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June 03, 2015

Archdiocesan music chief resigns over differences with Archbishop Chaput

Resignation comes as Philly prepares for papal visit

Religion Archdiocese of Philadelphia
04052015_chaputonThisWeek_ABC Credit/ABC News

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput talks to ABC News' "This Week" about the archdiocese's plans to host a visit by Pope Francis in September.

The head of liturgical music for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has chosen to resign, citing differences with Archbishop Charles Chaput, according to National Catholic Report.

John Romeri will resign June 30 after serving as head of the archdiocesan liturgical music office for five years. Romeri said "there are simply irreconcilable differences" with Chaput over music selection at Mass.

"John Romeri’s decision to resign effective later this month was entirely his own," Ken Gavin, Director of Communications for the archdiocese, told PhillyVoice

"As it is a personnel matter, we won’t be discussing it further. However, I can offer assurance that everything will be prepared and in order for the Holy Father’s visit later this year including liturgical music."

In his resignation announcement, which he buried in a list of liturgy news last month, Romeri indicated that he and Chaput had clashed almost from the time Chaput was appointed to Philadelphia in 2011, a year after Romeri arrived.
Romeri wrote that these "several years of discontent" on Chaput's part culminated with the music Romeri arranged this April for Holy Week and Easter. The approach, he said, "was not well received by the archbishop."

"While at this point, I am not sure just what my next musical adventure looks like, it is absolutely the right thing for me to leave this present situation," Romeri wrote.

Romeri is vice chair of the two committees organizing the music and rites for a number of events during the Sept. 22-27 papal visit. It is unclear whether he will still play a role in preparations.

The resignation, being so close to such a major papal event, has sparked discussion and concern among Catholic liturgists.

Read more from the National Catholic Report.