The situation at St. Mary of the Angels in Los Angeles has been written up on David Virtue’s site in gory detail. I can’t bear to read it carefully. If you would like to read it, go to Fr. Stephen Smut’s site here.
It makes me think of our former cathedral parish in Victoria, B.C. When conflict developed over entering the Ordinariate with the rector of the cathedral, then Bishop Peter Wilkinson and four clergy left the building behind though they did arrange to take some vestments and other articles so they could do “church in a box” for a while. I am glad they did not stick around and try to fight for their “rights” to the property. I am glad they surrendered all to lead us into the Catholic Church. I am grateful for their example.
Here in Ottawa, we had a battle for our property too, in one of the most awful meetings I have ever attended. I had to fortify for it with a full nine day novena ahead of time so I would feel confident I could bear the hostility and bitterness that was on display from previously nice people.
In our case, we had well over the super-majority needed to keep our building that perhaps they did not have in Victoria.
In retrospect, though it may have been hard for Wilkinson to walk away from the building and his cathedral chair, the whole works, I thank God that he quietly did so. What an example of holy self-offering he has been through out this process.
Which is not to say I understand what is going on in Los Angeles. It just seems there is a lot more money at stake and a much, much more valuable piece of real estate. It is sad the Patrimony of the Primate instituted by Archbishop Hepworth to protect those wishing to enter the ordinariates was obliterated and the Anglican Church in American is trying to lay claim to the property and the priest in question.
Sometimes when we encounter injustice, the right thing to do is to turn the other cheek. Sometimes the right thing to do is walk away. Sometimes the right thing to do is stand up for your rights. I do not know the cast of characters in Los Angeles at all and therefore I cannot say what is right for them. I am just glad our bishops led us into the Catholic Church without conditions.