Thursday, March 21, 2019

Refuting a rumor about St. Bede's

My former pastor, Father Vaughn Treco, was removed from his position, his priestly faculties suspended, and is under threat of excommunication by Bishop Steven Lopes of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, for a homily which may be found here.

The letter from Bishop Lopes which announced the removal stated that Fr. Treco "denied Church teaching." There is no denial of any defined Catholic doctrine in that homily. The pending excommunication is on the charge of schism -- the refusal to submit to papal authority. There is criticism of certain papal actions, but no refusal to submit to papal authority in that homily. This punishment is unjust.

You may read more about this incident here and here. In the wake of this, there has been a rumor circulating in other Ordinariate parishes, that St. Bede's had approximately 40 Ordinariate-member families before Fr. Treco came, and his preaching drove all of them away but one, and that one remaining family, fed up with his "embittered trad" attitude, reported the homily in question to Bishop Lopes.

This is the most pernicious kind of falsehood, falsehood with a tiny bit of half-truth mixed in. My family is an Ordinariate-member family who attended St. Bede's before Fr. Treco's installation. There were approximately six other households who attended regularly, not 40. I do not know how many of them, if any, were officially members of the Ordinariate.

The tiny half-truth is that shortly after Fr. Treco's installation, most of them ceased attending, all but my family and one other family. So there were two families remaining, not one. I do not know why most of them stopped attending, but one gentleman moved out of the country and one did attend once much later and stated that it was too far for him to drive from his residence.

My family, Ordinariate members since shortly after the Ordinariate's formation in 2012, and members of a Pastoral Provision parish since 2003, did not have a problem with Fr. Treco's preaching. We found it orthodox and edifying. The other Ordinariate family from before Fr. Treco's installation still attends St. Bede's. I have no knowledge if they had a problem with Fr. Treco's homilies; they never indicated as such to me. There are also other Ordinariate-member families who were added to the parish since Fr. Treco's installation, through entrance into full communion with the Catholic Church and through baptism. Along with non-Ordinariate Catholics who attended regularly, there were approximately 12 families in regular attendance at the time of Fr. Treco's removal. So you see, this rumor is false.

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