From last Sunday’s Mass at St. Francis de Sales Oratory. If you missed it, these photos will give you an idea of it.
- The Archdiocese did not have the event videotaped for use against Sr. Lears; or,
- The Archdiocese did have the event videotaped– which it had every legal and moral right to do– because it was advertised by the ladies themselves and according to Lears’ groupies themselves was not a secret.
There is no evidence that the Archdiocese ordered the video taken. In fact all the evidence and all of the information I have gathered supports the Archdiocesan denial. Either way, however, no moral dilemma, no PR dilemma, no legal problem, no canonical problem.
About the only thing this story really constitutes is a means for bashing Archbishop Burke and a forum for St. Cronan’s sympathizers to get quoted in the media.
Anyway, excerpts from the full article:
The St. Louis archdiocese has denied it authorized anyone to attend a women’s ordination ceremony to make a video recording of it.
That the “archdiocese of St. Louis authorized the video recording of a Catholic women’s ordination’ is untrue,” the archdiocese said in a letter to NCR.
Citing sources familiar with the archdiocese’s case against St. Louis Sister of Charity Louise Lears, the NCR Web site published a story July 10 saying that the archdiocese had authorized someone to attend the ceremony for the purpose of video recording it.
In the July 10 story, sources said that an affidavit exists in the Acta, or files, on Lears, sanctioning someone to attend to record the ceremony.
The archdiocese’s letter to NCR, signed by St. Louis Bishop Robert Hermann , archdiocesan administrator, and Msgr. John Shamleffer, judicial vicar, stated: “The ‘affidavit giving permission to an individual to attend the ceremony in order to record it’ does not exist.”
Shamleffer is out of town this week and Hermann declined to be interviewed for this story, according to Anne Steffens, chief communications officer for the archdiocese.
Steffens, however, was quoted in a news article that appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, following the NCR story, saying that the archdiocese “had, indeed, sent a witness to the ordinations,” adding that that witness “did not tape the event.”
The archdiocese’s letter to NCR stated that it “never videotaped nor requested any videotaping of the event.” It added that the “attempted ordination was public, recorded by local and statewide media and placed on the Internet. The video was easily accessible from a variety of mediums without us having to record it ourselves.”
It is unknown in what form the archdiocese obtained any video, although in its letter to NCR, the archdiocese said it “was obliged to use the footage in order to disprove Sister Lears’ advocate’s initial denial of Sister’s presence at the ceremony.”
Sources had told NCR that Lears’ files also contain photographs of her taken at the ceremony, including at least one of a close up of her lapel identification tag.