A priest of the Holy Cross defies the order to leave and continues his pastoral duties

The Catholic Diocese of Rockford has released a new statement contradicting a legal argument released by a Holy Cross priest as to why he is not leaving – but the priest has remained determined and is staying put.

Parishioners support Reverend James Parker, who was ordered to leave the Church of the Township of Batavia by June 16.

Parker released a statement citing canon law on Tuesday, saying his appointment was for an indefinite period, so he will stay until Bishop David Malloy follows canon law by ordering him to leave.

In response, the diocese also cited canon law to support its position that Parker’s tenure was six years – he served an additional year – and now that his term has ended, Rev. Jared Twenty has been appointed parish administrator. from Holy Cross.

Parker said he does not recognize Twenty’s appointment as legitimate and that he will remain a pastor and not give up any of his duties.

True to his word, when Reverend Twenty came to Holy Cross with the intention of celebrating Wednesday mass at 6:30 a.m., Parker was already at the altar, celebrating mass himself, and Twenty left, according to reports. sources.

In a post on the Holy Cross Facebook page, Twenty acknowledged mixed emotions among parishioners “as your beloved pastor has completed his term.”

“I also realize that this period of transition has been a period of great anger for some as well as a period of confusion, and I do not wish to add more heat to this already very tense situation in Sainte-Croix”, according to Twenty’s Publish.

“However, out of obedience to my bishop, obedience that I give with respect and gratitude towards Christ, I must assume the responsibility which he entrusted to me, which is that of parish administrator of the parish of Sainte-Croix”, Twenty wrote, explaining what happened on Wednesday when he attempted to celebrate the 6:30 am mass.

“I was also prevented by Father Parker from being able to offer assurance to parishioners and his large group of supporters (including people outside the parish boundaries),” Twenty’s message said. .

In Christian charity, Twenty writes, he decided not to prevent Parker from celebrating mass for him.

“Instead, I decided to leave the assembled congregation and spend my time in prayer, asking the Lord for healing, unity and peace between all my new flock and the others who had joined. we who opposed my presence, ”Twenty wrote.

“I don’t want to disrespect Father Parker or any of his supporters,” Twenty wrote. “However, it is my responsibility to act as the parish administrator of Holy Cross. I will not disobey my bishop, who rightfully appointed me to this post, although in the opinion of Father Parker , he did not do it.”

Volunteer groups continue to protect Parker from forced eviction.

GiveSendGo.com supporters have raised over $ 92,000 to reach its goal of $ 100,000 to pay off Parker’s defense fund.

In separate statements, Parker claimed he tried to meet the bishop with his canon lawyer, but Malloy did not want to meet with him; Malloy claimed Parker would not meet with him about the diocese’s concerns about Parker’s ministry at Holy Cross.

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