Although Catholic cultures have punished crime severely including by torture and death, there has been, especially in Hispanic cultures, a curious cult of the criminal as saint. Mexico has its holy banditos and narcotraficantes.
Miguel Mañana was a Counter-Reformation Spanish noble. He had been violent and lascivious, and underwent a complete conversion. He served the poor and especially criminals.
Most people then and now would understand the identification of Christ and the suffering poor, but Mañana went further.
Timothy Mitchell in Passional Culture explores the confradías that Mañana founded. The brothers provided assistance to criminals condemned to death.
They collected alms on the way to the gallows, prayed for his soul, provided for his widows or children, and gathered up the limbs of those who had been drawn and quartered. Not everyone approved of such consideration for criminals.
For Mañana Christ was the original “criminal,” condemned to death by the law, whose execution was/is a never-ending source of grace to humanity.
To those who dared to doubt that the hanged felon could represent Christ, Manana replied that “there are two considerations in a man put to death: one, that of punished delinquent; the other, that of the helpless poor man. And since in the second our Lord is represented, any demonstration that is made in this respect falls short.”
Mañana’s generosity was unending, and the poor wept when he died. His penances were astonishing and disgusting; he may have been neurotic, but if so, he was a saintly neurotic – and perhaps the world needs more of them.
“I was in prison and you visited me” applies not just to Christians imprisoned for their faith. The only group that does extensive hands-on work in prisons is Prison Fellowship International, mostly evangelical Christians. Chuck Colson was a neighbor in Florida, as is Michael Timmis, the current head. They have gone into some of the most dangerous prisons in the world to help prisoners and to bring the Gospel.
A few times when I was a Federal investigator I occasionally had to visit maximum security prisons and prisons for the criminally insane. When that iron door slams behind you, you feel a certain dread. I would not do it again willingly, but there are those who do it all the time, seeing in the convicts not just the justly punished criminal, but the face of the scourged and executed Man. I wish I could do that.
I have been trying for years to bring a specific very necessary sort of ministry into prisons. Government approval is necessary. Those who are approved by the government are the ones with their hands on the doorknob. So everything has to be acceptable. You can’t bring literature in. You can’t give books. You can’t bring up topics that might make people (either prisoners or admin) upset. Crazy.
The Latino fascination with death and suffering has always amazed me. There is even a saint for those who smuggle people across the border! Growing up in the Azores, I remember the gory crucifixes and after joining the Hermanos in Truchas in 1968, I got to see the first woman to be crucified. She was the daughter of the local Hermano Mayor, and she considered it a great privilege to suffer along with the men. During my time in Chimayo, I got to see the Penitentes put up a cloth, stained with their blood, near the altar, which they vowed to never take down until the last of their brothers returned safe from Viet Nam. In every morada (Penitente chapel) there is always a death cart with Dona Sebastiana, a female skeleton. I live in a Mexican community and we always celebrate the “day of the dead”. I have just finished reading Brandon’s book “Jesus and the Zealots” and I believe Jesus was a Zealot leader who led an insurrection in the Temple. I believe most of the apostles were zealots and that Jesus was crucified between two outlaw rebels, whom he apparently knew. They Romans didn’t crucify mere”thieves”.
My family is from Torreon and Manzano, New Mexico and all my male ancestors were penitentes. We even have photographs of them being whipped and carrying crosses. We Hispanics have always identified with the poor,the outcasts, the mavericks because that was who we were! To better understand us, you might read “My Penitente Land” by Fray Angelico Chavez, who also was a penitente. I think the Mexican/Latino/Hispanic people identify with the outcast Christ because the “gachupines” or pure-blooded Spanish and later French masters of Mexico and the 3 French Archbishops of New Mexico after 1846, persecuted us and treated us as an inferior caste. Even to this day, there is a chapel in Santa Fe called Our Lady of Guadalupe for the Indians and mixed blooded hispanics and another church called Our Lady of the Conquest (La Conquistadora) for the high-class, pure blooded and inbred “Spanish” who claim to be directly descendant from Spanish nobility and royalty. Jesus was surely not one of them, even though he was supposed to be a “Son of David”.
“They crucified Him”. That is all the Gospel says. It does NOT describe any pain, suffering, or talk about how awful it was. Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ” which plays almost everyday on some Christian channels is 3 hours of unbearable agony and maybe a couple minutes of anything else, like (duh) the Resurrection! Why are we so fascinated by such a film? What vicarious needs does it serve? In Sedona, Az in 1970 at the chapel of the Spiritual Life Institute, we had a crucifix of Christ of the Atomic radiation holocaust, designed by a Japanese artist. It was so hard to look at that the gentle people of Sedona made us take it down and the Spiritual Life members had to leave for Nova Scotia and later Colorado. Give me my good old “plastic Jesus” and leave me alone!!
I am wondering if the Latino Catholic’s culture of suffering with Christ has created even more of a fertile ground for clerical pederasty.
Maciel is still revered in his native town in Mexico despite the revelations of his clearly monstrous crimes.
In Leon Podles’s book, “Sacrilege”, he talks about the rectory boys of El Paso. It seems that it was acceptable and customary for Mexican boys to stay in rectories with priests, especially in remote areas. It was only after some of the rectories across the river from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in El Paso became aware of this practice that it became a huge scandal!
Pious Parents have been taught to see the priest as an Alter Christi even when not officiating at Mass and with Sacraments.
Unknowingly they have offered their children up as sacrifices to Asmodeus and the like .
….I pray that dear good men who are in the priesthood will recognize what has happened to the institution that employs them .
In Jay Nelson’s autobiographical novel, “The Harrowing”, he tells of Satanic rituals where was one of the victims. These were conducted by the “guests” (pederasts priests) at the Servants of the Paraclete’s Via Coeli and he was a young boy who just liked to swim in their pool, which was then open to the public’s children. Jay and his uber-Catholic family lived a few miles north at the village of La Cueva and his family was grateful for the opportunity for their young son to get to swim. No one knew and no one suspected that he was “swimming with sharks”. I, Brother Oso Pious, was a life guard at the pool in the 60’s and was once attacked by one of the pedophile priests while changing into my swimming trunks. earlier Jay had been abducted, raped and tortured in satanic rituals which he describes in great detail in his historical novel. Jay and I got together 5 years ago and “Sons of Perdition” was the book that emerged. Jay tells about the history of the Paracletes and how they enabled and caused the horrible events that followed. The pedophile priests were deliberately “recycled” and dumped on innocent parishes until the scandal broke in 2002. The cover-up continues.
I know .You are not alone in your experiences
or or in your convictions. I also understand that it is very frustrating internally to hear and see those Catholics who defend what you know to be indefensible and in reality much worse than is in print.
What I have found most difficult of late is the influx of some of the worst into the Traditional Latin Catholic venues .They seem to be attempting to cover themselves in traditional cloaks wherein the pew people actually believe that they are defending traditionally minded “holy” priests who are under attack by modernists therefore, blinding themselves to these charlatans..
I plan to purchase Jay’s book.
The story of his requested Excommunication broke my heart when I read it tonight.
Was /is the LC/RC active in your area?
Mary, The LC/RC is very active in our area. Our priest, Fr. Larry Merta, is even one of the Macial’s Legionaires of Christ. Our villages in the Manzano Mountains of New Mexico were targeted to be one of the main dumping grounds for the toxic pedophilic, human waste. The hierarchy knew that our predominately Hispanic communities were unlikely to ever complain about their padres, whom most revered as living saints. Whenever some of our children were molested, the priest was simply moved to another Hispanic community further away. The pain and suffering of the victims and their families have ruined generations of devout, traditional and sincere Catholics. Some of the youngsters even committed suicide.
Oso, your story about Satanic rites performed by priests reminds me of stories concerning the “enthronement” of Satan right in the Vatican when Pope Paul VI succeeded John XXIII. Paul did not participate in these rites yet was aware of them, saying that “the smoke of Satan has entered the sanctuary.” Malachi Martin — a devout Catholic and former Jesuit — wrote extensively about the Satanic presence in the Church.
Here’s something else: Pope Leo XIII had a vision in the 1880s in which he saw Jesus talking with Satan. The devil bragged that he could destroy the Catholic Church but needed time and power. Jesus asked, “How much time and how much power?” Satan responsed that he needed about a century and the power to control those who would devote themselves to him.
Jesus’ response: “You have the time. You have the power. Do what you will.”
After this, Leo composed the prayer asking St. Michael the Archangel to protect the Church. But if Jesus essentially abandoned the Church to Satan, why would an archangel disobey Jesus? And if Jesus allowed Satan to do his work, are we not seeing the evidence in our own day?
Finally, why would Jesus give Satan such permission if the church in question was truly faithful?
It was hard and painful for Jay and I to remember and to research all the facts and details of “Sons of Perdition”. I suggested the title because of its similarity to” Servants of Paraclete”. The time I spent in the order as Brother Pious and later as Father Pious was traumatic and Jay and I spent a lot of out time crying in our beer and feeling the pain that we had supressed over the years. The book was very therapeutic for us and it is now on Kindle. Jay wanted to go to each parish and give copies away to each parishoner. The Catholic hierarchy has threatened us with law suits, and I have been personally attacked and “branded” by the local “faithful” as a heretic and a maverick. i hope you enjoy reading “Sons of Perdition” and Jay plans a new up-dated edition soon.
Does he write under a pseuodonym?
Oso, I have spent many years being” branded”.I have been labeled a “schismatic” and “evil” and of course the ever hackneyed “Disgrunteled Latin””when I complained to one Bishop about a certain imposter priest pastor, who turned out to have a “questionable Ordination.”
Years of tears over loss of friends and more over friend’s children who were abused.
Angry, you bet I am Benedict! Especially after reading about Bevi’s villa .Did anyone believe the woman who was walking on the Ventner beach and came across him and his friends in their matching pink speedos? She actually went up and asked him if he was the Cardinal,”Why yes I am” , he replied!
May God Rebuke Them ….and He is.
I passed the title and info on Jay and yes I will definitely read it and I have a friend interested it too.
Father Michael Koening
Joseph, remember the Book fo Job. Also, Satan asked God’s permission to “sift” Simon Peter, but Jesus prayed for him.
Because my family is very active in the Catholic hierarchy and as lay leaders, I didn’t want to embarrass them by using my real name. I chose instead, my religious name that I used as a member of the Servants of the Paraclete. Jay Nelson, on the other hand, has used his real name and been excommunicated from the Catholic Church. I did not want my family to be involved in any witch hunts, inquisitions, excommunications or scandal, SO I deliberately chose to keep my real name silent. My name Oso Pious is a combination of my adopted Hispanic heritage, where I am called Oso (bear) and I have coached one of the top scholastic, hispanic chess teams in the nation called “Los Ositos” (Bear Cubs). Oso also can be pronounced as “Oh, so pious” and it is a sarcastic parody of the character I became as Brother/Father Pious. I was as real and genuine as Betty Crocker, and Aunt Jemima. As Father Gerald Fitzgerald’s secretary and novice, I assumed the identity that he chose for me i.e.(Father Pious) in order to run the “Pious Apostolate” for Wayward Shepherds (priests). We raked in millions of dollars and each member of the Apostolate had to send in money every month to me, to “sponsor” a wayward priest and I woukld send them a monthly report as to how their “adopted” shepherd was doing. Each “adopted priest” was given a code name, like Father XYZ for example. In return for each generous donation, I would also send out a “Father Pious Holy Card” and brief newsletter. I had to hire an assistant, “Brother Augustine” because of the hundreds of letters each week. When I left the Paraclete Order, someone else from the “Mystical Body of Father Pious” had to step in and take my place as Father Pious.
In all fairness to my former boss, Father Gerald Fitzgerald s.P., the founder of the Servants of the Paraclete, I believe he was a sincere and kind man. The problem was all the manipulative and sycopantic people who took over his order and even effectively removed him as Superior in 1965. The result was that the Paracletes were run by miscreants like Fr. John Feit and his ilk who enabled the culture of pedophilia and cover up. I believe Leon Podles has a case study of John Feit and his murdered victim ,Irene Garza in his case files. I simply obeyed my orders and as a result of my complicity in the Father Pious fraud and other schemes, I had to go through years of therapy and I am still healing from the traumatic adventures I had as the noble “Father Pious”. I found out that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely! I also learned that it is not what you do, BUT HOW YOU TALK ABOUT IT!
The same was done everywhere , but I agree that the perception of the pious uneducated poor is tantalizing fertile fields for the immoral clerics.
In the early ninieties Steve Rubino Esq took out a Rico Suit against Bishop McHugh ( same was the Vatican’s designated Pro Life Bishop). It was revealed over a three week period in the Philadelphia Sunday Magazine articles ,that his Diocese had transferred the pederasts between Camden ,Providence ,Rhode Island and Ireland
Diocese and that secret settlements amounting to almost 3.5 million had already been paid out to victims.
During this time Bernadin had scheduled a “Healing Mass ‘ to be aired on Philadelphia local television from Borromeo Seminary in PA which was used by Camden ,Philadelphia and Trenton Diocese’.
The Mass was to demonstrate that Cook (the man who alleged Bernadin’s molestations who at the time was dying of AIDS ) had recanted and stated he had experienced ,” false memories.”
Fortunately, the sham PR ploy was pre empted by a sports event.
Later, Steve Brady of RCF posted emails between Mahony and a nun that clearly spelled out the use of PR people in order the squelch the burgeoning revelations in the Press there.
I am reading Jay Nelson’s book. He relies heavily on the historical writings from Charles Henry Lea, a vehement anticatholic.
Oso, I really believe had he used more documentation from a broader source pool other than quoting Lea so much, his book would have been given more credibility, which it is due ,especially with his excellent observations and historical accounts concerning New Mexico and the green light for sexual abuse perceived by many clerics during and after Vatican 2.
I am increasingly enjoying the read in as much as I have arrived at the related historical events of New Mexico and am moving on to the Paracletes and Fr Fitzgerald.
I know that Jay Nelson uses his real name. Oso Pious is really named Brad Earlewine and he is a retired teacher and coach. When the local people found out that Oso (Brad) had a part in writing “Sons of Perdition”, he was banned from certain cafes and one woman even slapped him, saying “How dare you call yourself a Catholic?”
Jay Nelson tells his story of the Paracletes from the viewpoint of one who has suffered abuse from the ” recycling system” that the Paracletes and enabling bishops created. The poor parishes got their traveling priests and money in their collections. The hierarchy “killed two birds with one stone” because they didn’t have to be responsible for dumping the most toxic human predators and they found a way to maintain the “stream” of perverted priests from the sending diocese, somewhere in the world, to the Paraclete recycling center, to the dumping grounds in rural New Mexico. The “flow of filth” ran silently for decades and has only recently been exposed. I gave Jay an “insider’s” perspective and he cites me numerous times in the footnotes of “Sons of Perdition”. The book can be a tedious read but it is well worth the effort!
Fr. Michael, while I understand your reasoning, keep in mind two things:
1. Jesus prayed for Peter. According to Pope Leo’s vision, Jesus did not seem to have the inclination to pray for the Church.
2. Peter and Job repented. Can we really say the same about Church leadership — especially if things seem to have gotten worse over the past 130 years?
You might want to read 1 Samuel 2: 12-36, in which an unknown prophet tells Eli, the old high priest, that because he failed to discipine his corrupt sons effectively, he and they would die and the priesthood would pass out of their family line.
Who is to say that cannot happen again, only in a slightly different fashion?
Apparently, those who dismiss God’s grace by refusing to listen, consider their ways and repent reach a point of no return in which God says, “OK, have it your way.” We all reap what we sow. The Church is now reaping from the corruption it has sewn for centuries — and probably will continue to do so until Jesus returns.
After several copies of Sons of Perdition were circulated in the parish and local libraries in our county, our new Legionaire priest ( from Maciel’s order in Mexico) had been suddenly recalled to Rome for a few weeks and now has been re-assigned to another State. We had a farewell party and fiesta for him and we now await our new “supply priest”. I don’t know anything about your area or the other States. I only know that Oso Pious has been physically attacked and banned from certain local establishments because of his association with Jay Nelson.
Oso, “it is not what you do, but how you talk about it.”
The modern term for this is “spin.”
I finished the book Oso and discovered some useful nuggets of information in the process. found the second half a more interesting read,albeit infuriating.Two friends also ordered the book .
Lumping the info with Jason’s Berry’s information Randy Engel’s, Leon’s my own experiences and that of my rectory retirees along with the good priest’s who confided in me over three decades, well, suffice to say, I get the picture and it is not pretty.
I personally kne Malachi Martin several years before he died. He said it best when he told me they may be clerics but they simply are not Believers.