The state of Colorado requires until Sept. 14 that masks be worn in “public indoor spaces” by most persons over 10 years old. The state executive order includes exceptions for persons with medical conditions, and for religious officials, including priests, officiating at religious services.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a parish administered by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP).
The FSSP is a society of apostolic life which celebrates the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. It was founded in 1988 by 12 priests of the Society of St. Pius X. The founders left the SSPX to establish the FSSP after the society's leader, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, consecrated four bishops without the permission of St. John Paul II.
Philip Condron, a spokesperson for the FSSP, told CNA that the fraternity “will review this matter according to the Code of Canon Law and its own internal policies.”
“The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter does not endorse comments or support actions to disobey their bishops or governmental authorities. The opinion of Fr. Daniel Nolan was his personal opinion and it does not reflect that of the Fraternity of St. Peter,” Condron clarified by email.
“The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter superiors have instructed their priests to adhere to public health guidelines as issued by local, state and federal authorities, including the requirements of their local ordinaries (bishops),” he added.
Nolan, 44, was ordained a priest of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in 2014. Before entering the FSSP, he attended the United States Naval Academy and served in the Marine Corps, retiring as a captain in 2006.
There are nearly 300 priests and 150 seminarians in the fraternity. It has parishes and chapels in North America, Europe, Oceania, Nigeria, and Colombia, including the personal parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, at which Nolan has been a parochial vicar since 2018.
Parishioners have told CNA that Nolan has been well regarded at the parish, hosting men’s nights for the Knights of Columbus and being attentive to spiritual formation.
Nolan has not yet responded to questions from CNA.
During the video, in which the priest referred to the coronavirus outbreak as a “scamdemic,” Nolan told parishioners to “brace yourselves for a new third priest,” adding that “my next sermon is gonna get me, like, transferred so enjoy me while you can.”
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