The Diocese of Gaylord, like most if not all of the dioceses of the United States, is extremely short of priests. This makes the transfer of a priest to another diocese or a removal of a priest from the Diocese very difficult.
The story of Father Peter Elias Chinzara is a case in point. Late last year, Gaylord Diocesan Watch reported on the sacking of Fr. Chinzara by activist Administrator Bishop Walter Hurley. (Please refer to our post for further information: https://gaylordfaithfulnews.org/2020/11/29/gaylord-diocese-sacks-priest-donated-items-in-limbo/ ).
In the June 25, 2021 edition of The Register, a publication of the Diocese of Salina, Kansas, Fr. Chinzara appears as the newly appointed Parochial vicar to Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Hays, Kansas and part-time chaplain of Thomas More Prep-Marian in Kansas.
It should be noted that Fr. Matthew Cowan is also a pastor in the Diocese of Salina, Kansas. Fr. Cowan has recently been assigned (promoted) as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Norton and St. Joseph Parish in
New Almelo, KS.
The Diocese of Salina, Kansas now has two priests who were previously serving in the Diocese of Gaylord. In the case of Fr. Cowan, his transfer centered around the sexual abuse whistelblower complaint he lodged against disgraced Fr. Dennis Stilwell. In the case of Fr. Chinzara, what could have been a harmless miscommunication regarding donations to an African Diocese led to his removal. The Diocese of Gaylord’s loss is a gain for the Diocese of Salina, Kansas.
These findings lead to some basic questions: why in the world would a diocese, already starving for priests, remove two priests, only for them to be picked up by another diocese and again be put in active ministry? Could it be that other reasons, such as a spirit of vindictiveness or just incompetence, are the driving factors in the Diocese of Gaylord losing two otherwise able and willing clergy with no criminal or heterodox records?