Story of two priests


Priest punted after Tas parish complaints

Just weeks after being appointed to a north Tasmanian parish, a young and controversial Catholic priest has been moved on by the church.
Caroline Schelle
Australian Associated PressAPRIL 3, 20194:57PM

Complaints from annoyed parishioners about a priest's "brand" of religion have forced the Catholic church to move on a recent appointee from northern Tasmania.

Father Nicholas Rynne, ordained in 2013 and formerly based in Sydney, ceased working in Tasmania's Meander Valley Parish after "recent disturbances" and a subsequent investigation, the Archdiocese of Hobart announced on Wednesday.

"We pray that a process of healing and restoration of unity may be achieved in the parish and among all affected," Hobart Archbishop Julian Porteous said in a statement, noting there was no allegation of sexual abuse among the complaints.

The archdiocese launched an investigation headed by retired Melbourne Bishop Peter Elliot, who last week interviewed 86 people in the community.
The parish takes in the centres of Westbury and Deloraine, west of Launceston.

"In the light of Bishop Elliot's recommendations and following discussion with diocesan consultors and the council of priests, Fr Nicholas Rynne has ceased his role," Archbishop Porteous said, noting the father is taking leave.

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In a publicly-available letter addressed to Fr Rynne, Maureen Bennett wrote that she and fellow parishioners felt hostility towards the priest.

"If people other than our Archbishop do not agree with your brand of religion you should expect it and stop putting forward a sob story about how badly done by you are," she penned.

"You accused us of being apostates when it is you who is setting up a sect within our religion and trying to indoctrinate everyone that yours is the only true religion."

She slammed as "ridiculous" his decision to wear a cassock and collar and hit out at the priest's attitude towards women on the altar.
"We have no love for clerical dress and have embraced those priests and nuns who have shown us that by dressing in the same way as the rest of us they are human beings," the letter continued.

Her criticism was broad.

"Your attitude to women on the altar, depriving of us of positions we have humbly held in the past and the jerky manner in which you now turn to the people and the way you pray the consecration are all very annoying," she said.

The controversial priest had also introduced a Latin mass to the Westbury church in addition to the standard mass.

Emphasis added


‘I know who you are’: Fr. Larry Richards intimidates parishioners
who complained about him to bishop

ERIE, Pennsylvania, April 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― Celebrity priest Father Larry Richards warned his congregation during a Sunday homily that he knows who has issued complaints against him to the local bishop because "the bishop called me and told me your names," adding that the complainers "endanger" their "eternal salvation."

The acclaimed retreat director and author of Be a Man used his homily this Sundayto upbraid parishioners who had written to their bishop with concerns about Richards’ recent spat with the Church Militant media organization.

"I want to share something with you ... because some of you need to be reconciled,” said Richards during his taped nine-minute sermon.

“Some of you wrote letters to the bishop for me, and the bishop called me and told me your names. I know who you are. But the reality is you endanger your eternal salvation."

LifeSiteNews reached out to both Father Richards and the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania for comment. A spokesperson for the diocese said via email that she would be “surprised” if Bishop Lawrence Persico “would be willing to discuss the contents of a personal conversation he had with one of our priests, no matter what the topic.”

READ: A disturbing encounter with Fr. Larry Richards

Richards had been preaching about the Prodigal Son and his resentful older brother, when the priest suddenly addressed the scandal that ensued after revelations he publicly accused Church Militant of having sent him death threats. Christine Niles and Michael Voris of Church Militant strongly denied the allegations, and Richards amended his story, saying that the threat had come from a follower of the Catholic news apostolate.

In his homily, however, Richards indicated that he believed the trouble has been caused by his unconditional fidelity to Pope Francis.

“You know, the reason I’ve been in trouble for the last month ― let me be very clear about this ― is ‘cause I support Pope Francis,” he said.

“And organizations which I will never say their names again publicly, ever — let it be clear: never again will I give them any public recognition — I went against them publicly because they went against the pope. And their people have went [sic] after me. And it’s just been getting worse. It hasn’t been getting better.”

Richards suggested that some Catholics “hate” Pope Francis because he reaches out to sinners.

“... Jesus sat there and ate and drank with sinners. And it was offensive to the really holy people. It was offensive to them. And often that’s us. You know, that’s why people hate Pope Francis. Because he talks about, ‘we have to reach out to sinners’ and the righteous ones sit back and … they do all these things.”

The priest stressed that those parishioners who question Pope Francis need to be reconciled to God and repent just as much as the “other ones.”
He then read his congregation two short quotes from the First Vatican Council’s document Pastor Aeternus to argue that they will go to hell if they “go against the Pope.”

Pastor Aeternus, however, does not hold the Pope superior to the perennial doctrine of the Church, or suggest that he can never make a mistake or never be lovingly corrected. Chapter 3, Article 1, from which Richards took his first citation, merely restates the teaching of the Council of Florence that the Roman Pontiff is the “Supreme Shepherd”, the earthly leader of all the bishops and the entire Christian Church.

“This is the teaching of the Catholic truth, and no one can depart from it without endangering his faith and salvation,” Richards read from Article 4 before giving his own understanding of the text:

“That means if you go against the Pope publicly, you endanger your faith and your salvation, so I as your pastor must tell you your soul is in danger of eternal damnation if you go against the Holy Father of the Church.”

Pope Francis has excited much concern among many Catholics, including cardinals, for what seems at times to be departures from the perennial teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.

In April 2016, the pontiff plunged the Church into confusion with the promulgation of his post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia. It led to the issuance in September 2016 of Dubia (formal questions) from four Cardinals concerning the implications of the document for doctrine. That December, 23 leading Catholic scholars wrote the Dubia Cardinals a letter of gratitude for their quest for “moral clarification.”

In July 2017, a “Filial Correction” was signed by over 60 Catholic scholars, including theologians, and presented to Francis “on account of the propagation of heresies effected by the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia and by other words, deeds and omissions of [his] Holiness.”

In a recent interview with LifeSiteNews, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan stated his opinion that while even a heretical reigning pope could never be formally judged or deposed, he could certainly be corrected.

“There is a subtle but crucial difference between a correction — a fraternal correction — even in a public form, and the act of an investigating judge and who pronounces a verdict,” Schneider said.



Church Militant to sue Fr. Larry Richards and his diocese

DETROIT, Michigan, April 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The Catholic media agency Church Militant is filing suit against Fr. Larry Richards and his home diocese after the famed Catholic priest falsely accused them of sending him death threats.

Michael Voris, the CEO of Church Militant, told LifeSiteNews last night that his organization is going to bring a lawsuit against both Fr. Richards and the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania.

“Fr. Larry Richards’ threatening tirade from his pulpit against his own parishioners this past Sunday officially crosses the line,” Voris told LifeSiteNews by email.

“Church Militant will begin pursuing legal action against both Fr. Richards and his diocese.”

READ: ‘I know who you are’: Fr. Larry Richards intimidates parishioners who complained about him to bishop
Voris was referring to the March 31 Sunday homily in which Richards departed from his reflections on the day’s Gospel to discuss the controversy that ensued after he accused Church Militant of having sent him a death threat. Richards had made the allegation at a Legatus conference in late January 2019.

Richards told his congregation that he knew some of them had written to the bishop about him, that the bishop had told him their names and that he knew who they were. Quoting the First Vatican Council’s Pastor Aeternus out of context, Richards stated that those who “go against” Pope Francis are in danger of eternal damnation.

After LifeSiteNews asked Church Militant to respond to Richards’ allegation that they threatened his life, both Christine Niles and Michael Voris denied it. Following LifeSiteNews’ report, Fr. Richards issued a partial retraction on his Twitter account.

"I was wrong in what I said about Church Militant - it was NO ONE in their LEADERSHIP who threatened me - it was one of their FOLLOWERS who called me on the phone and threatened me. I should have made that clear. We need to stop demonizing each other, I will stop first. Peace," he wrote.

Unsatisfied, Church Militant sought legal advice and drew up a cease-and-desist letter. Voris reminded viewers of his “The Vortex” show that this was not the first time Richards had made allegations against the organization. Previously Richards had broadcast over an EWTN call-in show that Church Militant was “from the devil.”

READ: A disturbing encounter with Fr. Larry Richards

Voris warned Richards that unless he fulfilled certain conditions, Church Militant would take further legal action. The broadcaster asked the priest to write to Legatus to apologize, clarify that Church Militant had not made death threats against him, and ask its leadership to inform its members of the retraction. Voris also asked Richards to tell his EWTN Open Line audience that he had lied about Church Militant and that no-one from the organization has ever threatened him.

“If you do not accede to these demands immediately, there will be further action, take it to the bank,” Voris said on his March 19 broadcast.
Two weeks later, Fr. Richards stated in his recorded Sunday homily that he was “in trouble” because he supports Pope Francis.

“You know, the reason I’ve been in trouble for the last month ― let me be very clear about this ― is ‘cause I support Pope Francis,” he said.
“And organizations which I will never say their names again publicly, ever — let it be clear: never again will I give them any public recognition — I went against them publicly because they went against the pope. And their people have went [sic] after me. And it’s just been getting worse. It hasn’t been getting better.”

LifeSiteNews is another organization Richards dislikes. Last week LifeSiteNews publisher Steve Jalsevac shared a personal story of an unpleasant encounter with the acclaimed preacher. Having heard that Richards had condemned LifeSiteNews during a mission in a nearby town, Jalsevac attempted to speak with him. In response, Richards swore at Jalsevac and raised his fist at him.

Later Richards told a congregation that he had intended to hit the LifeSiteNews co-founder because he “goes against” the Holy Father.
Jalsevac acknowledged that Richards has been “very actively pro-life” and has “inspired and helped many people.”

“But that is what makes LifeSite’s and others’ negative experiences with him all the more puzzling,” Jalsevac wrote.

LifeSiteNews is awaiting responses from both Fr. Richards and the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania and will add them to this developing story.