To Our Visitors, Supporters, and Opponents:
It has always been RCF’s policy to choose our fights carefully and to stay out of disagreements between various Catholic groups – or to avoid involving RCF in projects that would expend resources better used fighting corruption within the hierarchy. With this in mind, I would like to make a statement, as president of RCF, in an effort to answer some of the questions that have packed my mailbox in recent weeks.
I will be in Dallas from June 12-14 and will hold a press conference June 13 to address some of RCF’s concerns regarding the current crisis within the Church. A few of our members have expressed their wishes that we not “attack” the Pope. My response to those concerns follows:
While we love the Holy Father, if we were to ignore the fact that the Pope has not taken direct public action against any American Bishop, we would give the impression that we, too, have somehow failed in our duty as Catholics. We routinely expose the bishops for not dealing with their abusive priests, but our failure to follow through to the ultimate source of authority would be giving a free ride to the only person who can take decisive action against the errant bishop.
Our present Holy Father may be orthodox in his beliefs, but please take a moment to consider the current scandal. Who appointed these bishops? Who left them in power? If this is an example of a great Pope, in what condition would we be if he were a bad one?
I am frequently criticized for the work we do at RCF and for the stories we publish. I cannot and will not let that criticism hinder the decisions I make regarding RCF. God has blessed us, and I pray that He will continue to do so in the future. I will not pull punches when what is at stake is so great.
While I have no intentions of starting a campaign against our Pontiff, at the same time, I will not look the other way while no one in authority holds these bishops accountable. Were it not for the media coverage of the child abuse scandal, the bishops would not be addressing this issue. It is time that the bishops are held accountable for their actions, and only one person has the religious authority to do that.
I do not know of anyone with whom I agree on every issue, but if RCF is to “fight the good fight,” we cannot refrain from speaking out for fear of offending someone or of losing some worldly respect. The confusion that exists within the Church today thrives because the so-called “good guys” did not responsibly and properly exercise their God-given authority. Every bishop wears red to signify his willingness to shed his blood in defense of the Faith. Have you seen any American Bishops bleeding lately?
Father John Hardon, †R.I.P.† made it very clear to me personally, as well as to others, that unless the laity take some corrective action, one diocese after another will be lost. Father Hardon, himself, told me that these very thoughts came to him from his superiors in Rome.
Another issue that has generated a measure of criticism against RCF has been the endorsement of RCF’s activities by Fr. Malachi Martin, †R.I.P.† Critics have often cited rumors, innuendo, and gossip to justify their complaints. (Is it possible that Fr. Martin may have committed some wrongdoing 40 years in the past? Of course it is possible. Does any one of us have nothing in our past that caused us subsequent remorse and contrition?) However, when I contacted Fr. Hardon to solicit his opinion and advice about Fr. Martin’s endorsement of RCF, Fr. Hardon explicitly stated that Fr. Martin was “right with the Church.” In the years that I was privileged to deal with Fr. Martin, everything that he said to me, and every public statement that he made which I read was completely in line with Church teaching. I will, therefore, not apologize for displaying Fr. Martin’s endorsement. I am honored to do so. To those critics who cannot accept my decision, the best we can hope for is to agree to disagree.
I attend a diocesan parish and have never attended a parish affiliated with the Society of St. Pius X, so I cannot be rightly accused of pushing some “hidden agenda”. A Mass I once attended in an Albany diocesan church in Oneonta, NY, was celebrated by Bishop Howard Hubbard. According to parish members, the bishop used a homemade bread for the Eucharist that contained honey and other ingredients that would have made the Blessed Sacrament invalid. This is but one small example of what I have heard and witnessed in the last seven years of RCF’s existence. The Holy Father knows of these and many more abuses that have occurred with the apparent or outright approval of bishops in “good standing” with Rome. If the Pope does not take some action, and if he allows the continual deterioration of the Church in dissident dioceses, it may yet come to pass that the only Catholic Mass or faithful teachings to be found in these areas will be at a Pius X chapel.