Phoenix, Ariz., Dec 16, 2008 / 17:23 pm
Bishop of Phoenix Thomas J. Olmsted has issued a decree of excommunication to Monsignor Dale Fushek, founder of LifeTeen, and Father Mark Dippre for their establishment of and leadership in an "opposing ecclesial community."
Fushek, one of three founders of LifeTeen, has not been active in the youth ministry for four years.
The priests had served together in the 1990s at St. Timothy’s Catholic Community in Mesa, Arizona, the East Valley Tribune reports. A year ago, they founded the non-denominational Praise and Worship Center, which meets Sundays at the Fiesta Fountains Recreation Center in Mesa.
Their meetings regularly draw 250 to 300 people. The priests’ 90-minute services begin at 10 am each Sunday and feature much music but do not include sacraments. Reportedly, the priests have repeatedly said their services are not to be considered "Catholic" in any way.