Matt C. Abbott
Father Eduard Perrone has lost an appeal to reinstate a dismissed defamation lawsuit against Monsignor G. Michael Bugarin, a fellow Archdiocese of Detroit priest and the delegate for clergy misconduct.
A three-judge panel said in their Dec. 21, 2021 ruling “that state courts cannot have jurisdiction over ‘ecclesiastical matters forbidden under the First Amendment of the Constitution,’” according to a Jan. 4 story in the Macomb Daily.
From the story:
Perrone asked to be returned to public ministry, but in its April 13, 2021 statement, the archdiocese said that “a canonical disciplinary process has begun” and that “Perrone’s status remains unchanged: He is restricted from public ministry and presenting himself as a priest.”
Such a process, of course, may not have a set end date and, even if it does conclude in Perrone’s favor, the archbishop, Allen Vigneron, can still keep Perrone unassigned and out of public ministry indefinitely without having to publicly say why. One source told me that Vigneron will use his authority to do whatever he can to keep Perrone out of public ministry.
Catholic News Agency reported April 23, 2021 that Bugarin “avoided describing” the allegation(s) against Perrone “as either ‘credible’ or ‘substantiated’ and emphasized that at this stage the only conclusion had been of a ‘semblance of truth.’ Semblance of truth is a legal standard in canon law usually defined as ‘not manifestly false or frivolous’; it establishes only that an allegation cannot be immediately dismissed as factually impossible.”
Click here to see extensive coverage of the Perrone case by Church Militant.
Meanwhile, Father C. Frank Phillips, C.R., former pastor of St. John Cantius Church, is reportedly back in Chicago – he had been residing in St. Louis for a time – living in a retirement home for the Resurrectionists. However, he remains out of public ministry after being removed by Cardinal Blase Cupich in March 2018 due to “credible allegations of improper conduct involving adult men,” according to a letter signed by Cupich and read to parishioners at that time.
The last public statement Phillips issued was in June 2018 through his attorney, Stephen Komie:
Despite the findings of the independent review board provided by Szarek, Cupich declined to reinstate Phillips and kept his faculties withdrawn.
(In a more recent development, the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius are facing yet-to-be-determined-or-announced Latin Mass restrictions due to the implementation of Traditionis custodes. Click here to see their statement on the matter.)
Both Perrone and Phillips have, to my knowledge, been obedient to their bishops and haven’t publicly criticized them.
On an unrelated matter, veteran pro-life activist Jim Sedlak, who was executive director of American Life League, passed away Jan. 11 at the age of 78.
“Sedlak was the cofounder of STOPP and the founder of STOPP International, Christian parent groups focused on putting Planned Parenthood out of business. Merging STOPP into the American Life League in 1998, Sedlak became an integral part of the organization’s leadership,” according to a news release by ALL.
May he rest in the peace of Christ.© Matt C. Abbott
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