Life Teen Founder Excommunicated
From the Diocese of Phoenix website:
Marcel has a reaction statement from the current president of Life Teen, Randy Raus, making the point that Fr. Fushek's involvement with Life Teen is long over:
December 15, 2008-The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, has issued a Decree of Excommunication to Reverend Monsignor Dale Fushek and Reverend Mark Dippre.
Fushek and Dippre have incurred the censure of excommunication because they have chosen to be in schism with the Catholic Church by establishing and leading an opposing ecclesial community known to the public as the Praise and Worship Center. Both priests have consistently refused to comply with explicit directions by Bishop Olmsted to discontinue engaging in public ministry. The excommunications were incurred after repeated offers of reconciliation were ignored. The decree of excommunication by Bishop Olmsted declares the censure that Fushek and Dippre, as ordained priests, have brought upon themselves. The purpose of these sanctions is to reconcile both men with the Catholic Church and to preserve the integrity and unity of the Diocese.
... Bishop Olmsted continues to express his grave concern for Catholics who may be misled or confused by the actions of Dale Fushek and Mark Dippre. The Diocese of Phoenix does not endorse the actions of these excommunicated priests and we encourage Catholics to refrain from attending or supporting the Praise and Worship Center. We remind Catholics that the ultimate form of praise and worship is and always will be the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and we urge them to keep the Mass as the center of their lives. There is no substitution for the graces received at Mass and no prayer more edifying.
Fr. Fushek (wiki entry) has been very bad news for a long time. In 2005 he was indicted for sexually-related misdemeanor charges. The one-time vicar general of the diocese was accused of sexually abusing a teen, and costing the diocese a $100,000 settlement. I commented on this developing story briefly back in January.
This excommunication is not connected in any way with the ministry of Life Teen, as all of the actions that led to this occurred after Rev. Dale Fushek’s involvement with our ministry. Further, I want to make it clear that Life Teen is in no way associated with his new venture.
Even though it has been almost four years since he has been directly involved with the movement of Life Teen, the media continues to associate Rev. Dale Fushek with Life Teen. While we continue to pray for Rev. Dale Fushek, the movement of Life Teen is in full support of Bishop Olmsted and Diocese of Phoenix in this matter.