Concerns have been raised about a parish’s use of Father Matthew Cowan’s suspension to solicit CSA dollars. The letter states the following:
“If your intention is not to support the CSA campaign, I would like to take an opportunity to offer some thoughts for your reflection that might change your mind. One of the significant issues I’ve (ie, the pastor) heard from people is that they don’t feel the Diocese is supporting Fr. Matthew Cowan and therefore they will not support the Diocese in return. I would like to point out that Fr. Matthew is being supported by the Diocese in a significant way. He is getting a salary of $1,200.00 a month and all of his health benefits are being provided to him. He does not have an assignment at this time, and yet he is being financially supported by your CSA dollars, contrary to what you might have heard while his appeal process is taking place.”
Although this letter lists the Diocese as supporting Father Cowan “in a significant way”, it should be noted that this is an obligation of the Diocese under canon law. This is in no way an exceptional practice in the sense that it is a normal requirement of the Church for its priests, even those who have been suspended, while they contest their cases to the Vatican.
The letter goes on to say the following: “Another factor in supporting CSA, is the various ministries the Diocese of Gaylord is involved in that helps facilitate the mission of the Church beyond just the local parishes.” When a concerned lay member of the Diocese requested a breakdown of some these ministries, the Diocese did not elaborate as to what specific ministries the Diocese was supporting. We have previously reported on serious concerns of one ministry, ie, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, with regard to its actions that have been documented to be anti-Catholic. We will continue to monitor this situation closely.