SHANKSVILLE, Pa. (AP) – Tired of not being able to practice as an active priest, the founder of a chapel honoring the passenger and crew of Flight 93 says he’s leaving the Roman Catholic Church for another church.
The Rev. Al Mascherino renovated a century-old former chapel three miles from the Sept. 11, 2001, crash site in rural southwestern Pennsylvania to honor the 40 passengers and crew members of United Airlines Flight 93.
But the priest, who remains unassigned by the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese, says he has made a personal decision to join the North American Old Roman Catholic Church, which follows most Catholic teachings but is more liberal with church sacraments such as communion, baptism and marriage
…In a written statement, the diocese’s Bishop Joseph Adamec welcomed Vellone, but said that, “the Old Roman Catholic Church is not the same as the Roman Catholic Church.”
I can agree with that.
Adamec said Roman Catholics can attend Sunday’s event at the chapel but warned the Old Roman Catholic Church “is not in union” with the Vatican and Pope John Paul II.
Trying hard not to mention that the Old Roman Catholic Church is not the only organization not in union with the Pope in this diocese – oops I guess I failed.
Given the priest shortage, one has to wonder why a priest remains unassigned – what is there in his history or behavior that would cause that to happen.
I am reminded, however, of a story about a priest in the 1930s who was lost in the shuffle and ended up unassigned. He opened up a gasoline station and actually invented the automatic shut-off device used world wide for gas pumps. When the chancery office noticed his absence some decades later, he was finally assigned – but he had been obedient to the last instructions from his bishop to ‘find work’ while awaiting assignment.
Agh. Doesn’t Fr. Mascherino get it? If you leave the church when persecuted, the terrorists will have won.