The following is the text of a letter RCF received today. It was written by Fr. Chris Ponnet, Pastor of St. Camillus Catholic Center for Pastoral Care in Los Angeles, CA.

March 20, 1998


Dear Cardinal: (Cardinal Roger Mahony)

I write to you with hope in a church that is growing in numbers and in its proclamation of the Good News. I write in sadness as a pastor who over the past several months receive (sic) publications that who (sic) attacks (sic) you personally and any of us who wish to remain Roman Catholic linked with you and the Holy Father. Publications from HUMAN LIFE INTERNATIONAL, ROMAN CATHOLIC FAITHFUL, and LA MISSION.(sic)

I write you in support of your leadership in serving the people of God, the marginalized and continuing (sic) to "teach us" about the liturgical life of our church in this post Vatican II period. Church history gives me peace know (sic) that the post-Trent liturgical changes took many years. I write in support and send copies to these people as one among thousands in support of your vision and ministry.

I send this letter as a "public" protest to those who send others and me publications while I wish to remain loyal to you (sic) the Holy Father and his commitment to you. I send a copy to the TIDINGS since they have been part of these attacks (sic). They have asked people to withhold money; I enclose a small donation in support of the wonderful ministry in the Office of Worship here in Los Angeles. I gave a workshop last weekend on Ministry to the Sick and Dying — thousands came in support of your vision in the pastoral letter.

These publications seem so distance (sic) from those patients whom I serve in the tradition of Jesus, Mother Teresa, the Holy Father and you: inmates who might be executed by Capital Punishment, gay and lesbian people who come in wounded by hate crimes, undocumented women who want to give birth, persons with cancer or AIDS who cannot afford insurance or medicine. Jesus is so clear on how love is our message not (sic) hate.

I want to be counted among those who support your ministry and vision — the Holy Father — and want to be part of the making real of the welcoming community that we will celebrate during the sacred Holy Week and Tridium (sic) in the coming weeks. Be assured of my daily prayers and (sic) for Unity among believers.

Sincerely, Father Chris Ponnet, Pastor St. Camillus

(1911 Zonal Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90033. fax (213) 225-9096)

Cc TIDINGS, LA Mission, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, Human Life International


The following was part of St. Camillus letter head

As chaplains* of St. Camillus Center for Pastoral Care, we are called to form a community of faith and love in union with Jesus Christ. We support, affirm, and challenge each other in a spirit of collaboration.

We commit ourselves to be "Church"(sic) in its preferential option for the poor in LA County/USC Medical Center for the poor and disenfranchised.

We are called forth by the Gospel of Jesus to be the enfleshment (sic) of Christian hope in the middle of the frailty, sickness, injury, violence and murder as we accompany patients, families and staff.

We commit ourselves to enter into and accept the poverty in our own selves in order to enter into the Gospel with faith and share realistically the various "poverty’s" (sic) of those we serve in the light of that Gospel.

As women and men of compassion, we reflect the promise and gift of the Paschal Mystery to those we serve and with whom we are the Church.


Fr. Mike Baker Sr. Nancy Bartasavich, SP (*sic)      Deacon Jim Dillon
Sr. Mary Jean Ferry, BVM (*sic)                                 Sr. Dora Hauchecome, ICM (*sic)
Fr. Bob Jones, C
M    Fr. Gustavo Lara                              Mr. Jorge Manly-Gil 
Sr. Matilde Ortiz, CMST (sic)                                           Fr. Chris Ponnet, Pastor

From RCF:

* It is unlawful for the non-ordained faithful to assume titles such as "pastor", "chaplain", "coordinator", " moderator" or other such similar titles which can confuse their role and that of the Pastor, who is always a Bishop or Priest.58 [Instruction On Certain Questions Regarding The Collaboration Of The Non-Ordained Faithful In The Sacred Ministry Of Priest, approved by the Holy Father, signed by 8 Vatican congregations and issued 13 August 1997]