Rorate Caeli

Very Relevant Ongoing Events in New York City: Read and Interpret

[Update here: Order came "directly from the Cardinal's office".]

Fr. Justin Wylie is a priest of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg, South Africa, who, until very recently, had been on assignment in New York City as attaché to the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations. He has become an extremely popular preacher in New York and was a frequent celebrant of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form at both the Church of St. Agnes (three times a month) and the Church of the Holy Innocents (one time a month) in Manhattan. (Fr. Wylie was the celebrant at Holy Innocents on several of our visits to the church, including this one). As first reported here in Rorate, the Church of the Holy Innocents has now been placed on a preliminary list of churches in Manhattan targeted for closing by the Archdiocese.

On Sunday, May 18, 2014, Fr. Wylie preached a sermon at Holy Innocents on charity and, in particular, on the urgent need for the Archdiocese to send true and sympathetic shepherds to serve (and guide) those who attend the Extraordinary From of the Mass in the Archdiocese. Shortly thereafter copies of the text of Fr. Wylie’s sermon began to appear all over the internet - not in Rorate.

It would appear that Fr. Wylie has not survived the publication of the text of his sermon unscathed. The following does not seem to be in dispute: just days after his sermon was widely publicized on the internet, Fr. Wylie was obliged to withdraw from all of his commitments to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form in the Archdiocese (and, apparently, from all public ministry in the Archdiocese of New York). It seems also that both the Holy See’s UN Permanent Observer Mission and the Archdiocese of Johannesburg received letters about the sermon from the Archdiocese of New York; Fr. Wylie no longer works for the Holy See UN Mission and he will soon be returning to South Africa.


Rorate note: These are the facts that are known. Since editorializing and sensationalism have already caused so much damage in this affair, we present the facts of which we are aware, and you, dear reader, will surely be able to provide the unavoidable interpretation. We tried to gather in the past few days as much safely available information as we could - our hand was somewhat forced to post this now because a crucial part of the information was published by another blog (CMReport) a couple of minutes ago.