Friday, June 14, 2019

What happens when a priest is too traditional for his parish?

It’s something of a trope these days. First, a young priest is assigned to a new parish, where he reintroduces elements of the pre-Vatican II liturgy. Younger, more conservative parishioners are thrilled; older, more progressive ones are outraged. Then, the bishop sides with the older folks against the priest and his more youthful admirers. The priest is removed, and what follows is an international uproar.

We saw the scenario play out recently when 38-year-old Fr Nicholas Rynne was removed as administrator of the Meander Valley parish in Tasmania by Archbishop Julian Porteous. He had rankled some of the laity by wearing a cassock, asking his congregation to address him as “Father,” and celebrating a weekly Latin Mass in addition to the regular Ordinary Form Masses. The story went viral on social media after a letter from one influential parishioner was leaked. “You know why you are spat on for wearing clerical dress and I am with those who do so as I think it is ridiculous to wear a cassock and even a collar in this day and age,” wrote one, before comparing Fr Rynne and his supporters to the Taliban.

It’s eerily reminiscent of a story that broke in February in the United States. You might recall the saga of Fr Eddie Dwyer.

[Read more at the Catholic Herald.]

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