February 15, 2011
The California Catholic Daily is reporting that a priest of the Diocese of Orange concelebrated Mass with a Protestant minister on February 13. The priest, Father Agustín Escobar, hails from Colombia and “enjoys reading the Bible and books about Buddhism and eastern wisdom,” according to the parish’s web site. “Three years ago in India, he found the treasure of meditation, a great support for his personal and priestly life, and for all those in search of a deeper experience of God in their lives.” The Presbyterian minister, Steve Whitney of Trinity Presbyterian Church in West Sacramento, received Holy Communion and distributed Holy Communion during the Mass, according to California Catholic Daily. 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.