Breaking News: Fr. William Long Has Resigned.

I am trying to get confirmation of this report, but I have just received word that Fr. William Long has resigned.  I will update this report as details become available.

Update, 1:30 p.m.

The announcement was made this morning at St. Andrew’s, apparently just to members of the 9:30 a.m. choir. This makes sense because the resignation of the choir director just a couple of days ago was likely a decisive factor. Thursday, February 1st, is supposed to be Fr. Long’s last day. JG

30 thoughts on “Breaking News: Fr. William Long Has Resigned.

  1. through another lens

    To Bill Clark: Until all the final numbers are in on the BAA, here’s some info for your consideration. We are not “way off” of our goal, based on the historical pattern of giving at St. Andrew. Contributions, (which have always come from a very low percentage of families at St. Andrew ), will continue to come in up to and past the Diocesan deadline.

    1. C. Davis

      I will also add that many of the core parishioners that left St. Andrews due to Father Long’s teachings are still contributing to the BAA, only through a different parish now. These are not “evil boycotters” of the BAA.

  2. Marvelous

    Important point here:
    The husband of the choir director who resigned works in the Diocesan office. That is why some information here is ‘from someone who knows/anonymous source.’

    1. John Gravino

      Nice try, Marvelous, but I don’t know the Accursos, and they don’t know me. So Brenda’s husband was not my source. (We left St. Andrew’s before Brenda had a chance to get established there.)

      In fact, there wasn’t a single source. There were multiple sources. The reason for the multiple sources is quite simple. This was a HUGE movement. It has been mischaracterized by commenters on this site as a fringe operation of a disgruntled minority. Not even close. Look at the different reports on this site. Each one came from a different person who volunteered the info. The protest against Fr. Long was massive. (I believe half the parish council quit in protest.)

      I thought it was important to set the record straight. You need to be careful about spreading gossip and malicious rumors.


    2. C. Davis

      It is highly inappropriate to name a specific person as a leak/source of information if you don’t have any proof this is the case. Your speculation can cause harm and jeopardy to a person that may actually be innocent and uninvolved. You shouldn’t make accusations of this nature if you can’t back them up.

  3. Bill Clark.

    I am absolutely heart broken that Fr. Bill Long is leaving. I am even more disturbed to find out that the Bishop was bribed with the concept that people would boycott the BAA if Fr Bill was not reassigned. So the Catholic Church still can be bought. What a disappointment That his Bishop has no back bone. Here’s the deal folks you will never get another dime from me for the BAA. Fr Bill Long is such a breath of fresh air. His message of kindness and compassion and Love is what Jesus was all about. How sad, How very very sad.

    Bill Clark

    [Note from NW: Fr. Long voluntarily resigned, not “reassigned.” Huge difference. He announced his resignation to the 9:30 choir. According to a person who was there, Fr. Long made this announcement right after the music director announced her own resignation. The boycott does not appear to have been a factor in Fr. Long’s decision.—JG]

    1. through another lens

      FACT: The choir director resigned Tuesday, 2/20/21018. On Sunday, 2/25/2018, Fr. Long walked into the room where the choir was rehearsing for 9:30 Mass and announced he was resigning without giving a specific reason.

      FOR CONSIDERATION: There were hundreds of letters, e-mails, & telephone calls and many personal visits made to Diocesan officials from St. Andrew parishioners PRIOR to 2/20/2018. This was not a co-ordinated effort by a small group of people as has been suggested by some commentators on this website. This was a grass roots movement that spread like wildfire as parishioners began to speak to each other about their concerns before/after ministry meetings, before/after daily & week-end Masses and in the surrounding Apex/Cary/Raleigh community and neighborhoods. St. Andrew parishioners started to recognize each other in large numbers when attending week-end liturgies at St.Mary Magdalene, St. Michael’s, St. Theresa of Calcutta, St. Bernadette’s, and Holy Name of Jesus, and they realized after speaking with each other that they were not alone in their concerns.

      Redirecting charitable giving away from the BAA did NOT originate on this website. Redirection of charitable giving was being actively discussed among parishioners within the first month of Fr. Long’s tenure.

      OPINION: Redirecting charitable giving away from the Bishop’s Annual Appeal may/may not have been a factor in Bill Long’s resignation: Bill Long’s history in the Diocese, (including his time at St. Andrew), may/may not have been a factor in his departure from St. Andrew. The “why’s” on this website for Bill Long’s resignation and the bishop allowing him to retire are speculative.

      QUESTION: Why is there sentiment among some of the commentators on this website that those who raised concerns about Fr. Long were in the minority?

      1. through another lens

        CORRECTION: Choir director resigned on Tuesday JANUARY (not February) 23, 2018. Fr. Long made his resignation statement Sunday JANUARY (not February) 28, 2018.

        1. through another lens

          The numerous letters, e-mails, calls and visits to Diocesan officials occurred PRIOR to 1/23/2018 (not 2/20/2018).

      2. Bill Clark

        And where was the consideration of the many many people at St Andrews that found Fr. Bill Long a breath of fresh air. You people who are so concerned about following the rules need to get a grip on the reality that is taking place in the Catholic Church starting with Pope Francis. Young people are leaving right and left. If your going to Mass on Suonday because it’s a law of the “church” and not because it’s criticcle to your christian faith, you are completely off the mark. Fr. Bill spoke often about compassion, forgiveness, and the love of your fellow man. I never left Mass without an uplifted attitude. For those of you who disliked this man you are narrow minded, arrogant and without compassion for your fellow man. Your complaints to the Bishop were one sided and completely selfish and self serving.

        1. C. Davis

          Hi Bill,

          With all due respect, I’m afraid you are confusing some of the facts here. Nobody took issue with Father Long’s messages about compassion, forgiveness, and respect for our fellow man. These are the cornerstone virtues of our faith and Jesus’ teaching. I am glad that you are uplifted by these messages and choose to live by them – we all do! Nonetheless, bear in mind that these are universal faith-based messages that are central to virtually all religions and denominations. Billy Graham, Ghandi, and the Dalai Lama all promote the same virtues; along with Pope Francis himself.

          So, what is it about CATHOLICISM that is special to you? Why do you call yourself CATHOLIC, Bill? Is it a special regard for our Sacraments? Is it our belief in the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist? Is it our devotion to the Holy Mother? Why do you identify yourself as CATHOLIC instead of Presbyterian, Baptist, Hindu, or Buddhist? Each of these belief systems promote love, compassion and respect as part of their core teaching. If that’s all you care about, why wouldn’t any of these other religions suffice? Listening to a dynamic speaker promote these virtues is easy: just go to YouTube or flip your TV on Sunday mornings. Any denomination will do if that’s all that you are seeking in your spiritual life.

          NOBODY at St. Andrews took issue with Father Long’s teaching on these matters. We all considered these a breath of fresh air. However, it was his constant criticism of CATHOLIC DOCTRINE (yes, the things that make us CATHOLIC) that were of very legitimate concern. If you truly understand your Catholic faith, Bill, many of Father Long’s comments should be of concern to you too. Please don’t stop with his messages of love and forgiveness – dig deeper into some of the OTHER things he had to say. These OTHER things are the heart of the issue, Bill, so please don’t cut yourself short in terms of your analysis on what’s transpired at St. Andrews.

          Contrary to your statement, none of this is about people who are “so focused on following the rules”. Father Long made dozens of statements that are in direct conflict with core Catholic teaching on matters as fundamental as our SACRAMENTS.
          Doesn’t that concern you, Bill? How do you think Pope Francis would respond to a priest that repeatedly says our SACRAMENT of reconciliation is unnecessary, that our reverence for the Holy Mother was a “strategy” concocted by the fathers of our church to soften it’s paternalistic control over parishioners, that mortal sins do not exist, etc. (I could go on for days, but I would just encourage you to go back and read many of the posts on this website for references on his criticism of YOUR Catholic beliefs, Bill. Make some popcorn and listen to the audio recordings of Father Bill stating these things in his own words, if you prefer).

          If you’re truly a fan of Pope Francis (as I am) and you’ve read anything by him (in addition to his great statements about love, forgiveness, and compassion) you will know that our sacraments and the Holy Mother are irreconcilable Catholic values that define our faith, Bill. How do you think Pope Francis would respond to a priest that is telling parishioners each week that these are foolish teachings? Would he ignore that? Would he want you to just go along and adopt this priest’s incompatible views? I think not.

          Many of the several hundred parishioners that wrote letters of concern to the Bishop come from all different demographic backgrounds. Some are in their thirties, forties, fifties… all the way up into their nineties, Bill. Some are Caucasian, some are African-American, Latino, and Asian. This was a very wide pool of concerned parishioners and is not isolated to “a few radicals” as some have misleadingly implied. This was widespread and very difficult for everyone due to the atrocious ideals that were being promoted by Father Long. And, yet, you attack all of these parishioners that were standing up for your faith…

          If you are actively engaged in Parish life at St. Andrews and have had a high level of exposure to Father long on a daily basis, you would be well-informed enough to recognize that something was gravely amiss here. If you simply attend mass for an hour on each weekend to listen to a very friendly man deliver a 10-minute homily about love, I’m afraid you are relatively uninformed about the issues at hand. The majority of the parishioners that are ACTIVELY INVOLVED (e.g. running ministries, attending Daily Mass, serving alongside Father Bill, etc.) were well-informed and rightfully concerned about his constant attacks upon your Catholic ideals, Bill. We took no issue with his messages about love and forgiveness. It’s time to move on from that notion.

          Again, this has absolutely nothing to do with following rules, such as the scribes and Pharisees were attempting to do. This runs much deeper than that and is at the heart of your faith, Bill. Clearly, your Bishop recognized this, and I am certain that your Pope would also if he were sitting in the pew every day at St. Andrews, listening to Father Long’s OTHER comments like the rest of us were.

          If all you are searching for is a dynamic speaker that can deliver an inspiring message on love, forgiveness, and compassion, then honestly, Bill, any brand of religion should fulfill this superficial need. When you start to dig down deeper into any of these paths though you will quickly realize there is a lot of substance that profoundly differentiates each of them. Our Catholic faith is not just a bunch of rules nitpicky people follow, Bill. It is a very profound system of faith that enriches the lives of those who fully embrace it. Rather than diluting this down to accommodate everyone who doesn’t want to embrace it, shouldn’t we reflect more on it as a way for people to experience fulfillment and substance in their lives? Yes, it is easier to simply walk away from the church than it is to humble ourselves and submit to Christ’s teaching. But shouldn’t we encourage our fellow Catholics to dig deeper into their faith, and into themselves, to become more enlightened on their spiritual journey? Wouldn’t this be better than criticizing our church and simply promoting a universal message of love that they can get anywhere else?

          People aren’t turning away from the church because of what our faith teaches, they are turning away because it is easier than genuinely embracing it. Sadly, this is to their own detriment, and they don’t even realize it.

          A better alternative to watering down our faith would be to help people rediscover it. I might suggest you spend some time reading the Matthew Kelly book called “Rediscovering Catholicism”. It is a very easy read that helps awaken people to the reasons and the richness of what we believe as Catholics. I am certain Pope Francis would also encourage every Catholic to become reacquainted with the richness of our CATHOLIC faith.

          Or is this just me being “narrow-minded, arrogant, and without compassion” again? Come on, Bill.

          1. Bill Clark

            Excuse me but you obviously have missed the train. Your into rules and very narrow thinking. You need to re-think your goals. Your a large part of the reason folks are walking away. You go ahead and think what you have done is a good thing. There are several of us that have every intention of makeing our Bishop know how unhappy a vary large part of our St Andrews Parish is. How about we employ the same blackmail and boycott the BAA. I’m sure you heard that we have a very low participation and that we are way off the goal. Fr John is a wonderful person. It’s not about him. It’s about a narrow minded group of selfish arrogant people. I wish you well but I do not wish you success.

          2. C. Davis

            Don’t generalize, Bill. I never blackmailed the Bishop or boycotted the BAA. I wrote a very humble and sincere letter of concern to the Bishop last year, and made my very significant annual donation to the BAA weeks ago. Many other humble and sincere parishioners have done the same. Why do you attack me, or them? Who is being arrogant, narrow-minded, and disingenuous now? Me, or you?

            1. Bill Clark

              Your very funny. Why do you feel attacked??? Perhaps you were disingenuous??? As for the BAA I know for a fact that the BAA was on the table and of course since Fr Long is now gone you did make your contribution. I suspect you know that’s the truth. You are off the mark her my friend and the Bishop will continue to hear from concerned parishioners.

              We agree to disagree.

          3. C. Davis

            I’m sorry, Bill, but you are actually wrong on this. If you were an honest and objective person that isn’t opposed to doing 30 seconds of research and reflection, you can go back and read my comments about the BAA boycott on this website. I specifically said that I personally would NEVER think of boycotting the BAA. (Yes, I publicly disagreed with the boycott – just like you, Bill. 😱) This is date and time stamped in the comments on this thread. Go see for yourself before you call me a liar. (Oh wait, too late.)

            It is you that are “off the mark, my friend”. You draw false conclusions about hundreds of good Catholics based on your obvious lack of information. There are dozens of very admirable parishioners – sweet and humble people – that were troubled with Father Long’s bashing of YOUR Catholic beliefs, yet they still contribute to the BAA and support their Parish daily. These aren’t the people that just show up on Sunday for an hour. These are the people that serve meals to the homeless every weekend, rebuild damaged homes in the community, take communion to people in hospitals and nursing homes, and lead Ministries to help inspire people to form a deeper spiritual life. Reflect on that for a moment. For you to come out swinging and insulting these people based on your false assumptions and misconstrued version of the facts reflects the arrogant, narrow-minded attitude that you condemn everyone else of having.

            Suppress your arrogant attitude and open yourself up to the possibility that maybe you are missing something here, “my friend”. Maybe then you can come back with an iota of humility and apologize for insulting me when it’s a matter of public record that I’ve always been opposed to the BAA boycott.

            1. Bill Clark

              Let’s agee to disagree…..

              As for insulting…you have insulted hundreds of St Andrews parishioners….

              Be well and take on some of that humility you brag about.

        2. Scholastyka

          People are leaving the Catholic Church because they don’t know our Faith and what it requires from us. They want to pick and choose, change dogma, hear what they want, and make it easy to follow by watering it down. Bill Long should’ve never been allowed to be a Catholic priest. He is just a breath of death. His teachings do not lead to Eternal life. Jesus is the Truth and the Life. Bill Long made the mass about himself, not about Jesus. Unfortunately, there are many like him, misleading their flock. It’s easier to follow and agree with Bill Long than with the gospel. At the end, it’s about your salvation. Who do you want to follow? You’ve been warned. You are accountable.
          Last, Many of us were told by him to leave. If we didn’t he made fun of us. Was that compassionate or charitable? When he threw away Catholic books from the library, was he taking care of the church entrusted to him? When he bashed Jesus’ church in the Q& A session, was he Christ like?
          You are in desperate need of instruction. Learn about your faith. Be grateful you been given another chance.

  4. Eileen

    Steve Schneider, I’m sure either John Gravino or one of those involved in his “collaborative efforts” to obliterate the parish of St. Andrews has a recording of the homily Fr Bill gave on the Feast of Christ the King. Though his pastoral message in the bulletin from that week was a stark contrast to, for example, Scott Hahn’s explanation of the feast day, I felt his homily was pretty thought provoking. He explained that Christ did not come to us in the form of a domineering king, rather as a humble man.

  5. J. Brown

    I find it hilarious that New Walden claims “The mission of New Walden is to promote the truth of Christianity by reason and argument, not by silencing dissenters. We believe in free speech over here.” And yet you have attacked, defamed, and taken out of context, what Father Bill Long said regarding St. Paul’s reading a few weeks ago. The “wrongness” you claim only had to do with Father Bill explaining that all Christian callings are worthy in the eyes of God, not only men who become priests.
    (One would think that perhaps Father Bill was also including Bloggers and self-proclaimed experts on the Catholic Church in his very short and kind introduction. You might hope so…….)

    1. ykc

      J. Brown, with all due respect, there is much more to this situation than meets the eye, and it is a tragedy from many perspectives.

      Sadly, Fr. Long’s beliefs about worthiness, the Kingship of Christ, the “patriarchal church”, the divinity of man, Mary, etc. stem from his involvement and belief in New Age practices, not the Catholic Church. The two are not compatible. The Vatican document, “Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life” is a good resource to help us understand the dangers of New Age. New Age has mainstreamed into our society to such a large degree that we no longer recognize it as a danger. This is a long document. It will take some time to dissect it. I encourage you to take the time to really read it and have an open mind to the content. I think you might be surprised at how familiar some of it will sound. You’ve heard much of it already from Fr. Long.

      I don’t see John as attacking or defaming Fr. Long. The information has been presented concisely and with no ill will toward him. The truth of the teachings of Holy Mother Church is not debatable. There is only one Truth. We cannot be “Cafeteria Catholics” and pick and choose what we wish to believe, based on our emotions or what we think it should be. (The Bible is clear what happens to lukewarm believers.) If we believe that we are called to be our brothers’ keeper, then it would be wrong to allow heresy to be taught without speaking up. It is our duty as Christians to protect the innocent, which in this case are the children and parishioners who have not been well catechized, and have no idea that what he is saying is actually apostasy.

      Please pray for Fr. Long and for the healing of St. Andrews. I’m offering my Rosary up for both. God bless.

  6. Justice Libfree

    The choir director is a good person, very talented musically, but far too traditional, in my opinion. I felt we were back in the “old days”, with dreary music more suited to an old cathedral. Would love to see a more upbeat, contemporary approach to this diverse and young community, which is full of young families and children. I think it would really help to make a “joyous noise” that we all could be inspired by. Nearby St. Mary Magdalene has a wonderful music ministry, all holy and all upbeat and joyous.
    I wish Brenda well, but perhaps it was not a good fit for her. I do hope that St, Andrew Church can find a more contemporary music director.

    1. The New Look

      Church music is for the glory of God, not for the entertainment of the congregation. I hope she comes back

    2. Eileen

      Perhaps the diocese could narrow down the pool to two or three applicants and have the “collaborative efforts” at St Andrew’s listen to their demo cd before the position is filled this time. Same for whomever gets assigned to clean up the trail of dead bodies left by the “collaborative effort”. Once the diocese has it narrowed down to a few priests, have them submit a demo cd of their homilies. This is WAY too risky to leave to chance. Or bishops.

      1. C. Davis

        Eileen – Are you really not embarrassed by the ridiculous comment you’ve made here? Do you really hold your head up high as you impune and criticize those who defend your core Catholic doctrines? These are serious concerns here that have been investigated by the Diocese and addressed by the Bishop, who is appointed by the Pope himself! Do you think the Bishop is “in on this too” and made a foolish decision with no evidence or justification? I am confident that Fr. Long has been given due process as the Diocese evaluated the many complaints against him and asked him to respond. Do you not think so?

        Contrary to your implication, this is not the case of a few disgruntled parishioners that are engaged in a “collaborative effort” to oust a nice priest. There have been DOZENS of complaints from parishioners of all demographics here – most of whom don’t even know each other, and don’t even know this website exists. The Bishop would not request the resignation of a priest if there were not serious and substantial offenses to warrant such a response. Open your eyes and be objective. You should not criticize the protectors of your faith — especially when one of them is your own Bishop!

    3. titrisol

      Funny you mention it, the solemnity of the music is one of the most important features of St Andrews. I grew up during the pop-music explosion of the church and while entertaining and engaging after a while I found most of it is vacuous.
      The 1st holy week in this Parish I had tears in my eyes hearing Pangue Lingua on Holy Thursday, even my kids were very impressed and engaged.

  7. Steve Schneider

    Is there any more information about this? What was the reason given and what association does he have with the choir director? Feel free to email me directly.

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