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« Will Pope Benedict XVI Allow A Wider Use Of The Tridentine Mass? | Main | 12 Boys Accused In Sexual Assault Of Girl, 8 »

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Billy D

At a time when the Church is trying to weed out homosexuals? No, obviously not.




Whew! I trust Msgr. Davis will help to reconstruct the idea of a vocation. He'll definitely keep out the idea of what a vocation is NOT suppose to be.
Cheers to revisionist thinking!


Heck No!!!!!!!!!!! Perhaps he got lost and meant to enter the 1st Prsesbyterian Church?


The joyful notes are people like Mother Angelica, the good people at Franciscan University of Stubenville, Pope Benedict XVi, and Pope John Paul II. These are the people trying to keep the teachings of Christ. These are people Msgr. Davis can't stand.

The sour notes are all the worthless liberal progressives who are trying to drown out the joyful notes. Msgr. Davis is one sad sour note.


When you decide to convert to Catholicism, you should go to Thomas Aquinas College or Christendom. Maybe even Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Then you can learn the Catholic faith.


This is just one big Lavender Orange

Vincent Sulaitis

I am a 29 year old man from Los Angeles who tried to apply for the diocese of Los Angeles. I can tell you that it is very hard to get in when you are orthodox. From the feminist Sister Kathy Bryant to priests from the seminary who believe adoration is " cookie worship". Msgr. Davis is simply a sign of the huge lack of orthodoxy in the Southland as a whole. Their are plenty of vocations in Southern California. The point is they all go to the Legionaires of Christ of locally the Norbertines. Let pray for the conversion of Msgr. Davis and his kind in the church.


It's Lavender through and through


Anyone connected with those Maryknoll kooks is bad news.

In Corde Jesu

Please excuse my ignorance on the subject, but is that document from 1998?

Well regardless, the statements are definetly worth a revision. I can only for sure give a defence of Mother Angelica. The rest I have little or no knowledge of them.
Mother Angelica seems to represnt the one of the only reasons that the US isn't a schismatic country. If some leadership from a truly Catholic organization was non-existent, we would have the most horrible things in the Church in the US, if it would even still be part of the True Church. The channel might put some questionable religious figures here and there, but Mother Angelica and her Order are untainted.
I met them personally this Holy Week. True vocations, true piety, true Catholics. My opinion is nothing, so I also remind everyone that other respeectable Catholic leaders have said only glories of them.
If someone has a problem with the people of EWTN, ok, whatever you say, BUT definetly not of Mother Angelica and her Order. I garantee they got more vocations coming to their order than to the whole diocese of said vocations directer. They don't have more space to accomodate vocations in the monastary. I hope since the comment he made he has made some revision to his ideas. Pray for him and for his diocese. Talking about him anymore is useless in this situation.

In Corde Jesu

Joseph D'Hippolito

...priests from the seminary who believe adoration is "cookie worship"...

Vincent, if what you say is true, then how do such men get ordained? How are they able to pass their seminary courses and still retain their integrity? Why do they even bother considering a vocation? What's in it for them? Are they from St. John's Seminary?

This inquiring mind wants to know. Big time.


The answer to your question is a definitive NO!
What's the matter with the CCUSA? All those horrible scandals were consecuence of laxity in the Doctrin and the Praxis and some "intelligent" (loyal?) bishop appoints a standard bearer of laxity as vocations' promoter. It seems suicidal indeed.


I'm with Vincent - we need to pray for this man's conversion. For his sake and for our own. This is so tragic and sad . . . I hope men like Vincent who have a calling can find somewhere to go without expense to the truth.
Everyone who is reading this - add to your daily prayers the conversion of this man and for our Church leadership in general. Every Hail Mary counts!

A Simple Sinner

Their are plenty of vocations in Southern California. The point is they all go to the Legionaires of Christ of locally the Norbertines. Let pray for the conversion of Msgr. Davis and his kind in the church.

Here, here!

This thinking is dead-on. We concentrate on some of the abysmal situations while overlooking the traditional/copnservatives orders and diocese. In some countries in Africa and parts of Eastern Europe and Asia the vocations "crisis" is that there is NOT enough room in the seminaries for all the candidates.

I am no insider, but at the rate the Legion of Christ and the FSSP are growing, both of them will need to either expand seminaries in existence or build a couple of new ones in the decade to come.

Look at how quickly the FSSP outgrew its home in Scranton.

I have read that the members of the FSSP in formation have actually opted to share cramped rooms meant for single students so that there is more room there.

When the Catholic Church in Ukraine came out of the cold and ceased to be underground, they had major issues with having enough space for all the men studying for priesthood.

YES it is sad, regrettable, downright miserable how BAD it is in some places. But when you look at the thriving houses of formation that ARE out there, and you consider the Diocese that are ordaining priests every month... well contrast that with the situation on the ground 20 years ago.

The order of priesthood is much like a pool. Certainly there have been A LOT of bad apples, but in a real and very mystical way, adding holy men to the ranks of the ordained ANYWHERE can have a great mystical effect on the Universal Church everywhere.

Pray for them!
Pray for them!
Pray for them!

Support our good priests with comfort and aid, donate - even a few dollars a month - to the good programs. If everyone in the US who wished to support the Latin Mass sent $2.50 per week or $10 per month to the FSSP or other traditional orders, imagine how much more they could do!

I used to spend about $5.00 a day killing myself slowly with stinkin cigarettes. I thought NOTHING of swinging through a fastfood drive through a couple of times a week. God forgive me that I did not use even the little I had for HIS greater glory.

Those of us who need, demand and cry out for good and holy godly men to become priests, are we doing all we can to make it possible?

A Simple Sinner,

Great points. However, people gave the Society of St. John, a very conservative order, a boatload of money and that turned out badly:

Detailed links provided here:

Lawsuit filed against Scranton diocese bishop, by Matt Abbott

Another accusation against Father Carlos, by Matt Abbott:

Warning to Parents of St. Gregory's Academy, by Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond:

Scranton Scandal, by Rod Dreher

As for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter's, it's great that lots of good priests are ordained through the FSSP, but liberal goofball bishops will not let them operate in their dioceses.

FYI: There are lots of liberal goofball bishops.

The Legionaries of Christ are also facing problems with certain bishops (like Bishop Brom in San Diego), to say nothing of the problems they face because of the allegations against Fr. Maciel:

Why Orthodox Catholics Are Angry With the Legion of Christ
New Oxford Review
May 2005

By Michael S. Rose

Michael S. Rose is author of several books including the New York Times bestseller Goodbye, Good Men. He is Web Editor of the NOR.

Vows of Silence. By Jason Berry and Gerald Renner. Free Press. 356 pages.. $26..

Vows of Silence should be one of the most important books in better than a decade for conservative Catholics in the U.S. and beyond. Alas, it will not be. Jason Berry and Gerald Renner, conscientious and seasoned journalists, undermine their own effort with their openly stated liberal Catholic agenda. Moreover, the subtitle of the book, "The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II" gives a pretty good indication of the authors’ bias. But John Paul is given scant attention. This is not even a book about the papacy or Vatican politics. The book is about Fr. Thomas Doyle, who for two decades has heroically stood up for the victims of priestly sex abuse, and about Fr. Marcial Maciel, who has been accused numerous times of sex abuse, and about his Legion of Christ and its lay affiliate Regnum Christi. The connection of John Paul to the Legion is just this: The Pope has put his weight behind the Legion in the past, which the Legion is quick to point out, repeatedly.

The Legion and its supporters have exploited the authors’ bias in order to dismiss their thorough research. The people who ought to read Vows of Silence, mainly conservative Catholics who would likely be attracted to the manifest signs of Legion orthodoxy, are given a good reason not to take Berry and Renner’s research seriously. Nonetheless, despite their liberal proclivities, the facts they assemble are very much worth examining.

When some of the book’s material regarding sexual abuse allegations against Fr. Maciel were first published in the Hartford Courant, neoconservative, high-tax-bracket Catholics were quick to defend Maciel. With little or no first-hand knowledge of the situations being written about, prominent Catholics such as Fr. Richard John Neuhaus of First Things, William Donohue of The Catholic League, Harvard professor Mary Ann Glendon, and Deal Hudson of Crisis magazine all denounced the Courant’s series. Yet none of these defenders met with Maciel’s accusers. The Legion and the neocons, both reputed to be interested in money and power, are allies. It’s “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” But these neocons may come to regret their hasty judgments.

Vows of Silence deals with well-substantiated sexual abuse allegations from nine former Legionaries against Fr. Maciel, including — significantly — men who were high-ranking members of the order before bailing out. Over the past five or so years, the Legion has been denying the allegations, categorizing them as a conspiracy, and publicly assassinating the character of these men without substantial proof — every one a well-respected professional, none of whom is seeking financial compensation.

One of the Legion’s greatest skills seems to be character assassination without substantial evidence. When former Legionary Juan Vaca came forward with sex abuse allegations against Fr. Maciel, the Publisher and Editor in Chief of the Legion-owned National Catholic Register, Fr. Owen Kearns, derided Vaca as “a proud, status-conscious man angered and disappointed at his professional failures,” a man who wanted “greater power in the Legion.” Juan Vaca was Director of the Legionaries in the U.S. when he resigned from the Legion. I have spoken with people who personally know Vaca. They say that Fr. Kearn’s characterization of him couldn’t be further from the truth. Berry and Renner paint the same picture: a mild-mannered, humble man.

The defense of Maciel by the Legion is essential because both Regnum Christi and the Legionaries of Christ are built around a cult of personality, that of Fr. Marcial Maciel. He is called Nuestro Padre (Our Father) and is regarded as a “living saint.” From several accounts, Maciel appears to be a megalomaniac with a penchant for making theatrical appearances with spectacular arrivals, such as flying in on a personal helicopter into a crowd of squealing teens, perhaps in imitation of a rock star.

It is instructive to note here, as an aside, that during the past few years Maciel has canceled his spectacular appearances at the annual family day festivals in the U.S. In 2003 Maciel was scheduled to address the thousands gathered in Chicago. When he failed to arrive and event organizers played a video-taped address from the Legion founder, a reporter speculated in the Chicago Tribune that Fr. Maciel had failed to appear in Chicago because he feared American abuse-victims groups would protest his presence. The Tribune also pointed out that if Maciel were a priest operating in a U.S. diocese, the nine credible allegations of sex abuse would have caused him to be relieved of his priestly duties.

When I spoke to Jay Dunlap, the Legionaries’ Communications Director, the following week about another topic, I asked him if there was any truth to the Tribune’s report. “No,” responded Dunlap. He dismissed the entire article as the immature work of a summer intern from Stanford University. I was expected to believe that this journalist from Stanford was all wet.

Why then did Fr. Maciel fail to appear in Chicago as scheduled? It’s a long story, explained Dunlap. The official Legion PR line was this: Maciel had been on some important pastoral visit to South America. From there, he was scheduled to fly to Chicago. However, said Dunlap, Maciel was diverted by a sudden request from some unnamed cardinal to return to Rome on some urgent business. “When a Vatican cardinal makes a request,” said Dunlap, “Fr. Maciel can’t exactly ignore it.”

Thus, according to the official party line, Fr. Maciel did not appear in Chicago because he was called to Rome by a Vatican cardinal. This explanation would only sound plausible to someone who knows little to nothing about Church hierarchy. Heads of religious orders do not report to or take quotidian orders from “Vatican cardinals.” What urgent business?, I asked Dunlap. Dunno, he said.

Is the public really expected to believe that Maciel’s “urgent business” in Rome couldn’t wait one day — until after he addressed one of the largest gatherings of his lay movement? Given that Berry and Renner report that Maciel has thrown lavish dinners in Rome for prominent Vatican cardinals, perhaps a better explanation would be that Maciel has to come running, Johnny-on-the-spot, to any and all “Vatican cardinals” so as to help guarantee that the cardinals in the Curia will protect him from the sexual allegations swilling about him. Don’t be so naïve as to think that cardinals don’t do that — remember Cardinal Law (now a Vatican cardinal)?

What about Maciel’s scheduled appearance at the Family Gathering in 2002 in Baltimore; why did Maciel also cancel his appearance there? Dunlap was ready with his response: “You’ll remember that was the week before the Pope was scheduled to visit Mexico City.”

Yes, I told him, I remember.

“Well, Fr. Maciel was called to Mexico City to help the city prepare for the Pope’s arrival.”

This explanation was even more far-fetched than the Chicago excuse. Was I supposed to believe that Fr. Maciel “was called” to Mexico in order to hang tinsel a whole week before the Pope’s arrival? And who called him to Mexico City?

The primary reason I called Dunlap in the first place was that Sophia Institute Press (which published two of my books: Ugly As Sin and Priest) had recently published Christ Is My Life by Fr. Maciel, a 304-page book that purported to be a candid interview with Jesús Colina, a Catholic journalist with the Rome-based Zenit News Agency, owned by the Legionaries. The book was being criticized as a propaganda tract used for recruiting new prospects into the movement. The fact that the Legion purchased 16,000 copies of the book just prior to the Chicago festival lends some credence to that claim.

I was asked to review the book for a national newspaper — not the NOR. After reading Christ Is My Life — filled mainly with pious platitudes with little spiritual or theological depth — I discovered that former Legion seminarians and priests were denouncing the book, which was ostensibly autobiographical, as a string of fabrications — a concocted self-hagiography. Given the fact that the “interviewer” was a Regnum Christi member and Legion employee rather than an independent journalist, and that so many former Legion members disputed the historical facts, I felt like I had little to offer by way of a review. Moreover, I was not encouraged by the fact that the Legion’s website was promoting the book as “the fastest-selling Catholic book on the market today.” That the Legion of Christ itself bought up 16,000 books upon publication for free distribution was what made Christ Is My Life a so-called bestseller — a marketing technique that smacks of duplicity.

A booklet on the life and times of Fr. Maciel written by Fr. J. Alberto Villasana, a Legion priest, paints Nuestro Padre as a veritable hero of the Cristero Revolt in Mexico. As a teenager, for example, he is said to have calmed the crowds in a near-riot, to have tended to wounded Cristeros, to have led anti-government protests, and to have miraculously escaped the bullets of a Communist assassin, all the while as a pious seminarian he chose to sleep on newspapers instead of a mattress and use a towel instead of a blanket. (For at least the past decade he’s been chauffeured around in a Mercedes, has paid $9,000 a ticket to fly the supersonic Concorde across the Atlantic, and rents helicopters to keep certain of his appointments in Mexico, Colombia, and the U.S.). Those who knew him at the time, however, including Fr. Rogelio Orozco (one of the original group of boys to form the Legion in 1941) paint a portrait of a self-absorbed, spoiled, and sissified man, who was kicked out of seminary after seminary, and who literally made his teachers “recoil.” Berry and Renner write that Maciel has crafted his own persona: “a heroic, saintly mask to cover his worldly genius at pulling money from the rich while hiding sex with boys in the closet….” The Legion counters by claiming that expulsion after expulsion — at one seminary he was given only half an hour to vacate — was caused by “misunderstandings.”

Berry and Renner are in top form when debunking the string of alleged fabrications put forth in Maciel’s autobiography. They have done their homework, digging into the source material and often finding dead ends: sources that don’t exist, sources that turn out to be nothing more than verbal recountings of incidents from the mouth of Nuestro Padre to some Legion priest-chronicler. Sometimes the authors are even able to identify fault lines in Maciel’s self-hagiography, especially when exact dates are given. For example, Fr. Maciel claimed that in June of 1946 he circumnavigated curial gatekeepers to gain access to Pope Pius XII. According to one of his hagiographic booklets, Nuestro Padre waited while the Holy Father “celebrated a solemn Mass of beatification” and when the ceremony was finished he got into the greeting line and allegedly said: “Holy Father, I am a Mexican priest and I have something important to tell you, but I don’t have anyone to recommend me to you.” First, Maciel had two uncles who were bishops. Second, Berry and Renner discovered that Pius XII never beatified anyone in June of 1946.

Maciel’s exaggerations apparently weren’t limited to his autobiography. According to Federico Dominguez (not one of the accusers), a former Legionary and the secretary to whom Nuestro Padre dictated his letters for years, Fr. Maciel also liked to “exaggerate” in his correspondence with his rich patrons in Mexico: “He would say we had three hundred students but there were only one hundred…. I began to have my doubts about him.”

But exaggeration, invention, and lying weren’t Fr. Maciel’s only problems, attested Dominguez. One evening he went to Fr. Maciel’s bedroom and found him there already in bed — in the dark with an adolescent boy, Juan Vaca.

Chapter after chapter of Vows of Silence is filled with horror stories from former Legion priests, seminarians, and Regnum Christi members. The pages are crammed with charges of brainwashing, manipulation, pederast seduction rituals, character assassination, bribes, drug abuse, gulag-type threats — you name it. The most interesting aspect of this exposé is that even though the authors are avowedly liberal, a good number of the sources quoted are those who are self-defined orthodox Catholics. After all, the Legion consciously cultivates conservative Catholics, using a façade of pious traditionalism to draw them in. It should come as no surprise then that the harshest critics of the Legion are not liberal Catholics, but those who are staunchly conservative in their views of the Church. They are typically family-oriented, faithful Catholics who look to the Holy Father for direction, and embrace the teachings of the Catholic Church without reserve, and often attend Mass daily. Something is making these people very, very angry, and it’s not the Legion’s alleged fidelity to the Pope. Rather, it is the Legion’s manipulative techniques used to lure them and their money into the movement. In short, their problem is with the Legion’s use of “orthodoxy” to manipulate faithful Catholics in order to build an empire, a “parallel church” (as one bishop expressed it).

According to the well-documented and well-researched material presented in Vows of Silence — and my own research over the past five years on Maciel and his order that confirms the facts in the book — the Legion has broken up families, destroyed schools, and pulled the wool over the eyes of many orthodox Catholics. That’s part of the reason the order and its lay affiliate have been banned from certain dioceses, and are unwelcome on many Catholic campuses, including some notable conservative Catholic campuses (though only in an unwritten and informal way, I am told, so they won’t risk losing any big donors).

One of the main problems is that there’s been a rigorously observed media blackout among neoconservative Catholic publications on the serious problems posed by the Legion of Christ, Regnum Christi, and Nuestro Padre. This is perhaps a story in itself.

The Legion’s tentacles are far-reaching, as many staunchly conservative Catholics who have been burned by the Legion or Regnum Christi are afraid to speak out, for fear of retribution.

But thankfully, many talked on the record with Jason Berry and Gerald Renner. My advice is: Read the book and then make up your own mind.

vincent sulaitis

IN response to your questions I must say that I spoke to a priests went through St. John's seminary and the term " cookie worhip was in vogue where he attended. I think their are priests determined to destroy the church from within . I know a man who supported the church teaching against masturbation who left St. John's seminary because of the abuse he took for his position. As long as the Old Gaurd is in place this diocese will not see holy priests.

A Simple Sinner

I cannot speak to the specific allegations made against any one of these parties... I am in no way involved.

However, without holding any ONE order up as THE spotless, stainless paragon of orthodoxy, I am simply pointing out that a trend DOES exist. Namely, the more conservative, traditional and orthodox the order or diocese is, the more vocations it attracts.

I do not put my faith in any one personality and I am not relying on any one group to be a "savior" to the church. BUT, even if the worst came out about one of the founders of these orders, the fact is, there are still many many good men studying for the priesthood in these orders. Many are already priests.

Once again, on the matter of the FSSP having a seminary full of priests who are not welcome anywhere... well I think this is getting better with each passing month, but I stick to my original sentiment - that the mere fact these good and holy priests are in Holy Orders and earnestly praying and offering the Holy Mass for the Church, Her Faithful and the world. Well, that is a GREAT thing. Their prayers will avail much grace. Much more than we will know.

A Simple Sinner

I also had another thougt while I was driving. I think that due to the sad sad state of affairs with criminal priests whose CRIMES have been exposed we have seen a real pendulam swing.

For TOO MANY YEARS we saw criminals protected by bishops and always given the benifit of a douubt while vicitms were frequnetly silenced, ignored or had their credibility questioned.

Now that all of this nasty nasty "stuff" (I haver another word in mind, but it is not appropriate here!!) has come to light, I worry that there WILL be cases of accusations made against priests who are innocent. Several years ago, a parish that did not like a priest in a certain diocese taking certain measures of control away from church trustees & the parish council, had several members step forward to make accuastions. Later, several admitted the accuasions were baseless and phony, but the damage was done.

However awful it is to consider that certain fanantics would lie (as disheartening as bishops who cover up to be sure!!!) Well I would hate to see accuasations become the new tool of battle against priests. For little pay, little respect, they have set aside worldly matters for a life in the Church. MANY of the men I know who became priests certainly could have made a lot more money, in other fields. More than a few of them left lucrative fields to be priests...

Most priests I know now would NOT be willing to spend time alone with youth. A lot of them take special steps at all times to be surrounded by other adults (witnesses!) and to never be alone with minors. This is prudent, but sad.

My dad always talks fonldy of being an altar boy in the 1950s. The Altar rosary Society ladies fitted each boy with his own cassock (my dad was so proud!) and the boys (back in teh day when they had thier own prayers to reciete in the mass with the priest!) felt a special bond and fraternity and most thought (at least for a minute) about one day maybe being a priest. The priests would have cook-outs for the boys and several orders ran summer camps where they got to learn archery, horseback riding, swimming and went to Mass daily. HE still caries the rosary he got at the end of the school year embossed with "Altar Boy" in his pocket whever he goes, some 50 years later.

Those days are totally gone.

I hope that more married Catholic family men really step up to the plate as Catholic role models. Because of a few JUDASES, we lost a big part of the role model mentor situation many young Catholics grew up with.

It is my hope that we as Catholics learn to not turn a blind eye to abuse, while also taking prudent steps to investigate accuastions to make sure they are grounded in fact.

Pray for priests daily. They are praying for you!

bernard Marie

I to find people like Mother Angelica, Fr. Corapi, Fr. Altier the good people at Franciscan University of Stubenville, Pope Benedict XVi, and Pope John Paul II. These are the people trying to keep the teachings of Christ.
Audio Homilies by Fr. Angelus
Text/Audio Homilies by Fr. Altier
Audio Archives of Mother Angelica Live


Kelly writes: "The joyful notes are people like Mother Angelica, the good people at Franciscan University of Stubenville, Pope Benedict XVi, and Pope John Paul II. These are the people trying to keep the teachings of Christ. These are people Msgr. Davis can't stand."
Really? I can't comment about Mother Angelica or the U. of Stubenville,..but JPII and B16 as people trying to keep the "teachings of Christ?" Well, if you equate the teachings of Christ with the teachings of the Catholic Church for centuries, I have to disagree with you sharply. Never, in the whole history of the Church, have two popes made the kinds of ecumenical and 'religious liberty' proclamations that these two popes made and make routinely. No, I have to believe that Msgr. Davis would have gotten along with them famously.


The powers-that-be in this Church have a slower learning curve than a five yr. old.

They've lost thousands upon thousands of vocations due to the liberal (read, evilly infected, false Catholic) gatekeepers.

Hundreds of unrepentant sodomites were purposefully brought into the priesthood - resulting in the molestation of thousands of teenage boys. (And that's just part of it; the Church is still heavily infested with active sodomite priests.)

You cannot trust any priest today to teach or defend true Catholicism - because you don't know who is who.

You can't trust your children with just any priest. Heck, these days I count myself lucky to find one I can truly trust with and around my kids.

Either the leaders of this Church (and that starts with Pope Benedict) will administer some discipline, or the evil that is already manifest in this church will grow even bigger than it is.

Eventually, it will become very, very difficult to remove - and millions upon millions of souls will be lost to unrepentant sin and evil of all sorts.

I guess when you know that the gates of hell cannot ultimately prevail against a Church, you think you don't need to fight evil. Bad mistake. You just make the battle more bloody, and waste more souls in the process.



"Those days are totally gone."


There it is; the truth.

It will take decades (all of my children's lives, I would guess) of the rebuilding of trust, and of orthodoxy, and of true Fatherhood in the priesthood to restore what once was.


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