Dubuque Archdiocese issues statement about Buchanan Abbey


Several inquiries have been made to officials of the Archdiocese of Dubuque concerning “Buchanan Abbey,” which is located near Independence, Iowa. The inquiries arose because of communications in various media announcing that Mass and other religious services are being held at that institution and are open to the public, Msgr. Thomas Toale,  vicar general for the archdiocese, said in a Sept. 4 statement.

He said assertions also have been made that the leader of the Buchanan Abbey is a Roman Catholic priest and that the institution is a Roman Catholic Benedictine abbey. Archdiocesan officials have received no evidence of a valid ordination to the priesthood, Msgr. Toale said. Neither has evidence been provided that would prove the institution is in communion with Pope Benedict XVI.

The institution is clearly not in communion with the Archbishop of Dubuque, who has not given any permission or approval to the institution. In his solicitude for the spiritual welfare of the Roman Catholics of the archdiocese, Archbishop Jerome Hanus, O.S.B., has alerted the faithful, religious, and clergy of the archdiocese that to the best of his knowledge there is no validly ordained priest at the Buchanan Abbey, Msgr. Toale said. As a result, there is great doubt that the “Mass” and “confessions” at the Buchanan Abbey are in accord with the law of the Roman Catholic Church. Msgr. Toale advised the faithful of the Archdiocese of Dubuque to exercise great caution in relating to this institution.

Msgr. John Hyland, vicar general for the Diocese of Davenport, said: “As soon as I received this notification from Msgr. Toale I forwarded it to all of our priests and parishes so that they would be aware of the Buchanan Abbey and disseminate the information as each pastor thought most appropriate. We have parishes in our diocese that are not that far from Inde­pendence.”


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