California priest placed on leave, reportedly concelebrated with Protestant pastor
February 18, 2011
Bishop Tod Brown of Orange has placed Father Augustin Escobar on leave following reports that he permitted a Protestant pastor to act as a concelebrant during Mass and to distribute Holy Communion.
Concelebrating Mass with ministers of ecclesial communities that do not have apostolic succession is an “exceptionally serious” crime against the sacraments, according to canonical norms currently in force. Violation of the norm falls under the purview of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and may result in dismissal from the clerical state without an ecclesiastical trial.
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