“From the founding of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, I have instructed the men how to live the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. One of those vows, obedience, may especially challenge Religious because it is difficult to submit your will to a superior,” Fr. Phillips [said] July 18 [in a statement] to Protect Our Priests, a group formed to support and assist him.
“As you know, the Canons are requested not to have contact with me, which is difficult for them and for me as their Founder. Also, I have been asked by my superior to relocate to St. Louis. I am requested to do this not under formal obedience but willingly in the virtue of obedience. Is this difficult? Yes, it is,” he wrote.
The saints “were always obedient to their superiors, and their examples help to sustain me now,” Fr. Phillips wrote. “We need only look to St. Padre Pio to see the extent of his lived obedience. If I could not or would not listen to my superior, how could I then expect the Canons, as their Founder, to be obedient to their superior?”
He said he is uncertain of what the future holds for him, and that “time will tell” what it holds for the Canons.
The “old soldiers” bit recalls Douglas MacArthur, of course. But how about the most famous letter writer ever, you know, to Romans, Ephesians, Colossians, etc. etc.?