Father Schroeder leaves diocese to work at Vatican Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

Fr. Tait Schroeder
Fr. Tait Schroeder

MADISON -- Fr. Tait Schroeder will soon be leaving the Diocese of Madison to work at the Vatican.

“I have mixed emotions,” he said in an interview. “It’s an honor for me and the diocese, but I will miss family, friends, and parishioners I’ve gotten to know.”

Father Schroeder is leaving his position as judicial vicar in the Diocese of Madison and pastor of St. Peter Parish in Ashton and St. Martin of Tours Parish in Martinsville.

To work in Vatican congregation

He will be working in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. He was appointed for service in the congregation at the request of the Holy Father and the congregation.

Father Schroeder said, “It all started with a call from the Holy See to Bishop (Robert C.) Morlino, asking for a priest to serve in the congregation. Bishop Morlino asked me if I was open to this. It seemed to be God’s design.”

The congregation was interested in Father Schroeder and asked him to come to Rome for an interview. “Before Christmas, I went to Rome for the interview, and it went well. Bishop Morlino set everything in motion.”

Father Schroeder explained that the congregation has four sections or departments. He will be working in the discipline section, which deals primarily with what are called “delicts” -- crimes so serious that they are reserved to the Holy See to address.

These cases come from throughout the world and might include clergy sexual abuse, the breaking of the seal of Confession, desecration of the Eucharist, and other kinds of sins or crimes involving clergy, Religious, or lay people.

As a canon lawyer, Father Schroeder has familiarity with Church law, although his work has been primarily in the area of marriage cases.

He will have to help the congregation determine how cases will proceed, whether they are handled at the Vatican or diocesan level. “It will not be easy or happy work, but it is necessary,” he said.

He is expected to serve a five-year term with one year of probation. He will be employed by the Vatican.

Experience in Rome

He admits that there will be a “big learning curve,” especially since Italian is the working language at the Vatican. He was familiar with Italian, since he studied in Rome and obtained his doctorate in canon law (JCD) at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce).

“I can read Italian and understand it orally, but it is a challenge to speak it,” he said.

Father Schroeder will be living with about 19 other American priests at Villa Stritch. He already knows some of the priests living and working in Rome.

“There will be familiar faces, and I also look forward to spending time with the seven seminarians and two priests from the Diocese of Madison studying in Rome.”

He will have 31 days of vacation a year, so he hopes to spend time traveling in Europe and returning to Wisconsin for summer and Christmas.

He hopes to do some pastoral work as time allows, perhaps celebrating Mass for a community of Sisters or helping with spiritual direction at the North American College.

He joins another priest of the Diocese of Madison in service to the Holy See. Fr. John Putzer is serving with the Vatican Diplomatic Service in the Congo.

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