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Friday, June 22, 2018

Fr. Phillips of St. John Cantius Exonerated of Abuse Charges

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Back in March, parishioners of St. John Cantius in Chicago were shocked when a letter from Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich was read at Mass, informing them that Fr. Phillips had been removed as pastor over accusations of “improper conduct” with adult males.

Cardinal Cupich wrote: “I am aware this is difficult news to receive, but the Archdiocese of Chicago is committed to ensuring those serving our parishioners are fit for ministry. Know that this decision was made after careful consideration.”

The funny thing about this is that St. John’s in Chicago celebrates the Latin Mass, and there Fr. Phillips founded the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, a religious order that offers Mass in the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms, focuses on “restoring the sacred,” and whose modus operandi is to “preserve and foster the devotional, musical, catechetical, and artistic traditions of the Catholic Church.”

…And Cardinal Cupich is about as liberal as it gets.

Regardless of Cupich’s motivations, after several weeks the Congregation of the Resurrection concluded its investigation of the accusations directed against Father Phillips. An announcement was sent out by the parishioners of St. John’s:

The Review Board concluded that Fr. Phillips has not violated any secular criminal, civil or canon law.

Fr. Phillips, having been exonerated thusly, and this in turn confirmed by the votum of The Rt. Rev. Gene Szarek, C.R., Ph.D. Provincial Superior of the Congregation of the Resurrection upon receipt of the Review Board Report. We now prayerfully await the response of His Eminence, Blase Cardinal Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, for the return of our pastor.

COMMENT: Father Phillips is a well-respected Catholic priest who upholds traditional Catholic morality, stands strong in defense of marriage and is wide open to the Traditional Latin Mass. Will he be given a fair hearing and due consideration from the radically liberal Blase Cupich? Only time will tell.


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Last modified on Friday, June 22, 2018
Michael J. Matt | Editor

Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000.  Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.