Today I received a note about a priest who was, in effect, cancelled. Having been cleared of wrongdoing after a false accusation of molestation of a minor, after being cleared also by Rome, his bishop will not give him an assignment.

There are a quite a few priests right now who have been or are being cancelled.   Believe me.

I also received word that a Coalition for Cancelled Priests has been formed.

Would that this had been formed some time ago.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Mail from priests, Priests and Priesthood, SESSIUNCULA, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Ave Maria says:

    The falsely accused or otherwise persecuted for specious reasons priests are almost never put back. Our dear and holy priests are under the thumb of their bishops and if they get a lavender one or weak one, etc. then they can be targeted if they speak the truth or are very holy and/or orthodox.

  2. bigtex says:

    Elizabeth Yore and Fr. Altman have been doing yeoman’s work speaking out against the corruption in Rome. If every member of the clergy started doing it, then they couldn’t cancel them all! It takes courage, though. St. Philip Neri, pray for us.

  3. That is actually one of the gravest forms of abuse. It’s the sort of petty thing that is done in industry when they want to get rid of someone but can’t out and out fire the employee– simply require the person to report for work, but not only not give the person no responsibilities, but actually forbid the person to do anything other than take a bathroom break. It might sound like the life of Riley, but it’s mostly a form of torture. One likes to think that the Church is above such behavior, but unfortunately, it is not. Of course, not having an assignment also may mean not having a place to live, and heaven help the compassionate pastor (or even a pastor who just needs a priest to cover a Mass or two) who might be inclined to give such a priest a break. If the bishop doesn’t bring down the hammer, parishioners or some other group will.

  4. kat says:

    It’s very sad to hear this. Perhaps they should all band together, live together, and move to where some bishop would love to have more priests.

  5. WVC says:

    I personally know a good priest and good man who had a completely fabricated accusation made about him. It was blatantly and obviously false – dates were wrong, locations were impossible (as in they didn’t even exist yet – the parish hall wasn’t built by then) and, most significantly, NO FORMAL CHARGES were filed by the “victim.” However, the anti-Catholic liberal Attorney General of the state wanted to press charges and worked with the disgusting local sheriff’s office to open an official investigation.

    As soon as this was reported to the bishop, he suspended the priest, no questions asked, no right to appeal. It didn’t take long for it to become blatantly obvious that the case was bogus. However, perhaps due to embarrassment, the state refused to formally close the case. The bishop, in turn, refused to reinstate the priest so long as an open investigation existed. This went on for OVER A YEAR. He was not allowed to say any public Mass. He was not allowed to participate in any parish or any official function. He was practically on house arrest. Meanwhile, the local news outlets published the slanderous accusations and never published any updates. The Diocese never made any public statements in his defense.

    Finally, when the case was closed (it lasted at least a year and a half), the bishop (it was a new bishop, the previous one having retired) LEFT HIM IN SUSPENSION FOR ANOTHER HALF A YEAR. The diocese had to complete its own independent investigation AFTER the official on was closed. Finally, after that came to the same conclusion, that the entire thing was bogus, the priest was reinstated.

    Was he given a parish? Nope. He was assigned to be an auxiliary priest to help out at another parish. Not a parochial vicar. Not an assistant pastor. And that was a year ago. New priest assignments just came out. Still no parish for him.

    This is what you get when you have bureaucrats and not leaders. When you have money counters and not shepherds. When you have cowards and not men. To treat a good priest, a devout priest, a priest consistently taking all during his priesthood the hard assignments and volunteering to do the difficult things – to treat a man like this so poorly and then, when he is exonerated, to keep the cloud of pariah hanging over his head . . .

    It’s enough to inspire uncharitable thoughts in my normally resigned breast.

  6. albinus1 says:

    I second kat’s motion for priests to stick together to support one another.

    My cousin, recently deceased, was a priest in the diocese where I grew up. He told me that sometime in the 40s, the bishop simply appropriated the money in the priests’ pension fund and used it for diocesan expenses. So some of the priests got together with a lawyer and set up an independent retirement program for the priests of the diocese. (I don’t know if they voluntarily paid into it or how it worked.). And they set it up in such a way that legally the diocese can’t touch it.

  7. Hb says:

    What WVC describes is par for the course.
    Philly has a number of priests with letters from Rome declaring the bishops actions null and void. It’s not worth the paper upon which it is written.They’re still waiting for an assignment.

    One wonders how a bishop expects respect and obedience from his priests when he falls to give it to his superior i.e. Rome.

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  9. bigtex says:

    This sounds like the case of Father Eduard Perrone in Detroit city. And when will Fr. George Rutler receive his due process? Both outrageous cases against outstanding priests… which of course is why they’re being persecuted.

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