February 02, 2005

Ouster of Rockwall priest sought

The Dallas Morning News

08:10 PM CST on Tuesday, February 1, 2005

By BROOKS EGERTON / The Dallas Morning News

Some Catholics in Rockwall are urging Dallas Bishop Charles Grahmann to remove their pastor, citing the priest's support for a lay minister who is serving a probationary sentence for indecent exposure.

The protesters say the Rev. William Richard is seeking the bishop's permission to continue employing the layman and is dismissing parishioners who oppose this from volunteer positions.

"There are several other grave matters we would like to discuss with you," adds a letter to the bishop that is posted on the group's Web site. It does not elaborate.

More than 110 people from Our Lady of the Lake parish have recently signed petitions calling for the pastor's removal, the Web site says. About 1,500 people attend Sunday services, according to the Dallas Catholic Diocese.

Bronson Havard, the bishop's spokesman, said the petitions are under review, as is the lay minister's status. He declined to comment further Tuesday.

Father Richard said the reviews had led him to be quiet.

"With the parish I haven't said a lot, out of discretion and so forth, but that's given a lot of people an opportunity to spin things their own way," the priest said.

Posted by kshaw at February 2, 2005 01:06 AM