Well, yesterday was a different kind of day. I had great plans: my yesterday’s “To Do” list will get carried over to today and more probably will get bumped over to next week :(. A gentle reminder for me yet again that ‘the best laid plans of mice and men go oft awry.’
I won’t say I got side-tracked by “Larry.” That wasn’t the case at all. But Larry’s posts did prompt me to spend some time digging through files to sort out just what I have on hand. As I mentioned before, I am very familiar with the Society of St. John and Father Eric Ensey. I recall all too well when, back in the late 90s, members of what would become the Society landed at St. Gregory’s Academy in Scranton, Pennsylvania and hunkered in at the boy’s school run by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. I have friends whose boys attended the school. I know some of the boys. I recall when the fledgling Society moved to the 1,000 acre property at Shohola with what I felt were grandiose plans to build some sort of eternal city. Quite frankly, it gave me the willies, but I recall too that many naive and trusting Catholics climbed aboard the band-wagon to allow purchase of the land, and that, thanks to on-going and well-orchestrated fund-raising efforts, money continued to flow freely to Shohola. I recall too the stories of the extravagance of the priests, and of trips to New York City with young lads from St. Greg’s, and, ….what was it, $100 bottles on wine on the table? I’m not sure if it was $100, it may have been more – but whatever it was it well in excess of anything the average person would ever dream of spending on a bottle of wine.
I recall all too well the allegations of sexual improprieties.
I followed the whole dirty saga very closely and with a keen and very personal interest.
I will get into all of this later. But, bottom line, I had never thought of going into detail on the SSJ because, after all, it was an American order based in the States which presumably had been suppressed. I did post an article in March 2010 when I learned that the Opus Dei Bishop of Paraguay had given the society members safe harbour and allowed the Society of St John to be resurrected. I was shocked.
That was it until I came across Father Horgan’s ‘lapses of judgment’. To say that was a shocker is putting it mildly. Father Horgan, a priest in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, fund-raising for the SSJ? and Father Eric Ensey off on pilgrimages with Horgan and unwitting parishioners who were told nothing of the sex abuse allegations or lawsuit (then settled) against Father Ensey?
That was nine months ago.
That seemed to be the end of it until “Larry” surfaced.
I don’t know who Larry is. He is NOT one of the two priests who have been banned from Sylvia’s Site. He IS somewhere in Vancouver, British Columbia. I have no idea why, nine months after the fact, he is up in arms about the article, and why on one hand claims he wants the matter out of the limelight, but on the other won’t let go of it.
Something is happening or has happened to trigger this, but, as yet I’m not quite sure what it is. No matter, it served to remind me that any priest in any parish in Canada could be busily fundraising for the Society of St. John, and that Father Eric Ensey may well have been in other churches in Canada in recent years, as could Ensey’s partner in crime Father Carlos Urrutigoity.
Furthermore, according to “Larry” the SSJ had seminarians pursuing their priestly formation right here in Canada. True or false?
So, yes, I will add Ensey to the Accused list and will put together a page of further information on both he and the SSJ to ensure that the information is out there to alert those who need to and should know about this particular scandal, and the names of those involved, both of those who are predators, and of those who covered-up on their behalf. .
I had posted a comment that Father Ensey has been laicized/defrocked. A correction. It seems that the fact of the matter is that a recommendation has been made that he be defrocked, but the recommendation may not as yet been approved by the Vatican. Some believe it has happened, but there is nothing, as is sometimes the case, to confirm that it has. I will to find out.
And then there are the outrageous Father Groeschel comments. If you haven’t seen them yet, here is the interview itself and the articles:
And then the apologies and excuses. As you see, even the Archdiocese of New York was apologizing:
30 August 2012: Apologies re Father Benedict Groeschel interview
I anticipated that Bill Donohue of the Catholic League would have something to say on this, and indeed he did, but not exactly what you would call an apology:
30 August 2012: “Fr. Groeschel under fire” (William Donohue – Catholic League)
“In a recent interview, he [Father Groeschel] hypothesized how a young person (14, 16 or 18, as he put it) could conceivably take advantage of a priest who was having a nervous breakdown.”
Note Mr. Donohue’s use of and emphasis on the word “hypothesized”
Here is what Father Groeschel said in the interview:
“Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”
“A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”
Does that sound hypothetical? I don’t think it does. Not at all.
Anyway, Mr. Donohue’s spin aside, it’s good that Father Groeschel’s comments have evoked the outrage that they deserve. I have difficulty with some of the excuses, but at least there is recognition that certain of his comments regarding clerical sexual abuse are both wrong and extremely offensive. They are offensive to victims, and they are offensive to all who abhor the abuse of a child or youth by a Roman Catholic priest.
And, while apologies were being penned and faxed and emailed hither and yon, this:
Bishop Finn may be in a lot of trouble come trial time.
Enough for now,