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Update, 9/22/2018: A petition is being circulated calling for Cdl. Cupich's resignation.
After Kalchik fled the parish, Cdl. Blase Cupich issued a letter naming Msgr. James Kaczorowski administrator of Resurrection Parish, with Aux. Bp. Mark Bartosic monitoring the situation. Cupich did not address the threats he made through his vicars for priests to have police remove Kalchik by force in order to commit him to St. Luke Institute, nor did he explain that Kalchik has gone into hiding, instead phrasing the situation as follows: "It has become clear to me that Fr. Kalchik must take time away from the parish to receive pastoral support so his needs can be assessed."
CHICAGO (ChurchMilitant.com) - Church Militant confirmed Saturday that Fr. Paul Kalchik, pastor of Resurrection Parish in Chicago, has fled his parish and gone into hiding, one day after two chancery priests threatened him that if he did not get psychiatric treatment, Cdl. Blase Cupich would ensure he'd be taken away by police.
"The full frontal attack took place this evening, and the attack resulted in me not saying the evening Mass, nor leading the Rosary Benediction," Fr. Kalchik told Church Militant Friday night about the confrontation with Msgr. Dennis Lyle and Fr. Jeremy Thomas, both vicars for priests.
The vicars for priests, acting on behalf of Cdl. Cupich, confronted Kalchik just as he was leaving to say 6 p.m. Mass, asking to meet with him privately. Kalchik refused to meet alone, instead gathering parishioners to be witnesses to the exchange.
Lyle and Thomas made clear they were there on order of Cdl. Cupich, who insisted that Kalchik be sent to St. Luke Institute for his "psychiatric issues." Both vicars for priests had also only days before threatened that Kalchik could have his faculties removed if he failed to comply with Cupich's orders.
The orders came after parishioners burned a rainbow flag that once hung in the sanctuary back when Resurrection parish was designated Chicago's "gay" parish. Church Militant broke the news on Sept. 15, which has since been reported on national news outlets, drawing widespread attention to the parish. The flag-burning event took place in spite of Cupich's warnings to call it off. Kalchik himself did not burn the flag, but parishioners took things into their own hands and held the flag-burning ceremony themselves. In response to what Cupich saw as defiance, he ordered Kalchik to St. Luke (a treatment center with a notorious past, whose former CEO was convicted in 2014 of embezzling $200,000 dollars, which he spent on gay lovers).
"I made it clear to them that I was not just going to cave and walk away from being pastor here at Resurrection Parish, and I stated clearly: I was once worked over by an ordained minister of the Church; it's not going to happen again," Kalchik wrote. "I will not leave Resurrection Parish on my own accord."
Kalchik is twice a victim of homosexual assault — once when he was 11 years old and raped by a homosexual neighbor, and again at age 19, when he was assaulted by a priest twice his size. Kalchik published his testimony for the first time in an open letter to Pope Francis on Sept. 6.
According to parishioners Miriam and Wayne Smith, who spoke with Kalchik immediately after the confrontation, the vicars for priests "attempted to order him to pack his bags and leave, but he refused."
"Fr. Kalchik told them that he had done nothing wrong and that he was going nowhere," the Smiths told Church Militant. "They continued to use crude and threatening language that upset the staff members present very much."
In a disturbing twist, the two vicars for priests alluded to Kalchik's death when he continued to refuse to leave with them.
"Fr. Kalchik told those two enforcers that he had Mass to celebrate in the morning and that he was needed in the parish," the Smiths continued. "The response from the two was to ask him, 'What would happen if you were dead?'"
They could have asked, "What would happen if you were sick or injured?" but they asked him what would happen if he was dead. Based on that it is clear that if any harm came to Fr. Kalchik it would be on the orders of Cdl. Cupich. They continued to bully and verbally insult and attack Fr. Kalchik until it was clear that he was not going to do as they demanded because he had done nothing wrong. They left the rectory and everybody was very shaken up because they never expected that kind of behavior from the representative of Cdl. Cupich.
The Smiths said they left the rectory at 7:30 p.m. and saw both Lyle and Thomas "skulking around across the street in the shadows." When the priests saw that they had been noticed, they entered their vehicles and drove off.
Since the confrontation, Church Militant has confirmed with a parishioner that Kalchik has gone into hiding, just before he was scheduled to preside over a 2 p.m. wedding at Resurrection Parish.
"Cardinal Cupich just sent an ultimatum — go, or the police will come. We could not stand for him to be taken away in handcuffs like a criminal," said one parish staff member to Church Militant. "So he's gone."
"His options were to leave on his own or be taken out forcibly by the police," the staff member added. "I am so glad now that he is gone because we have loud horrible protestors screaming outside our 4:30 Mass. I'm in my office afraid to go out right now. They want his blood."
One of the vicars for priests wound up saying the Saturday evening Mass, informing parishioners Kalchik was gone but that the archdiocese sought "reconciliation."
Father Jeremy Thomas, 52, is originally from Wales, coming to work in the Chicago archdiocese in 2001. Assigned to St. Jerome parish since 2001, he was implicated in a gay scandal after a parish financial manager accused Thomas of "suspicious video rentals" and "financial irregularities." Thomas never responded to the charges, but the financial manager was fired.
The same manager had exposed neighboring parish priest Fr. Mark Sorvillo at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, convicted of embezzling thousands of dollars from the parish, which he spent on a male stripper he met at a gay club. Although his conduct had been reported multiple times to the archdiocese, little was done.
Monsignor Dennis Lyle served as rector of Mundelein Seminary from 2006–12. In the 1990s Mundelein earned the nickname "The Pink Palace" for its rampant homosexual subculture, one dormitory wing called "The Catwalk" to denote the effeminate, fashion-conscious homosexual seminarians who resided there.
Resurrection Parish has suffered break-ins and Kalchik has received death threats ever since parishioners burned the rainbow flag on parish property.
"This was no regular rainbow flag, but a banner merging the Cross with the rainbow," a parishioner explained. "It was not innocent. It was a signal that this parish would be the new 'gay' parish, as Fr. Daniel Montalbano's previous church, St. Sebastian, home to gay Masses, had burned down."
Montalbano was close friends with Cdl. Joseph Bernardin, who presided over Resurrection parish's 1991 inaugural Mass, the rainbow flag draped over the crucifix in the sanctuary. Montalbano was a known homosexual, holding gay parties in the parish basement. He died an untimely death at age 50, his body found in his rectory bedroom hooked up to a sex machine.
A parish staff member who was eyewitness to the event spoke with Church Militant and confirmed the account. After Montalbano failed to respond to knocking on his bedroom door, staff broke down the door to find Montalbano naked and still attached to the contraption. The archdiocese covered up the incident, reporting that Montalbano had died from a "heart attack," offering him a priest's funeral shortly afterward.
The priest installed after Montalbano, Fr. Juan Sanchez-Espinosa, came through the notorious Casa Jesus, a house of formation set up under Bernardin explicitly to recruit gay seminarians from Latin America. Sanchez was suspended in 2006 after a 26-year-old man accused him of drugging him and sexually assaulting him.
Church Militant reached out to Msgr. Lyle and Fr. Thomas for comment, but received no response as of press time.
Cardinal Cupich's office can be reached at (312) 534-8230 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org