The Scandals at St. Gertrude the Great

West Chester, Ohio

The Full Documented Story

 

January 4, 2010

All the Subtle Demonisms

The Editors

Brimstone Belches from the Pulpit

On Sunday, January 3, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, Bishop Dolan gave a sermon on Satan.  With the Devil's name tripping glibly off his tongue three times more than that of the Holy Name itself, he left very little doubt in the minds of the congregation there present that those who have left St. Gertrude's during the recent crisis are part of a satanic rebellion, and possessed by the devil.

Again, classic cult tactics from the Pastor of SGG.  "I am the leader.  If you don't agree with me, then you are the spawn of the devil."  We propose that this argument is just a tad old and tired these days, and people have become a little bit too sophisticated for this type of B-movie hysteria.


At times, through the exercise of prophecy, a prophet speaks, and thinks he is speaking in the prophetic light, but speaks only in his own spirit, and deceives himself.
          
Prospero Cardinal Lambertini (Pope Benedict XIV)

On these pages, we have printed many just criticisms of Bishop Dolan’s bad behavior, so perhaps it’s time to offer a wee word of praise. As his sermon on the feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus demonstrates, he is a very clever manipulator of words and ideas, really much more clever than his foot-in-mouth associate who is usually considered far brighter than Bishop Dolan. Of course, his words are archly deceitful and patently wicked, but they are a study in the artful use of propaganda. They never say directly what can be insinuated obliquely. We won’t dissect the misleading use of language or the well-placed suggestions that just manage not to be a lie. Most listeners caught those immediately. We will, however, examine the content from a Catholic perspective to expose the deception.

Bishop Dolan relied on the mystical charisms of a Mexican priest’s self-reported dream to suggest that those who left St. Gertrude’s did so at the instigation of the devil. To suggest mass demonic possession and satanic rebellion, the pastor distributed Pope Leo’s minor exorcism prayer and urged the congregation to pray it fervently.  To be sure, we don’t deny that the Father of Lies has been at work during this crisis (and at times we’ve thought that we ourselves awoke to the smell of brimstone, not toasted cinnamon). Nevertheless, we’re too conscious of what the Church teaches to dare say anything more, even by innuendo. We don’t dispute that this sincere and over-worked priest experienced what Pope Benedict XIV (1675-1758) called a supernatural imaginative vision. We’re also certain that the good father believed his bad dream revealed something.

The problem with such private revelation is the Church has always worried about misjudgment. It is axiomatic that the majority of supernatural locutions and visions are false. The Church in her zeal to protect the faithful from well-meaning but untrue claims developed rules for discerning private revelation and assigned causes to explain pseudo-visions. According to Catholic teaching, the revelations themselves could be produced by diabolical intervention or an over-active imagination or other neuro-pathic condition. In any event, no one is bound morally to accept private revelation since it is just human testimony and is missing the formal object of faith. Furthermore, inasmuch as anyone could just as easily interpret Father’s nightmare as a damning prophecy against Bishop Dolan’s injustice and his reliance on cult-like tactics, we counsel the pastor to stop demonizing good and just people and open his soul to the conversion for which we have all prayed.