Rev. Raymond D. Hager, associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Cottleville, is named pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Elsberry, effective Nov. 3, 2006.I cannot recall ever hearing of a leave of absence being granted for doctrinal reasons. Surely it has happened in the past, but I don't recall that reason being printed in the Review.
Rev. Robert E. Zinser, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Elsberry, has resigned his pastorate and the resignation has been accepted, effective Oct. 23, 2006. Father Zinser is granted a leave of absence from the active priestly ministry, for doctrinal reasons, effective Oct. 23, 2006. (my emphasis)
Zinser was appointed to Sacred Heart in June, 2004...He probably should have devoted himself to prayer and reconciliation rather than placing himself in a parish, knowing that his "beliefs" were at odds with the Church's teachings. It's possible that he may have helped a number of people in his care develop questions, doubt, and disbelief regarding the Church's teachings on angels, God as the creator of all (or anything), and much more...
He is the author of a book, The Fascinated God, in which, as another priest has said, "He proceeded to disprove or undermine every pillar of our Christian faith"...Of course, he couldn't disprove anything, although he probably thought he did.
What's worse, this man had over two years to spread his poison among the faithful in Elsberry. Many aware of the situation prayed for protection and spiritual health of those in his care. Though it appears that Zinser has left the priesthood after some 30-40 years, let us not neglect to continue to pray for him. His rejection of what he evidently once believed as the truth is lamentable. May God restore sight to his eyes and replace his confusion with clarity of thought.
But now, God's blessings are upon the faithful of Elsberry! Archbishop Burke has sent them Fr. Hager, an orthodox and faithful priest. As I understand it, Fr. Hager is one of the best young priests in the Archdiocese.
We send our congratulations to Fr. Hager on receiving this appointment as well as our prayers for his success in carrying out his mission to help lead souls to heaven. Please say a prayer for him and for all of our priests!