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Updated on April 9, 2004

Another Victim of the Conciliar Revolution

(If you have read this article before, please go to near its end for the current update)

Our Lord instituted the sacerdotal priesthood at the Last Supper. The sacerdotal priesthood ended the Levitical priesthood of heredity forever. The twelve men Our Lord chose to be ordained to the episcopate, the fullness of His priesthood of the New and Eternal Testament, were the most unlikely of men to be chosen to be the human instruments of propagating a universal enterprise that would last on earth until the Last Day. Indeed, the most learned of the twelve was a fellow named Judas Iscariot. The rest included itinerant fishermen and a tax collector. Our Lord chose the Twelve Apostles to be ordained to His priesthood in order to demonstrate that His strength is more powerful than human weakness, that His priesthood is a free, gratuitous gift bestowed on mere men who have not merited the great powers bestowed upon them by virtue of their ordination. No man, no matter how intelligent or seemingly holy, has any right to be ordained to the sacerdotal priesthood of the New and Eternal Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Once a man is ordained, however, he has a solemn obligation to be Christ in all things at all times to all people, remembering that the standard of his own Particular Judgment is raised quite high as a result of the indelible seal placed on his soul as a Catholic priest.

We have seen in recent years an outbreak in the secular media of stories about the scandalous, sodomite behavior of priests that should never have been allowed to fester by bishops and their chancery factotums. Numerous lay people sought for over twenty years to warn bishops about the influences of sodomites among priests of both dioceses and of religious communities, among which the problem of sodomy has been particularly rampant in some instances. The Wanderer began to sound the alarm in the middle to the late 1980s, its reports being dismissed as nothing more than a minor irritant more or less "manufactured" by conservative reactionaries within the Church. Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., was organized in 1996 as a means of dealing with the problem throughout the nation, but quite specifically in the instance of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, where the now retired and disgraced Bishop Daniel Ryan was accused publicly by Roman Catholic Faithful founder and President Stephen G. Brady of the harassment of his own priests. Other allegations came to light afterward (they can be found in "Seven Years Later" in the Articles section of this web site). Thus, the explosion of stories in the secular media in 2001 and 2002 should have come as no surprise. One diocesan priest told me that a seminary professor had told his class in 1973, "Men, there is a great problem in the Church with homosexual priests. This problem is going to explode into full public view within twenty years, causing the loss of a faith among many Catholics." Indeed.

Sure, we know all about this. The fact that such avoidable and needless scandals, most of which have been caused by the denigration of sodomy as one of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance and the concomitant recruitment, retention and promotion of sodomites to the priesthood, have come to view should not shake our faith at all, as I noted in "Deluding Themselves Unto the Grave," another article to be found on this site. No, the Church is divinely founded. She will last until the end of time. The jaws of Hell will never prevail against her. Each of our own sins wounded Our Lord's physical Body once in time during His Passion and Death and they wound His Mystical Body, Holy Mother Church today. None of us is free from guilt for the state of the Church and the world. The fact that the Church has survived for nearly two millennia despite the sinful men who have composed her through twenty centuries, including us, is one of the negative proofs of her divine origins and maintenance. Nothing humanly organized could possibly have survived despite the best efforts of its members to put it out of business by the bad example they give to those outside of it. This not does exculpate us for our sins and the bad example we have given to others, nor does this exculpate those responsible for the avoidable sodomite scandals in the priesthood. However, remembering that the Church is divinely founded and maintained should keep us strong in the Faith at all times no matter what headlines bombard us with at any given moment in her history.

Lost in all of the news about the scandals, however, is the fact that there are scores upon scores of men in the priesthood who have remained faithful to their call to serve Our Lord in the sacerdotal priesthood He instituted at the Last Supper. And although I am a traditional Catholic who has actively encouraged all priests, diocesan and religious, to embrace tradition no matter what it might cost them in their own particular situations, I am not unmindful (as I note in "Caritas Super Omnia") nor unappreciative of the efforts of those who have stayed in diocesan assignments to make the best they could out of the Novus Ordo Missae and all of the theological and liturgical convolutions of the revolutionary epoch of the conciliar and postconciliar eras. I could write about twenty to sixty detailed articles about such priests who are known to me personally. These men have been devoted to the sanctification and salvation of souls, sometimes suffering much from their own bishops and brother priests in the process. Some of them, like the outgoing pastor of Saint Mary's by the Sea Church in Huntington Beach, California, Father Daniel Johnson, have been very devoted to the Traditional Mass and have worked assiduously to bring souls into the Church and from there to invite them to the glories of Tradition. And there are many younger priests in diocesan assignments who are very fed up with the rot of the past forty to forty-five years and are biding their time until they decide when and how to embrace the Traditional Mass without regard for what it might cost them insofar as their clerical and canonical safety is concerned.

There are other good priests, though, who have not had the grace to see the glories of Tradition. We cannot write these men off. They have labored hard and long under difficult circumstances to do as their conscience has dictated to them. Indeed, the first priest I ever went to confession to, Father Robert Mason, who has been the pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park, New York, since 1976, had his pastoral neck placed on the chopping block for his orthodoxy by the now deceased Ordinary of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, the late Bishop John Raymond McGann, in March of 1983. After seeking advice from Father Vincent Miceli, who was then in residence at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, I wrote a twelve-page letter to Silvio Cardinal Oddi, the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy at the time, explaining to him the truth of Father Mason's situation and the mess that was and remains today the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Making a long story short (that I might put in the Golden Oldies section at some point in the next few months), Cardinal Oddi saved Father Mason's pastorate. His Eminence, who died on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29, 2001, told me when I met with him in office in the Vatican nineteen months later, "You know, your bishop came to see me after you wrote your nice letter. He sat where you are sitting. We had a little chat. He changed his mind." Cardinal Oddi smiled broadly, playing with his interlaced fingers as he did so. Changing his mood a little bit, he grimaced and said, "You know what I told him? I told him, 'I want no more persecution of men who love the Mother of God? Do I make myself clear?'" Cardinal Oddi then smiled very broadly once more. It was my privilege to enjoy a friendship with him from that point until his death. Only the most hardened of souls could possibly dismiss Father Robert Mason's great zeal for souls (he will hear a confession any time of day or night) because he has not embraced the Immemorial Mass of Tradition. He suffered at the hands of revolutionary bishop simply because he was a believer in Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

All of this is a necessary prelude to note on Maundy Thursday, the day Our Lord instituted the sacerdotal, hierarchical priesthood at the Last Supper, the courage of Father Charles Murr, until recently the pastor of Saint Francis de Sales Church on East 96th Street in New York, New York, that is, the Borough of Manhattan. A letter, dated April 5, 2004, he wrote to his parishioners to explain the facts surrounding his resignation speaks quite eloquently for itself:

"On Friday, April 2, 2004, I resigned as pastor of the Parish of St. Francis de Sales. I am writing to you now to explain the circumstances that led me to make this decision.

"Our parish school, the St. Francis de Sales School/St. Lucy Academy, currently faces some grave problems. One concerns financial management. Contrary to the policies of the Archdiocese, no financial statements for the school have been prepared for any period after August 31, 2001, and thus no one knows what the financial condition of the school actually is. It is clear, however, that for several years the school has not been making required payments for insurance and pension benefits, and the Archdiocese calculates that the school owes the Archdiocese over $638,000. Although I attempted to work with the administration of the school to prepare the needed financial statements, the school's administration consistently failed to cooperate with me, and, on the advice of the Parish Council, I notified the Archdiocese in January that I intended to replace the principal and vice principal of the school. The Archdiocese accepted this decision and last week resolved to send officials from the chancery to begin preparing and auditing financial statements for the school.

"The second problem at the school concerns religious instruction. On the most recent administration of the Archdiocese's standardized religion test last June, approximately 66% of our students failed. The major reason for this was that several of our teachers were not committed to teaching the Catholic faith. One teacher, for example, was taking her students to non-Catholic religious services on Sunday mornings. Another refuses to teach her students to make the Sign of the Cross. Others do not teach those doctrines of the Catholic faith with which they disagree. To rectify these problems, I appointed a new Director of Religious Education for the school this year, but the teachers who were hostile to Catholic doctrine disrupted his classes, belittled him in front of his students, instructed his students to ignore him, and even spread slanderous reports about him. I thus determined that the employment contracts of these teachers would not be renewed for the coming academic year, and on April 1, I informed these teachers accordingly.

"It has been reported to me that, on April 1, at least some of these teachers held their students after school, read to them my letter declining to renew their employment contracts, and provided their own comments on the matter. Predictably, they reduced many children to tearful hysteria. The behavior of these teachers was reprehensible; they intentionally inflicted harm on innocent children in order to advance their own private interests. On behalf of the school, I apologize to these students and their parents for the grossly unprofessional conduct of these teachers.

"On Friday afternoon, Msgr. Thomas Gilleece, the Chancellor of the Archdiocese, informed me without further explanation that, by order of the Cardinal, I was to renew the employment contracts of the principal, the vice principal, and all the affected teachers. Since I could not in good conscience, as a pastor charged with the care of souls, comply with this order, I resigned as pastor of the Parish of St. Francis de Sales and as administrator of the Parish of St. Lucy. On Saturday, April 3, the members of the Parish Council wrote Cardinal Egan informing him that they shared my views regarding the need to reform the school and had concluded that they could not in good conscience as faithful Catholics be associated with his order to reinstate the principal, the vice principal, and the affected teachers. The members of the Parish Council thus resigned their positions. The Parish Trustees likewise resigned. As of the date of this letter, none of us has received any reply from the Cardinal.

"It has been a great honor to serve as your pastor. You will all remain in my prayers. Servus, in Christo Jesu, Fr. Chas. Theo. Murr "

The courage of Father Charles Theodore Murr in the face of Edward Cardinal Egan's retention of teachers deemed by Father Murr to be menaces to souls needs to be applauded. Father Murr is willing to lay down his pastoral life for the sheep entrusted to his priestly care unto eternity. Rather than knuckle under to the exigencies of careerism, Father Murr chose the path of priestly integrity, considering only the spiritual welfare of children. That his own considered judgment would be dismissed by Monsignor Gilleece and Cardinal Egan speaks volumes about the shambles that has become the Archdiocese of New York.

Some might protest that His Eminence does not want to get more bad press by supporting a pastor who wants to fire teachers, who might, after all, go to the secular media and get a lot publicity for themselves. Think again. Cardinal Egan has no problem exercising the full weight of his episcopal authority. Although I am not at liberty to discuss particular situations, suffice it to say that His Eminence has shown a callous disregard for many of his brother priests, especially those who might be even a smidgeon inclined towards the Traditional Latin Mass and even a wee bit critical of the Novus Ordo Missae. Oh, no, Cardinal Egan has a long history of throwing the weight of a chancery office around, dating back to his days as an aide to the corrupt late John Cardinal Cody, the longtime Archbishop of Chicago, Illinois. Like so many of his brother bishops today, Cardinal Egan knows how to govern all of the wrong people and to turn a blind eye and deaf ear towards those who are actually undermining the Holy Faith and thus pose a real and immediate danger to the sanctification and salvation of immortal souls. His Eminence has been resolute in his determination to close a number of churches in the archdiocese that have outlived their "usefulness," as I pointed out a few weeks ago in "Faithless, Heartless Bureaucrats," also available on this web site. The historic treasure of Saint Ann's Church is in jeopardy of being sold and demolished for the contemporary equivalent of thirty pieces of silver while the folks at twenty story chancery building at 1011 First Avenue in Manhattan scoff at those who are protesting these closings.

An article of mine in The Remnant last year dealt with many of the problems in the Archdiocese of New York under Cardinal Egan's watch. Of particular note in that article was the blatant support of sodomy and the sodomite agenda at the Jesuit run Saint Francis Xavier Church in Greenwich Village, New York, which goes so far to have a contingent walking with a parish banner in the so-called "Gay Pride Parade" down Fifth Avenue each June. I posed a series of questions via e-mail about this and other matters to Archdiocesan Communications Director, Mr. Joseph Zwilling, but received no answer at all. The last time I spoke with Mr. Zwilling was in early 1999 when questioning him about the late John Cardinal O'Connor's statement that "God was smiling" on a Catholic man's conversion to Judaism, which had been featured in a program aired on Christmas night in 1998 on ABC-TV's Nightline. We did not have a good exchange at that point. I doubt he will answer the questions I will pose to him presently.

However, for the sake of completeness, and to put this on the public record, here are some questions for Mr. Zwilling and/or Cardinal Egan:

1) Do not the facts stated by Father Murr, which he would not have stated as facts unless he wanted to imperil the salvation of his own immortal soul, speak of a situation in his parish that needed to be addressed by his own best pastoral judgment?

2) Do not the resignations of the members of the Parish Council and the Parish Trustees signify that Father Murr is not making up the facts here?

3) Is it the practice of the Archdiocese of New York to micromanage every parish personnel decision?

4) Is not absolute fidelity to the entirety of the Deposit of Faith a requirement to teach in any educational institutional at any level (primary, secondary, collegiate, seminary) under the direct and immediate control of the Archdiocese of New York?

5) Was it professionally appropriate for the teachers whose contracts Father Murr did not want to renew to hold their students after class to discuss a personnel matter without first informing Father Murr?

6) Must students be taught the Sign of the Cross?

7) Is it not sinful to take students to non-Catholic services on Sunday when they should be attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

8) Is it right for teachers who dissent from Catholic doctrine to disrupt the classes of a Director of Religious Education who is a faithful son of the Church, belittling him in the process in front of his own students?

9) Why does Cardinal Egan refuse to back priests such as Father Murr but lets the sodomite agenda at Saint Francis Xavier Church and Saint Paul Church in Manhattan go unchallenged?

10) As he has done with other priests who have stood up for their convictions to uphold the patrimony of the Church, will Cardinal Egan threaten to suspend Father Murr?

April 9 update: Well, it appears as though the New York Post can get through to the Communications Office of the Archdiocese of New York and get a response, as I did not from Mr. Zwilling just about a year ago when attempting to question him on a few matters via e-mail. A report on this matter appeared in the April 9, 2004, edition of the Post. "Sources said one teacher had expressed support for gay marriage, a position the church opposes." Most readers of this site will recognize such a position in support of one of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance as an automatic disqualification to teach in any Catholic institution. Not so, you see, under Edward Cardinal Egan, who is more concerned about that which is considered "disruptive" to a school's operations. Joseph Zwilling himself was quoted as follows in the Post article:

"Egan spokesman Joe Zwilling said Murr went too far. 'We believe dismissing so many educators and not bringing them back next year would have been disruptive to the school,' Zwilling said."

Huh? Let me repeat myself so as not to be misunderstood: Huh? "Dismissing so many educators and not bringing them back next year would have been disruptive to the school"? Let me get this straight. Teachers who dissent from teachings contained in the Deposit of Faith entrusted by the God-Man Himself to His true Church are permitted to disrupt the souls of their young charges and to disrupt the classes of a teacher who is committed to the protecting the integrity of the Faith without one iota of dissent? A pastor who takes seriously his obligations to form the souls of his students is considered to have engaged in a "disruptive" act by firing those who have shown themselves to be at war with Christ Himself? This just crazy. A faithful Catholic understands full well Father Charles Murr had an absolute obligation to fire these teachers and to hire replacements who are faithful to the authentic patrimony of the Church.

If this does not show the absolute corruption and degeneracy of the postconciliar mind set of ecclesiastical bureaucrats, then I do not know what will. This also shows, sadly, how low a believer such as Mr. Zwilling will stoop to keep his job. Does Joseph Zwilling believe that a teacher in a Catholic school has the right to express support for perverts to "marry"? If he does believe this, then he has disqualified himself from serving in a Catholic archdiocesan position. If he does not believe this, then he is prostituting himself to mouth Cardinal Egan's party line, thereby helping to deceive Catholics and non-Catholics alike in the general public that the alleged "good order" of the school in question is more important than the integrity of the Faith. Whether or not he realizes it, Joseph Zwilling has become a victim of the careerism engendered by the postconciliar rejection of the primacy of absolute fidelity to the Deposit of the Faith as a precondition to teach in any Catholic educational institution. To paraphrase St. Thomas More as he spoke to the perjurer whose false testimony sent him to the executioner: "What does is it profit a man to gain the whole world but suffer the loss of his soul? But for an office and a title at 1011 First Avenue?"

We need to offer special prayers for Father Charles Theodore Murr, espescially during this Paschal Triduum. I pray that he will come to realize that the treatment he has received from his archbishop and brother priest is symptomatic of the conciliar and postconciliar revolutions that have clericalized the laity and laicized the clergy and thereby find his way to follow the courageous actions of Father Stephen Zigrang and Father Lawrence C. Smith, who have followed their conscience to the fullness of the Church's authentic tradition, realizing that they could no longer pretend that the diocesan structure is not harmful to souls, including their own.

Father Murr has offered himself as a victim in the very week when we commemorate the offering of the Chief Priest and Victim of every Mass, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, on the wood of the Holy Cross to the Father in Spirit and in Truth. Thank you, Father Murr--and the members of your parish council and parish trustees--for a steadfast defense of the Deposit of Faith Our Lord has entrusted to His true Church.

Our Lady Help of Christians, pray for Father Charles Theodore Murr and those who stand by his own cross during this Paschal Triduum.




















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