More on the case of Fr. Phillips, accused of “improper relations with adult men” by someone and removed by Cardinal Cupich as pastor of Latin Mass parish

Pointed comment from:

Emily Nielsen · Winnetka, Illinois

This is a disgraceful way to treat a man who has had a long and successful career in the priesthood.

The Archdiocese of Chicago should be celebrating and supporting priests who have turned parishes around and filled churches, as Fr. Phillips has most certainly done. [He revived a parish on its last legs and along the way started a religious congregation of Latin Mass priests.]
The lack of courtesy and respect being shown to him, his order and his parish does not speak well for the current Archdiocesan administration.

Ms. Nielsen is known for her Save the Shrine efforts as regards Woodlawn’s Shrine of Christ the King, which like St. John Cantius housed a Latin Mass parish existing under a pronounced anti-Latin-Mass archbishop.

This is Cardinal Blase Cupich, who in 2002 in his first bishopric, Rapid City, South Dakota, took a drastic step to prevent such a mass:

  • While bishop of Rapid City, he physically locked members of the Latin Mass community out of their chapel during the Easter Triduum . . .   describing [the] measure as “an opportunity on an annual basis for us to all worship together, for one moment of unity as a Catholic church,” and accusing them of finding it “so difficult, on the day of the Lord’s death, to celebrate with their bishop, who is the sign of the Lord’s unity”.

This is speaking softly and carrying a big stick, church-style, a quite unusual my-way-or-highway approach to his role as shepherd of a flock. I can’t picture him doing this in Chicago. Indeed, by now he may know better, no matter where he is.

I must admit, however, that then and now, he shows a tendency to draw on an eternal accepted Christian formulation to justify steps taken in a tactical manner. That is to say, his governance philosophy seems to jump too quickly to the grand-statement reasoning, skipping over the hard parts — what to do when and how to do it.

He did this in a recent column in the archdiocesan newspaper, Chicago Catholic, in which he alarmingly and unconvincingly argues Francis’ and Benedict XVI’s similarities, citing high-spiritual phraseology used by both as cases in point.

In so doing he ignored both Benedict, who in 2007 expanded Latin Mass privileges beyond anyone else since post-Vatican 2 exclusions, and John Paul II, who paved the way for such liturgical libertarianism beginning at least in 1984.

It’s interesting also to note that the aggrieved Rapid City layman who spoke for the other 220 members of the locked-out congregation planned to bring his case to then Pope John Paul II, sensing that he had an ally in Rome if not in Rapid City.

It must be noted that at that time,  the Latin Mass had to be approved by the bishop in charge. So the law was on Cupich’s side. Five years later, under Benedict, it wouldn’t have been.

via Rev. C. Frank Phillips, Founder of Religious Order of Men, Removed for Improper Conduct With Men