The following letter was sent to all of the members of the Presbyteral Council
August 7, 2019
Fathers of the Presbyteral Council of the
Eparchy of Parma,
At a recent meeting held in July at St. Mary parish in Cleveland, Ohio, Bishop Milan announced his plans to squelch the Cathedral parish, Holy Spirit and relocate the Cathedral to St. Mary’s parish in Cleveland. This dramatic development was not announced to the members of the Cathedral parish nor Holy Spirit. We were given the understanding that the priests of the Eparchial Presbyteral Council supported this. Since this is our understanding, we are appealing to both you and Bishop Milan to express our grave concerns that this plan and the way it is being executed, will have disastrous results for our church and Eparchy. Specially, the loss of membership, vocations, financial support for the Eparchy and embarrassment for our Byzantine Catholic Church.
Please be assured that we fully understand that
a restructuring of the Eparchy of Parma, which will include parish
amalgamations, is necessary. Our concern is the way this process is being
executed by Bishop Milan. The documents of the Second Vatican Council, the
Eastern Code of Canon Law and the Statutes of the Eparchy of Parma give
clear instructions for a collaborative approach to ministry in the Church
particularly with issues which will profoundly impact and even have the
potential to traumatize the Faithful of our Eparchy.
Please also be assured that we fully understand that the Church is not a democracy. It is not a dictatorship either, wherein those most affected by major decisions are not given a proper stake hold in the destiny of their own church for which they have sacrificed much over generations. Instead, decisions are made secretively, without collaborations, and without a fair and thorough consideration of all options. An example would be to form a Steering Committee regarding the Cathedral property and complex. This committee made up of clergy and laity would provide support, guidance and oversight of progress in areas of feasibility, municipality input, religious community impact and many other key components needed in a project of this magnitude.
We appreciate Bishop Milan’s sense of responsibility, courage and sacrifice in embracing the immense challenges of coming from another country and facing the tasks that confront our Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church here in the American culture. Our intent is to be of the utmost assistance to Bishop Milan in his ministry as our Bishop and we are confident that we can be of immense help to Bishop Milan and to you as members of the Eparchial Presbyteral Council. However, Bishop Milan cannot avail himself of what we can offer to him when the very people who have been born and raised in the Church, who have much experience and a great deal of expertise, zeal and willingness are put on the sideline while others who are either very new to our Church decide our future for us.
We would like to submit to you that what would be very helpful in this growing crisis is for Bishop Milan to call his Eparchy together, like a loving father, and present to the Eparchy both the reality of the difficult situation but more importantly a positive, exciting, vision and plan for a bright future for the Eparchy. If the spiritual children hear from Bishop Milan, their spiritual father, both a message and an actual comprehensive plan of consolation, empathy, hope and vision, the Faithful are guaranteed to respond to their father with generous spiritual and financial support.
For a further presentation and understanding of our concerns we invite you to visit our web site: www.byzantine.us We continue to pray for Bishop Milan and our Eparchy.
Founding Members of the Save the Cathedral Save the Eparchy Group and other Faithful Parishioners of the Diocese of Parma.