Baltimore’s new archbishop seems to be taking his job very seriously and reining in the anything-goes mentality as earlier this week he removed a priest who was pastor of three South Baltimore parishes for offenses that include officiating at a funeral Mass with an Episcopal priest, allowing dogs in the sanctuary, and blowing off a baptism, according to The Baltimore Sun.
Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien personally ordered the Rev. Ray Martin, who has led the Catholic Community of South Baltimore for five years, to resign from the three churches and sign a statement yesterday apologizing for “bringing scandal to the church.”
Martin led the funeral Mass on Oct. 15 for Locust Point activist Ann Shirley Doda at Our Lady of Good Counsel with several clergy, including the Rev. Annette Chappell, the pastor of the Episcopal Church of the Redemption in Locust Point, Martin said.
Sean Caine, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, said this was one example of repeated administrative and liturgical offenses Martin had committed in more than a year. “Father Martin’s received advice and counsel on numerous occasions from the archdiocese, and he has repeatedly violated church teaching,” Caine said.
No word yet on how the dogs in the sanctury felt about the priest’s removal.