The Hammer Drops

June 2008

Leon J. Podles, in his new book Sacrilege: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church (2008, Crossland Press, hammers the point home that most Catholic bishops "hate confrontation." This goes a long way toward explaining their reluctance to discipline predatory priests. It also goes a long way toward explaining the sorry state of the Church today. Fortitude, one of the four cardinal virtues, is sorely lacking among the current leaders of the U.S. Church.

This cowardly attitude also explains why several U.S. bishops shrugged off the recent and numerous invalid attempts at priestly "ordination" of women by the rogue Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement. As we wrote in our New Oxford Note "A New Catholic Community" (Oct. 2006), Bishop Patrick McGrath of San Jose, California, "has no plans to reprimand or excommunicate or in any other way acknowledge" the woman in his diocese who claims to have been "ordained" a Catholic priest and who has been offering an invalid "mass" at San Jose State University. In our New Oxford Note "The Beat Goes On" (Oct. 2006), we noted that then-Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh took no action against the "ordination" ceremony on the Pittsburgh rivers or its participants, and that Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston "has not sanctioned" and has "imposed no penalty" on his former archdiocesan director of Healthcare Ministry who was "ordained" a Catholic womanpriest in Canada. These bishops, it seems, were willing to wink at the unlawful simulations of the conferring of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and the public rejection of the de fide doctrine that female ordination is invalid, rather than risk confrontation and -- God forbid! -- bad press.

So when Roman Catholic Womenpriests made another attempt at "ordaining" female Catholic priests in St. Louis, Missouri, we perked up, with an inkling that Archbishop Raymond Burke wouldn't allow this travesty to take place in his archdiocese without repercussions.

As we reported in our New Oxford Note "Archbishop Burke Has Courage" (Jan. 2008), Archbishop Burke "reacted strongly" to the November 11, 2007, attempt by "bishop" Patricia Fresen of Germany to "ordain" Elsie Hainz McGrath and Rose Marie Dunn Hudson at a Jewish synagogue in St. Louis. He "sent letters by courier to Elsie and Rose warning them to 'renounce your intention to attempt to receive priestly ordination.... Should you refuse to will automatically in­cur...the censure of excommunication.' He warned them that they have placed 'in danger the eternal salvation of your soul and the souls of others,' and that their ceremony is a 'grave spiritual deception.'" He warned them that they risked the penalty of interdict (the withholding of the Sacraments) unless they publicly acknowledge their errors.

You have two options:

  1. Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
  2. Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.

If you're already a subscriber log-in here.

New Oxford Notes: June 2008

Read our posting policy Add a comment
Makes one wonder what the rest of the USCCB does with their time. That is, when they aren't demonstrating for peace, or equal rights for illegal immigrants or snail darters. But tell 'em to minister to the souls in their dioceses and its, like, a null program. And heresy and schism will get one to hell as fast as anything, according to the Good Book and the Catechism. Posted by: lyricmac
June 09, 2008 03:13 PM EDT
I can tell you exactly what the rest of the USCCB does with their time. Other than a saintly and brave few, the rest, including our own Cardinal Egan here in New York spend their time asking the sheep for money and going to nice banquets and photo-ops. What they do NOT do is SHEPHERD THE FLOCK. We have first hand experience, on more than one occasion, with our so-called shepherd here in New York. The first was when we exposed the garbage which was being taught in the curriculum approved by the archdiocese for the CCD program, while we were parishioners and CCD teachers in Holy Rosary, Greenwood Lake, NY. Imagine this - the 5th grade workbook from the "Blest Are We" series, on page 64 or 65 I think, instructs the children on how to pray to the "great spirit" in the manner the pagan Indians did. I ask you, how does this enrich the Roman Catholic spirituality of our children??? This is just one example of the errors in this series. We made a phone call to the director of catechesis, a "skirt" by the name of Sister Joan Curtin and explained the problems with the series. She had the book there with her and looked at each incident we pointed out. Her response? "Mr. Espinosa, you are starting to sound like a fanatic." Thank God our pastor saw the light and authorized the destruction of the entire series, the canning of the liberal skirt (modern nun) in charge of the CCD program at our parish, the purchase of an orthodox program of study and the hiring of an orthodox layman to head the program. We wrote to the Cardinal about this and received a polite letter indicating that our letter would be shared with Sister Curtin. We wrote back stating that she already knew of the problems and received no reply. Typical.

Want to hear of another wonderful expression of shepherding by our Cardinal? Of course you do.

We eventually moved further up within the archdiocesan territory and enrolled our son at St Peters Regional School in Liberty, NY, thinking it to be an orthodox Roman Catholic school. Boy, were we wrong! He was in 5th grade and it was the presidential election with the apostate Kerry running for president. Our son comes home stating that his 5th grade social studies teacher spoke about how she was voting for Kerry because she had a choice. So, in a Catholic school, there is the politicizing of young impressionable minds with anti-Catholic, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual garbage??? This could not be tolerated. We had a meeting with the teacher and the principal and although the principal promised it would not happen again, frankly, it appeared to be done with reluctance. 8th grade came. Election time for governor of New York, and now the same teacher spews her anti-catholic venom proclaiming to the kids that she is going to vote for the notorious Mr. Spitzer whose pro-abortion and pro-homosexual views were well known. Our son has known the horrors of abortion from an early age because we took the time to teach him. He was horrified. Because it was 8th grade and he really wanted to graduate with his friends, we let him stay. Then came the Christmas proverbial HAMMER. Our son, as he did every year, decided to participate in the christmas pageant. He came home one day after practice humming a song they taught the kids for the pageant. The refrain went like this: "Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Peaceful Solstice, Joyful Kwanzaa!" The Christmas Pageant which is supposed to glorify our Redeemer and His birth, also glorifies the pagan religions, the dead religions, and the secular values of the world and places them at the same level of the Birth of Jesus. Hanukkah is a celebration of a dead religion, solstice is a celebration of the sun; a pagan celebration dating back to the Druids of Middle Age Western Europe; today it is known as witchcraft, paganism, earth worship and/or goddess worship. Kwanzaa is a celebration of earthly man made values invented by an African American professor in 1964 as a response to the terrible treatment of blacks in our country at the time. Why are we celebrating man made values when we should solely be celebrating God-given virtues found in Jesus? We wrote a letter to the principal and she responded that the song would stay as they were only putting into practice the directives of Vatican II. And besides, they had students with jewish parents, african american parents and pagan parents and the school wants them all to feel welcome. The assurance about the conciliar directives is impossible as nowhere in the documents of Vatican II is it found that false religions are to be elevated to the level of our truth. We then proceeded to write to the Cardinal about this atrocity and received a call from a Sister Marie, the district supervisor for our area. She seemed rather sincere and after a few days she called us back with an outcome. Unfortunately there is nothing the Cardinal can do as the local pastor has the last word and Msgr Kneafsey, the pastor, was backing the school 100% in this. So, if the Cardinal can't do anything, why is he given the title of shepherd when in reality he should be given the title of COWARD?

Needless to say, we immediately removed our son from that environment and with the help of God began homeschooling him. Homeschooling is not difficult and even in our home of two working parents it was possible. If you're interested in finding out more, email me at You may also be interested in viewing the warning at
Posted by: gespin3549
June 17, 2008 09:16 AM EDT
I made a mistake above - the pastor of St Peters in Liberty is NOT Msgr Kneafsey, who happens to be a very holy pastor in a parish in Brooklyn, NY, but rather, Msgr Straub. Posted by: gespin3549
June 17, 2008 09:22 AM EDT
I find, perhaps naive, myself amazed that these people (womenpriests & other dissidents) refuse to abide by Catholic teaching but yet claim to be Catholic. I also wonder, if by not dropping the hammer on people such as our famed catholic senators, Nancy Pelosi etc. if they are then encouraged to believe they are correct. One of these days we will have a president, so evil, that it will bring down this nation and this evil will be done at the hands of voters who do not take their religion seriously. Posted by: awunsch
July 27, 2008 08:12 PM EDT
Add a comment