Editor’s Note: Starting with this article, we will be posting every week – not every other week – while Pistrina Liturgica is temporarily shut down (for its conference). Upon that blog’s return, we ourselves will take a “break” for a while, returning on or about the first of the year.
A while back, we posted an article, A Tale of Two Letters, one letter being a plea – and a most respectful one at that – by an SGG parishioner (Bernie Brueggemann) to Donald Sanborn, protesting the SGG “school scandals” back in 2009; and the other, Sanborn’s caustic reply. (Click here for article.) Well, here is another “Tale of Two Letters” (on those same scandals) – only this time, with a different cast of characters: another (former) SGG parishioner, and Fr. Martin Stepanich. The Brueggemann and Sanborn letters are preserved on our website, and were therefore available as “links.” The letters of Fr. Stepanich and the other parishioner, however, are not, and thus not available as “links.”
Therefore, we have had to transcribe them, in their entirety, as appendices at the end of this article. By the way, there were actually several letters that were written by dissident parishioners to Fr. Stepanich, requesting his helpful intervention in their grievances with the SGG cult-masters; but the two we have chosen for the appendices are fairly “representative,” and thus should suffice. Appendix A is the letter written to Fr. Stepanich by the parishioner (whose name has been omitted), and Appendix B is Stepanich’s reply.
The parishioner’s letter is reproduced “as is” (except for some formatting changes). Fr. Stepanich’s letter was also reformatted; but in his, we have added our commentary (set off in parentheses, and in blue print). We should also note that the parishioner’s letter (in Appendix A) was in response to a prior letter by Stepanich (his letter of “2-22-10,” to which that parishioner refers in his letter) – and that said prior letter (by Stepanich) was in support of Dolan and Cekada’s “version” of what happened at SGG’s school. (Unfortunately, we do not possess that letter; but, again, it is obvious that the parishioner’s letter was a response to such a letter, and that said parishioner disagreed with Stepanich’s conclusions.) That being said, we suggest that the reader now read both letters (Appendix A and Appendix B) before proceeding on.
So, after reading both letters, it should be obvious that the parishioner’s letter, although its rhetoric was a little “pompous” at times, was sincere – and, more importantly, TRUTHFUL -- and that it addressed charges (about the abuses at SGG’s school) that have been independently verified.1 It should also be obvious, from Fr. Stepanich’s response, that he never really acknowledged the genuineness (or legitimacy) of those charges, always referring to them as “alleged” -- and that he had no intention of pursuing the matter further to determine their veracity. And it is also obvious that he willfully misconstrued much of what that parishioner had to say (and, most of the time, very condescendingly so) – and that his main intention was to belittle and scold that parishioner. It was, in the main, a “shut-up-and-obey-me-because-I’m-a-priest” kind of letter.
For now, the comment that we have added parenthetically (in blue print) to Fr. Stepanich’s letter is all comment we shall offer for now, because this article (with its two appendices) is already long enough. Besides, there is another letter (about Schiavo) by Fr. Stepanich (“linked” in our next article) that has some further bearing on what we want to say, so we’ll hold off on any further discussion until then. At this point, we’ll only add, to reassure those predisposed in favor of Fr. Stepanich, that we will not “throw him under the bus” (or “consign him to the dust bin”). But, it would also be a disservice to the man to unrealistically “whitewash” what he has done. The thing to do, instead, is to put this in its proper perspective, and then to draw constructive conclusions from it – and that is what we propose to do. Until then, “stay tuned.”
1 The evidence, both from eyewitnesses and from documentation, is overwhelming, and verifiable not only by those numerous eyewitnesses, but by incontrovertible physical evidence. For instance, part of the Lotarski boys’ immorality (about which Dolan was warned almost a year in advance) was borne out when one of SGG’s students gave birth to one of those sons’ child. (And no DNA evidence is necessary; the child is “a spitting image” of its father.) And many of those eyewitnesses were members of a family whose reputation at SGG was impeccable: the family of SGG’s main benefactor.
The other thing to remember is that Stepanich was informed not just by this one parishioner, but by numerous people (although ONE letter should’ve been “enough”). There is no physical way that he (Stepanich) could not have been aware of the charges that those people made – or of the severity of those charges.
Appendix A. Letter of Parishioner to Fr. Martin Stepanich.
Editor’s Note: This is a transcript, reformatted and in a different font than the original (for ease of reading). But, other than that, it is word for word what its correspondent wrote. Here it is:
March 7, 2010
3rd Sunday of Lent
3rd Sunday of Lent
Dear Fr. Stepanich,
I have wanted to write to you ever since you decided to comment on the situation at St. Gertrude the Great (SGG). You told me in December to “wait until after the new year”. After receiving your letter of 2-22-10 it is time to write. I will number the sections to make it easier for you to respond, if you so desire.
You label those who have left SGG over the current scandal as “anti- SGG agitators”. Just like Bp. Dolan and Fr. Cekada, this is a very convenient way to avoid facing the real issues involved. It reminds me of the war hawks in the Bush administration who labeled everyone who opposed the Iraq war as “anti-American”. It also reminds me of those who label sedevacantists as “against the Pope” in order to just write us off without having to face the issues. The use of such generalized, sweeping epithets like “rebels”, while refusing to hear both sides of the situation in order to “judge just judgments”, is completely unworthy of a theologian of your stature.
No, Fr., we are not “anti-SGG agitators”. We are not against SGG but rather for the truth. You write just like Fr. Cekada, and act just like Bp. Dolan, because you write and act as though the truth is just not important. Nowhere in your commentaries on the SGG situation have I read what you think of Mark Lotarski’s criminal abuses and the SGG clergy’s consent to his iniquitous and soul-destroying words and actions (all publicly proven in the objective, external forum).
Fr. Ramolla has not started a new parish, and we have not joined it, because we are against something, but rather for something. You need to think about that.
2. False assumptions
You write as if Bp. Dolan, Fr. Cekada, and Mark Lotarski are innocent of the crimes they have publicly committed. Given this, your condemnation of Fr. Ramolla and his parishioners as “rebels” has the appearance of justice. But “judge not by the appearance”, Fr. Investigate the objective, public actions of those involved. The fact is Mark Lotarski has abused, psychologically and even physically, many of the children put into his charge at SGG school. Parents and teachers have prayed (as you suggested) and reported the abuses to the pastor and assistant pastor, who both have refused to this day to take any substantive action to correct the abuses. On the contrary, those who have tried to protect their children have been privately, and even publicly, castigated and even thrown out of the school and/or parish. You have added to the grief of the parents (and many others) who have made the difficult decision to leave the parish they loved in order to fulfill their God-given duty. You have rejoiced the criminals and grieved the innocent. May God forgive you for that.
3. The real issue – protecting the innocence of youth
Are you, like Bp. Dolan and Fr. Cekada (and Bp. Sanborn, for that matter), also without understanding of the real issue involved here? There is nothing God and Our Lady love more on earth than the innocence of youth. That is why Our Lady appeared to children at LaSallette, Lourdes, and Fatima. I tell you most solemnly that the Church is passing through Her crisis now, and the entire world is about to be severely punished with a celestial chastisement, because of the crimes against the innocence of youth. I tried numerous times to explain this to Bp. Dolan, and I suffered greatly to start and run a school in his parish to try, despite his opposition, to preserve piety and innocence in children, but he has proven too dull and too much in love with himself to understand how he has grieved the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary by his horrendous lack of compassion and willingness to sacrifice himself for the children of his parish. In this he has found a more-than-willing accomplice in Fr. Cekada, who excels even the bishop in this regard. And now you – you also join in condemning those who are trying to protect their children. I simply can’t believe it. There is more to being Catholic than just having the Faith. There is morals as well. Faith without morals saves no one.
3. Clergy protecting clergy
I wish to serve a warning to you, and to all other traditional clergy in America, and indeed the world. Yes, this will sound bold, but someone has got to say it.
Many, many clergy and laity are completely fed up with the grotesque crime of clergy protecting clergy who have committed public crimes. God Himself is giving public testimony of what He thinks of the SGG situation by moving so many so quickly to form such a wonderful, humble parish as St. Albert’s. It is God Who has commanded us to shake the dust off of our feet, for it is He who “makes all things new”.
How is it even possible the horrendous crime of child abuse, practiced and rewarded by the perverts of the Novus Ordo, is repeated in our own midst! How is it possible that certain priests show an utter lack of compassion for children, let alone their struggling parents! I personally believe that such an utter lack of basic human compassion, as typified by Bp. Dolan and even more especially Fr. Cekada, is a very real sign of demonic possession. Absent basic compassion, a man is capable of any evil. We are witnessing this with our own eyes. We will witness it to the end on Judgment Day.
What is the action a true Catholic priest must take in the face of such public scandal? It is what Fr. Tarcisius (now Bp. Pivarunas) did when faced with the moral turpitude of Francis Schuckhardt – he booted him out on his ear, and fought for years through lawsuits to protect the flock given into his charge. I personally believe this is why certain clergy have such an abhorrence of him – he is a real man, a true father who protects his children.
I state publicly and categorically that what Mark Lotarski has done is worse that what Schuckhardt did because Lotarski’s crimes have been committed primarily against children. And who does Bp. Dolan castigate? Stephanie Johns. Who does he and Fr. Cekada boot out? Fr. Ramolla. They persecute the just, and let the guilty go free, just as one of the wicked elders prosecuted by the prophet Daniel.
4. “SGG territory”
I find it absolutely incredible that a theologian of your reputation could utter such a ridiculous statement as to mention the setting up of St. Albert’s “right in the middle of SGG territory”. Could you kindly define what “SGG territory” is? Is it what Bp. Dolan decides his “territory” is? If that be true, then it certainly includes all of Cincinnati and northern Kentucky, since he told me he did not want to open a Mass center in northern Kentucky because it would “split his parish”. (What true love for souls...)
All of Cincinnati and northern Kentucky – gee, that sounds like a diocese to me. Please realize that there is no such thing as “SGG territory”. We have a perfect Catholic right, and in this case a duty, to allow God to set up a new parish wherever He thinks fit, even if it be across the street from SGG! What kind of a dream world are you in? Do you not realize that there are no true parishes in the canonical sense (since there is no Pope), and hence there is no such thing as “SGG territory”? We are in an emergency situation, made far worse by those who have betrayed the trust put in them. Now we must start over. But start over we shall. Where God puts us is none of Bp. Dolan’s business. Or yours, for that matter.
GOD DOES NOT CARE ABOUT BUILDINGS, BUT ABOUT SOULS! Do you not realize this? You sound like Bp. Sanborn who said to a St. Albert’s parishioner “what do you want to see – pigeons roosting at St. Gertrude’s?”. Better pigeons than demons. Both you and Bp. Sanborn assume it is God’s will for SGG to continue. Why should God allow it to continue given the crimes that have been committed and the attempts to minimize, or even cover-up, the evils? (Cover up – like the black ooze of Fr. Siordia’s dream...)
Unlike certain clergy, God will do what is best for souls. He has no selfish interests. He is charity. He cares only for us, not what we can produce. Unlike Bp. Dolan, God is not a utilitarian. I tell you solemnly that St. Albert’s parish is a work of the Holy Ghost. Everyone I have met at this parish is Catholic and (God forbid!) happy. The crushing burdens put upon us by Bp. Dolan and Fr. Cekada in refusing to correct the evils perpetrated against souls in their charge, and which they would not lift a finger to lighten, God Himself has mercifully removed. Our dear Jesus is truly our Father. Indeed, we who have left could say in all truth “a bishop we had, but no father”.
My advice to you, Fr., is simple. Have the humility to admit publicly that you have heretofore had only half of the story; recant what you have thus far written of the SGG scandal; learn the objective facts of the situation; then write a balanced, scholarly commentary that can be taken seriously. If you do so, I, for one, would read it and take it to heart. If you will not, then I can truly say that “I never knew you”.
In our crucified Lord,
Appendix B. Fr. Stepanich’s Letter of Reply to Parishioner
Editor’s Note: This letter was a “pdf” file, which cannot be “copied” per se. Hence, we had to re-write it in its entirety. We have, of course, reformatted it to suit. But, other than that, it too is word for word what Fr. Stepanich wrote. As we said earlier, we have put our parenthetical comments in blue. Here is the letter:
ATTENTION, SOLEMN ONE! (Fr. Stepanich starts of by “name-calling,” sarcastically referring to parishioner as “SOLEMN ONE”)
“I tell you solemnly that St. Albert’s parish is a work of the Holy Ghost….You write and act as though the truth is just not important…You have rejoiced the criminals and grieved the innocent…You also join in condemning those who are trying to protect our children…” Guess who made those wild, sweeping assertions and slanderous accusations, without giving two hoots about the truth. You did! Yes, you of all people!
What I could have done is simply return to you your recent erratic and carelessly-worded, as well as most insulting, five-page document about the long, drawn out St. Gertrude the Great disturbance, asking you to tear up the thing and throw it into the waste basket. Then you could have been asked to write – humbly this time! – a genuinely truthful and respectful and charitable letter that would go strictly by the real facts, without any of your shameful false accusations and distortions and deviations and rash judgments. (Of course, the letter was NOT insulting, nor was it “carelessly worded,” nor were there any “false accusations.” It was perhaps “confrontational,” but respectful -- and it was factual.)
But let’s do it this way: I will now once again state very clearly, as I have already done several times, my exact position in regard to the St. Gertrude situation, and then follow it up with an examination of at least some of your numerous falsifications and distortions and misunderstandings of the truth. (Stepanich here is preemptively calling the parishioner’s claims “numerous falsifications and distortions and misunderstandings of the truth,” without ANY investigating whatsoever as to their veracity.) Here is what, as you know all too well, I have repeatedly said: The principal need for the good of St. Gertrude’s church and school is to beg God fervently and perseveringly to intervene mercifully and bring about once again genuine Catholic right order and unity and charity and peace at St. Gertrude’s, and see to it that whatever needs to be corrected there will definitely be corrected. (Is he asking God to “see to it that whatever needs to be corrected there will definitely be corrected”? Or whom? At any rate, “whatever needs to be corrected” was NOT corrected!)
And you know very well how I have even recommended Holy Hours of right-intentioned prayers by those who are able to devote that much time to such prayer, whether in the SGG church, or at home, or in some other suitable place. That, then, is what I consider to be the real solution for the SGG reported problems. And you? What has been your response to that? You have completely ignored what I said, as if I had said nothing. Instead, you dishonestly jumped to the unwarranted and most insulting conclusion that I was defending the alleged abuses at SGG, as well as defending those who you say are guilty of those alleged abuses. (But, Fr. Stepanich, you WERE, in effect, defending those abuses by denying that parishioner’s claims. You had ample time to investigate them – but you didn’t.)
You obviously want me, an outsider, to declare that the alleged abuses have been at the SGG school, while at the same time condemning those that you say are guilty of promoting those alleged abuses or allowing them to continue. But how could I possibly do that except by telling everybody that you told me what to say? (No, Father, you could have looked into those claims; but, again, you made NO EFFORT to do so.) You know all too well that I am not in the position to know anything firsthand, or as an eyewitness or ear-witness, about the alleged SGG school abuses. I can only say that I have been told by others. And I had been told plenty by others long before you injected yourself into my limited time and used up my limited energy. If I were to tell anyone what I knew about the alleged SGG abuses, I could only tell what you and others have told me. (This is a meaningless passage. If Fr. Stepanich had been “told by others,” then why did he not heed their words like he did Dannie’s and Tony’s – or at least investigate what they had to say? Why did he automatically take Dannie and Tony’s word, and not theirs – especially when the latter’s numbers far outweighed Dannie and? Why did he ignore their hard evidence, and accept Dannie’s and Tony’s baseless assertions?)
Whether or not you yourself have been an eyewitness or ear-witness to the alleged SGG abuses that you talk about, or whether you only keep repeating what others have told you, or whether you have had children of your own in the SGG school, that you have not made clear. (Why should he, Father? The fact is, these things did happen. Whether he was party to them or not is IMMATERIAL.) I know of parents who have children in the SGG school, but who have said that they have not seen anything of the kind of abuses that you talk about. (Not all families’ kids were involved, Father – but plenty were. How many must there be to constitute “enough” for you?) It would, of course, be no surprise if the alleged abuses that you talk about were seen by only one or by just a few persons on each given occasion, while others know about it only by hearsay. (No, Father, they were seen by MANY eyewitnesses – but you didn’t bother to ascertain.)
Anyway, whatever the exact actual facts are, you need to be very careful not to give the impression that the SGG school as a whole is a place dedicated to the corruption of the innocent, nor should you make it look – as you actually have done! – as if that kind of situation is being deliberately and maliciously allowed, or even promoted, by those in charge of SGG. (But it was, Father! Both the principal and the SGG “clergy” actively promoted and/or “orchestrated” the vile activity at the school.) Your plain intense hatred of those in charge of the SGG school has even made you descend to the lowest of levels in speaking of the “demonic possession” of the SGG leaders! Yes, that’s exactly what you said, “demonic possession”! Tell me now, what kind of spirit is it that prompts you to keep falsifying and distorting the facts and insulting others, especially priests of God? It surely cannot be an Angel from Heaven! (Father, what the parishioner actually said was, “the utter lack of basic human compassion, as typified by Bp. Dolan and even more especially Fr. Cekada, is a very real sign of demonic possession.” And, you know what? We heartily agree with him!)
You angrily protest that you are “not anti-SGG.” Just whom are you trying to kid? The plain truth is that you have over and over and over again shown how you are “against SGG”, and how much you have been hoping that SGG would close down and be left abandoned to the pigeons. But that isn’t the worst of your hateful anti-SGG spirit. What you have not even tried to keep secret is your intense desire that the SGG leaders would be “kicked out on their ears.” Yes, that’s exactly how you and other anti-SGG noisemakers have worded it, “kicked out on their ears.” (Again, what he actually said was, “No, Fr., we are not ‘anti-SGG agitators’. We are not against SGG but rather for the truth.” Fr. Stepanich, you are putting words in his mouth. He is not against SGG, but against its corrupt leaders.)
While untruthfully denying (How do you know the denial was “untruthful,” Father?) that you are “against SGG,” you evade the issue when you protest that you are rather “for the truth.” That’s evasive nonsense. (No it’s not “evasive nonsense,” Father – but what you are saying IS.) The real issue is either being “for SGG,” or being “against SGG.” Since you are plainly “against SGG”, you therefore cannot be “for SGG.” If you are “for” something, you are automatically “against” its opposite, and vice versa. Since you are plainly “for” the closing of SGG, you are plainly “against” its continued existence, and, since you are plainly “for” having the SGG leaders “kicked out on their ears”, you are plainly “against” having them stay there. (Again, he’s against having them stay there – but NOT “against SGG.” Those are two completely different things.)
Another thing that you dishonestly resent is that of being called a “rebel.” (“Dishonestly”? How so, “dishonestly”?!!) You have obviously not given any sound thought to the full meaning of the word “rebel”. (Actually, he has, Father.) The full meaning is that rebels can be either “good rebels” or “bad rebels.” You could have tried to defend yourself by insisting – though untruthfully! – that you are a “good” rebel against SGG. Aside from your attitude toward SGG, you presumably are, as a supposed traditional Catholic, a “good rebel” in resisting and rebelling against the modernist Novus Ordo establishment. In regard to that, you presumably would not resent being called a “rebel,” knowing that you are a “good rebel.
But you are definitely not a “good rebel” in regard to the SGG situation. (on what grounds, Father?) You know very well that when your rebel leader was dismissed from SGG he vengefully (vengefully?) reacted by setting himself up where he knew many of the SGG parishioners lived and who would find it more convenient to come to his secular place for Mass rather than to SGG. That rebel action of his plainly indicated that, since he was being dismissed from the SGG parish, he would make up for that by establishing himself in a secular building where he could take SGG parishioners away from their church, and this also meant that he was taking them away from their Eucharistic Lord in the SGG tabernacle. (Father, let me remind you that SGG started out in such a “secular place,” as too did the early Christians in the catacombs. Your accusation is petty, uncharitable, and BOGUS.)
You sure did let yourself get carried away in the wrong direction – in fact, right into heresy territory! [How so, Father?] – when I said that your rebel leader set himself up in a “secular building.” Your mindless hasty reaction to that was this blasphemous insult to God: “God does not care about buildings, but about souls!” (Father, it’s neither blasphemous nor insulting – but you were.) And you put that insulting declaration into all capital letters no less! It is as if you didn’t know that God is the one who has been inspiring men all through the Christian centuries to keep building worthy places for the worship of Himself, from the most magnificent basilicas and cathedrals down to the most humble of chapels and shrines, as if you didn’t know how God kept after David and Solomon to build the first Temple of Jerusalem; as if you didn’t know how Our Lady, in various places of her apparitions (for example, Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima), repeatedly asked that churches be built there, with the all-important thing being the Real Presence of Jesus in those building [sic] and the offering there of the traditional Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. (Fr. Stepanich, you WILLFULLY misconstrued what that parishioner was saying. You knew full well that St. Albert’s, as all beginning parishes, HAD to start out humbly; and God doesn’t care what sort of building they had – as long as they did their best under the circumstances.)
Shouldn’t David and Solomon, as also Juan Diego of Guadalupe and Bernadette of Lourdes and Lucy of Fatima have objected: “But God does not care for buildings!” You betray some more of your split thinking when you say that “God does not care for buildings, but for souls.” No one should have to tell you that God cares for buildings precisely because He cares for souls!” You do not separate the souls from the buildings. The two go together in God’s mind and intentions. It is in the sacred buildings, sanctified by His Real Presence, that God provides the sacred means for the salvation of souls. (Your logic here is “all wet,” Father. We thought you had a doctorate in sacred theology. Go back to school!)
As if you had not already insulted God enough, you cut loose, from your exalted cathedra pestilentiae, with this brazen solemn pronouncement: “I tell you solemnly that St. Albert’s parish is a work of the Holy Ghost.” You audaciously and untruthfully attribute the split of the SGG parish to the Holy Ghost, as if you didn’t know that the Holy Ghost is the God of unity, not of division. (Perhaps this parishioner sounded a little “pompous” in saying that St. Albert’s was “a work of the Holy Ghost” – but splitting away from a cesspool like SGG would at least qualify as a benevolent event. At any rate, SGG itself originally “split off” from another entity – so why wasn’t that an act of “disunity”? Again, your words are – at best -- uncharitable, and your logic, faulty.)
Don’t be so naïve as to imagine that everything is just hunky dory with the so-called St. Albert’s parish, and that the Holy Ghost sure enough created it, just because, as you say, you see so many “smiling faces” there. (Why not? SGG uses the “smiling faces” ploy all the time to portray “contentment.”) You know that humans are notorious for putting on a silly smile or grin when they do a dummy thing. And stop posing as some kind of prophet of dire things to come, such as many of us have seen coming already for many long years now. And stop posing as some kind of mystic – in reality, a “mistake” – who has supposedly received some kind of super-terrestial revelations, and would like to tell us about them “most solemnly.” (Father, your words don’t make “a whole lot of sense” here; were you having a “senior moment” when you wrote them? And, while you’re at it, is there anything else you’d like to nitpick to the “nth degree”?)
You, the Solemn One, pose as the one who makes decisions for God. (Again, Father, you are, at best, “putting words in his mouth.” And, at worst, you are lying.) You, the Solemn One, tell God that “He doesn’t care for buildings.” You, the Solemn One, tell the Holy Ghost to create that so-called “St. Albert’s parish.” My, how easy you make it for God! Since you do all the deciding for Him in regard to the SGG issue, all He has to do is sit back and take it easy. God never had it so good! (Again, Father, you are willfully misinterpreting what the man is saying -- and your satire here is trite at best.)
You really went wild in protesting my statement that your rebel Mass location is “right in the middle of SGG territory.” And you did a sneaky dishonest thing when you tried to make it look as if I was talking about a “canonical” territory – that is, a territory determined for a parish or a diocese according to Canon LawYou know all too well that I did no such thing. You can plainly see that I was speaking simply of the actual area in Ohio in which SGG is located, and which makes SGG within easy enough reach for traditional Catholics in Ohio and Kentucky. In objecting to a “canonical” territory, which you yourself dreamed up, you were actually arguing only against yourself, not against me. . (No, Father, it is YOU who are being “sneaky” and “dishonest” here. That parishioner was NOT referring to “SGG territory” in the “canonical” sense, but in a purely geographical sense. And speaking of geography, since when does “SGG territory” encompass all of the southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky area? It does not. There are several other “trad” churches in that “territory” (including Immaculate Conception). Additionally, St. Albert’s wasn’t “in SGG’s backyard,” so it was NOT infringing on their (or anyone else’s) “territory.” So, you see, Father, it was you who were “arguing against yourself.”)
But let’s call it quits here. Enough is enough! You have made enough of a sorry display of your incompetence in handling the SGG situation. (Actually, it is you who have done that, Father) And you crown it all with your solemn demand that I “recant,” that is, take back publicly all that I have said on the SGG issue! What you very badly need to do is to get down on your knees before a crucifix and keep repeating the prayer of the publican, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (that perfect little act of contrition). (Actually, Father, we think that this prayer applies more to you; so, what you “very badly need to do” is to say this prayer for yourself.) And keep repeating it and repeating it, until you let the grace of God come through. And then, use those knees of yours aplenty, while doing the kind of praying for the solution of the reported SGG problem that I have repeatedly recommended. Show, finally, that you understand that God, and God alone, is able to restore the right order of things at St. Gertrude the Great Church and school, not you and your fellow anti-SGG agitators. (We must certainly enlist God’s help in restoring order at SGG, but the actual physical work must be performed by people. And you, Fr. Stepanich, did NOTHING to help make that happen. On the contrary: you did everything in your power NOT to make that happen -- to impede any SGG parishioners’ efforts “to restore the right order of things at St. Gertrude the Great Church and school.” Many people presented you with material evidence – and you ignored it all.)
AD PEDES TUAE SOLEMNISSIMAE MAJESTATIS HUMILIME PROVOLUTUS.
(“Most humbly prostrate at the feet of thy most solemn majesty”)
(“Most condescendingly self-righteous up here on my faux moral high-ground”)
March 29, 2010 Father Martin Stepanich, O.F.M., S.T.D