Breaking: Archdiocese Removes Father Harris


Click here to read, “Phila. archdiocese removes priest – again,” by Laura McCrystal, Philly News.com, December 21, 2015

Editor’s note: Father Harris is still listed as having full priestly faculties on the Archdiocesan web site and we couldn’t find any public notice there or on the parish web site. There is a mention of the parish Facebook page. Thank you Philly News.com for keeping Catholics informed.

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13 Responses to “Breaking: Archdiocese Removes Father Harris”

  1. Susan , I was a Catholic my whole life. I still say I am. I havent attended church in years as I am disgusted with its leadership and scandal. I am well rounded, meaning I have been to other Christian Churches over the years. I have had many friends ask me to join their church and say more than half if its members are former Catholics. I am at a cross road.

    The abuse scandal was horrific and gave athiest fuel to throw on the fire, even though abuse happens everywhere. My theory to the scandal is simple. It probably started over a hundred years ago. Where else can you be around “the guys” and have unrestricted access to prey upon victims? Bonus, you also get paid. Over the years, their numbers grew and they moved in up into management positions. Thats when the cover up began, they protected their own interests. What disgusts me is that it demonizes the great work the Church and 99.999% of preists do.

    Im also turned off by selection of POPE. Why after the passing of JOHN PAUL II was a Nazi and a Socialist elected? Francis even condemned me for being a firearm owner. Im left feeling the good ole boys club reaches all the way to the top.

    There is only one thing keeping me around and I feel its the same reason you are. Im a fighter. I keep questioning myself, should I stay and fight to right this wrong? The church is the people, not the leadership. The problem is, we Catholics dont have a say as to who runs what. I fail to see how to fix this. I would love to hear some words of widom.

    I thank you for keeping us informed and fighting the good fight. Im sure at times you feel alone. Whatever I decide, I refuse to let anyone bash Christians.

    Merry Christmas, Mike Volb St Francis Cabrini Fairless Hills, Pa

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Michael, I suspect many who come to this site have the same struggle as we do. I always have to answer, “I’m Catholic – but…” I don’t want to say that I’m not a practicing Catholic because I do try to live my faith, just outside the institution. I wish I knew the answer. All we can do is keep up the fight for the wisdom God has already shared with us. Merry Christmas to you! And a peaceful and happy New Year!

    • Michael I know you are addressing Susan. But I wanted to say I share a lot of similar feelings. I finally got to the point that I asked myself what would Jesus do and I feel the blueprints for how to deal with corrupt leadership is in the Bible. Jesus called the Scribes and Pharisees out every chance he got. He exposed them for who and what they are. He told the people not to be like them and he even threw corrupt people out of the Temple. Jesus also realized that people needed to accept him freely and that many times even the leaders in the church would reject and betray him. Did he stop teaching in the Temple and just preach in the wilderness……no he didn’t. Why did Jesus stay knowing that many would reject him and even kill him? Because Jesus loved his Father and he knew these were evil men and he fought evil with Truth. These days I do the best I can and take it day by day. Knowing as Jesus did that even though there are evil men in leadership positions we are not to give up and must fight the good fight. Knowing in the end Jesus wins over all the evil and corruption in this world. I heard something thing this past weekend…….it was that people of hope live a different life because they have been given new life. We have been given new life in Christ so despite our circumstances we must hold on to the hope that Christ will triumphant in the end.

      • I am at the point the leaders in the church will need to throw me out and even in that case it is comforting to know that even some Saints at times have been excommunicated so besides cases of church teachings on faith and morals the leadership in the church can and has been wrong in the past as well as now as the whole NYC scandal is showing us.

        • I have to add. I have seen Jesus take down a predator. I have also seen my dad return to a child like faith before he died. I have seen some amazing things I cant believe and don’t always understand myself. I am grateful for these things as seeing Jesus being real and present gives me a great source of hope even in my darkest moments.

    • Michael I would like to say great minds think alike. I too believe with your thinking ” the church is the people.” Priests, bishops or cardinals do not make up the catholic church the parishioners do because without them any church would simply be a building of brick and mortar. I too would like to see a panel made up of parishioners from around the archdiocese involved in the day to day operation of the catholic church and sadly to term it in this manner but also a policing of the catholic church so what happened to us victims/survivors never happens to another child and any future abuser is dealt with swiftly involving the proper authorities.

      Now, I must be honest with you I was not a strong fighter like you. I have left the catholic church. I call myself now a self excommunicated catholic. I am one of those individuals who now belongs to one of those Christian church’s you speak of. I could write here the reasons why I left but I will be honest it was one of the hardest decisions I made in my life but it was also one of the smartest for me.

      Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. Should the life of a parish priest be open to scrutiny to the parishioners who he serves ? I think so especially if one is removed from active ministry and placed on administrative leave by the leader of the archdiocese Charlie Chaput. I am sure many members of St. Bridget’s have a lot of questions and many rumors are flying around but in all their infamy the archdiocese of Philadelphia will keep the parishioners of this church in the dark as we have seen in the past. We only have to ask parishioners of Our Lady of Calvary church in the northeast if they feel the church was transparent as promised.

    I do and always will have great concern when a priests ” suitability for ministry” is questioned. Parishioners should be informed 100% even if his removal is because of a medical condition.

    To state ” does not relate to any accusations of criminal activity” only brings up more questions and speculation.

    p.s. to my friends at C4C, my family and I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. You are all truly a blessing from God.

  3. To Dennis, Thank you for your kind Christmas Greeting. I wish the same to you and your loved ones my fellow survivor. We will stand before God one day and he will embrace us as the true followers of God. I am so proud of the survivors I have come to know either by meeting them or this blog. I agree with what you wrote in your blog. This institution is slowly crumbling from the inside out. I will never trust this institution ever again, they are truly sheep in wolves clothing.

  4. Katherine FitzGerald Reply December 22, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Pointing to numerous well documented studies, drawing upon his former association with the priesthood, and calling upon his psychological clinical experience working with priests, Richard Sipe has argued for decades that the psychosexual health of 2/3 of priests ranges from underdeveloped to grossly underdeveloped. The clerical system and culture maintain and foster it.

    Alarming! It should disturb all of us, including those considering the priesthood, studying for the priesthood, and priests, themselves. That the Church has failed to concretely address its disproportionally sick priesthood is irresponsible, inhumane, and immoral… nothing short of a crime against humanity.

    Think about your workplace. Imagine that 2/3 of the people you work with are psychosexually sick. Imagine spending years and decades in that environment. Imagine the kinds of crises, incidents, human failures, neuroses, psychoses, addictions, perversions, sins, and crimes that would result. Imagine your workplace’s system and culture maintaining and fostering it. Imagine your workplace ignoring and hiding it.

    No workplace in the secular world would stand for it.

    Why, then, is it the world for our priests?

    • “Why, then, is it the world for our priests?” Yes. One priest in particular made a huge impact on me professionally and I will always be grateful. I can’t imagine his struggles in dealing with this culture. It makes me very sad for him and others like him.

  5. I had hoped that there would be more transparency. Father Harris is no longer on the list of active clergy. Where is he? What were the “boundary issues he was accused of? Is he a danger to children? Is he no longer suitable for ministry? Same silence, different day.

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