Priest Defies Archbishop, Receives Standing Ovation

Sensus fidelum baby! For all you non-brainiacs, that means priests don't have to listen to Church teaching or their archbishop as long as they surround themselves with people who agree with them.

It's being reported that a priest is openly defying his archbishop and seems to be completely getting off on it. He's even sending emails to the media about it. I'm unsure if he's going to perform some kind of victory dance on the parish lawn but I wouldn't be surprised. What? It could be for a nice charity like Planned Parenthood or a marriage equality group.

Seattle Pi reports:
The congregation at Seattle’s Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church gave the Rev. Tim Clark a standing ovation Sunday when he announced that the parish would not gather signatures for a referendum to repeal same-sex marriage.

The parish became the sixth in Seattle to opt out of the petition drive for Referendum 74 that has been endorsed and foisted on parishes by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain.

“I am happy to report that Our Lady of the Lake parishoners have been overwhelmingly and, thus far, unanimously supportive of the decision I made NOT to gather signatures in support of this Referendum,” Clark wrote in response to an e-mail.

“The standing ovation experienced during one of the Masses says less about me and much more about the health of this parish. I only wished the archbishop could have experienced the sustained applause — the ‘sensus fidelium’ — of the people. He needs to listen to this ‘voice.’ That is my prayer.”
You've got to wonder how many Catholics have scrambled out of that parish and found a decently Catholic parish to attend. But there might be slim pickings in Seattle as a number of other parishes have also refused. I'm unsure if they too are emailing reporters about their "standing ovations."

But the Rev. Michael Ryan of St. James Cathedral reportedly said that the archbishop's wishes in this case, “prove hurtful and seriously divisive in our community.”

Yes, let's just tell people what they want to here to make them happy. Who cares what happenes to them after they die?

Archbishop Peter Sartain is asking Catholics to sign their name to put traditional marriage to a referendum.

Mind you, the archbishop is hardly donning gestapo boots. He's gone out of his way to say that all persons “should be treated with respect, sensitivity and love,” but he also didn't water down the Church's teachings.

But Father Clark reportedly responded by telling the media:
“When I first read the archbishop’s letter I was troubled by the content and his intentions,” Clark wrote. “In conscience, I could not allow signatures to be gathered, to allow the faith to be politicized in this way.

Wait, what faith are we talking about again. Oh yeah, the sensus fidelum one that he makes up as he goes along. And it gets worse from there. He reportedly wrote:
“What troubles me is the message this whole approach sends which I find discriminatory and insensitive. To follow through with his wishes would be hurtful, divisive and a countersign to what we are trying to foster in this Catholic community in Wedgwood.

“I deeply believe, and say this with boldness, that this approach is not in the mind of Christ.”
Uhm. Father Clark, it wasn't Jesus giving you the standing ovation. It was just the Catholics left in your parish.

I went over to the parish's website and found "Father Tim's Corner" where he wrote this:
Because the strategy behind this crusade has—unintentionally, I believe—a discriminatory and insensitive feel to it. However, if you wish to support this Referendum, that is your civic right. But, I must admit, the ovation I witnessed at the 9:30 Mass after I made my intentions known was overwhelming. And I thought to myself: How I wish the Archbishop was present! Something is being said within the echo of such applause that needs a hearing. Since our student days in Rome, I’ve always known him to be a deeply prayerful and genuinely good person. My fear is that the approach he’s determined to take will only undermine his authority in the Archdiocese and I would never want that to happen. Such a thought only saddens me because of my friendship with him and of my love for the Church.
Two things about this. The first is that he says that if you want to support it, "it's your civic right" but then says that you should probably know that pretty much everyone else in the Church is with me on this.

Secondly, he claims that the archbishop's actions will only "undermine" the authority of the archdiocese. But isn't that actually what Father Tim is doing?

Comments

  1. I do not envy Archbishop Sartain. If this priest were operating in good
    faith, if he had any respect for his Ordinary, he would have gone to him
    in private to air his differences. Instead, he's made a public spectacle
    with his grandstanding, and dragged his flock into it.

    I'd be concerned about what other Church teachings 'Father Tim' has
    jettisoned because his parishioners applauded him for doing so.
    Perhaps 'Father Tim' could be reassigned as an assistant to the crustiest,
    most orthodox pastor in the Archdiocese until he sees the error of
    his ways...

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  2. Humm, I happen to know a few great orthodox priests in the Seattle area. I don't think Fr. Tim would last very long with them. Archbishop Sartain is relatively new to the diocese and he had his hands full from day one. Pray for him please.

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  3. I have had experience with this priest and this parish. I went to a daily mass there on vacation. The church is a big barn and dead accoustically. Fr. Tim had a head mike. During the sermon, he told us 15 or so faithful mass goers how hard it was for him to say this mass because he couldn't hear us during the mass. I was in shock. Later he did apologize. My older brother, who rarely goes to church,said that he doubted God had any problem hearing our responses. Communion at Sunday mass was also given from a glass bowl, the sacred candy dish. Isn't Mass just about us? Noooooo!

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  4. I wondered what had become of Fr. Tim since he left Spirit of Vatican 2 "Catholic" Faith Community. Now I know.

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  5. All these parishes are in Seattle's dense, urban areas. Figures as much for such politically liberal city.

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  6. I think you have to be faithful to the Church to have your opinion counted in the "sensus fidelium", the "sense of the faithful".

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  7. This is the result of bishops letting disobedient priests run awol for decades. And as usual NOTHING will be done about this priest. BUT just let a priest state he will celebrate Mass facing East andsee what happens; his faculties would be suspended in the blink of an eye. To be honest this makes me wonder how the good "Father" is living his priesthood. Is he living a celibate life? Does he teach correctly the doctrines of the Church? If not he should be removed from the priesthood and go find a job.

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  8. This poor bishop has just been in put in charge of renegade consecrated religious women…maybe he can use the same principles when dealing with this priest.

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  9. Fire the pig. I'm sick and tired of these self-absorbed clerics. A bad priest is worst than 100 athiests. My anger is only restrained by the thought of the terrible spiritual and theological formation this unwitting clown received in seminary.

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  10. When you neglect teaching and discipline for 50 years, this is the kind of hell that lands in your lap. If the bishop does nothing about this priest, then he richly deserves him.

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  11. The wonders of the Spirit of Vatican II!. In Washington DC, a priest refuses communion to a lesbian and gets in trouble with his cardinal baship. In Austria a priest refuses a church position to a gay parishioner and is over-rulled by his cardinal bishop. Will this Judas priest be disciplined for not obeying his bishop? The New Evangelization cannot be successful unles orthodoxy and discipline are brought back to the Church.

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  12. This priest should be immediately suspended pending an investigation of his fidelity to Church teaching and obedience to his bishop. This would give him time to explain himself to his bishop and for an appropriate remedy to the scandal to be determined.

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  13. I don't think the priest should be suspended immediately, but the bishop should pull a Vasa. That is, make the priest sign a publically available Affirmation of Faith that includes affirming that homosexual acts are inherently wrong among other things. If the priest don't sign--the boot.

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  14. I think the words from then Cardinal Ratzinger's Spirit of the Liturgy are pertinent:
    "Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment."

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  15. "The standing ovation experienced during one of the Masses says less about me and much more about the health of this parish."

    SICK from the top down

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  16. Great point, rajderivera.

    Isn't there an FSSP parish in Seattle?

    I echo the previous comments: pray for the Bishop, pray for this parish, and I'd add to pray for the Fraternity of St. Peter, that it may continue to grow in that city.

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  17. Defrock him immediately.

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  18. There actually is a place for priests like him. It's called the Anglican Communion. Did I just say that?!?

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  19. There actually is a place for priests like him. It's called the Anglican Communion. Did I just say that?!?

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  20. Please pray for this Bishop and others, who are also having this same issue. Also, young seminarians who have been formed in the true Faith of our Church - they will be battling these priests and their "leftover ghosts" for decades after the priest is gone, and they know it. They need our prayers.

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  21. I live in the Seattle area, this is a tough place for a Catholic who is faithful to Rome to live. Fr. Michael Ryan, who is rector at the Cathedral of St. James is a priest who has done great harm to this diosese, with his heterodox visions of what the Church should be in the modern world. Yes, please pray for Bishop Sartain. Not only for the task given to him by the Holy Father concerning women religious, but for undoing the damage done by 40 years of priests, bishops, and parish staff who have rejected the authority of the Church. In Seattle,it's going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.

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  22. Please pray of us here in Seattle. It is indeed going to get worst. And I love our Archbishop. It took a while for me to find a parish and have made St.James my home. Even though I am the minority in what I believe, I could not sit through another 70's style guitar Mass, which is seems most churches still do here. I have found the liturgies so beautiful here at St. James.I did try Our Lady of the Lake as it was in my neighborhood, but couldn't bear it. Please do not insult others, the priest or bishops, you will not help matters, but please pray instead. thanks

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  23. "I LOVE MY MOMMY AND MY DADDY" HATE SPEECH FROM A FIVE YEAR OLD CHILD IN "GAY-MARRIAGE" COMMUNITIES. In Belgium when a priest reads from Holy Scriture that Sodomy is a crime against God, the priest is arrested and charged with "hate speech". In Canada, too. This cowardly specimen of a human being is avoiding having to announce the truth of the Gospel. "You shalll not lay with a man as with a woman." and codify the vice of LUST as the virtue of LOVE because this is perjury in a court of law. A nation divided against itself shall not stand.If father clark will not stand up for our unalienable civil rights, he ought to be deported.

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  24. It's moments like this that heretics make it so easy for them to be found.

    It sounds like Archbishop Sartain - who has just been tasked by the Vatican with overhauling the LCWR - has his hands full. Why do all the nice guys get to have all the fun?

    With rectors like Fr. Ryan, who needs enemas.

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  25. Remember who the Father of Rebellion is... Pray for these priests, for they shall answer to the Throne of Heaven someday for causing scandal...

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  26. Why does it not surprise me that this is the rather unattractively modern looking parish a few blocks from my grandmother's house. When my husband and I last visited from Texas we went to the FSSP mass, and it was wonderful! I love to visit my family, but am so glad to be in the Austin diocese. I will definitely keep Seattle's archbishop in my prayers!

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  27. This makes me sad because I have family that live there and they probably were part of the crowd that applauded. That poor bishop there is going to need all of our prayers and support. His diocese is a seed bed of dissension

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  28. MIght I suggest that in the present climate, it may not be prudent for a parish to solicit signatures for a petition dealing with such a highly charged political issue?

    Ten years, maybe even 5 years ago, you could have. But then, during this same time an Episcopal parish was investigated by the IRS for revocation of its tax exempt status because the rector preached a sermon against the middle-east wars.

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  29. Let's see....

    Feelings vs. Moral Standards

    I think Jesus settled that one. Oy!

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  30. I live in Seattle and my parish IS collecting signatures. We have some very good parishes and priests. Don't give up your search.

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  31. Yes, Father Clark, just a few days back we heard the words read, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" The crowd was overwhelmingly supportive of the high priest in that instance also. You say that our Archbishop should listen to the "voice" of your supporters. The WH recently told Cardinal Dolan that he should listen to the voice of America magazine. I join the prayer warriors in support of the voice of Archbishop Sartin.

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  32. There are simply far too many self-proclaimed Caatholics who do not accept the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church, handed down by the Apostles. Some of them are even ordained. Why they remain in the Catholic Church is a mystery to me.

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  33. The actions of these Seattle parishes that disobey ArchBp Sartain says something about the attitude and behavior of his predecessor (Was that Hunthausen?)
    Many theologians in English-speaking countries pooh-poohed Humanae Vitae. In effect, they were saying that since V-II, the Sixth Commandment and the Church's interpretation of it no longer applied. They have sowed the wind; and the whirlwind will be reaped.
    Must pray for them.
    TeaPot562

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  34. This priest & those like him are seriously scandalizing those entrusted to their care. The sacraments, the Word of God are all passed down to us through Mother Church & he undermines the authority of the archbishop so blatantly. Sounds like a wolf among the sheep. The fathers of the Church would have very harsh words for him.

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  35. When a priest does something outrageous, there is a procedure within canon law to lift his faculties! 'Father' Ryan is out of control and scandalizing the Seattle Archdiocese. ABp. Sartain needs all the support from loyal Catholics that he can be given. Write letters to the Vatican in support of him for a start.

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  36. This priest has a serious problem. Not only is he a show-off; his views are wrong. For a start, marriage has never been a political institution – check with the communities around the world. As Catholics, parishioners are supposed to be followers or disciples of Christ and in communion with his Church. So, what did Jesus have to say about marriage when a certain question was put to him? He said that it was for marriage that, at the beginning, God made us MALE and FEMALE. Let’s face it! There is only one feature that separates humans of all races, castes and creeds into two distinct and different groups, namely Gender. It is beautifully and meaningfully designed in our nature. Two principal organs specific to these genders are complementary, and when a man and woman unite these organs merge perfectly – and there we have a marriage. This marriage is very significant because it provides stability and continuity. No other loving relationship is so blessed. States record these marriages, offer support (because of their significance, and religions bless them. Clearly, this priest and his followers are contradicting our Redeemer.

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  37. I was a parishoner at St. James for almost 14 years. I had several run-ins with Fr. Ryan over the years regarding the nearly non-existent pro life presence in the parish, including non-mention of the issue even on Respect Life Sundays, as well as his thinly veiled contempt for Rome. There was also his open support for the gays as a constituency group in the parish. However, as one person noted, the liturgy is celebrated beautifully there, esp. the music. That kept me a member of the parish. I believe that Fr. Ryan is only a couple of years away at most from retirement. There are good parishes in the city and area, including Blessed Sacrament, run by the Dominicans in the University District, and St. Monica's on Mercer Island. The disobedient parishes are almost exclusively in the central city close to or in the midst of the heavily gay neighborhoods.

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  38. The people of Seattle obviously don't appreciate the gift they've been given in Peter Sartain. The Catholics in Memphis are in the process of collecting a Spiritual Bouquet for this good man who seems to be a voice crying in the desert that is the Left Coast.?!?

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  39. Sartain is being given too much benefit of the doubt, here. He needs to start acting like a bishop. He should abort the faculties of this priest, and he should close the parish immediately. Bolt the doors and take the keys. That would achieve serious shock effect. Dissidents consider their parishes like union halls. The closure of their "union hall" would knock them off balance. At the same time, he should issue catechesis clearly stating that anything supporting homosexualism is mortal sin. Things would be dicey for awhile, but things have gotten so bad in the Catholic world that this must be done. No Catholic bishop should ever have to issue teaching that homosexualism is mortally sinful. It should be common knowledge and commonly accepted among Catholics everywhere, but as I said, things have gotten so bad...

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  40. Bishops in every diocese should do the same thing. Then they'll know which priests and parishes need some straightening out!

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  41. Don't worry, we can just replace heretic priests like this with SSPX priests who will be getting their faculties soon!

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  42. As more pressure is put on the Church from political and social areas of society we will see a greater divide occur. Catholics will have to decide whether to stay faithful to the faith or go with the dissidents and create their own truths.

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  43. Many of us remember, last year, that this same priest tried to undermine the new English translation of the Mass. He failed, but he found some applause for himself.

    His disdainful attitude toward the sacred liturgy seems to be consistent with his disdain for marriage, and with his celebratory attitude toward the sin of sodomy.

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  44. There is something pathetic and narcissistic about his belief that the "sensus fidelium" is measured by human applause.

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  45. As wrong as he may be, he's still one of Christ's priests. Pray for him. Pray for the Archbishop. Pray for all priests.

    "When a priest falls, we should extend him a helping hand THROUGH PRAYER AND NOT THROUGH ATTACKS."

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  46. Keep them, I pray Thee, dearest Lord,
    Keep them, for they are Thine --
    Thy priests whose lives burn out before
    Thy consecrated shrine.
    Keep them, for they are in the world,
    Through from the world apart;
    When earthly pleasures tempt, allure --
    Shelter them in Thy heart.
    Keep them, and comfort them in hours
    Of loneliness and pain
    When all their life of sacrifice
    for souls seems but in vain.
    Keep them. O remember, Lord,
    They have no one but Thee,
    Yet they have only human hearts,
    With human frailty.
    Keep them as spotless as the Host,
    that daily they caress;
    Their every thought and word and deed,
    Deign, dearest Lord, to bless.
    (Our Father, Hail Mary)

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  47. Wow.

    Good thing the bishops protect us from priests like Fr. Rodriguez and Fr. Grinazi with such courage and immediacy, eh?

    How come it's only the evil heretics and schismatics who get to stay in charge?

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  48. I wonder why my comment was removed - not only the one explaining what the false v. true sense of sensus fidelium is, but also the one suggesting we all pray for the priest and not just attack him, for Christ loves all His priests. It is sad to see comments attacking the priest remain, and mine apparently, unless I'm missing it, removed. The priest is wrong, but he needs prayers, prayers, prayers, and not vitriol. We must pray for and love all priests as we would love our own brothers if they went astray.

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  49. I seem to recall that a leading figure in the organisation which opposed the new translation of the Mass was a Rev Michael Ryan. Is the same person or are there two clerics with my name who are disloyal to the Church? One was a bit much to bear but two would be just too much. (See Lady Bracknell and losing parents: Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest.)

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  50. By the way, if there are any Rev Michael Ryans out there who are totally loyal to the Church I would be very glad to hear of it.

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  51. Anonymous wrote:
    "The priest is wrong, but he needs prayers, prayers, prayers, and not vitriol. We must pray for and love all priests as we would love our own brothers if they went astray."

    Jesus said that "salt that has lost its savor is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot" - According to St Augustine, that is just what you are seeing here that you find distasteful. St Francis de Sales points out in "Introduction to the Devout Life" that the fallen are to be supported and the sin not repeated to those who do not know if their fall is hidden, but charity for one's neighbor requires the public excoriation of those who publicly attack the Church and morals, and the normal rules of restraint are removed.

    the salt that has lost its savor is to be trod upon. Would that it had not.

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  52. ... i think anonymous needs an explanation of the true sense of vitriol...

    people who are correctly discerning the behavior of this priest are likely also praying for him.

    your comments look like they assume otherwise.

    since we catholics share in the priesthood of Christ, kindly ease up on the hyperbole of vitriol and just pray for all of us.

    kim

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  53. Isn't there a parish in None, Alaska or Iran that has an opening for an "open-minded" priest?

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  54. I hope the Bishop does show up!

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  55. Mea culpa_I have over the years at various catholic/protestant parishes done more than my share of vitriol, accusation (even correct ones),indictment, condemnation re: priests and I never changed one of them, not one, despite letters to them, to bishops, to Rome, to the head of the Jesuits, etc. That's because it was "I" trying to do this. I now agree with everyone who says pray, pray, pray - an almighty all-loving God can and will care for his priests.

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  56. When our priest read the letter from the bishop regarding this he did so when Mass was over, not during the Mass. After he finished reading it, you could hear a pin drop and 1 second after, there was a thunderous applause which is saying a lot being we're a small parish. The priest in this article needs our prayers.

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  57. What Father Tim does not seem to get is that just because he has a group of people standing in front of him who agree with his thinking, that does not mean his position is correct. Just because Pol Pot surrounded himself with supporters did not mean that the genocide in Cambodia was right or moral.

    I put this situation to Father Tim. I have a bowl of apples on a table. I gather 10 people and I tell them that this is not a bowl of apples, but rather a bowl of oranges. We hold a vote and 7 agree with with the statement that the what we see is a bowl of oranges, not a bowl of apples. We have not suddenly, through our vote, magically changed those of apples into oranges. Such is the same with saying that x% majority of a parish say that same-sex marriage is okay. That doesn't magically make it okay.

    The second issue is that he has, through his actions, denied those who wish to act in concert with the archbishop the right to do so.

    Please pray for this Parish and this Priest

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  58. The standing ovation experienced during one of the Masses says less about me and much more about the health of this parish

    Yes....yes it does.

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  59. I wonder if this priest knows how much he has in common with Martin Luther.

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  60. Funny. The reading this week says; Peter and ??? were hauled before the Sanhedrin and told not to preach about Jesus. They did anyway. They replied that they must obey Jesus and not man. This article contradicts that lesson. Another parish and Priest in schism!!!

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  61. Why is he still a Priest?

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  62. After attending Mass at two separate parishes in the Archdiocese of Seattle last summer, I am not surprised by this at all. It seems the Archbishop has a lot of work to do to reclaim the flock in this fair region. This priest should be removed from his parish immediately and perhaps reassigned to something less damaging to the faithful. I suspect that the parishioners have been INO Catholics for quite a while now.

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  63. I'm a fan of prayer and am as critical of prayer without action as I am of action without prayer.

    My children are growing up in this Seattle diocese, and for those of you who don't know it, it has miraculous signs of faith amongst much rot.

    But since I have only this short lifetime to help my children to heaven, I am slightly impatient with the exhortation to prayer without the exhoratation of the spiritual work of mercy in correcting the sinner.

    Being a priest does not exempt you from such an exhortation: it makes you even more culpable and vulnerable.

    The scandals should have taught us to begin with prayer.. and move quickly to action. I'm sure we can do this with good judgement and not mere vitriol.

    kim

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  64. The seemingly non-stop barrage of stories concerning Priests not living up to their calling from God saddens me greatly. I will indeed be praying for the people of Seattle, the wonderful Archbishop and the Priest who has lost his way. I agree that while our prayers are paramount at this time, God calls us to action as well. I will be starting with an email of support (from across the country in Kansas City) for Archbishop Sartain. God Bless him in this challenging assignment. Clearly, God placed him at an appropriate time in history.

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  65. When I went to the Seattle Archdiocese website it said that Archbishop Sartain does not receive email but rather, old-school letters in the mail. Looks like I'll be writing the Archbishop a good old fashioned letter of support from the midwest.

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  66. He should be excommunicated !

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  67. I have good friends who left, and after this
    debacle I can see why- Marriage is a beautiful
    sacrament of the church, and Fr. Clark has just
    thrown it under the bus.
    the married couples at this church should be
    disappointed, but a standing ovation!
    Pray for Fr. Clark and this parish for conversion
    because something is terribly wrong here when all
    your asking for is freedom to voice your concerns about the sacrament of marriage.
    Matt from Seattle

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