If this news has you scratching your head, you are not alone. Since Father McDonough remains pastor (and therefore is the legal representative and decision maker for both the parish and school), Father Lachowitzer's position as 'canonical administrator' is at best the result of a gentleman's agreement and at worst a legal fiction. Moreover, while Lachowitzer certainly has experience with school administration, that experience is hardly without blemish. His last stint overseeing a Catholic school was at Faithful Shepherd in Eagan, where he supervised a mixed gender K-8 program along with the now-restricted Father Joseph Gallatin.
Still, you can't fault the Archdiocese for taking steps to ensure that St. Peter Claver School is no longer subject to the creative administrative practices of Father McDonough. I have alluded in earlier posts to some of the more....interesting...means that the school has used to remain afloat, and the newsletter hints at others. And, there is certain irony to the fact that an administrator has been imposed upon Father McDonough, as that particular technique for dealing with a difficult situation was created by him as a means to deal with problem priests who he nonetheless felt should be permitted to serve in parishes (e.g. Father John Bussmann at the parishes that became Mary, Queen of Peace).
Then again, I am sure there are plenty of those who read this blog who will think that the Archdiocese's actions are insufficient. They will be outraged that Father McDonough has been permitted to remain as pastor, and will wonder when the true reckoning will finally come. I think it is clear by now that it will not come during this (temporary) administration, unless, of course, it comes from outside of the Church. This is just one more reason we should return our attention to what is happening in the courtrooms of Ramsey County.