confusiongreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
my question is when your a eucharistic minister for the church and you are scheduled to go to a nursing home to bring communion to the elderly and the paster of your church locks the church so knowone can come into the church to pray or get the eucharistic to bring to the nursing home. what are you to do when he is the only one who has the keys and he refuses to give a key to his other preist or the office to get in the church. people has sent letters to bishop smith of trenton but you get no response. i can't beleive the church is locked for lent, and people are unalble to even pray before the blessed sacrament even before mass. i couldn't go to the nursing home so i stayed after mass in the chapel to say the rosary for them. please give advice. thank you.
-- patricia strom (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 30, 2001
I'm sorry to read, Patricia, that you, your parish, and the shut-in elderly are being forced to suffer in this way. I hesitate to judge the pastor harshly without hearing his side of the story, but, based on your description, I see that he may not be acting reasonably.
It seems particularly improper for the parochial vicar(s) -- formerly called associate/assistant pastor(s) -- not to be able to enter the Church with their own copies of the key. How do/does the vicar(s) feel about the situation -- fully supportive of the pastor, or are they silent, so as not to "rock the boat?"
If you have approached the pastor, one on one, and gotten a negative response, you must then try going to see him with one or more other witnesses -- or you must try sending him a letter signed by a group. These attempts must be made before you can contact the bishop.
Now, about contacting the bishop ... you say that your letter has evoked no response. Perhaps it was not actually read by him, but was destroyed by someone or passed by a secretary to a dean (priest who oversees part of the diocese). It is wrong for the bishop, if he received the letter, not to respond to you. I recommend that you make an appointment to see him (with a fellow parishioner, if possible). If the bishop refuses to correct what you think is a bad situation, you have two choices:
(1) Bear the suffering in union with that of Jesus, praying for a new pastor to be assigned who will correct the situation, or ...
(2) Contact the St. Joseph Foundation (http://www.st-joseph-foundation.org/), who will determine whether or not the Code of Canon Law has been violated, advise you of your rights, and help you through the Church court system, if necessary.
St. James, pray for us. Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (email@example.com), March 30, 2001.