SAN FRANCISCO, May 1, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - A solid new school chaplain takes over today at a San Francisco Catholic community that's recently been targeted by the media for its pastor's altar boys-only policy.
Star of the Sea School, part of the same community as Star of the Sea parish, will now be ministered by Fr. Vito Perrone of the Contemplatives of St. Joseph, who's described as “a priest of impeccable orthodoxy.”
The parish's pastor, Fr. Joseph Illo, co-founder of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, has been under attack since last November, when he announced the parish will only be training boys to serve at the altar. Since then, some disgruntled parents, upset with the decision, have been working tirelessly to oust the traditional priest. There has even been a petition to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to remove him.
Despite these efforts, Fr. Illo remains in charge of the parish — only now with the assistance of another faithful priest.
The scene in San Francisco is certainly dramatic, with Star of the Sea apparently being a microcosm of the archdiocese. While a faction of parents at Star of the Sea are petitioning their pastor's superior, Archbishop Cordileone, to replace him with someone to its liking, others in the city are petitioning the archbishop's superior, Pope Francis, to oust the archbishop.
Archbishop Cordileone has been dutifully tending to the schools in his archdiocese in efforts to revise faculty handbooks and ensure the Faith is taught correctly. This work has shoved him into the crosshairs of a high-powered smear campaign, however. He's now being targeted by an anonymously funded PR firm that has “one of the most powerful people in the San Francisco Bay Area” pulling strings to ruin his reputation.
In the face of such backlash, these two pastors' flocks are standing in support of their leaders.
Father Illo, along with Star of the Sea's other leader, Fr. Patrick Driscoll, was just honored at a packed “Mass Mob” event at their parish, and they'll be featuring EWTN's Raymond Arroyo for another headline event this weekend. This follows Church Militant's fundraiser earlier this year, which brought in more than $50,000 worth of appreciation for the parish's increasing respect for the Church's traditions.