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benignity 
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Re: “Arkansas bishop announces dismissal of priest

Monsignor Royce Thomas --a HERO for the Catholic Church in an era without heroes!!

Royce Thomas was a gifted priest who had a real and positive impact on the lives of parishioners for decades in Arkansas. I was in school with him at Fayetteville in the early 1970s when he was a graduate student in history. He was a thoughtful and brilliant student. My family was in Good Counsel parish, and I had the opportunity to hear Father Thomas speak on many occasions. He was one of the very few Catholic priests who was a gifted orator, who could craft a message based on the liturgy of the day, and who could deliver it witih panache.

Father Thomas was also a caring human being. When my grandmother died he visited with our family, none of whom are major donors to the church. He drove to our home and spoke to us for more than an hour about our grandmother, and then crafted his homily to include many personal details that we related in that meeting. Her funeral was a great source of comfort to the family because of his kindness and the hard work he put into his preparation. As an organist I have attended many funerals, including many Catholic funerals that were devoid of comfort with not a single personal word about the deceased.

It is the SHAME of the Catholic Church and the bishop that they have dealt so harshly with such a fine human being. Father Thomas may not have been perfect, but the church is full of imperfect priests. Many have asked why Father Thomas should be dealt with so harshly by such an imperfect and some might suggest criminal organization ( at least in the way it has dealt with the crime of pedophilia) as the Catholic Church. Father Thomas did not deserve this treatment after his years of outstanding service. I imagine that a new bishop might have been cowed by the popularity of Father Thomas who had been featured in "high profile." There were other ways to deal with any possible transgressions of Father Thomas. The church has lost one of the few bright lights among its clergy. This was a sad occasion for Father Thomas, for the new bishop, and for the countless Catholics who will be denied the pastoral guidance of Father Thomas.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by benignity on 02/16/2013 at 7:12 AM

 

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