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BALTIMORE (WJZ) ― Outrage in the
Catholic community after a south Baltimore priest is forced to
resign. Jessica Kartalija has more from Locust Point on a
protest led by church members.
In Locust Point, parishioners are outraged.
“I’m very angry. I’m very angry. Father Ray is a
wonderful man and that’s why we’re here today, to let the archdiocese
know how happy and what a wonderful man he is,” Anita Doda said.
This week, the archdiocese ordered Reverend Ray Martin to resign.
It all started with an October funeral service for a well-known
mortuary owner. Father Ray allowed an Episcopal priest from a
church a block away to read a gospel lesson.
“When a minister from another faith participates in that aspect of
that, in another way it’s directly canon law,” said Sean Caine,
The archdiocese says he was also warned for allowing dogs into the
sanctuary. He’s missed baptisms and first communions and
hired someone to work at the church who had an extensive criminal
record and then didn’t terminate him.
“I want to tell the archdiocese the mistake you’re making now is
totally wrong. This man has run three parishes, not just this
one, and to do what you’ve done, you’re going to have a hard time in
this community,” Doda said.
In response to a statement prepared by the archdiocese, parishioners
stood and walked out of the church in protest.
“The message is that the archdiocese, they need to get their priorities
straight. They’re persecuting a man who did nothing wrong,”
said Mary Lewandowski-Stylc.
This was exactly the reaction many people expected from Fr.
Ray’s parishioners and it follows the pattern of what has happened in
The media has many framed this as Archbishop O’Brien being the heavy
bad guy against the lovable priest that bent a couple of rules that
really don’t amount to anything. What the media misses and
what this parish does not see is that it is highly inaccurate point of
view and the reality is that this would have been the last thing the
Archbishop wanted to do. Of course we won’t have the
following mentioned in most stories.
“Father Martin’s received advice and
counsel on numerous occasions from the archdiocese, and he has
repeatedly violated church teaching,”
We of course will not see the media describe
this case as a case of disobedience to the Church and some rather
serious infractions of Canon law and the liturgy and a case of personal
disobedience to the Archbishop by not correcting the problems.
Father Ray in replying to his allowing an Episcopalian priestess read
the Gospel at at funeral Mass and possibly receiving Communion was.
“I think that canon laws exist to
protect the church from extremism. I
don’t find that this is such an extreme situation,” Martin said.