Update on Fr. Justin Wylie
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Fr. Justin Wylie is the priest who a few weeks back gave his refreshingly brave and forthright assessment at Holy Innocents of the situation of traditional Catholics in the New York area, the text of which was publicized by Fr. Z.

    Father Justin Wylie, B.A., Ll.B., Ll.M., Ph.B., ST.B., attaché of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, was a frequent visitor to Holy Innocents and St. Agnes in Manhattan and is a native of South Africa.

    Creative Minority Report and Rorate Caeli blog are both reporting today that

    Ever since the archdiocese learned of his homily remarks, he has been forbidden to offer public Masses in the NY archdiocese. A letter of complaint has been lodged with his home diocese of Johannesburg, S. Africa, as well as with his nuncio in Pretoria.


    Concerned Catholics are asked to write respectful letters to Cardinal Dolan re: Fr. Wylie being banned from the Archdiocese and being dismissed from the Vatican diplomatic corps.

    Naturally, I'm not privy to any of the details of this unfortunate development, but if punitive action has indeed been taken against this honorable priest solely for his sermon, that would be very troubling indeed.

    I found the text of Fr. Wylie's sermon illuminating and was very heartened to hear a high-ranking cleric exhort Latin Mass Catholics to stop acting like "ecclesiastical scavengers" and "squatters" and not be afraid to ask their ordinary for a real home and parish (since there are no EF traditional parishes in the northeast). It called to my mind Pope Francis' vivid exhortation to the faithful on Good Shepherd Sunday to "importune" their priests and bishops.

    When the calf is hungry, he goes to the cow, to the mother, to get milk. The cow, however, does not immediately give it to him: it seems that she is keeping it for herself. And what does the calf do? He knocks against the cow’s udder with his head so that the milk comes out. It is a beautiful image! “So you too,” the saint says, “must be like this with the shepherds. Always knock at their door, at their heart, so that they give you the milk of doctrine, the milk of grace and the milk of leadership.” And I ask you, please, to importune the shepherds, to disturb them, all of us shepherds, so that we can give you the milk of grace, of doctrine and of leadership. Importune [us]! Think of that beautiful image of that calf, how he importunes the mother so that she gives him something to eat
    .
  • MarkThompson
    Posts: 768
    He took advantage of his captive audience to blast the very archdiocese of which he was a guest? How did anybody with so little tact ever get appointed to a diplomatic position, anyway?
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Yes, that's exactly what is so intriguing about this, but just because Fr. Wylie's a diplomat doesn't mean he doesn't also have eyes, a brain and some intestinal fortitude. Pope Pius XII was also a diplomat, and he certainly didn't lack the ability to call a spade a spade when necessary.

    I think Fr. Wylie, who has lived in NYC for a number of years, has a very good grasp of the pathetic and precarious situation of Latin Mass Catholics in the Northeast and merely exhorted the people to ask for what has been promised to them by Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae. From Fr. Wylie's sermon:

    You need to assert that you belong to the Church as fully as any other community . . . You have a right to find the Mass (and not only on Sundays); and not only the Mass, but the other sacraments and rites of the Church. Closing this parish is more akin to closing a linguistic parish or a Oriental rite parish. What becomes of you?No longer, I say, should you think of yourselves as squatters in the mighty edifice of Holy Church, nor should you find yourselves turned out like squatters.
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    You don't play "when sheep attack" with the bishop or archbishop of the diocese in which you find yourself.

    Church politics 101.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    No, one shouldn't normally resort to extreme measures, esp. if one is a trained diplomat. Fr. Wylie must certainly know how to weigh situations and calculate potential risks/ blowback, and his judgment may have been that the situation is so dire for Latin Mass Catholics in the Northeast that someone must sound the alarm and wake up the sheep, or they will shortly be eliminated and ravaged by the wolves. (He mentioned wolves in his sermon, by the way.)
  • Dauphin35
    Posts: 31
    There's something about the Traditional Latin Mass that makes some parts of the hierarchy extremely uncomfortable and suddenly ungenerous. I've always found it a little bizarre and I've never understood the source of this fear. It's like they're dealing with a colony of lepers, rather than sheep of the fold.

    It seems that the only time you're allowed to acknowledge them is when you're meting out harsh penalties for minor offenses. Why not just treat them like you would any other group in the church? What is the source of this Latin Mass derangement syndrome?

  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    That someone was imprudent enough to invite attack does not justify the attack.

    Moreover, it the Church is going to come to grips with its own problems, it needs more priests with the courage to risk censure in order to say what needs to be said.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 743
    Here's a church that just raised a half million dollars for a beautiful restoration (including historic murals by Brumidi) which happens to be the home of a community that is attached to the traditional mass. And the diocese wants to close it without any provision for this community. And this is the same group that raised 1 million a decade ago to restore an historic church which the diocese then closed and sold to NYU (which then demolished it to build a new dorm). I suppose he thought that "tact" wasn't really helping anyone.

    Whatever you think of what he said, though, the action against him seems a bit draconian, don't you think? (assuming it was only on account of this sermon).
  • Dauphin35
    Posts: 31
    And this is the same group that raised 1 million a decade ago to restore an historic church which the diocese then closed and sold to NYU (which then demolished it to build a new dorm). I suppose he thought that "tact" wasn't really helping anyone.


    That's really awful. Now I need to find something to cheer me up.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,302
    Father Wylie can have recourse against the action of Cardinal Dolan (if, indeed, the reports are accurate). He cannot institute an ecclesiastical suit against the Cardinal (canon law preserves members of the College of Cardinals from such suits), but he can appeal directly to Pope Francis.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,854
    As our now departed German pastor of 38 years often said, "The Irish ruined the Church." YMMV.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,637
    I'm surprised that anyone is surprised. Bureaucrats don't like anyone criticizing their plans, and if the criticism is coming from a "guest" priest, it's easy enough for them to give him the boot. And by making his protest during the Mass, he even provided the officials a rationale for it. God bless the good priest, but he did something risky and is paying for it.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Far be it from this old crank from California to know anything about NY chancery v curia politicking, but one has to wonder (paraphrasing the cliche anti-women's lib rejoinder) "What do Catholics want?"
    I have music directed, been "Jefferson" and "Rutledge" and have seen better and lesser productions enough of "1776" to know that there is a middle ground between the establishment and the plebeians when it comes to revolution or evolution (if you're being PC about it.)
    Progressives such as Cdl. Dolan are "the establishment" whether they like the reality or not. They're not at the top of the food chain, most likely and often don't wish to be, and are perfectly content to have enough handlers ensure they don't step in it and stay in everyone's good graces and favor. And like others of their ilk, Franklin, Jefferson, Dickinson, Lee et alia (I can't stop using that since Peter K), they know they risk something by letting John Adams enter the congressional house, Adams at least being a canonist and NOT his uncle Samuel (of blessed memory.) But Adams was literally and totally invited into that house.
    Tangential digression: are we all also familiar with Geo. Kaufmann's "The Man Who Came to Dinner?" Good. Just because "Sheridan Whiteside" was personally a jerk doesn't mean that anything that emanated from his mouth or pen was bad. And he was also invited in the door.
    If the royal surrogates of NYC didn't vet completely the discomfiting Fr. "Adams," er, Wylie, then it is upon them to do what Whiteside's maligned host had the decency to do, and remain a tolerant if not accommodating host.
    It's like the wild west everywhere now, with or without firearms, shoot first, explain later, and let God sort 'em out.
    I'm with Wood on this one- we need prophets and poets and real people in the pulpits, now. Dolan, if this plays out as it seems it will, may hang the scarlet letter around his own collar as regards his publicly unabated love-fest with all that HHF has said and stands for, according to, wait for it, Dolan. Done.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,545
    Would this have happened in reverse? Say, if Benedict XVI had required all parishes to offer the EF at least once every Sunday and forbid all P&W music in the sanctuary, and then a priest sympathetic to LifeTeen gave a sermon like this in defense of "contemporary" liturgy? How would Dolan have reacted in that scenario?
  • TCJ
    Posts: 615
    He would have said: "Well, done! The Church may not agree in principle with you, but it took a lot of courage for you to publicly voice your opinion, and for that, I applaud you."

    Thanked by 1Ryan Murphy
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    First, I never thought I'd see the day Cardinal Dolan was called a "progressive," and second, now we are really talking about what he hypothetically would have done in a situation that never was and isn't probable? Really?
    Thanked by 2MarkThompson BruceL
  • TCJ
    Posts: 615
    Actually, what I wrote isn't so far from something he actually said. Truth is stranger than fiction.
    Thanked by 1Ryan Murphy
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,854
    With some of the leaders given to us lately, I wonder if God is playing a practical joke, or righteously ticked off and getting even with us. LOL.
    Thanked by 1ryand
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    There's something about the Traditional Latin Mass that makes some parts of the hierarchy extremely uncomfortable and suddenly ungenerous. I've always found it a little bizarre and I've never understood the source of this fear. It's like they're dealing with a colony of lepers, rather than sheep of the fold.


    That's very true. It's frustrating to see so many bend over backwards to make very questionable cases for why certain progressive priests, parishes, organizations, and groups of people are technically within the rules, while there is absolutely no tolerance for anything from groups of those who hold closely to the traditions of the church. I've seen it happen, and it's happened to groups I'm involved with as well.

    You would think that the hierarchy would want to be more open to people who are trying to follow what the church teaches compared to those who are (in many cases) actively working against the church.

    There's something about the Traditional Latin Mass that makes some parts of the hierarchy extremely uncomfortable and suddenly ungenerous. I've always found it a little bizarre and I've never understood the source of this fear. It's like they're dealing with a colony of lepers, rather than sheep of the fold.


    Exactly. Selective outrage.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,662
    An unsurprising abomination.

    That said, Cdl Dolan is no progressive.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Melo, I think your historical analogy is very apt, and that John Adams is a brilliant comparison with the priest in question who is anything but a radical hothead. Like John Adams, Fr. Wylie is also a lawyer and has very distinguished credentials.

    I think the narrative continues that Fr. Wylie's impassioned sermon was indeed much like John Adams' speech at the Boston Massacre trial---the decision by a reasonable, measured and careful man to intervene publicly in a blatantly unjust situation at great cost to himself, an effort that is regarded by myself and no doubt by many others as a "most gallant, generous, manly, and disinterested action" as John Adams himself in his old age described his trial speech (so convincingly re-enacted by that wonderfully modest and understated actor Paul Giamotti).

    Just for the record: Fr Justin Wylie (B.A. Ll.B. Ll.M, Ph.B, ST.B) is a Priest of the Holy Roman Church and Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa who matriculated from St Benedict’s in 1990. Fr Justin was the first South African candidate accepted at Almo Collegio Caprania, the world’s oldest seminary and was the Deputy Master of Ceremonies for the Papal Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome and a papal delegate.
    Thanked by 1melofluent
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Apropos John Adams, an excerpt from his famous "Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v9prVDvr5o

  • G
    Posts: 1,386
    Okay, I realize reading the text of a homily is not going to provide the nuances that inflection and tone of voice would, and I ma have missed something, but in what words that Fr Wylie used does this "attack," "blast," or tactlessness subsist?
    The parishioners or staff at St Agnes are the only ones I could see taking offense.

    Will this be the path Christ charts or will we make of ourselves instruments of the evil one for division and derision? The test of this, as in all things, is charity. Deus caritas est; et ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est. Where there is a breakdown of charity, there also is the spirit of the antichrist. I urge you, therefore, to be obedient and to be charitable with your legitimate superiors in all this, as well as with each other. Be firm and clear, also, and just; however, let charity always be the litmus test of whom it is you serve.


    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • From the very beginning, I've thought this whole kerfuffle stinks of "there's so much missing information here. I can't form even a half-baked opinion of this."

    Even more so with this news.
    Thanked by 1BruceL
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Well, another piece of the puzzle just popped up on Rorate Caeli blog.
  • Always a trustworthy source of well-researched, not at all caustic reaction.
    Thanked by 2Ben Yanke BruceL
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    I see no reason at all to dispute what Rorate is reporting. Let's do a little experiment: I'll call Msgr. Weber's office and verify if this is true and will report back.
    Thanked by 1Ryan Murphy
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    No answer at Msgr. Weber's office. No answer at the Office of Communications for Cardinal Dolan.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    P.S. Rorate Caeli is run by a Catholic layperson and not, as far as I know, by a professional journalist. Nevertheless, I've always found the reporting cautious, carefully researched and prudently and charitably framed. I applaud the exemplary (and unpaid) efforts by whoever runs RC to inform people of news and events from a traditional Catholic perspective.

    Furthermore, since it's their blog, they're perfectly entitled to their own bias, as we all are, don't you agree? If you don't like what they do, why don't you start your own blog?

    Bishop Athanasius Schneider said a few days back, "Thanks be to God the internet exists," and I couldn't agree more. The internet is the great equalizer and a very useful medium for "the little people" to speak truth to power.
  • Nevertheless, I've always found the reporting cautious, carefully researched and prudently and charitably framed.


    Were you asleep during the time when Francis was elected?
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    I'm a long-time admirer of Rorate Caeli blog and have invariably found their editorializing (which is always carefully delivered as such) fascinating, erudite, well stated and consistent with the Catholic faith. Do I always agree? Maybe not 100% all the time, every day, but I'm always eager to know what New Catholic thinks on a particular issue so I can put it in my own processor and come up with my own opinion. Rorate Caeli is an essential part of my periodic news-gathering operations.
  • Putting my reservations about RC aside (and my jerkiness in stating those reservations; I apologize for that) my main point is that we have one side of this story. We have heard from upset parishioners, Rorate Caeli, and Fr. Z. We have heard very little from Archdiocesan officials (who possibly can't talk about elements of it due to legal reasons, nor do they owe me in particular any explanation).

    Books could be written about what we don't know about this. Could it be vindictive politicking using a parish as ammunition? Possibly. Weirder things have happened. Could there be other factors in play that we are not privy to? I would say probably.

    I get moderately angry about things pretty regularly, but I try to limit my big outrage to once a year. I'm saving mine for later.
    Thanked by 2JulieColl CHGiffen
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    That's very kind and generous of you, Andrew. I appreciate it very much, and, believe me, I'm trying to stick to the facts as much as possible, too.

    This is what we have: a) the text of Fr. Wylie's sermon, b) Fr. Wylie's distinguished credentials and record of service, c) an extensive collection on YouTube of his inspiring, thought-provoking, and solidly Catholic sermons in NYC churches, d) the facts of his summary dismissal and banishment from the Archdiocese and e) Msgr. Weber's statement that this action came directly from the Cardinal's office--the rest is conjecture.

    I don't want to extend this painful subject, but things just got even more convoluted in the Archdiocese of New York. It would appear that six blocks away from Holy Innocents where those parishioners are preparing themselves for the closure and probable demolition of their beloved church, the parishioners at St. Francis of Assisi on West 31st St. are preparing for this celebration.

    Now I'm an EF musician and not very familiar with GIRM, but I hope one of the knowledgeable people here can please reassure me that GIRM does not allow for a "Pre-Pride Mass" which I suppose is the prelude for a "Pride Mass."

    Please, please tell me that GIRM doesn't permit liturgy committees to do an "insert-theme-here" thing with the Mass?

    There has to be a proscription in GIRM against this, right? Or else, what's to stop people from using the Holy Mass to canonize any political/ideological agenda under the sun? What's to stop us from having a "White Pride Mass", a "Taliban Pride Mass," a "Baseball Mass", an "Anarchy Mass", you name it?
    Thanked by 2Ryan Murphy CHGiffen
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    I think the GIRM prohibits Gay Pride liturgies under the "Don't stuff beans up your nose" principle.
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    Actually there are "white masses," "red masses," "baccalaureate masses," ...
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    "White Pride Mass"

    Actually there are "white masses,"


    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that those are not the same.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,662
    Some people have white masses in their noses.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,854
    I half-way expect to see green masses for the faithful children of God who donate money.
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that those are not the same.

    No, they are definitely not. I was more speaking to her "question," i.e. criticism regarding whether there exist other "themed" masses. There indeed are other themed masses. But a "white-pride" mass is not anything similar to a "white mass."

    I half-way expect to see green masses for the faithful children of God who donate money.

    That already happens. In my former diocese, my parish hosted an annual mass, presided by the bishop, for those who were the biggest supporters of the diocese. I think the people that got invited to that mass were those who gave at least $100,000 a year to the diocese, or something like that. There was a special lunch with the bishop after that mass.
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    Also, I haven't the time nor the inclination to research this, because I really don't care, but before you get righteously indignant about this mass, is it sanctioned by the diocese?

    There exists legitimate gay ministry that fully conforms to Church teaching. Of course there also exists that which does not.

    In more than one case the unfortunate use of the word "pride" has come from a misuse of the word and its connotations by well meaning people.

    Sometimes there is a knee-jerk reaction in certain quarters to any sort of ministry to gay people or inclusion of them in the life of the Church. And that is most unfortunate.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    It's being advertised on the official website of St. Francis of Assisi parish. Whether the Archdiocese of NY condones it, I don't know.

    My point isn't to pick on gay people; I would object just as fiercely if it were a "Freedom Mass" for those who advocate for liberty from oppressive government or any such obviously political/ideological/sociological message. I'm just concerned about the Mass being used as a tool for a specific group, and random extraneous themes being injected into it as opposed to a Mass being offered for a special intention, and the Mass itself left alone without being skewed and embellished to serve a specific theme such as these:

    Pajama Mass, Girl Scout Mass, LifeTeen Mass, Folk Mass, Polka Mass, Jazz Mass,
    Circus Mass, Red (as in Communist) Mass (in Vienna), OctoberFest Mass or a Beer Tent/Biker Mass, Balloon Mass, Clown Mass, Puppet Mass
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I thought a Red Mass was for judges? And I didn't see Pro-Life Masses in Julie's list of ideological and political infiltrations into the Liturgy.
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    I'm just concerned about the Mass being used as a political/ideological tool, and random extraneous themes being injected into it as opposed to a Mass being offered for a special intention, and the Mass itself left alone without being skewed and embellished to serve a specific theme such as:

    Pajama Mass, Girl Scout Mass, LifeTeen Mass, Folk Mass, Polka Mass, Jazz Mass,
    Circus Mass, Red (as in Communist) Mass (in Vienna), OctoberFest Mass or a Beer Tent/Biker Mass, Balloon Mass, Clown Mass, Puppet Mass


    Well, that ship has sailed. I gave up even having a negative opinion of this years ago when I realized all of the special masses being set up by those Church authorities whom I considered to be the most orthodox and trust-worthy.

    Like I said earlier, we've got the Red Mass for lawyers and judges, the White Mass for healthcare workers, the Blue Mass for police, the Mass for Immigrants, the annual Pro-life Mass, the Baccalaureate Masses, on and on and on.

    It seems like these "themed masses" have been around for a while and aren't going anywhere soon, and they seem to be endorsed by everyone.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Taliban Pride Mass

    I always enjoy going to these.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Taliban Pride Mass

    I always enjoy going to these.
    Thanked by 2Gavin CharlesW
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Actually, I have no objection to "theme" Masses, so long as the liturgy remains dignified and consistent. Isn't that basically what a Votive Mass is?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,283
    While millions join the theme, I'll sing on, I'll sing on.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Once you open the Pandora's Box, anything goes. That's exactly the point I was making.

    Gavin, I'll be happy to add Pro-Life Mass, Healing Mass, Homeschool Mass, Masonic Lodge Mass, Elks Mass to my list.

    Update: How about a Super Bowl Sunday Mass where the priest wears a stole emblazoned with the Pittsburgh Steelers logo and done in stripes of Steelers' colors?

    I should say: at best, it's sloppy labeling and leads to misperception and confusion. At worst, it's actual manipulation and is an attempt to baptize with the Church's blessing various political causes, moral philosophies and ideologies which are in conflict with Church teaching.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,662
    I think Votive Masses are fine. That's about as far as I go for themed Masses or liturgy properly speaking (i.e., including the Divine Office and rituals involving the sacraments). Let public devotions be themed otherwise; that's where group affinities are traditionally channeled in Catholicism. We make the liturgy carry too much water in that regard these days.
    Thanked by 3Gavin Salieri JulieColl
  • Pride mass?
    Somehow I don't remember that in the missal...

    What about a gluttony mass? An envy mass?
    Oooooh let's have an outreach event to those addicted to porn and call it a lust mass. On Wall Street we could reach out to hedge fund types with a greed mass! That'd be super special of us! Feel the love!

    Seriously, theming the mass with one of the deadly sins is beyond head-slappingly lame on several levels. What were they thinking?!
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    You can't ignore people who have an orientation that you don't like and hope that they go away.

    The Church can, should, and must reach out to them.

    Being gay - the orientation and the attraction - is a much different issue - indeed, related to a person's identity - than a random sin one is tempted to commit, such as gluttony, envy, etc.

    And, as you are well aware, there is no sin in the orientation, but in the committed acts.