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Progressive parishioners at an Oregon parish pushed back at their conservative African immigrant priest for instituting changes at the parish, singing, “We shall overcome.”
Pastor George Kuforiji is a Nigerian immigrant who was ordained in 2015 and moved to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in South East Oregon in 2018, according to the Catholic News Agency. Kuforiji allegedly instituted a variety of changes to the progressive parish upon his arrival that sparked backlash among attendees, according to The Oregonian.
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A number of parishioners had reportedly attempted to make St. Francis of Assisi parish more inclusive by dropping words like “he,” “king,” and “lord” from the liturgy to describe God and instead use the words “God” and “creator” following the Second Vatican Council in the mid-1960s, parishioners told The Oregonian. The parish also added a “community commitment” after the Nicene Creed.
Kuforiji reportedly dropped the community commitment and reinstituted traditional language and liturgy. Parishioners Dianna Shaffer and Melody Ghormley told The Oregonian handmade vestments and a banner that said “Immigrants and Refugees Welcome” were missing after Kuforiji’s arrival and that Kuforiji told them he did not know what had happened.
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Parishioners also said Kuforiij later told them he was sorry the vestmests were put...
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