Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Letters to Bishop Loverde and the Hierarchy

Over the years I've sent numerous letters to Bishop Loverde, the Apostolic Nuncio, and the Vatican about Fr. Haley. With regard to those sent to Bishop Loverde, at first they were ignored, but when I resent them registered mail with a copy to the Nuncio I always got an anwer.

Nowadays I generally receive a very polite response from the Chancellor. I'm posting one of my letters (the most recent) in the comments section with Mr. Herrmann's answer. Despite the Chancellor's saying it is out of Bishop Loverde's hands, the bishop set the events in motion and is still the major accuser.

Keep in mind that the bishop suspended Fr. Haley initially in 2001 because he wouldn't stop asking the forbidden question and bringing the bishop evidence about the homosexual problem. The bishop asked for evidence, but didn't really want it.

Subsequent to the 2002 deposition which was released by court order almost a year after Fr. Haley's suspension, charges were brought (who knows what since it's all secret?) and the tribunal was convened three years later in 2005. Talk about speedy Church justice! Were the charges legitimate? Who knows since everything is secret? What was the verdict? Again - it's a secret.

One thing is a moral certainty, however. If a person sets in motion an evil against another, particularly if false accusations are involved, he has an obligation to rectify those falsehoods and try to undo what he did. Whether he's a humble layman or the pope the obligation is the same. Since all has been done in secrecy, how can any false witness, if there was such, be exposed? It's a Catch-22 for the accused. The trial was secret (Fr. Haley wanted an open trial), the results are secret (I believe Fr. Haley would want them to be public), and a troublesome priest is out of the way. But he's one priest who won't just disappear into the night like so many other persecuted priests have done and, personally, I thank God for that.

If you would like to post a letter you've written to the bishop or the Vatican, use the comments section. I urge you to continue to write to Bishop Loverde, the Apostolic Nuncio, the Congregation for Clergy, and the Apostolic Signatura.

As I continue to build this site I will be adding addresses for contacts.

God bless all of you who have written and prayed about this tragic situation.

When you write be sure to make your letter respectful, unemotional, and short.

And before you sit down at the keyboard or pick up a pen, please pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance and charity and, particularly, pray for the person to whom your letter is directed.


  1. October 21, 2008

    Most Rev. Paul S. Loverde
    200 N. Glebe Rd.
    Arlington, VA 22203

    Your Excellency:

    It has been seven years now since Fr. James Haley was suspended and disappeared from the diocese. Many people ask me about him but I can tell them little because of your silencing. Silence – hasn’t that caused enough trouble in the Church? Where is the openness and transparency we’ve been promised? The people of the diocese have a right to know what happened to a good shepherd who served us well until he was unjustly ousted for bringing you proof of homosexuals infesting our diocesan priesthood.

    Tragically, it is because of the persecution and ousting of good priests, that many laity no longer trust their bishops. The Church is meant to proclaim the fullness of the truth. But Fr. Haley has been persecuted for seven long years because of his love for the truth and your hiding of it.

    You know very well, Your Excellency, (as does Fr. Rippy) that Fr. Haley is innocent of any wrongdoing. He did what a good priest should do – brought the problem of homosexual immorality among the priests to the attention of his bishop – after which you suspended and expelled him. Then, when after a year of obedient silence, he responded to a subpoena for a deposition in the scandalous Verrecchia/Lambert case, you sought to have him permanently removed from the priesthood. How many clergy child abusers have received the type of draconian treatment reserved for Fr. Haley?

    You have an obligation, Your Excellency, to rectify this great injustice. I pray every day that you will. Sincerely,
    Mary Ann Kreitzer
    President, Les Femmes

    Copy to:
    Congregation for the Clergy
    Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

    November 7, 2008

    Diocese of Arlington
    Suite 914
    200 North Glebe Rd.
    Arlington, VA 22203

    Dear Mrs. Kreitzer:

    Bishop Loverde has received your letter of October 21, 2008, and has asked me to reply on his behalf. I hope that you and your family are well, and that you will all have the opportunity to be together at Thanksgiving.

    The case of Reverend James R. Haley was referred to the Holy See in December of 2002 in accord with the norms issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on April 30, 2001 (Sacramentorum Sanctitatis Tutela). Since the Holy See has exclusive competence in this matter, the process is being directly overseen by the Holy See, and the Diocese of Arlington has no active role. The Diocese is observing these norms.

    With continued prayers and best wishes for you and yours, I am
    Sincerely yours in Christ,
    Mark E. Herrmann

    cc: Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde

  2. Excellency:

    It seems to me that while details are subject to ecclesial discretion the laity has a right to know whether a priest who has honorably served them in the past is or is not in "good standing" and therefore qualified to help them in spiritual and priestly matters. Ordinations are public acts of the Church, marriages too, why should dismissals be any different? Unless all the Is and Ts were not dotted and crossed in the process. Complete silence is fodder for more scandal and erroding trust in our bishops and priests.

  3. Has there been any further update on this?

  4. Not from any "official" voices. The entire matter has always been shrouded in silence and secrecy. I'm hoping that Fr. Haley will break his silence since it appears he has no hope at this point of being restored to his priestly ministry.