Every time I read about Bishop Kevin Boland's draconian treatment of the Kumpel family I think of Star Wars with the evil Empire going after the rebels. The image puts me off balance because, normally, one would think the Church represents the rebels who are facing the evil Roman, or English, or Islamic, or Communist empire. Certainly that was the case in first century Rome and 16th and 17th century England. But today the tyrants are just as likely to be in bishops' offices and chanceries working out their persecution on ordinary faithful folks in the pew.
It's instructive to see how some bishops come down with both feet on orthodox priests while coddling and enabling dissenters and the members of the lavendar mafia. I thought the laity were immune from their strong-arm tactics. But after seeing this travesty with the Diocese of Savannah go on for two years, and after writing respectful letters to the bishop that go unanswered, I've come to see that the Diocese is filled with playground bullies. And the only response to a bully is to push back.
What's happened to the Kumpels is so bizarre it belongs in a novel -- a really unbelievable novel - something on the order of a vampire series where the chancery is filled with blood-sucking lawyers and zombie bureaucrats who use their positions to persecute the faithful. Sometimes persecution is relatively benign: blacklisting people from the diocesan paper, keeping them off diocesan and parish committees, or making them ineligible to volunteer. But when the persecution means denying a man the right to attend his own local parish for Mass with his family, it's time for others to rise up and stand in unity with a brother.
Click on the hotlink below for the latest chapter of this Catholic soap opera which certainly does not reflect well on Bishop Boland. We laity call our bishop our spiritual "father;" we have a right to expect him to behave like one. It is no surprise that people turn their backs on the Catholic Church when they see people treated the way the Kumpels have been.
Bishop Boland, what you are doing to the Kumpel family (and your own diocese) is shameful. Isn't it time to cut your losses and restore some sanity before your Diocese has the reputation of being the Death Star?
Problem with "dangerous" Catholics? Call in the Lawyers!
Please pray for the Kumpel family and for Bishop Boland. You can send the bishop a respectful message and a promise of your prayers here.