Thursday, May 31, 2007
THE SICKNESS IS PERVASIVE
Hypocrisy. Nauseating. A den of vipers. It is with words such as these that I am coming to view the Roman Catholic Church. The homosexual crisis is not abating. The travesty of claims that this Church follows Christ is overwhelming me with disgust.
In New Age doctrine there is a concept of the hundredth monkey. Conversions roll along without making a great deal of difference until the hundredth monkey converts. Then there is a paradign shift, and there is no turning back. The story of a particular homosexual priest is feeling like the ninety-ninth monkey for me this morning. If this one doesn't finally destroy my faith, I'm getting periously close. It is not possible to continue believing in the Church while holding in contempt all of her ministers; and if something drastic isn't done soon, I will be left with nothing but contempt for all of them.
The introduction came when I picked up the May 2007 issue of "Culture Wars" with a priest in clericals on the cover. Turning to page 23 of the publication I found a picture of five men seated around what appears to be two restaurant tables pushed together. The caption for the photo reads "The Neocon Cabal meets in Michigan: Father Robert Sirico (middle, left) across the table from Father Rob Johansen (l) and Mark Shea (r)." The article by Thomas J. Herron which contains this picture is titled "Robert Sirico and the Sins that Cry to Heaven for Vengence." The article opens with a quotation from Mark Shea's blog:
"Greetings from Michigan! I'm blogging briefly from the rectory of St. Stanislaus parish before we go to lunch in Kalamazoo and I meet (among others) Fr. Robert Sirico, thereby confirming the darkest suspicions of Thomas Herron and other Culture Warriors. After our Scheming Neocon Catholic Lunch we will synchronize watches, split up, and do our bit to fatten ourselves on the Da Vinci Code, subvert the Church with Zionist sympathies, and act the Court Prophet for the glories of George Dubya Bush, Democratic Capitalism, and the American Way. All in a day's work for a simpleminded half-Protestant convert who does not fully grasp the mind of the Church." - June 8, 2006, Mark Shea of Seattle, WA noted Catholic convert and writer on his blog Catholic and Enjoying it!
This would be the same Mark Shea who wrote in his blog on Wednesday, January 25, 2006:
Drooling, Fawning Puff Piece on Gay Priest
Lesson: Homosexuality is the source and summit of all that is best, truest, and most noble in the Catholic Church.
Look, once again I have to ask "Why do I need to know about this guy's sexual orientation? If he's celibate, then I don't care what his temptations are. That's between him and God. If he's not celibate, then why are people cheering for him? He's betrayed his vows. The whole thing stinks of self-aggrandizement and a calculated Media Event. The reporters asks not one hard question of the guy. She just falls down in starry-eyed adoration of his courage in raking in the applause.
Apparently there has been a conversion of the heart of our Catholic blogger if the article is any indication. Perhaps the price of his soul was finally offered. Father Sirico moves in lofty circles.
Herron bases his expose of Father Sirico on the investigative work of Randy Engel, author of THE RITE OF SODOMY, and the material in her "The Sirico Brief", an extensive history of the activities of this priest. It's quite an eye-opener, and quite a lesson on the current state of the Roman Catholic Church, i.e. business as usual. To confirm what Herron wrote, I went to the source. Contained in The Sirico Brief is Engel's Open Letter of February 7, 2007 which requests that Franc Cardinal Rode, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, suppress St. Philip Neri House, Kalamazoo, Michigan. A member of the laity does not make such a request without overwhelming evidence, and Engel has it. Here are some historical highlights from the Brief giving the events in the life of Father Sirico:
- Born in 1951, Sirico apostatized from the Catholic faith in his late teens.
- Following a flirtation with Marxism, he took up Pentecostalism at age 19, and established his own church known for miraculous faith healings.
- In 1972 he founded a satellite of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Church (UFMCC) founded by homosexual activist Rev. Troy Perry in Los Angeles.
- In 1975 he moved to Los Angeles to become Executive Director of the Los Angeles Gay Community Center, one of the oldest and largest LGBT organizations in the world.
- In April 1975 he performed the first same-sex marriage in the U.S. at the First Unitarian Church of Denver.
- In 1976 his Los Angeles Gay Community Center ran a "Male Slave Mart" to raise money for the Center's venereal disease clinic. (You had better go read the details in the Brief. This one was really perverse.)
- In May 1989 the Paulists ordained him, in opposition to the then-standing papal decree that activist homosexuals were not candidates for the priesthood.
- In 1990 he became President of the newly created Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty in Grand Rapids, an "ecumenical, free-market educational think-tank funded by Michigan-based Dutch Calvinist business entrepreneurs" according to the Brief.
The Brief goes on to document his diocese hopping and affiliation with gay bishops, his abandonment of the Paulists, and his subsequent founding of St. Philip Neri House where four men live in an "independent Oratorian Confederation".
The Acton Institute is a power broken all the way up to the Vatican. Sirico has assisted "the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in Rome in the staging of a conference to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Centesimus Annus. It has also provided conferences for seminarians to teach them about Catholic social doctrine from a Calvinist perspective.
The Pope is responsible for this house. "Each oratory or house, technically speaking, is established by the pope himself and the Holy See and has direct appeal to the Holy See in serious matters. The Congregation for Sacred Congregations for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life oversee the members of the Confederation as well as oratories in formation like the St. Philip Neri House in Kalamazoo" according to the Brief.
In keeping with my repeated warnings about the heresy on the right, the Brief reveals:
As Superior of St. Philip Neri House, Sirico announces that the Traditional Mass will not be part of the community's practice. However, on December 15, Bishop Murray announces he will permit the Traditional Latin Mass to be held at St. Philip Neri House on a trial basis from January to June 2000. He appoints his Judicial Vicar, Rev. Leonard Bogdan, to say one weeknight Mass on a day that fits into Bogdan's schedule. One Traditional Mass, filled to overflowing, is held at St. Philip Neri House and then the Mass is moved to the Cathedral of St. Augustine. The revelation that Bogdan is an accused sexual predator is not made public until 2006.
[In late March 2006, when the Archdiocese of Chicago released the names of living priests who were the subject of substantiated accusations of sexual abuse, Bogdan’s name was on the list. As it turned out, Bogdan, ordained for the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 3, 1960, was one of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin’s many clerical hideaways. The first sex abuse of a minor allegation against Bogdan was made in April 1983, but it was withdrawn in writing in June 1986. The following year, Bernardin had Bogdan squirreled away in the Diocese of Kalamazoo. The then, Bishop Paul Donovan, accepted Bogdan into the diocese and gave him the position of Adjutant Judicial Vicar, but the priest was not incardinated into the Kalamazoo Diocese until 1995. In June 2000, Bogdan retired from active ministry in the Diocese of Kalamazoo and later retired to Sun City Center, Ariz. In the summer of 2001, the original allegation against Bogdan was reinstated in the Archdiocese of Chicago, this time with the determination that “there is reasonable cause to suspect that sexual misconduct with a minor occurred.” Bishop Murray suspended Bogdan’s faculties to assist in priestly ministry in March 2002.]
One of the four men at St. Philip Neri House is Father David Grondz, according to Engel. She writes:
2007 St. Philip Neri House now has four residents including three priests – enough to erect an oratory and be incorporated into the Confederation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. The residents are Father Sirico, superior, Father David Grondz, Father James Richardson, and Brother Basil, an associate of Father Grondz from the latter’s Benedictine days.
Both Father Grondz and Father Richardson were ordained by Bishop James A. Murray for the Diocese of Kalamazoo on May 13, 2006 at the Cathedral of St. Augustine. In addition to their assignment at St. Philip Neri House, both are also engaged in pastoral work for the diocese.
Of these, Father David Grondz has had the longest and most intimate relationship with
Sirico. Grondz began his vocational journey with the Benedictine Order, but left. He then went to Detroit’s Sacred Heart Seminary, but again left, this time under a cloud of accusations of moral turpitude.
Those are the highlights, along with an indication that the priest who arranged the first gay wedding has been in charge of ministry to the victims of clergy sexual abuse.
The brief is one long outrage. How could our Church become so corrupt? How could Rome be so indifferent? How does one stay in this Church hoping to seek out holiness? This morning I want to run as fast as my legs will carry me in the opposite direction to get away from the evil that seems to be pervasive in the Roman Catholic Church.