(AoftheANews) – EL PASO – Fr. Jim E. Greyshin, pastor of Shepherd’s Gate Catholic Church, issued an order Friday, February 10, requiring applicants seeking to become parishioners must undergo ‘extreme vetting’ before being admitted.
“It’s a precautionary, temporary order,” Fr. Greyshin told AoftheANews. “I want to ensure that new members joining our community are, in fact, actually Catholic. I can’t just let anybody sign up as parishioners.”
This order does not apply to non-Catholics signing up for RCIA, as ostensibly, they are undergoing their own vetting process.
“I know what goes on at other parishes,” Fr. Greyshin said, “and for the sake of my flock, I have to ensure that new members will enter our parish legally, and not introduce harmful practices, like holding hands during the Our Father, or clapping at the end of Mass.”
The new order caused confusion during the weekend, as ushers detained some people entering the church, because they were thought to be non-parish members. One woman, requesting anonymity, told AoftheANews she had been detained in the narthex for twenty minutes while waiting to attend the 10:30 AM Mass.
“It was embarrassing. I had been living in San Antonio the past year, and returned to El Paso just last week. I told the ushers I’ve been a Shepherd’s Gate parishioner for fifteen years. They checked my collection envelope records and then released me. I got in just as the first reading was finishing.”
Several diocesan transmigration groups have petitioned the bishop, and have considered filing an injunction against Greyshin to the USCCB, but he remains unconcerned. “Listen, heaven has an extreme vetting process too. So why shouldn’t my parish?”
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