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posted by awelborn

PA priest says he’ll start his own church

A recovering alcoholic, Hausen has been on administrative leave since October. Church officials won’t explain the move, but Hausen believes it was based partly on his struggles with alcohol and partly on his opposition to Catholic dogma calling for priests to remain celibate and prohibiting the ordination of women.

He expects a full house for his first service in the Sewickley Country Inn’s 400-seat banquet room. Although membership numbers still are unknown, the parish council includes 13 people, Hausen said. As members of the church, all would face excommunication.

Both Hausen and Lengwin acknowledge that people who join the church won’t be tracked, and those who change their minds would be free to return to the Catholic fold.

“No one is going to be taking license plate numbers,” Hausen said. “The (Catholic) church is big enough to take people back.”

Lengwin said worshipers who go to Hausen’s service out of curiosity won’t be excommunicated, but “we strongly believe that’s not a reason to attend. Attendance implies support of Father Hausen’s beliefs.”



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Robert Duncan

posted April 15, 2004 at 3:56 am


I love that: “partly on” repeated twice. Just goes to show once again, that these types of actions are just symptoms of a Protestant mentality …



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Gerard E.

posted April 15, 2004 at 6:00 am


Just two words in response to his decision:
“see” and “ya.”



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John Hetman

posted April 15, 2004 at 6:43 am


Sin is ultimately tedious and boring. The renegade “start my own church” reaction has been around so long as to make (so to be “Ex”) Fr. Hausen just another coin in the world of nickle and dime rebels. God bless you, Ex-Father Hausen, and I hope that you make yourself at least a bishop one day soon.



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TK

posted April 15, 2004 at 6:53 am


Sewickley is a very well to do, area, but not all that liberal, lotsa mansions owned by old money anglicans and presbyterians up in the hills.



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renlea

posted April 15, 2004 at 8:49 am


thats just like what we used to do when we were in elementary school.
“i dont like your club, i am going to form one of my own.”
and then we would stick out our tongues and go sit in our tree house and sulk while our friends got on terribly well without us.
some people never grow up i guess.



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Mark R

posted April 15, 2004 at 8:50 am


He probably should have kept drinking.



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Cheryl

posted April 15, 2004 at 9:38 am


My sister’s parish (Sacred Heart) had the unfortunate luck to inherit Fr. Hausen after he left his former Sewickley parish. One of the first things he said to her after she introduced herself was, “don’t encourage your daughters to become nuns. There’s no future in it!” He wasn’t at Sacred Heart long, but he did make an impression. In an odd way, he may have had an unintentional positive impact on my sister. She had long been in favor of women’s ordination and we’ve had some “lively” discussions about the subject. But after she experienced Fr. Hausen and his agenda, she started rethinking her own position.
I heard a couple of his homilies and needless to say, came away unimpressed. He is a tad flamboyant and drew sizeable crowds. The impression he left with me could best be summed up as, “it’s all about me, me, me.”
A sad guy, really. Think about the narcissism required to go out and start your own “Catholic” church (when there are plenty of Protestant churches to pick from). He probably needs prayers more than anything else.



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Steve Skojec

posted April 15, 2004 at 9:59 am


At the risk of sounding divisive, I think we’d be in better shape if more people would get up and encamp themselves somewhere other than Churches where the rest of us would like to spend some time with Catholicism and God.
Everyone seems so afraid of schism, and of people leaving, but I think our enemies have been kept too close for too long. Let’s air the Church out, and then start evangelizing these poor heretics to try to bring them back into the True Faith. If they aren’t interested, at least they won’t be trying to destroy our liturgies and beliefs, and can have a religion of make-believe all on their own.



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Steve Skojec

posted April 15, 2004 at 10:02 am


Or, in the words of St. Augustine (pulled just now from my random quote generator, which is at times eerily not-so-random):
“Tell us straight out that you do not believe in the Gospel of Christ; for you believe what you want in the Gospel and disbelieve what you want. You believe in yourself rather than in the Gospel.”
-St. Augustine, Against Faustus the Manichean, [17, 3]



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c matt

posted April 15, 2004 at 10:20 am


I thought celibacy was a discipline, not a dogma? Or would married priests be expected to maintain celibacy? Then what’s the point of clamoring for married priests?



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Steve Skojec

posted April 15, 2004 at 10:22 am


Jason – touche.
All the same, can we at least let the liturgists leave? PLEASE?



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Jason Spak

posted April 15, 2004 at 10:22 am


Or, in the words of Christ, passed along to us in the Gospel of Matthew:
He proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds 10 all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘”
I pray for better priests, better bishops, and better laypeople. I think that those prayers are being answered: the darkest post-Vatican II days are over, and young Catholics, especially young priests and seminarians, have a very clear sense of what Church teaching is and is not.
So I’m not afraid of schism; I’d just rather let God gather the wheat and the weeds.



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Whitcomb

posted April 15, 2004 at 10:38 am


The church already has some married priests–I think about 100. Many of them are Anglican priests who converted. I’m not aware of a celibacy discipline being imposed on them.



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Sandra Miesel

posted April 15, 2004 at 10:51 am


In the Good Old Days when there were lawful married priests, they were also required to refrain from marital relations–permanently. For a priest to make love to his own wife was considered a sin worse than incest. Neither the priest nor the wife could remarry if the spouse died.
So much for those who try to use married priests in the past for dropping celibacy in the future.



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Mike Petrik

posted April 15, 2004 at 10:55 am


My priest is married — a former Episcopal priest, and he need not be celibate. C matt is absolutely correct, of course; the article uses the word “dogma” too loosely.



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Whitcomb

posted April 15, 2004 at 11:14 am


Sandra, I wonder how celibacy among married priests was enforced in those days. Loosely, I would imagine. Only the most voyeuristic agents of a bishop would enjoy that duty.



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Steve Skojec

posted April 15, 2004 at 1:17 pm


Sandra – I’ve never heard that one before. Where’d you get that information?
Many Eastern Churches have maintained clerical marriage, and they didn’t have celibacy imposed on them. They simply had to be married before they were ordained – and that’s still the rule in those cases.



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Julia

posted April 15, 2004 at 1:19 pm


Re: married clergy
I think in the OT that Jewish priests had to refrain from intercourse with their wives for a period of time before performing their duties.
I know that today, Orthodox Jews are to sleep in separate beds & not even flirt while the wife is having her period.
Lots of this has to do with uncleanness. There may be new explanations for celebacy, but I think the old ideas of uncleanness and purity required of the priest are behind it.



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Sandra Miesel

posted April 15, 2004 at 2:03 pm


Yes, the Eastern Church lets its married priests make love except the night before celebrating the liturgy and married priests of the Latin Rite lead normal marital lives. ‘Twas not always so in the Late Antique period and Dark Ages. Being a priest’s wife was not a fun thing. I’ll have to look up some cites.
Cleanliness taboos do have something to do with. In the Middle Ages, married lay people weren’t supposed to have intercourse the night before they received Communion. I think some people were still being taught that into the twentieth century.



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Christine

posted April 15, 2004 at 2:25 pm


I believe that’s also one of the reasons that married Eastern Orthodox priests don’t celebrate a daily Divine Liturgy in order not to be ritually “unclean” if they have had relations with their wives the night before. Smacks a little too much of O.T. purity laws to me.



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Brian Amend

posted April 15, 2004 at 2:35 pm


One thing in the article is wrong. A lay person does not get excommunicated for merely attending a schismatic Mass even if he or she takes communion. You’d have to go through the entire effort of registering with the schismatic “parish” to get your morning’s latae sententiae.



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Sandra Miesel

posted April 15, 2004 at 7:06 pm


For those who doubted my data about continence being required of married clergy in the patristic and Dark Ages Church, go look at Suzanne Wemple, WOMEN IN FRANKISH SOCIETY and Dyan Elliott, SPIRITUAL MARRIAGE for the particulars. From the fifth century, deacons, priests, and bishops were required to be continent, according to the APOSTOLIC CANONS, and decrees of Leo I and Gregory the Great, among other sources. A Burgundian priest who had relations with his own wife was condemned to seven years of harsh penance but living with a concubine was considered less serious. The Church of the first millennium exalted virginity so much that the ideal marriage of the time was an unconsummated one.



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Jesse

posted April 15, 2004 at 8:20 pm


I too believe that better days in the Church are in front of us. Being a young person myself (22) I have noticed an increase of devotion in my peers. We are still relatively small and perhaps have little of a voice so far but I see our day coming. I can see it on the horizon and I think many will be surprised at what we will accomplish.
I am not sure if that last paragraph fits this post but I felt compelled to write it.
About this priest, yeah he probably would have been better off to keep drinking. Maybe that way he would only be conscious and sober enough to say the Office and celebrate Mass. He certainly would be better off spending so much time in prayer that he could keep from lapsing into this new fantasy life of his. I don’t like the color of the sky. I think I am going to get 400 people to agree with me that it should be pink.



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Christine

posted April 16, 2004 at 10:41 am


From the “new” church’s website:
“Father Bill Hausen is a validly ordained Priest. He has not and will not resign his Priesthood. As taught in Catholic Theology, “Once a Priest, always a Priest.”
That’s always been the mark of heresy. To choose what one will and will not accept as authentic Catholic teaching. Interesting how Father Hausen is willing to hold on to this particular piece of “Catholic Theology” while quite willing to jettison the rest.



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Terri

posted May 3, 2004 at 8:51 pm


Father Bill and his congregation have given a voice to the millions of us tired of a Church stuck in the quagmire of 4th century dogma. Guess what folks? Popes in the 15th century…Alexander VI and Julius II were not only ruthless tyrants, ordering the killings of their enemies at will, but they each had consorts and fathered children! Guess as far as church hierachy goes…it’s do as I say, not as I do. The original apostles were also married men. Some claim that Jesus himself was married. The council of Nicea voted to declare that priests remain celibate. This was the same council that first voted on the virgin birth and the divinity of Jesus. The Church’s rules were made by men, not God. In Judiasm at the time of Christ, it was man’s expected duty to take a wife an procreate. One could not be a rabbi unless one was married! Jesus was a devout Jew and a follower of Mosaic law, I would find it hard to believe that he would insist on celibacy for his priests. The ability to create new life is one of the greatest gifts given man by God.



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Terri

posted May 3, 2004 at 8:59 pm


Also, remember, the Catholic Church has done it’s part to stunt independent thought throughout history. It has always been unable to deal with independent thought. The world had to be flat, the sun had to move across the sky. Otherwise how could heaven be above and hell be below? The Catholic Church for the longest time refused to accept that woman played an active part in conception. The Church insisted that the woman was only the vessel, making no contribution to conception. It’s most effective tool against free thought…THE INQUISITION. Hardly the picture of an organization that is supposed to bring it’s followers closer to God. The Church freely condemns anyone who questions its dogma. Threatens excommunication. It’s an exclusionary institution unless you agree to live by the letter of its law. Laws that were made by MEN, as far as I know God provided 11 Commandments. Ten were issued to Moses, the other provided by Christ Himself. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Nowhere does the gospel say, “Don’t eat meat on Friday”. “Or you will go to hell if you don’t go to Mass on Sunday.” Seems to me the rules are very basic, we are all here together and we should all work for the common good. Love and respect each other for what we are…Children of God. As is said in the Easterm religions, “Namaste”…the Light of God in me acknowledges the Light of God in you.” If we all just looked at each other and saw God, and treated each other accordingly, there would be peace and “heaven” on earth.



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Terri

posted May 3, 2004 at 9:22 pm


And folks, it appears that this is more than about the ordination of married men and women. That appears to be the tip of the iceberg. This is about a man who has taken time to think about this. After all, he has been a priest his entire life, one does not walk away from a commitment like that on a whim. Question to you all, can you condone the actions of the Catholic Church? They are excommunicating this man because he thinks and questions the authority of the CHurch hierarchy. A hierarchy that apparently condones the abuse of innocent children by allowing priest who were know molestors (a felony in ALL states and a crime in most parts of the world) to continue to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass..to receive all sacraments. Come on people, these men were guilty of not only a sin, but of one of the most heinous CRIMES in society today. Even among criminals they are outcasts, held in solitary confinement for their own safety. I have trouble rectifying this all…those men are okay..lets just transfer them to another parish…but when a priest offers legitimate questions that are on the minds of millions of Catholics, he is excommunicated. What planet is the church hieracrhy living on??? The hierarchy of the church is nothing less than twisted. Follow them on blind faith…no more. My faith is in God and God alone. Go ahead…excommunicate me..oh wait, they did that when I married my previously married/legally divorced husband. Guess what? They did me a big favor. I’m closer to God now without the interference of the church.



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Rich

posted June 28, 2004 at 1:41 pm


It is unbelievable to hear all of these opinions about Fr. Hausen without even knowing the man. I have had the privilege to know the man personally for more than fifteen years of my life. He is human and has flaws like you and I, but he believes in love, life, and goodness in people. What he stands for is for everyone to love everyone else regardless of faith. I would not write anything about any one of you without knowing you personally. Fr. Hausen is a decent, honest, and loving human being.



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