Catholic World News is reporting that Archbp. Burke has removed two priests and suspended Mass at a local parish that has adopted an illegal governing structure. Seems that this parish created a non-profit corporation and is run by a lay board of advisors. Well, not advisors. They are like the board of directors. Apparently this happened more than 100 years ago and was at least not directly illegal until the 1917 Code of Canon Law came into effect. The bishops looked the other way the last 87 years.
Not this one.
Archbp. Burke is really setting things straight in his Archdiocese. Rather than let this parish continue in outright defiance of Church law, he has ordered them to come into compliance. They basically said no. So he said no more Masses can be celebrated in this irregular situation. Unfortunately the parish reps claim he is merely after the $9 million in assets that belong to the parish. Burke says it’s about the Church not allowing irregular situations to continue.
The interesting thing about this setup is that it’s like a protestant church in that the board rules the parish and the priest(s) serve at their discretion. How long until they decided to start voting on doctrines? I don’t know, but I do know that this is in defiance of Church authority no matter how you look at it. That alone is enough to try to get this sorted out. The fact that they wouldn’t submit to the Bishop suggests they rejected the Apostolic authority of the Church.
My take on this is that someone’s personal fiefdom was just stepped on… And they didn’t like it. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.