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by Christopher A. Ferrara

Cardinal Mahony's Gulag

"Double Standard" Update:

The lay journal San Diego News Notes has led the way in exposing the corruption and fecklessness of Archbishop Mahony’s version of the Catholic Church. This mysteriously immune prelate is one of the world’s leading Church-wreckers, whose depredations are so outrageous that Mother Angelica felt compelled to criticize Mahony on the air, prompting Mahony’s filing of a complaint against her at the Vatican.

In an article this past March San Diego News Notes asks the pertinent question “Does Mahony want a priestless Church?” The article describes how “According to some . . . the vocations crisis in the archdiocese of Los Angeles is the fruit of a concerted effort to weed out orthodox applicants to the local seminary.” The article cites the testimony of young priests and seminarians who complain that St. John’s seminary in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles “routinely questions applicants about their approval of women's ordination, dismissing those who express their opposition to it. One former archdiocesan seminarian said that seminarians must face a ‘litmus test’ before they can hope to get through the door at the seminary.”

The St. John’s Seminary director of vocations is a woman, one Sister Kathy Bryant. Sister Kathy decides who gets to be a priest and who is rejected. Sister Kathy has a litany of questions she uses to weed out candidates who may actually be orthodox Roman Catholics. According to the testimony of “Kurt” (not his real name), who was asked to leave St. John’s for “psychological reasons” these questions include: “Do you receive communion on the tongue or in the hand?” “Do you genuflect?” “Do you say the Rosary?” If a candidate answers in the affirmative, “He wouldn't even make it past the starting gate.” Kurt says “some of the seminarians just learned to play the game. It's a liberal regime that demands absolute conformity to their likes, preferences, whatever it might be. This wonderful self-proclaimed era of liberalism and renewal has actually become a very oppressive regime in the seminary. They don't just want your bodies; they want your souls.” Shades of the Soviet and Chinese re-education camps. The gulag comes to the L.A. Archdiocese.

Kurt testifies that “spirituality at the seminary ‘has been completely replaced by the secular science of psychology. . . . If a seminarian exhibits doctrinal or theological tendencies that are regarded as “dangerous,” spiritual counseling or guidance is not used, but psychology. It is actually an abuse of psychology.’”

San Diego News Notes provides the requisite second witness. “Father Y, an archdiocesan priest, who spoke on condition of anonymity, insists that the practice of screening out orthodox seminarians is subtle. ‘They try to weed them out before they even get to the seminary -- at the vocations office level. . . . If a guy gives an orthodox answer, he gets a definite ‘No.’”

And so it goes in Mahony-land. The gulag of the orthodox swells with rejected Catholics, while heterodoxy flourishes in every parish. I myself witnessed a “Mass” at Saint Monica’s Church in Santa Monica which was prefaced by a tribute to “the gay community,” and featured a rock band behind the altar-table throughout the “liturgy.” At one point the priest was tapping his hand on the altar-table in time with the groovy beat. I walked out in disgust, and with tears in my eyes for what they have done to Holy Mother Church.

Chaos reigns in the Church, but the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy does little or nothing about it. The Congregation has a great deal qto say about Father Nicholas Gruner, however, whose “offense” is to expose rather too effectively the true state of that people’s paradise they call the “renewal of Vatican II.” Father Gruner faces the prospect of his own exile to the gulag of orthodox Catholics.

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