Thomas A. Droleskey
Although Rocky Roads in Rocky Times reviewed some of the problems caused by the insularity and arbitrariness to be found in many sedevacantist venues that we have experienced in the past five years, it was perhaps an oversight on my part not to indicate that some of the conflicts that have been recounted are really nothing new in the history of Holy Mother Church. People tend to get so caught up in the intricacies of a given problem when it is right in front of them that a sense of perspective is lost on the fact that even men who were later raised to the altars of Holy Mother Church fought with each other in similar situations.
For example, the conflict between Saint John Gualbert and Saint Peter Damian was touched upon briefly in Reconciling Enemies One To The Other. There are so many other examples, including the fierce battles that erupted during the Great Western Schism that lasted between 1378 to 1417 during which time advocates for claimants to the papal thrones published tracts containing harsh, bitter and vitriolic ad hominem attacks upon those who disagreed with them. Even authors of tracts that stuck to the issues caused offense because they dared to disagree with the preconceived notions or vested self-interest of others.
There are always two causes for such conflict: Original Sin and Actual Sin.
Let me reiterate the following passage from Father Edward Leen that so few people caught up in the heat of controversy seem willing to accept as they take bitter personal offense at every criticism without giving any indication that they have ever understood the simple Catholic truth that it is good to be criticized and to be misunderstood. Our pride and disordered self-love and inflated views of ourselves and our own nonexistent self-importance prestige must be beaten out of us if we have any hope to save our immortal souls:
In other words, it is the law of things as
they actually are that we must continually suffer from others; it is the
condition of our being that we shall be the victims of others' abuse of
their free wills; it belongs to our position that our desires and
inclinations should be continually thwarted and that we should be at the
mercy of circumstances. And it is our duty to bear that without
resentment and without rebellion. To rebel is to assert practically that
such things are not our due, that they do not belong to our position.
It is to refuse to recognize that we are fallen members of a fallen
race. The moment we feel resentment at anything painful that happens to
us through the activity of men or things, at that moment we are
resentful against God's Providence.
We are in this really protesting against
His eternal determination to create free beings; for these sufferings
which we endure are a consequence of the carrying into effect of that
free determination. If we expect or look for a mode of existence in
which we shall not endure harshness, unkindness, misunderstanding, and
injustice, we are actually rebelling against God's Providence, we are
claiming a position that does not belong to us as creatures. This is to
sin against humility. It is pride. (Father Edward Leen, In The Likeness of Christ, Sheed and Ward, 1936, pp, 17-18; 182-183.)
It has been the case in the history of Holy Mother Church that the establishment of a new religious community or of a new university or seminary has engendered resentment and hard feelings on the part of those belonging to the long-established, existing institutions. The efforts of Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila to reform the Carmelites were met with fierce opposition from those they called the calced Carmelites as they distinguished their reforms by referring to themselves as the discalced Carmelites. Saint John of the Cross, whose feast is celebrated on a truly splendid, day, November 24, was imprisoned for over eight months by the calced Carmelites, being subjected to weekly public lashings at one point before he was able to escape miraculously on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15, 1578. You think we've got problems now? Need much be written about the suspicion with which the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola were viewed when he wrote them?
Things were far from being peachy keen swell among the American bishops of the United States of America in the eighteen decades between the founding of the country and the rise of Angelo Roncalli/John XXIII on October 28, 1958. There were conflicts between the usually unforgiving, grudge-holding bishops of Irish descent and the bishops who were "ABI"--anything but Irish. Bishops of French, German and Italian birth or descent were viewed with great contempt by many of the "freedom loving," turf-protecting, self-promoting American bishops of Irish birth or descent, something that is being explored in in my book on the heresy of Americanism.
Sick and tired of the Irish clan mentality that sought to isolate and marginalize "foreigners" who were possessed of such silly, outdated concepts as the Social Reign of Christ the King, Archbishop John Martin Henni, who had been born in Switzerland in 1805 and served as the Bishop and (upon the elevation of his see to an archdiocese in 1875) Archbishop of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from March 19, 1844, to September 7, 1881, said the following: "No Irish bishop will ever sit on my throne!" (as found in Solange Hertz, The Star Spangled Heresy: Americanism: How the Catholic Church in American Became the American Catholic Church, Veritas press, 1992, p. 84.)
Irish-American resentment of the German influence in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee came to the forefront when Green Bay, Wisconsin, Bishop Frederick Francis Xavier Katzer was named January 30, 1891, to succeed Archbishop Michael Heiss, who had died on March 26, 1890. Mrs. Solange Hertz described the contempt that Archbishop John Ireland, the Bishop and [upon the elevation of the diocese to an archdiocese] Archbishop of Saint Paul, Minnesota, from July 31, 1884, to September 25, 1918, had for Bishop Katzer:
Archbishop Ireland pronounced him [Katzer] "thoroughly unfit to be an archbishop," and apparently unaware of any historical absurdity, declared Katzer "knew less about America than any Huron!" The more subtle [James Cardinal] Gibbons, with both Church and state now behind him, availed himself of Katzer's installation ceremony to deliver a severe warning to the German against further dissension on any level. Today all Germans and Hurons here speak English, even at Mass. (Solange Hertz, The Star Spangled Heresy: Americanism: How the Catholic Church in American Became the American Catholic Church, Veritas press, 1992, p. 88.)
Conflicts among American bishops in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries were not always based in ethnic rivalries.
As is well known, Bishop Bernard McQuaid of the Diocese of Rochester, New York, conflicted with the infamous Americanist archbishop of Saint Paul, Minnesota, John Ireland, who took it upon himself in the Spring of 1894 to write letters to the members of the New York State Legislature to urge them to vote for Father Sylvester Malone, a supporter of suspended priest Father Edward McGlynn, who promoted the Knights of Labor, which had been condemned by the Vatican in a letter Elzear-Alexandre Cardinal Tascherau, the Archbishop of Quebec from March 19, 1871, to April 12, 1898 (a condemnation Americanists contended applied only to Canada and thus defied, later petitioning the Vatican successfully in the person of the longtime Americanist Archbishop of Baltimore, James Cardinal Gibbons to reverse), rather than for McQuaid for what was called the "Catholic seat" on the New York State Board of Education. Malone won, angering McQuaid and the Archbishop of New York, Michael Corrigan, another anti-Americanist of Irish descent. Ireland was a support of public schools as a means of "Americanizing" Catholic students. McQuaid and Corrigan wanted the Faith to be protected against the secularizing elements of a culture that they knew posed dangers to the life of the faithful. Sound familiar.
The McQuaid-Ireland dispute occurred when all diocesan bishops, quite of course, had ordinary, territorial jurisdiction, something that no traditional Catholic bishop possesses (unless one accepts the claims made by Bishop Louis Vezelis, who, ironically, is located in Rochester, New York). And the McQuaid-Ireland dispute flared up anew later in 1894 when Ireland absented himself from his archdiocese for a month to campaign for Republican Party candidates in the State of New York, appearing alongside such notorious Masons as then United States Senator William McKinley (R-Ohio) and the then head of the United States Civil Service Commission, Theodore Roosevelt. McQuaid denounced Ireland from the pulpit in Rochester. That was a little much for the papal delegate, Monsignor (later Cardinal) Francesco Satolli, who wrote to McQuaid to tell him to stop the public criticism of Ireland, who was, to be sure, no favorite of Rome's.
The late Dr. Justin Walsh, who died earlier this month, wrote the following in The Angelus eleven years ago about this dispute:
On the First Sunday of Advent in 1894 (the third Sunday
after Election Day) Bernard McQuaid, "mitered and with crozier in
hand," rose in his cathedral to denounce the interloper from Minnesota.
"John Ireland was guilty of unseemly action contrary to episcopal
dignity, and one which is a scandal for right-minded Catholics,"
McQuaid began. He continued:
If we are to believe the newspapers, Minnesota stands
in great need of being purified and His Grace might have found ample
scope there for the exercise of his political zeal. But...it was not
love of good government which induced Archbishop Ireland to spend so
many weeks in New York, away from his diocese, where the law relative
to residence obliged him to be.
No, McQuaid insisted, Ireland came "to acquit himself
of a debt to the Republican party [for electing Fr. Malone to the board
of regents.]" McQuaid added that an appeal to Rome might be necessary
to teach the "conspirators" - his term for Ireland, Gibbons,
Keane, and O'Connell - to stay home and tend their respective flocks.
To forestall action by Rome, Ireland wrote to Propaganda [i.e.,
The Sacred Congregation of Propaganda, established for dealing with all
ecclesiastical affairs in missions of the Latin rite throughout the world
and having jurisdiction over all foreign missions - Ed.] about
McQuaid's pique: "My letters, had...more effect than all the effort
he and his friends made in their own state. He was defeated, and he won't
forgive me for that."12
It was clear by 1895 that Americanist views were incompatible
with orthodox Catholicism. In the spiritual realm Keane was hell-bent
on fostering interdenominational congresses. In the temporal realm Ireland,
and to a lesser extent Gibbons, had peculiar penchants for meddling in
things better left alone by Churchmen. In such a situation action by Rome
was inevitable. It came on January 6 when Leo XIII addressed Longinqua
Oceani to American bishops. (Heresy Blossoms Like a Rose.)
Like examples aplenty could be given. More will be provided in "Conversion in Reverse."
These conflicts have continued in the decades following the rise of the false church of conciliarism as "conservative" "bishops" fought to defend the "correct" interpretation of the "Second" Vatican Council and the ever-fungible norms governing the staging of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service against the efforts to "liberal "bishops" to "live out the spirit of the council." I know all about these conflicts. I was involved in many of them, being giving information on some occasions by "conservative" "bishops" and priests to take to Rome to complain about their confreres. No one who has covered a meeting of the then named National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference could conclude that these men shared the same faith. They did not. Many had complete contempt for one another. As one "bishop," a man who has risen to some prominence since then, said to me in the 1990s, "I hate these meetings. All of the talk among the bishops is about career promotion and self-interest. It's disgusting. I can't wait to get out of those meetings and go home."
The postconciliar conflicts in the conciliar structures were fought--and are, most unfortunately, still being fought at the parish and the diocesan levels as very well-meaning, sincere Catholics continue to hunkered down on Mindanao even though the enemy they are fighting won the war at the "Second" Vatican Council. Although I don't think about these wars a whole lot any more and rue the fact that I was blind to the true state of the Church Militant on earth even though people had attempted to convince me of it, I was in the midst of some real Pier 6 donnybrooks in those "conservative" days.
One of the fiercest battles involved "Bishop" John Raymond McGann's efforts to purge four "conservative" pastors in my home Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, at around the same time that the confrontation between "The Nine" and Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre took place in March of 1983. One of the pastors McGann sought to remove was Father Robert E. Mason, who was ordained fifty-five years ago for the Diocese of Brooklyn about a year before the creation of the Rockville Centre diocese, who had been pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park, Long Island, since 1976. Father Mason tried as best he could to "hold the line" against various conciliar encroachments. McGann, a true Jacobin, wanted him out, sending in two ultra-progressive priests to make life uncomfortable for him as they sought to stir up the "liberals" in the parish in the middle of 1982. It was a set-up. These men had no intention of working under Father Mason, who was a zealous pastor of souls, willing to hear confessions at any time of the day or night, a man deeply devoted to Our Lady, and it is with tears in my eyes that I recall how much he inspired us at Saint Aloysius School in Great Neck, York, in the first years of his priestly life to imitate his filial devotion to the Mother of God.
As God's Providence had it, one of my students in the Spring 1981 Semester at Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York, was the daughter of the woman who was serving as the director of the C.C.D. program for the high school grades at Our Lady of Lourdes. Noticing that the student came from Massapequa Park, I asked her if she was the daughter of the woman who had written a fine letter that had been published in The Wanderer in the middle of 1980 that denounced the non-bishop's plan to remove all diocesan priests from their parishes for a week so that they could go on a retreat with him to the Poconos to listen to speakers put articles of the Faith into question (one of the attendees later told me, "I kept waiting the ceiling to collapse on these people as they spoke"). I was very impressed with the woman's letter, keeping that copy of The Wanderer in my brief case. The student said, upon seeing the letter, "Yes, that's my mother." It was through this connection that I made contact with Father Mason, who heard my first confession in 1958, and I was later asked by the student's mother to teach in the high school C.C.D. program, which I did during the 1982-1983 school year.
Apprised of all of the events in the parish, which was seventeen miles away from where I lived in East Norwich, Long Island, adjacent to Oyster Bay, where I was teaching in what was called the "religious education" program there as well, I thought that a great injustice was being done to Father Mason by "Bishop" McGann. Seeking the advice of Father Vincent Miceli, I wrote a twelve page, single-spaced typewritten letter to Silvio Cardinal Oddi, who was then the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy. Making a very long and involved story short, the letter was sent off via an air courier (Federal Express did not ship overseas in those days) on Wednesday afternoon March 23, 1983, arriving in Rome the next morning. Another colleague of mine from Nassau Community College who taught C.C.D. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church sent off a cablegram of his own. It was on Saturday, March 26, 1983, that McGann got a cablegram from Cardinal Oddi to tell him to do nothing about Father Mason until the non-bishop came to Rome for his ad limina apostolorum visit with the other New York province bishops the following month. Another five hundred or so letters made their way to Cardinal Oddi thereafter. McGann never attempted to remove Father Mason, who remained in the conciliar structures and as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in 2007, for the rest of his seventeen and one-half years of being his conciliar "ordinary."
Mind you, I thought that I was "fighting for the Church" to help our pope restore her. I was wrong, although Father Mason was indeed being persecuted for his Catholicism. I just didn't realize that the fight was taking place in the wrong church.
The fallout from this battle was immediate and it was intense. There was intrigue aplenty. The two liberals, who were allied with a "permanent" deacon in the parish, had heard about my letter, which somehow disappeared from the purse of the parish C.C.D. high school director at a Novus Ordo service during Holy Week before winding up on the fourth floor of 50 North Park Avenue in Rockville Centre, New York, in the offices of one John Raymond McGann, who rarely missed an opportunity to bring up my letter when meeting with people in the parish. He told one group of Father Mason supporters who met with him in June of 1983 that my letter, which was a recitation of the problems in the diocese, was "full of lies." They protested, saying, "Everything in that letter is true, Your Excellency, and you know it." Others did not have such a view of things, denouncing me in the worst terms imaginable. You see, I'm kind of used to being denounced all the time.
Ill-will was such in the parish that the two liberals were transferred out to Saint Raphael's Church in East Meadow, New York, where the "conservative" pastor there, Father Francis Bain, was forced out in the purge as he did not put up a fight. What emerged thereafter was what I referred to in the ensuing years as the "Southern State Parkway Shuffle" as "conservative" parishioners from Saint Raphael's Church drove the seven miles to Our Lady of Lourdes Church and the "liberals" from the latter parish drove the same distance to go to the former for "weekend" liturgical services. Tensions remained high for many years. The married "permanent deacon" was featured in Newsday showing a car window of his that had been smashed with a rock, presumably by a "conservative" at Our Lady of Lourdes upset with the role he played in Father Mason's case and the fact that he had thrown darts at a photograph of "Pope" John Paul II after he issued Familiaris Consortio on November 22, 1981, that reaffirmed that divorced Catholics who remarried without a worthless conciliar decree of nullity could not receive what purported to be Holy Communion in the Novus Ordo service unless they lived in a Josephite manner.
It was very rare that "conservative" pastors were saved in such situations, although pitched battles would be fought elsewhere across the country in an attempt to do so. And there were countless incidents of "conservative" Catholics from the pulpit because they opposed diocesan and parish mandated programs in explicit classroom instruction in matters pertaining to the Sixth and Ninth Commandments and about diseases contracted almost exclusively as a result of unchaste behavior.
Although not mentioned by name, yours truly was pretty thoroughly excoriated from a pulpit in Sioux City, Iowa, in early May of 1993 after I had provided parents with assistance in "fighting" such programs, which included a meeting we held in the offices of the then diocesan ordinary "Bishop" Lawrence Soens, who continues to deny allegations of clergy abuse that came to public light in the last decade (denials that continue despite a review board in the Diocese of Davenport having found that some of those allegations to be credible Retired "Bishop" Abused Minors). "Bishop" Soens looked as though we were talking Swahili to him when we discussed the teaching of the Catholic Church. Unlike the experience of ten years previously, however, "Rome" did not come to the rescue. The then head of the renamed "Congregation for the Clergy," Jose Tomas "Cardinal" Sanchez, shrugged his shoulders when I met with him in Rome later that month, saying, "Who should I believe? You say one thing. The bishop will say another. Who do I believe? Why are these programs wrong?" You think that I would have learned that the cavalry wasn't coming to the rescue?
There is probably no need to recount once again the vitriol that was directed at the courageous Mr. Stephen G. Brady, the founder of Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., who publicly accused "Bishop" Daniel Leo Ryan of corrupt behavior in a press conference that he held on February 12, 1997, after all private entreaties made to Ryan and to the Congregation for the Bishops in Rome failed to secure his resignation. Mrs. Kathleen Sass, who is still the communications director for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, denounced Mr. Brady. Even some "conservative" Catholics, most of whom were associated with Opus Dei, denounced and the man who wrote the following article, Roman Catholic Faithful Accuses Bishop Ryan of Harassment. "You're causing scandal." "You're dividing the Church." "You've committed calumny." "No one has any need to know this." And those were only the printable sorts of reactions that can be recounted fourteen and one-half years later. Bitter divisions emerged in the diocese between those who supported the "loving," "caring" "bishop" and those who had been stonewalled for years by Ryan on doctrinal and liturgical abuses in the Diocese of Springfield who were predisposed to believe the charges of moral corruption against him. (For something of a synopsis of the Ryan case, see Seven Years Later, written about twenty-six months before the first article appeared on this site that discussed the papal vacancy that exists at this time.)
Even the conciliar authorities had to admit publicly in early-2003 what Francis "Cardinal" George, who is still the conciliar "archbishop" of Chicago, Illinois, admitted privately to Stephen Brady in early 1998, namely, that Daniel Leo Ryan was guilty as charged. Stephen Brady was never credited with his courage by the conciliar revolutionaries who enabled him and protected him at every turn imaginable until the matter become public. The "clerical club" mattered more than anything else, and the chickens are still coming home to roost in the counterfeit church of conciliarism as a result.
Thus it is that I have been an eyewitness to clerical abuse of the sheep. Patterns of human behavior aren't all that different when people attempt to protect themselves by shooting the messenger. It's the same in politics or the courtroom or all along and up and down the vast expanse of the ecclesiastical divide at this time of apostasy and betrayal. It's amazing to see the likes of a Bill Clinton or Barack Obama or Joe Biden use the most vile terms to seek to caricature and demonize anyone and everyone who opposes them. It's the same in the conciliar church. It's the same in the Catholic underground. As a general, although far from ironclad rule, those who resort to the name-calling and use of emotionalism to deflect just criticisms are the ones who are not telling the truth in a given conflict.
The confusion that envelops us at the present time is such that the same sorts of battles that have been fought by the conciliar "bishops" against "conservative" priests and members of the laity--and thus among various factions in the laity in the conciliar structures, including those who consider themselves tradtionally-minded who continue to fight for their "rights" under Summorum Pontificum, July 7, 2007) have been all too common in conciliar seminaries. Men who used to be able to go to one place and stay there found themselves forced to move elsewhere because a variety of problems (doctrinal, liturgical, moral) that were endemic to a particular institution. Not so today, however, as men, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s and into the 1990s, who were deemed too "rigid" for a "postconciliar vocation" had to go "diocese shopping" in the pursuit of what they believed to be a priestly vocation. This is pretty much without precedent save in times when Holy Mother Church has been driven underground (as happened in England after the fury of Henry Tudor's Protestant Revolution was unleashed in 1534).
Others have been persecuted because of being "conservative." Indeed, a fourth year seminarian at Mount Saint Mary's Seminary, a man subsequently installed to the conciliar "presbyterate," disparagingly referred in the Fall of 1981 to those who spent time in adoration before what they believed to be Our Lord's Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament as "DOTS," that is, as "daughters of Trent." A faculty member, Father Thomas Byrd, upset at the mostly "conservative" nature of the first year class by saying openly as he walked through the hallway, "These are dark days for the Church." Entire books have been written on this subject. An Interview with Bishop Paul Petko recounts similar difficulties encountered in conciliar seminaries.
Many of us who have come, albeit late in time, to embrace the true state of the Church Militant have surprised to find so many longtime members of chapels served by clergy who make no concessions to conciliarism to have had little exposure to the realities of the battles that have been fought in the conciliar church. Having seen clerical abuse of the sheep up close and personal in the conciliar structures, it has been disappointing to see it as a prevalent feature of life in the Catholic underground, where one is sometimes only a slip on a banana peel away from expulsion, for the "common good," you understand, if any questions are even raised privately, no less publicly, about patterns of abuse of authority and the arbitrary dismissal of parishioners who dissent from not one whit of anything contained in the Sacred Deposit of Faith. Chapel shopping in the Catholic underground, therefore, is just as much as a phenomenon as that "Southern State Parkway Shuffle" referred to earlier in this article.
None of the disputes that have raged for years (The Nine versus the Society of Saint Pius X, various members of The Nine versus each other, the Society of Saint Pius V versus the episcopal line of Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc, Bishop Louis Vezelis versus Father Francis Miller, O.F.M., and anyone and everyone else he does not like, anti-sedevacantists versus sedevacantists, and the problems at Saint Gertrude the Great Church that have been reported on this site in about twelve articles, including Removing All Doubt) are going to be resolved in this passing, mortal vale of tears to the satisfaction of everyone. People believe what they want to believe. Those who have left a chapel cannot be coerced into returning by seeking to punish a priest who has dared to point out problems. And those who have stayed in a particular chapel cannot be coerced by all manner of "evidence" and harassment by e-mails to leave a place where they believe that no such problems exist.
As no one, including Bishop Vezelis, his claims to the contrary notwithstanding, has ordinary jurisdiction, there is no one to settle these disputes. Some of them may continue after the Church Militant is restored following the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, although it is probably going to be the case that that Triumph will not occur without a major chastisement that will unite those members of the warring tribes who survive its ravages in close bonds of true charity that will bring the warfare to an end. These disputes are not going to end any time soon, and the only winner in their continuation is, sadly, is the conciliar church as few people are going to have the intestinal fortitude to leave the "respectability" of "good standing" in what they think is the Catholic Church to run the risk of being threatened with a de facto excommunication for going to the "wrong" chapel or even daring to ask a question without even being given the courtesy of a response before his dismissal.
The authority of the papal see has not been vested in any venue in the Catholic underground. No traditionalist bishop has the authority to command anyone. Such prelates have been given to us through the ineffable mercy of the Divine Redeemer to provide us the Sacraments so that we can grow in holiness and thus seek, in complete spite of ourselves, to save our immortal souls at a time when the true Sacraments are hard to find. It's not too much for those who us who are but dumb, wayward sheep to expect to find in our shepherds a little bit of kindness and decency in bearing with us despite our sins and our complaints and our irascible natures, shepherds who are willing to give us a fair, impartial hearing when we do seek to bring concerns to them privately without prejudging the matter because of a demonstrable favoritism shown to others repeatedly that cloud one's objective pastoral duties.
The faithful can seek out shelters of refuge in this time of apostasy and betrayal without regard to "boundaries" as no such boundaries exist in a time when bishops lack papal mandates and thus lack ordinary jurisdiction, and anyone who thinks otherwise is simply doing the bidding of men who are, at least in a de facto manner, claiming "primacy" over a particular area that simply is not theirs any more than a particular organized crime family can lay just claim to a "territory" for their enterprises. Underground chapels exist to serve the faithful, who do not have to tolerate men who abuse their authority and refuse to listen to their concerns or who consider every criticism of them or someone close to them as an "attack" that must be dealt with in a spirit of defiant arrogance that sometime include requirements to post letters of being a "public sinner" for committing the "sin" of going to a proscribed chapel. This is simply wrong, and those who defend such such practices in way, shape or manner are not thinking clearly as Catholics. No such authority has been given to bishops consecrated without a papal mandate. None whatsoever.
Similarly, no one institution of training priests operates with the approval of the Catholic Church in this time of papal vacancy and there is thus no one authority figure to pronounce on the "legitimacy" of the establishment of another such institution. The best those who believe that the status quo has "worked" and that there is no need for another institution is to yell and scream and carry on ad infinitum. No one is required to support such an institution. No one is required to associate with the priests trained therein. If an enterprise is of God it will succeed no matter the opposition that arises to it. It will fail if it is not of God. Some of us rejoice that there is yet another seminary to serve Holy Mother Church in this time of apostasy and betrayal in order to give us good priests who know the Faith and truly care about the sheep and not about money, power and personal privilege or prestige. Others will not be so happy. Such is the state of fallen creatures.
Moreover, we must always remember that very few people, relatively speaking, are even aware that any of our chapels exist. Human beings tend to universalize from their particular experiences, believing that more people are interested in a given controversy within our microscopically small world than is actually the case. The truth, of course, is that almost no one knows about us and fewer still care about what happens within and among our chapels and institutions. And most of those who are aware of our existence think that we are schismatic, disloyal, wacko crazies possessed of a Protestant mentality. The lack of proper perspective on this is amazing, as is the naivete about battles that continue to rage and are as yet ongoing even within the counterfeit church of conciliarism (as demonstrated at length in this reflection). We are nobodies in the eyes of the world. We are nobodies in the eyes of most of our fellow Catholics.
None of us, for example, who have found the priestly work of Father Markus Ramolla worthy of our support have done so because we have anything worldly to gain from doing so. It is not nice, I can assure you, to be estranged and even hated by one's former friends and colleagues, to have one's life's work caricatured and assailed because criticisms that were made privately had to be discussed publicly for the good of souls. What personal or monetary advantage can anyone cite as an incentive to have spend time and energy on controversies that could have been avoided in old patterns of self-interest and protection had been reconsidered and reformed? Indeed, many people have ceased communicating with us since my interview with Bishop Petko was posted three and one-half months ago now. Some have stopped making non-tax-deductible financial gifts. This is a but a continuation of what occurred in the immediate wake of the unfolding of the events at Saint Gertrude the Great Church in November of 2009. Only a fool would seek this out on his own and thrive on it, to say nothing of the risk to one's immortal soul involved in staking out a position for the sake of "enjoying" a controversy or seeking retribution upon others.
Mind you, of course, this is all within the Providence of God, every single bit of it. Humiliation is good. Castigation is good. Being rejected and reviled is good. These things are good because they are from the loving hand of God Himself, and they are meant to remind us that we have done this to Him in the very Flesh during His Sacred Passion and Death and that we have done this others so many times in our own lives. We must accept cross with joy and gratitude as we seek to make reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary in our reparation for our many sins, keeping in mind that we must always forgive others freely as we are forgiven in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance, praying fervently for the eternal good of those from whom we might be estranged at any given moment, praying for a good and happy reconciliation in eternity, if not before. John Ireland and Bernard McQuaid were reconciled, at least to some extent, about a decade after their heated disputes. There's hope for us. There's hope for us.
It is my fervent hope and prayer that the work of Saint Athanasius Seminary, announced by Father Markus Ramolla on Sunday, August 21, 2011, will succeed within the Providence of God. We are praying for the success of its work and for its initial faculty members and the four young men who will be studying there. We hope that the readers of this site will join us in these prayers. As noted just above, no one can be forced to do so. God will unfold His Holy Will just as He did in the case of Father Ramolla's deportation proceedings despite the confident and widely circulated predictions of his ever-cocksure adversary, a development that seems not to have made any impression upon those who continue to think that Father Ramolla's work is not of God.
To paraphrase the late, great Bob Murphy once again, we are not going to have any "happy recaps" in many instances in this passing, mortal vale of tears. There are still people in the conciliar structures in states of denial over the doctrinal, liturgical and moral corruption of the false sect to which they belong in the mistaken belief that that sect is the Catholic Church. Remember, the morally corrupt Rembert George Weakland, the disgraced former "archbishop" of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who had been a close acolyte of the Freemason named Annibale Bugnini on the Consilium that gave us the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service, received a standing ovation at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Milwaukee shortly after his scandals came to public view and is still welcomed there (see Just A Matter of Forgiveness?). There will always be people who "stand by their man" no matter what. Such people can't be forced to see and thus accept the true state of the Church any more than we can force others to "see things our way" about a particular controversy, and those who believe one thing adamantly in the face of all evidence to the contrary will never "get to the bottom" of things to their satisfaction.
We must accept the fact that part of the chastisement that we must endure at this time is being estranged from others who think the absolute worst of us and our motives. Good. Everything gets revealed on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead, and it will only be then that each of us will see the intentions of the hearts and the circumstances of the lives of others with the perfect clarity with which we saw ourselves and our own lives for the first time at that truly terrible moment called the Particular Judgment that awaits each us much sooner than we realize or expect.
With total trust in Our Lady and with unwavering belief in her Fatima Message, may we continue to pray for each other as we beg her for the graces to save our souls and to continue to persevere against the enemies of the Holy Faith in the world and those in the counterfeit church of conciliarism., accepting the travails of the present time as coming directly from the hand of God so that we might be purified of the stains of our sins and disordered self-love to serve Him more perfectly through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church and Protector of the Faithful, pray for us.
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Bartholomew, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints