July 26, 2016
Posted by Tantumblogo
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 [Tantumblogo’s comments in brackets]:
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.