On June 16th, 2011, I mailed out letters to 14 local priests asking for clarification of their support of the anti-Catholic organization Fortunate Families. The following names appeared on Fortunate Families’ 2010 Annual Report.
Fr. Paul Brennan
Fr. Bill Donnelly
Fr. Robert Kennedy (helping out with the new missal preparations)
Fr. Michael Bausch
Fr. Thomas Mull
Fr. Ed Palumbos
Msgr. William Shannon
Fr. William Michatek
Fr. Otto Vogt
Fr. Bob Werth
The following names appeared on the Open Letter to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from Catholic Families and Friends of Gays and Lesbians from Fortunate Families
Fr. Michael Bausch
Fr. Robert Kennedy
Fr. Charles Manning
Fr. Kevin Murphy
Fr. Dennis Shaw
Fr. Gary Tyman
I sent the following letter to everyone on these lists except for Fr. Manning (couldn’t find address) and Fr. Shaw (currently suspended).
Dear Rev. X,
First and foremost, I wish to thank you for your priestly ministry. It is with great humility that I write to a man such as you willing to offer his life in response to God’s call to serve His Church.
The purpose of this letter is to request a response in regards to the Open Letter to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from Catholic Families and Friends of Gays and Lesbians from Fortunate Families you signed in April 2007.
The purpose of this letter is to request a response in regards to appearance of your name as a benefactor on the Fortunate Families 2010 Annual Report.
In case you are not aware, this organization is quite at odds with Church teaching. Evidence of this is provided in 1) excerpts from newsletters from the first half of 2011 and 2) the full newsletter from June 2010 – both of which are included with this letter. While the desire to assist and counsel individuals (and their families) who suffer from same sex attraction is good, such counseling must be done in accord with the teachings of the Church. The reason I am requesting a response is that I am a contributor to a local blog (CleansingFireDOR.com) which seeks to defend truth and tradition in the Diocese of Rochester. We have been breaking the Fortunate Families story and pointing out the many troubling connections between the Diocese of Rochester and this organization. Many people have felt scandalized by it and are losing faith in the local hierarchy. It is my hope that either Fortunate Families was in error in listing you as a benefactor or that you were not fully aware of the unorthodox nature of this organization. It is my intent to post the names of priests who would like to go on record as taking one of the following positions:
- Fortunate Families incorrectly reported that I made a financial contribution to their organization.
- I did make a contribution to Fortunate Families not knowing of their unorthodox positions. I will not be making any future donations.
- I made my contribution to Fortunate Families knowing what they stand for and I support this organization.
If you wish to go on record taking one of these positions (or another of your choosing), please contact me within 2 weeks in whatever way is most convenient for you.
Again, thank you kindly for your priestly ministry and know that you are in my prayers.
It’s been over 3 weeks since these letters were sent out. So far I have received 4 responses. 2 priests explained that they had given minuscule sums of money in the hopes of being able to reach this community with an authentic Catholic message. They both regretted their contributions and clearly stated that they stand with the Church and in no way endorse Fortunate Families. I have excluded those priests’ names from the above lists. The other 2 priests to contact me were Fr. Michael Bausch and Fr. Otto Vogt. Both of these priests made it abundantly clear that they do in fact fully endorse Fortunate Families knowing full well their mission and purpose.
Today Archbishop Dolan posted an article on his blog entitled “Some Afterthoughts” about the SSM legislation in New York State. I have the utmost respect for Archbishop Dolan, but pose some questions and comments for him inline below.
My brother bishops of New York were particularly prophetic. When I arrived here a little over two-years ago, they told me realistically that we faced a looming battle over the defense of marriage. They advised me that the odds were not in our favor, and that some experts were even suggesting that we give-in and not put up a fight.
But they were also resolute in their conviction that such would have been a dereliction of duty. [resolute? really?]
the Church neither has nor wants political “clout.” [Then why have parishioners been guilted into signing petitions AFTER MASS for room-for-legitimate-diversity-of-opinion legislation like SCHIP and the New START?] As Cardinal John O’Connor commented, “The only ‘clout’ the Church really has is God’s Truth, the assurance of His grace, and the simple yet sincere conviction of our people.” Blessed John Paul II again reminds us that “The Church never imposes, she onlyproposes.” [If this is true, then how do you explain the signatures to the above document?]
Point six, the Church has always stood-up for marriage — one man and one woman, united in lifelong and faithful love, leading to new life in children – whenever and wherever it was in danger. [If this is true, then how do you explain priests who openly endorse organizations like Fortunate Families, bishops who make issues murky instead of clear, and Church authority turning a deaf ear on both?]
Finally, last point, for us in the Church, not much changes [If this is really so, can we expect the culture to continue declining further as the Church gives lip service to Truth while continuing to confuse the laity by endorsing anti-Catholic positions and organizations]. We continue to hold fast to the God-given definition of marriage, and acknowledge that no unfortunate legislative attempt can alter reality and morality. Yes, we have a big catechetical challenge, in that we have to admit that quite a few people no longer hold to this timeless moral truth. (Although I still believe most people do; thus the fear of areferendum on the issue by those who still claim this is a “grassroots movement” sweeping the nation.) Yes, we do have our work cut out for us, as even some Catholics, and, scandalously, even political leaders [and even more scandalously priests and bishops] who claim to be Catholic, tell us the Church is “out of it,” and has no claim on truth.
So, we try our best to witness to the truth, encouraging our married couples and their kids to be loving, radiant, “lights to the world.” We acknowledge that, as St. Augustine taught, if something is wrong, even if everybody else is doing it, it’s still wrong; and, if something is right, even if nobody else is doing it anymore, it’s still right. Like St. Thomas More, we’re willing to take the heat and even lose our head from following a conscience properly formed by God’s revelation and the teaching of His Church, even if it is politically incorrect, and clashes with the King’s demands to re-define marriage. [Read this last paragraph as evidence of the need for CleansingFire.]
Tags: Homosexual Agenda