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May 1997 Roman Catholic
Faithful, P.O. Box 109, Petersburg, IL. 62675
(217-632-5920) (Fax 217-632-7054)
Heavenly Father, we ask Your
blessing on our efforts. Show us the way to spread the
Truth of the Catholic faith in the midst of error and
infidelity. Fill our hearts with authentic love for our
priests, bishops and all the clergy, a love that moves us
to unceasing prayer for their souls and to constant
exhortation to faithfully fulfill their sacred task of
preaching the Whole Truth of the Catholic Faith without
Grant us wisdom in our
deliberations, courage in promoting the truth, prudence
in exposing error, and Charity in all the things we do.
Bless our Holy Father the Pope by granting him loyalty
and fidelity from the bishops and all the clergy of the
We ask these things through the
of our Holy Mother Mary.
[ Editorial ] [ HLI ] [ Priest Correspondents Pot
[ Father Sparks ] [ Christ or Chaos ]
[ The American Chesterton
Society ] [ Holy Family
& Father Brennan ]
[ Catholics at St. Nicholas
[ Human Life International
Conference ] [ Masonry ]
[ Homosexuality at St.
Eugene's Parish ] [
they realize it or not, any bishop, or priest that does
not follow the disciplines of the Church as he promised
to do, or allows or promotes false teaching , is indeed
doing the Devils work. If knowing, loving and
serving God is our goal in life, then anyone who tries to
obscure our vision with false ideas is indeed assisting
the enemy. But we must love these misguided souls and it
is not an act of charity to furnish them with a pillow so
that they may feel comfort with their false ideas.
We Catholics have the right and an obligation to profess
our Faith and confront those who spread false teaching
especially if they do this in the name of Catholicism.
The Catholic vote put Bill Clinton into office. This
happened because the American Cardinals and Bishops were
silent! Abortion on demand is the law of the land because
of Catholic silence. This must end.
If individuals who hold positions of authority within the
Church cannot or will not exercise that authority when
needed, we must act.
Silence no more.
This once great country has fallen to modernism and we
are spreading our lies around the world. If only those
who have the Truth would proclaim it at any cost.
I am asking that you pray for Bishop Daniel Ryan of the
Springfield Diocese in Illinois. Bishop Ryan is suffering
and unfortunately his wounds are self-inflicted. The
Springfield diocese is dying a slow death. Vocations are
almost nonexistent and orthodox priests are few. RCF will
be holding meetings throughout the diocese to educate the
public. There have been some major developments in the
Springfield Diocese. Investigations are underway and I
will update you as we go along.
RCF Board members, with the help of some well known
Catholics are working on a full page ad for The Wanderer
and the Washington Times. These ads will announce our
next major project.
We will continue to work in many dioceses as information
becomes available. Everyone of you must do your part.
Pray, Fast and Proclaim the Truth.
RCF was present at the HLI World
in St. Paul, MN. in April.
I would encourage you to support HLI in their great
Fathers Paul Marxs book, Faithful for Life, is a
Human Life International
4 Family Life
Front Royal, VA. 22630
A special thanks to all RCF
members for their prayers
and financial contributions.
CORRESPONDENTS POT POURRI
(These next two articles were written by a priest
at the request of RCF)
In your last Newsletter,
you quoted the labored logic of A Detroit
priest who was living in hope that another
St. Catherine of Siena would appear to drag our
Catholic Church into the information
age. Well, one woman, in the Garden of
Eden, dragged us into the information age, and
humanity has never recovered from that shock.
This priests foolish statement could only
imply a salient of support for the assorted
dissenters who have wreaked havoc with the
Catholic Church in our time.
He takes issue with his
correspondent, stating that you are not
right in saying that dissenting Catholics are not
Catholics at all. Before making such an
apodictic statement, wouldn't you think the
omniscient one would weigh his words and
distinguish the subject-matter of the
dissentions? We are not quarreling over
situations that are open to reasonable dialogue.
The problem revolves around the essentials of our
divinely revealed Faith. Here, dissent equates
with denial of that Faith, and the faithless have
left their Fathers house. Any insistence on
a sort of foolish bilocation only serves to
heighten the assinity of the argument.
The dear Detroit padre
appears to have lost his moorings over some sad
industrial experience. He talks about
industrial slavers who threw a monkey
wrench in the burgeoning economy of Nicaragua.
The greater informational flow, the
secret of this economic development, was somehow
affected. Was the reference to American corporate
greed such as we find in Detroit? If so, how is
the Catholic Church involved?
The Vietnam debacle, too,
was owing to the same reason,
exacerbated by American bombings. What a lot of
blarney! We went to Vietnam to save those people
from the juggernaut of avid Communism. We managed
to put some nails in its coffin, but the
poltroons in our midst prevented us from
completing the job. Now Vietnam, China and North
Korea are all driving nails in our collective
Padre, don't talk such
nonsense about Vietnam. I know that situation
inside out, having lived with the man (two years
in disguise) who became first president of South
Vietnam, a fine Catholic who has all of his
Bernardin's philosophy of common ground
initiative, we are told, would have solved
all our dissentient problems. Some of the
Cardinals own brother-cardinals disagreed
with him. They would not accept the dictum that
dialogue is the sure road to truth. Certainly not
when dissenters in their dialogue are bent on the
complete surrender of partners to the dialogue.
Even the devil can walk in Scripture gait!
The worst cover-up among
Catholics today is hypocritical dissent. Those
who insist on re-forming the Catholic Church in
their own heretical image are not mere dissenters
on debatable grounds. Their agenda is nothing
less than the destruction of the spiritual,
doctrinal, moral patrimony of the Church. When,
for example, we are told that our Church should
recognize unnatural sex-lust as another proper
lifestyle, we part company.
The last time dissenting
Catholics joined the fray, they tore the Catholic
Church to pieces in England. Destruction of the
Church will have little consequence to American
dissenters as long as they realize their agenda.
I marvel at the majority of Catholics who do not
even suspect the diabolical dimension in all the
loud mouthed dissent we face these days.
Statistics indicate that
the greater the Catholic population in a State,
the less is the adversative reaction to abortion.
Is this due to ignorance? I thought we were all
savvy, sophisticated. Or does this spell
surrender to the abortion movement, on the part
of Catholics? In short, must infanticide pass the
test of dialogue or dissent? Hardly, when
Almighty God has thundered down: Thou shalt
not kill. Hardly, when the one who
initiated this Herodian slaughter died a bag of
If we live to see the end
of time, shall we not be a laughable litter
crawling around in the three days of
darkness prophesied by not a few seers?
Indeed, we all shall be so busy trying to keep
Old Harry, the stalker, off our tails that an
invitation to dissent will be regarded as sheer
St. Philip Neri could not
stand anyone who was in the state of mortal sin.
He was repelled by the stink of them. How would
he react today if he met a teenage sexpot after a
pre-birth abortion (to save the mothers
life, you know)? He probably would retch.
Another priest has
treated us to a book titled As One
Without Authority. If he is talking
about preachers without authority, all right. But
if he is talking about properly trained priests
authorized by the Church to preach the Catholic
faith, the said padre is all wet, and not with
holy water. The reviewer of this book reminds us
that todays congregation is
media-savvy, educated, sophisticated and
demanding. They challenge us to convince rather
than instruct them. Well, if a properly
trained priest, authorized to preach Catholic
doctrine can not convince them, they are among
those who Jesus said do not listen to the
Church and must be regarded as outsiders.
Authority no longer lies with the preacher
making authoritative pronouncements...Now it is
found precisely in the interaction between
congregation and the Scriptural readings.
In short, the listener has the last word. Which
reminds me of those who heard Jesus only to turn
away from Him.
This attitude is the
fruit of a decaying American democracy. Everyone
is a law to himself. Take God, morality and
ethics out of public life. Take down the Ten
Commandments because someone who reads the Koran
is offended by this expression of Christian
belief. In an Islamic country, would a Christian
who asserted such a preference receive
toleration? Likely, he would be flogged within a
inch of his life, if not beheaded. Enough is
enough! Lets show the bums in government,
church, school, median and business corporations.
past year Father Eugene Weitzel has had several of his
articles published in The Catholic Times (The
official paper of the Springfield Diocese.) Two of his
articles Give me one good reason why a women
can't be a priest Jan. 7, 1996 and New
guidelines for hearing confession of birth control use,
April 20, 1997 clearly contradict Church teaching and
undermine Papal Authority.We at RCF asked a holy Priest
to answer Fr. Weitzel. The following is that answer.
I was saddened to read in the January 7,
1996 issue of your Springfield Diocesan paper, that
foolish article written by Fr. Eugene Weitzel, in which
he openly challenged the authority of the Holy Father,
the head of our Catholic Church. "Give me one good
reason why a woman can't be a priest" he asked, a
haughty, arrogant presumption that so such reason exists.
I could give him more than one good reason, but to no
avail because he is blind to the logic of truth.
Before answering the demand of this omniscient
padre, let me delimit the status of his thesis. Who is
meant by "a woman." Any woman? Heaven forbid!
But it would seem so. Who actually are these women who
ambition our priesthood? Are they single? If so, are they
respectable, if not virtuous role-models in family and
society? Would they be leading sexual lives with
"boy friends," in mockery of marriage? Would
they be practicing lesbians? Have they had an abortion?
If married, were they wed in the Catholic
Church? In marriage, have they sided with Margaret Sanger
in her Planned Parenthood techniques, enjoying sex
divorced from procreation as God intended it? Have they
been divorced, remarried, living in sin according to the
definition of Jesus?
At best, were they just average Catholics,
giving God 45 minutes a week, in church, niggardly in
their monetary contributions, never volunteering to serve
the needs of their parish? If they had children, did they
ever encourage them to serve God as priests, brothers or
nuns? Did they ever go to extremes and suggest that they
join the "crazies" who go all the way-to the
rigors of the foreign missions? In short, how do they
qualify for the priesthood?
The Pope, supreme authority in the Catholic
Church, plainly has stated that Jesus clearly established
his Church on a male priesthood, and that he, the Pope,
has no authority to undo what Jesus did. Weitzel, that is
one good reason why women are not chosen for the
priesthood. But you retort: "Jesus was a man of his
times." In other words, Jesus was just human. Well,
for your information (since you are invincibly ignorant),
Jesus was Yahweh, God Almighty, in human guise. What
stupidity to think that his human intellect was immune
from divine superintendence? Jesus saw his institution in
vision through the centuries, down to Weitzel"s
heretical reaction to the head of his Church.
In the logic of Weitzel and his ilk, every
utterance or no utterance of the Pope must be infallible.
But the Pope has not and can not infallibly determine the
status of women(or anyone else) in Christ's Church
because this is not a matter of faith or morals. This
determination is the prerogative of dissidents! So the
Papal determination amounts to nothing.
In support of his dogmatic determination,
Weitzel treats us to a smorgasbord of Scriptural and
theological delicacies. Well, any intelligent Catholic
would know that all these arguments are not to the point.
They have no valid bearing on the subject. They simply
are not ad rem, if I must resort to the forgotten
The Pope is the papa of our house. If he says:
"I insist on discipline in this home. I will not
tolerate your shenanigans, son! Do as I say. Shape up or
ship out!" Is he not within his rights? The bravest
ecclesiastic in the American Catholic Church is Bishop
Bruskewicz. He was sick and tired of all the
hypocritical posturing in his diocese. He refused to wink
at the antics of those who insisted on fashioning the
Catholic Church in their own disgraceful image. So he
said: Shape up or ship out! Of course, there was little
point in telling them to ship out.
They were already out. Did not Jesus say:
"He who is not with me is against me"? Again:
" If he will not hear the Church, let him be to you
as the Publican and the sinner."
If the Pope were to direct all bishops to deny
characters of unsound faith access to the columns of the
diocesan publications, would all the bishops consent? Or
would some simply disobey, and allow Weitzel and his ilk
to "bore from inside," using the Communist
technique to destroy our Church? It is absolutely
incredible that a diocesan paper would give space to such
propaganda. The wasp is at the heart of the fig! The
virus eats at the soul of the Church! And no one shudders
at the almost palpable presence of the devil in our
Weitzel argues that since women are now eligible
for all sorts of secular employments, even as candidates
for cannon fodder, they should be eligible for
priesthood. Imagine a priest putting all sorts of secular
vocations on a par with the priesthood of Christ! Woman's
divinely determined function is the procreation and
nurturing of the race. Difference of function does not
equate with inequality!
I know a priest who used to go, shank's mare, to
his rural church for daily Mass. He passed a large
heinous, on the way. The hens, roused from slumber, used
to break out in uproarious cackling. And the padre? He
would scold them. "So you all can lay an egg. Well
now, can any of you make an omelet?" Heavy silence
would envelop the hennery. Was the padre saying he was
better than the hens? No, he said he was only different.
Were the hens ambitioning human nature? No. But
the padre was disturbing them. He was interfering in
their lifestyle. The padre loyal to the Pope will always
disturb the cockahoop hens--and sometimes, the roosters.
In the April 20th, 1997 issue of your
Springfield diocesan paper, Eugene Weitzel received more
space to air his unsound conclusions. He soft pedaled the
birth control propaganda, which soft pedals abortion.
"Invincible ignorance," he told us can exist
even after "a moderately serious investigation"
of the matter." If this is not sinning against the
light, I don't know what is. Sex is clearly for
procreation, not recreation. Many Catholics are
invincibly ignorant because they feel the Church is
"old fashioned," said Weitzel. So morality and
the law of God must change with the fashions? This is not
"invincible ignorance." It is outright
surrender to evil, a grieving of the Holy Spirit, a close
approach to the unforgivable sin. "God is not
mocked!" Get over your fixations, padre. If such is
the message you peddle to your parishioners, I hope they
will be sensible enough to leave your house to you
All this semantic nonsense is the sort that
caused the Greek Orthodox secession from our Petrine
Catholic Church, and the Protestant secession in 16th
century England. The center of Catholicity meant nothing
to arrogant ecclesiastics determined, as today, on
re-forming the Church in their own image. The murderers
of Jesus, at the foot of his cross, would not cut his
seamless garment into pieces. They left that for some of
us to do.
October-November issue of Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, we
published Donna Steichen's brief comments about Father
Richard Sparks, who spoke at the diocesan religious
education conference here in Springfield, IL. Mrs.
Steichen said "Sparks is a heterosexual but often
speaks on homosexuality. He says most of the people he
knows are homosexual." We also quoted some passages
from his book. Rev. Sparks reacted with accusations of
"slander and /or libel." RCF has decided to
publish Mrs. Steichen's reply, and let our readers decide
for themselves whether or not she libeled Sparks.
Dear Father Sparks,
Stephen Brady of Roman Catholic Faithful was so kind as
to send me a copy of your Holy Thursday letter to him, in
which you accuse me of "slander and/or libel"
for making two brief comments about you that were quoted
in an issue of the RCF publication, Ad Majorem Dei
Gloriam. It moved me to listen again to the sources on
which I based the remarks you found objectionable. These
are tapes of two addresses you delivered at Los Angeles
Archdiocesan Religious Education Congresses, specifically
tape 1W from the 1994 congress ("Homosexuality: The
Moral and Pastoral Minefield") and tape 2X form the
1996 congress(Walking the Christian Moral Tightrope).
I urge you to refresh your own memory by listening to
them. Your objections are bewildering. Am I to understand
that you believe I maligned your good name by identifying
you as heterosexual? But in talk 1W, you so identified
yourself. Your exact words:
"I think it's important to state up front
that my orientation is predominantly heterosexual. On the
Kinsey scale of zero to six, I'm probably a zero to one
or two rather than a four, five or six."
Were you distressed that I said
you often speak on homosexuality?
In the same talk, 1W, Sister Car Ann introduced you as an
expert on the subject by virtue of your service on an
advisory committee for the U. S. Bishops' Document on
Human Sexuality. You then described yourself as "a
moral theologian who specializes in sexuality,"
"I served for three years on a task force
that dealt with ministry to homosexual persons, in the
Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul. As Carl Ann
mentioned, I had participation in this 1990 document from
the U.S. bishops, and the section on homosexuality is one
side of this two-sided handout that you have this
Later in address 1W, you raised the subject of
insurance coverage for homosexuals, explaining,
"that's another moral issue I often talk on."
In context, it seemed clear that the antecedent to
"another moral issue" was homosexuality. These
references, I believe, justify my conclusion that you
"often" speak on this subject.
My statement that "most of the people he knows are
homosexual" was a bit of hyperbole, which might more
exactly have been preceded with "it seems." But
you cannot reasonably call it a libel, since entire
thrust of the talk that evoked it was to declare that
neither homosexuality or its absence is to be considered
a matter for criticism or condemnation. As in the matter
of your expert status, my remark was not a judgment but a
conclusion, based on your statement that:
"I do have a number of gay and lesbian
colleagues and friends, and over the last ten to twenty
years I've been around as a number of them have done the
coming-out process, getting in touch and dealing with
their own sexual orientation, and certainly through
pastoral encounters with parishioners and other folks,
I've dealt with lay, clergy and religious dealing with
their own sexual identity."
The strong impression that your acquaintances
include an unusually high proportion of homosexuals was
reinforced when you recounted a typical conversation with
some of those friends. You said:
"I've known some fellow Paulists who, in
discovering their own gay orientation, said, "Well,
Dick, everybody in the Paulists is gay except you. And
you may be, too, but you just don't know it!" I
mean, I've heard people who, when they've come out--and
by the way, don't go running around saying "the
Paulist." We could do the Franciscans, or we could
do the Jesuits, or we could do the, you know--. But
there's a sense in which when someone does come out, and
you start to find out who else is or isn't gay, you start
to judge, and you sit in a room and go, "Hey, you
said maybe ten percent here? Ninety-eight per cent of the
people in that room were gay! I could tell!"
Somewhere along the line, you indicated that the
hypothetical speaker was overestimating the percentage of
homosexuals in the order. Still, reporting such a
conversation as typical suggests that the actual ratio is
very high among Paulists, and in other orders as well.
I maintain that the remarks to which you take
exception are neither slanderous nor libelous, but amply
justified by your own recorded statements, Indeed,
listening to your tapes again made me wonder why you
objected at all to such general and documentable
statements. Your opinions and your methods seem to me far
worse than those two offhand remarks indicate. Now I
realize that I should have criticized them in much
greater depth and with much more specificity.
For example, it is your consistent practice here to
convert a questionable assumption into an instantly
operative principle. You introduce a permissive or
"progressive" position, make a brief reference
to objections to it (from the Vatican or other
conservative sources), then proceed to use the
progressive presumption as though its credibility were
established. One obvious case is Kinsey's claim that ten
percent of the population is predominantly homosexual.
You concede, in passing, that some authorities reject
that figure as invalid, but we hear no more of
objections. Through the rest of your talk, you continue
to cite the ten percent figure as though it were true.
You use the same tactic with the assertions of homosexual
advocates that Sodom was condemned for inhospitality,
and/or rape, rather than for sodomy, and that Scriptural
condemnations of homosexual acts were condemnations of
ritual prostitution by those not homosexually oriented.
In addition, you erroneously state that Dignity did not
openly oppose Church teaching until after it was expelled
from Catholic institutions. Father John Harvey says that
Dignity, at a September 1987 national meeting, adopted a
statement that genital acts between committed same-sex
couples were morally good.
In general, the people you cite as authorities range from
the controversial through the heterodox to the
discredited. Daniel Maguire, Charles Curran, Richard
McCormick, John McNeill, Richard Woods, John Dedek,
Gregory Baum, Alfred Kinsey, and Lawrence Kohlberg are
not names one would expect to hear cited as authorities
by an impeccable orthodox moral theologian such as, e.g.,
Msgr. William Smith. I could well have explained why that
is true, and probably should have done so. I could also
have noted, by contrast, your consistently dismissive
tone in references to St. Paul and his
"sin-lists," to Cardinal Ratzinger, the
Vatican, and "Pope-quotes," and to Mother
Teresa's self-deluding "stubbornness." At the
very least, your tone suggests they are not equally
I have concentrated here on material from tape 1W, as
more relevant than tape 2X to the matter in question. But
in 2X you make the novel proposal that mortal sinners
should not refrain from receiving Holy Communion until
they have confessed their sins, but rather should receive
first because they need it most. That is another
heterodox view that I should have mentioned to RCF.
While I was not the source of the quotations (in Ad
Majorem Dei Gloriam) from your book, Contemporary
Christian Morality: Real Questions, Candid Responses, I
recognized them from your talk 1W. All of the quotations
seem to be in your own words. The only one to which I can
imagine the slightest objection is that from page 78,
because it does not name the specific theologians who
advance the views described. It does, however, recognize
their existence by mentioning "these
In conclusion, I think the article in Ad Majorem Dei
Gloriam was far less harsh about you than it could have
been. Even this summary omits much about your talks that
RCF members would find shocking. I recommend that your
replay those old tapes and be grateful you were treated
A monthly newsletter connecting
mans spiritual life in Christ
with his social life as a citizen.
Editor: Dr. Thomas Droleskey
P.O. Box 428807
Cincinnati, OH 45242
April 1997 issue of Christ or Chaos there is an article
titled IT'S TIME FOR A LITTLE GATHERING in which Dr.
Droleskey suggests a possible protest of sorts to take
place in Washington, D.C. in November at the NCCB
conference. Dr. Droleskey needs to hear from you.
Will you join in?
The following is a small part of the article which list
some demands which could be made to the bishops.
With the Vatican unwilling (yes, unwilling) to
come to the assistance of priests and laity being
browbeaten and persecuted by bishops and their staffs,
the time has come for the laity of today to do what our
fathers in the faith had done at Ephesus: to gather
around the bishops when they meet as a means of demanding
our right to have the true faith taught in all of its
integrity. I believe that it is time for a little
gathering to take place in November of this year when the
bishops convene in Washington at the Omni-Shoreham Hotel
for their semi-annual meeting. The purposes of this
meeting are several-fold:
To prayerfully and respectfully demand the
removal of those bishops who are promoting the very thing
that caused our Lord to suffer in His Sacred Humanity,
sin. It is mind-boggling to watch bishops attend
conferences exalting sodomy! No bishop who does such a
thing is in de facto communion with Christ and His
Church. Oh, he might have de jure (juridical) authority.
But such a man is no longer a believing Catholic.
To demand of those bishops who are slaves to the
ecclesiastical bureaucracy the courage that is needed to
stand up to proclaim the faith boldly, and to demand that
all of their employees submit to a statement of orthodox
To demand an end to the persecution of
seminarians and priests who are deemed too
rigid (that is, too committed to the unchanging
truths of the splendor of Truth Incarnate).
To demand that teachers in Catholic schools and
religious education programs be practicing Catholics who
dissent from not one whit of what our Lord has handed
down to us from the Apostles.
To demand the abolition of the International
Commission on English in the Liturgy.
To demand that the right of parents to serve as
principal educators of their children be respected and
assisted by pastors.
To demand that the Church stop subsidizing,
through Catholic Charities and the Campaign for Human
Development, any and all programs that are inimical to
the Cross of Christ.
To demand that the bishops mount a vigorous
opposition to Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party he
heads, regardless of the consequences this might have
insofar as the Churchs tax-exempt status is
concerned. The bishops have wasted much time issuing
pastoral letters on matters of prudential judgment; it is
time for them to issue letters and statements about
personal morality, upon which social justice is based.
They must demand that Republicans stop taking
contributions from such firms, and that those Republicans
stop RU-486, reverse FACE and and fetal experimentation,
and stop confirming all of Clintons pro-abortion
and pro-sodomite judicial nominees.
To demand the removal of the Papal Nuncio,
Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan, for his abject failure
to come to the assistance of priests and laity who are
being manhandled by the bishops.
To demonstrate to the Holy Father, who has the
authority to remove any bishop he wants to at any time,
that there are Catholics in this country who will no
longer tolerate the lack of interest in our situation
that seems to characterize many of the offices in the
Holy See. As loyal sons and daughters of the Church, we
are looking to him to be our spiritual father, to
discipline those who are leading their flocks astray.
Naturally, we are people of prayer. We recognize that our
Lord is permitting these terrible things to happen. He is
permitting His mystical Body, the Church, to be racked
and tortured just as He permitted His own physical Body
to be racked and tortured on Calvary. The Church has gone
through periods of purification of this sort before. But
there have always been lay men, steeped in Eucharistic
piety and Marian devotion, who have stepped forward to
bring about a resurrection, if you will, of the Church in
the midst of the world.
How many more souls have to be lost? How much more
scandal has to be endured? How much more money has to be
paid out in settlements to those who have been abused by
priests and bishops? How many more vocations have to be
turned away? How many more people have to endure the
needless heartbreak of being browbeaten by ecclesiastical
authorities because of their steadfast devotion to the
fullness of the faith? How many more people are going to
be reaffirmed in their sins? How many more people are
going to believe that it is perfectly acceptable to vote
for candidates of either major political party who
support the destruction of Christs innocent ones in
the womb? How many more people must die in Catholic
hospitals by means of euthanasia? How many more children
will never be exposed to the true faith in their
educational programs? How much longer can the Mass be
As people of faith, we know we have to stay on board the
Ship of Peter. We know Gods grace is sufficient for
us to endure these problems.
But we also need to act.
A gathering in Washington this November, which
would start with a candlelight vigil and Rosary rally in
front of the Nunciature on Massachusetts Avenue, might be
the start of the process of re-taking the Church for
Christ and Him Crucified. For such an effort is vital if
this country is to know the surety that comes from
recognizing Christ as King.
We'll keep you posted on the response we receive to this
suggestion for a little gathering in Washington.
May, 10, 1997 I had the opportunity to attend an
award dinner sponsored by the Chesterton Society. I had a
chance to meet some real defenders of the Faith. Thank
you Dr. Chuck Prezzia & Family and Mr. Peter Montion
& Family for your kindness and hospitality.
Society Award Winners
Born in Milwaukee on Sep.6, 1935, Bishop
Fabian Wendelin Bruskewitz attended St. Wenceslaus
parochial Catholic Elementary school in Milwaukee and
then attended St. Lawrence Seminary at Mt. Calvary,
Wisconsin , St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
and the Pontifical North American College and the
Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained a priest on
July 17, 1960, at the Church of the Twelve Apostles by
Cardinal Traglia, the Vicar General of Rome. He was named
a Monsignor in 1976. In 1992 he was named the 8th Bishop
of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska. His Excellency, a
strong champion of the pro-life cause, has been
unstinting in his support of lay Catholic initiatives.
Joe Sobran received his B. A. in English
from Eastern Michigan University and graduate studies in
English specializing in Shakespeare. In 1972, he went to
work for National Review magazine beginning what would be
a 21 year stint, including 18 years as Senior Editor.
From 1979-91, Mr. Sobran was a regular commentator on CBS
Radio's Spectrum series. He is a syndicated
columnist and a well-known author.
The Chesterton Society, Inc. was founded in 1989
by a group of (then) young Catholic professionals in the
memory and spirit of G.K.Chesterton, an early-mid 20th
century convert of Catholicism. He was named
Defender of the Faith by Pope Pius IX. The
Chesterton Society, Inc. is open to all like minded
individuals interested in preserving and advancing
traditional Judeo-Christian values
The American Chesterton Society
4117 Pebblebrook Circle, Minneapolis, MN. 55437
ph. 612-831-3096 fax 612-831-0387, www.chesterton.org
A $25 membership includes our lively newsletter,
If you have any information or documentation
concerning the L.A. ArchdioceseWe need it!
The liturgy at Holy Family
is in chaos. Some Sundays the Creed is eliminated; some
Sundays it's the Lamb of God that gets the boot. Be
patient with the inevitable mistakes as we
experiment, directs the March 12, 1995 parish
bulletin, explaining a reversal in the proscribed order
for Eucharistic reception. Dissident speaker, Call to
Action Father Richard McBrien, has conducted a weekend
seminar at the parish. Open rebellion against the church
On May 7, 1995, to give a graphic example, Chris
Murphy, a lay staff-member, was permitted to include an
article in the Holy Familys weekly bulletin, which
he called The Priesthood Trend. Murphy wrote,
In the long run, I advocate a change to the
priesthood that would allow men and women, celibates and
married to discern if their vocation is to the
The same May issue carried another article, Justice
for All in which its author, Shirl Giacomi, also a
lay staff-member, confessed, After I came to Holy
Family, it was [Father] Pat Smith and Chris Murphy, two
men I respected, that got my attention. The more I
listened to them, the more I realized that I was a
product of a male dominated Church
institutional Church rules are inconsistent with what
If this is what the parishioners are preaching
openly, the pastor will not be far behind. The same
bulletin contained an article titled The
Priest, by Father Pat Brennan, who wrote, I
personally see no solid theological grounds for mandating
celibacy for priests. Neither do I find grounds for
denying priesthood to women. Father Pat Brennan, a
priest at Holy Family Parish in Inverness, Illinois, has
served as Director of the Office for Evangelization of
the Archdiocese of Chicago, and is an engaging radio
personality with a weekly half-hour show called Horizons.
He is the prolific author of over a dozen books and
pamphlets, and a popular lecturer at the Call to Action
Father Brennans weekly homilies are
regularly taped. On Sunday, January 26, 1997, Father
Brennans sermon was called Re-Imagine
Yourself with Jesus. Father began his sermon with
the true-to-life story of French Bishop Jacques Gaillot,
who was removed from his pastoral duties early in 1995.
Bishop Gaillot was also a fellow speaker with Father
Brennan at the 1996 Call to Action Conference. Father
Brennan explained that Bishop Gaillot had been
disciplined by the Vatican and dismissed from his
bishopric for asserting three things: that the Church is
going to have to consider the ordination of married men;
that he had said, I find nothing in scriptures that
shows that Jesus, at this point in time, wouldn't welcome
women into the priesthood [emphasis added]; and that the
Church, by contrast to society, never discriminates
against people, for example, against gays and lesbians.
The Vatican, although Father Brennan didn't go into it,
claimed there were other reasons, as well. Gaillot had
publicly endorsed use of the abortion pill.
He had promoted the use of condoms among homosexuals and
favored condom distribution in public schools. He had
blessed homosexual unions, and he had publicly supported
radical leftist political figures. However, it was only
the above three reasons that Father Brennan chose to
focus on. Father Brennan used Bishop Gaillots case
to illustrate a point: here was a man whom life had dealt
a serious blow. Although Gaillot had been removed from
his diocese for upholding his convictions, he
nevertheless had reexamined his life and had found
good to do. This good work
Gaillot does is to have created a virtual
diocese on the Internet, from where he can
communicate his rebellious opinions to the world, as
opposed to merely one, small diocese in France. I
stand in admiration of the guy, Father Brennan
said. Hes an example of a person who has hit
a bump in the road
.Hes gotten up
re-imagined himself, and somehow he still wants to put
[his life] at the service of God.
This is a remarkable conclusion. The bishop is
not held up as an example of hubris or arrogant
hard-heartedness. Rather, the congregation is invited to
see in Bishop Gaillot a man of moral courage, maintaining
his opinions despite the consequences, and making the
best of a bad situation.
The fact that Bishop Gaillot has brought the situation on
himself, by rejecting the Church teachings he vowed to
uphold, is left unconsidered. Sermons recorded over the
last year and a half provide a fair sampling of Father
Brennans Call to Action beliefs. The sermon
Our Common Ground was delivered
during the same week as the unveiling of Cardinal
Bernardins Project Common Ground. Father began with
the point that most of our church-based disagreements are
over issues which are non-essential to the Faith.
In much of the infighting going on within the
Catholic Church, Father Brennan said, none
of us is fighting, disagreeing, arguing about anything
that counts. Its rare that you hear people arguing
about the Incarnation - was Christ born
.no, what we
quibble and argue and judge each other about are
human-made, time-bound things. Human views about how the
Church ought to run
.Each of us in our different
camp claims to have a pipeline to Jesus.
The issues which Father Brennan described as dividing the
Church were posed as questions, and included:
What is the role of women
in the future of the Catholic Church?
What is the image and
morale of the priesthood at this point in
What is the role of
teaching theology and the opinion of the
teaching Church in Rome?
What is the role of
American bishops, up against the Papacy and up
the Magisterium that operates out of Rome?
Why is it that some of us take a style or
an expression of Catholicism or Christianity,
Father continued, and hold onto it, clutch onto it,
saying, This is the Truth and the pieces of truth
you have - aw, theyre not true
its because many of us have experienced the meaning
of life through some style and expression of
I think the intervention of Cardinal
is, let us be respectful of each other in
terms of style and expression of Faith. But let us never
get polarized over or arguing about style and expression
of Faith. Let us focus our energies on the Common Ground.
And the Common Ground is Faith.
The implication that Father considers the issues of
female and married priesthood and the structure and
teaching authority of the Church to all be mere stylistic
expressions of Catholicism is peculiar. If these issues
were really as non-essential to the core of the Faith as
Father suggests, one must wonder why he has spent such an
enormous amount of personal energy writing about,
preaching about, and pushing for reforms that he feels
are not very important. It is hard to believe that this
is the conclusion Father Brennan would have his
1996s Holy Thursday sermon was fittingly called
Priesthood, but took a surprising turn.
Father Brennan reflected on a funeral he had attended of
a 48 year old priest. He noticed that he was one of the
younger priests present. The funeral then took on
symbolic proportions for him; it was almost like being at
the funeral of the priesthood. Father referred to
demographic projections and warned Dont
presume youll have a male, celibate pastor with you
in the future
that parishes are
going to be
. as networks of small
groups. If the point had not been made forcefully
enough, Father quoted Thomas Sweeter, who said, The
priesthood as we know it is dead.
Father Brennan saw nothing in this to be pessimistic
about, however. Our Church is in the middle of a
I believe that the priesthood of
Jesus Christ is being reborn
.Anyone who wants to be
ordained a priest or anyone who really wants to work
full-time for the Church, I believe is responding to a
call from God.
a call to a life of leadership in the
Body of Christ
.we will have ordained priests in the
future. And the future priesthood, Father asserted,
will accept women and married people.
In one sermon, Gods Standard - Love,
Father Brennan spoke very beautifully about the need to
develop a reflective, moral dimension to ones
being, and the mandate to use a lens of love as
Gods standard against which to measure all actions.
However, embedded in all this beauty was a muddle about
the natural law and primacy of conscience: How do
we know what Gods will is? Thomas Aquinas said it,
years ago, God has programmed into us, God has placed in
us an innate sense of whats good, an innate sense
of whats right. Gods given us within a sense
of Truth. God has planted in us His will. God wants us to
take the time and expend the energy, to do the thinking,
the reflecting, the discerning to name what Gods
will is. And when we find Gods will - what appears
to be Gods will - God wants us to will it, Aquinas
says. He wants us to do it; He wants us to speak it
despite the cost
Aquinas and others have said, to
not do this process of discerning and willing and doing
and speaking is evil.
Father never concerned himself with the problem of two
discerning souls discovering contradictory
wills of God. Perhaps it was his naïve hope that if only
those two were loving enough, the contradiction might
dissipate of its own accord.
The sermon Real Life Reconciliation was not
about the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but about social
reconciliation. Reconciliation is not an empty
ritual we engage in a couple of times a year as
Catholics. Reconciliation is a process of problem-solving
with the people in our lives
Thats what the
gospel is about tonight, the real-life process of
reconciliation. Jesus offers a process tonight. Jesus
wants his followers to deal with relational
problems. The process involves going to other
people and talking out our differences, share feelings,
trying to resolve things and if that doesnt work,
to seek outside help. More important than ritual
reconciliation, Father Brennan teaches, [is]
Not satisfied merely to debunk this Sacrament, Father
Brennan took the opportunity to again bring up his pet
Church reform: the restructuring of the priesthood.
The binding and loosing thing - we dont
understand it real well, because were not familiar
with Jewish culture. That language was used in the Jewish
community. Binding and loosing was the power the rabbi
had to exclude people from the community or to reconcile
people with the community. In Marks gospel, Jesus
take this ministry of reconciliation from the Jewish
rabbi and gives it to Peter. In Matthews gospel, in
a community that has thought through Jesus vision a
little more, Matthew gives it to the whole community.
Matthew says all of us have the power and the
responsibility to engage in the ministry of
reconciliation, and whatever we do in our relationships
registers in heaven.
A Corpus Christi sermon, Why Go To Mass,
began Its the Feast of the Body and Blood of
Christ so lets ask the question, folks - why go to
Father developed a litany of motives to answer that
question. You know why you go to Mass? he
asked again and again, providing a rich variety of
answers: we go to Mass for the greeting; we go for the
penitential rite and forgiveness of God; we go to Mass to
listen to scripture; we go to Mass to get meaning for
life. We go to Mass to say the Creed. We go to Mass to
say the prayers of the faithful which connect us to the
entire globe. We go to Mass for the collection, which is
about much more than giving money. We go to Mass to
prepare the table. We go to Mass to praise God. We
go to Mass to either hold hands or lift hands or hold our
arms - however we do it - and pray in the words Jesus
gave us. We go to Mass to wish one another
peace in a world of anxiety. And we go to
Mass to become Holy Communion.
It is not that Father completely ignores the Eucharistic
presence or the faithfuls desire to adore and thank
their Creator as a motive for participating in the Mass.
However, he accomplishes the subtle redirection of the
worshipers focus away the Eucharistic presence and
places it in the community by stressing so many - and
evidently all equally valid - reasons for coming to Mass.
There is no hierarchy provided among the motives that
draw people to church, no distinction made between more
worthy and less worthy reasons.
Furthermore, the climax of Eucharistic activity, Father
Brennan tells his congregation, is to become Holy
.The Eucharist is an intense experience of
the best of what the Church offers people: meaning,
healing, forgiveness, and connection. This is odd
sermon for the Feast of Corpus Christi.
The objective Father had in developing this
sermon as he did was to generate a response against the
then-recent Vatican statement, On Reserving
Ordination of the Priesthood to Men Alone. Father
Brennan explained that the statement made it clear that
there should be no married clergy or women clergy.
Father Brennan then warned his congregation about the
upcoming priest-shortage, I assure you that within
8-10 years there will be 1 priest for this [regional]
corridor. The people themselves as communion; a
Vatican statement clearly saying there will be no women
priests; and a projected priest shortage
does that have to do with the Feast of the Body and Blood
of Christ? Right now you need a priest for Mass, but in
our future, there will be no women priests, there will be
no married priests, there will be very few male celibate
priests, and most of us will be on canes.
Heres what I want you to think about,
Father Brennan drew his three threads together.
...After everything Ive said about the value
of the Eucharist, your kids and grand kids probably will
not have Mass on a regular basis if things continue as
theyre going. I want you to think about that. And I
want you to get into your feelings about that. You are
the Body of Christ. Jesus Christ had a mouth - He talked.
And often he got in trouble for talking, but he talked.
You have a mouth. Id ask you to get in touch with
your thoughts and feelings about this dilemma, and if you
have the courage and the time, think about
someone in authority who makes decisions
about this situation.
The pulpit, under Father Brennan, therefore, is not only
used as a platform from which to teach what the Church
teaches, but to promote a foreign ideology and foment
rebellion. Some of his sermons are wonderful and
profound, but there are still a significant number
designed to breed a rebellious, Call To Action mentality
in the congregation. An attractive, influential and
pastoral priest, who is deeply concerned about, and
committed to his flock, Father Pat Brennan nevertheless
carries a subtle and toxic commitment to his own
ill-reasoned opinions, which are injected periodically
into those who love and trust him.
I believe I speak for many [Holy Family]
parishioners who are becoming increasingly aggrieved and
alarmed by open acts of disobedience and rebellion
towards the Catholic faith tradition and
discipline, wrote one parish member as a rebuttal
to the dissident opinions published in the parish
bulletin [The rebuttal article appeared on July 9, 1995].
My question to the parish is, if Holy Family is
Christ-like, how can we sanction
A mailing was sent out to all of Fr.
Brennans staff and ministry members. We got their
names from church bulletins. Included in this mailing was
Fathers story by Mrs. Block, CTA information,
I.A.F. information and some comments on Church teaching.
Father did call me and threaten legal action. We will
keep you posted. We will make every effort to challenge
those who undermine or contradict Church teaching!
Catholics of St. Nicholas Parish,
On the back page of the May issue of your parish
newsletter there was an article titled Church
Reform Continues. The article closes by stating
The referendum will be available for our signatures
in coming weeks. We at RCF would like to provide
you with additional information about the We Are
Church referendum and the groups behind it!
Life International Conference
by Art J. Brew
Every Orthodox Catholic who wants nothing more than
loyalty to the Holy Father and the Magisterium, faithful
clergy, Masses without silly frills, sermons that address
the real issues of our times, and good schooling for our
children should attend at least one Human Life
This years program was held in Minnesota and in
1998 Houston will be the convention site.
The more than 2,000 men, women, and children who
came from all parts of the world to hear superb talks on
such subjects as abortion, home schooling, Planned
Parenthood, contraception, Canon Law, the Jesuits,
pornography, and a host of other timely subjects came
away enlightened, refreshed, and inspired.
It was truly a gathering of Roman Catholic faithful.
Each time the conference is held in a new city like
Bloomington, one has the good fortune to meet many of the
regional pro-lifers who have quietly fought long and
valiantly in the most important work of our times.
Many have toiled for years as sidewalk counselors, crisis
pregnancy center volunteers, producers of newsletters,
pro-life chapter heads, prayer partners, fund raisers,
shelter home workers, and those myriad other activities
involved in the never-ending battle against abortion.
Is there a more selfless, compassionate group of
individuals in this land? What have they to gain other
than the expenditure of time, money, the indifference of
the media, the disdain of a local archbishop, and the
hysterical ravings of the highly predictable,
obscenity-shouting pro-aborts? The deeds of these right
to lifers are largely unsung, their enemies are on every
corner, and their rewards may not be delivered in this
world because their activities and ideas are politically
incorrect and embarrassing to many of their own church
leaders. But somewhere their names are being indelibly
recorded in the books of the Almighty. On the right side
of the ledger.
This year in Minnesota, native son Fr. Marx was honored
for his 50 years in the priesthood and his 35 years in
the pro-life movement. Pope John Paul II accurately
described this courageous servant of the Lord as
the Apostle of Life who will receive more
credit in Heaven for his work than he has on earth.
In Minneapolis continuing their tireless struggle with
Father Marx and Human Life International were such people
Virginia Evers of
Arizona, the mother of the precious
Angela Stadtler, a young
volunteer from Austria;
Chuck and Pat Pelletier,
who run a successful crisis pregnancy center in
Professor Charles Rice
and his family from Notre Dame;
Bob Gallagher of
California whose drive to the Montreal HLI
Conference several years ago was interrupted by
emergency heart surgery in Utah, and his wife;
Daniel and Mely McGivern
from far off Hawaii;
Sister Amadeus Klein of
nearby Rochester, MN;
Pro-life Andy Anderson of
Nevada who donned his Army uniform and walked
proudly at the side of Father Marx at the opening
ceremonies in St. Paul;
John and Sherry Finn, their
daughter Kathy Miller and her baby, Clare, from
Theresa Bell from Canada.
And many more.
Sun Times, Saturday, April 26, 1997 -
Masons honor Bernardin for peace efforts.
Bernardins sister, Elaine Addison, of Columbia, S.
C. accompanied by Monsignor Ken Velo, accepted the award
on Bernardins behalf.
The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY, Thursday, April 24, 1997 -
Printed in the obituary of Donald M. Fenton. Mass of
Christian Burial to be concelebrated on Friday, May 16,
1997 at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church in Margaretville
by the Very Rev. Robert H. Purcell, the Rev. Joseph
Manerowski of St. Peters of Deihi and the Rev. John
Burns of the Church of the Most Precious Blood, South
Kortright. The Rev. Richard Niebanck of Immanuel
Lutheran, Deihi, will assist. A Masonic service will be
held at the church on Thursday at 7 p.m.
The New World, Chicago Archdiocese newspaper, May 9, 1997
- Shriners to honor local theologian. This years
honoree for ecumenical service is Father Michael Place.
April 29, 1997
Mr. Thomas Sheridan
Religious Affairs Editor
The Chicago Sun-Times
401 North Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
Dear Mr. Sheridan,
I am writing in regard to the article entitled
"Masons honor Bernardin for peace efforts"
(copy enclosed) which appeared under your by-line on page
15 of the Saturday, April 26, 1997, issue of The Chicago
Your article does not clearly state the current Church
position on Freemasonry, implies that the Church's
attitude toward Freemasonry has softened, and gives the
general impression that Bishop Bruskewitz is somehow out
The average Catholic reader will go away from the article
with the impression that Freemasonry somehow is now okay
because Freemasons granted the award posthumously to
Cardinal Bernardin, because his sister accepted the
award, and because of the presence and the comments of
Monsignor Ken Velo.
It is especially regrettable and scandalous that
Monsignor Velo played any part in the acceptance of this
It is the clear and unequivocal teaching of the Catholic
Church that membership in Masonic associations is
forbidden to all Catholics, and that the faithful who
belong to such associations are in a state of grave sin
and may not receive Holy Communion. Local bishops may not
make exceptions to this rule.
In support of these assertions, I am enclosing copies of
several pages from the 1995 booklet Freemasonry:
Mankind's Hidden Enemy, including the November 26, 1983,
Declaration on Masonic Associations by the Sacred
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 13, 1997
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AND FREEMASONRY ARE IRRECONCILABLE
ONEONTA, NY - On May 10, 1997, Roman Catholic Donald M.
Fenton went to sleep in the Lord. The Oneonta, NY
newspaper, The Daily Star, carried Donald M. Fenton's
obituary (May 13, 1997). What makes Fenton's obituary
remarkable is that in addition to his evident Catholic
profession, it states that he was also a past Master of
the Margaretville Masonic Lodge No. 389. What makes
Fenton's obituary scandalous is that it divulges the
family's funeral arrangements at Sacred Heart Roman
Catholic Church in Margaretville, NY. Those arrangements
include a Mass of Christian Burial, at which three local
priests are concelebrating, a reception of friends and
family on the day prior to the funeral Mass, and a
Masonic service, also to be held at Sacred Heart.
Freemasonry has maintained a long-standing position
against the Roman Catholic Church.
In response, the Roman Catholic Office of the
Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has
stated unequivocally that, "The faithful, who enroll
in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and
may not receive Holy Communion." (Cardinal Joseph
Ratzinger,"Declaration on Masonic Associations"
November 26, 1983.) Canon Law #2335 of 1917, forbids, by
name, Masonic association, and Canon #1374 of 1983,
places those who have taken office in such associations
under an interdict.
The heart of Donald Fenton is open before God at this
moment. It will not be known on earth if, at the hour of
his death, he may not have repented his fraternal
collaboration with the enemies of the Church. However,
while it is evident that Donald Fenton is no longer in a
position to receive Holy Communion, and funeral
arrangements have possibly been made for the comfort of
his family, it is a tremendous scandal that a Masonic
service will be held for Fenton on the property of Sacred
Heart. This defies charity, and eschews common sense. Two
recent studies, the six-year study of Masonry by the
German bishops and the study of American Masonry by
Professor William Whalen (commissioned by the Pastoral
Research and Practices Committee) "both confirm;
that the principles and basic rituals of Masonry embody a
naturalistic religion in which active participation is
incompatible with Christian faith and practice. Those who
knowingly embrace such principles are committing serious
sin." (Pastoral Research and Practices Committee
Report). For a local priest to permit any confusion among
the faithful about the admissibility of Masonic
participation is to betray his own confusion.
The Roman Catholic Faithful of Oneonta, supported by the
Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc. local chapters in Albany,
NY and Hicksville, LI appeal to Bishop Howard J. Hubbard,
prelate of the Diocese of Albany, to uphold Church
teaching and to clarify these matters to the faithful.
RCF further urges the faithful to protest the use of
church property for Masonic services.
THE DISCUSSION OF
HOMOSEXUALITY AT ST. EUGENES PARISH
article was published in the
Australian Newsletter FIDELITY.
I spoke to the editor and
we are now exchanging material.
On the front page of our parish Bulletin of 26/27 October
1996, it was announced that on the next Sunday, 3
November 1996, members of Church-Acceptance Dialogue
Group would be speaking about homosexuality at all the
During a customary after-Mass cup of tea, I raised the
subject with Father Hilarion Vethanayagam OMI. He told me
that he too was concerned, and advised me to see Father
Aldo Malavisi, OMI who was some distance away talking to
I asked Father Aldo what was going to be said about
homosexuality. He would not tell me. I told him that I
was concerned as I have three teen-age children. He said
If youre concerned about what will be said,
dont bring them to mass next Sunday. He then
After one of the morning Masses, I spoke to the third
parish priest, Father Jim Carroll OMI. He said
homosexuals will not be speaking at the Masses and there
was basically, nothing to worry about.
My wife and I went to the vigil Saturday Mass, 2 November
1996, at Narangba. Father Aldo then introduced a man who,
described himself, as a homosexual. He spoke from a
prepared text and I taped the talk which ran for about 20
Father Aldo did not give a homily other than to read the
Archbishops letter on euthanasia. The homosexual
man also received holy communion under both species. My
wife and I noticed that he was the last to receive from
The next day, Sunday 3 November 1996, I took my whole
family to the 9 am Mass at Burpengary. Father Michael
McClure gave the homily in which he traced the history of
the Church-Acceptance Dialogue Group. We were told we had
to accept the homosexuals because they are people, too.
Their lifestyle we were told, is unique and had to be
respected. We were never told that the practice of
homosexuality is wrong or sinful. Nor were we told that
homosexuals are called to a chaste life. Myself and
others were greatly disturbed by this and after Mass a
throng of people immediately formed around Father McClure
challenging the message of his homily. He told me that I
was not being charitable in my condemnation of
homosexuality and that I had failed to be
Day one of the
As the bulletin had stated discussions on the subject of
homosexuality were held on the next three Wednesday
nights. The first Christ the King Church/Hall.
All three parish priests plus another priest were present
at the first meeting. The priests did not participate
openly in the proceedings of the evening.
The meeting was opened by a chairwoman telling the
forty-five people present of the history of the
Church-Acceptance Dialogue Group.
Then the meeting was addressed by two self-confessed
homosexuals. Both basically said that after much initial
struggle and confusion, they accepted themselves as gay.
One of the homosexual speakers (Len) said that he studied
the Bible, the Church teachings, and sought the Holy
Spirit about his homosexuality. Finally, he said his
conscience told him that what he was doing was morally
At this point several parishioners interjected saying
that the teaching of the Church should be paramount, not
ones conscience and that one ought to inform
himself about the teaching of the Church and ones
conscience should conform to that teaching. However, the
speaker maintained that because his conscience is clear
about his homosexuality, God, too, therefore accepts it.
None of the priests entered this controversy. Later, I
found many parishioners, like myself, were dismayed by
this silence on so important an issue.
Len also said that 10% of the population is homosexual. I
believe the studies show the figure is closer to 1%.
Several times I asked the chairwoman to read the short
paragraph on homosexuality from the Catechism of the
Catholic Church which I had with me, but this was
We were broken up into groups of about 5-6 and asked to
comment on a handout which spoke of a family discovering
that their son was a homosexual. We were asked to write
on butcher paper how we would react to it. John, one of
the homosexuals was in my group. One group member said
that we should Hate the sin and love the
sinner. However, John objected to that because he
said, Thats being judgmental.
John also said that chastity is fine for priests because
they chose it, but homosexuals cannot be expected to be
chaste because God had made them that way.
Towards the end of the meeting we were all handed out the
booklet We are the Church, too! I informed the meeting
that I had a three-page article which reviews a book,
Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth which, I said,
was very pertinent to the evening.
Our parish priest, Father Jim, came to me immediately and
asked me for all the copies. However, I gave him only one
copy. He took it back to his seat, had a look at it, and
then tore it up in front of all of us. Many parishioners
spoke to me about this after the meeting with great
dismay and others have rung me about it.
At the end of the meeting, one of the parishioners asked
what was the purpose of these meetings. One of the
homosexuals answered that the purpose was to see how we
would react if a homosexual couple came to our Mass one
Without a doubt this discussion of homosexuality in our
parish has caused confusion, anger, doubt of priests'
integrity, division, confrontations and angry exchanges
between priests and parishioners, and between
I should add we had none of this before. In fact, as far
as the priests are concerned, we all felt they gave fine
sermons, conducted Masses with solemnity and dignity, and
we trusted them. Many parishioners have now changed their
opinion of the priests.
Our parish has truly been shaken by this issue of
Day two of the "Dialogue"
On the evening of 13 November 1996 we had a
second meeting on homosexuality at our parish Deception
This meeting was even more stormy than the one of the
previous Wednesday night.
All our three parish priests were present, including
again, another priest, introduced to us only as Father
John. I found out later his last name, Scarrott.
Father John spoke to us about the supremacy of the
conscience when making moral decisions. He emphasized
that in all moral decisions the conscience takes
precedence over the teachings of the Church and the
He said that if you believe that certain acts are right
for you, then they are right even though the Church, the
Bible and other people might disagree with you.
This prompted one man to get up and ask: "Does that
make poofter-bashing okay?" Father answered,
"no", because, as he said, it is not socially
approved. Another parishioner asked what if in
conscience, you believe it's ok to murder someone? Father
refused to answer that question.
The meeting by this time was already very acrimonious.
One man, not from the parish (Believed to be a
homosexual) called a parishioner "an idiot". A
lady-parishioner got up and demanded that he apologize
for the name-calling.
Another man rose to his feet and said that the meeting
was stacked with "poofters". One of the
homosexuals denied it and said it was stacked with an
anti-gay element. However, undoubtedly, apart from the
speakers at the meeting, there were several people there
who were not from the parish.
Feelings ran high and interruptions and
counter-interruptions continued, as well as the
name-calling. Our parish priests remained silent except
for Father Jim who continuously told those who disagreed
with the homosexual speakers or Father John, to
At one point it could be said that Father Jim got violent
with two parishioners. He moved to sit behind the
parishioners who were objecting to some of the things
that were being said and then Father started jabbing them
in the ribs with a hard rolled up magazine. One of the
parishioners (John Duforth, who was sitting next to his
wife) left the meting after Father's repeated jabs in the
ribs. He returned later.
Many parishioners saw this incident and were truly
dismayed by the Father's behaviour.
The facilitator tried hard to stop the parishioners from
making any comments or asking questions of the speakers.
However, because so many parishioners objected to this, a
few questions were to be allowed but only if the two
homosexual speakers, Len and John, agreed to answer them.
Len said he did not want to answer any questions because
he was not "theologically trained", as he put
It was then John's turn. He read out a story of a man at
first a passive homosexual as a young man, who married
and had several children.
He was apparently a sincere and greatly respected man,
much admired by his friends. However, as a married man of
many years he fell in love with another man and started
to have sex with him. In this new relationship he felt
security, love, and companionship that he had never felt
with his wife. And so he separated from his wife and
lived with this man, and truly found fulfillment in his
He lived with this man for four happy years. Since then
he has found other lasting and satisfying homosexual
relationships (seven at the last count).
Without a doubt, in this story, the homosexual
relationship was presented as superior in every way to a
After John read this story, some parishioners said that
the story was "outrageous", etc. Others asked
"What about the wife and children?"
John refused to answer any questions because as he said
"It's not my story, I just read it".
The facilitator immediately asked us to break up into
groups of 7-8 to discuss what was just read and write the
points on butcher paper.
One person from each group (there were about six groups)
then presented the findings of the group to the whole
That was the only input and discussion that was allowed.
However, even here attempt was made to manipulate the
outcome. Out-of-parish homosexuals or sympathizers (I
believe) in some cases grabbed the butcher paper and
wrote on it what they wanted the meeting to hear.
My reason for believing that is that many people
dissented from their group's comments and insisted on
making comments that were not recorded on the butcher
Our Father Jim could be heard again telling the dissenter
to "shut up".
During the entire meeting, Steve repeatedly insisted that
anyone who disagreed with what was being said must leave
the meeting. Father Jim did the same. One man threatened
to call in police. However, no one left. At one point,
Steve even proposed that those who disagreed with what
was being said more to one side of the hall and have a
However, because of the storm of protest about lack of
discussion, Steve allowed up 10 minutes at the end of the
Innuendo and gossip now surround our fine parish priests.
Because of their stand on this issue of homosexuality and
because they invited the homosexuals into our parish,
some parishioners are saying that they are homosexuals.
Some point to the fact that they choose to sit next to
homosexuals at meetings and are very friendly to them
(who are not even in our parish) while openly disparaging
those parishioners who are critical of homosexuality.
I still believe that we are blessed with three fine
priests in our parish; however, I do think they have made
serious errors of judgment on this issue. I would also
say that they have lost a degree of trust and respect
with most parishioners. I have noticed that several
people no longer come to the daily 6:30 am Mass at our
Again, I don't think it's the priests' fault. They could
not predict this would turn out as it has.
Day three of the "Dialogue"
At the final "Dialogue" the discussion
on homosexuality was even more acrimonious than the first
More people attended the meeting too, about 75. The
notoriety of our homosexual meeting had even reached the
secular media. The previous Monday there was an article
in the Brisbane's metropolitan daily, the Courier-Mail,
about heated exchanges between parishioners, priests, and
Parish meetings on homosexuality that seemingly condone
this practice just feed the frenzy of the hostile secular
media to uncover more homosexual scandals in the Church.
It leads the media to hint that the Catholic Church
secretly supports homosexuality but only condemns it when
it's discovered in its ranks.
On this third Wednesday night, a reporter came to our
meeting with a photographer. However, she was turned away
at the door by the priests. A mere few weeks before there
was a large article on the front page of the same paper
about homosexual pedophilia allegations against a
The hostility against the presenters and speakers was
evident from the very beginning of the meeting. The
facilitator was asked if he was Catholic. He responded:
"What's that got to do with it?" Another
parishioner responded "Everything. This is a
Catholic parish meeting being held in a Catholic
A woman then remarked that because of her love for the
Virgin Mary she was considering joining the Catholic
Church but, because she had young children she feared for
their safety in a church that condoned homosexuality.
The facilitators we had two this time, a man and a
woman protested that at this rate of interruptions
they would never get through the program.
Another parishioner protested that his questions of the
previous Wednesday night had not been answered. He wanted
someone to state categorically that we as a group, both
presenters and the parish, condemn homosexual practices.
He was told that it was not the purpose of the meeting to
In the meantime, Father Jim again sat behind a
parishioner who was interrupting and began to kick his
chair and tell him to shut up and also make derogatory
remarks about the parishioner's comments. The situation
became almost violent when a woman started hitting Father
Jim on the hand with a rolled-up magazine whenever he
pointed his hand at anyone. She told him to shut up and
called him names.
The facilitators had completely lost control and one
woman remarked that she and her children felt safer in a
pub than in a church infiltrated by homosexuals.
Another man raised the issue of conscience, that Len, a
homosexual, had used to justify homosexual practice at
the previous meeting.
He wanted to know how can a Catholic homosexual practice
his perversion when the Church clearly condemns it. Len
responded that conscience is paramount and that the act
is justifiable if your conscience does not condemn it.
There were seven priests at this meeting yet none rose to
correct the error of this justification. Several
parishioners challenged the priests about this issue
after the meeting.
Another parishioner asked for moral clarification from
the priests on a story that was read the previous
Wednesday night. In that story, a homosexual man was
presented in a favourable light for leaving his wife and
children for a homosexual lover (and other lovers later)
because the new relationship was more loving, meaningful
and relevant to him. The priests refused to respond to
this request. The facilitator said it depends on the
Interruptions and name calling continued throughout the
meeting so much so that Father Aldo rose from his seat
and walked over to a woman demanding that she leave the
meeting. She refused. The chaos continued.
Father Aldo, the parish priest, finally closed the
meeting. He said that we as parishioners better realize
that "this is now the teaching of the Church."
He also said that these meetings have the "full
approval of the Archbishop". He thanked the speakers
for their most illuminating presentation. however, he
said they had been unfairly treated.
He apologized to them for the rough treatment they had
received from the parishioners.
Parishioners were upbraided for their lack of sensitivity
and for failing to respect homosexual persons.
Parishioners were again dismayed by Father Aldo's seeming
approval of homosexuals who actually practice this
perversion. He never stated the Church's position on the
issue. Many parishioners during the three meetings had
made the point that they "love the sinner but hate
the sin." They do not condemn the homosexuals but
only their sin. Father Aldo completely failed to address
this point. For the first time in my life I saw a priest
heckled through his talk.
However, the acrimony did not cease with the closing of
the meeting. It just got more personal. Several
parishioners confronted Father Aldo for his seeming
approval of homosexuality.
An ugly confrontation ensued between a woman and 6 - 7
pro-homosexual women. One of these women became quite
hysterical and started screaming. The woman asked her
"Are you a lesbian"? She responded: "Yes,
I am", and ran off into the arms of the other 6 -7
women (lesbians?) to their flurry of hugs and kisses as
she apparently broke down.
The drama continued in small groups as people challenged
one another. All the seven priests supported
homosexuality and dismissed the clear teaching of the
Church on the issue as out of date, pre-Vatican II, or
simply as Church bigotry.
Mistrust, anger, and division have now entered our parish
at St. Eugene. It will not go away soon. It dominates our
conversation after the Sunday Masses.
The biggest losers I believe are the priests. By their
name-calling and general rudeness (particularly Father
Jim) which was obvious to all, they have lost much of the
respect they enjoyed before. By their support for what
most parishioners consider an abomination, they have lost
the trust they enjoyed. Friendships that have taken years
to develop are now gone.
What has been achieved? In his concluding remarks Father
Aldo called for new openness to homosexual people. I
don't think that has been achieved. The meetings, if
anything, confirmed parishioners' worst fears about the
danger of homosexuality to their children and the Church.
Homosexual speakers and the priests from the Dialogue
Group by their lies, half truths, and refusal to answer
questions have, I believe, increased the parishioners'
suspicions about their motives.
One of our parish priests has privately admitted
to a parishioner that it was a mistake to invite the
homosexuals and the Dialogue Group priests into the
Parish. However, more needs to be done to repair the
I believe the priests should now call a public parish
meeting on the issue and apologize to the parish for
inviting these men to talk about homosexuality. They
should then give the official Church teaching (not the
Dialogue Group version) on homosexuality.
Finally, I believe, they should answer questions from
parishioners where confusion has been created on such
issues as the role of conscience in making moral
decisions. Also, many parishioners now have great fears
about homosexual (and paedophilia) infiltration of our
"After this," they are asking, "what is
(FIDELITY Newsletter, March
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