Priest reassigned-for doing the RIGHT thing!

Priest reassigned after controversial Easter homily

Father William Hausen* has been reassigned to a different parish, after a sermon during Holy Week advocating for ordination of women, married men, and saying that the laity should be angry over the recent scandals that rock the church.
So, I guess doing the right thing gets you removed as well as abusing children…

*Father Hausen, by the way, is related to me. He is my grandmother’s cousin! (I think I only met him once, but even then I don’t remember…)

The parishoners (those who support Hausen) are calling a meeting, and the diocese is NOT going to be represented?

Is Lengwin stupid, or just arrogant? He seems to be saying “We don’t give a rat’s ass what they think” WTF?

revolution afoot?

Do people in Sewickley just get together and come up with ideas for getting in the national press on controversial religion stories? This must be the dozenth one in twenty years.

BTW, this was brought up over in the Pizza Parlor, and the opinion of the resident expert on Catholicism (he’s a CCD teacher of adult converts) was that it was improper of any priest to criticize the rule of chastity, since it is a law of the Church.

A few more comments of that ilk, and I may end up joining HH’s POV!! :wink:

Well, didn’t the Pope say something to the effect that the ordination of women isn’t going to happen, ever, and shouldn’t happen, and that it’s wrong for Catholics to support the idea?

Not being Catholic, but having many friends who are, it’s disturbing for me to watch what may end up being the implosion of the American Roman Catholic Church. Wouldn’t it be lovely if the Catholic hierarchy would own up to its behavior, apologize, and set out to fix the way things work? I wonder if it’ll happen in time.

Umm? Making inflammatory remarks and dividing a parish is “the right thing”?

I don’t recall seeing that they issued an invitation to the diocese to attend. Nothing like walking into a private meeting and having everyone accuse you of trying to beat them with heavy-handed authority.

If the priest criticized the law of chastity, he should be immediately be suspended.
If he criticized the rule of celibacy, I figure he’s got a right to discuss it anywhere, including the pulpit.

The pope declared that women are not called to be priests and that “the subject is closed.” At the time of his statement, several theologians (and several bishops) responded, “Well, the subject is closed while you are pope, but the issue is not going to go away by papal fiat.”

My immediate guess is that there is more going on, here, than has appeared in that single news article. I know of no diocese where monitors report back to the bishop on every homily. (Even the idiots that sandbagged the bishop of Spokane had to sneak around and organize themselves.) In order for this to have come to the attention of the diocese and for the diocese to have taken action in fewer than 10 days there have to have been a lot of people ringing the phones at the chancery. Whether this was actually triggered by a single event or whether the priest has been riling up some faction of the parish for a number of months, I don’t know. That is a part of the story that I would be interested in hearing.

(I’m also quite willing to believe that the diocese (or some agent thereof) has handled this in a shamefully ham-fisted manner. However, I prefer to have more information before I jump on this sort of story.)

As to the priest’s specific sermon: The whole issue of whether celibacy has anything to do with the problems of sexual misconduct is a long way from being resolved. There is evidence that the amount of sexual misconduct among Catholic priests, while higher than among society at large (with lots of widely differing statistics to support or oppose that notion), is only marginally higher than among other religious pastors, and that the primary issue has been the hierarchy’s failure to address the problem. Since only the (Latin Rite) Catholics are generally celibate, the question of how celibacy affects the problem is unresolved.

So, for the priest to demand that the people in the pews stand up and notify their bishops that they will tolerate no more duplicity and assignment shuffling is, indeed, “the right thing to do,” but to insist that the answer is a radical change to the populations from which we select priests is simply a personal opinion. If that message was dumped on a congregation unprepared to hear it, it is liable to be divisive–the charge mentioned by the diocesan spokesman.

Again, I do not challenge his right to express his beliefs and I tend to agree that celibacy should be optional and firmly believe that women should be ordained. However, the issue is not that he said something, but that he appears to have misjudged (or not cared about) his audience’s reaction.
Had he stopped at demanding that the church be accountable for its actions, I would oppose any actions taken against him. By stepping out into areas which are still currently outside church discipline, he makes himself a target that is more difficult for the diocese (if it was so inclined) to defend.

As to the meeting to which the diocese does not intend to send a representative: I have seen this sort of thing happen on a couple of occasions. One frequent result is that when the diocesan representative walks into the meeting and identifies himself, he is immediately charged with having come to “lay down the law” or to “suppress discussion.” If a group of Catholics chooses to rent a private location to have a meeting to “discuss” a situation and they do not invite anyone from the diocese, discretion suggests that not sending in a representative to be accused of harrassment of the laity is probably a wise move.

Who knows? sigh If you like, I’ll ask my dad more.

Now do you see why some people are so hesitant to speak out? If they do, they get moved, and nothing works…

The thing is, celibacy, married clergy, women priests aren’t even part of our religious doctrine, but a rule of the organization.

I’ll chime in at the Pizza Parlor, Polycarp-if you like. Since I happen to be related to the man in question…

Yes he did. Although the “male only priesthood” teaching is not infallible, it’s also not “just” a “discipline” as the tradition of celibate priests is. As Fr. Hausen said (in the article), he perhaps picked the wrong forum and time to say this…(although I would agree with at least some of his sentiments)

Phouka said

The church has been around for 2000 years and withstood quite a bit. I wouldn’t call this an “implosion”…although I hope it would be an opportunity for growth.

Perhaps someone can explain this to me: If you disagree with a significant portion of the church’s practices, why do you stay? There are other churches out there, and if worst comes to worst, you can always start your own. And yet, I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard people (mostly Catholic, but other faiths as well) say, “I just totally disagree with the church’s position on ______, _____, and ______, but its still the only church for me.” Huh? There’s thousands of different churches out there and surely at least one of them is more in line with your personal beliefs than your current church. Besides, if more people start “voting with their feet,” then the church will change. (Ever hear of the “Counter Reformation”? You know, where the Catholic Church made changes because so many were flocking to the Lutherans and other “rogue” elements?)

Well, I tend to feel that if I voted with my feet, the Church would no longer have any reason to change. Besides, I care enough to want to be there when it gets better :slight_smile:

For many, Catholicism is part of their identity, almost like their ethnicity. Their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on were all Catholic. If they (the ancestors) immigrated or converted, they may have been part of a minority community that was Catholic and rallied around its Catholicism. So rejecting the faith feels like rejecting one’s heritage. Not something to be done lightly.

I’ve also noticed that Catholics really enjoy the trappings of the Church. We really like the words of the liturgy, the music, the Church architecture, Joseph on the left of Jesus and Mary on the right, the stations of the cross.

Can I make a case for the “cafeteria Catholic”? I think I can. The Church believes that the Holy Spirit is guiding it to the truth. But, I think it would be arrogance to presume that at any given time (especially now) the Church knows the entirety of God’s truth. That is, there is always something that the Church is wrong about.

Historically, we can see that the Church does change. Through the actions of the Holy Spirit, guiding the Church? I believe so, that’s a reason I remain Catholic. So, how does the Holy Spirit affect the Church? Is it vertically (or from the top)? Does he just chat with the Pope when we’ve got things wrong? Or is it horizontally (bottom up) through the community of believers? Maybe the Pope has a priveleged position (infallible when speaking ex cathedra), but there’s a lot more of us laypeople.

I’m not claiming the the Church teachings are somehow determined by the majority. And I’m not claiming that I believe I’m free to pick and choose whatever beliefs I want and call them “Catholic”. But, when there is a difference between what God tells me and what the Church tells me, I think I have to listen to God.

As a hypothetical, say the church reversed their teaching on barrier methods of contraception (say, due to the AIDS crisis in Africa). Not their teachings on marriage and fidelity, but just on barrier methods of contraception. That means either a) they were wrong before, or b) they were wrong after. I would claim that the possibility of a) suggests one should not blindly accept church teaching at the current time, and the possibility of b) suggests that one should be prepared to not blindly accept church teaching in the future.

There are two alternatives to a) and b) above: c) the Church is correct about everything and thus could never reverse their teaching on (say) contraception, or b) the Church is always correct, because whatever they say is right. c) suggests that we know God perfectly at the present time, which I don’t believe. d) suggests that the Church controls or defines God, which I find an offensive belief.

Most Catholics who stay in the church despite doctinal differences just like being Catholic.

kg m²/s²

There’s also the point that to most Catholics, and despite the common understanding that Protestants and Orthodox share in the saving power of Christ and the grace of God, the Church of Rome, continued in unbroken sequence since the first century, is the churc*h – despite any objections they may have to what a bunch of cloistered guys in the Vatican think is the right way to do things, or abuses and cover-ups by various church leaders, it’s still the one church. (I’m trying to avoid accusing Catholics of being one-true-church-ists and at the same time stress how they would see joining another church as moving from more-truth-and-grace to less-truth-and-grace.)

Well…relative to THIS thread anyway, the practices being referred above to can hardly be considered “core” RCC teachings. The Nicene Creed says nada about celibacy or female priests. The topics don’t come (specifically) up in the liturgical readings…they just aren’t really part of the Catholic “identity” for me. They are a tradition, a discipline, a manner of administrative practice…but speaking for me, they don’t define “church” for me.

ObligatoryAndrew Greeley link.

…why go out for hamburger, when you can stay home and have steak? :smiley:


what’s on that steak?

:: d&r :: (not easy for an old guy…)

You know what really annoys me? People constantly complain how the church doesn’t ordain women and admitted homosexuals, and is a bunch of old white guys in Rome deciding what to do. Meanwhile, the Anglican Communion offers a refreshing church that retains much of the pomp of a High Church tradition without being exclusionary. But the number of practicing Anglicans is falling and, in Britain at least, people are converting in record numbers to Catholicism! Why is this so? :frowning:


Newton meter:

Very well said. You’re a real joule.