Julie Mack has written a fine piece of journalism for THE KALAMAZOO GAZETTE. Ostensibly a report of a parish priest "doing a football charge" on a 76 year old member of his congregation, her use of phrases such as "community leaders" and "whose family owns Morrison Jewelers" and her reportage of the choirs' antics, indicates exactly what has been going on in this church.
And congratulations to Bishop Robert Gepert for standing up to these pillars of the local establishment.
In September, the lay board turned to the bishop, who brought in people to conduct an investigation of the church’s problems. The conclusion of that investigation: St. Luke’s was “deeply dysfunctional,” both in its finances and its relationships.
On Thursday, Gepert notified church members in a five-page letter that his “godly judgment” was to dissolve the lay board, appoint a new six-member board, and put Lawlor on a four-month leave of absence, with Gepert assuming his duties during that time.
”The terms of this godly judgment will continue until I am satisfied the conflict is resolved,” Gepert wrote. “Further resistance and lack of cooperation, including movement of funds unauthorized by myself,” will result in declaring St. Luke’s a mission church, putting it under indefinite direct control of the diocese.
For a bishop to risk upsetting a nice little earner like St. Luke's is a courageous act. From my experience bishops much prefer sacrificing the priest in such situations, no matter who is to blame.