Urge Texas Archbishop to apologize for defamatory letter destroying Catholic family’s livelihood

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In a devastating blow to a devout family with six children in Texas, the Archbishop of San Antonio has issued a letter to all Catholics directing them not to do business with their ranch. 

The January 30th letter from Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller prohibits all clergy, schools, retreat centers, and Catholic groups “from contracting with or utilizing Sanctus Ranch for any Catholic-sponsored retreats, meetings, activities, or spiritual endeavors.”

SIGN: Stand up for family whose livelihood was destroyed by Archbishop banning Catholics from their ranch.

The main charge against the ranch listed in the Archbishop’s letter is that they have “an unapproved chapel lacking any canonical status” and “(t)here has been no approval granted to conduct sacramental ministry of any kind in this chapel and the altar has not been dedicated for the Sacred Liturgy.” 

In a public response to the Archbishop’s press release, Sanctus Ranch owner Dan Sevigny replied that, “in 2019, the Archbishop himself twice celebrated Mass on a non-dedicated altar of the Ranch.” The Archbishop’s auxiliary bishop, Gary Janak, “also offered Mass on the same altar for a men’s retreat in October 2021.” Sevigny says, “For the Archbishop to condemn publicly his own ministerial conduct, as well as that of Bishop Janak, is the essence of hypocrisy.” 

Although not stated in Archbishop García-Siller's letter, it is likely that the focus of the Archbishop’s ire is with local faithful going to Sanctus Ranch for the Latin Mass, which the Archbishop has severely restricted in his archdiocese, although according to canon law it is perfectly acceptable to say and attend private Latin Masses. 

SIGN: Stand up for this Catholic family who are serving the Faith.

Even where contracts were already signed, the Archbishop's letter directs Catholics to discuss it with his legal team rather than fulfill their contractual obligations to Sanctus Ranch or “to participate in any of its activities.” 

However, as Sevigny responded, “Sanctus Ranch is a private retreat center in the state of Texas and has never claimed to represent the Catholic Church, act on its behalf, or operate as a part of the ecclesiastical structure of the Catholic Church, contrary to what is insinuated by the Archbishop’s statement.” 

The financial loss for the family, who have put their livelihood into the Ranch for the glory of God, amounts to more than $425,000. 

With canonical advice, Sanctus Ranch owner Dan Sevigny says in his response to the Archbishop, that his accusations against Fr. Kloster, “are false and injurious according to the canon law of the Catholic Church and require reparation of the harm inflicted” (cf. Canon 128 CIC).

“In his Prohibition, the Archbishop attacks two devoted priests who have offered to help the lay faithful coming to Sanctus Ranch for spiritual aid and respite. The first is the Reverend Donald Kloster, who was personally accused by the Archbishop of having invalidly dispensed the sacrament of Penance at Sanctus Ranch.  One major problem with that allegation: the Reverend Kloster has never even heard confessions or imparted sacramental absolution at Sanctus Ranch.  The second priest mentioned, the Reverend Jeffery Fasching, was granted by his home Diocese of Wichita the habitual faculty to absolve from sins confessed in the Sacrament of Penance. According to canon 967, §2 of the Code of Canon Law, this faculty is effective everywhere unless revoked by another bishop.  The Archbishop of San Antonio never revoked the Reverend Fasching’s faculty to absolve from sin, and so all of his absolutions from sin were valid.”

SIGN & SHARE: Demand that the Archbishop of San Antonio apologize and publicly rescind defamatory letter destroying Catholic family’s work.