Fr. Phillips Permanently Out at St. John Cantius, Faculties for Public Ministry Remain Withdrawn

SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2018

Fr. Phillips Permanently Out at St. John Cantius, Faculties for Public Ministry Remain Withdrawn

[Exonerated but still punished!]
Fr. Frank Phillips

A few hours ago, this letter from Fr. Gene Szarek, the Provincial Superior of the Congregation of the Resurrection (the “Resurrectionists”) – the order that investigated Fr. Frank Phillips, the pastor of Chicago’s St. John Cantius, concerning allegations of “improper conduct involving adult males” – was released. It was enclosed in this week’s bulletin at tonight’s anticipatory Mass, and is now posted on the St. John Cantius website:

The letter stated that “(w)e accept the Archdiocese’s decision that Fr. Phillips’ faculties for public-ministry will remain withdrawn and that he will not return as pastor of St. John Cantius and as Superior of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius.”

There were no other statements issued by either the Archdiocese, the Resurrectionists or the Canons. No additional information was offered in the homily, and there are apparently no plans by any of the parties to make any additional statements before, during or after any of the four Masses tomorrow.

The letter and its determination may have come as a shock to some, as just three days ago a press release from Protect our Priests, the main independent parishioners group formed to support Fr. Phillips when the charges were made three months ago, claimed that he had been “exonerated.”: It stated that “(t)he Review Board [of the Resurrectionists] has concluded that Fr. Phillips has not violated any secular criminal, civil or canon law.”

I can tell you that those close to the case feared or anticipated that though the facts of the investigation seemed to clear Fr. Phillips, he would nevertheless not be allowed to return. But I think most of us assumed there would be some explanation for that decision, including an effort to make clear why, despite the “exoneration,” other considerations or factors dictated their conclusion.

Instead there was only the terse two paragraph letter, above.

*****

This result if of course a travesty.

The precise nature of the original charges was never made clear and indeed at the time, the Archdiocese made contradictory claims about them. The report on the what the investigation found regarding the charges (whatever they were) has not and apparently will not be released. Neither the Resurrectionists nor the Archdiocese gave any sort of reason for the decision.

******

So what actually happened?

Read the following carefully:

I can tell you that based upon what I know, Fr. Phillips is completely innocent of any wrongdoing, with “wrongdoing” interpreted in any way you wish – legal, civil or moral. And, yes, this also covers consensual sexual behavior as well as homosexual actions or behavior of any kind.

The false charges were made out of malice by an extremely troubled individual who had also enlisted two allies. Soon, the allegations would be seized upon by hostile forces in the Chicago Archdiocese and elsewhere as an opportunity  to attack and (hopefully) destroy an incredibly successful traditionalist pastor and (perhaps later) the traditionalist order that he founded and the old Chicago church that he saved from the wrecking ball and turned into one of Chicago’s most thriving parishes.

The final result was not based on justice but on politics.

Catholic traditionalists and conservatives have assumed that the liberal Cardinal Cupich is somehow behind it all – not without reason, I think, given his past behavior and reputation. But I do not believe that blaming Cupich for all of it is correct, or at least, given what we know, entirely correct.

Fr. Phillips had other enemies.

Who are they?

Who are the accusers?

Why did they initially make their accusations?

Were there any extenuating circumstances in the case? Did Fr. Phillips do anything to possibly justify or cause what happened?

Since the statement from the Resurrectionists essentially says nothing, we’ll start to answer those questions in the next post.

And, yes, we will be naming names.

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6 comments on “Fr. Phillips Permanently Out at St. John Cantius, Faculties for Public Ministry Remain Withdrawn

  1. In a normal ecclesiastical situation, humble acceptance of the judgment of those in authority would seem to be the appropriate response.
    But, when at issue is the very survival of the Catholic priesthood and the Catholic Faith, perhaps the model of Archbishop Lefebvre needs to be seriously considered.

  2. Actually, the good Father needs an expert attorney. Not “if” but “when” a priest is the victim of prejudicial bias (Fr. Phillips did not follow the herd of liberal ecclesiastical, PC hijackers now in charge of Rome and 99% of dioceses, so “he must be humiliated and removed”) he has every right to clear his name and be restored fully to his social position, one he has served honorably and with true distinction.
    /
    Obedience cuts both ways. Those who invoke it must themselves obey ALL the Church commands, not merely what is expedient to their treasonous agenda.

  3. Rorate is friendly to but not decidedly traditional, Anthony.

  4. I await his followup (“Did Fr. Phillips do anything to possibly justify or cause what happened? Since the statement from the Resurrectionists essentially says nothing, we’ll start to answer those questions in the next post. And, yes, we will be naming names”) as I do of that of Beverly Stevens at Regina concerning diverting your donations to good Catholic institutions and causes (“Tomorrow, I will outline our ‘Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval’ list of seminaries, charities and apostolates that teach the authentic Faith and which can be trusted with our money”)

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