Regretfully, I have a message that does not come without significant pain to both you and me. I have to tell you in all honesty and truth, that I have been personally involved with helping a widow and her struggling family. Over the course of time, the mother and I have grown very close. As a result, I am compelled to take some time off to prayerfully and honestly discern my future.
I am truly sorry of the impact this may have on so many. I am not unaware of the gravity and magnitude of the situation, yet after much wise counsel, it is really something that I must deal with now for the good of all.
With that said, it is best that I deal with it away from EWTN. Therefore, I have asked for and graciously been granted some extended time to prayerfully discern my vocation.
To those who are part of the EWTN family locally, and others throughout the world, especially all those who have supported me so faithfully in my priestly vocation and ministry here on Life on the Rock, I sincerely apologize. I ask for your prayers and understanding during this time that is so very difficult, but yet so very necessary.
Please lift me up in your humble prayers to Jesus through Mary, our Mother, in Grace and Mercy.
Fr Francis Mary, MFVA
(Source: Thomas Peters (AMP))
I only have a few thoughts/comments that have no doubt been brought up else where.
Part of me is glad that Fr. Stone came forward before being “caught” (assuming his words were not prodded by his superiours).
Part of me wants to know why Father feels the need to “sincerely apologize”? If he feels the need to apologize it seems he recognizes he did something wrong. I suggest stop doing what is wrong, go to confession if needed, and move on.
Part of me is not sure that so much detail in the letter was needed (i.e. being “personally involved” or “grown very close”). Why not just leave it at needing some “time to prayerfully discern my vocation”? I’m not sure why a public “confession” was needed.
And part of me wonders what the, yaaaaaawn, big deal is? Where's the story? We see people who are remarried after a divorce all the time without an annulment receiving Communion – what’s the difference? Some may think my concept of the preisthood is not high enough, to them I’d say their concept of marriage is too low. People all around us divorce and remarry with their children suffering for their supposed "right" to happiness. But outcry against that would be seen as insensitive at best, and judgmental at worse.
What if we are called to a vocation, mis-read the discernment in our youth, and end up married when our vocation was priesthood or a priest/sister when it was marriage?
What is the “right” thing for Fr. Stone to do? Does an objective "right" thing even exist anymore?