Sunday, October 12, 2003

Orthodox Catholic Priest Being Sent into Exile

An example of what happens to a priest who takes being a shepherd seriously. I encourage everyone that reads this blog to write to the new bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach protesting this. What kind of sign does this send to faithful Catholics?

There are some serious issues here. I know Father John Pasquini to be a pious, devout Catholic. I taught him in the seminary. These charges that he celebrates Mass with little devotion strike me as slanderous. How many priests I've witnessed who do celebrate Mass without devotion, but I can't even conceive of Father John Pasquini as being one of them. Do you think that someone who is standing bravely against the sins of this age is likely to be less than devout when celebrating Mass?

What is going on down there is an attempt by some to silence a good priest who hasn't been afraid to speak out. I also suspect there is fear among some priests that Father John will name names. That he will expose some of his brother priests who are living double lives. I would encourage Bishop Barbarito to remove Father Chuck Notabartolo, perhaps give him the hospital assignment, and restore Father John to his position at St. Julianna's.

Please take the time to write to the Bishop through Deacon Sam Barbaro at sbarbaro@diocesepb.org and express your outrage!

From St. Juliana priest asked to transfer:

"An outspoken Catholic priest who publicly condemned homosexuality and criticized Episcopalians for electing a gay bishop is being removed from his church and transferred to a job as a hospital chaplain.

The Rev. John J. Pasquini, a priest at St. Juliana Church in West Palm Beach, said the vicar general of the Palm Beach Diocese, the Rev. Charles Notabartolo, asked him about moving to St. Mary's Medical Center. Traditionally, hospitals have been dumping grounds for clerics who can't work with everyday people and everyday problems.
When Pasquini pressed Notabartolo about what was going on, Notabartolo explained that Pasquini's homilies were poor, he didn't show enough devotion to Mass, he was not equipped to be a priest and would never be a pastor in the diocese.

'I was in tears,' said Pasquini, 39. Pasquini said no one complained while while he preached at St. Clare Catholic Church in North Palm Beach or St. Joan of Arc Catholic parish in Boca Raton.
The vicar general was out of town and couldn't be reached for comment. The Rev. Brian King, episcopal secretary for new Bishop Gerald Barbarito, said the bishop doesn't transfer a priest unless he requests it.

The Rev. Alfredo Hernandez, pastor of the sprawling church on 4500 S. Dixie Highway, said he couldn't comment about Pasquini, but said of the rumors, 'Someone's reading a whole lot into this. Life is not always as simple as we see it.'

Pasquini caused a firestorm of controversy and irked the head of the Anglican diocese when he sent a letter to the The Palm Beach Post, published Aug. 15.
In response to an earlier column endorsing gay marriages, Pasquini wrote that homosexuality is contrary to God's law, quoted scripture to support his point and concluded with this aside:

"Also, about the recent election of a gay bishop, Episcopalianism and its counterpart, Anglicanism, have been on the decline for centuries, and the more this religion compromises with a pagan culture, the more it will continue to decline."

Last year, as head of the diocesan Right to Life office, Pasquini wrote an editorial in The Florida Catholic that complained about a subculture of gay priests and accused the church of cronyism and favoritism.

Pasquini, who was ordained in 1997, finished at the top of his class at St. John's College in California and at the St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach. He has two master's degrees and is the author of 12 books. He's disappointed about leaving the congregation he joined only three months ago, but said he's looking forward to becoming the head chaplain at the hospital.