteen parishes in Canada). Those mistakes are not lifeteens fault, if they send those Canadian parishes letters telling them to stop and they don’t than its not lifeteens fault, what more could they do in that specific incident?

    I do remember that lifeteen sent our parish a suggestion explaining that after instructing the teens to no longer go around the altar that this is a great opportunity to talk about loving obedience to the Magesterium. Our youth minister took the opportunity to do just that, and the teens seemed very receptive. It sounds like Fr. Dales letter was less than adequate, but it seems that lifeteen as a whole was really trying to follow Church authority, and to get their teens to do the same. As stated previously in my post from the 28th of december, the Lord used lifeteen in my life, and the difference it made in me was night and day. Obviously there are plently of flaws, some of which you have effectively pointed out, and these things NEED to be dealt with, but I have never seen any other form of youth ministry in the Catholic Church that can so effectively evangelize to athiests, agnostics, protestants, and also lukewarm catholics.

    If you havn’t read my post from the 28th of december I encourage you to read it (although by the sounds of it you may already have), also just today i posted a video up on youtube a few posts up. I think both may be helpful in expressing where I stand on alot of this. The one question that I have for you Credo is, what do you think of the rest of my post from the 28th of december? Your entire response is based on the letter that lifeteen sent out, but I in my post I talk about a whole lot more than just the issue of lifeteens letter to all lifeteen parishes. Thanks for your time, peace in Him

  100. Jeff says:

    Experienced Catholic, sorry to hear that you don’t have youtube :(. Thats ok, what I’ll do is leave that video posted for atleast a few months so that if you have the opportunity to use a different computer that can run youtube between now and then you can watch the video, all you have to do is click on the link and it will take you there. Will be gone for a while, talk to ya later.

  101. ham says:

    I have seen so many generalizations made about what a “life teen” mass is. At least at my parish, all of the true liturgical abuses that people mentioned were stopped following the letter from Life Teen that Jeff referred to. The more contemporary music remains, however, this is not unique to life teen nor was it created by life teen. I recall going to masses during my childhood in the 70s and 80s and hearing more contemporary sounding music with guitars and various other instruments.
    On the music in mass, I personally prefer forms of music that I can actually sing to. I agree that overly secularized music is distracting. But I also find organ performances that many parishes have to be equally distracting. And, I wish I could sing gregorian chant…but I can’t. I believe that the music, as long as it is reverent and holy, should be left up to the preference of the congregation. While the chant is an ideal, it is not the only acceptable music for the mass. Until it is, I hope to be in a parish that offers a variety of holy and reverent musical forms of celebration. And, while I respect those who prefer the tridentine rite, I am thankful to God and the Church that other rites are allowed that allow me to have the mass in my language and allow me to be a fuller participant in the holy sacrifice of the mass. It is important that we stand up when something is wrong and sinful, but I agree with Jeff that some here sound like the pharisiees of Christ’s time that are more concerned about legalities of worship than living a as a Catholic Christian. I know people who “fume” in mass when they see abuses. I went to mass at a different church for Christmas and all my friend could do after mass was complain about how the priest thanked everyone and people clapped for the choir (an organ led choir by the way!). She also went on and on about the fact that the priest invited the children up on the altar during the first part of the eucharistic prayer (by the way NOT a life teen parish). While I did not appreciate those actions during the liturgy, I chose to focus on the Word and the Eucharist…my friend missed mass that day…it was sad. The fault I believe lies with not just that parish priest, but equally it belongs to my friend. Thanks for listening.

  102. Credo says:

    ham,

    So, one is like a “pharisee” to care deeply about the source and summit of our Catholic faith, the worship of God, from which all Christian life flows? If you think yes, then you really need to read what the Church teaches and has always taught.

    The most important action in living as a Catholic is worshipping God in the Mass that He gives us through the Church. Unfortunately, many Catholics think of the traditions and rituals in the Mass as just extra stuff that’s not important – this is the kind of thinking the Holy Father is trying to correct. Do you think the Pope is a pharisee for focusing too much on the Mass?

    I would like to challenge you to learn more about what the Mass is about, and then perhaps you’ll better understand why many here take abuses so seriously.

  103. Sr. M. Ascencion says:

    As a religious sister I found this post to be quite interesting. There seems to be different factions here, those who prescribe to following the letter of the law, and those who want to follow the spirit of that law, and those who have given up on the Church. I am greatly saddened by the later. I can see both sides of the coin, but have to agree that the integrity of the Mass must remain whole. There are rules to be followed, by it is the spirit of those rules that is the greater. On a Sabbath day, the disciples walked though a field of grain. They were hungry, so they picked some of the grain and ate. Jesus was questioned about this. Why had he let them clearly break the laws, and what was His response? He did not condemn His brothers did he? I believe that is a clear example on how the spirit of law works.
    Being from a very old diocese I have seen the effects of proverbial pendulum swinging from left to right. I believe someone else made a comment on this in a prior post.
    For those who have left the Church because they are disappointed by the actions of a priest/religious, or other brother/sister in Christ, first I would like to apologize for them. Second, I would challenge you to look at yourself and your own spiritual life and ask yourself how it is that a mere man/woman can have so Church functions on Divine Inspiration due to the mere fact that is being run by men of weak nature, and She still sails on. The waters may be turbulent, but our Church, Christ, is still afloat.
    For those of you who believe in the letter of the law, I challenge you to meditate on what the rules mean, not the just the practice of them. And for those who do not want any rules, I challenge you to take a look at Jesus’ obedience, obedience even unto death. There must be a balance. The rules are there to help guide us, but they are not an end. We can see throughout history how the rules have changed with the charismas and beliefs of the men who ran the Church. There was a time when alter servers where only boys, now girls are also allowed. Did this in any way change what we believe? Did changing the liturgy from all latin to vernacular in any way change what the Eucharistic celebration is? Jesus did not sit down with His disciples at the Passover meal and begin to speak in a language that only He and his brothers would know as to keep it a secret. No, it was a meal shared as a family. The deep symbolic meaning of ‘breaking bread’ has been lost a bit in the literal practice of the law. So then, why is Latin the best/only way? As in the United Nations, English is the common language, so Latin is the language of preference by the Church. It is a language that can be understood by all those that study it so that all men can communicate no matter their nationality. For those so scandalized by the youth being around the altar, did the apostles not surround Christ? And while scripture only mentions a chosen few, it is to believe that Jesus celebrated His last Passover meal with others. He did not break the tradition. He gave it a newer more profound meaning.

    Chant is part of my daily life, but that does not mean it is the only way to pray. We also use contemporary music in our liturgies. Our youth put all of their heart and talent in writing music that touches them, as Chant or Latin may touch others of us… is this bad? I would like to believe that it is not. He who sings, prays twice… but nowhere does it say how the song is to be sung. I agree, there needs to be reverence in the music. The music is not essential to the liturgy, but it compliments it. In chant, not one voice is to supersede the other, so the music of the Mass is not to overshadow the Eucharistic Celebration. There needs to be moments of silence as to not distract. It is so easy for the mind to occupy itself with sensory things, instead of being quiet and letting the heart contemplate the greatness of the moment.
    Prior to Vatican II, we would pray the rosary, or occupy ourselves with the many novenas and devotions of the time as we did not fully understand what was happening. We participated in as much as we could understand, otherwise, we were busy praying the devotions.

    As for the Lifeteen program, it’s founder was not the inventor of contemporary music, or is using that style of music unique to it’s program. Since Vatican II, there have been many musicians to bring different styles of music to the liturgy. That the founder was a charismatic man, there is no doubt. The he inspired thousands of youth, again, who is to argue. That not all liked this style, that is ok and thanks to Vatican II we are all free to worship in a different style. Charismatic prayer is also not unique to the Lifeteen program. It has been around since the Holy Paraclete came down upon the apostles. The style of worship is not typical protestant, it is a viable means of Christian prayer. I personally choose to pray with my hands open, not folded.
    As for the founder himself, unless you are a victim or knew this man as a friend, then please refrain from judging him. From all that I have seen and read, he has not yet had a chance to tell his side of the story. All I have seen is a media frenzy attacking him for allegations. I have also seen a few posts were people judged him on a “feeling” that had about him without really getting to know him. I believe that the Truth will prevail, and in his case, no matter the outcome of your criminal justice system, his guilt/innocence will be between God and him.
    Peace and Blessing upon you all.

  104. RBrown says:

    So multiple charges are now the standard for assigning guilt, not an actual trial. Interesting concept of justice you have there.

    You missed the point. I spent some time above distinguishing between findings of guilt or innocence (criminal trial) and findings of financial liability requiring payment to plaintiffs (civil).

    Wow, now that is the greatest leap of logic I have ever seen. According to you, if I quote something Olmstead said then that makes his statments mine. That statment doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

    If you quote Olmstead approvingly, then his words become yours.

    Likewise, when I quote JRatzinger that the crisis in the Church is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy, I not only invoke his authority but also take his words as my own.

    BTW, you committed the logical fallacy of the undistributed middle term.

    Still can’t quite get the facts correct, can you?

    the diocese offered a settlement, which Dale opposed and wanted to go to trial, in the original case.

    Of course, he opposed it–he didn’t need to pay the legal fees.

    The outstanding claims are the ones in which the diocese is not involved and they are the ones the CA have equated to a speeding ticket. Tyr not to confuse the two separate issues.

    See above: the distinction between a criminal and civil suit.

    Your understanding of this is like the rest of your understanding, incorrect. they did not, do not and most likely, will not, function as priests.

    As I said above, just because a priest walks out doesn’t mean his juridical status as priest is vacated. Until these men are laicized, they come under the jurisdiction of the bishop.

    Further, and perhaps more importantly, it is not a good idea for an ex priest to be involved in the same ministry as when he was a priest.

    Do you actually don’t know, or are you being obtuse?

    I’m being historical.

    A couple of the major ones were that the Mass would be celebrated in the local language and not Latin and the local church had much greater flexibility in the choice of music used.

    Those changes came from the Consilium that was established in 1964. John XXIII died in 1963

    Both of those seem to be problems for you.

    They are also problems for the documents of Vat II, which did not mandate vernacular liturgy.

    Again, if blindly following ritual is more important than taking responsibility for your relationship to Jesus, then be happy with your choice. I would ask that you understand that there are many of us who have chosen a more responsible path.

    Here we have the core of the problem. Mass is centered on Christ, not the “performance” of the celebrant. The advantage of ritual is that it doesn’t make the people subject to the personality and whims of the celebrant–or to a celebrant intent on feeding the hungry sentimentalism of those attending.

  105. 'Bert says:

    This is very sad indeed. Sorry it had to come to this for Msgr. Dale. He brought many souls back to the church throughout his tenure at St. Tims. He initiated Life Teen and Paz de Christo. These accusations from the accusers were damning, and only they and God know what happened. At this point, I am surprised Msgr. Dale refused to step back – per the church requests.

    Unfortunately, as sad and horrible this is, I must agree with our Bishop’s decision of excommunication as he must protect and defend our church from the onslaught of negativity. It just won’t end.

    Dear fellow Catholics and St. Tim’s members.. I know how it hurts, but our Bishop is correct in his decision. The Catholic Mass is critical for our eternal life, and for our children’s eternal lives. If we stray from the church, and our children are absent from Mass, we are guilty of the “sin of omission”. We must keep our church and families whole and focused on holy life within our mother church.

    Msgr. Dale is loved by us and we too will continue to pray for him and Mark Dippre as well. Let us never forget the great things these wonderful men did for us.

  106. Mark says:

    It’s troubling that so many posting here appear intent on trying to establish that the concept of the Life Teen program being vibrant & fun was somehow frivolous to the point of being wrong or that the charges against Dale Fushek was the natural progression. They seem to charachterize the fun & music of the Life teen program as sordid…like it was the initial step toward the re-establishment of Sodom & Gamora! Perhaps I am exagerating just a little, but no more so than those that I am paraphrasing.

    Simply put…different people are inspired in different ways. Some people, not all, but some are inspired through reverence. Others are inspired through the words…while others are inspired through interaction. It was this latter group that the Life Teen program was designed for and literally thousands of people prefered it & more importantly benefitted from it. For those that prefer inspiration through reverence (seemingly the group that I am mostly responding to)…well, my advise to you is go to Christ the King and stop acting like you have all the answers to salvation. I think we are all still on that learning curve!

    My last point brings me to the excommunication of Father Dale. The whole concept of “excommunication” is flawed. The Catholic church that was established to mimick or mirror Jesus & his deciples chooses to say who can & who can’t recieve the ucherist. Really? Odd, I have read the bible front-to-back, back-to-front…but can’t seem to find a passage that describes Jesus witholding salvation from those that love & serve the lord. On that note, some might try to say that Father Dale’s choice to host a Prayer service is in conflict with God’s wishes & shouldn’t be misconstrued as serving the lord as it is more serving the man (Father Dale). Interesting concept if you think about it. It makes me think of the “Washing of the Feet” story where God/Jesus washes the feet of a deciple. I believe God would welcome Father Dale to host the service…sort of a “washing of his feet” sort of thing. In other words, build the man up rather than tear him down. The descision to excommunicate Dale & Mark was Machevalian & wrong. It doesn’t serve God’s wishes as much as it serves man’s, those in the Church that appear to have lost footing in thier own salvation!