This is a letter I sent to my fellow parishioners at Holy Family Catholic Church in St. Petersburg. My church is a member of FAST based on the sole decision of our Pastor Father John Tapp.
My Protest against FAST.
Mandatory Church Contribution to FAST and Endorsement of FAST violates my Conscience and is Bad for the Church.
“2442 It is not the role of the Pastors of the Church to intervene directly in the political structuring and organization of social life. This task is part of the vocation of the lay faithful, acting on their own initiative with their fellow citizens.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church).
My friends in Christ (please share with as many church members as possible),
I have come to the difficult decision that I can’t give to the Bishop’s Annual Pastoral Appeal this year due to the church’s relationship with FAST. I reach this conclusion after years of work evaluating the group “FAST” (Faith and Action for Strength Together) and have published my concerns on my blog the Sun Beam Times. It is not an easy decision because it means that I must take a difficult stand and challenge the wisdom and authority of my Pastor and my Bishop in public. It is easy to realize many negative repercussions from this protest for me and my family. However, I am inspired by the prophets, Apostles, Saints and by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who always stood up even when the Pharisees were willing to have him executed.
There appears to be only one way I can make a credible protest against the mandatory involvement of my church in FAST: to withhold my contribution to the Bishop’s annual Pastoral appeal. Withholding only from the church offertory does no good since my Pastor has decided that the he will use the offertory to provide $10,000 to FAST in a mandatory way. Also, I would not wish to stop contributing to my parish. However, the Bishop’s Annual Pastor Appeal (BAPA) is a tax on the church. Our Parish must provide about $170,000 this year mandatorily to the Diocese for BAPA. Perhaps if I withhold from BAPA, my Pastor will have to choose where the Parish money goes: FAST or BAPA.
I am also inspired by the courageous stance that many Bishops, including Reverend Lynch, have taken against the Federal Government’s mandate that the Catholic Church pay for contraception and abortion pills. Just as that violates the conscience of the Catholic Church, the mandatory financial support of a group I disagree with violates my conscience. It makes no sense that the church should take from the offertory built in good faith by the Parishioners and give it to a political organization that those same parishioners not only disagree with, but may work against in the community! It is important that the Pastor of a church consider the conscience and feelings of his Parishioners when considering political and financial involvement at this level. I am saddened to see my conscience on this matter ignored. FAST can act as they do. All members of our parish have the right to be involved. But they shouldn’t use the name of my church and my dollars to do so without my consent. This is why it is best that the Church not be involved with politics except where there is an obvious reason to do so supported wholly by the body of the church and only as supported by the Catechism.
David McKalip, M.D.
(This business card is available to those who want to pass it out to their friends. It is attached for PrintingLink to File is here..)
Life in Christ (Part III)
Sat. 5/12 and 5/26, 10-12
location 4th St. and 62nd Ave. N* (Details below)
What does the Catechism actually say about:
Saturday May 12 and May 26
10-12, Lunch provided.
Offices of David McKalip, M.D.*
RSVP by replying to this email.
Read the catechism together.
This will be a verbatim reading of entire sections and subsections of the catechism. Part III. There will be group discussion. People can learn about the catechism and grow in faith through this action. Formal Dioceses study materials will be also be used.**
*Dr. McKalip offices at:
SW corner of
4th St. and 62nd Ave. N.
(431 Southwest BLVD N, off Jefferson Circle at “Start to Finish Spine Care”).
Behind Founders Corner.
**I have tried to get the Parish to sponsor a study like this for a long time and have been denied so far, so I will organize a group to do some self study. Brian Lemoi (Director of Evangelization and Life Long Faith Formation) of the Diocese advises that such a group self study is perfectly legitimate and allowed with no violation of the teachings of the church.