Official Announcement from the Diocese of Raleigh

The Diocese of Raleigh has officially announced the resignation of Fr. William Long and the appointment of Rev. John Durbin as the pastor of St. Andrew’s in Apex.  I thank “Mar” for alerting us to this development in the comments section. (See the link.)

In light of these developments, the boycott poll will be discontinued effective immediately.

59 thoughts on “Official Announcement from the Diocese of Raleigh

  1. J Mason

    I am against extremism on both sides. I thank this website for its help exposing the errors of Fr Long. I left Apex and now attend Mass in Clayton. The new priest Fr Phillip Johnson spoke a daily Mass homily about how our “society is breaking down” and how we can know this when “respect for life and the family are attacked.” He used the example, and I QUOTE! “Abortion and homosexual marriage are not only legal, but they are publicly celebrated.” He needs to stay out of secular issues, and this needs to be reported to the diocese.

    1. titrisol

      If you think that such comment needs to be reported do it! don’t ask people that were not there to do it for you
      So the question is whether this is a secular issue or not; and furthermore whether it agrees with Catholic teaching or not.

  2. Jim

    So – anyone that states something different for your rigid beliefs is automatically labeled a heretic? The author questions in one post if the Bishop of Raleigh was also a heretic, and clearly believes that Pope Francis is as well.

    He seems to find heresy every where he looks:
    “New books, new movies, new controversies and heresies—2018 is just beginning as the world comes hurtling to its end.”

    So the pastor is a heretic. The Bishop might be one. The Pope is definitely a heretic. Do you see a pattern here?

    It’s Catholic Fundamentalism, plain and simple. Several posts here refer to “protecting” the Parish. Because, of course, with everyone else a heretic, only the chosen few True Believers can discern the truth. Fundamentalism is defined as a belief system:

    “that is characterized by a markedly strict literalism as it is applied to certain specific scriptures, dogmas, or ideologies, and a strong sense of the importance of maintaining ingroup and outgroup distinctions,[2][3][4][5] leading to an emphasis on purity and the desire to return to a previous ideal from which advocates believers have strayed. Rejection of diversity of opinion as applied to these established “fundamentals” and their accepted interpretation within the group is often the result of this tendency.[6]”.

    Sound familiar? In group vs out group. Us vs them. True believers vs heretics.

    So, don’t assume you speak for the parish, or the Church, or that you are the only true Catholics here. Here’s what Pope Francis has to say about focusing entirely on rules and doctrine (for example, the posters who agree that a baby should be denied the sacrament of Baptism because of the marital status of the godparents-although if you believe he is a false Pope, as people on this website do, you probably won’t find it very convincing):

    But then the pontiff sharply warned that Jesus words apply also to Christians today.

    “”Caution!” Francis exhorted the crowds in the Square. “With these words, Jesus also wants to put us, today, on guard against considering that the exterior observance of the law may be sufficient to be good Christians.”

    “As it was for the Pharisees, there also exists for us the danger of considering our place as better than others for the only fact of observing the rules or customs, even if we do not love our neighbor, [even if] we are hard of heart or prideful,” said the pontiff.

    “The literal observance of the precepts is something sterile if it does not change the heart and is not translated into concrete attitudes,” he said…”

    And Catholic doctrine can’t change or be up for debate? Tell that to Galileo…

    1. mary

      Dear Jim,
      Doctrine on faith and moral is what makes us Catholic. We do not put our trust in man but in God. About the Papacy :
      Infallibility attaches to the office. The Pope cannot err when in the exercise of his office as pastor and teacher of all Christians, he defines a doctrine of revealed faith and morals for the whole Church. In this respect, every Pope is infallible.
      Some seem to think that the claim of infallibility for the Pope means that the Pope is never wrong and can never err as other people do. Every Pope is a free, man personally responsible for this own salvation, personally capable of obeying or transgressing the law of God. Christ has endowed the Popes with infallibility only in the teaching of Christ’s doctrine – not in their personal lives.
      So you may know the Truth
      Protection from error is received by the successors of St. Peter, not for their own personal advantage but for the advantage of the Church. They are protected from error in teaching so that the followers of Christ will be protected from error in believing.
      It is given for the sake of the whole Church, in order that members of the Church throughout the world may always be preserved in the truth. It has nothing to do with the Pope’s opinions or habits as an individual.
      It does not mean that the Pope is incapable of human weaknesses of shortcomings. Nor does it have anything to do with science, the state of the nation or the best way to build a house. The Pope has no authority to invent new doctrine. He has no more authority to break a divine law or to distort a single word of Scripture than anyone else. His function is to hand down unchanged the divine truth revealed by God to all generations of men. In this alone is he infallible, as promised by Christ.

      Is the Pope infallible when he reads the Scripture?
      No, he is not infallible in any private capacity.

      1. Jim

        Mary – I’m not talking about infallibility – I’m talking about people that literally see heresy everywhere they look. Everywhere. I understand that one of the early complaints about Father Bill was that he does yoga. Yes, yoga (although I don’t see that brought up on these message boards, probably because of how ridiculous it looks). As I understand it, yoga is a mental and physical exercise that has its origins in Hindu practice. But I really don’t think that the thousands of soccer parents doing yoga at the local YMCA are going home to pray to Hindu gods. Origins somewhere doesn’t imply a current connection. Christmas trees were originally pagan, and Christmas was set on Dec 25 to co-opt solstice rites, and the Roman celebration of Saturnalia in particular. Catholics don’t believe Christmas isn’t anti-Christian (although some fundamentalist Protestants do). My point is that one of the beauties of the Catholic Church is the openness to intelectual debate – even at the height of the inquisition witch hunts weren’t literal witch hunts – trial and debate has always been a hallmark of Catholicism. So maybe consider for a second that the world isn’t literally crawling with Satanic individuals hell-bent on infiltrating and destroying Christianity. Maybe consider that there’s room for debate and theological exploration. Was St. Paul correct when he (or maybe not he) said: 1 Corinthians 14:34-35: “Women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church.” I think we can all agree that that statement is wrong. Paul isn’t Christ – he’s a human working through the lens of his time. Surely it’s not “heresy” to call it like it is. Maybe consider the debate instead of black and white 1950’s theology.

        1. mary

          Jim, you wrote: “My point is that one of the beauties of the Catholic Church is the openness to intellectual debate –”

          Really! At this point, it goes beyond yoga.
          When Fr. Long declares, for example, that one doesn’t have to go to Mass on Sunday, this is against our faith.
          If you want to put into question every doctrines of the Catholic faith, then there is a place like that in protestant denominations, They have been doing that for a while now.
          Instead of wasting their time trying to change the Catholic Faith, those who are not in agreement with Her doctrine, might just consider joining the hordes of protestants although their goal is unreachable.
          The Catholic Church’s teachings on faith and moral will never change, men have been trying since the time Christ established the Catholic Church, and they all failed miserably. You can dream about eternal discussions, it won’t happen. Fr. Long or Pope Francis (concerning giving communion to divorce remarried couple) can try all they want, they will fail. Fr. already failed,he failed also what he was called for: a humble servant of Christ.
          Call it 1950’s black and white theology if you want, back then they understood what Hell and Heaven were about.

          1. Jim

            This is my point exactly. Although I do now get it – if a person’s view of Catholicism is a set of canon laws that must strictly be obeyed, or else it’s off to Hell – if a person truly believes that and isn’t just using it to separate themselves out or to feel superior, then everything that’s happened in the Church for the past 50 years probably is terrifying. But not all of us view it that way – many of us view it as a necessary course correction that puts the focus back on Jesus’ message of love and forgiveness.
            So you pointed out “Pope Francis (concerning giving communion to divorce remarried couple)” as one of those grave errors. And from a purely legalistic point of view, it does appear to conflict with canon law (I say appears because I don’t know the full context in which it has been discussed). So – the fundamentalist, legalistic view would be: divorce isn’t permitted so remarried couples are barred from full participation in the church. As an aside – can convicted murderers in prison receive communion? Pretty sure they can…but the “what would Jesus do” point of view would lead us to be charitable toward a couple that wanted to participate fully in the mass. Whom does it help to take a hard line on this? Does their taking communion somehow affect me? Is the couple likely to see the “error of their ways” and get another civil divorce so they’re not married and therefore not in violation of cannon law? Or jump through the hoops to get an annulment – which in many cases just amounts to Catholic divorce? It doesn’t help anyone. And then there’s this – today’s Gospel reading:

            Jesus said to his disciples:
            “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

            “Stop judging and you will not be judged.
            Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
            Forgive and you will be forgiven.
            Give and gifts will be given to you;
            a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
            will be poured into your lap.
            For the measure with which you measure
            will in return be measured out to you.”

            So many of us chose to focus on this. If that divorced couple or the family that misses mass on vacation is going to hell – that’s not your problem. That’s between them and God. But pushing them away, judging them (and the clergy that minister to them) seems to be hard to defend in light of the entire Gospel. The Gospel for many of us is the trump card. Who would Jesus be with today? Unwed mothers, AIDS victims, the people cast off by society. He wouldn’t be hanging around with the bean counters…

        2. mary

          “Women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says.”
          As a woman, Jim, I would really appreciate truly if they shut up. Yes, there is great wisdom in telling women to keep silent! Especially liberal women. Traditional women pray. Liberal women prey.
          Men have been emasculated since the wonderful women “liberalization”. We are left, not with men ready to serve Christ, but with a bunch of sissies searching for their emotional self. This is truly sickening!
          I am with Paul! Sanity would come back very quickly.

          1. Jim

            Mary, I think we’re done here. It’s clear that we have radically different viewpoints on Christ’s message. I would just refer you back to today’s Gospel reading – judging the predatory women and the “sissies” they’ve created (that crazy equality will get you every time) is hard to align with the Gospel.

          2. Adam Zerda

            There have been a lot of ridiculous things said on this board over the last few months, but this has to take the cake.

        3. mary

          Jim wrote:” Who would Jesus be with today? Unwed mothers, AIDS victims, the people cast off by society. He wouldn’t be hanging around with the bean counters”…
          Our Blessed Lord was indeed with the cast off to make them come back in: “go and sin NO MORE”. As for the “bean counters” I do not know who those are, do they work in a bean factory?!
          Do you mean “beads counters” as our humble, tolerant, and welcoming Holy Father calls them? Do you speak of the Muslims’ Sibha?
          I know that Catholics meditate on the life of Christ using a rosary. Are you making fun of that devotion?

          As for the so called scandalized attitude towards women by Saint Paul, that makes me laugh. The same ,who are so scandalized at the Saint advising women to be silent in Church, have no problem screaming at a woman in a Cathedral (of all places) for daring to receive Our Blessed Lord on the tongue on her knees. No more tolerance there. The ones who prone dialogue, inclusion, and tolerance as soon as they assume a little bit of power are the most tyrannical against those who have a different view. We must submit to your distortion of the faith.

          1. Jim

            Even in this common English idiom you see heresy and attack. I meant BEAN. Look it up and use your context clues.

    2. Todd Shand

      I don’t recall anyone here advocating that babies should not be baptized when the godparents are not in good standing with the Church. I think we are all in agreement that babies should be baptized. The point of concern rests with the status of the godparents themselves. Since the purpose of godparents is to cultivate the child’s spiritual development and upbringing in accordance with Catholic principles, isn’t the faith and practices of the godparents directly relevant to their involvement in this task? The Church seems to think it is, which is why it has strict requirements about this SACRAMENT.

      Again, nobody is suggesting that babies should not be baptized. The proper course of action is for the priest to encourage the parents to choose godparents that meet the Church’s qualifications, rather than independently watering them down to where “anyone will qualify”. It is not the priest’s decision to supersede the Church’s position on these matters – it is his obligation to uphold them. (i.e. Vow of obedience.) This is the reason why that family had to drive 3 hours to find a “special priest” that would accommodate their situation.

      It’s actually pretty sad if you think about it.

    3. Paul

      Thank you Jim for expressing all this. I could not be more disheartened by the departure of Father Bill! I am appalled by the judgement people feel they have the right to pass on him here. I think you need to take a good look at yourselves. He acted in many ways closer to how I believe Jesus would have then any other priest I have come in contact with. I believe that is something that should be of most importance, especially now. Jesus did not make all these laws and doctrines and I think he would be more inline with Father Bill’s and Pooe Francis way of viewing then old ways that may need re-examining. It truly is such a shame that he will no longer be at St. Andrews!

      1. C. Davis

        It is interesting to observe all of the comments here that seem to discard the core principles of our Catholic faith. Indeed, Father Bill is a very warm and approachable person that spreads an important message about love and charity toward others. This is very much in alignment with the teachings of Christ and Pope Francis – no question! Yes, he deserves credit for promoting these virtues and connecting with people on this level. Recognizing this is very important. However, it is Father Bill’s OTHER views that are at issue here – not his message about love and charity, which so many people seem to focus on.

        His OTHER views attempt to discredit the Church’s Core teaching on our primary system of beliefs, such as our SACRAMENTS of Reconciliation, Baptism, the Eucharist, etc. Setting aside his message of love and charity, do these other issues (the ones that are actually the points of contention) not matter to many of you? These truly are the fundamental precepts of our Catholic faith. If these are not relevant to our lives and our faith, then why are any of us Catholic?

        Every religion has its core precepts and fundamental principles that form the fabric of its practices and faith. Catholicism is no different than Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Protestantism, or any other system of beliefs in this regard. These are our ethos, which define us. We shouldn’t toss out all of these principles just because a nice person arrives and promotes alternative views on them.

        I’m just a little surprised at how many people say “we should open our minds and listen to these other views” when they are in direct conflict with Catholic teaching. These are the precepts of our Catholic faith. Why would we call them into question just because a very nice man is outwardly challenging them?

        1. Paul

          I believe the church’s core teaching would be better to focus on what Jesus was teaching. Everything Father Bill spoke of seemed to be more aligned with that! In regards to the people that only attend Sunday Mass and being misinformed, well this website pretty much laid out everything you all believe Father Bill did wrong. Problem is none of what was said he did is wrong to me. Quite the opposite. I also am sure there are two sides to every story. I’m not quite sure why he let employees go but I’m sure there is more to all of this then we all know. We truly have not given Father Bill the chance to explain yet he has been severely judged here for things he said, didn’t say, opinions he held, didn’t hold ect… Very small and very wrong no matter which way you look at it!

          1. through another lens

            Paul, this website has NOT laid out everything. Fr. Long WAS given the opportunity to explain in a community forum that was well publicized and well attended. (See the commentary I added in the section “The Big Picture” on this website.)

          2. C. Davis

            So… You’re saying that core Church teaching is not focused on what Jesus taught, but Father Bill’s is? Got it. Thanks, Paul.

          3. titrisol

            So you were not troubled by having the church in blue on advent?
            or by fr Long never saying Lord I’m not worthy?
            He stated incorrect facts about the church and the Spanish Conquista, which I can understand as most of you grew up under the British curricula; and don’t bother to read and learn anything
            But yes Fr. Long was closer to the Theology of Liberation than the Ignatas

      2. through another lens

        Paul, I do not believe the 4 staff members who were fired without cause or notice (all on the same day) or the 2 additional staff members who resigned would share in the view that Fr. Long “… acted in ways closer to …(how)…Jesus would have than any other priest…” Fr. Long did not want to give these staff members severance, but the Diocese insisted on severance to avoid litigation.

        Fr. Long also did not want to take up second collections for the poor. Again, the Diocese insisted.

        Fr. Long admonished and berated parishioners, especially at daily Mass, who were attempting to practice their faith according to the principles they had been taught since childhood. He told us watching EWTN and reading Scott Hahn was a waste of time and instead recommended Matthew Fox, the originator of Creation Spirituality – a “religion” devoid of Christ. He regularly made fun of the people he labeled as the “church police” and “rule followers”.

        Fr. Long threw away many books from our church library that were not in line with his thinking. He cautioned staff who were aware of this not to report the trashing of these books in the annual audit of the library’s resources. Our volunteer church librarian was operating under the assumption that someone had taken/stolen the books without using the honor checkout system until the truth came to light.

        The alarm and concern that arose from our parish was not about the good and positive messages Fr. Long proclaimed. It was not about his charming and effusive congeniality. It was about his seeding his homilies and Daily Reflections with his extreme beliefs v.s. the basic principles of our Catholic faith found in the Creed. It was about his extreme micromanaging of previously well-functioning staff and ministries to the point of uncertainty, anxiety and fear.

        St. Andrew has had many dedicated priests who have shepherded the parish for the past 35 years. They all, including Fr. Long, had their strengths and weaknesses. I had a positive relationship with each of these men, including Fr. Long. I truly wanted him to succeed but knew that Fr. Long’s unchecked words and actions would eventually be his downfall.

        1. C. Davis

          Well said “through another lens”. Many people defending Father Long here seem to be grossly uninformed about the extent of how deep these issues run. If you’ve only attended Mass on Sundays you have honestly not been exposed to what the “real” situation is here. You’ve seen the warm smile and heard the nice message about love – that’s it. I get it… Parishioners who are much more involved in parish ministries and attending Daily Mass have had more involvement and exposure to hm to truly understand this situation. (i.e. You must be exposed to the church community for more than one hour per week to really consider yourself “informed” on what is happening in the church community, people.)

          I can understand how simply reading the complaints about Father Long on this website could provoke an uninformed individual’s defense of him, but that doesn’t change the gravity of his behaviors over the past 6 months. If his defenders had personally observed many of the bizarre things he has said and done over the past 6 months they would be embarrassed to defend him so fervently.

          1. Jim

            These are some of the most rational arguments I’ve heard on this website. Certainly, the idea of suppressing any viewpoints through throwing out books or shutting out discussion is anathema to the open mindedness that I and others are advocating. And administrative decisions, while I might not agree with them, certainly don’t make someone a heretic. I personally never heard anything during Sunday mass that disturbed me – and I do sincerely believe that there is room for debate on some of the “scandals” that have gotten people riled up – I’m referring primarily to Fr. Bill pointing out that our views have changed on some of what is in scripture – the aforementioned sexism in letters of Paul, etc (and you saw what kind of response that produced!). But those are points of theological debate – not grounds for a witch hunt.
            I say witch hunt because that’s certainly what this looked like to people on the outside of the letter-writing group. And the arguments aren’t helped by letters complaining about yoga, or insisting that women are subservient and men that don’t agree are “sissies”. I understand that not everyone concerned about Fr Bill shared those feelings – but the fact that this was all done behind closed doors (yes, this website was here – but most people wouldn’t ever go looking for it without prompting) made it seem unhinged. It sure looks like black helicopter conspiracy theory stuff – someone knows someone that heard XYZ. I wasn’t at daily mass so I didn’t experience any of what people say went on. But I do think there’s a divide in the parish (and in the larger Church actually) – those of us that would be called “cafeteria Catholics” by more literalists. There are many reasons to be Catholic – but I truly do not believe that you are going to hell if you miss mass; and I don’t believe that Catholics are the only saved people (Fr David has a great homily a couple of years back on the meaning of universal salvation). The strong reaction from more liberal Catholics is because the whole thing smells of the Inquisition. I’m not being dramatic here – people put up litmus tests – if you don’t agree with St Paul on this point, get out of my Church! You’re not a real Catholic. The Pope said something I don’t agree with? He’s not a real Pope! Do you see where I’m going with this? I concede that people feel there were real problems – but cloaking everything in “us vs them” I know what’s right and you’re too ignorant/liberal/whatever isn’t going to help bring the parish back together.

          1. C. Davis

            The ENTIRE SECTION of apologetic books was thrown out. (I would post a picture of it here if I knew how.) There was an eyewitness that observed Father tossing them out and fished them out of the dumpster after he left. This is the type of insane behavior that people don’t realize has been happening. (i.e. uninformed people waging a defense based on limited exposure & information.)

            1. Theresa

              I personally donated many of those books. 🙁 Anyone who doesn’t want a Catholic to have access to materials that explain the Catholic faith has a bad agenda.

    4. Ninny Compoop

      I couldn’t agree with you more Jim. There are many Catholics that fit the mold perfectly of the Pharisees – they observe the letter of the law while their hearts are in fact far from the love and compassion and tolerance of Christ. They are the modern day “brood of vipers”.

      The fact is, Pope Francis is trying to free the church of the intolerance and hypocrisy of the past, while staying true to the spirit of Christ…..the future of the church is with his movement. Father Bill was a breath of fresh air. Far from trying to tear down church doctrine, he was trying to open the arms of the church to greater love, compassion, tolerance, and openness. But some people are terrified of that, so they lash out. But, over the next few decades, many of these people will be gone, while the church will continue to evolve towards greater love.

      I have read some things posted in different locations that clearly rise to the level of libel. I encourage anyone who is a supporter of Father Bill to screenshot these things in case they might be helpful in any future civil litigation that may be appropriate.

      1. Theresa

        Those of us who had issues with Fr. Bill do not have “rigid beliefs”. We are faithful Catholics who actually believe what the Church teaches and is stated in the Catechism. Fr. Bill did not have the right to use the pulpit to espouse views in opposition of the Church. Period.

        1. Ninny Compoop

          Well, the tone of your response, ending with “period” illustrates my point nicely, but fair enough. Let’s follow your position on this. What would be the specific examples of beliefs Father Bill espoused that were in conflict with Church teaching? Please be specific.

          1. Theresa

            I recommend you listen to the recording of Fr. Long’s Q and A Session back in August which can be found on this site. You can hear him contradict Church teaching in his own words. Fr. Long has stated that confession is not necessary, missing Sunday Mass isn’t a sin, he changed the words of the Liturgy and refused to say “Lord I Am Not Worthy……”, he doubts the existence of Hell, and says that we are all divine. All of this contradicts Church teaching. As a Catholic, this should bother you.

    5. ninnycompoop

      Well said Jim. Reminds me of a (somewhat crass) old saying about relationships in the workplace….I will probably get it wrong, but the saying goes, “If you meet one person today that you think is an a-hole, they might be an a-hole. If everyone you meet today is an a-hole, then you are the a-hole”. LOL

  3. James

    I just found this site, and I thought I’d add my 2 cents.

    I’ve been a member of St. Andrew’s for over 20 years, and I was both surprised and relieved by the announcement that Fr. Long was leaving. Surprised that other members of the parish shared my concern over Fr. Long’s disrespect for Church Doctrine, and relieved because I was seriously considering leaving St. Andrew’s, and the Roman Catholic Church. Given Fr. Long’s sermons, which continuously contradicted Church doctrine and teaching, and given the fact that the Diocese of Raleigh allowed this to continue, I assumed that it was in agreement with his teachings and views, and I was considering the Eastern Rite/Orthodox Catholic Church. I was born Roman Catholic, attended religious instructions, and have been faithfully practicing my religion for over 60 years, leaving the Church was a very difficult thing to consider. Was I leaving my Church, or had the Church left me. Just to restate some of Fr. Long’s many errant views, you don’t need to go to confession, missing Church isn’t a sin, the Church tries to make parishioners subservient to it, the new Cathedral was built to reflect the power of the Church, (and not for the glory of God), Pope John Paul II wasn’t a good Pope, (he was to traditional and controlling), Fr. Long refers to the Body of Christ, the Holy Eucharist, as “the bread”, he stated that parishioners shouldn’t take Holy Communion on the tongue (again it shows that they are subservient to the Church), he stated that you shouldn’t use the response “Lord I Am Not Worthy……”, he questions the existence of Hell, and states that Jesus Christ was no better or worse than anyone else, (we all have the same divine nature). Based on Fr. Long’s sermons, I began to feel like a stranger within my own Church. We can go on and on about Fr. Long’s teachings and views, but I don’t want to be too repetitive. While I truly believe Fr. Long is a good, loving, caring person, and I believe he’s a religious man, we don’t practice the same religion. I’m a practicing Roman Catholic. By the way, I asked Fr. Long why we didn’t celebrate St. Blaze day this year, and his response was that he didn’t feel like opening up “the shop”. Anybody notice that there was no Holy Water in the Fount this week. Sorry for the rambling, but I needed to get this off my chest, and I am very relieved that I no longer need to consider leaving St. Andrews and the Roman Catholic Church. I did see several posts from other parishioners that stated that if Fr. Long was transferred out of Saint Andrews, they would need to consider going elsewhere to practice their religion. All I can say to that is may God give you his strength and guidance, I’ve been there, and it’s not an easy place to be.

  4. C. Davis

    Anyone who thinks that Father Long is leaving because somebody put out a poll about whether or not to support the BAA needs to re-examine their sense of awareness. Do you really think the Bishop is keen on removing priests because a half dozen people may not support the annual appeal? Be objective, people.

    Father Long is no longer at St. Andrews because of Father Long’s actions – not the actions of anyone else. Yes, Father Long is a very personable and friendly man; and his messages about charity, love, and humility are 100% on the mark! We are ALL in agreement about this. However, it is his OTHER messages that have led to his removal from our parish. I ENCOURAGE ALL OF YOU TO START FOCUSING ON THAT, AS THAT IS WHAT THIS WHOLE CONFLICT IS IN REFERENCE TO.

    I would never advocate that people boycott the BAA. Neither would any of the other dozens of families that I have watched leave St. Andrews over the past 6 months. To us, this is all about Catholic teaching, and specifically, Father Long’s views that are in direct conflict with what our Church believes in. I have penned several other posts here that have acknowledged Father Bill is a great guy, has a great message about love and charity, etc.; and have asked many of his supporters to thoughtfully respond whether or not his ongoing public criticism of Catholic Doctrine is an issue for them. If not, why? Nobody has responded. People just continue to post about what a nice man he is and how his uplifting homilies inspire them. Nobody addresses the fact that he specifically promotes views that are 100% incompatible with our core theological principles. (Note: this is factual and verifiable, not subjective – like stating that “he’s a nice, inspiring man”.)

    How about it people? How do you reconcile this? There are dozens of examples of the anti-Catholic themes he has promoted on this website (including audio clips in his own voice) and references to Church doctrine demonstrating that his statements are contrary to fundamental Catholic teaching. Does this really NOT concern any of you? Please explain!

    Father Bill is not leaving because of 5 radical parishioners that are chasing him with pitchforks or threatening to boycott the BAA. Father Bill is leaving because the bishop has reviewed over 100 complaints from parishioners of all demographics and watched dozens of families leave our parish.

    Father Bill is leaving because he consistently promotes his own views from the ambo, which are in direct conflict with Catholic teaching. Obviously, the Bishop cannot tolerate this – and neither should any other Catholic who TRULY values the fabric of our faith.

    Yes, Father Bill has a very warm personality and an inspiring message each week; just like Billy Graham, Joel Olsteen, or Dr. David Jeremiah. However, the sign at the front of our church has the word CATHOLIC on it. Do you really not think that our CATHOLIC priest has an obligation to promote CATHOLIC teaching at our CATHOLIC parish each week?

    If Catholic principles really aren’t a priority to anyone, perhaps we should just remove the word “CATHOLIC” from our sign out front and let any inspiring message prevail.

    1. Chris

      Um, it was stated here that “To anyone paying attention, it should be obvious that the “resignation” was forced by a strong opposition. The conclusion I draw is this. If the opposition weakens, or is perceived to have weakened, Fr. Long may stay at St. Andrew’s after all.”….and this is the page it came from:

      So glad that you would never boycott the BAA. However, the originator of this blog posted the poll to ask people to do just that.

      There really is no reason to try and argue with you; I’m just pointing out the inconsistencies because I am paying attention. The point is, what is the truth and the reason behind the poll of the BAA?

      and do you call it a coincidence or a win? ( – that if it is “obvious that the regsignation is forced by a strong opposition” … becuase it was stated that it happened just after the bishop heard about the BAA poll …

      By the way, who annouced to the bishop that the poll existed? did one of you “outsters?”

      1. C. Davis

        Hi Chris,

        With all due respect, please don’t lump all of the people who have expressed concerns about Father Bill into one category. The publisher of this website has his views, and everybody else has their own. The publisher of this website does not speak for everyone who is posting here – he speaks for himself.

        I personally don’t believe Father Bill’s resignation was “forced by a strong opposition.” I am aware of dozens of people from various demographic backgrounds who have gently written letters to the Bishop to express their concerns. Some of these people are in their 20s, some are in their 40s, and some are even in their 80s. Some are Caucasian, some are African-American, and some are Asian and Latino. Most of them do not even know or communicate with each other about this. I will say it again – this is much more than a group of 5 radical parishioners who are chasing Father Bill from this parish.

        I would also like to follow up on a comment that Paul made yesterday where he acknowledged that he travels a lot and has only been able to attend mass at St. Andrews around twice a month. Although Father Bill is a very appealing individual with a great message about love and charity, with such limited exposure to his wide range of views and teaching, how can one wage such a fervent defense for either the man or his messages? It’s clear that many of his supporters are not GENUINELY well-informed about the OTHER views Father Bill has consistently promoted. It is these OTHER views that are the cause of his resignation. If you only attend Mass on Sundays you likely have not been exposed to the full force and gravity of these OTHER messages.

        Much of this conflict started from his Q&A session back in August of last year. If you did not attend it and witness it first-hand, I would encourage you to go to the section on this website that has the recording and transcription of what he promoted to the congregation. It is staggering. For those of you who have not done your due diligence and objectively researched all of the concerns that honest people are expressing here, I implore you to please do so. I think it will be very eye-opening and much more insightful than just hearing a few of his homilies each month.

        Many of the people who have concerns about Father Bill attend multiple events hosted by the parish each week and have had a high level of exposure to him. Many of them attend daily mass and hear 5 to 6 homilies from him each week. Many of them have met with him individually to discuss their concerns and have been brushed off or encouraged to leave St. Andrews by him directly. They are, in fact, genuinely well-informed. It occurs to me that many of his”supporters” honestly aren’t aware of all this, and are basing their support of him on a relatively uninformed understanding of the gravity of this situation.

        Six months ago there were approximately 50 to 60 parishioners that attended Mass every single day at St Andrews. Dozens of them have left and there are roughly about 20 people that attend each day now. Of the people that remain, many of them are disheartened and frustrated by what they see and hear on a daily basis. Mass is celebrated with out any sincere reverence or celebration. The homilies regularly challenge Catholic teaching. When parishioners express their concerns they are brushed off or encouraged to attend to Saint Michaels. To all of you that are fiercely critical of parishioners that have raised concerns about Father Bill, please re-read this and let it sink in.

        Again, I encourage all of you supporters to honestly and objectively reflect on the totality of Father Bill’s pronouncements, not just the fact that he’s a nice guy that usually has an inspiring message to share. If that’s all you are looking at, then you have really only seen the tip of this iceberg. It goes much, much deeper than this. I hope you will honestly and objectively do a little more due diligence about the concerns being raised here. They are legitimate, and your Bishop has apparently drawn the same conclusion.

        1. Chris

          C. Davis, thank you for a more complete description of the situation. I acknowledge that you have more information that was stated by the blog owner, and that there are many different people who took their issues to the bishop. I am just saddened that all of this happened, mostly that that $$ / boycott / stong arm opposition was also a part of the picture.
          I do not attend daily mass, so I was not aware of the gravity of everything. Again, I’m not on either extreme, I am somewhere in between.
          I can only hope and pray that our parish family heals after the new pastor takes over.
          Best regards,

  5. James McKay

    That’s a terrible thing for the church to do, to bend to financial pressure and oust a good man. And it was a very low thing for you to do “newwalden”. This is why people are leaving the church, not because of intelligent people like Fr. Long.

    [Note from NW: Fr. Long voluntarily resigned. He wasn’t “ousted.”—JG]

  6. mary

    Paul wrote: “Would you please post the time and place for Father Durbin’s Inquisition? ”

    This matter is about priest being another Christ. A priest cannot preach anything else than what Our Blessed Lord and His Bride, the Church, are teaching. You are sarcastic, but you got it! The inquisition was about determining if one who proclaimed to be Catholic was indeed a Catholic (embracing every and each teachings of the Catholic Church on faith and moral). For example: if one says that a catholic doesn’t have to go to Mass on Sundays and that is not a mortal sin, is in grave error. If one says that general absolution outside of a grave situation (imminent death) should and replaces individual confession, that is a grave error. (Even in the case of general absolution, once the danger passed, one HAS to go to individual confession). Our priests must do what they were ordained to do: preach what Christ preached. They cannot by their own authority change the teachings of the Church!

    As Bishop Sheen reminded people: “Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops and your religious act like religious.”

    This is not who is more likeable, or people pleasing, it is about the salvation of our souls. It is about Heaven or Hell.

    1. Paul G

      Let’s Leave Christ out of this for a bit. His words were transcribed for the first time 50 years (or more) after His Resurrection. They were assembled into a New Testament 200+ years after that when an emperor proctored the theological compromises before he became a Christian. Let’s just work on the Bride’s role.

      Should we be burning heretics? selling indulgences? splitting the Church in half (1054 AD)? excommunicating the other half for 1011 years? These are all positions that the Church took without Christ’s help. People finally figured them out and fixed them. But to do so they had to think and talk about them. (BTW: the list is not all inclusive.)

      I ask again, when are you hosting Father Durbin’s Inquisition? I’d like to know his positions on heretics and indulgences. (Yeah, more sarcasm.)

      1. mary

        “Let’s Leave Christ out of this for a bit”
        No, we can’t leave Christ out of His Church! That is the problem. What would be the point to be Catholic?
        You are mixing up sins of men and the Church. When you denounce something men did wrong, you only show that when men do not follow the Church’s teachings, they commit faults. It started with Judas, then Peter, then the rest of us.
        You are right to denounce the faults committed in the name of the Bride of Christ, that is exactly what should be done, and what has been done regarding the wrong teachings of Fr. Long.

        We must come back to the true teachings of the Church to achieve salvation, any corruption of the Church’s teachings will only bring despair, sin, and damnation.
        Emotionalism has no business in the Church. Charity is our business and it starts with the salvation of souls.

        1. Chris

          Mary, this is a conversation. If you take *everything literally* to be so against what you believe, then you are not actually listening to your fellow Christians. Paul has a good point to remind us of the failings of the men who were, on behalf of the church, selling indulgences! My gosh, the church was WAY OFF TRACK back then so who’s to say the church is Perfect today?

          1. mary

            The Church is perfect, men are not. Men are subject to the Truth: ie the teachings of Catholic Church on faith and moral = Jesus Christ.
            It seems that you want to justify priests who depart from the Truth because other men sinned! Or that because men who called themselves Catholic committed sins, then the Catholic Church is at fault. It cannot be so.
            As St. Joan of Arc said when she was on trial by evil “Catholic” priests and bishop:
            “About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they are just one thing and we shouldn’t complicate the matter.”

          2. Anonymous Observer

            I think Mary’s point is that the Catholic Church is without error when She teaches about faith and morals (the magisterium of the Catholic Church). If a priest (such as Fr. Long) says things contrary to magesterial teaching, he’s in error and needs to be corrected. Do you disagree?

            From what I’ve read on this blog, Fr. Long has claimed St. Paul “was in error” about the disorder of homosexuality. If true, Fr. Long is clearly, objectively wrong and it’s understandable that parishioners are complaining.

            1. Chris

              I think when Fr. Bill is in line with Ignatias Spirituality, and the teachings of Pope Francis, that he is OK. Whatever else he did is not part of this conversation, really.

              The problem here is that Mary is not listening to what Paul said about the church. The church is not perfect.
              The church is made of humans AND Christ.
              Christ is perfect.
              Humans are not perfect.
              If you took phliosophy 101, you will conclude that the church is not perfect.

              I took Philosophy 101 and computer science and religious studies. I was taught to listen, learn, reason and discern.

          3. Anon

            “I think when Fr. Bill is in line … that he is OK.”
            Well, the bishop apparently doesn’t see it that way.

            “The problem here is that Mary is not listening to what Paul said about the church.”
            Based on Paul G’s posts in this thread, he seems to have his own doubts about the Catholic Faith. I’d be wary of posts that start with “Let’s Leave Christ out of this for a bit”.

            “The church is not perfect.”
            This isn’t about whether the clergy make mistakes, it’s about what they believe and teach.

            “I was taught to listen, learn, reason and discern.”
            Have you ever considered with all of your background in Philosophy that you may have drawn an incorrect conclusion?

            1. Chris

              To answer your question, no.

              I am an intelligent being, human that is.
              Not a robot.

              When you go backwards and read this thread, maybe it will make logical sense.

              Are you willing to sell indulgences? What year is it?

      2. titrisol

        I firmly belive Fr. Durbin will be met ith a mix of incredulity and disdain; and his beliefs will questioned, examined and observed (tightfully). The parish has been traumatized and divided and it is disingenuous to say Fr. Long was not given a chance and was not welcomed, he was and he came across as a nice person, intelligent , said the right things on the 1st meetings but promptly went into interjecting bits of new age BS.

        We’ll leave the inquisition to the calvinists, the indulgences to the anglicans and the heretics to the evangelicals… those were better in each of those fields. 🙂

  7. Theresa

    This is such a relief! Fr. Long should not be a Catholic priest. He creates division at every parish he is assigned, St. Andrews included.

  8. Paul G

    Would you please post the time and place for Father Durbin’s Inquisition? We want to be sure that he meets your expectations. (That’s sarcasm, if unnoticed by the obtuse.)

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