Dissident priest’s talks cancelled in diocese

Here’s some good news!  Via Church Militant.

His Excellency Most Reverend Michael Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, has forbidden a dissident priest from talking at a Catholic institution in the diocese.

Bishop Michael Burbidge is rescinding an invitation to Fr. Michael Crosby, OFM Cap
RALEIGH, N.C. (ChurchMilitant.com) – The head of the Raleigh diocese is rescinding a speaking invitation to a dissident priest.

Father Michael Crosby, a Franciscan priest well known for dissenting on Church teaching with regard to clerical celibacy, female ordination and homosexuality, was scheduled to give a Lenten mission at St. Stephen the First Martyr parish in Sanford March 12–16.

He was going to be the homilist for the weekend English Masses, and then give talks for the following three days. The title of his mission was “Obstacles and Occasions of Grace to Fulfill the Great Command.”

Earlier this week, ChurchMilitant.com contacted Bp. Michael Burbidge, head of the Raleigh diocese, to inquire about the event. Thursday morning, we received an email from William Atwell, diocesan communications director, informing us that Fr. Crosby’s speaking engagement was being canceled.

“We have reviewed this matter with all appropriate parties,” Atwell stated, “with the result being that Father Crosby will not be speaking in the Diocese of Raleigh.”


Fr. Z kudos.

There are still reassuring indications of sanity in some places.

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  1. Scott W. says:

    “clerical celibacy, female ordination and homosexuality”

    Another one for my “It’s never just one thing” file. That is, clerical celibacy technically has room for discussion. Most of the time however when dealing with people with a burr in their saddle about it, it’s the smoke warning you that there is fire somewhere.

  2. iamlucky13 says:

    I know nothing about this guy, but I presume that since all involved seem to be referring to him as a priest, he has not been laicized. Does anyone know if he is under any official censure?

    I went to the website linked from Church Militant. It’s predictably odd, such as describing morality as a “pre-rational” emotion. He talks of celibacy as “imposed” upon priests (who apparently had no choice in their vocational response) in order to intimidate them, and hints, but does not seem to directly state, that celibacy causes rape.

    Regarding women’s ordination, he confirmed in an editorial to the Reporter that he had preached to the LCWR, “we still have to worship a God that the Vatican says ‘wills that women not be ordained.’ That god is literally ‘unbelievable.’ It is a false god; it cannot be worshiped.” He also called lack of women’s ordination a form of violence against women.

    Really bizarrely, on his website, he refers to the male priesthood as based on a “flat earth cosmology” – that is to say, the reason we have male priests is because we think the earth is flat. I tried to read that statement as the more predictable “male only priesthood is like believing the earth is flat,” but his actual wording doesn’t support such an intended meaning.

    The linked source for views on his homosexuality only has a short, ambiguous quote from him, and the author of that article actually plainly opposes homosexual activity and civic policies promoting it, so it does not establish what Father Crosby’s views are on that topic.

  3. Allan S. says:

    From the home page of the parish in question’s website:

    “Unfortunately, our Lenten Mission for March (12-16) has been canceled. We just learned that Fr. Crosby is unable to attend.”

    About as technically correct as describing a shooting victim as having died due to “lead poisoning”.

  4. Benedict Joseph says:

    The thief of souls has been cut off at the pass, but who be the theological sophisticate that invited him? Is it not time to absent another to a long retreat — or even an alternate life style? Obviously this is the life of toil we need endure until faith and reason return to this quarter.

  5. lairdangusmcangus says:

    Another sign that Lucifer’s availing time to destroy the Church (as foreseen by Pope Leo XIII) is over.

    15 years ago or so, this apostate priest would never have had his visit cancelled.

  6. Scott W. says:

    –About as technically correct as describing a shooting victim as having died due to “lead poisoning”.–

    Ha! He had come home one night and fell down an elevator shaft…onto some bullets.

  7. Jack007 says:

    Is it just me or am I the only one who wonders why this man was invited in the first place? Much less to preach a Lenten mission?
    Jack in KC

  8. visigrad says:

    Bishops can not know everything that is going on in very parish at every moment. Thank you Bishop Burbidge for making this decision .

  9. TimG says:

    “dissident” and “priest” just do not go together. This is where Church leadership needs to get really Militant.

  10. Elizabeth D says:

    I am absolutely delighted to hear of such sanity as a bishop cancelling Fr Michael Crosby’s talks!!!!!

    A couple years back Fr Crosby, author of a very bad book “Can Religious Life Be Prophetic?”, was a speaker at an event at the former-Catholic sect started by ex-Benedictine sisters, “Holy Wisdom Monastery” near Madison. Doubtless he thinks it’s “prophetic” when members of the religious life fail to persevere in their vocation or in the practice of the Catholic faith.

  11. Semper Gumby says:

    Great news, thanks to all for the additional info.

  12. The lesson here is that the faithful need to be careful about what sort of person is leading a parish mission; we shouldn’t just go because it’s available without performing, as the expression goes, “due diligence.” Some of the usual suspects at parish missions are a bit on the fringe. If I’m unsure of what I might encounter, I try to sit towards the rear, or perhaps even stand in the narthex (if that can be done unobtrusively) in order to facilitate a quick exit if necessary.

  13. kiwiinamerica says:

    Stop the presses!! A bishop being……..*gasp*……………..a bishop!!

  14. Norah says:

    I can remember when the priests used to come a give a mission the large church would be packed during the mission nights and the talks were about Confession, Holy Communion, the Saints etc I don’t remember any talk being about secular matters or criticism of Church teachings.

  15. Andrew D says:

    Bishop Burbidge is an excellent priest. The diocese of Raleigh used to be a bastion of extreme liberalism including liturgical abuse. I can remember going there once to a church I won’t name and all the parishoners kept standing up as Holy Communion was dispensed? Since Burbidge’s arrival though, vocations are flourishing in this diocese and they are building a new Cathedral in Raleigh in the reverent, traditional style, using stained glass windows and stations from a couple of closed parishes in Burbidge’s hometown of Philadelphia. God Bless you Bishop Burbidge and may God send us more priests like you.

  16. comedyeye says:

    I also emailed Bishop Burbidge to ask him to cancel the talk and received the same notification.
    Visigrad above is correct. Bishops do not know everything that is going on in parishes, especially
    if the speakers are not vetted properly as they are supposed to be. As is the case here, many are grateful for the heads up in situations like this and will take action if alerted to the situation.
    Do not be afraid to write or call your bishop! We have a canonical right to do so.

  17. Marissa says:

    At my geographical parish we received little black books of prayer for Lent that were based on the writings of a dissident bishop. I threw it away.

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