Parishioners Protest Removal of Priest

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SACRAMENTO–

Holding signs proudly, dozens at St. Charles Borromeo Parish showed how unhappy they were with the Sacramento Diocese’s decision to let go of their Priest Fr. Ron Marcelo.

“Orphans. We do not have our father,” said mass coordinator Manuel Corpuz.

“He was multilingual. He was able to communicate with all the congregations. A lot of people love him,” said Edward Serafica, another mass coordinator.

Fr. Patrick Henry, now taking Fr. Ron’s place, would not comment about the matter, nor would the Sacramento Diocese.

In a letter to parishioners Fr. Ron said he attended a going away party last October where he and staff members drank some wine. Days later, Fr. Ron says he got a letter from Bishop Soto saying he (Fr. Ron) was under the influence of alcohol and was being put on administrative leave.

Fr. Ron says he was then asked to attend an evaluation and rehab.

While Fr. Ron says test results came back normal, he was still asked by the Bishop to undergo more treatment.

Months later Fr. Ron was let go.

“I think it was very unprofessional actually. It is very un-Christian,” said Serafica.

Fr. Henry said it is only a small group of the nearly 3,000 members who attend the parish that are upset with the diocese’s decision.

“I am very happy to take over from Fr. Marcelo and I will do my best to administer the parish,” said Fr. Henry.

Parishioners believe Bishop Soto’s decision to remove Fr. Ron had to do with the diocese taking control of the church’s school,which was formerly handled by Fr. Ron.

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