One of the unfortunate side effects of having a hierarchy built into your priesthood is the gross display of politics that comes with it. Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair has decided to reassign St. Rose parish pastor Thomas Leyland.
Regular readers know that I grew up Catholic, and I attended St. Rose parish in Perrysburg until I fell away from the faith. I still follow Catholicism, even if only to refute its unbiblical traditions. Whatever my theological differences with Father Leyland may be, it is painful for me to see an honest man of God be treated this way.
St. Rose was a large parish when I attended, but it has since grown larger. It is now 8,100 strong. Father Leyland, pastor since 1999, is loved by all parishioners and well respected in the community. My mom works at that parish, and has been under four pastors. She has liked them for the most part, but she appears to have much more respect for Father Leyland.
So why would the Bishop arbitrarily reassign such a well respected man? Answer: because this well respected man criticized a boneheaded decision.
The Bishop has decided to open a new parish within a few miles of St. Rose. This has the chance to take half of the membership, and eventually, quite a bit of the students in the school. Father Leyland spoke out against this move, stating that the new parish is much too close and that no one in the pastorate was consulted when the decision was made. The Bishop consulted only developers.
Now, the diocese office wishes to reassign Father Leyland, stating that the reassignment is for his benefit and has nothing to do with the criticism.
Father Leyland plans to appeal to the Vatican. I’m going to follow this story and see how it pans out. I will keep Father Leyland in my prayers.
Oh, and by the way: for you baseball fans, and Detroit Tiger fans in particular, that think the name “Leyland” sounds familiar, yes, Tom Leyland is the brother of Jim Leyland, current manager of the Detroit Tigers. Leadership runs in the family, apparently.
I will be out of town this weekend to visit my new niece, Allison Lynn, who shares my wife’s middle name. I love that my family is growing, but I hate that all of the additions seem to live so far away. Therefore I may not answer my comments or my e-mail in a timely fashion, as I assume that I won’t have Internet access while I’m there.
One last thing: I put my e-mail address on this page for seekers to ask spiritual questions anonymously. I want to minister to people, I want to speak God’s truth to all who desire to hear it. So quit using that link for phishing expeditions. I will report you. If your late husband really deposited $2.7 million in a foreign bank account and you absolutely feel led by God to donate the full sum to my ministry because you’re dying of cancer, please use the PayPal links under my “About Us” tab. Technology is wonderful thing. It will protect us both–no one has to trade financial information.
I’m sure that PayPal will find a way to broker a transaction of that size for a small piece of it.