Catholic clergy who feel they are being targeted by their bishops received a shot in the arm late last month.
An organization called the Coalition for Canceled Priests has just been launched.
On its website, the group says its goal is to provide “moral and material support” to priests who are “persecuted by forces in the secular world or … in the Church.”
“We are … committed Catholic lay people and clergy who came together in the spring of 2021 after one too many instances of persecution or betrayal,” the Coalition explains.
The group’s mission is to help priests who “steadfastly preach and practice the faith” and to identify “priests, bishops and other Catholics who either persecute or fail to defend such priests.”
Illinois priest Fr. John Lovell helped found the organization. Lovell has been without a parish assignment in his Diocese of Rockford, Illinois, for nearly 10 years thanks to a decree by Bishop David Malloy.
Lovell told Alpha News last week that his removal stems from the fact that he reported an allegation of sexual misconduct by a teacher in his diocese in 2009.
Liz Yore spoke at the Coalition’s inaugural fundraising event last month in Lombard, Illinois. Yore is a prominent Catholic attorney who often writes about the crisis in the Church.
Altman and Lovell addressed the approximately 1,000 laity and priests who attended the event as well.
Yore told Alpha News that she’s been hearing that an increasing number of “good and holy priests have been banished by their bishops for no canonical reason.”
“As I meet these priests I am struck by their deep holiness and love of the Lord and His Mother. These priests are beloved by their parishioners,” she said.
“The Lombard event was a seminal moment for me. I have never seen such enthusiasm and energy from a Catholic crowd. They are fed up with the hierarchy that denies them the Truth of the Faith, closes the churches, and colludes with globalist politicians.”
The gathering raised nearly $20,000 for Fr. James Parker. Parker, like Lovell, is a priest of the Diocese of Rockford. He says he ran afoul of Bishop Malloy not only after he instituted traditional liturgical practices in 2017 but when he welcomed Bishop Athanasius Schneider to his parish in 2019. Parker is currently without an assignment. Yore estimates that in the Rockford diocese alone, Malloy has “canceled” at least 10 other priests.
Former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, sent a letter to the Coalition on June 24 expressing his support for their efforts. The letter was read at the fundraising event.
“In this hour of grave deviations in the Hierarchy,” Viganò wrote, “the commitment of lay people is essential and very important: it concretizes the prophetic words of the Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who in speaking of the End Times recalled how the salvation of the Holy Church would be achieved — besides, of course, through the intercession of the Mater Ecclesiae before the Throne of Her Divine Son — by the courageous contribution of the laity.”
Yore told Alpha News that the “unequivocal message from the laity is: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! They demand that their good, holy priests be restored as pastors immediately. The bishops better pay attention.”
Stephen Kokx, M.A., is a journalist for LifeSiteNews. He previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago under the late Francis Cardinal George. A former community college instructor, Stephen has written and spoken extensively about Catholic social teaching and politics. His essays have appeared in such outlets as Catholic Family News and CatholicVote.org.