DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     February 26-28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 40

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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NEW YORK PRIEST EXCOMMUNICATED FOR SCHISM, WHILE IMPOSTER PRIEST ARRESTED IN COLORADO

          ROCHESTER, New York (CWNews.com) - The Diocese of Rochester, New York this week announced the excommunication of a priest who was removed his office as a pastor and then went to set up his own church.

          Father James Callan, 51, was removed from Corpus Christi Parish and suspended from active ministry in December for violating Church teachings by allowing concelebration of Mass by a female pastoral associate and allowing same-sex union ceremonies at his church. He then went on to hold worship services for sympathetic parishioners at various Protestant churches in the area.

          "By starting this new church, a schism has occurred," the diocese said. "Father Callan has effectively excommunicated himself. Catholics who have joined the new church are not in full communion with the Church and have incurred the same penalty." The diocese also warned that it might ask the Vatican to officially revoke Father Callan's clerical standing as a priest "to remove any confusion" about his ability to function in the priestly ministry.

          In a related story in Fort Collins, Colorado police on Thursday arrested a 50-year-old man accused of posing as a Catholic priest to bilk philanthropists out of money.

          The police said Michael Bergman was arrested in Loveland, Colorado where he was marrying couples at a wedding chapel. Bergman was wanted in Texas where he conned a man out of $10,000 earmarked for the needy, but police said he may be charged with dozens of phony deals over the past decade.

          He will first be tried this spring on theft and securities fraud charges for conning two Denver women out of $10,000 each in a scheme involving pre-World War II German bonds.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

February 26-28, 1999       volume 10, no. 40
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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