From theSmall logoarchives - Published from 1982-96, Fidelity magazine was the predecessor of Culture Wars.

Fidelity logosThe Kidnapping of Sister Mary Cecilia

by E. Michael Jones

From the March 1989 issue of Fidelity magazine

 

 

 

 

No man ought to sever himself from the unity of the Church before the time of the final separation of the just and the unjust merely because of the admixture of evil men in the Church. – St. Augustine, On Baptism

 

Sue Greve is 46 years old, the mother of five children ranging in age from 17 to 24, all of whom – four boys and one girl - had been born and raised, as she was, in Cincinnati. On June 26, 1988, Sue was sitting in a borrowed blue van by the side of the road in the Catskills not far from Cairo, New York, alternately smoking cigarettes, saying one rosary after another and waiting for her husband and three sons to return from a visit to an ultra-traditional convent in the area. The convent, which was not recognized as Roman Catholic by the archdiocese of Albany, had been the home of Sue's daughter Marisue, now known as Sister Mary Cecilia, for the past 22 months. As time progressed Mr. and Mrs. Greve had become more and more dissatisfied with the convent and the effect it was having on their daughter. After one visit, Mr. Greve returned claiming that the convent was "nothing but a damn Moonie cult." In April of 1988, Mrs. Greve brought her daughter back to Cincinnati only to have one of the "nuns" follow them home and pressure Sister Mary Cecilia into returning to the convent.

 

Now they decided things had gone on long enough. They had come to persuade their daughter to leave. And, in the event that persuasion didn't work, they were prepared to use physical force to get her out. So if Sue seemed nervous to the man on the tractor in the field by the road, she had every reason to be. She knew that what they were doing could and-given the attitude of the man running the cult-probably would be described as kidnapping. Given what she had learned about mind control, she could also not be sure that her daughter wouldn't construe it as the same sort of thing. If their daughter did not come around to their way of seeing things, the Greve family was in big trouble. After an hour or so of this sort of waiting, the rented car containing the male Greves returned to the clearing where Mrs. Greve was waiting in the van. Things had not gone as planned that day. First of all the Greves' first rental car was not available when they arrived at the agency, forcing them to take an unexpected two hour detour to the Albany airport to get another car. This meant that they arrived at St. Joseph's novitiate two hours later than they expected. Mr. Greve and his sons had seen Marisue's white veil appear briefly as she emerged from chapel, but that had been all. Now they were back in the clearing wondering what to do.

 

ULTRA-TRADITIONAL SECT

 

Sue, who knew her daughter's schedule, knew that she would have to go back to the chapel for vespers. There was no alternative but to go back and wait for her next appearance, drive onto the property and try to persuade her to get into the car, hoping that Fr. Kelly, the head of the novitiate and ultra-traditional sect that ran it would not be on the grounds. By this time, however, Sue was also becoming worried by the farmer who was becoming, she felt, more and more suspicious. It was decided that they would have to change the drop off point from where they were to a scenic Hudson Valley overlook 4.5 miles away. There were more people there, which meant more potential witnesses - with cameras too. This was a drawback, of course, but the fact that so many people stopped for the view would itself give Sue and the van a modicum of cover. It was now getting toward late afternoon, and so there was nothing else to do but send Jim, her husband, and her sons back to the novitiate for another try.

 

Sue was to say later that their nerves were shot at this point. Nothing was going the way it was supposed to. In the first place the rental car wasn't there when it was supposed to be, forcing them to get to the novitiate when the nuns were inside. Beyond that the family was not in the practice of breaking the law. "If I get a traffic ticket, my legs turn to rubber," she was to say later. "We never do things that aren't conventional." Beyond that this particular Sunday was their last chance, and the day was drawing rapidly to a close. Next weekend a veiling was to take place, which meant that 1) their daughter would be harder to pick out of a crowd and 2) that she would feel an even deeper commitment to an organization that her parents were now convinced was a cult. Sue hadn't come to the conclusion overnight. In fact being where she was now involved an odyssey of 10 years which began by reacting to the liberalism in liturgy and education in the archdiocese of Cincinnati under Archbishops Bernardin and Pilarczyk and ended with the realization on a cold windy day in Lent of 1988 that she had jumped from the frying pan into the fire. In the process of escaping from the liberals she had fallen into the hands of what she now was convinced was a cult.

 

MARRIED IN 1962

 

Sue Greve was married in 1962. The changes which followed the Second Vatican Council - things like the altar being turned around - didn't bother her - not until, that is, they began to have an impact on her children. She remembers her sister-in-law getting into an argument with the priest who baptized the Greves' son John because the priest failed to talk about renouncing the devil. She also noticed when her oldest child entered first grade that the Baltimore Catechism was no longer in use. However, it wasn't until 1972 when that same son was in third grade that she began to have serious misgivings about what was going on in the schools. In the '72-'73 school year she began meeting with like-minded parents throughout the city and was instrumental in forming a group to combat the way things were going. The group was also formed as a result of the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

 

However, in spite of the activism, the situation in the schools and the liturgy continued to worsen. She remembers the Blessed Mother being crowned with a toilet seat at a school play at the time. She remembers the director of religious education at the time, Rev. Robert Apking, being in the audience and thinking the whole thing cute. Rev. Apking is now dying of AIDS.

 

In 1974 Greve and some of her friends got an hour and a half meeting with then Archbishop Bernardin to discuss the situation. She now feels the meeting was a waste of time. From her perspective the highlight of the meeting occurred when one activist criticized Karl Rahner, prompting Archbishop Bernardin to reply, "Karl Rahner is a fine theologian. I'm a Karl Rahner man." The group soon gained control of the diocesan PTA organization and transformed it from what Greve characterized as a "coffee and doughnuts" organization into pressure group that brought in conservative speakers who would talk "about the problems in the Church and the schools," but as soon as Greve and her friends gained control over the group, the archdiocesan educational establishment disenfranchised them. They had gained control over an organization that the archdiocese was no longer interested in listening to. It was a pyrrhic victory not unfamiliar to many parents of the time.

 

However, at this time at least the group's complaints did not extend to encompass the mass. "It was strictly the Wanderer line. The mass was never an issue with these people or with myself, other than the abuses. We just kept trying to get better books in the schools, but eventually all the good books were put down."

 

Eventually as the situation worsened in the schools, Mrs. Greve was to become disillusioned with what she called "the Wanderer line." "I felt that Jim Likoudis [one of the speakers the group brought in] was not realistic. But how can I fault him. All you do for years is talk about all the garbage in the religion books and all the garbage that comes out of the diocese. You can't do anything. So to me the CUF/Wanderer [approach] was a dead end."

 

This was how Greve felt in 1977. By 1981 when Archbishop Pilarczyk became ordinary, she was for all practical purposes out of the Church. The bridge from activism to de facto schism was the Tridentine mass. By 1978, she was, she would say later, "fed up" in general, and with the schools and communion in the hand in particular. During that same year Fr. Francis Fenton, founder of the "Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement," started showing up in and around Cincinnati saying the Tridentine mass and giving talks in which the troubles in the Church and society were laid at the feet of the "new mass," which was characterized as sacrilegious. The papacy was faulted as the source of the "new mass." She remembers attending one of Fenton's talks in 1978 and being troubled by it.

 

"MY GUT REACTION"

 

"If I had followed my immediate impression and gut reaction I would have never ended up in the mess that I ended up in. [My] question had nothing to do with the mass. The question had to do with the papacy. If you believe that this novus ordo mass is invalid or a sacrilege, where does this put the question of the infallibility of the pope? How could a pope ever allow this to happen? There's a contradiction there."

 

According to Greve, Fenton became so agitated at the question that he never got around to answering it.

 

"And there never has been an answer. The whole traditional movement is fuzzy on this area. That's where two plus two does not equal four. And it never did, but you excuse it because you can't go to Rome and talk to the pope about the particular problems in your diocese."

 

So Greve remained unconvinced by the traditionalists' arguments but drawn nonetheless to their illicit liturgies and as a result drawn into their sphere of influence and the religious no-man's land that Michael Davies would later characterize as "Disneyland theology." She went to her confessor and asked if it would be a sin if she took her 81-year-old grandmother to the Tridentine mass in the area. When the priest said "no" she went.

 

THE HOWARD JOHNSON'S MASS

 

Thu began her introduction to the shadow-world clergy of the far right - celebrators of the Howard Johnson's mass. First there was Fr. Fenton, whom she remembers as a member of the John Birch Society. Then there was Father, later "Bishop" McKenna, originally a Dominican but then consecrated in the Thuc line and as a result ipso facto excommunicated. Then came a Fr. Mroz. Then the ORCM started coming once a week in the person of Fr. Louis Vezelis, who started out a Franciscan and is also now a "bishop" in the Thuc line as well.

 

"He came in and I thought he was so nice. We liked Fr. Louis. Now we call him Screwy Louie. I would take Grandma once a month."

 

Greve's regular attendance at the Tridentine mass corresponded with the introduction of communion in the hand. "That was a big turning point for me. I have such an aversion to communion in the hand that I have to close my eyes if I see it. I would say that that was the emotional control factor that sent me to the Tridentine mass. Because of my training in grade school I could not emotionally handle communion in the hand. I still can't. If I go to a mass and my relatives take communion in the hand it's like sticking knives in my heart."

 

So by 1978 Sue Greve, to use her own words, was "really hooked" on the Tridentine mass. "I thought this was really great going to this beautiful mass of my childhood without any of the monkey business." By 1983 the group's activism to change the Catholic schools had been "dissipated. We had all gone our separate ways. By that time we weren't fighting anymore. Our activism lasted from 1972 until when the federation disbanded" about 10 years later.

 

It would be more accurate to say that the Greves weren't fighting the diocese anymore. The fighting, however, continued on another front. Once the traditionalists separated from the Church, they started fighting almost immediately among themselves. A Fr. Gorecki came from Connecticut but failed to last more than a few months because people felt he was an "infiltrator."

 

"What you have to a great extent in the traditional movement is terrible paranoia," Greve said. "Paranoia is the main feature of the traditional movement when it comes to the actual nitty gritty of running a parish."

 

After Gorecki was labeled an infiltrator, Fr. Vezelis came with the ORCM movement. However, that movement was doomed almost from the start because of internal power struggles. Fr. Vezelis was saying mass at a local Holiday Inn. For a while all was well, but then, "all of a sudden - this was around 1980 - he starts saying crazy things from the pulpit. He would knock off Fr. Dolan [another traditionalist priest in the area] and say that he was a jerk. Now, Fr. Dolan may be a jerk. At this point in my life I might say the same thing, but that's not something you do at mass. I said I can't have my kids listening to this. So I started going to St. Gertrude's."

 

ST. GERTRUDE THE GREAT

 

St. Gertrude the Great Church belonged to the Society of Pius X in 1980. The Lefebvre organization had bought the former protestant church with the help of a local benefactor. Fr. Dolan, the object of Fr. Vezelis's ire, was a Lefebvre priest at St. Gertrude's. The ire probably had to do more with competition for a controlling share in the traditionalist market in Cincinnati than anything else. The battle on the horizon, however, wasn't much of a contest. By 1978, or roughly one year after its arrival in town, the ORCM was out of business in Cincinnati, leaving the traditionalists with only one place to go, St. Gertrude's, run by the Society of Pius X.

 

But if that battle was over, another one was just about to begin. Once schismatics break with the Church, they have this irresistible urge to break with each other. So in 1983, nine priests of the Society of Pius X split with Archbishop Lefebvre. The doctrinal issues were, to all but the initiated, miniscule, but the jurisdictional battle was for real. The rebel priests under Fr. Clarence Kelly, then District Superior for the Society in the United States, wanted control over the entire society in this country. The dispute would lead to a legal battle that would continue for years.

 

From Sue Greve's perspective, however, it was just one more battle in a religious movement where this sort of warfare had become the rule rather than the exception. Greve was only dimly aware of the theological issues involved and not really concerned as long as she could attend her beloved Tridentine mass. She and others feel that this was the attitude of most of the traditionalist rank and file during the split. The important thing was keeping the mass. Everything else was "politics," including the concern somewhere at the back of her mind that Fr. Kelly and Co. were taking things that didn't belong to them. In retrospect Greve would characterize her attitude as "selfish"; however, at the time it didn't strike her that way.

 

"I WAS SO SELFISH"

 

"I was so selfish. The only thing I was interested in was the fact that we had a mass to go to on Sunday. We go to mass every Sunday even though you know that Fr. Kelly doesn't have any right to that property. You don't get all shook up about it. That's the only way I can describe it. I was interested in my children receiving the Catholic faith unadulterated. And other than an occasional slap at the pope, there was nothing [wrong]. Their doctrine was pure."

 

Because of personnel changes that came about as a result of the split, Sue Greve began teaching at the school associated with St. Gertrude's for - when she got paid - $50 a week. A little later her daughter Marisue started teaching there too even though she had not yet completed her college degree. While teaching there, Marisue met a "nun" associated with a convent founded by the breakaway group. Then in 1986 Marisue left Cincinnati to join the "convent" herself, to see if she had a vocation. She was 20 years old at the time. It was at this point that Sue Greve's misgivings about the ultratraditional sect began for real. She began having arguments with the priests, including Fr. Kelly. She began thinking that starting a school was one thing but starting a convent something else again. Could such a thing be started without the permission of Rome? The fact that her daughter had been drawn into this "convent" against the wishes of her parents forced Sue Greve to face up to the relationship the sect had with Rome. It was, she now began to say, a "quicksand institution."

 

THE GREVES' LUCK CHANGES

 

By the time Jim Greve and his three sons arrived back at the novitiate in their rented car that Sunday afternoon their luck had changed. Not only was Marisue not in the novitiate building, she wasn't on novitiate property either. She and two other nuns were walking down Heart's Content Lane, the public thoroughfare in front of the property - something she only did once a week. Had they driven onto the property to get her they could have been prosecuted for assault or trespassing - all at the discretion of Fr. Kelly. They also, as Greve related later, might have ended up with a few nuns as hood ornaments. As luck would have it, they didn't have to go onto novitiate property at all.

 

Perhaps because of the surprise, or because of the speed at which they were traveling or both, the car went right past Marisue and had to turn around. Then Marisue's eldest brother Dave, a Cincinnati fireman and former wrestler, got out of the car and approached his sister.

 

"Hi, Marisue," he said, "Dad wants to talk to you." The car was standing next to both of them with its back door open and motor running.

 

Marisue reacted mechanically as they feared she would.

 

"I am not allowed visitations," she said. "I am a Daughter of Mary and have to follow the rules and regulations of the Daughters of Mary. I am not allowed visitation rights until July 2nd."

 

The Greves were later to claim that her mechanical response was an indication of the novitiate's control over her mind.

 

Then as if interested in some sort of compromise between the convent and her family, Marisue suggested,

"We can go back to the convent and ask Fr. Kelly."

 

Dave Greve, however, was insistent.

 

"C'mon," he said, "Dad wants to talk to you."

 

"I am not allowed to talk," she replied. "I can't until July 2nd."

 

"Will you ride back with us?" Dave asked.

 

At this point seeing that further discussion was pointless, Dave Greve grabbed his sister, threw her into the back seat of the rental car and flopped on top of her. The car then sped off with the fireman's and nun's legs hanging out its back door. After stopping for a moment to get everyone safely inside, the car continued its getaway at speeds of 60 mph away from the novitiate and back to where Mrs. Greve was waiting. The whole thing happened in a matter of moments but not before an off-duty policeman saw what was happening and a following car got close enough to get the rental car's license plate number. By the time the Greve's got to the outlook though, no one was following them.

 

From Sue Greve's perspective, her husband and sons had no sooner left than they were back again with Marisue in the car.

 

"LIKE A TOTAL ZOMBIE"

 

"I mean within 10 or 15 minutes they came flying back to the overlook. And there is Marisue in the car looking like a total zombie. Everybody was in position by the time I saw them. There were people all over the place [at the overlook]. It was just like being in a movie. Like you were in a crime. It's like you can't believe that you're doing this. And then she came out of that first vehicle completely unassisted. They never put a hand on her. She walked from one car to the next. These people could have taken pictures of this, but it happened so fast."

 

The Greves had chosen the van as the getaway car because of its tinted windows. They knew that a nun in a full habit would have been conspicuous and an easy mark for the police, but because of the psychological dynamics of the deprogramming process didn't want to force Marisue to remove her habit. That, they and the deprogrammer agreed, would have to be something she did of her own free will in her own time. At this point, the entire operation reached a critical phase. If Marisue struggled, it would not only cause a scene attracting the attention of the tourists at the overlook, it could also be used against them in any subsequent legal proceedings. Marisue walked to the van of her own free will, but once she was inside her mother was not reassured.

 

"She was not fighting at all," Mrs. Greve recalled later, but she looked like "a total zombie." Mrs. Greve's eyes widened in describing the look, "the thousand mile stare, the moonie stare."

 

"Dear God," Mrs. Greve said, "She's drugged."

 

Given the abruptness with which her life had changed, the look on Marisue's face could have indicated shock just as well, but drugs had been on Mrs. Greve's mind ever since her last visit to the convent. Marisue had been given a prescription for Librax, a tranquilizer, as an antidote to a chronic case of colitis she had developed at the novitiate. Mrs. Greve took this as a bad sign for two reasons. First of all, she felt that the colitis was the result of bad nerves, in turn resulting from stress, which convinced her that the convent was not where her daughter belonged, and secondly seeing the tranquilizers confirmed her suspicions of mind control. Marisue, however, unbeknownst to her mother, had stopped taking the tranquilizers months before. It was of course impossible for her to know that then though.

 

And it was impossible to spend too much time thinking about it. The group had to split up now. John, the youngest son, was given the job of driving the rental car back to Albany. The rest of the family was to proceed to a rented cabin in Milford, Pennsylvania, where they were to meet up with the deprogrammer the next day. By this time everyone in the Greve family was aware that where they were going to spend the next 20 years of their lives-whether happily at home or in prison charged with kidnapping-depended completely on the reaction of the zombie-like nun sitting in the van in their midst. The Greve family had bet the ranch on the hope that Marisue would react favorably to their efforts. If she didn't they were all aware that they were going to be in big trouble.

 

Mrs. Greve began by trying to explain their situation to her daughter.

 

"Marisue, sweetheart," she began, "we had to do this. It's a bad situation. It's wrong. God doesn't want this for us. You have to trust us. We love you. Honey, if the police pick us up, you won't turn us in. You have to say it's all right, that you're with us."

 

Marisue's reaction, however, was not reassuring. She stared straight ahead, and the first thing she said was, "I must obey the rules and regulations of the Daughters of Mary. I am not allowed visitation until July 2nd."

 

According to Sue Greve's account later, that was all she said. "And I was completely freaked out," the mother added. Auspicious beginning or not, it was time to split up. John headed off for the airport in Albany, and the rest of the Greves for Pennsylvania, knowing that once they crossed the state line the FBI could become involved in their case.

 

FROM THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE

 

Becoming involved in the kidnapping of their own daughter was a strange denouement to leaving the Church ten years earlier, but the strangest thing about it was the fact that the Greve family seemed so unaware of what they were doing. They had started out by just wanting to avoid what they rightly saw as liberal abuses of doctrine and practice. They started out by wanting to remain Catholic in the face of incessant change and ended up belonging to a sect which believed that there was "an objective doubt" whether Pope John Paul II was the real pope and whether the 900,000,000 or so Catholics who followed him were real Catholics. They ended up in other words belonging to a group which claimed to be the real Catholic faithful preserving Catholic truth from the depredations of an imposter pope, imposter bishops, and 900,000,000 imposter Catholics. It was quite a feat, actually, getting people to believe that, and no one, least of all the people themselves involved, can come up with an explanation of how it happened. Listening to the people talk, however, one comes up with a number of explanations involving things like pride, greed, envy, and just plain old stupidity-all of it revolving around an attitude that one would characterize as quintessentially schismatic.

 

After her experiences with "Screwy Louie," and the various kooky priests coming into Cincinatti to say the Tridentine mass, Sue Greve found a certain amount of stability in the Society of Pius X. The stability of course was short lived, as it always is in schismatic groups. After a few years of very expensive litigation the Society of Pius X became the Society of Pius V, and the schismatic thinking continued apace. Sue Greve absorbed it by intellectual osmosis by simply being part of the milieu. Even now after all her bad experiences, the after effects of schism are still with her in the doubts she harbors about the sacraments.

 

Recounting a recent experience at a local church, Greve described how "this priest gave this sermon that was so terrible that it was debatable whether you could go to communion or not. If you go to mass and you don't believe that the priest is consecrating the body and blood of Christ then it's hard to go to communion. I don't think I could ever go up here to St. James for mass and communion. All the people use birth control. They're sterilized. They all go to mass and communion. Nobody ever goes to confession. They teach heresy in their schools. I can't be a part of that. That would offend my conscience to be part of that abuse of the Catholic Church. I can't help it. Now I'm open to change if I'm wrong. I'd be very humble about that."

 

DONATISM REVISITED

 

Well, as a matter of fact, Mrs. Greve is wrong. But she, with the help of the Society of Pius V and X has stumbled across a very venerable error. It goes by the name of Donatism and is the quintessentially schismatic attitude. During the early centuries of the Church, the Donatists wanted to rebaptize all those who had offered incense to the emperor during imperial Rome's persecutions of the Church. The Donatists, we read in an introduction to St. Augustine's writings on them (The Works of St. Augustine, ed. Rev. Marcus Dods, M.A, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1872), "gained strength through the profession that they made of extreme purity in the discipline which they maintained." The consequence of their thinking was a clear devaluation of the sacraments. The efficacy of the sacraments, according to the Donatists, depended on the moral state of the minister and not on the merits of Jesus Christ: "The guilt or heresy of any minister would invalidate the whole of his ministerial acts." The result was a corrosive sort of uncertainty that undermined the unity and catholicity of the Church. "Since," Augustine wrote in one of his treatises against the Donatists, "it is very often a matter of uncertainty what kind of man the baptizer is, the hope ... of the baptized [is] of uncertain origin" (op. cit. p. 236). As a result, "the hope of the baptized may prove to be vain and ungrounded" (p. 236). Since the efficacy of the sacraments depended on the purity of the minister, and since this purity was threatened by association with the impure, separation became a moral imperative. If separation from the impure did not occur, the validity of the sacraments was threatened. So Donatism is the classic expression of schism. In fact the two attitudes are virtually inseparable.

 

SACRAMENTAL INSECURITY

 

Kelly and Co. fostered just this sort of insecurity in their followers. In a handout ironically beginning with the word "Welcome," Fr. Dolan, pastor of St. Gertrude's, the Greves' former church in Cincinnati, tells newcomers that "some baptisms performed after the changes [of Vatican II, I presume] are of doubtful validity .... If you have any reason to question the validity of a Baptism (your own or a child's) please bring this to Father's attention before receiving Holy Communion." He then gives some indication of what one must do in order to be a member in good standing of that congregation: "Should you be a Catholic who decides no longer to attend the 'New Mass,' but rather to assist regulary [sic] at the traditional Mass, you are welcome to receive Holy Communion here." Fr. Dolan, being possessed of such remarkable spiritual discernment, was not slow in using it in peering into the souls of his congregants and weeding out the unworthy. In a letter dated April 20, 1988, David Greve complains that Father Dolan has refused to give communion to his 91-year-old great grandmother. "Supposedly this stems," Greve writes, "from some concern that she receives a host from a Novus Ordo [sic] priest. If in fact my grandmother does, I still do not believe it is grounds for denying her the graces she needs near the end of her life. Grandma has been a staunch Catholic for over 90 years and has been instrumental in guiding my family towards the true Faith. Also in the last five years her Alzheimer's dicease [sic] has progressed rapidly to the point where she has no idea where she is, what she is doing or to whom she is speaking for longer than one minute. When a priest comes to her to offer the Body of her Saviour, do you think she has the faculties to distinguish between a traditional priest and a Novus Ordo [sic] one?"

 

The fact that David Greve feels obliged to apologize for the fact that his great grandmother receives communion from a bona fide Roman Catholic priest is just one indication of the hold that the Kelly sect had over him. Their prohibitions are, of course, consistent with the belief of the Kellyite priests that the "New Mass" is a sacrilege. As every good Catholic knows no one should receive communion after having committed a sacrilege. Their views on the sacraments also put the Society of Pius V, all 100 or so of them, in the interesting position of being the One True Church, outside of which there is no salvation. Fr. Kelly, the leader of this sect, said pretty much the same thing in a bulletin he issued in August of 1988. According to Kelly, "the Conciliar Church [i.e., the Roman Catholic Church under Pope John Paul II] is a false religion." It is, he says a little further on, "a modernist sect." The claim reminds one of the charge of St. Augustine against those "who refuse Communion with the party of Prirnianus, contending that in their body there remains greater sincerity of Donatism just in proportion to the paucity of their numbers" (p. 10).

 

FIRST AS TRAGEDY, THEN AS FARCE

 

Someone once said that history repeats itself: first as tragedy, then as farce. The anathemas and the blustering of the Kelly sect certainly seem to bear this out. It is Donatism played as farce. In defending his point of view on the Donahue show. Fr. Kelly stated. "We belong to different religions. The bishop of Albany and I do not profess the same faith." The implication of the statement was clear enough, but I wanted to know for sure who wasn't the Catholic any more.

 

"Do you mean the bishop of Albany is not a Catholic?" I asked in a phone conversation with Kelly.

 

"That's exactly what I mean. That's right."

 

"What about Pope John Paul II. Do you belong to a different religion from him?"

 

"I think so. Because in his seminaries they preach outright and blatant heresy. I cannot see how he could be the vicar of Christ and allow widespread and pernicious heresy in virtually all of these seminaries and universities. I can't see Peter, for example, standing by and allowing professors of theology to deny the virgin birth. I can't see Peter failing to appoint bishops who would uphold the Catholic faith."

 

"Okay," I said wanting to pursue this train of thought to its logical conclusion, "what about Paul VI?

 

"Well," Kelly replied. "I don’t think there's any doubt that when he was elected he was pope, but it is my personal opinion that somewhere along the line he ceased to be pope."

 

Fr. Kelly denies being a sedevacantist because he puts forth his view that Pope John Paul II isn't the real pope as a "personal opinion" and not "an article of faith.

 

Given this massive loss of faith, there is only one course of action to pursue-separate from these antichrists and preserve the One True Catholic Faith with the hundred or so other people who happen to agree with you. Separation from the unity of the Church becomes, like everything else in the topsy-turvy world of the schismatic, not a grievous sin but an act of highest virtue.

 

"Let us say that the bishop of your diocese called Fr. Matthew Fox in to say mass in your parish," Fr. Kelly continued. "Would you receive communion from him? My point is that Fr. Fox is not even a protestant. He is a pagan and a tool of the devil. He is an enemy of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. He has faculties to preach; he has faculties to hear confession and he can say public mass. Now if you're a member of that diocese where the bishop is and you're in good standing with the bishop, don't you think that that puts you in communion with this pagan? I'm saying that if you are in communion with heretics or schismatics then you are a heretic or a schismatic. If you are in liturgical communion with someone who is a heretic then you must answer to God for being in communion with that heretic."

 

900,000,000?

 

"So how many people are we talking about then?" I asked. "900,000,000 imposter Catholics?"

 

"Well, I know we are talking about something which in the practical order is an unbelievable thing."

 

"I know it sounds extreme," he added later on in our conversation.

 

Extreme or not, Fr. Kelly did get part of what he was saying right. Being in communion with a schismatic (assuming full knowledge) makes one a schismatic, but that is because of the nature of schism. A schismatic is one who breaks the bond of unity with the Church. Anyone who chooses to follow someone who breaks the bond is also breaking the bond. The same thing does not apply to those who choose not to break the bond of unity because the Church happens to have members who are heretics or sinners. The crucial question in both Augustine's time and now is "whether while abiding in unity in the communion of the same sacraments the wicked pollute the good by their society." To Kelly and Donatus the answer is "yes," to St. Augustine and the Catholic Church the answer is "no." According to Augustine, the Donatist position is self-contradictory:

 

Answer me, wherefore have ye separated yourselves? I suppose that ye might not perish by communion with wicked men. How then was it that Cyprian [whose position was the same as the Donatists on Baptism] and so many of his colleagues did not perish? For though they believed that heretics and schismatics did not possess baptism, yet they chose to hold communion with them.... If, therefore, by such communion with the wicked the just cannot but perish, the Church had already perished in the time of Cyprian. Whence then sprang the origin of Donatus? Where was he taught? Where was he baptized? Where was he ordained, since the Church had already been destroyed by the contagion of communion with the wicked. But if the Church still existed, the wicked could do no harm to the good in communion. Wherefore did ye separate yourselves?

 

UNANSWERABLE ALTERNATIVES

 

The alternatives are as unanswerable now as they were when St. Augustine first posed them. They get to the heart of the schismatic mentality. If communion with the wicked could destroy the church, then it would have been long gone before the time of Paul VI, or Pius X, or Pius V, in which case Fr. Kelly would have no tradition to bind himself to. He would not be a priest, and in fact would not even be a Christian since his baptism would have been invalid. If, on the other hand, communion with the wicked does not destroy the Church or its sacraments, then there is no reason to separate from it.

 

"All of these," writes St. Augustine, referring to sinners, no matter how notorious, and heretics,

 

Catholic unity embraces in her motherly breast, bearing each other's burdens by turns and endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, till God should reveal to one or other of them any error in their views.... If there was contamination, the Church even then ceased to exist; answer me therefore, whence came ye forth hither? But if the Church remained, the good are in no wise contaminated by the bad in such communion; answer me therefore, why did ye break the bond?

 

Augustine's conclusion is clear: it is "a manifest rule that one ought in no wise by the establishment of a separate communion, to secede from the Catholic communion, that is, from the body of Christians throughout the world, even on the admission of evil and sacrilegious men. ... If the communion of wicked men destroyed the Church in the time of Cyprian, they have no source from which they can derive their own communion; and if the Church was not destroyed, they have no excuse for their separation from it." The sacraments of Christ do not cease to have their effect because they are administered by heretics or any other kind of wicked an impious person. "Nor," Augustine continues,

 

is the water "profane and adulterous" over which the name of God is invoked even though it be invoked by profane and adulterous persons .... [T]he baptism of Christ, consecrated by the words of the gospel, is necessarily holy, however polluted and unclean its ministers may be; because its inherent sanctity cannot be polluted and the divine excellence abides in its sacrament, whether to the salvation of those who use it aright or to the destruction of those who use it wrong. Would you indeed maintain that while the light of the sun or of a candle, diffused through unclean places, contracts no foulness in itself therefrom, yet the baptism of Christ can be defiled by the sins of any man, whatsoever he may be?

 

SACRAMENTAL REALISM

 

At another point, St. Augustine proposes the formula that has become the heart of the sacramental realism that is the essentially Catholic position: "in the question of baptism we have to consider not who gives but what he gives; not who receives but what he receives; not who has but what he has."

 

It is not hard to understand the attraction of the Donatist position from the minister's point of view. Cut off from sacraments which operate ex opere operato, schismatic Catholics are completely dependent on the ministers who claim to have the purity necessary to confect the sacraments. And as one might expect, these ministers, these wolves in sheep's clothing, as Augustine calls them, have no qualms about lording this over their pathetic and misguided congregations. The effect of Donatism is absolutely essential in understanding the necessarily cult-like nature of these schismatic groups. However ludicrous their claims to be the "true" Catholic Church, the effects on those who come under the spell of these people is anything but funny.

 

MORE "VOWS"

 

Shortly after she arrived home, Marisue received a letter from one woman who actually took "vows" in another traditionalist "convent" and the torment she suffered afterward at the hands of her family, who felt that she had broken her vows by leaving. The family suffered too. One uncle went to "Bishop" McKenna's chapel in Covington, Kentucky only to find out that the good "bishop" "would not hear the confessions of the people at this chapel, because they had caused so much trouble and did not deserve the sacrament." That same uncle died that week without benefit of the sacraments. "He had been denied," the woman wrote, "by a so-called traditional priest, the saving graces open to Catholics."

 

The family then went to Fr. Vezelis's chapel where they also experienced "many difficulties. He had himself consecrated as a bishop and commanded total obedience from us all .... When the 'bishop' heard that my husband had asked some unfavorable questions about him, my husband was kicked out of the church .... For nearly two years the 'bishop' forbid [sic] my family to see us and they obeyed."

 

Then in 1985 the woman's mother began to object to the propaganda put out by "Bishop" Vezelis, causing her father, whom she characterizes as "totally under the 'bishop's' spell," to divorce her mother. "My father says my mother and my brothers and sisters and I are going to hell because we do not attend the 'bishop's' mass. Dad has about 36 grandchildren, many who do not even know him, these children he too condemns."

 

Finally, the family ended up at St. Gertrude's, which convinced her that

 

these places are not showered with the blessings of God. Everywhere we went, Our Blessed Lord was giving us signs, opening doors for us, and we just could not see it. Although I still believe the Old Mass to be the most beautiful, I have also come to realize that only by believing in the promise of our savior will the Catholic Church remain strong. Jesus promised to the popes that he would be with them until the end of time. For all our good intentions, we seemed to forget his promise. Only in obedience to true authority can we save our souls. Each traditional church we went to was [in] a state of chaos and anarchy. We had no head; we had no protector.

 

SECULAR PUBLICITY

 

The publicity surrounding the Greve case dealt with it from a secular point of view, according to which all religions are created equal, and therefore, which gets called a cult remains a purely subjective judgment something by the way which Kelly capitalized on in his public appearances. From the Catholic point of view, however, things look different. The Catholic faith can make certain claims on people's lives only because it is the Catholic faith and because of the safeguards programmed into it - Augustine's view of sacramental realism being one of the most prominent. When these claims are made outside of the Church, however, they become automatically and ipso facto tyrannical. This is especially true of the Donatists' redaction of the Christian faith. Any sect which is that dependent on the good will of a minister is naturally going to become a cult. The Greves were a long way from understanding this on that Sunday afternoon in June. They had more pressing things in mind - things like getting out of New York before they were stopped by the police.

 

THE THOUSAND MILE STARE

 

Once the switch had been made and John Greve sent off to the Albany airport with the rental car, Sue had a chance to look at her daughter more closely. What she saw did not inspire confidence. What she saw was the "thousand mile stare." She was convinced that Marisue was drugged. Leaning forward to her son. Dave, she said, "You have to start now." Dave was to begin the deprogramming. He did so by focusing on the curious history of Fr. Kelly based partly on information from priests who knew him and partly on legal documents resulting from lawsuits Kelly was waging against the Society of Pius X.

 

Clarence Kelly was born in Brooklyn and attended Immaculate Heart Seminary on Long Island, Catholic University, and finally Lefebvre's seminary in Econe in the early '70s. He only stayed a year there though and returned to the U.S. to write a book for the John Birch Society, of which he was a member at the time. The book, Conspiracy Against God and Man, is a derivative book on Freemasonry which is dedicated to, among others, Robert Welch, then head of the Birch society, Archbishop Lefebvre, and Father Francis Fenton, another priest who was a member of the Birch Society. Written in 1974 the book’s dedication says a great deal about the fault lines in Fr. Kelly's loyalties and where they would split when the pressure was applied. Watching Fr. Kelly on the Donahue show, one is struck by the contradictions in his philosophy. Here we have Kelly, who split with Lefebvre, the man who thought that Dignitatis Humanae, Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Liberty, betrayed the Catholic position on the proper relation between Church and State, demagogically declaiming: "I say in the United States of America, parents do not have the right to do that to a 22 year old woman," to the applause of the Donahue audience. When Mrs. Greve objected that he had no right to found a Catholic convent, Kelly countered by saying, "Who are you to decide that?" Which prompted Fr. James LeBar - a "legit priest," as Donahue called him - from the New York archdiocese, to say, "I guess we could ask the same question too. Who are you to decide that this is a convent if the Church law says it's up to the bishop to decide."

 

“This is America," Kelly replied. "In the U.S.A. we have a right ...."

 

"We're talking about the Catholic Church," LeBar said, "Not American law."

 

AMERICANISM VS. TRADITIONALISM

 

The tension in Kelly between Americanism and Traditionalism simmered for 10 years. As one priest ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre said, "the strange thing about Kelly and Sanborn is that they claim to be traditional Catholics when they are really just another side of the old Americanist heresy. The Americans know best what should happen to the Catholic Church in America." The same priest saw them as "weirdly traditional in that the only church that matters to them is the church that goes back to the 1950s in America."

 

Howard Walsh, president of Keep the Faith, Inc., a group which produces Catholic video and audio tapes, sees Kelly as "a young guy from New York City, full of zeal, but off the track. I think they bent him out of shape in the seminary. Between that and the John Birch Society, he thinks the world is falling apart. Then on top of that he finds out that the Church is falling apart. He goes over to Lefebvre, and they tell him there is no pope. So the world's falling apart, and the Church is falling apart, and it's up to me to save everything, and the only thing that's true is tradition. So they hold on to tradition."

 

Fr. Guenther Richter, a priest ordained by Lefebvre and recently kicked out of a Pius V mission in Florida by Fr. Kelly, had a simpler view of the whole thing: "Fr. Kelly," he said, "wants to be his own pope."

 

LEFEBVRE VS. THE JOHN BIRCH SOCIETY

 

Kelly, and perhaps this is prophetic, never returned to Econe after writing his book for the Birch Society. According Fr. Urban Snyder, a priest associated with Lefebvre at the time, Kelly's brother organized a letter writing campaign to the archbishop, claiming that Kelly had enough education already and that he should ordain him as is. Eventually Lefebvre agreed. It was a decision he would later regret, for Kelly was never really under his control in spite of the fact that he was Lefebvre's main man in the United States. In the transcript of a conversation between Lefebvre and Kelly held in 1980, Kelly is quoted as saying, "I absolutely do not wish to cause trouble," to which Lefebvre responded, "Understood. You show loyalty to the John Birch Society. Let us show the same loyalty towards the Pope."

 

By 1983, however, Kelly was willing to cause the archbishop plenty of trouble. He and eight other priests - they were after that known as "the nine" or, in a name that reminds one of a heavy metal rock group, "the Oyster Bay Cult" - issued a series of demands concerning the pope, the missal being used in the society and annulments. Point number seven of their manifesto demanded "That Rev. Clarence Kelly and Rev. Anthony Cekada be and are hereby granted full power of attorney by any U.S. corporation in which the Fraternity may have an interest to draw up and execute for and on behalf of said corporations any legal documents ...." Some observers felt that the theological issues were simply the pretext for point number seven, which would have effectively granted Kelly full control of the Society of Pius X in the United States. One of those people is Conde McGinley, a Philadelphia-area businessman who stayed with Lefebvre after the split occurred. McGinley claims that Kelly and his group planned the takeover for years in advance by putting their own names on the deeds of the chapels they were starting for the Society of Pius X. Part of the court record includes a letter from Fr. Cekada to the Rev. Denis Roch explaining that he planned to make the "necessary revisions" in the deeds, but was waiting "until all the legal work is completed for all the chapels." The changes were never made.

 

EXTREMISM

 

At any rate in 1983, Kelly and Co. remained adamant, and Lefebvre kicked them out of the Society of Pius X for espousing "extremism." One of the ironies of the case is that now Archbishop Lefebvre and those around him are making theological noises which sound very similar to Kellyism. In his letter denouncing the nine in 1983,Lefebvre said of the Kellyites, "They think and behave as if there is no pope .... This radicalism is not the attitude of the Society," yet he begins a letter to then Father, now "Bishop" Williamson, dated August 29, 1987: "The see of Peter and the posts of authority in Rome being occupied by anti-Christs ..." leading one to believe that schism has a trajectory all its own, and that one gets pulled along in one direction willy nilly.

 

Father John Emerson, a 40-year-old priest from California who was ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1981 but who has now gone over to the Society of St. Peter formed under the motu proprio, Ecclesia Dei, feels now that the same extremism that led to Kelly's break in 1983 had been in the Society of Pius X all along but held in check by the archbishop's influence. Now he feels that the archbishop is moving - "in a far more sophisticated and elegant way" - in Kelly's direction.

 

"It's not yet entirely public," Emerson stated, "but we know that there are professors at the seminary in France, at Flavigny, who openly say there is no pope." Fr. Emerson feels that the sedevacantism was always a part of the Society of Pius X "in a hidden way, but since the consecration they're willing to be more explicit about it. The archbishop hinted in his famous sermon of Easter 1985 that in fact maybe the pope wasn't the pope, but there was such a violent reaction against it in the society that he backed down. But he's been so successful in preparing his priests for the consecration that I think he's going to try again. Fr. Besing, who is the head of the Society of St. Peter and was right at the top of the Society of Pius X, said to us that he believes that in his heart the archbishop believes that the pope is not the pope and hasn't been for the past three, four, or five years. But he just hasn't made it clear."

 

There is a certain irony here that was not lost on Fr. Emerson. Lefebvre expels Kelly for "extremism" and then ends up espousing virtually the same views. The irony was not lost on the Society of Pius V either, which sent a representative to the consecrations of "Bishops" Williamson et al. From the point of view of schism and Archbishop Lefebvre, Kelly was ahead of his time. The extremism that got Kelly and Co. kicked out of the society in 1983 was starting to look like the middle of the road position in the Society of Pius X by 1988.

 

CONFIDENCE ABUSED

 

In 1985, however, the judge hearing Kelly's lawsuit decided in favor of the Society of Pius X, granting St. Cyprian's Chapel in Eddystone, Pennsylvania to them. He concluded that Fr. Cedaka and Fr. Kelly had positions of trust in the society, and that Fr. Cekada "abused a confidential relationship." Almost immediately after the case was decided against them, the Kelly faction stopped the chapel's mortgage payments. Around the same time, the chapel was stripped of anything not nailed down, including doorknobs. Eventually under the threat of a contempt of court citation the mortgage payments were brought up to date. But the Pius X group never got back the missing furnishings. Conde McGinely consulted his lawyer and decided it would be cheaper to buy new furnishings than to pursue the matter legally.

 

ROADBLOCKS IN NEW YORK

 

Dave Greve had gone through the legal documents and was covering the bickering and the conniving in blow by blow descriptions as the van made its way over the next three hours back to Pennsylvania. Marisue listened in a trance-like fashion. Marisue said little more than "Where are we?" and "When can we stop. I have to go to the bathroom." Soon they began to notice that roadblocks were being set up with disturbing regularity, yet as luck or providence would have it always in such a way that would allow them to get by. Avoiding the roadblocks, however, caused them to get lost, and after being lost for a while they realized that they would be soon out of gas. Stopping for gas and going to the rest rooms would be another crucial point for Marisue. First of all, she would certainly be visible as a nun, and for all they knew Kelly might have sent her picture to the police. For all they knew, it might be being shown on television now. But the second and more crucial issue was not knowing how Marisue would react. Would she bolt? Would she want to use the phone? When Sue had picked up her daughter in April and brought her back home to Cincinnati, she had made the mistake of letting Marisue call Fr. Kelly, who immediately dispatched another nun, Sister Mary Cabrini, to meet her at the airport when they arrived in Cincinnati. Once she found Marisue. Cabrini would not leave her side on orders from Kelly, and the Greves were faced with either getting physical with her or letting her come along. Since they would not touch her because of her habit, the outcome was a foregone conclusion. Marisue eventually succumbed to the pressure of Sister Cabrini, who eventually brought her back to the novitiate, where the control over he was increased. Mrs. Greve received a letter shortly after Marisues return in April informing her that she would not be allowed to write to her daughter.

 

KELLY AND THE MOONIES

 

When Marisue called Fr. Kelly the first time in April of '88, she remembers hearing him scream at her mother and then ask her over the phone if someone was "desensitizing" her. Kelly apparently knew what deprogramming was and was afraid that it was going to be used on the people at his convent. When Marisue got back to the convent in April, Kelly called her in and explained to her that there were "agencies out there that you can hire to change people's religious beliefs." Later Kelly would send Marisue affidavits of people who had been deprogrammed out of the Moonies only to return. Both Marisue and her mother wondered where he got this material, suspecting some contact with the Moonies or similar organizations. When I spoke with Fr. Kelly on the phone, he acknowledged sending the affidavits. When I asked him where he got them, he said, "I don't remember."

 

In the April incident, Marisue was taken aback when he threatened to call the police on her mother.

 

"It's just my mom," she told an upset Kelly over the phone in April. "I'm with my mother." "It wasn't," she said later, "like I was with some stranger."

 

Kelly intended to be prepared the second time. He had a file ready with Marisue's picture and alleged quotes from the mother. If the people at the gas station had seen any pictures though, they didn't react when Marisue got out of the van and went to the ladies room. Wasting no time, the van was refueled and they were on the road again. Eventually they eluded all the roadblocks and made it back to the cabin in Pennsylvania before dark. Marisue spent her first night away from the convent reading court transcripts, letters that had never been delivered to her, and I Am With You Always, a pamphlet on the indefectibility of the Catholic Church written by Michael Davies. Davies played a crucial role in convincing Mrs. Greve that Kelly was not what he claimed he was.

 

The Greve family had accomplished what it set out to do. Now they were safe-with one exception. John who should have been there to greet them because of the time it took avoiding the roadblocks was still not back. In fact, he would never make it back to the cabin. He had been apprehended by the police when he showed up at the Albany airport with the rental car. Eventually he was flown back to Cincinnati the following day, but Sue Greve did not know this and had to live with the fear for some time that she had gained back one child only to lose another. Sue remembers going to bed that night - Marisue still in her habit - hearing voices coming from somewhere in the cabin but being unable to trace them. The voices continued for the second night of their stay as well.

                                         

THE DEPROGRAMMING

 

The next day the deprogramming entered its crucial phase with the arrival of Mary, a Catholic deprogrammer who had been involved herself with a cult. Sue Greve was adamant about finding someone who would respect the Catholic faith. Mary arrived at the cabin at around 4:00 PM on Monday. According to Mrs. Greve's account, "within a half an hour Marisue was completely comfortable with Mary." This was accomplished by showing videotapes and discussions, but also by allowing Marisue to review her own experiences at the convent. Marisue had been programmed to believe that she was special and that no one on the outside would understand convent life. In addition she had been counseled by Fr. Kelly to a spiritual life that was so far beyond her that she found it in retrospect laughable.

 

"I would go in and talk to Fr. Kelly on the average of once a week, and he told me that if I continued the way I was I could be in the dark night of the soul in a year. Last week I was talking to Debbie [a parishioner at St. Gertrude's] and we were rolling on the floor laughing. I said, 'Father, no way.' But he was serious. He said, 'You should be on the second level, which is the illuminative way by the time of your final profession.' And he'd talk about how when you get infused contemplation it's the greatest thing in the world."

 

"Implying that he has it?" I asked.

 

"It would imply that," Marisue replied.

 

Part of the stress at the convent came from the disparity between the exalted spirituality that was urged on the girls and the pettiness and bickering of actual life there. On her way to the dark night of the soul, Marisue was given a public penance – which according to the constitution of the order was to be administered only in the case of grave and public sin – for slipping inside a van and thanking one of the convent's women benefactors for dropping off some meatballs for the nuns.

 

It was Mary's explanation of the disparity between theory and practice that began to unlock Kelly's control over Marisue.

 

"Mary," said Mrs. Greve, "would point out the pride. She would point out the disobedience in the way they handle people. Why did they build up this wall between you and your parents. That is not what God would want. That is a violation of the fourth commandment. They should try to heal the wound between you and your parents, not make it bigger. There was no kind of sensitivity training involved. Any of us could have done it."

 

Then that evening the deprogrammer focused on the crucial role Sister Mary Cabrini played in the whole drama. According to Marisue's later testimony, Sister Cabrini had become involved in the losing end of a power struggle with Sister Virginia Marie, who later replaced her as superior of the order. Cabrini was acting on Kelly's orders when she followed Marisue home in April and refused to leave her side, but there seemed to be more than that than met the eye. It was as if she were clinging to the only person who understood her in a convent where she was becoming more and more isolated. At the convent Marisue saw herself as Cabrini's only confidante. Once Marisue was taken away from her Cabrini "reacted with a hatred, an inner violence." At least this is how Marisue saw it later. The reaction was understandable, I suppose. It explains Cabrini's desperation in April, where Marisue was literally being pulled in two opposite directions by the desperate nun and her distraught mother.

 

CHARITY

 

"This isn't Catholic," was the verdict of Mary, the exit counselor. At first Marisue would protest, saying "You don't know convent life," but Mary remained firm.

 

"Marisue, I have a friend who is a nun and I know that convent life isn't like this. This isn't Catholic."

 

It is fitting that the lack of charity at the convent became the turning point for Marisue, because lack of charity is what schism is all about. St. Thomas Aquinas defines it as a sin against charity. In this he agrees with St. Augustine, who has something similar to say about the Donatists. "None," he tells us, "would create schisms, if they were not blinded by hatred of their brethren. ... Can it be that schism does not involve hatred of one's brethren? Who will maintain this, when both the origin of and perseverance in schism consists in nothing else save hatred of the brethren?"

 

"By Monday night," said Mrs. Greve, "Marisue knew that the relationship between Cabrini and Kelly was unchristian. That is what unlocked the door to Marisue's deprogramming. That and all the information Dave gave her."

 

The next day Marisue took off her habit and mailed it back to the Kellyite convent. Later Kelly would claim that Marisue had lost her religious beliefs, but not before she would counter by saying that she had simply lost her faith in him.

 

"I'll just never think that I'm better than other people," said Marisue after it was all over sitting in the family room of her parents' Ohio home. She sounded a little bit like Dorothy after her return from Oz. "I'm thankful that I have my true faith and thankful that it's a part of my life. I will never think I should do something against the authority of the Church or do anything with someone outside the Church or make up some cloudy rationalization of why we should go there."

 

Both Mrs. Greve and her daughter have resolved their differences with the Catholic Church but attend the local Maronite rite congregation because of its liturgy. Both of them have an aversion to the vernacular liturgy. It is precisely to these people that the pope expressed his concern in the motu proprio, Ecclesia Dei:

 

To all those Catholic faithful who feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition I wish to manifest my will to facilitate their ecclesial communion by means of the necessary measures to guarantee respect for their rightful aspirations. In this matter I ask for the support of the bishops and of all those engaged in the pastoral ministry in the Church.

 

So it would seem, in spite of the schism of Archbishop Lefebvre, that the moment may have arrived for the traditionalists to be reconciled with the Church. Sue Greve, at any rate, is in a conciliatory mood after her experience with schism.

 

"I abjure," she said, "any taint of errors I had. I do not go to St. James up the street because I have never gone to that parish. I would feel as if I were walking into a completely strange place because they redid it, and it's not very Catholic looking. So we're talking about taste. I believe that the novus ordo mass is a valid mass. I believe that I have many prejudices toward the mass that I may never overcome. I don't know. But I am completely attached to Rome. I am completely attached to the pope. But you can't heal all wounds at once. I will do what the Church says, and I will never set myself up as an authority over the magisterium of the Church. The things that I still have hang-ups about are matters of taste."

 

Now both Marisue and her mother can say with St. Augustine that there is no salvation without the Church, "and therefore whatever men have that belongs to the Church, it profits them nothing toward salvation outside the Church."Fidelity

E. Michael Jones is the editor of Culture Wars.


Libido DominandiLibido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control by E. Michael Jones. Libido Dominandi – the term is from St. Augustine’s City of God – is the definitive history of the sexual revolution, from 1773 to the present. This book examines the development of technologies like psychotherapy, behaviorism, advertising, sensitivity training, pornography, and, when push came to shove, plain old blackmail – that allowed the Enlightenment and its heirs to turn Augustine’s insight on its head and create masters out of men’s vices. Libido Dominandi explains how the rhetoric of sexual freedom was used to engineer a system of covert political and social control. Paperback, $30.00 + S&H. [When ordering for international shipment, the price will appear higher to offset increased shipping and handling charges.] Read More Read Reviews


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