Almost 450 people attended the inaugural Mass of the Evangelical Catholic Church being established in Bend, Ore., with Fr. James Radloff as pastor.
Baker, Ore., Bishop Liam Cary said that Catholics that attend Mass at a breakaway denomination will sever that person's full membership in the RCC.
"The faithful transmission of the Gospel has always been betrayed by the unfaithful behavior of Catholic Christians," Bishop Liam Cary wrote to parishioners over the weekend.
"I have written Father Radloff to encourage him to reconsider his decision in light of the detrimental effects it will have on him personally."
Fr. James Radloff announced Tuesday that he is leaving the Roman Catholic Church for a breakaway denomination, the Evangelical Catholic Church.
NCR Today: The pastor removed from his post at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, appealed to the Vatican and lost, has been invited to meet with the bishop in early April.
The personality of a pastor and employee terminations are flashpoints in discussions of why the priest might have been removed as pastor.
To what degree the removal of Fr. James Radloff from ministry is as much personal as it is about a bishop establishing clear lines of authority or a pastor seeking justice is hard to pin down.
Bishop Liam Cary's emphasis on the vow of obedience is viewed by many as a key to Fr. James Radloff's removal as pastor.
A petition circulated by parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi to keep a popular Spanish-speaking pastor at their parish may have caused a rift between the bishop and another pastor.