***How to Destroy a Parish? Name an Alinskyite pastor. And that is exactly what happened to the poor flock of St. Peter’s in Little Washington, VA two years ago when Fr. Horace “Tuck” Grinnell was appointed. At the time, the parish was flourishing following a series of faithful priests committed to orthodoxy and beautiful, reverent liturgies. Alas, things were about to change. Fr. Grinnell was reassigned from St. Charles in Arlington to St. Peters, a move he was reluctant to make and was furious about. In fact, in typical liberal style, he lashed out at Bishop Loverde in a letter to his parishioners saying he believed the bishop was punishing him and “paybacks are hell.” Arlington Now, an on-line news outlet picked up the story creating a local scandal. One commenter called Father’s behavior “the most unprofessional outburst I've ever seen from an appointed pastor.” Another described it as an “ill-advised, hostile, scandalous rant….petulant and uncharitable.” For the parishioners at St. Peter’s, Father’s reaction to the bishop was a harbinger of how he would react to disagreement from parishioners — no rants, just the hobnailed boot trampling everything former pastors had built up. Within four months of Fr. Grinnell’s arrival, the little parish realized exactly who was going to be in “hell” under the new pastor and it wasn’t him.
***Father Soon Instituted a Minimalist Liturgy (but formally correct) to the dismay of the parishioners some of whom began a petition that he offer ONE Sunday Mass as the former priests did. He would not, instead eliminating most bell-ringing, getting rid of the pew missals (which not only help parishioners follow the Mass but have directions about proper reception of Communion as well as other prayers), and solicited lay Eucharistic ministers for every Mass, certainly overkill for such a small parish. He gave away the Adoremus hymnals and replaced them with Journeysongs, from Oregon Catholic Press, a publisher described by prominent Church musician Jeffrey Tucker as responsible for bad hymnals that offer a “hit-and-miss bag with an emphasis on new popular styles massaged for liturgical use.” Recall that the Arian heresy flourished using bad hymns that undermined the faith. Pope Benedict himself, as Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote in 2000 lamenting the “cult of the banal” in Church music. But banal liturgies are a staple with liberal priests.***Fr. Tuck also fills the pamphlet rack with material written by dissenters and in many homilies he stresses the “social justice” gospel according to liberalism. Shortly after arriving Father, in Alinsky style, began organizing local clergy and put like-minded liberals on the pastoral council. The tocsin was ringing as parishioners learned about Father’s activities at former parishes which included hosting dissenters as parish speakers, inviting the scandalous Nuns on the Bus to use St. Charles to advance their agenda, and founding VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement), an Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) affiliate, Saul Alinsky’s signature group. IAF assesses large fees from member churches. Father readily acknowledged to a parishioner that VOICE uses Alinsky’s poisonous Macchiavellian book, Rules for Radicals with its dedication to Satan, “the first radical” as a study guide.
***By This Time, Many of the Flock Have Fled to St. John the Baptist in Front Royal or St. John the Evangelist in Warrenton, no small inconvenience since St. Peter’s is the only Catholic Church in Rappahannock and the others are some distance away. But one couple, veterans of similar parish-wrecking in Idaho, decided to stay and fight. They began a blog, The Sheep of Kephas: Assent to Counter Dissent to expose what is happening to their lovely little parish community and the devastating impact Father’s tenure is having on the people.
***A Thoroughly Modern Militant Makeover! Where is St. Peter’s now, two and a half years after the invasion by a militant, modernist, makeover artist? Well, Father is still busy-busy purging the Pastoral Council and the Finance Council of anyone who questions him. Dissenters are notorious for opposing dissent to their agendas. According to the blog, “More recently, another Finance Council member challenged the way a large sum had been spent without review by the Council. Rather than sign a statement that all was well when one could not be sure that all was well, he resigned from the Council.”
It sounds like it’s time for the parish to request the new bishop to order a formal audit of parish expenditures. It would be particularly interesting to know how much is going to non-Catholic activities like the IAF, the Rappahannock Clergy Association (RCA), and other dubious groups.
***One More Thing, the “Most unkindest cut of all,” happened on Thanksgiving, a day St. John Bosco in Woodstock and other Valley churches were packed to the rafters with worshipers. Fr. “Tuck” cancelled Holy Mass for an ecumenical prayer service with local member churches of the RCA (founded by him). For the previous two years, he promoted the ecumenical event but also offered Mass. Apparently, with St. Peter’s hosting this year, he decided a bowl of pottage would suffice for his flock instead of their Catholic birthright. So worshiping and thanking the God of the universe by following Jesus’ admonition to “Do this in remembrance of Me” took second place to an RCA come-to-meeting prayer service. That development led the Kephas blog to ask, “Is St. Peter’s still Catholic?” Sadly, the answer is “not very.” The next question is, “Does anyone at the chancery know or care?” Let’s hope and pray they do. The faithful people of St. Peter’s deserve better than an Alinskyite pastor with a wrecking ball. Read more at https://lesfemmes-thetruth.blogspot.com/2016/12/what-does-alinskyite-parish-look-like.html.
***Amoris Laetitia the “Love” that Kills the Faith The debate continues to rage over the ambiguous and confusing papal exhortation, The Joy of Love, (AL) especially since four cardinals sought clarification from Pope Francis in a “dubia” listing five yes and no questions to clarify whether AL is changing the teaching of the Church on the indissolubility of marriage and the moral law. The letter went unanswered, an interesting reaction from a pope who told the College of Cardinals in February 2015 that, “The goal to be reached is always...to achieve a more effective collaboration in that absolute transparency which builds authentic sinodality and collegiality…. It is in this spirit of collaboration that our meeting will be fruitful thanks to the contribution which each of us can express with parrhesia, fidelity to the Magisterium and the knowledge that all of this contributes to the supreme law, that being thesalus animarum (salvation of souls).”
***Pope Fails to Respond, Cardinals Go Public Two months after the pope failed to respond, the cardinals released their concerns publicly causing a storm of criticism with the dean of the Roman Rota calling it a “grave scandal” and Fragkiskos Papamanolis, head of the Greek bishops’ conference accusing them of heresy. Canon lawyer, Ed Peters, who blogs at In the Light of the Law, called the Greek’s letter to the cardinals the “rashest” of the overreactions, one “which must be read to be believed.” He went on to pen an article titled, Cardinals in the Church have rights too. Bishop Athanasius Schneider defended the cardinals who spoke with a “prophetic voice” and “only did their basic duty as bishops.” The “negative reactions to the public statement of the Four Cardinals,” he said, “resemble the general doctrinal confusion of the Arian crisis in the fourth century” when Pope Liberius excommunicated St. Athanasius in order to mollify the heretical Arian bishops. On Dec. 5th in Rome, the bishop also described his upbringing in Russia under Stalin where his parents were sent to the Gulag. “If you didn’t follow the line of the party, or you questioned it, you couldn’t even ask. That is for me a very clear parallel to what is happening now in the reactions to thedubia — questions of the Cardinals — This is a very sad experience especially since everybody is speaking about a ‘dialogue of culture’ after the Second Vatican Council. While bishops openly teach heresies and nothing happens to them, that is truly a grave injustice and very sad,”***American Cardinals Join the Pack Attack! Among the American cardinals criticizing their brethren for daring to ask for clarification are newly red-hatted Joseph Tobin and Cardinal Blasé Cupich of Chicago. Meanwhile, most of the hierarchy are silent leading eminent German philosopher, Robert Spaemann, to describe their inaction as “deplorable” and local Arlington priest Fr. Mark Pilon to warn in an article at The Catholic Thing website about the “danger of papal silence” and the possibility of a “practical schism,” although many Catholics believe we are there already.
***Actions speak louder than words, Pope Francis Among the early statements from the pope, was his emphasis on listening and “collegiality.” He stepped out on the balcony after his election and introduced himself as the “Bishop of Rome” deemphasizing his role as head of the universal Church. In Rio, speaking to CELAM, the Latin American bishops’ conference he said, “Central bureaucracy is not sufficient; there is also a need for increased collegiality and solidarity…not unanimity, but true unity in the richness of diversity.” Well, that was then and this is now. Seems collegiality and diversity are welcome when Cardinal Kasper and the Argentine bishops undermine Church doctrines, but not when orthodox bishops uphold them. Hence the draconian treatment and smear campaign against the four cardinals.
***So What Does Cardinal Raymond Burke Say? In an interview with Catholic Faith and Family in November, Cardinal Burke clearly expressed why the four cardinals issued the dubia. “Truth spoken with charity is clear and pastoral,” he said. “It is never helpful pastorally to leave important matters, in the present case matters touching upon the salvation of souls, in doubt or in confusion. We four Cardinals, as Bishops, who are committed to the pastoral care of the universal Church and as Cardinals, who have the particular responsibility of assisting the Holy Father in the teaching of the faith and in the fostering of its practice in the universal Church, have judged it our responsibility to make public these questions for the sake of the good of souls.” Cardinal Burke continued saying, “Portions of the document contain ambiguities and statements that are like knots that cannot be easily untied and are causing great confusion. Sharing the Pope’s devotion to Our Lady, Untier of Knots, we are asking him to clarify these ambiguous statements and, with the help of God, to untie some of the knotty statements of the document for the good of souls.***What Does Pope Francis Have to Say? According to a Dec. 6th article in the National Catholic Register by Edward Pentin titled Church Leaders Respond to the Dubia, “Since theDubiawere published, Pope Francis has reacted only in an indirect way, saying in a recentinterview that ‘certain responses’ toAmoris Laetitia‘persist in seeing only white or black, when, rather, one ought to discern in the flow of life.’ He also said such opposition can derive from ‘bad spirit’ or psychological defects that foster division and argued that such thinking showed a lack of understanding about how the Holy Spirit has been working in the Church since the Second Vatican Council.” This quote showed the same hostile attitude the pope expressed toward young people who prefer the Tridentine Mass when he said,“And I ask myself: Why so much rigidity? Dig, dig, this rigidity always hides something, insecurity or even something else. Rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.” So both the Cardinals and the youth are rigid and psychologically defective while modernists who preach moral relativism are merciful and charitable as they lead souls to hell.
***Is Pope Francis Channeling the Spirit of Vatican II? Sure looks like it! We are in deep crisis as surely as during the post Vatican II rebellion and the Arian heresy. Faithful Catholics must put on the armor of God, hold our ground, and fight because souls are at stake many in our own families. Fight and never lose hope. God wins!