Thursday, May 22, 2008
CARDINAL EGAN CREATES CONFUSION FOR HIS PRIESTS
The sudden reassignments of dozens of Catholic priests across the Archdiocese of New York is causing great confusion and anxiety for priests and parishes, with some questioning Cardinal Edward Egan's motivation for making the moves.
About 47 priests found out last week, mostly in phone calls from the archdiocese, that they would be reassigned around July 1. Some of the priests are in the middle of their parish terms and had no inkling they would be moved. At least a few found out from the pastors who would replace them.
"No one knew it was coming," said one pastor who was reassigned. "We haven't been given a reason, and many of us are terribly confused about what's taken place. It's kind of unprecedented, really."
The pastor, like several other priests interviewed, did not want to be identified because he was concerned about retribution.
Word of the reassignments has started to spread in recent days, and some parishioners and others are planning to protest the moves. The reassignments will not become official until the affected priests receive letters from Egan....
A common view expressed by priests, those affected by the moves and others, is that Egan is settling scores before his expected retirement. Egan reached the retirement age of 75 last year, but the pope has not yet accepted his retirement.
"What does it appear to be about?" said one pastor who is being reassigned. "Rewarding the priests he likes and punishing the priests he doesn't. It appears that way."
This pastor said several priests being reassigned in the middle of terms are looking into obtaining the services of canon lawyers to fight their transfers.
Read about it here.