To: Mrs. Tracey Trott
From: Fr. William J. King (Cannon Law, Office ‑ Diocese of Harrisburg) (717) 657‑4804
Monday, June 16, 2003
"A couple of documents from the Vatican that I'm going to send to you at YC that they end probably a list of questions that your son should ask the priests who says this mass. Certainly it is not a authentic catholic mass and really has nothing to do with the diocese of Harrisburg or any authentic bishop or catholic service or parish.
They are a schismatic group, we know about them and we did ask that announcements be placed in parish bulletins in York and Lancaster counties, I hope this was done and I know it was done in some parishes.
Basically I can dress up in a football uniform and say I play for the Chicago Bears but that doesn't make me a member of the NFL and essentially that's what these people are doing. The priests may be authentically ordained priests, but they are not acting in communion with the Catholic Church, they are not part of the Catholic Church. Their mass may be a valid mass, but it's not part of the Catholic Church and certainly doesn't fulfill the Sunday obligation. They may call themselves catholic priests, we don't recognize them and they have no affiliation with any bishop. So if I have time and I hope I do, it's a crazy time in the office, to put together a few questions that your son could ask these priests. It would involve: Who is their bishop? There is no such thing as a priest acting without a bishop, or successor of the apostles. Also ask to see their written mandate from Bishop Dattilo authorizing them to say this mass on a weekly basis, because it is only the bishops who have the authority to permit the celebration of this mass and if they can't show a document in writing from the bishop of this diocese saying that they have the authority to do this, then obviously they are not acting as part of the catholic church, they are technically in "Schism" with the catholic church and if your son were to continue to affiliate himself with this group then he would probably be in schism or penalty away from the catholic church.
So those are the questions and I'll send you the documents for him to read and discuss them with these priest and hopefully discuss them with his proper parish priest as well or he could give me a phone call here at the diocese too.”
(Schism: a split ‑ as in a church ‑ because of difference of opinion, doctrine, etc.)