A RENEGADE priest with a preference for the Latin rite has denounced his local bishop as disobedient to the Pope and has been suspended from administering the sacraments as a result.
Fr Francis LeBlanc of Phoenix, Arizona, who heads the local Tridentine-rite group, said he "would not obey a bishop who does not follow the Pope", when he was ordered to seek the permission of local bishop Thomas O'Brien before celebrating the Tridentine rite Mass.
Fr LeBlanc has also criticised the bishop on a number of other topics including his alleged laxity in allowing priests and nuns of the diocese to be seen in public wearing lay clothing.
The defiant cleric has tried to set up his own parish, Our Lady of the Sun, with a church presently under construction. This action earned the suspension of his priestly faculties, the bishop making it clear that "the establishment of a parish is restricted to the diocesan bishop and (that) the erection of a church in this diocese, without my permission, is prohibited."
Fr LeBlanc claims he is impervious to bishop O'Brien's jurisdiction because he was ordained in another diocese and so possesses independent priestly faculties.