The parishioners of Saint Charles Borromeo Church were very upset for the Archdiocese of Sacramento’s actions when Bishop Soto put Fr Ron Marcelo, Parish Administrator, on administrative leave since October 22, 2013.
Fr Ron Marcelo’s public letter to most Rev. Jaime Soto, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento stated: “On October 22, 2013 I hosted, prepared and served an appreciation lunch to honor a retiring employee. A bottle and a half of wine was consumed during the mean among ten (10) staff members who were present. After the meal, I went to the Parochial School to communicate a transfer of $22,000.00 from the Parish funds to the school, meeting very quickly the administrator and the substitute principal. Three days later I received a letter from his Excellency putting me into administrative leave because I was reported to be ‘under the influence of alcohol’ when I went to the school that day.”
Members of the church are signing a petition to the Diocese of Sacramento to bring back Fr. Marcelo as their pastor.
Per my interview with Sister Mary Olive Kingsbury, RVM, the Diocese of Sacramento’s action was harsh and unprofessional per members feedback. They kept the parishioners hanging without formal letter what really transpired of Fr. Ron’s disappearance. Members were very concerned of the whereabouts of their pastor. Most of them contacted the Diocese of Sacramento and they never returned their call. However, not until now, when a caption, from the Saint Charles Borromeo Parish bulletin, appeared on Feb. 09, 2014, that says: “Father Ron Marcelo has chosen not to follow the Bishop’s plan for his personal health. As a consequence, he is no longer Parochial Administrator of St. Charles Borromeo Parish. Father Patrick Henry will administer the parish until July 1, 2014. Father Brent Carlton Nall will divide his time between hospital and parish ministry. Please keep all three priests in your payers.”
Members of the church are confused about Fr. Ron’s personal health issue? In fact, one of the members spoke out that the clinic who examined the pastor that there is no indication that he is an alcoholic. Therefore, is this a political witch-hunt? So far, there is no confirmation about the disclosure of the clinic who conducted Fr. Ron Marcelo’s alcoholic abused?
In addition on Fr Ron’s letter he said that sex scandal of the recent years the Catholic Church has been in the defensive and is over-sensitive to any misconduct that can tarnish its name and institutions. The church to be watchful not only in matters that concern legalities but to strive to be coherent to the mission of witnessing to the Gospel. And that includes the relationships among the clergy that work in the same task. Application of rules and sanctions to priests and to other church personnel without charity, the defense of the Institution without looking attentively at the people can perpetrate another injustice, if not an anti-evangelical act, that disfigures the image of the church.
It appears Fr Ron won't give up without a fight.