Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Posts Tagged ‘spx’

Deacon Bill Rabjohn leaving St. Pius X

August 10th, 2013, Promulgated by b a

We’ve received word that Deacon Bill Rabjohn will be taking a sabbatical, effective immediately, to pursue continuing education at St. Bernard’s School of Theology this fall semester. St. Pius X’s “assisting priest”, Fr. Don Curtiss, will fill in for Deacon Rabjohn for a week or two until Rose Davis arrives to take the helm. Rose Davis was a contributor to Bishop Emeritus Clark’s book,”Forward in Hope: Saying Saying AMEN to Lay Ecclesial Ministry”. Please keep Deacon Rabjohn, Fr. Curtiss, Rose Davis, Bishop Cunningham, and the parishioners (and former parishioners) of St. Pius X in your prayers.

Canon 521

Can. 521 §1. To become a pastor validly, one must be in the sacred order of the presbyterate.

Ecclesiae de mysterio

It is unlawful for the non-ordained faithful to assume titles such as “pastor”, “chaplain”, “coordinator”, ” moderator” or other such similar titles which can confuse their role and that of the Pastor, who is always a Bishop or Priest.(58)

I haven’t read this entire document yet, but it seems to have some very relevant material in it.

The Supreme Pontiff John Paul II approved this present Instruction and ordered its publication.

Rome, at the offices of the Congregation for the Clergy, 4 August 2002, liturgical memorial of St. John Mary Vianney, Curé d’Ars, patron of parish priests.

Fr. Mike Mayer officially going to St. Charles Borromeo

May 29th, 2013, Promulgated by b a

The very same weekend we reported that Fr. Mike Mayer was being removed from St. Pius X in Chili (here and here), the non-canonical “Pastoral Administrator” Bill Rabjohn made the following announcement from the pulpit after mass (below):


*see footnote below

The very next week Mr. Rabjohn made another announcement (below). After repeatedly referring to Fr. Mayer as simply “Mike”, parishioners started to speak up saying “FATHER Mike” and eventually applauded… for, I assume, the correction and their support for Fr. Mike, who then graciously spared Bill further embarrassment and finished the announcements.


Mr. Rabjohn is to be ordained a permanent deacon this coming Saturday, June 1st. In the bulletin for this upcoming weekend, Mr. Rabjohn is all set to refer to himself as “Rev. Mr. Bill Rabjohn, Pastoral Administrator.”

UPDATE 2013-05-30 5:00 PM

Because I turned off comments in this post, Churchlady posted a useful comment on the original post that I thought worth sharing here:

From The National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States

Clerical Title
88. While various forms of address have emerged with regard to deacons, the Congregation for the Clergy has determined that in all forms of address for permanent deacons, the appropriate title is “Deacon.” 95

95 “The introduction of the title ‘Reverend Mr.’ for permanent deacons could further complicate the issue of identity for deacons. The term ‘Reverend’ has traditionally been associated with priests and used only for transitional deacons on their way to priesthood. As there is great sensitivity surrounding the issue of a deacon being seen as a ‘mini-priest,’ it would seem that the title ‘Reverend Mr.’ would lead to continued identification of the diaconate with the priesthood, rather than contributing to the independence and integrity of the Order of Deacon in itself. The title ‘Deacon’ would, of course, be appropriate.” Congregation for Catholic Education and the Congregation for the Clergy, Joint Study of the US Draft Document—National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States, Prot. No. 78/2000 (March 4, 2002).


UPDATE 2013-06-10 8:27 PM

From the following week’s bulletin:

I made an honest mistake in my pilgrim companion article last week. Over the past eleven years, various deacons from other dioceses have sent me letters with the written title “Rev. Mr.” in front of their names, so I thought this was proper; similar to priests being referred with the written title of “Rev.” and verbal title of “Father”. After verifying this, I learned that the title “Dcn.” is proper in our Diocese and I will use that in writing from now on. Thank you for your gracious understanding and forgiveness. God’s peace and blessings to you
~ Dcn. Bill Rabjohn, Pastoral Administrator.

Kudos to Deacon Rabjohn for correcting the mistake.

I contacted Mr. Rabjohn over a week ago requesting his input on some questions surrounding this story, but have received no response.

Comments are off on this post. Parishioners would like to request prayers for all involved – for Fr. Mike Mayer, Bill Rabjohn and his family, Bishop Cunningham, and the parish at large. They merely want a wrong to be made right.

Objection #1: Fr. Mayer can do more good at St. Charles Borromeo.

Quick Responses to Objection #1: If this is true, then:

  • Why doesn’t the diocese clarify that this move has nothing to do with Mr. Rabjohn’s desire for him to leave?
  • Why does one of the larger parishes in the diocese not have a priest as its leader?
  • Why is Fr. Mayer not a pastor of a parish after 15 years of excellent service to the diocese? What exactly is going on here?
  • After putting in much effort laying groundwork and establishing connections and trust with parishioners, families, and children, does it really make sense for a priest to start over again after just a few years?

Objection #2: Lay people ought not question the Holy Spirit.

Quick Responses to Objection #2

  • Not every action taken by clergy is the work of the Holy Spirit.  If this were the case, then the Holy Spirit would be guilty of just about every heresy in the book.
  • Canon 212.3

    They have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church. They have the right also to make their views known to others of Christ’s faithful, but in doing so they must always respect the integrity of faith and morals, show due reverence to the Pastors and take into account both the common good and the dignity of individuals.

  • Episcopal Attacks on Orthodox Catholic Blogs – Dr. William Oddie

    So one has to ask again what the duty of a layman is when he firmly believes that duly constituted local authority is setting itself against Church teaching. The usual response on such occasions is rightly and appositely to quote St Thomas Aquinas’s famous dictum: “If the faith is in imminent peril, prelates ought to be accused by their subjects, even in public.” St Thomas also said that “Augustine says in his Rule: ‘Show mercy not only to yourselves, but also to him who, being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger.’ But fraternal correction is a work of mercy. Therefore even prelates ought to be corrected.” [Summa Theologica II, II, q. 33, a. 4, Sed Contra].

  • CleansingFire’s register user “true faith”‘s comments starting here.

footnote 1
I would direct anyone who would like to learn more about what the Church teaches about “OFFENSES AGAINST TRUTH” to the Catechism of the Catholic Church starting at paragraph 2475. This is really useful stuff to know. Read it and re-read it until you know it very well. It is so very important to have this down especially when you consider that in charging someone of an offense against truth when, in fact, they have not offended against truth, you may actually be offending against truth yourself.

The Shakeup Continues

May 19th, 2013, Promulgated by Dr. K

I have it on good authority from more than one source at Buffalo Road that Bp. Cunningham has officially reassigned Fr. Michael Mayer from his position at St. Pius X in Chili to Parochial Vicar at Holy Name of Jesus and St. Charles Borromeo in Greece for one year. Fr. John Firpo will be the Parochial Administrator of Holy Name in addition to his duties as Pastor of St. Charles. This change is effective the final week of June. Additionally, the Greece/Charlotte planning group will look into the long-term viability of Holy Name parish. I think we all know from experience what that means.

Fr. Mike Mayer removed from St. Pius X in Chili

May 18th, 2013, Promulgated by b a

We have been notified that Fr. Mike Mayer has been removed from St. Pius X in Chili. St. Pius X is led by layman William Rabjohn who is the non-canonical “Pastoral Administrator”. Fr Mayer has stated the situation as such:

At the end of April I asked Bill if he wanted me to stay at St. Pius Tenth. He told me that he informed a representative of the personnel board that we were “like two bulls locking horns,” making it clear that he did not want me to stay. He then said to me that without me at St. Pius Tenth: “I can be the pastoral leader I know I can be.”

For those outside of St. Pius X, you may know Fr. Mayer as one of the voices on 1460AM’s Calling All Catholics. Fr. Mayer also runs a podcast called Intensely Catholic.

Fr. Mike Mayer is well endeared by many parishioners who are giving voice to the fact that they do not like this decision and want him to stay at St. Pius X. Here’s an email recently sent to us:

Please help us spread the word about trying to save Father Mike! Everyone who was originally trying to help us has now been intimidated into silence! WE NEED HELP!
Parishioners are doing what they can.

This email came attached with the following links:
Online Petition
Facebook Page
Flyer – Save Father Mike

Here’s an email sent along to me by a parishioner that they had originally sent to Fr. Mayer.

You are a great priest, who speaks the truth and does the right thing. You take your job seriously, and do it well.

Your interaction with people of all ages, and especially children, is a blessing.

You have restored a priestly presence in our Catholic school.

Your presence at many, many parish events is noticed, and greatly appreciated.

You are a priest who loves his job, and it shows. That is essential to inspire vocations.

You have a great sense of humor, and challenge us on important issues.

The Truth is important to you. You encourage us to care for the poor and are very generous.

You take photos at parish events and publish them to the parish Facebook page, which helps “spread the word” to the larger community about SPX.

St. Pius Tenth is a much better place since you arrived.

Your passion for the Eucharist and ongoing call to evangelize is motivational. I hope that we can attempt the “street evangelization” some day. [perhaps something like St. Paul Street Evangelization?]

The Sacrament of Reconciliation with you is greatly enriched in contrast to my prior experiences.

Please be assured that you are in our prayers, and that I am personally embarrassed, as a parishioner in the Diocese of Rochester, at the way you have been treated.

If you would like to voice your concern about this situation, you may want to express your concerns to our Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Robert Cunningham:

Bishop Robert Cunningham
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse
240 East Onondaga St.
Syracuse, NY 13202

Phone: (315)422-7203
Fax: (315)478-4619

If you would like to voice your opinion that the Diocese of Rochester is desperately in need of a good and holy bishop who cares for his priests, you may be interested in writing to the Apostolic Nuncio:

Archbishop Carlos Maria Vigano
U.S. Apostolic Nuncio
3339 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington DC 20008

and also the Congregation for Bishops:

Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri
Sacred Congregation for Bishops
Piazza Pio XII 10
00193 Rome, Vatican City

more addresses here.

Mr. Rabjohn is to be ordained a deacon on June 1st – Seven new deacons to be ordained.

Obviously prayers for all involved would be more than appreciated.