Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A very sad situation

Bishop excommunicates defiant priest
The Associated Press, August 22, 2006

JACKSONVILLE — A Catholic priest’s decision to join a national organization promoting a married priesthood has resulted in his excommunication, officials said.

Bishop Victor Galeone, spiritual leader of the Jacksonville-based Diocese of St. Augustine, excommunicated the Rev. Rouville M. Fisher on July 26. It was the first excommunication since Galeone became bishop in 2001, The Florida Times-Union reported.

The action disqualifies Fisher from performing or participating in any church rites, but it does not strip him of his lifelong Catholicism, said diocese spokeswoman Kathleen Bagg-Morgan.

Fisher was excommunicated because he joined Rent A Priest, an organization of Catholic priests removed from ministry because they married, The organization provides priests to perform baptisms, marriages and other sacraments for lay people who are often estranged from the Catholic Church.

A notice printed this month in a parish bulletin said Fisher is offering priestly services outside and apart from the Diocese of St. Augustine and is in violation of the directives of the bishop.

Fisher, 57, said he is merely doing what the Holy Spirit called him to do when he became a priest in 2002.

“That’s why I see my ministry as — reaching out to those who has been disenfranchised,” Fisher said.

Fisher has been married and divorced and raised two children and ran an insurance business. He said he plans to remarry soon.

He says his problems with the diocese began when it learned of his plans last summer.

Fisher was removed as associate pastor at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. He previously served at Christ the King parish in
Jacksonville.

2 Comments:

Blogger DilexitPrior said...

Sigh. . . a very sad situation indeed. Unfortunately one of many.

12:57 AM  
Blogger Ginny said...

I know that The Holy Ghost is not leading this poor priest. How unfortunate to lose a priest. I shall pray for his soul.

6:07 PM  

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