Parishioners opposed to administrative actions of their pastor in Berkeley, Calif., have escalated their protests after being banned by the pastor from all ministries as well as membership on parish committees.
In a bulletin announcement Oct. 30, Fr. John Direen, pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, said the protesters will not be allowed to serve as ushers, lectors or Eucharistic ministers nor serve on any parish committees "until further notice."
The announcement shocked Salvemos/Save St. Joseph the Worker, a group that has held weekly vigils outside the church for the past six months to show their dismay for a range of decisions they say are destroying the parish.
Among the decisions are the eviction of a retired pastor from the rectory and parish ministry, dismissal of the pastoral council and establishment of a replacement council without parish input, suspension of the Consejo Latino, unwillingness to let the parish's long-standing social justice committee meet on parish grounds and failure to respond to parishioners' request for a financial audit.