Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Dan O'Connell and The Silencing

A few years ago, a funeral director and his apprentice were shot to death in Northern Wisconsin. As it turned out, the shooter was a homosexual priest. The funeral director and martyr, Dan O'Connell, had confronted the priest about the priest's abuse of a young boy.

The case has gotten some publicity--murders are unusual--and was eventually solved by a couple of detectives. When it became clear that the detectives knew that the priest was the shooter, the priest hung himself.

That's not exactly the end of the story. A group of laymen in the Twin Cities area formed the Dan O'Connell Society, with the idea that they would support good priests and support good laymen through a defense of true fatherhood.

They began with a manifesto; it includes a few interesting paragraphs and what they state should have been the headline on the story of the murder:

Heroic Catholic man confronts and is killed by homosexual predator.

Their next observation is critical:

Ryan Erickson [the perp/priest] was trained in
seminaries that fostered a web of lies about patriarchy and
cultivated personalities that denigrated the fatherhood of
God and the brotherhood of the priesthood. This rebellion
against patriarchy
, like the first original sin, has spawned its
murderer. Christ created an apostolic brotherhood of love.
He ordered the apostles to love one another as the Father
loved Him. This new affective bond shapes the public bond
of Christian brotherhood and animates a wide-radius
fraternal charity in Christian civic life. To eroticize this
bond in affection or action is a blasphemous and polluting
crime against the Father. Such a perversion of manly love
has the same devastating effect on the public communion of
the priesthood as incest does on the corporate identity of a
family. The disordered affection does not have to be acted
upon to destroy the emotional life of a brotherhood in service
to the Father.
Outside attacks strengthen brothers linked in

Most of us instinctively have understood that The Disorder is closely linked to a general animus against Tradition, and certainly militates against genuine fatherhood. But the O'Connell group goes a step further, pinning the tail in the real donkey:

The lavender network in the church is closely linked to
ideological feminism
, which Pope Benedict has called
“another religion.” Both the feminists and the homosexuals
decry the Fatherhood of God, the all-male priesthood, the
male-female character of marriage and a Marian femininity
centered on obedience, virginity, and motherhood. Catholic
teaching and Catholic living form an organic whole
. When
the fundamental categories of sexual roles are called
oppressive, the patriarchal system loses its coherence. That
is exactly the goal of the feminists and homosexuals who
have had such an inordinate influence in the paid staff
positions of our church, our seminaries, and the
educational system.

They also observe that many of these feminists are now staffers in both parishes and Chanceries:

In a very bad trade,
the chancery’s clique has fired the old Martha (the
housekeeper who would work) and given eternal tenure to
the new Mary (the ecclesial minister who will not listen).

And, yes, it has had its impact on liturgy:

The war against patriarchy
erases our Judaic roots and erodes the confidence we pray
for every day in the Eucharist-to be able to call God “Our
Father”. This denigration of the fatherhood of God as one
metaphor among many radically depersonalizes God.
Prayer life becomes an exercise of human invention rather
than an ongoing incorporation with the Son in his filial
personal relationship with the Father.

(This is also a motif found in the writings of Cdl. Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI.)

They neatly and briefly summarize the effects of self-discipline (both priestly and lay):

There is a palpable Christian
sensibility of vigor and vigilance that attends the discipline
of sexual desire. Purity codes are not strictures that build
up crazed sexual energy, like a raging river rising against a
bulwark, creating pressure that downstream causes the
flood wall to burst in a torrent of anti-social perversion.
Purity, the Beatitudes teach us, lets us see the face of God.
As Shakespeare wrote, it is when “Pure thoughts are dead
and still / That Lust and murder wake to stain and kill.”
It is not fatherhood or the all-male brotherhood that is
the cause of sexual abuse and murder in the church. We
need more fatherhood, not less; purity, not perversion;
brotherhood, not incest; fatherly protection, not adolescent

And they proceed to corroborate the indictment of the USCC's "Commission" and the silliness of various administrative "solutions" to the problem. The excellent Bishop Bruskewitz could have written this passage himself:

Our own Judicial Tribunals are silent. Rather
than calling the priesthood into order, our Vicars General
smother the laity with mind numbing regulations and
abuse policies. Presently we are granting abusers lifetime
employment in the very judicial and record-keeping
positions needed for clergy reform and diocesan justice.


The present arrangement has reformed nothing. About
halfway between the day that Ryan Erickson murdered the
men of Hudson and the month he hung himself in Hurley,
the diocese of Superior got an excellent rating in fulfilling
the bureaucratic abuse reporting guidelines of the national
bishop’s conference. The charade continues.
We fingerprint the Catholic laity while hiding other hands
with spots of blood that will never wash.


Instead of
naming and removing known predators, we set up a
national “name that body part” program for Catholic grade
school children. Instead of using our own church judicial
structures to aggressively search out offenders, we park
criminals in those positions and wait for the civil legal
system to compensate a tiny fraction of the exploited.
Instead of a priestly brotherhood fostering protective
fathers, the priesthood has become a neutered
bureaucracy. Any priest who stands against the cabal can
be falsely accused and removed. Apparently if a layman
gets too close, he will be shot. No wonder the fascination
with paperwork; paternity has proven dangerous.

And, yes, they have a proposal to solve the problem:

To cleanse the Catholic priesthood, we must start in the
chanceries with the priests assigned to administer justice
and organize priestly life. Chancery offices are not
“administrative positions” of a bureaucracy. They are
offices of fatherly authority meant to maintain the priestly
brotherhood that fosters fatherhood.

We sympathize with men who find
themselves with homosexual tendencies but our sympathy
does not include calling them our spiritual fathers. We
stand in fighting opposition to men who celebrate these
tendencies as healthy or natural. We have to admit the
ugly truth about many officials in our diocese, and we have
to name names. The storyline of “the victimized
homosexual” needs a reality check with the comfortable
powerbrokers of urban politics, mainstream media, nonprofit
foundations and church bureaucracies. The
incestuous network of homosexuals polluting the Catholic
priesthood have convinced themselves and their secular
allies that “fighting sexual repression” in the Catholic
Church makes these spoiled white boys into Rosa Parks.
She sat on the bus. They kiss in the rectory. It’s all about
human rights. Well, Ryan Erickson is no Rosa Parks.

The manifesto goes on to mention by name the priests who enabled Ryan Erickson.

HT: a fellow Churchman in Milwaukee.

1 comment:

Joey said...

That happened just a half mile down the road from my church. A good friend of mine is the youth pastor at the church (St. Patrick's) where the guy was a priest. It's still a huge story in the Twin Cities area. More than that, it's still a huge scar for a whole lot of people.