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Hypocrisy in El Paso: liberals get “mercy,” faithful souls persecution July 26, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, Father Rodriguez, General Catholic, persecution, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.

Many long-time readers will be familiar with the situation regarding Father Michael Rodriguez and his former parish of San Juan Bautista.  Assigned as a sort of punishment, given a parish that had been moribund for years, Father Rodriguez completely transformed the parish and even the neighborhood around it, becoming financially solvent, vastly increasing attendance, and instilling the right practice of the Faith into hundreds of souls.  All of this was based on a growing attachment, over a period of some years, to the traditional practice of the Faith and, especially, the TLM.

When Father Rodriguez was sacked and San Juan shut down, due to his adherence to Tradition and his strong advocacy of certain unpopular Catholic truths, especially those having to do with the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, he voluntarily revealed the existence of a lay-initiated and administered fund (established to allow improvements at San Juan without exposure to diocesan assessment) to the Diocese of El Paso, as the Diocese was totally ignorant of its existence.  Many nasty and totally unsubstantiated allegations were subsequently thrown at Father as part of a general campaign to discredit him, including total inventions regarding this fund.  Dark rumors of theft or enrichment on the part of Father and/or family members were circulated, and an expensive lawsuit ensued.  All of this, mind, over an amount that was somewhere in the $50,000 range – entirely consisting of parishioner donations which they themselves administered.  The lawsuits are still ongoing, and the Diocese still holds the moneys contributed by parishioners for the purpose of improving a now defunct parish for itself, even though the people would very much like their money back now that there is no longer a parish to spend it on.

Suffice it to say, there wasn’t a whole lot of mercy going on.  Father Rodriguez was persona non grata among most priests and officials in the Diocese of El Paso due to his stalwart adherence to the constant belief and practice of the Faith, and his willingness to condemn ongoing scandals and immoral behaviors rife within the Diocese itself (behaviors, even with the switch of bishop, which still go on to this day).

Contrast that with the recent scandal that blew up in El Paso, over two religious brothers who stole – it is admitted that they stole – nearly a million dollars from a local school over several years.  Were they sacked?  No, they were permitted to not only retire but leave the area, and before the news broke.  Did the Diocese run their names through the mud, as occurred with Father Rodriguez?  No, they were thanked for their many years of service and all the wonderful things they did!  See below the mercy flow, for those who are recognized as co-religionists:

An audit found that the former principal and assistant principal of an El Paso Catholic school allegedly misappropriated more than $800,000 for personal expenses, diocese officials said Tuesday.

The Diocese of El Paso found the financial irregularities during a recent audit following last year’s retirement of the two administrators of St. Joseph’s School in Central El Paso, officials said.

Diocese officials said that former principal Brother Edwin Gallagher, 79, and former assistant principal Brother Richard Fish, 70, allegedly took $800,246 from school bank accounts to pay for personal expenses over seven years. Diocese officials said they are not seeking criminal charges in the matter.

Gallagher and Fish retired last year after helping run the school for about 25 years. They could not be reached for comment.

Parents, school staff and community members said they were shocked, disheartened and saddened Tuesday evening after learning about the alleged misappropriation during a meeting in the school gym with Bishop Mark J. Seitz and diocese officials.

“Everyone at St. Joseph and many in El Paso know that during that time, they (Gallagher and Fish) did many good things for the school and for the children who study here and those good things certainly cannot be denied,” Seitz said. “Unfortunately, we’ve also learned during that time, or at least a good part of the time, St. Joseph school funds were misappropriated for their own personal use.”……. [The lauds piled on these men for committing grand larceny is certainly in stark contrast to the treatment Father Rodriguez did receive, and continues to receive from the Diocese]

…….. The Brothers of the Poor of St. Francis will repay the money to the school in four quarterly payments starting June 30, the diocese said. [Apparently the spirit of poverty is not fully embraced in this order]

“The discovery of the misappropriated funds by trusted individuals has caused disappointment and justifiable anger,” the diocese said in a news release. “We are thankful that St. Joseph School will not suffer the adverse financial consequences that accompany most cases of this nature. And we ask for prayers for Brother Edwin and Brother Richard during this Year of Mercy.”

What an amazing double-standard.  In point of fact, the threat of criminal charges – on what basis I cannot imagine – was frequently inferred during the period after San Juan’s closing and the departure of former Bishop (and arch-liberal) Armand Ochoa.  But these guys get plaudits and heaping doses of mercy.  I cannot recall a single instance of the Diocese asking for prayers for Father Rodriguez.

Why the massive difference?  Speaking with a number of locals and others very close to the matter, Father Rodriguez is despised because he represents the “old Faith” so many want to kill off, never to rise again.  More, many have a vested interest in seeing it never rise again, as their beliefs and actions are totally irreconcilable with the Doctrine of the Faith.

Put another way, they belong to a different religion.  Every diocese in the world today is riven with the division, but it is more marked in El Paso than in most.  It is a diocese that has had a pervasive and activist liberal influence for decades, which has born the “fruit” of many heretical and immoral priests.

As we see so often with Francis, every religion is welcome to not only “dialogue” with the Catholic Church, but to be treated at least as its equal if not its actual superior.  We see the Church constantly defer to the errors of various error-filled sects and pagan religions in these days.  The one religion that cannot be countenanced, however, is that terrible old beast, Catholicism, as it was known, understood, and practiced for 1950 odd years.  No mercy can be spared there.  No persecution is too strong, too unjustified, or too unreasonable.  When it comes to the hated old Faith, anything goes.

So men who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars get the fawning praise of the Bishop, while Father Rodriguez gets persecution and unjustifiable demands to change or limit the way he conducts his priestly apostolate.  But God be praised, when sin abounds, Grace abounds the more, and Father continues to reach a growing number of souls through a number of means as he continues to honor his vocation in the sadly afflicted Diocese of El Paso. Much good fruit is resulting.  May God be praised.

Please keep Father in your prayers.


1. Margaret Costello - July 26, 2016

From what I recall, the Diocese refuses to tell the people whose money was stolen what the two priests actually did with the funds…the “misappropriation”. I’d bet anyone a five dollar bill it was for some sort of sodomy, porn, or other perverted enterprise.

Yes, the sodomites praise and throw mercy on their own while castigating and persecuting a faithful priest. No news there sadly.

God bless~

2. Woody - July 26, 2016

Brothers of the POOR of St. Francis are they?! I wonder why the bishop will not let people know what the money was spent on? The two brothers are not paying back the money, their order is picking up the tab. Were the brothers paid a salary by the school or diocese in their positions as principal and assistant principal? If so, how much were their salaries? This is being swept too quickly under the rug. Many interesting questions not being answered.

3. Baseballmom - July 26, 2016

The world loves its own.

4. Magdalene - July 26, 2016

Makes me think of the persecution of the Franciscans of the Immaculate as well. While there are monies in the hands of lay people, the founders and others are accused of theft, etc. Someone else always wants the money it seems and not for the apostolate or to maintain friaries, etc. Remember Fr. Frank Pavone was also persecuted and money was a factor as someone else has eyes on it. The FI and Fr. Rodriguez also are ‘guilty’ of being ‘too’ faithful! They behave as saints have done in the past when persecuted from within the Church.

5. DM - July 26, 2016

How are the FSSP priests doing there? I haven’t heard one word about the FSSP parish in El Paso since it was established two years ago. They sure seem to be flying under the radar. I hope that’s not because they aren’t as faithful as Fr. Rodriguez was.

Tantumblogo - July 26, 2016

DM I’m not the best one to ask. I’ve never been to a Fraternity Mass out there, but I’ve heard there’s been a certain amount of disappointment. Apparently the pastor has been replaced, and the new one is better. But the very strong community that existed at San Juan Bautista has fragmented. I don’t know if faithful is the right word, but I think a number of folks were not real impressed with the FSSP “product,” if you will. Many have migrated to the Society.

SanJuanero - July 27, 2016

Tantum, your encapsulated explanation is pretty accurate. We put a significant amount of effort into attempting to impartially bring the FSSP up to speed on what had transpired before their arrival and to help their apostolate have a similar impact as Fr. Rodriguez had. It would be untrue to say that our efforts bore much fruit in the sense of establishing another bastion of Authentic Catholicism within our diocese. Yes, there has been abundant disappointment in that regard.

And, of course, there are those who are very content with the way things are going at the FSSP apostolate here (Immaculate Conception). Many of these good folks were pretty solidly opposed to the unwavering presentation of Catholicism as exercised by Fr. Rodriguez.

You article here is very reflective of the truth even if some details are not strictly accurate. That can be forgiven because you are not here on the scene.

And your article is not about the FSSP or the SSPX. It is about a glaring hypocrisy that lives in the marrow of the Diocese of El Paso. For myself I’d like not to see this issue you raise get sidetracked. I’d like to see my fellow readers concentrate on this bogus travesty that is being visited on an exceptionally good priest, simply because he is that.

Woody - July 27, 2016

And so, what is the truth?

SanJuanero - July 27, 2016

Well, Woody, essentially it is as Tantum describes it. Father Rodriguez’ “conversion” from Novusordinarianism to Authentic Catholicism is a public story and can be found in various places on the internet. But suffice it to say that as he became more and more devoted to Authentic Catholicism he dragged a whole lot of people along with him.

San Juan Bautista is a pretty humble barrio in El Paso. Father was assigned there years ago and, as Tantum describes, he lit the place up. Again, lots of this is available to be perused.

Come the whole sodomite issue Father was the single Catholic priest to stand before City Council and speak Catholic truth to them. Once again, available for public viewing. By doing so he got the attention, not in a good way, of the local bishop. Quickly he was shipped to the farthest point in the Diocese, 250 miles away, where he repeated the same thing albeit in a smaller population.

Meanwhile, the faithful at San Juan had been donating to Father – and here is the key point – with the stipulation that this Diocese not get a penny of it. We were interested in a restoration of the Sanctuary in strict accordance with the norms of the 1962 Liturgy. With the same sorts of donations Father had constructed a beautiful grotto of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe there at the parish.

The Bishop literally pulled a blitzkrieg on San Juan and Fr. Rodriguez. He showed up one morning, soon after Father’s defense of Authentic Catholic teaching before City Council, and told Father he was outa’ there.

With regard to the money that had been donated by the faithful, Fr. Rodriguez voluntarily turned it over to the diocese under the assumption that the diocese would respect the intentions of the donors. This has not been the case, and to this very day, the diocese has not returned the money in question to the donors. Thus, if we are going to talk about honesty, it certainly does not behoove the diocese to have the real facts known by a broader audience.

This is a long and complicated story, as most similar stories are. In order to shorten it, naturally many, many details are not addressed here.

The “fundamental changers” both in civil society and in the Church depend on confusion in order to further their goals. For this reason it is helpful to keep the central point before our eyes – the Diocese of El Paso is in possession of a significant amount of money that does not belong to them. They know it and they show no inclination to make this right. It behooves them more to ostracize and calumniate a good priest and thus avoid the real crux of the matter.

Richard Stives - July 28, 2016

Who is this SanJuanero, behind the veil of the internet? Anonymously casting aspersions on the good work God is doing at Immaculate Conception parish; reinforcing calumnies against the FSSP priests sent by God in response to do many prayers and sacrifices. Are you someone very close to the heart of this matter? Do you sit quietly in your pew, but inside you’re seething that, according to your standards, the Good God was so deficient in His response? Or have you long since rejected the gift and abandoned your duty to help build up the parish community there? I wonder who you are, SanJuanero, and what qualifies you for this task of detraction. Who are the “many” opposed to Fr Michael’s presentation of the Catholic Faith? As if he alone is up to the task. He is a holy priest who spoke the truth and unjustly suffers, in part, for that fact. But this injustice doesn’t warrant the rejection of God’s plan for our community or of His Servants sent for our sanctification.

6. Bea - July 28, 2016

Your presentation of the facts concerning Father’s removal from San Juan is accurate, but there is so much more! I am one of those who baked pies and saved eggshells for confetti eggs (big hit at parish bazaars) to raise funds for the building of the Grotto, and for the longed for restoration of the sanctuary area. As mentioned in your article, the Diocese took all the funds.
I find it amazing to see how God works. Fr. Rodriguez was shipped off to Presidio in an effort to limit whatever influence he was having in bringing awareness to Catholics of the grave crisis that exists in the Church, and in providing the traditional Mass that nurtured saints like St. Francis Xavier, St. Ignatius Loyola, St. Charles Borromeo, St John Marie Vianney, St. Pius V, St. Piux Xii, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Catherine of Siena…but the list is sooo long!
Yet the very effort of Bishop Ochoa to limit the effectiveness of that faithful priest’s efforts have only had the result of more and more people becoming aware of the traditional Mass of the Church, and of authentic Catholic doctrine.
One of the results was the formation by a group of laypeople of the St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation of Texas (svfonline.org) which has just come out with two new booklets: One contains the interview with Father Rodriguez conducted by Louie Verrecchio, where Father explains the reasons he can no longer, in conscience, celebrate the Novus Ordo mass, plus “A Blue Print for Restoring Tradition,” which shows how to remain, or once again, became a Catholic faithful to the perennial truths taught by Our Saviour to His Apostles.
The second booklet is “A Collection of Short Articles in Defense of the Truth. This one contains “The Kiss of Judas Iscariot: The Enemy Witin,” which can be seen on Youtube. The booklets can be obtained by contacting the St. Vincent Ferrer Foundation

Tantumblogo - July 28, 2016

Thanks for the comment, very good. I simplified a lot of complex events for the sake of brevity, and because people don’t really need to know all the gory details to comprehend the main point, which is massive double standard/hypocrisy.

SanJuanero - July 29, 2016

Very true, Tantum, and it is to this primary point you make that we should adhere, avoiding temptations to be sidetracked.

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