The Rev. Ned Reidy received a 30-page letter last week notifying him that a three-priest tribunal of the Diocese of San Bernardino had found him guilty of heresy and schism and that his authority to conduct priestly functions was revoked. The one-day trial was held on Dec. 13.
Reidy said he would not appeal the decision because he has not considered himself a member of the Roman Catholic church since 1999, when he resigned to join the Orange-based Ecumenical Catholic Communion.
He called the proceedings "medieval" and said they were a distraction from his current ministry.
"I’m a priest forever," he said.
"What appears to me is that whatever the Roman church cannot control, it will attempt to destroy," Reidy said. "It’s not working; the attempt is harsh and cold and the discourtesy is appalling."
Reidy was ordained in 1962 and for 19 years was pastor of Desert Roman Catholic Church in Palm Desert, near Palm Springs. He now is co-pastor, with a woman, of the Community of the Risen Christ church in Bermuda Dunes, a few miles from his old church. [Source]
Now of course you would be curious as to why the diocese went this course.
Rev. Reidy decided to formally leave, to resign from his religious order, but he never resigned from the Roman Catholic priesthood, and he could have done that, he could have instituted a process through Rome," Lincoln said. "So therefore, we had to go through this process to formally and officially recognize his removal from the clerical state in the Roman Catholic church."
In its verdict, the tribunal wrote that it was necessary "for the good of the faithful" to formally excommunicate Reidy because the rituals and liturgy of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion are so similar that they might lead some Roman Catholics astray.
Makes sense, but it does beg the question that are their other churches actually affiliated with the diocese that basically do the same thing? Being Southern California it wouldn’t be really surprising to find parishes that had Catholic rituals and liturgies but lead people astray on parts of the Catholic faith. Of course this is painting with a broad brush, but you do wonder how many Southern Californian clergy could perhaps be convicted of Orthodoxy?
Another pet peeve is I really dislike the term Roman Catholic used so often. Especially since the term was used first by Anglicans as part of their branch theory to refer to Catholics under the Pope. The term is so ubiquitous now and is confusing to what people are referring to. Most often the term is not used to specify just Catholics of the Roman Rite, but for Catholics in general.