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– Questions and Answers By Re ! "! Thomas Faucher JC# Canonical Ad ocate and Procurator January $% &'() After the articles in the *+ational Catholic Reporter, and the *Bulletin, newspaper in Bend% -re.on% and after tele ision co era.e in Bend% about the case of Father James Radloff% / ha e recei ed a number of letters% emails and 0uestions seekin. some clarifications of what is .oin. on! There is a lar.e amount of erroneous information out in the public world about the Father Radloff case! / ha e had a number of re0uests to be inter iewed for both tele ision and the press! / ha e chosen not to do that! At the same time% the people who are the church ha e a ri.ht to accurate and factually correct information! There is no way / can indi idually respond to all the 0uestions so / will write out a few and answer them! / would much rather not ha e all of this in the news% but why / am answerin. them is e1plained in 2(& below! (! "hat is the Radloff case about3 First a little back.round4 The Code of Canon #aw is the book of rules and re.ulations for the operation of the Catholic Church! -ne of the thin.s in Canon #aw is the responsibility of the bishop of a diocese to appoint priests to be pastor of a parish! This is usually done with a specific time .i en for the priest to be pastor! There is a pro ision in the law that if the bishop makes the decision that for specific and ery serious reasons the priest should be remo ed as pastor before his term has e1pired the bishop can do that! But in all of Canon #aw there is a set of checks and balances and appeals from decisions made by a bishop! Father Radloff was the pastor of 5aint Francis of Assisi parish in Bend% -re.on! -n -ctober (% &'(6% Bishop #iam Cary% Bishop of Baker% formally remo ed Father Radloff as pastor of the parish! Father Radloff has appealed this remo al to the Con.re.ation for the Cler.y in Rome! Bishop Cary and Father Radloff both followed the rules .o ernin. the remo al of a pastor! &! /f he was remo ed then how can there be an appeal3 The law of the church states that there must be reasons for the remo al! Father Radloff ar.ues that the reasons which Bishop Cary used do not comply with the laws of the church% and that the reasons are inaccurate and wron.! 7e has a ri.ht to appeal to the 8atican and he has done so! By appealin. Father Radloff retains the title of pastor% so an administrator% Father Julian Cassar% has been appointed to the parish! 6! "hat are the reasons Bishop Cary remo ed him3
That is one of the two .reat mysteries! Bishop Cary refused to state what the reasons are for the remo al% and has forbidden Father Radloff or his canon lawyer 9me: for doin. so as well! Bishop Cary says that Father Radloff *is a priest in .ood standin., and has done nothin. ille.al! But the bishop has said he had to remo e him as pastor! Father Radloff has publically and pri ately asked Bishop Cary to disclose the reasons% but the bishop will not do so! Part of the suit in Rome is the re0uest by Father Radloff that the reasons for the remo al be made public! Both Father Radloff and / know what the reasons are% and our re;ection of those reasons is the basis of the case in Rome! The reasons are both not acceptable under canon law and are factually wron.! "e choose to respect Bishop Cary<s order not to make the reasons public but hope the con.re.ation will order the bishop to do so! )! "hat is this about Father Radloff bein. barred from ministry3 This is the second mystery! /n a totally une1pected mo e% Bishop Cary has forbidden Father Radloff from e1ercisin. ministry% includin. sayin. public =ass! There is no canon law power the bishop has to do this% but he has done it! 7e also will not state what the reasons are for barrin. Father Radloff from ministry% and he has ne er told Father Radloff why he cannot minister! This issue is also now part of the suit in Rome! >! "asn<t Father Radloff supposed to .o to =errill% -re.on3 "hen Father was remo ed the bishop told him to take some time off and .o isit his mother in Chica.o! 7e was to return to -re.on in late +o ember and .o to =errill! Father Radloff a.reed to this% and was prepared to .o to =errill! The bishop then withdrew the assi.nment to =errill and throu.h his icar .eneral% Father Rick Fischer% said Father Radloff could stay in Chica.o until the case is settled! ?! 7as Father Radloff been disobedient to the bishop3 As a priest didn<t Father Radloff make a promise of respect and obedience to the bishop3 @es% Father Radloff made a promise of obedience and respect to the bishop! That promise has to be understood in the full conte1t of the church! +o priest can be disobedient to the bishop if he appeals what the bishop has ordered to a hi.her authority because the priest belie es the order to be wron.! The priest cannot ;ust i.nore the order% he has to appeal the order to Rome! 5o% no% Father Radloff has not be disobedient! Father Radloff has done e ery sin.le thin. the bishop ordered him to do e1cept resi.n as pastor! 7e has correctly appealed that order% usin. the official law of the church! Father Radloff has been totally obedient! 7e has not disclosed the reasons for his remo al e en thou.h there are canon lawyers who say he could! But out of obedience to Bishop Cary he has not done so! 7e has not e1ercised public ministry% e en thou.h there are canon lawyers who say he could! A.ain out of obedience to Bishop Cary he has not done so! 7e was willin. to .o to =errill% and then out of obedience did not .o to =errill! Father Radloff has ne er spoken to a reporter or .i en any type of inter iew since he was remo ed on -ctober (% &('6!
A! "hy was there no reconciliation or mediation3 7ow did this .et to this point3 /n the months leadin. up to -ctober (% &'(6% Bishop Cary asked Father Radloff to resi.n! Bsin. church law as his .uide% Father Radloff on numerous occasions and in numerous ways asked for reconciliation% mediation% discussion% dialo.ue% and clarification from Bishop Cary! Canon law is ery clear that reconciliation is the preferred way to handle any disa.reement! C ery sin.le re0uest for reconciliation and mediation from Father Radloff to Bishop Cary was denied! That all attempts for mediation and reconciliation were re;ected by Bishop Cary is also part of the case in Rome! D! "hat could be the outcome and when will this .et resol ed3 The case was submitted to the Con.re.ation for the Cler.y on -ctober (D% &'(6! +ormally they will make some reply in three months% which will be in January &'()! +ormally it is in the form a fairly lon. le.al document analyEin. the case and .i in. a decision! There are four ma;or possible outcomes! (: The con.re.ation could% and often does in this type of case% state that the bishop acted within his ri.hts and confirm that Father Radloff has been remo ed! &: The con.re.ation could totally re;ect all of the bishop<s claims and order Father Radloff to be restored as pastor of 5aint Francis! 6: The con.re.ation could write a new set of orders! /t could restore Father Radloff with some conditions for both Father Radloff and Bishop Cary% or not restore him but order the bishop to do somethin. else! -r it could order a new idea entirely! All three of these results would also be e1pected to answer the 0uestions about publishin. or not publishin. the reasons for the remo al% doin. away with the bar from ministry or confirmin. it% and publishin. or not publishin. the reasons for the bar from ministry! ): The con.re.ation could simply report that it has not yet made a decision and say it will take some additional time to do so! $! Can either Father Radloff or Bishop Cary appeal the result to anyone else3 /n theory%yes! Cither side can appeal to the 5i.natura% the *5upreme Court, of the Catholic Church! But it ery unlikely that the 5i.natura would take such a case! ('! /f Father Radloff<s remo al is confirmed by the con.re.ation% is he still a priest3 Can he minister either in the Fiocese of Baker or another diocese3 @es he is still a priest and a priest in .ood standin.! 7e could be assi.ned to another parish and continue to ser e! 7e could ask to .o to another diocese% but the dama.e done already to his reputation would make many bishops unwillin. to take him! But the mysterious and une1plained *bar from ministry, has to be resol ed first! That is one thin. the con.re.ation must do no matter what the outcome! ((! There are many people upset by these thin.s! "hat are they upset about if the case is in the courts and will be resol ed3
=ost people who support Father Radloff are patiently waitin. for the final decision from Rome about whether or not he will be restored as pastor! "hat they are upset about is the destruction of Father Radloff<s .ood name and reputation by the thin.s which ha e been said and not said% done and not done% by Bishop Cary! By makin. the statement that Father Radloff is a *priest in .ood standin., who has not done anythin. *ille.al%, but he had to remo e him% and then sayin. that he could not re eal the reasons% the bishop chose to open the ranks to e ery sort of rumor as to what the reasons for the remo al could be! Added to this was the bar from ministry with no reason .i en% e en to Father Radloff% as to why he is barred from ministry! The malicious rumors% stories% and sick conclusions about what Father Radloff must ha e done are truly icious and sinful! A .reat deal of harm has been done to Father Radloff and many other people by all of the speculation! -n +ew @ear<s C e there was a silent prayer i.il for Father Radloff<s .ood name at the old church in Bend! The people% parish members% were told that they could not walk onto church property to pray% they had to stay on the sidewalk! This the type of thin. which upsets people! (&! "hy are you answerin. these 0uestions% Father Faucher% and why do we not hear from Bishop Cary3 / am answerin. 0uestions because the 0uestions are out there and deser e answers! There so many false and wron. conclusions people ha e come to about this case! As / said abo e some of the conclusions are truly icious and sinful! /t is ery important that e ery article and story about this case be correct! *Gnowled.e is power, and the more accurate and truthful knowled.e is shared the better off we are as a church! /t is my opinion that Bishop Cary should be the one answerin. these 0uestions and especially sharin. the reasons for the remo al and the bar on ministry! The Con.re.ation for the Cler.y does not want cases it is considerin. to be in the news or speculated about! But if Bishop Cary would simply answer all the 0uestions there would be no speculation and e eryone would ;ust wait for the decision! / cannot answer why Bishop Cary will not make any comments! 7is lack of openness and transparency on all of this has hurt him and the diocese and made this into a news story! Father Radloff has been deeply hurt by the dama.e to his reputation% as has his family! Bishop Cary has been asked to at least make some statement defendin. Father Radloff<s reputation and has chosen not to do so! The parish of 5aint Francis has been hurt by all of this% and the new parish administrator% Father Julian Cassar% has suffered by bein. put into an impossible position! Father Cassar is a .ood and fine person! /n answerin. these 0uestions and in all / ha e personally said and done / am ery careful to not in any way iolate the confidentiality of this case! There is a specific amount of information in the official *acts, of the case which cannot be used or made public at this time! But some of the information contained in the acts is also in the public forum! C erythin. in these 0uestions and answers is information which is not in any
way confidential! (6! 7a e you or Father Radloff had correspondence with Bishop Cary or the 8icar Heneral Father Fischer since the case went to Rome3 @es! Bishop Cary and Father Fischer ha e sent some letters to Father Radloff about his stay in Chica.o until the case was decided! Father Radloff replied and sent an additional letter to Father Fischer in Fecember! There was an e1chan.e of letters in -ctober and +o ember between myself and Bishop Cary about the barrin. of Father Radloff from ministry and other items! +either Bishop Cary nor Father Fischer ha e responded to my last letters or to Father Radloff<s last letter! ()! "ho should be bein. prayed for3 / found this to be an interestin. 0uestion! / think all the people in ol ed should be bein. prayed for! -b iously Father Radloff and Bishop Cary should be prayed for! There are people prayin. for Bishop Cary at least once each day and usually more often! / think that Father Julian Cassar should be prayed for% and all of the rest of us in ol ed with this case! / also think we should be prayin. for the people in Rome at the Con.re.ation for the Cler.y!
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