The day the hammer fell on the parish of the priest who preached a “schismatic” sermon in a Minneapolis suburb . . .

A visiting member of another parish showed up on the fateful day.

This man, a local attorney, and his wife had been attending St. Bede the Venerable for a year and a half. It was “a very small parish” without its own building and having to rent space from another parish. 

He’d “been trying to get his Episcopalian friends to attend there in the hope that they [would] eventually convert.” He was drawn particularly by the pastor, Fr. Vaughn Treco, who he said “speaks plainly and to the point; much better than most other priests [he’d] heard or met.”

On the evening in question, he and his wife showed up for mass, but Fr. Treco was nowhere to be seen.  Instead, another priest [see below] was presiding. 

At the end of the mass, the priest made an announcement, indicating that as of yesterday, Fr. Treco had been relieved of his duties as pastor of St. Bede’s, with [this other] priest being appointed interim pastor. 

We were told that Fr. Treco had been removed because of the sermon he gave on The Feast of Christ the King . . . November 25 of last year.  This sermon was published by The Remnant Video on YouTube, which can be found here: VATICAN REVOLUTION: Diocesan Priest’s Had Enough

We were told that Fr. Treco was visited by Bishop Stephen Lopes, who essentially provided Fr Treco with the option of renouncing what he had said in the sermon (Fr. Treco declined) or be removed as pastor, when he would have to take… wait for it…. further education classes so that he could better understand the post-[Vatican 2] church.

We were also told, though, that Fr. Treco is free to continue as priest for St. Bede, even presiding over mass, just as long as he (a) does not deliver sermons or (b) has his sermons reviewed and signed off by [this] priest prior to any such delivery.

From a regular:

As I was vesting and preparing to serve at the altar of God on January 20, 2019, I noted that Fr. Treco was absent. In his place was Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, ordinary emeritus of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, who has served as a substitute on a number of occasions when Fr. Treco needed to be absent.

Despite our familiarity with Msgr. Steenson, something about his being there felt off. I looked at our weekly bulletin and saw that Fr. Treco’s email and phone number were no longer there and that there was a notice that read that “daily Masses are cancelled until further notice.”

At the end of Mass, Msgr. Steenson read a letter from our bishop, His Excellency Steven Lopes. The bishop explained that the November homily — the one that had gained so much attention for its unflinching evaluation of the crisis [inflicting the church] — was, in fact, the reason for his removal.

Further, the bishop explained, the homily was contrary to the teaching of the Church — he did not explain how — and that, even after a personal meeting in Houston between himself and Father Treco, Father refused to recant what he had said. The bishop’s letter then announced that Fr. Treco has been removed as parochial administrator of the Church of St. Bede and that Msgr. Steenson had been assigned as parochial administrator pro tempore.

End of sad day at church.

More to come of ins and outs and surrounding realities of this pastor-removal process in the American church and where it fits into a strange sequence of which this episode is a salient example.