Take these two interesting cases in one single diocese alone!
Case 1: Ex seminarian, recently kicked out AGAIN of the seminary. Tries to go back to his "old" powerful post. So-called "caretaker" of his post refuses to vacate the position. Former seminarian now goes to another parish where he is now the "perpetual" masters of ceremonies and goes around wearing the clerical collar and even the clerical biretta! Yes, he was kicked out AGAIN of the seminary. And he is NOT a seminarian nor was he even a major seminarian.
Case 2: Ex seminarian, kicked out too for a sexual harassment case. Resurfaces at a parish dedicated to our Mother. Calls himself pastoral coordinator. Acts as Masters of Ceremonies at almost all major liturgical celebrations. Claims to be an alumnus of Loyola School of Theology but records don't show it. Uses his position to sell powdered juice that claims to have antioxidant properties. His Facebook account reveals his "likes" for not so manly FB groups and sites. And he too goes around wearing a clerical collar, or a cassock. And claims to be part of a "religious community". If you can call the Legion of Mary, or the Apostleship of Prayer or the El Shaddai Group a "religious community" then would that give him the right to go around dressing himself up like he is a priest?
This makes my blood boil and it's not good for me actually.
Why do the parish priests of these parishes don't even do their diligent work of checking the past of these people? Why are they even made Masters of Ceremonies of the parish that they look to claim as if it were a royal birthright?
Why do some parish priests give these men these positions of power and influence in the parish? Aren't other people not good enough for the job?
Why do they allow these people to go around dressed as if they are priests?
We have always blogged at TPC about the need for a visual representation of a non visible reality.
When priests were jailed by the Nazis at concentration camps, they were stripped of their religious habits or cassocks and made to wear prison jump suits. St. Maximilian Kolbe is represented in sacred iconography wearing his jumpsuit.
If you see St. Maximilian in prison and you did not know him personally as a priest, you would think that he is just one of the prisoners. There is nothing in what he is wearing that identifies him as a priest!
But these ex seminarians want to dress up as one even though they are not one. Are these people cos players? Do they wear these items reserved for people who are actually priests so that they can somehow enjoy whatever "benefits" those items bring?
These two ex seminarians must be reminded to dress properly according to their state of life. They are not priests so they should not be wearing clothing that is for priests.
As for their positions in the parishes, I'd still point the responsibility at the parish priests.
These ex seminarians are using the Church for their source of livelihood and whatever delusions they may have.
The next time I see these two, I'd talk to the parish priest and will tell them that I will withhold any donations I would want to give until their role in the parish is clearly defined.
Or else, you'd see them here.