Search This Blog


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Update on Fr. Justin Wylie, Traditional Priest "Eliminated" by Cardinal Dolan

If you aren't familiar with Fr. Wylie's "elimination" by Cardinal "Bravo for Homosexuals" Dolan you can read a little of the back story here, here, and here. And Michael Voris covered the controversy here.

I've been wondering what happened to Fr. Wylie after being "run out of town on a rail by the jolly New York cardinal" and was glad to get a post from Matt Abbott today that gave some details from the priest himself. Fr. Wylie is back in South Africa with a parish assignment. Here's what Matt posted:
Speaking of Father Justin Wylie (a Latin Mass-appreciating priest from South Africa who was essentially run out of town on a rail by the jolly New York cardinal), I received the following email from him earlier today:

"Dear friends: I'm begging your prayers, please, at the start of a new ministry. After 12 weeks of requesting an assignment, I am appointed to the troubled parish of Thokoza [South Africa]. It has been vacant for some time. Five priests left in rapid succession over the last couple of years. Here's a news clip showing images of Thokoza, detailing its historic troubles. The parish house is derelict, so I may have to lodge in the sacristy for starters. Wish me luck. I start on Sunday." 
I thanked him for the update and wrote: "It's probably good that you no longer have to be in the cesspool known as the Archdiocese of New York." 
Pray for Father Wylie and all priests and religious who are being persecuted in various capacities. And pray for our bishops, some of whom are giving more comfort to the enemies of the Church than they are the faithful.
The only parish listed on the Archdiocesan website for Thokoza is Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The web page for the parish does not list Fr. Wylie as pastor, but perhaps that is because it hasn't been updated. I'll keep a watch. Please pray for this priest who obviously loves the Church and the flock very much. Perhaps the Lord arranged for a "notorious" priest to be sent to this troubled place because He knew many prayer warriors would be supporting him. He's going into my rosary journal today!


Anonymous said...

Fr Wylie was a guest priest who criticized the Archbishop of the Archdiocese where he was stationed. Discourtesy at the least, disobedience at worst. He is back in South Africa and is playing victim by complaining (though couching his complaint as a prayer request) that, after 12 weeks of requesting an assignment, he's been assigned to serve in a less than desirable parish. Apparently, his local superior feels this is an appropriate assignment for him. Instead of considering the assignment a persecution, perhaps Fr Wylie (and those Catholics who are enabling him to play victim) will consider the assignment a compliment and a blessing. The good people of that parish need a good holy shepherd. I pray that Fr Wylie is able to allow Christ to increase and himself decrease as he prayerfully tends and feeds the sheep he has been assigned to shepherd.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Ah...the capital sin, "discourtesy."

I seem to recall a serious disagreement between Peter and Paul where Paul rebuked Peter for his hypocrisy. Perhaps one could call that discourtesy as well. As for "disobedience," exactly how did Fr. Wylie disobey the cardinal? He did not fight the cardinal's actions to rid himself of a "troublesome" priest, but immediately obeyed.

As for his email being a "complaint," it certainly did not come across to me that way. He sounded glad to get a parish and happy to take up his duties with his flock. It's obviously a difficult post. I imagine many in South Africa are.

But, since it seems you can read Father's mind and the motivations of his heart and don't mind judging him, perhaps you should apply your final words to yourself --"allow Christ to increase and [yourself] decrease."

And by the way, if you are going to throw rocks, how about coming out from behind the mantle of anonymity to post your real name. I'm not afraid to be accountable for my opinions; are you?

Alfonsus di Pietro said...

IMO, Fr Wylie's email seems to lean toward self pity. Was it necessary for him to say "After 12 weeks of requesting an assignment"? It seems he's saying his bishop has put him on the back burner for 12 weeks. Wouldn't it have been more humble to simply say that he's been assigned to a troubled parish and ask that people pray that he has the fortitude and wisdom to care for the parishioners of this troubled parish? Saying that "Five priests left in rapid succession over the last couple of years" wasn't really necessary. And the news clip from 20 years ago, while showing some of the history of the area, isn't necessarily a clear picture of the current state of affairs in the area. Priests are called to be humble and point to God. Fr Wylie's statement, "The parish house is derelict, so I may have to lodge in the sacristy for starters" sounds more complaining than humble. I wonder how many of his new parishioners would be happy to sleep in the sacristy rather than their own homes. I'm praying for Fr Wylie. He served well at Holy Innocents but he made the mistake of taking a swipe at the Archbishop. You can't really expect not to be shown the door when you speak ill of your host. I pray that Fr Wylie focus on serving his parishioners who've been living their entire lives in this troubled parish and location. May Fr Wylie adapt and shine Christ's light among the flock.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Well, perhaps you are right, Alfonsus. On the other hand, how many of us give that much thought to an email as we write it. "let's see, will this sound like I'm criticizing my bishop?...Will this sound like I'm complaining?...." He was stating facts and whether or not he could have left out some of them because others might perceive them as criticizing the bishop or complaining...well...I think I would rather give him the benefit of the doubt.

Azygos said...

If this guy was my biological brother then I would want to know how he feels about his situation (even if it sounds like he is complaining) and what is going on with him, where he is going to be and how his living quarters are.

Being that this man is my spiritual brother in Christ and that this story is to share exactly what a family would share about a brother, then how can people criticize him as being just a complainer and deserving . And how can you criticize him for saying that the last 5 priest fled the area? It doesn't sound like he is seeking a pity party, truly it must be really bad there and it look like he is seeking our prayers, hence it says, "Dear friends: I'm begging your prayers."

What I find interesting it the animosity that is displayed to this man by some comments here. Oh yea, he deserves that outpost because he shouldn't have disrespected his bishop, that is what he gets and lets finish it with a "may he spread Christ" to make it look like we really support him. If this man gets murdered within the next year you haters are going to feel sorry for insulting him. Instead you should of prayed for him and loved him as a brother. But I reckon that this animosity really spawns about more as a defense of Cardinal Bravo than anything else...

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I agree with you Azygos. Thanks for putting it so well!

Alfonsus di Pietro said...

I don't see where anyone said Fr Wylie deserves the outpost. It's just that priests should be willing to accept any assignment with a willingness and determination to bring Christ's joy and the Sacraments to the people. What I find disturbing are the many comments I've seen in social media and the blogosphere about this report on Fr Wylie that assume he's being punished and that he doesn't deserve the assignment. Fr Wylie and his fans should consider it a compliment that his superior has the confidence in him to place him in a troubled parish. Not only does it seem that Fr Wylie is painting his assignment as a less than desirable one, it seems that there are many who are using this account by Fr Wylie to turn him into a martyr who was "Eliminated" by Cardinal Dolan and now has been exiled and persecuted by his own bishop. When a priest takes vows, he should be happy to go anywhere on earth to do Christ's work.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

When I read article that led to my update on Fr. Wylie I did not get the impression either that he was "being punished" or that he was complaining about the assignment. The only thing that I could see as a "complaint" was his comment about the long wait to receive an assignment. I think any of us put in a limbo situation would feel the same frustration.

But the fact that Fr. Wylie was "eliminated" by Cardinal Dolan is simply that -- a fact. The speed with which it happened after the offending sermon was incredible. I wish bishops acted with the same speed to deal with the heretics in their dioceses.

None of us knows the interior state of Fr. Wylie's soul. Perhaps he rejoices in his difficult assignment, but fears he lacks the grace and fortitude to be any more faithful to it than the last five priests. Could that not be the source of his request for prayers? Let's pray for him as well as his bishop and Cardinal Dolan.

Anonymous said...

What, exactly, classifies as a heretic in your opinion?

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Heresy is not a question of opinion, Anonymous, but of definition. Fr. John Hardon's Pocket Catholic Dictionary defines it this way:

"In the Roman Catholic Church, heresy has a very specific meaning. Anyone who after receiving baptism, while remaining nominally a Christian, pertinaciously denies or doubts any of the truths that must be believed with divine and Catholic faith is considered a heretic. Accordingly four elements must be verified to constitute formal heresy; previous valid baptism, which need not have been in the Catholic Church; external profession of still being a Christian, otherwise a person becomes an apostate; outright denial or positive doubt regarding a truth that the Catholic Church has actually proposed as revealed by God; and the disbelief must be morally culpable, where a nominal Christian refuses to accept what he knows is a doctrinal imperative.

"Objectively, therefore, to become a heretic in the strict canonical sense and be excommunicated from the faithful, one must deny or question a truth that is taught not merely on the authority of the Church but on the word of God revealed in the Scriptures or sacred tradition. Subjectively a person must recognize his obligation to believe. If he acts in good faith, as with most persons brought up in non-Catholic surroundings, the heresy is only material and implies neither guilt nor sin against faith."

So Protestants are material heretics, but not culpable. Catholics who know the doctrines of the faith and deliberately deny certain doctrines like many cafeteria Catholics and some clergy who publicly preach against Church teaching on sexual morality, for example, are culpable heretics.

Fr. Charlie Curran spouted heresy for years before finally being disciplined. Many of the speakers at the West Coast Religious Education Conference teach heresy.

Some priests who are heretics include Fr. Richard Rohr

and Fr. Richard Sparks

These priests continue to be allowed to mislead the faithful in dioceses around the country. They are just two examples among many.

It is a sad situation when those who have the obligation to defend the faith allow heretics into their dioceses to undermine it.

BJL said...

As a Catholic in Johannesburg I don't think any of you have the slightest idea what a parish in Thokoza is like!!!!! Let's just say I wouldn't post my worst enemy there. Thokoza is a poor ... and I mean African poor not US poor! Despite having some quite large affluent and educated parishes in the diocese where we are struggling to retain cradle Catholics and convert new adults and where Fr Justin could be of immense use he has been posted to Tokoza.?!!?!? South African Catholics are vastly different to 1st world Catholics, firstly we only make up 7% of the population so we have no political muscle, secondly we don't have any "traditionalist" catholic movements, thirdly apartheid did an excellent job of destroying families and what was left was leveled by our "liberal" constitution ... Here you can marry a man or woman or more than one of both if you want too!! Our issues are real... Poverty, Crime, Corruption, Abuse, Rape, Murder, Slavery, Hopelessness not Gay Marriage or Women Priests! Let's just say in Fr Justin's parish maby 30% speak English... Of a very basic level... So most of Fr Justin's excellent homilies are going to be wasted! The entire weekend collection will be $10 ... Not surprising since there is 80% unemployment with effectively zero social services. Drugs and HIV is rampant, oh and since the last priests house has been looted a new one will need to be built! But don't worry because in the last 5 years or so at least 3 priests have been murdered in cold blood in the townships! Yet not once has Fr Justin not gone daily to administer the sacraments! So all I can say to all you US catholics of liberal or traditionalist flavours is a) thanks for sending Fr Justin back we will look after him but in future please keep your petty squabbles to your own diocese b) you should all be ashamed of yourselves for worrying about theological debates based on your first world egos and "needs" rather than focussing on acting like true followers of Christ and helping those in need!

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Thank you for the dose of reality, BJL.
I will be praying for Wylie and his parish even more after reading your comment. I wonder if there is something practical we could do to help.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on your blog while looking for information on Fr Justin Wylie and was appalled by facility and viciousness with which people were labelled heretics, which prompted me to ask for an opinion. I was referred to the Rule Book.
I am well aware of both the Oxford Dictionary and the Catholic definition of ‘heresy’. (My dictionary appears at the back of the Holy Trinity Edition of the Bible edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell MA, STD and approved by Samuel Cardinal Stritch.) In addition to Father Hardon’s definition it also states, significantly, that ‘material heresy is not a sin unless the person suspects that he might be wrong and neglects to find out the truth’. I have acquainted myself with the ‘crimes’ of both Fr Charlie Curran and Fr Richard Sparks, which, predictably, turned out to be their views on sex and contraception. Granted that Fr Sparks’ style of preaching may be offensive to the conservative and I haven’t read enough written by and about him to make up my own mind.
St Augustine (354 CE – 430 CE) stated that ‘The Law does not provide that the act (abortion) pertains to homicide, for there cannot yet be said to be a live soul in a body that lacks sensation’. So, according to definition, he (and many others) was guilty of material heresy. I have read apologis which argue that if ultra sound had been invented he would have had a different opinion (yes, it was an opinion) etc. etc. The point is that he was wrong!
It might be relevant to ask, ‘Where, exactly, in the Sacred Scriptures has God revealed that contraception, natural or otherwise, is wrong?’ It is also relevant to consider the entry on birth control in my dictionary, which was published in 1951, ‘natural birth control (…) is not sinful if there is sufficient reason for its use. It is justified if pregnancy would gravely endanger the wife’s health, it there is a likelyhood of the children being stillborn or defective or if an addition to the family would result in grave economic difficulties.’ Somehow I don’t understand it as stipulating that ‘artificial birth control is a sin and natural birth control isn’t.’
In 1616 the Holy Office condemned the Copernican Theory (that the sun is the centre of the universe) as form heresy and forbad Galileo from teaching it. In 1633 the Holy See condemned the proposition as false in philosopy and at least erroneous in faith. The prevailing belief at the time was that the theory of Helocentricity was contrary to Scipture. The Holy See was wrong, Heliocentricity is a fact and it is not contrary to Scripture. The decree of condemnation was suspended by Pope Benedict XV in 1757, 124 years later when it bacame laughable to sustain the Ptolemaic theory (that the earth was the centre of the universe) any longer! According to the dictionary the reason why the condemnation could be suspended was that both Popes Paul V and Urban VIII (who had proclaimed the condemnation) had not spoken ex cathedra. Well, of course not! The notion of infallibility when the Pontiff speaks ex cathedra was only introduced in 1870. Officially, a pope has only ever spoken ex cathedra twice. Incidentally, St John XXIII once stated that ‘The pope is only infallible if he speaks infallibly. I shall never do that so I am not infallible’.

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember, at this point, that Jesus was particularly compasionate, even lenient towards the woman caught committing adultery. Not so with those who had the rule book under one arm, the Pharasees who could read and write; who knew the law; who, with religious arrogance, made sure that the law was adhered to rigorously, and were ultimately instrumental in His crucifixion.
In 2011 there was public outrage when Robert Mugabe received Holy Communion at St John Paul II’s beatification ceremony. Cardinal Wilfred Napier’s official reply, which appeared in the South African Catholic newspaper The Southern Cross says: ‘For any Christian, receiving Communion is an act of personal choice made our of conscience before God. As such, it is a matter of internal forum between God and the believer. As long as Mr Mugabe is not under interdict (as some pro choice politicians in the USA) he may continue to receive Communion.’ In the Uk the Catholic Herald’s headlines were:’Banning Mugabe from the Vatican would drag the Vatican into a diplomatic minefield ….. where would the Vatican stop?’ The argument makes perfect political sense as, perhaps, did Pope PiusXII’s silence with regards to fascism. Interesting who the Church chooses to anathematize.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Thank you for your interesting comments

I know the earth isn't the center of the universe, but I was surprised to learn that the sun is. I don't think the pope condemned Gallileo for his theory, but because he taught it as fact.

Re infallibility, the Church teaches that when the magisterium teaches something unchanging throughout history it is also considered infallible. The Church has condemned abortion since the first century. It is specifically condemned in the Didache. I believe Augustine (and St. Thomas Aquinas later, were talking about the seriousness of the sin which was less before ensoulment which they believed came later.)

Contraception (the sin of Onan) has been condemned since before apostolic times. The Church teaches that marriage has two purposes (goods) - unitive and procreative. A couple may not attack either good. To deliberately make the act infertile by using a drug, plug, etc. is to openly reject the good of procreation. It is not the same as a natural method (they can be used sinfully as well) which is a choice not to "speak" during the fertile time, but does not attack the good of procreation. I used to teach NFP and I've seen it used morally and immorally. Like fire -- it can heat your house or an arsonist can use it to burn your house down.

Anonymous said...

Correction. I've used the term Heliocentricity incorrectly! What I meant to stress was that the planets revolve around the sun and not the other way around, and of course the orbits are elliptical and not circular.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

You seem to think the "rule book" is unimportant. Jesus was compassionate. But he told the woman to "sin no more." He also told his followers he wasn't changing a "jot or tittle" of the law and to do as the Pharisees said not as they did. "If you love me, you will love my commands."

You can love Jesus, love his law, and still be loving and compassionate toward others. There is nothing loving about tickling people's ears. Hell is forever!

Anonymous said...

I am tolerant of most religions and willing to listen anybody's point of view. However, I've lost patience with the Jehova's Witnesses because the bibles which they brandish always open in strategic places and they never consider the context in which anything happened or was said.
According to Scripture, Onan, knowing that the children should not be his ... spilled his seed lest the children should be born in his brother's name. And therefore the Lord slew him. It sounds to me as though disobedience, deceit and egotism were being punished rather than something else.
As for the "Rule Book", I think it should be used judicially and with compassion. If you are going to quote Matthew 14, you must bear in mind the whole chapter where you will find "But do not act according to their works; for they talk but do nothing. And they bind together heavy and oppressive burdens, and lay them on men's shoulders ....'
As for the commands of Jesus, there are only two (yesterday's gospel, Matthew 22:34 - 40.) If we put the "Rule Book" on the shelf (and that includes the Church) concentrate on these two commandments we can't go wrong! Incidentally I don't think that it's the fear of hell that should deter anyone from following in the footsteps of Jesus but the desire to do what is good.
As for Fr Wylie, he certainly has had to hang up his gold vestments and erudition, roll up his sleeves and do some real pastoral work. I pray that God will give him both the courage and the strength to make a difference. What I can add to BJL's comment is that teaching NFP where the contraceptive pill doesn't work because women don't understand how to use it, where babies are born on the floor because of overcrowded state hospitals, where women don't have the means to support their children, fathers are either absent or think that fulfilling their parental duty is buying what food they can for the child (the good ones that is, many don't bother), using elephant dung is believed to bring on labour if the baby is overdue, doesn't make any sense!
Laudatur Jesum Cristum.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I certainly agree with your point about action. One of my favorite quotes is from St. James, "Faith without works is dead." and "Show me your faith; I'll show you my works." But part of the primary Commandment to love God is "keeping my commands." Hence, the "rule book" continues to be relevant.

Actually, NFP makes perfect sense for women in the Third World. I taught NFP for 20 years and went to several international conferences. Mother Therese attended one of them. Her sisters were teaching NFP to illiterate women in India using the Ovulation Method. Mercedes Wilson of Family of the Americas (from Guatemala) developed a sticker system using families' knowledge of farming. They perfectly understand the idea of planting at the "right" time to ensure a good harvest. If you plant in the dry (brown) time, nothing grows. If you plant in the "wet" season, you get a harvest. Women were taught to chart their wet and dry times observing the mucus discharge. NFP is a simple system and when couples follow the rules, it is more effective than chemical methods at postponing a pregnancy with absolutely no dangerous side effects. It is the pill and other chemicals and devices like NORPLANT, etc. that are especially dangerous to third world women without medical supervision. You can see the sticker system at

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What on earth is an Orthodox Black African?

DeniseRN said...

No good deed goes unpunished. Fr. Wylie's (mis)treatment in NYNY is typical of a priest's getting out of step with dissidents in chief. We have been warned of the Great Apostasy, corruption @ the top. The name of the NYC parish, Holy Innocents, says it all. Fr. Is regated to living in a closet! St. John of the Cross, pray for us!

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I take comfort from the fact that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and serve according to his purpose. Fr. Wylie will no doubt be sanctified by his experience. Consider how many missionaries became saints and that parish certainly sounds like mission territory. St. Therese and St. Francis Xavier, patrons of missionaries, intercede for Fr. Wylie and help him to reap a harvest of 100 fold!

Anonymous said...

Wow, if only most had an idea of what South Africa, Johannesburg, Alberton then Thokoza are like then we would consider having a sensible debate. Your ideas about Thokoza and the parish are very wrong. BJL please make it a point to visit the parish, if you need the address the JHB Archdiocese webpage has it.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what Traditional priests think about the ordination of women.

Anonymous said...

Some of us live in Johannesburg, know exactly where Alberton is and what Thokoza and other such townships are like. We also live with the products of these townships. So, let's have a sensible debate!