October 2003

Pro-Gay & Pro-Latin Mass

I am a devout traditional Catholic who drives an hour to get to a Latin Mass. I have studied most religions (God gives us a long leash), and I daily grieve the damage Vatican II has wrought.

However, the New Oxford Note “Devious ‘Gay’ Priests” (Jul.-Aug.) reeks of self-righteousness. Christ said Judge Not.

Perhaps the anonymous gay you refer to is my son or one of his fellow gay seminarians, who have given up everything to follow Jesus, work with AIDS victims, crack babies, despairing addicts, or homeless destitute “fringe” people forgotten by society.

I find the explicitly graphic description of the homosexual sex act in your New Oxford Note to be far from respectful. It is enough to make me want to cancel my subscription.

Contrary to what you say, it will be a sad day if homosexual priests leave the priesthood. I pray they will stay, be courageous, and preach the Good News to souls who are forgotten or condemned by the bigots of this world.

An Anonymous Mother of a drug addict,a lesbian daughter,
and a gay seminarian




THE EDITOR REPLIES:

Our New Oxford Note was about an anonymous self-described “gay” priest (writing in Commonweal), who inadvertently revealed that he is an active homosexual. You see that “gay” priest in your “gay” seminarian son, whom you choose to defend.

Why, when you call yourself a “devout traditional Catholic,” would you do that? Your stance is neither traditional nor devout. You appear to be involved in special pleading and self-justification. Is it possible — given your track record as the mother of a drug addict, a lesbian, and a bugger — that you have been a failure as a mother? We of course have no idea, but if so, we understand why that would be hard for you to face up to. It’s much easier to get yourself off the hook by excusing — and thereby enabling — the behavior of your “gay” son. This we do not understand, since you claim to be a “devout traditional Catholic.”

You claim that your seminarian son has “given up everything.” Ah, but he hasn’t given up his sexual perversion.

Yes, mothers can get very emotional about their children. We understand. So of course you must lash out at us, telling us to “judge not.”

But you are willing to judge us by calling us “self-righteous” and implying that we are “bigots.” This we don’t understand. Why the double standard?

Moreover, you fail to understand what Christ meant when He said, “Judge not….” Christ said in Matthew 7:1-2, “Judge not,” immediately adding, “that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get” (RSV — Catholic Edition). Christ continued in verse 5, “You hypocrite….” You see, Christ’s point was to rebuke hypocrisy. He was not saying we should turn a blind eye to evildoers — as you have done — but that we must obey the moral law before we hold others accountable to it, lest we be frauds. If you have abandoned your husband and shacked up with a lesbian, yes, you should not judge your son. Otherwise, get a grip!

Ironically, when you tell us to “judge not” and then you judge us, you are being exactly what Christ said we should not be: a hypocrite.

Of course you would find our graphic description of the homosexual sex act “far from respectful.” But why should we respect it? If there’s one thing “gay” dupes cannot stand, it’s an explicit description of what buggers actually do. Can you stand to think of what your son actually does? No, you can’t. But you need to know the foul reality. Get a grip!

Finally, your reference to “AIDS victims” further reveals how you’ve been suckered by the homosexual agenda. We’ve all known for a long time how to avoid getting AIDS. If you don’t engage in buggery (and don’t inject illegal drugs), it’s almost impossible to get it. The vast majority of those with AIDS are not victims. While they deserve our sympathy, they knew darn well what they were risking and are morally culpable.




Homosexuality Darkens The Mind

Homosexuality is a disorder that adversely affects the mind in both subtle and profound ways. That’s why your “Devious ‘Gay’ Priests” (New Oxford Notes, Jul.-Aug.) was so insightful. It was a masterful dissection of what an anonymous “gay” priest wrote in Commonweal.

Indeed, one must carefully parse every word homosexuals say (and don’t say), as if analyzing the testimony of former President Bill Clinton. For whether it’s a conscious effort on their part or not, the goal of “gays” is to distort the truth, and thereby form in their mind a rationalization for their perversion.

To your analysis, let me add another example of twisted thinking that is set to emerge. It has to do with the definition of “monogamous.”

Surveys consistently show that “gays,” even in so-called long-term relationships, are highly promiscuous. Amy Fagan, writing in The Washington Times, cites a study of 156 “gay” couples that were together for from one to 37 years. In all cases where the relationship lasted over five years, the couples had arrangements allowing outside sex.

Since such behavior hurts the drive for same-sex “marriage,” the homosexuals are now hard at work recasting what the word “fidelity” means. Fagan writes that, to homosexuals, “Fidelity is not defined in terms of sexual behavior but rather by their emotional commitment to each other.” To the homosexual mind, this means they can have all the sex partners they want and still be considered “monogamous” and faithful.

See, homosexuality does indeed darken the mind. It’s no wonder Rome has said “gays” have no business being in the clergy. Too bad the American bishops didn’t obey.

Pete Skurkiss
Chester Township, New Jersey




Your “Devious ‘Gay’ Priests” does not address the real issue concerning homosexual priests.

The Most Rev. Thomas J. Gumbleton, Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit, has taken the position that “gay men should be ordained.” Msgr. Andrew R. Baker, a member of the staff of the Congregation for Bishops in Rome, has argued that they should not.

The “gay” priests Gumble-ton defends are not just celibate priests who overcome their inclination to sin. His goal, like the Fr. Anonymous you cite, is for something else: for “gay” priests to “come out” of the closet, to admit their homosexuality openly to their superiors and to the communities they serve.

He quotes one such priest who yearns to “be able to be ‘out’ (in appropriate ways) and honest with the people I serve. I feel rejection by the people I try to serve in love, which causes me much pain…. I am saddened that I am prevented from sharing those parts of who I am, the source of my compassion and that which energizes me.”

Here is the real issue. It is here that the nature of the homosexual revolution in the Church becomes clear. Gumbleton and the priest he quotes may have told us more than they intended. Look: One does not call a sin to which one is drawn the “source of my compassion and that which energizes me.” A priest tempted by adultery or illegal drugs would not speak of his temptation in this manner. A priest who has not engaged in the adultery to which he is attracted by a married woman would not call himself an “adulterer priest.” A priest who stays away from the illegal drugs that attract him would not call himself a “doper priest.” They would not want to come “out of the closet” and be identified to their parishioners by the sins that tempt them. Yet certain priests with homosexual longings do. Why?

The only conclusion I can reach is that they do not accept the Church’s teachings that homosexual activity is sinful. Their goal in “coming out” is to play their part in promoting the notion that homosexuality is a legitimate sexual “orientation,” different from the majority orientation, but not inherently sinful.

Then why deny ordination to those with this temptation? Because, says Msgr. Baker, the homosexual tendency is “to view the other person of the same sex as a possible sexual ‘partner’…. In such a clearly male environment as the seminary and the priesthood, the temptation is ever-present for those with the disorder. This temptation…could make their efforts to live chastely or to be healed of their disorder very difficult.”

One bishop, quoted by Gumbleton, argued, “I don’t think drug addicts should be pharmacists, I don’t think alcoholics should be bartenders, I don’t think kleptomaniacs should be bank tellers, and I don’t think homosexuals should be priests.” Amazingly, Gumbleton thinks this logic is “bizarre.”

Gumbleton’s words indicate that he does not think homosexuality is a disorder. The Church does.

Hugo Adimari
Alexandria, Virginia




Not “Gay,” but SAD

Who, more than the editors of the NOR, understands that words have power? I urge you to adopt, as consistent editorial policy, the terminology of the Catholic Medical Association regarding homosexuality — Same-sex Attraction Disorder, S.A.D. There’s nothing “gay” about S.A.D.

Homosexuals tend to be promiscuous and to engage in high-risk and often anonymous sex practices (including fisting, torture, sodomy, coprophagy, vampirism, and other paraphilias) that result in the exchange of blood, urine, feces, and semen, yielding much higher rates of deadly disease than in the normal population. The medical consequences of acts common among homosexuals and the disproportionately increased rates of violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and psychopathology among homosexuals cause homosexuals to die decades younger than normal people. About one-third of adult homosexuals engage in sex with minors, putting teens and children at risk from their sick predatory practices.

Only one to three percent of the general population is homosexual, but disproportionately 50 percent of Catholic priests are homosexual, and almost 50 percent of child molesters are homosexual (the “gay” one to three percent perpetrates 47 percent of child molestations, hence the deceptive claim that “most molesters are heterosexual”). Over 90 percent of priest-abusers are homosexual. This is not merely a problem of homosexual numbers, but also a problem of pervasive, pernicious, and dissident ideology that opposes authentic Catholic teaching and, promoted among the laity, results in dangerously lax and malformed consciences. Souls go to Hell. Our Lady of Fatima most convincingly told us so.

To review the extensive research literature documenting these tragic medical truths and discrediting homosexualist “junk science,” see www.cathmed.org and www.narth.com.

Edgar A. Suter, M.D.
Danville, California




Out-and-Out Dyke-Nuns

I am writing to comment on your New Oxford Note (June) titled “What About Predator Lesbian Nuns?” I took a year off recently to teach in a Catholic high school. Like many baby boomers, I had had a terrific education thanks to Catholic schools and wanted to “give back,” as the phrase goes. Boy, did I find that things had changed!

It took only a few days before I realized that the two priests affiliated with the school were both “gay,” and that two of the three nuns under seventy were lesbians. It was this second realization that gave me a real jolt, as I had never until this time encountered lesbian nuns. And by lesbian, I do not mean shy, retiring “don’t ask, don’t tell” types. I mean out-and-out dykes. Although I have no idea whether they attempted to interact with the students on the basis of their “orientation,” it begs credulity to imagine that they didn’t interact with other adult women, or each other, on this basis.

The student body was very aware of this, and would ask all the female faculty whether they were married or not, and if not, which female teacher they were dating. So my conclusion is that even if these lesbian “religious” are not attempting to interact on this basis with students in their charge, corruption will seep into any institution they are serving.

Yes, as you say, the Church should be very concerned.

(Name Withheld)




You Will Probably Not Print This

You probably will not print this, but I want to write it anyway. In your New Oxford Note, “Is Vatican II Ancient History?” (June), you once again slammed the Holy Father, as you are wont to do periodically. Pope John Paul II is much more than a playwright, actor, or accomplished intellectual and teacher; anyone who has read his recent encyclical on the Holy Eucharist could only come to one conclusion about this man — he is a saint! As a saint, he has the full flowering of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, one of which is wisdom. He also has the special guidance of the Third Person of the Holy Trinity in his office as Pope. I certainly do not have the grace of the Petrine Commission, and I am not a saint. I doubt your editorial board qualifies either.

There is absolutely nothing to be gained by publicly criticizing the Holy Father. Let us follow the example of the soon-to-be-canonized-saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta and of Fr. John Hardon, S.J., whose cause has commenced. They never took shots at the Vicar of Christ. Neither does Mother Angelica.

Pope John Paul II certainly loves the Bride of Christ much more than I and the NEW OXFORD REVIEW do. Even if there were any substance to your criticism, we Catholics who claim to be faithful to the Magisterium should follow the example of Noe’s sons, Sem and Japheth. When Noe lay drunk and naked in his tent, Genesis 9:23 tells us: “But Sem and Japheth put a cloak upon their shoulders, and going backward, covered the nakedness of their father: and their faces were turned away, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.”

Bill Foley
Tucson, Arizona




THE EDITOR REPLIES:

We did not — and do not — “slam” the Pope. All we said was: “an administrator he is not. He simply does not ‘mind the store,’ does not attend to the chores of Church governance.” This is not just our opinion. We quoted Karl Keating: “What might have happened if, instead of Karol Wojtyla, the conclave had chosen a different man, someone who took the name Pius XIII because he wanted his emphasis to be on ruling and disciplining rather than on inspiring and teaching?… John Paul II, it is fair to say, has been known for the latter more than the former.” We also quoted Rod Dreher: “Why does such a great and good man [John Paul II]…. allow so many American bishops, nearly all of whom he has appointed, to eviscerate the liturgical, catechetical and pastoral life of the Church to the point where we are now living in an undeclared schism?”

Catholics are obliged to give “loyal submission of the will and intellect” to the Pope when he teaches on “faith and morals” (see Lumen Gentium, #25), and we do so gladly. But there are what are called “prudential” decisions that the Pope must make all the time. In common parlance, “prudential” has increasingly taken on the meaning of acting in a cautious or self-interested manner. But in Church parlance it doesn’t mean that; it means exercising good judgment. We believe John Paul has exercised poor judgment in allowing many of his bishops to undermine Church teaching, and we say that as papal loyalists — and we have every right to say that (see Canon Law 212).

You say, “As a saint, he [John Paul] has the full flowering of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, one of which is wisdom. He also has the special guidance of the Third Person of the Holy Trinity in his office as Pope.” If John Paul is a saint, you are not competent to make that determination. We’re inclined to think he’s a saint, but neither are we competent to render a judgment. Still, we have noticed a tendency among some orthodox Catholics to idolize John Paul. If John Paul is a saint, he definitely would not want to be idolized. Peter, our first Pope, is a bona fide saint, yet Paul said he “opposed him [Peter] to his face” (Gal. 2:11). Sorry, but even saintly popes are not beyond criticism.

Moreover, you are quite wrong if you think that sanctity is a guarantee of wise governance in the papal office. In 1294 the papal Conclave, having failed to elect a new pope in two years, was hopelessly deadlocked. So the Conclave turned to a renowned ascetic, Pietro del Murrone, who had founded the Celestine Order. Upon assuming the papacy, del Murrone took the name Celestine V, and was later canonized by Pope Clement V in 1313. Of Celestine V’s pontificate, the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church says it was “disastrous,” and Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Catholic History says it was “a disaster.” So calamitous was the pontificate of the saintly Celestine V that he was the first pope in history to abdicate.

We remember being in East Germany decades ago and seeing giant red banners on buildings proclaiming, “Die Partei Hat Immer Recht” (“The Party Is Always Right”). Whoever believed that might as well have decapitated himself. Orthodox Catholics are not called to decapitate themselves, and we are not obliged to believe that the Pope, even a saintly Pope, is always right. As Pope Celestine V proves, a saintly pope can be quite wrong in his prudential decisions.

But if a pope has exercised poor judgment, should we, as you say, refuse to see his “nakedness” and “cover” it up? That depends, but there have been far too many cover-ups in the Church as is. Catherine of Siena did not cover up the nakedness of Pope Gregory XI. She famously rebuked him, urging him to leave Avignon and return to Rome. She wrote him letters and met with him, and she admitted that her letters were written “in an intolerably dictatorial tone, a little sweetened with expressions of perfect Christian deference.” She had the cheek to write him, “Up, be a man!” and “Since [God] has given you authority and you have assumed it, you should use your virtue and power; and if you are not willing to use it, it would be better for you to resign….” We are definitely not asking John Paul to resign. The point is this: If Catherine was out of order, it’s strange that she was later canonized a saint and became a Doctor of the Church.

You say we should follow the example of Mother Teresa, Fr. Hardon, and Mother Angelica, and keep quiet. They are all wonderful Catholics, but we feel called to follow St. Thomas Aquinas, who said, “When the faith is in imminent peril, prelates ought to be accused by their subjects, even in public.” While we do not intend our criticisms to sound “accusatory,” we’d rather risk that perception than stay silent and cover things up, which would be dishonest to the vocation of Catholic journalism and a gross disservice to the Church.




Rome — Paralyzed

Apropos of your “Is Vatican II Ancient History?” (New Oxford Notes, June), I read a column by Bill O’Reilly after his recent return from the Vatican, where he spoke to a number of Vatican insiders, and he reports that Pope John Paul II is, unfortunately, a very ineffective pope. He stated that the Pope was “furious” when he found out his directives concerning the pedophile scandal in the U.S. were not carried out, whereupon the Pope then “retreated” to his chapel to pray, which, according to O’Reilly, is what the Pope “mostly does these days.” O’Reilly was saying that the Pope has curial officials who pay little heed to his wishes. So instead of calling them on the carpet, he does nothing and goes off to pray. I can only agree with O’Reilly’s assessment.

O’Reilly also said: “I believe Pope John Paul II is a good man…. but he has lost control…,” adding that the leadership in Rome is “paralyzed.”

Also, there was the sad story out of England a decade or so ago where the Cardinal Primate of England refused to be generous in accepting converts from the Anglican Church into the Catholic Church. Why? Because the Cardinal felt their reasons for converting were politically incorrect — that is, they were breaking away from the Anglican Church because of its decision to ordain priestesses. John Paul II expressed his “disappointment” with the Cardinal’s action, but he did not override it.

Why is it that John Paul is such an ineffectual pope in curbing the abuses that are ongoing in our Church today? Whatever the reason, John Paul is no longer the pope for our time.

What we need in Rome is another Pope Gregory the Great, someone who can get the Church on track again, back to her liturgical and theological roots.

Paul F. Scheckel
Pullman, Michigan




St. Maria Goretti

You fight the good fight — I could even say, you fight the best fight of anyone I know! One thing, though. You seem to have missed a beat in not responding to Anonymous’s letter (Jul.-Aug.) attacking the reputation of St. Maria Goretti.

Anonymous’s malice showed in his statement that “history tells us that Maria Goretti was not the innocent person the Church has made her out to be” — offering not the slightest proof for his evil allegation. This slanderous statement was like a hiss from a snake. If this was not written by a demon, it had to have been inspired by one. Demons hate purity.

Maria Goretti was a martyr for purity. She was an amazing girl, loving and obedient to her parents and to God, living in dire, grinding poverty, hard working, taking care of her younger brothers and sisters and helping with the housework as her mother worked in the fields, and courageous in saying no to impurity even at the cost of her life. She suffered for days before dying of many stab wounds, praying for her murderer and forgiving him before she died.

Does Anonymous even know the circumstances of St. Maria Goretti’s life and death, of her apparition after her death to her murderer, and of his eventual confession and conversion to Catholicism? No one is canonized who has not been rigorously studied and had proof of saintliness corroborated carefully by the Church. Two miracles are required as well.

As for me, I will pray extra hard to make up for this attack on a holy saint. I will pray for the slanderer also.

Joan Putzer
Wausau, Wisconsin




Talk About Overreaction!

The brouhaha over the American Life League’s ad about Catholic pro-abortion senators titled “WANTED FOR FRAUDULENTLY CLAIMING CATHOLIC FAITH” (New Oxford Notes, Jul.-Aug.) reminds me of what happened to our prolife group in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when we started using a bumper sticker that read: “Pray for Abortionist Lucia Cies.” A liberal politician wrote a letter to the editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican, saying: “Given the terrorism campaign being conducted against providers of abortions, this bumper sticker struck me as a direct threat against Dr. Cies.” Since when does praying for someone become a “threat”?

As for those Catholic periodicals that rejected the American Life League’s ad, they too seem afflicted with wild imaginations, seem consumed by unbridled fear.

Carol Suhr
(formerly Santa Fe, New Mexico)
Pine, Arizona




Distorting e5

Regarding your July-August issue: Thank you for asking the tough questions about the goings-on at the American College of Louvain (New Oxford Notes) and for Part I of Alice von Hildebrand’s essay outlining the positions of the Catholic University of Louvain, where the seminarians at the American College take their theology courses. Also, thank you for defending Adoremus Bulletin and the American Life League (New Oxford Notes).

All this is right and proper, but it makes your take on the e5 men (“Spirituality for Sensitive Guys,” New Oxford Notes) all the more puzzling. If the e5 program is what Our Sunday Visitor claims it is, you’re quite correct that it is exactly in line with the Enemy. But the problem is with the Visitor, not the program itself.

I recently started the e5 discipline for three reasons: to train myself in acts of self-denial; to set an example for my children that fasting is not merely a burden accepted when required by Church law, but embraced in a spirit of reparation; and to follow Christ’s example of loving the Church, His Bride, by being willing to suffer for mine.

I reject the Visitor’s basic premise, that one must emphasize service and sacrifice at the expense of the husband’s headship and authority, and that this false dichotomy is part of e5-man discipline.

Christopher J. Garton-Zavesky
Louisville, Kentucky






I find it a shame that the NEW OXFORD REVIEW’s extent of research on e5men (“Spirituality for Sensitive Guys,”) was limited to an editorial and an article in Our Sunday Visitor. What kind of journalism is it to bash a faithful Catholic apostolate without directly checking out the apostolate itself? For one to know more about e5men, one only has to go to e5men.org, where one would see the entirety of Ephesians 5 expressed in this apostolate (as opposed to the truncated version the Visitor gave).

In the archives of e5men, one can find Steve Habisohn’s reflections and read how Steve says that “[St.] Paul makes clear this God given authority of the husband is for the purpose of bringing the greater potential for holiness to his wife.” I assure you that Steve Habisohn does not “embrace ‘sacrifice’ and reject ‘headship’” as you stated. Trust me, I know founder Steve Habisohn’s view on these issues, for I am his wife. As one can easily find out from the e5men.org website, Steve believes that wives should be “subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord” (Eph. 5:21), for that is how she is to be brought to holiness. The fasting puts into practice the needed self-denial, or “giving himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25), so that the husband may carry out his authority over the family not in a selfish or self-serving way, but in a holy, Christ-like manner. With the holiness of the family in mind, authority over the family is vital, for through the father/husband, God directs the family. If the wife takes headship over her husband and family, there will only be chaos. Out of respect for my husband (Eph. 5:33), I asked permission to send this reply to you. I find my path to holiness in surrendering my will to the Lord through conforming my will to my husband’s.

April Habisohn
Schaumburg, Illinois




THE EDITOR REPLIES TO MRS. HABISOHN:

We had no reason to believe that Our Sunday Visitor would distort the principles of e5, making it sound like a feminist organization for sensitive and intimidated guys. The Visitor article gave the e5 website, so presumably the Visitor had already researched the site. Moreover, the Visitor interviewed three members of e5, including your husband. Although we didn’t cite it in our New Oxford Note, the Visitor paraphrased your husband as saying: “The movement is also designed to help restore the sacred institution of marriage by no longer emphasizing power within authority, but service, he said” (italics added). It was on the basis of feminist-sounding stuff like this that the Visitor editorial gave e5 a glowing endorsement.

Since you know your husband better than anyone, we would assume that the paraphrase of your husband is also a distortion. If the Visitor has twisted e5 to suit its own agenda, our already-shaky confidence in the Visitor has been further shaken.

Surely, you have also written to the Visitor to correct the source of the distortion. But we have not seen any such letter in its pages. Either you did not write (shame!) or the Visitor did not print your letter (shame!).




A Double Standard?

Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), of the Senate Judiciary Committee, grilled Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor on whether or not he really believes what the Church teaches on moral and cultural issues. (Yes, he does.) Schumer later voted against Pryor. This isn’t an example of bigotry, we’re told, because anyone who thinks with the Church can’t be trusted to enforce the laws of the land impartially.

I seem to remember that Charles Schumer was elected to the Senate in part because he accused his opponent of anti-Semitism. His opponent’s crime was to use a Yiddish term to refer to Schumer in a campaign speech before a Jewish group. This proved, Schumer claimed, that his opponent was an anti-Semite.

Now, had his Gentile opponent said that Schumer couldn’t be trusted with having influence over American foreign policy because he was Jewish, the rest of the Republican Party would have disowned him, and Democrats would still be bringing up the incident as proof that the Republican Party is a bunch of bigots.

Don Schenk
Allentown, Pennsylvania




A Beacon in Chicago

My wife and I are great fans of Michael Rose and George Weigel. We also support a return to the Latin Mass or at least making it available to those of us who find it much more fulfilling than the Protestant-like services we get in our parishes.

For the past three years we have been going to Chicago on as many weekends as possible so we could attend St. John Cantius Church. That’s a 180-mile trip for us, but well worth the effort. St. John’s has done a wonderful job with an old Polish church in a run-down part of Chicago. The pastor, Fr. Philips, has rejuvenated that parish. It boasts two Latin Masses every Sunday (one a High Mass) and a Latin Mass every day of the week. In addition, Fr. Philips has started an Oratory to train young men for the priesthood, with the focus on the traditional Church and the Latin Mass. What has been accomplished in this unique parish would make a great story for the NOR.

W.E. La Mothe
Battle Creek, Michigan




Turning Away Converts

As an ordained evangelical minister, lawyer, and college educator, I began the process of becoming a Catholic last year in large part because of thinking Catholics such as those at the NOR. I got to the end of the process just before Easter this year and had a disagreement with the priest and his liberal director of religious education. The DRE is looking forward to a pope with more lenient views. The parish maintains that parts of sacred Scripture are untrue and that sacred Tradition can at times be harmful. In the process of arguing in favor of Scripture and Tradition — as a Protestant, mind you — I was asked by the priest not to return to the parish. As a catechumen, it was considered wrong for me to question this parish’s teachings. The priest explained that my family and I were no longer welcome there. He returned our photos from the Church wall and even sent back our birthday present to him. As a Protestant, I complained to the Bishop of Orange, but to no avail. I hope we will find a better parish to join this year.

I’m so thankful for the work of the NOR. You give me hope for the Church. I pray that your ministry will continue to grow and have even more impact. I’m praying that the next Pope will be Pius XIII. Enclosed is my donation.

Stephen C. Rogers
Aliso Viejo, California




From Letters to Deal Hudson

Dear Deal,

As a Baptist convert to the Catholic faith (1997), it is with great enthusiasm that I read conversion stories, especially those of Baptist converts such as Stephen Ray, Tim Staples, and you. I heard you on Catholic radio a few years back and I read about you in Envoy magazine and This Rock. I have a special place in my heart for converts, especially Baptists, because I understand the specific obstacles Baptists must overcome in becoming Catholic. For example, as you have pointed out, Baptist converts have to overcome (among other things) their denomination’s suspicion or rejection of all nonreligious culture. Thus it was with much sadness that I read in the New Oxford Review about Brian Saint-Paul’s attack in Crisis (which you publish and edit) on Michael S. Rose’s integrity and the five pages of his book Goodbye, Good Men regarding the American College of Louvain.

I received a direct-mail brochure from Crisis, and it reads like a Jerry Springer or Montel Williams TV ad: “What really goes on behind the scenes of an exorcism…with actual transcripts!” and “learn the secret, ancient technique the exorcist uses to force the demon out.” If it’s so secret, how do you know, and should you be sharing it with the general public? Or is an exorcism an evil, “secretive” practice, which needs to be exposed? From your brochure I can’t tell because you treat every subject — from the priestly scandals and psychics to pollsters and exorcisms — as though it were an exposé! I was waiting for “Paternity tests revealed…in the next issue of Crisis!” Sometimes the truth is sensational, but I don’t like sensationalism. What kind of readership are you trying to attract? I learned in my July-August 2003 issue of the NOR that the NOR received another version of your direct-mail brochure which spoke of your subscribers saving money by dropping other unnecessary magazine subscriptions. Well, I’m going to save my money by not subscribing to Crisis, and I will contribute that amount to the NOR’s advertising budget.

I’m sure many Crisis articles contain a lot of truth. In fact, I bought the February 2003 Crisis from my local Catholic bookstore (before I received the back issue of the Dec. 2002 NOR with Rose’s first rebuttal to Saint-Paul). I thought the article about the government’s war on large families was very informative. However, if your magazine really is concerned with the “horrible price of priestly pedophilia…and the shameful cost of covering it up” and “what’s really going on in our seminaries” (that one’s ironic), then why did you allow Saint-Paul to attack Michael Rose?

It was the NOR’s ad titled “The Lavender Mafia in the Priesthood” that I saw in The Catholic World Report that interested me in the NOR. I subscribed to the NOR a few months later when I read samples of the “New Oxford Notes” in the NOR’s direct-mail brochure. Lift the ban on the NOR’s ads and return Crisis to what longtime Crisis readers say it used to be. Then perhaps I will subscribe to your magazine.

Please believe my sincerity when I humbly say that you, my Catholic (and former Baptist) brother, and Crisis magazine are in my prayers. I am certain Michael Rose, the staff of the NOR, and its subscribers, and your subscribers who have canceled would be very forgiving if a retraction and apology were printed by Crisis.

Janel Easton
Pilot Hill, California






Dear Deal,

Sorry, but I must cancel my subscription to Crisis. Refusing ads from the New Oxford Review is the main reason. Differences of opinion are one thing. But to refuse their ads? I have a problem with that.

The NOR, Michael S. Rose, and Joseph Kellenyi are the messengers of bad news, and who likes bad news? But the truth is the truth, and I truly believe that Rose and Kellenyi are tellers of the truth. The truth could set us free! My question is: Why wouldn’t you believe them, given what is going on in the Church?

Mrs. Colleen Sweeney
Floral Park, New York






Gentlemen at Crisis:

I am not renewing my subscription to Crisis. You have, in my opinion, made a very bad choice by opposing the New Oxford Review and refusing to carry its ads, and by publishing and then defending that hatchet job on Michael Rose’s Goodbye, Good Men. You will go down that road without my help.

I will miss you.

Marsha Livingston
Mesa, Arizona






Dear Mr. Hudson:

I’ve been following the Michael Rose situation now for many months, as I subscribe to both Crisis and the NOR. I am sick and tired of American “Catholic” liberal entities such as Crisis downplaying the present rot in our Church. Please cancel my subscription and take me off your mailing list.

As a faithful Catholic, I am disgusted and angered at the direction our present “leadership” has taken. The fruits of their “labors” or lack thereof has been horrible. At least the NOR has the fortitude to speak out and support those who would challenge this slide into spiritual anarchy.

I am warning my Catholic friends to avoid your liberal rag and encouraging them to consider the NOR, a magazine with courage and guts.

J.J. Schuh, M.D.
Grinnell, Iowa




Your Duel With Deal

As a rather feisty old soldier, I cannot do other than to side with the NOR in your current duel with Deal Hudson of Crisis magazine.

I recently received a “time to renew your subscription” notice from Crisis. I returned it to them with a note saying that if they will stop refusing NOR ads, I might renew. So far, no reply.

Col. Merrill King Jr., MC (Ret.)
West Rockport, Maine






The article by Michael S. Rose in the June NOR on “The Crisis at Crisis Magazine” did it for me. Brian Saint-Paul of Crisis and, worse, the Editor of Crisis (Deal Hudson) have clearly slipped into a disingenuous mode which I can no longer tolerate. So, like many others, I have informed Crisis that I do not intend to renew my subscription — unless editorial integrity is re-established. Crisis’s refusal to print your hard-hitting ads was a transparently childish act, and only reinforces my suspicion of other articles in Crisis with which I have disagreed.

I hope Deal Hudson gets the message, and does some housecleaning.

George Knauer
Sylva, North Carolina






After carefully following the dispute between Crisis and Michael Rose, and especially after reading Rose’s June NOR article, I cannot in good conscience re-subscribe to Crisis. I wondered why Crisis would smear Rose and his excellent book Goodbye, Good Men. I wonder no more. The “Henkels Connection” makes it all crystal clear.

In fairness, the National Catholic Register, which criticized Rose for bad journalism, owes us a piece criticizing Crisis for bad journalism — only this time the Register would be right.

Crisis and the Register missed a golden opportunity to help expose the true source of the clerical sex scandals. The problem is in the seminaries. Unfortunately, the clean-up effort is moving at a snail’s pace. All orthodox Catholic publications should have spoken with one voice in support of Rose’s book.

Ken Skuba
Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania






I had always been hesitant about subscribing to Crisis, and when they decided to refuse printing ads for the NOR, that ripped it for me. Your ads are based on reality. I keep all of them, and make copies to send to friends, to make a point.

Doris Farenbaugh
Escondido, California



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