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Scandal at St. Agnes: More Profanation of the Sacred in NYC


I don’t know about all of you, but I’m completely disgusted with the ever-increasing scandals infesting the Catholic Church. Day after day we’re inundated with news that is stomach-turning, all of it met with deafening silence from those with the power to do something about it, whether in the local see or in Rome.

The New York Archdiocese in particular has become home to some of the more unfortunate incidences of late – so many, it’s almost impossible to keep up. From the derailing of the cause of Archbishop Fulton Sheen to Cardinal Dolan’s participation in the homosexually-charged St. Patrick’s day parade (following, of course, his “Bravo” comments to the coming out of a homosexual) to his heavy-handedness in dealing with those asking about that situation to the narrowly avoided execution of Holy Innocents to the Stripping of Our Saviour, we’re never long without another hammer blow from the Big Apple. Today, we turn our attention to the parish of St. Agnes in Manhattan, where this is happening:

The organist at New York’s famous Church of St. Agnes in midtown Manhattan will be marrying his gay partner this September, and the faithful await the archdiocese’s response to the scandal.

Christopher Prestia was hired by parish priest Myles Murphy earlier this month, after the former parish organist and choirmaster James Wetzel — who had served at St. Agnes for five years — abruptly resigned over a disagreement over music. According to sources, Fr. Murphy disapproved of the polyphony Wetzel regularly offered, saying it was “too intellectual” for the laity, and asked Wetzel to start employing English hymnals. Wetzel resigned, as did the entire choir.

Prestia took over as choir master and organist July 8, and directs music each Sunday for the Traditional Latin Mass.

Prestia describes himself on the parish website as “an adult convert to Catholicism.” He confirmed his new assignment on his publicly visible Facebook page, where he announced July 8 that he’s “officially the musician-in-chief at St. Agnes Parish, New York City.” He also confirmed his service at the Sunday Traditional Latin Mass: On July 12, he announced, “First ever Tridentine mass on my own in T minus 60 minutes! Pray for me!”

It’s on this same Facebook page where Prestia mentions his homosexual partner. In a status update posted October 1, 2014, Prestia writes, “My gay fiance [sic] is wearing stripes and plaid.”

The same Christopher Prestia who hosts this website, which is linked from his profile at St. Agnes’ page, is also the one shown in this online wedding registry announcing his upcoming civil marriage to his partner Shane, to take place at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Scranton, Pennsylvania on September 4, 2015.

According to sources close to the situation, Murphy was made aware of the scandal July 17, and at the time claimed to have known nothing about Prestia’s sexual orientation or his upcoming gay “marriage.” The archdiocese of New York was contacted soon afterward and made aware of the situation. As of today, more than 10 days later, the archdiocese is yet to issue a statement on the matter. also reached out to the archdiocese, but as of press time has received no response.

If you want to see pictures of the “happy couple” from their Facebook page and “wedding” registry, click the link to the original story.

In other words: this isn’t just a salacious rumor. This is public, obvious scandal. Nobody is even bothering to hide it.

Making matters worse, parishioners have been reporting outright hostility towards the Traditional Latin Mass offered at St. Agnes, which is said to have “the longest-running and most well-respected Traditional community in the New York archdiocese, whose history stretches back more than two decades.”

According to Jolanta Idzik, a regular Traditional Latin Mass attendee at St. Agnes for more than a decade, who spoke with, Fr. Murphy has placed restrictions on how early priests and servers can arrive to prepare for the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass and how late they can leave, even publicly berating them if they stay several minutes longer than usual.

After a visiting priest from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter had finished offering the Usus antiquioron a Sunday last June, no sooner had he entered the sacristy than Fr. Murphy announced from the microphone to the entire church that the Mass had gone on too long and that everyone was required to exit immediately. Idzik said this incident was “very embarrassing” to the Traditional community.


Other petty behavior evidenced by Murphy includes consistently shutting off the air conditioning during the Tridentine Mass, only to turn it on for the Mass offered immediately afterward. According to Idzik, the visiting priests and other parishioners routinely notice stifling temperatures during the Missa Cantata, cool temperatures at all other Masses.

Monique Mirouze, occasional visitor at St. Agnes, once witnessed Murphy appearing at the back of the Church, just before the start of the 11 a.m. Mass, to announce that the air conditioning had broken down. Once the Mass ended, before the servers had even entered the sacristy, Murphy re-appeared, announcing that the air conditioning had been “fixed.” A priest who used to occasionally offer the ancient Mass at St. Agnes confirmed he had witnessed Murphy doing this on several occasions.

Mirouze was also a parishioner at Murphy’s former assignment St. Michael, where he was parish priest from 2005–2011. Her observations about the priest’s behavior then are consistent with those of eyewitnesses who spoke with us. In her words, “He absolutely disregarded us.”

In addition to frequently berating a Nigerian priest who offered Mass at St. Michael’s, Fr. Murphy was also in the habit of scolding parishioners. Mirouze witnessed him once castigating an altar server for “walking like a Nazi” and then criticizing his wife (a lector) in front of a group for failing to do the readings properly. The woman ended up in tears. Longtime parishioners who routinely volunteered their time to clean and beautify the parish ended up leaving because of the priest.

Our Lady’s Sorrow, Deepened By the Constant Offenses Against Her Divine Son

This is a disgrace. Prestia should be ashamed of himself. The pastor should be ashamed of himself. The Cardinal should be ashamed of himself.

And for those scratching their heads in confusion in New York, here’s a little refresher in the concept: shame is that thing that good people feel when they realize they’ve been doing something wrong.

This is not Catholic behavior. This is anti-Catholic behavior. You are supposed to be men of Christ, not the ones ever scourging Him anew.

98 thoughts on “Scandal at St. Agnes: More Profanation of the Sacred in NYC”

  1. People always make the mistake of thinking that St. Agnes has had the longest traditional Mass. Not that it is a big deal, but the very first parish to have the traditional Mass immediately after the indult was the Church of Mt. Carmel in East Harlem, but it has always been very inconvenient to get there, so when St. Agnes started a year later, it was easier to get to St. Agnes than it was to get to Mr. Carmel.

    I would also so that it has been “superseded” since now there is a parish (Holy Innocents) that has the traditional Mass *daily* and it will soon (on August 15th) have its 5th anniversary of having the daily traditional Mass at the High Altar, the same High Altar that was consecrated in 1901!

    Could we venture to guess that both Fr. Robbins and Fr. Murphy are good friends? I mean, they seem to think along the same line!

    • My guess is that Fr. Murphy is forbidden from forbidding the TLM by his superiors, who also hate the TLM, but don’t want the bad press. So he’s showing us dirty trads who’s the boss by acting like a manager hired by a slumlord to drive out all the tenants in a building to it can be torn down to build luxury condos.

    • Hello 1983,

      Yes, Holy Innocents is certainly more of a fully fledged home for tradition than St. Agnes is now.

      The difficulty is that this is what certain people in the Archdiocese would like: to push all the traditionalists into one place and quarantine them there, hermetically sealed off from any chance of infecting other communities. We’ve seen this routine time and time again in many dioceses. It would be a great pity, not to say injustice, if Holy Innocents (wonderful as it is) were left as the only place where Manhattan Catholics could have access to the traditional liturgy.

  2. The One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church will continue to suffer because there are too many sodomites in positions of influence within the Church.

    Whatever the actual number is, it ought be zero, for sodomites are, by nature, subversive, and they dutifully toil to remove/subvert any rule or sign that is suggestive of opposition to their fetid lust.

    That is a substantial reason why the Real Mass is so hated by sodomites for the Real Mass embraces an entire ethos that preceded the modern insane embrace of sodomy as normal and the very existence of the Real Mass is a powerful reminder of the truth about the mephitic atmosphere of sodomy and, thus, sodomites strive to subvert it; anybody who goes to the Real Mass, especially men, are disgusted by the effimancy of the Lil’ Licit Liturgy (it’s for chicks) and sickened to death by sodomites.

    IANS thinks the subtext of the entire modern liturgical movement was/is sexual perversion, especially sodomitic.

    Everything in the One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church will continue to degrade as long as sodomites are allowed to exist in their positions of influence.

    If we do not eliminate them from those positions of influence there is absolutely no chance for a restoration.

    • Could we infer Jesus was a sodomite? Were not Jews required to marry, to be fruitful and multiply? Isn’t marriage a Mitzvah commanded by god to all Jews?
      As in the biblical myth of Sodom, should we offer our daughters to be raped to appease these “Sodomites”… that was how the story went. Then again after all the wickedness of Sodom, Lot went into the mountains and his daughters seduced him into having sex with them…obviously they did not mourn the loss of their well salted mother.

        • Nope, I guess you will have to fulfill your fantasy elsewhere. It must be difficult living for the next wafer at the alter of the dead gods. Have you tried praying to Zeus?

          • The wicked are the religious, the righteous, those that think they are so right with their ‘godhead’. For me there isn’t any disguise necessary…your myths mean nothing more to me than the myths of Islam…all the same, unproven, zero evidence, boring rehashed stories by desperate people over thousands of years. It is so pathetic, sad even, that so many of our species live in a delusion and insist their delusion is the truth…now that requires baring teeth in laughter.

          • Strange. Our “myths” don’t mean anything to you, and yet here you are, angrily trying to disillusion us of them.

            I think they mean a great deal more than you would like them to. People who don’t care about things tend to ignore them.

          • correct, we ignore the myth stories…but we can’t ignore the insanity they bring upon civilization: the terrorism, anti-science, the hate, misogynists, antigay, anti human rights, anti birth control. We must stand vigilant against the myth believers…their insanity will stop at nothing…9/11 is certain proof of that. When individuals live not for this world but for their fantasy after death world then we know there is certainly a problem. This problem is a broad path of which billions of abject slaves take part; most religions are culpable.

          • Now you’re not just dissembling; you’re spreading your own myths. Atheism – particularly the Communist variety – is responsible for more human deaths and more inhumane conditions than all other religions and worldviews combined – over 100 million. Add to that legalized abortion, now estimated to have claimed one billion lives around the world since 1980, and the death toll on the hands of those who despise and revile God and His creation is so high that even Islam could never hope to catch up.

            Your lack of belief in God has nothing at all to do with the reality of His existence. A childish embrace of solipsism does not make your reality real. A denial of God no more makes the Creator disappear than the child playing hide and seek makes his father unable to see him just by burying his head beneath a pile of pillows.

            God exists, He loves you, and He has every right to expect yours in return. What you do with that obligation is up to you. You won’t, however, dissuade us from ours.

          • The burden of proof is upon you not me. I need not prove the nonexistence of something you can’t prove exists. I need not prove the tooth fairy does not exist. I need not prove bigfoot does not exist. I need not prove Muhammad flew to heaven via a chariot of horses or that Jesus rose from the dead. It is he that makes the claims that must provide verifiable evidence. Atheism is not believing in god because there is no evidence of god…it is not communism, or fascism, or anything else you desire to hybrid it with. There are democracies that have majority atheists…look at Europe. The reason religions are ‘faith’ is because there is zero evidence to support it as truth, hence the default is faith. Atheists don’t despise god, they don’t hate something there is no evidence even exists…hating god is akin to hating a stone. Some atheists have contempt for religion, but religions have contempt for each other…they have incompatible doctrines and so called revelations.

          • “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1). You, as an atheist, are using that same argument, “…the evidence of things not seen.” You cannot say with any degree of certainty that God does not exist. Prove it.

          • Can you prove that the Gods of ancient Rome and Greece do not exist? Can you prove Joseph Smith or Jim Jones are not gods true prophets…how about Muhammad? Do you see and understand where the illogic disproving something that has not proven get us…NOWHERE.

          • Uh, you are the one who has come here with your atheistic bravado, spouting so-called scientific truths and daring us to dispute your conclusions. You set the “rules” and then sit back and tell us to “prove” that God exists. All I did was challenge you to disprove He exists. Of course you cannot. And then you have the gall to say that it is illogical to try and disprove something! I could make copious and reasonable arguments for the proof of God using both empirical and non-empirical methods. I suspect, however, you would reject the basis of those methods, even though they are grounded in logic and science and used by both theists and atheists. Most atheists are not at their core atheists. What they usually are, is angry at God and deeply dissatisfied with their understanding of Him and His plan. It is the old rebellion of Adam and Eve, though “modernized” with the thought of just rejecting Him so that one does not have to grapple with inconvenient truths.

          • Again X 1000… it is the person making the claim that has the burden of proof. If you had verifiable evidence of god’s existence then you would be published in every science journal in the world…you would make history, you would be remembered for the entire time humanity exists. However, we know you have no such evidence and the idea that people that do not believe in your god are in “rebellion” or “grapple” is ludicrous. Do you lose sleep not believing in Allah and Muhammad…I certainly don’t. Do you feel “deeply dissatisfied…” when not following the 613 commandments the Jews received from Moses…I certainly don’t? Do you get all twisted out of shape not reading the book of Mormon and ignoring the revelations given to Joseph Smith…I have all I can do to not laugh about it. So relax, I and all those that reject your god do not have to disprove that which is not proven. No need to disprove a negative…basic logic.

          • Thou dost protest too much. As someone who doesn’t believe in God you spend an inordinate amount of time ineffectively arguing against His existence. In order to save time, feel free to read through this thread: There is an extended discussion between myself and another atheist that lays some of the groundwork for a reasonable argument regarding the existence of God. The reason most people don’t get into discussions with atheists such as yourself is because you are not usually open to the scientific and philosophic methods for logical argument. Emotion has clouded your reason and it is difficult to get someone in the throes of anger/rebellion to think logically or be open-minded and fair. Truly, if you didn’t care a fig about God, you wouldn’t be spending so much time here. I will add you to my prayers. God works in mysterious ways. 🙂

          • yawn…im always entertained by the latest stories myth believers will create to justify their religious crutch. And it is you that clearly does not understand logic…you actually believe I have to prove you unproven wrong…talk about illogic. And Faith is based on emotion, I base my reasoning on verifiable evidence.

          • William,

            Not to intrude but I would like to point out the following. Catholics believe in the Catholic Church because they come to hold that Christ died and rose from the dead. It is because of this feat that the Catholic considers Christ, his first Apostles, and Apostolic successors authoritative to teach regarding supernatural truths (heaven, hell, Angelic choirs, merits, effects of sin, sacraments etc.) that cannot be naturally observed.

            So what I am essentially pointing out is that any religious leader founding a religion should give us reason to think them authoritative to teach us about the supernatural.

            To this end, Muhammad was simply a fraud by admittance of his own people. Many Muslims agree that Muhammad did no miracles and that the Koran is his miracle. But any one aware of authors like Shakespeare would point out that writing a literary masterpiece (if the Koran even qualifies as such) is not a supernatural feat.

            As for the book of Mormon, the main problem is that this is a random individual claiming more than 1500 years after the original event that “This is how it really happened”. One needs to have reason to think that Joseph Smith is a special guy. If there is evidence of miracles, one needs to have some reasonable degree of evidence to consider the claim that he did miracles is actually true.

            In the Catholic case, we believe that Christ died and rose from the dead because his first Apostles and other eye witnesses died proclaiming this truth. I cannot think of anything better for a second hand claim of such a miracle than everyone who claimed to have witnessed it be willing to die for the claim.

            Now you may ask “What about the Muslims and others cult followers who die for their cult figureheads?”. I can only answer that they never died claiming Muhammad did miracles. They just seemed convinced for some reasons they highlight (like the Koran being a miracle which anyone with some intelligence can see is not that impressive) that Muhammad or their respective cult leader was definitely who he claimed to be.

          • The Gospels were written 30 to 60 years after Jesus’ death. There is no evidence he rose from the dead…that is a faith belief. The Gospels were not written by first hand eye witnesses and zealous religious followers of any belief always are suspect and lack credibility.

          • I think you are countering something that I did not actually say i.e. I believe in the resurrection because the Bible tells me so.

            So what am I actually saying then? I am going by the fact that there are records written within living memory of Christ’s death and resurrection that claim that his Apostles and first eye witnesses professed his resurrection. They were also willing to die for this claim. We can also admit the gospel accounts since they too are within the living memory [not in the sense that they say “Christ rose from the dead” but that his Apostles and others who witnessed his resurrection were willing to die for it]. Then we also have the tradition that has been passed down to us by our Catholic ancestors from one generation to the next [like the accounts of Church fathers].

            Your claim that zealous religious followers of any belief always are suspect and lack credibility is flawed. They cannot always lack credibility just because they are believers of the faith. It would seem perfectly reasonable that their claim be admitted if they became believers after they witnessed the event they claimed.

            Also, this is why it mattered that these eye witnesses persevered with their claim amidst persecution from the Jews first (which would naturally include their own families, relatives, and friends), and then the Roman Empire. Otherwise one can suspect that they made this stuff up for personal gain etc.

            Now one man may be lunatic enough to try the system and hold firm to their stupid claim with a death wish. But every apostle (except Judas) faced martyrdom and apart from St. John, was killed. They had nothing to gain from claiming something so absurd.

            I think it is perfectly reasonable to accept the testimony of men who were willing to stay firm till their death in regards to the claim I haven’t seen first hand. I accept (and I am pretty sure you do as well) a lot more claims for less today just because I simply see them in a text book.

            Which part of this process from a Catholic would you consider unreasonable?

          • Is that the best you can do? People die for unfounded stories all the time. People died defending Mormonism, Hitler, Communism, Cult after cult after cult…giving your life and being persecuted does not add a single shred of truth to anything. It does not confirm a story as truth. First hand accounts of Roman emperors rising from their graves was common. Saints were said to levitate…apparitions of a ranting Mother Mary to TV evangelists healing people in droves. The lies, the charlatans, the holy books, and the stories will stop at nothing to prey on the greatest of human fears – death. If a person is willing to believe a claim without verifiable evidence then they truly are willing to believe absolutely any claim…and that renders them intellectually dead.

          • Ah, the set in stone “verifiable evidence” argument. Sorry, but much of what you choose to put your faith in has no verifiable evidence. You point to “Science” as proof of your claims, yet there is absolutely no physical evidence that one creature has become another type of creature such that it is no longer compatible with its previous versions. The other two most viable components of the theory of evolution, natural selection and survival of the fittest, are simply the continuance of the same type of creature with small differences.

            Dinosaurs going away is not dinosaurs evolving. Many who believe in God have a great advantage on the garden-variety “Science” worshiper, since they have had false theories taught to them for decades now. They have had to look deeply at both sides and thus are not shut up in their own little angry boxes, refusing to actually look at the evidence without blinkers on.

            The theory of evolution is not a root cause. It is a theory proposing the genesis of life without a Designer. Evolutionists are now at the pathetic point in which they have to talk about the impossible idea of chaos and randomness or, as spouted by one of your stars, that aliens populated earth with living microbes. Still not answering the question of where aliens came from. And again, with no verifiable proof.

          • Williams,

            First, I am not sure why you think this is the “best” as if I was taking part in some competition.

            Second, I think you are being a bit vague here when you describe phenomena so you tend to miss the principles. So let me lay this down in simple form.

            1) If one has not seen an event first hand, the best one can ask from an eye witness is that they be willing to die for it. But in the event of multiple eye witnesses, one would ideally prefer to actually kill a few and see if the others are still willing to put up with it. If they still proclaim their story as true, then there is a good reason to believe them.

            Now I for one see nothing wrong with the above line of reasoning.

            Your counter examples do not apply here since none of us have been able to carry out such an experiment on Tele-evangelists and other charlatans who claim they are prophets and so forth.

            Also, I think you are perhaps frustrated because you are unable to process certain types of evidence and are actually looking for firsthand evidence (for an example, see the death and resurrection yourself). But as you may know, people can reasonably devise a set of criteria for believing the claims of others as true without such first hand evidence. Then the verification work is done on the credibility of the claimants.

            Putting those who claim to have witnessed the risen Christ to death is a good way as far as I can see to verify their credibility. I fortunately did not have to carry it out and as Divine Providence would have it, the Roman Empire and Jews did that for us. So I find it quiet reasonable to hold their claim true.

            Now I would like to also point out that you seem to be leaning toward a verificationist position i.e. whatever cannot be verified is not worthy of belief. But I would like to point out that the position is self refuting since the position itself is beyond verification.

            Anyway, hopefully this clarifies things.

          • Well, if you had taken the time to read it through, you might have been able to

            1) identify the self refuting nature of your position
            2) identify that there are important distinctions that can be made in evaluating the credibility of witnesses
            3) realize that what is being suggested here is actually quiet reasonable

            But you didn’t even read my post. Your loss!

          • No, the loss is my time trying to teach one the difference between verifiable evidence/ data which is what science is based on and faith, wishful thinking, story telling, ‘eye witness accounts’ and other unreliable variables. What is more probable, the misapprehension , creative story telling or someone actually rising from the dead? Even those most close to Jesus either denied, abandoned, or insisted on sticking their finger into his wounds in order to believe. The probability is much greater that the creative imagination of men’s egos brought forth ALL religions as opposed to any divine events taking place.

          • Look Mr Williams, you seem to respect intelligence. I can appreciate that in a man. But I am merely pointing out to you that for a man who values such intelligence, you are not critically looking at your own objections.

            Let me start by one single demonstration. You seem to hold very highly toward the idea that we should only believe in scientifically verifiable claims. The issue as I explained is that the very claim “we should only believe in scientifically verifiable claims” is not a scientifically verifiable or demonstrable claim. Hence it is self refuting. [By the way, you would have read this if you had read my post without degrading it as drivel and stopping after the third line]

            Do you have an answer or an excuse for this display of incompetence on your part?

            Once you admit this fault, we can move on to the other objections you raise, one by one. Rest assured, I am not going anywhere and I do want to take them up and spend as much time as necessary on every single one of them. I am not here to just hoodwink you.

          • What is your evidential basis for the creation of the universe? The Big Bang? Macroevolution? Quantum Physics?

            How do you explain things like the Fermi Paradox? Dark Matter? Hawking’s recent claim that there are, in fact, no black holes?

            There are clues in the universe that point to certain possible conclusions, and many in the scientific community take these conclusions on faith. As writer Zeeya Mirali wrote in January of last year, “Most physicists foolhardy enough to write a paper claiming that “there are no black holes” — at least not in the sense we usually imagine — would probably be dismissed as cranks.”

            But of course, Hawking isn’t just anyone.

            The universe is full of mysteries, of things unseen. Despite the entropic nature of reality, organizing principles exist. Human intelligence exists. Greater minds than mine have posited that it takes just as much faith to believe there is no Creator of the Universe as that there is one. Certainly, if there were a God who chose to remain shrouded in mystery, he would have no problem eluding the apprehension of his creatures. How many atheistic scientists have no problem believing in superior alien races capable of such clandestine activities, but soundly denounce the idea of a God.

            Aquinas’ proofs for the existence of God are unquestionably logical, even though some so-called logicians have attempted to refute them. Infinite regression is clearly impossible. There must be a beginning to all things. You may not agree with me on what that beginning is, but you don’t have any better theory on it than I do.

            I’ve let you lash out here, deftly dodging the questions you can’t explain, impugning the beliefs of our readers, because I was mildly hopeful that some positive, constructive dialogue would ensue.

            If it doesn’t, I’m just going to excise you like a tumor. And after all, if God doesn’t exist, it doesn’t much matter whether I’m nice to you, or even whether I’m intellectually curious, does it?

          • Science is not based on faith. Science thrives on finding answers by way of verifiable evidence and the evidence must hold up to the scrutiny of the Scientific community. Science is to understand the natural world…Science does not start with an answer and work backwards trying to make the world conform to a dogma as does religion.
            Science and the understanding of our natural world and universe has never found a single piece of evidence suggesting there is any god. Your silent, invisible, indifferent god is completely based on Faith. One need not have such faith in Science. As for paradoxes and other hypotheses and phenomenon, again the unanswered questions do not prove or default to your god existing. We know the Universe had a beginning and it will end…this we know and can prove. We do not know what is outside the universe, and we do not know and may never be able to understand the concept that there actually may never be a beginning or end to what is outside our Universe…this does not take faith…this is a hypothesis, not a theory. With that said, the unseen and unknown does not prove your god existence. To the contrary, the more we learn about the natural world the more it appears that it has NO prime mover ‘god’ or requires one.

          • correct, atheists don’t exist as a noun per say. Atheist, is basically not believing in a god because there is no evidence to prove there is a god. You have atheistic beliefs with regards to the many gods that previously “existed” and now no longer exist. I would guess you don’t think of Zeus or Thor or Rah or the many other gods that people worshipped…in this respect you are atheistic to all gods but your own. And even with that said, of the Abrahamic religions you only adhere to the Christian god concept not Islam or Judaism. As for ‘god’ as a definition, well it seems obvious that if we asked the billions of humans on our planet what the definition is we would have billions of different definitions. My definition of god when talking to theists is basically the personification of their particular religion into a divine being.

          • The key word in your answer is “personification.”

            Do you know the philosophical tradition of “God” in Judaism and Christianity? Exodus 3:14. God as the ground of being. The mystery that we run up against when we sit still, think slowly, and ponder the question “Why is there not nothing?”

            If the question makes you wonder, you are a theist. If you are allergic to the word “God,” call the object of your wonder what you wish. Dawkins calls it “nothing.” That’s fine. Obviously he is very much in rebellion against Yahweh as a male presence in Hebrew scripture, but that’s another story.

          • 9/11 is certain proof of that.

            9/11 is certain proof of what followers of one particular religious tradition may do.

          • 9/11 is not too much different than the Spanish Inquisition or Progroms that your religion was the catalyst to.

          • Pogroms defy Church teaching. The Inquisition, at least, attempted a judicial process (applicable only to Catholics, I might add), which is not something that was accorded the victims of 9/11 or other Islamist attacks.

          • Moses, the 1st inquisitor killed 23 thousand one day (Exodus 32)

            Moses, the 1st Inquisitor, Killed 24 thousand one day (Numbers 25) including all of the women and children

            Forty Seven Thousand killed by The First Inquisitor, Moses, in two days.

            Non-Catholic historian Edward Peters:, in his work, Inquisition (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989)

            The Spanish Inquisition, in spite of wildly inflated estimates of the numbers of its victims, acted with considerable restraint in inflicting the death penalty, far more restraint than was demonstrated in secular tribunals elsewhere in Europe that dealtwith the same kinds of offenses. The best estimate is that around 3000 death sentences were carried out in Spain by Inquisitorial verdict between 1550 and 1800, a far smaller number than that in comparable secular courts.

            Like George Washington Plunkitt, I sees my opportunities and I take them.

            I thought it opportune to parade a few facts by. I doubt one in one hundred million Christian Catholics, say nothing about Jews and Protestants and atheists, know the facts about Moses as the first Inquisitor and how his record compares unfavorable to Frey Tomas De Tourquemada, about whom the vast majority of Catholics are ignorant and so they consider it funny to hear his name and reputation continually blackened

            A William Thomas Walsh notes, “Moses put to death, in the name of religion, a far greater number of human beings than Torquemada did. Yet his name has been venerated by orthodox Jews and Roman Catholic alike, and alwys will be, while that of the Dominican monk has become a stench in the nostrils of the modern world, and a symbol of something indefensible.” (“Characters of the Inquisition.”)

            Far too many Christian Catholics internalise the prejudices of their enemies, then end-up reflexively echoing them when a “trigger” is experienced, and then end-up boasting it is all in good fun.

            Not me, when I read about , “Temple Police,” I think, Holy Moses!!!

          • …your myths mean nothing more to me than the myths of Islam…

            And then there’s the liberal myth of progress, which has its own zealous adherents. Bon appetit.

          • Science is not a liberal or conservative myth…it is verifiable evidence. I would rather have a zealous surgeon, doctor, engineer, physicist than a zealous religious fanatic any day. be’te-avon

          • I didn’t say “science” was a myth, but “progress.” Believe it or not, they’re not the same thing. Niftier gadgets and more empirical knowledge of the natural world do not change human nature one whit.

          • science leads to progress and science is aligned with our understanding of the natural world based on verifiable evidence. Even your ‘faith/myths’ can’t deny the evidence of evolution, big bang and the continued progress of science. Religions rework their myths to ‘fit’ the truth, but hey its a business so I understand.

          • Well, William, it’s interesting that you bring up the Big Bang – since it was a Belgian Catholic priest, Fr. Georges Lemaître, who was the first expositor of the the theory, and a good deal else (like the Hubble Constant). For Lemaître (and his superiors) at least, faith and reason were not seen as incompatible. And there is a long tradition of that in the Church.

          • Many people of faith when confronted with the truth of the natural world and confronted with verifiable evidence will default god to the next unanswered question; a case in point would be whatever the exotic ‘material’ is outside the universe. If one reads about Darwin, they will discover he was uneasy about the process of evolution, but as we can see today that is the process of creation. Truth is indifferent to human dogma and imagined claims of divine revelation…nature/universe appears to be blind to our faiths.

          • Dear heart, the natural world does not disprove God. Weren’t you just telling me that you can’t disprove something that doesn’t exist?

          • There has never been any evidence of macro-evolution nor can there ever be for such a thing as macro-evolution to be true, a male and a female of some species would have to copulate and produce one or more offspring with organs different than either of their progenitors.

            Atheists – most of whom are garden-variety pantheists – are aught but acerebral parrots squeaking the lies they have received from charlatans sempiternally proving as true the observation that if you do not believe in God you are doomed to believe in an endless possibility of inanities.

            O, and at your next council of the wicked, would you atheists please come-up with some new cliches?


            These old ones are so lame they should be brought into a discussion in wheelchairs

          • well, as I have said before…it is the myth believers that need new clichés or at least modify your myth to adapt truths of the natural world.
            And please refrain from pretending you understand science and evolution either on the macro or micro scale…it just further implicates your imbecilic intellect.

          • OK, Ace. In one sentence of less than 100 words explain to us all the process of macro-evolution for it is quite clear you know less than zero about the subject.

            Why do you think the Commie atheist, Steve Gould, was constrained to talk about hopeful monsters?

            There is a reason you reacted so angrily to my sensible objection to macro-evolution and that reason is you have no idea what you are talking about.

            Bring it, Ace. Let’s see what ya got….

          • I think, I would venture to say I am certain that the anger is coming from your end…Evolution is the process of creation. Both Conservative and Liberal Popes and Catholic theologians accept this. You may google and learn a plethora of information about evolution…and by the process of evolution you will learn there is NO evidence of a ‘prime mover’/’god(s)’. Again the natural world does not support you god claim…but feel free to claim Faith, at least then you are being honest.

          • Camille Paglia has your number, junior.

            “You’re an atheist, and yet I don’t ever see you sneer at religion in the way that the very aggressive atheist class right now often will. What do you make of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and the religion critics who seem not to have respect for religions for faith?

            I regard them as adolescents. I say in the introduction to my last book, “Glittering Images”, that “Sneering at religion is juvenile, symptomatic of a stunted imagination.” It exposes a state of perpetual adolescence that has something to do with their parents– they’re still sneering at dad in some way. Richard Dawkins was the only high-profile atheist out there when I began publicly saying “I am an atheist,” on my book tours in the early 1990s. I started the fad for it in the U.S, because all of a sudden people, including leftist journalists, started coming out of the closet to publicly claim their atheist identities, which they weren’t bold enough to do before. But the point is that I felt it was perfectly legitimate for me to do that because of my great respect for religion in general–from the iconography to the sacred architecture and so forth. I was arguing that religion should be put at the center of any kind of multicultural curriculum.

            I’m speaking here as an atheist. I don’t believe there is a God, but I respect every religion deeply. All the great world religions contain a complex system of beliefs regarding the nature of the universe and human life that is far more profound than anything that liberalism has produced. We have a whole generation of young people who are clinging to politics and to politicized visions of sexuality for their belief system. They see nothing but politics, but politics is tiny. Politics applies only to society. There is a huge metaphysical realm out there that involves the eternal principles of life and death. The great tragic texts, including the plays of Aeschylus and Sophocles, no longer have the central status they once had in education, because we have steadily moved away from the heritage of western civilization.”


          • Then what are you doing here if the ‘myths’ mean noting. You were raised Catholic, weren’t you? What took you away?

          • Why waste your time here then William? Better you go about making your own delusions satisfy the myths you believe yourself.

      • Not just a married man, Jesus is THE married man, the fulfillment and
        revelation of both marriage and human nature:

        Tomorrow shall be my dancing day;
        I would my true love did so chance
        To see the legend of my play,
        To call my true love to my dance;

        Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love, my love, my love,
        This have I done for my true love.

        Then was I born of a virgin pure,
        Of her I took fleshly substance
        Thus was I knit to man’s nature
        To call my true love to my dance.


        In a manger laid, and wrapped I was
        So very poor, this was my chance
        Between an ox and a silly poor ass
        To call my true love to my dance.


        Then on the cross hanged I was,
        Where a spear my heart did glance;
        There issued forth both water and blood,
        To call my true love to my dance.


        Then down to hell I took my way
        For my true love’s deliverance,
        And rose again on the third day,
        Up to my true love and the dance.


        Then up to heaven I did ascend,
        Where now I dwell in sure substance
        On the right hand of God, that man
        May come unto the general dance.

        Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love, my love, my love,
        This have I done for my true love.

        • Rome exists to this day…but that does not prove a single truth to the stories of the Roman gods…nice try, but…WRONG.

      • You could, and no doubt do, think Jesus is a sodomite for to ask such a question is beneath a normal man and instead of a question it is an accusation masquerading as a query.

        The biblical truth about Sodom being destroyed for the sin of sodomy is no myth but when IANS reads persons such as your own self writing such words, he hears myth as an auditory homophone and IANS can hear you addressing an unmarried woman as Miss in such wise that it sounds like myth.

      • The eisegesis of atheists is an oddity to behold – striving to read into Holy Writ their perverse psychological projections.

        There are other, worthier, ways of understanding what non-believers struggle with to their perdition;

        Commentary on Genesis 19

        19:8 Lot tries by every means to divert them from their purpose; being well assured, that they would have nothing to do with his daughters, who were promised to some of the inhabitants. He endeavours to gain time, hoping perhaps that his guests would escape by some back way, while he is talking to the people. (Rev. George Haydock Haydock Bible)

        19:26 She looked back in defiance of the commandment, lost the benefit of her escape. (St. Cyprian Ep 7.7) This was done that all might know that those who are of a double mind, and who distrust the power of God, bring down judgment on themselves and become a sign to all succeeding generations. (St. Clement of Rome 1Cor 11) Josephus reports (Ant 1.11.4) that this same statue of salt lasted up to his own times at the gates of the same city. (St. Bede Com Gen)

        19:30-36 It is not right to blame Lot for this intercourse, as he was unaware of what he was doing. The fact of intoxication
        involves some blame tempered with pardon, Severely distressed and beside himself after losing everything all at once, especially his wife, he did not resist when his daughters brought him more wine than necessary. He was ignorant of their scheme and presumed they were trying to comfort and console him. The daughters as well were entirely beyond accusation. Having seen the four cities and all the towns incinerated by the rain of fire, and all the inhabitants of Segor swallowed up, they presumed that the whole human race had perished. Seeing the desolation everywhere and observing the old man’s debility, they formed the intention of continuing the race and giving themselves some comfort. With this plan in mind, and not because they were enthralled to lust, they enlisted the help of the wine to beguile their father’s senses with excessive drink and thus brought their father to beget children. (Theodoret of Cyrus Ques gen 71)

  3. I joined a small schola for a new Novus Ordo Latin Mass (TLMs were to follow), and about three months in the aged schola director mentioned his gay partner. I nursed a hope that the two men were chaste, and decided to stick it out. After all, the director had left the most progressive parish in town and was now moving in a much more traditional direction. Maybe he would have a full-on conversion.

    But after a year I left the schola. It was blindingly obvious that the Holy Spirit was not blessing our performances. The gay director functioned as our lead, and though he was excellent during rehearsals, he was often terrible during mass. Once he stumbled, the others would stumble. It didn’t make sense. How could he have stage fright–he used to sing professional opera! I decided that God was allowing him to fall flat on his face as one last ditch effort to shake him out of sin. Once another schola member voiced her support of women priests (and after another bad outing) I politely quit. God was never going to bless this thing, and it became apparent that regular TLMs were never going to happen.

    As a post-script, the one time there was a TLM at the parish, it drew five times more people as the Latin NO masses. Draw your own conclusions.

  4. So, On Park Avenue, gay organist, at my former parish, Good Shepherd, gay organist, and multiple sermons vilifying the church asking us to accept homosexuality and encouraging”womyn” priests and praising islam, and finally now another “gay organist” at the last best place for real mass in NYC. Eastern Orthodox anyone?

    • I do struggle to stay positive about our church institution, for the following reason. It is one thing when the opposition is outside, so a group can unite to oppose. It is another when the opposition is within. Even more difficulty is added when the opposition is one’s own leadership. The most depressing part of these stories, for me, is seeing the leadership exhibited by persons up the church hierarchy.

      • In particular, I struggle to understand how in our church the leadership accepts the destruction of sacred icons and the removal of sacred beauty from churches, and also the firing of a church music director because the music is perhaps too beautiful. Both those actions contradict almost every major church document about the sacred liturgy and sacred art. Then, there is the almost joyous flouting of church doctrine, signaling to all that the teachings of the church are something to laugh at, like the mocking an old and relative. So, we learn to not expect or even think possible the taste of the divine in Mass, and we learn that the path to holiness and heaven is really just up to your own feelings and personal beliefs–the church has no expertise in the matter and has no path to show you, and will no presume to hold you accountable should you stray off it even if it had a path.

        • The Music at St Agnes wasn’t just good. It was magnificent. The organist he fired was A liturgical Rick Wakeman.

    • Saint Agnes has not been “the last best place” for Mass in about 10 years! The previous Pastor, Fr. Richard Adams, was not friendly to the Mass either. He was not as bad as the current one, but he was not friendly.

      Holy Innocents has a very nice traditional community, but it should not be seen as a “safe heaven” or a place to escape to from scandalous situations. In fact, the best you could do would be to make your concerns known to Fr. Murphy and help create changes over there.

  5. This means that the TLM is on the way out. Similar to what happened at St. Mary Magdalen in England where a thriving community had their beloved priest replaced by one who immediately began to harass them. And, surprise (not), he just came out as a homosexual and has left the priesthood. That the pastor of this parish would like about something as stupid as the air conditioning is VERY bad sign. The fact that he hired a homosexual for music is a very bad sign too. I had that happen in a former parish where our gay priest hired a gay music director. I left town. Not saying this pastor is gay but….
    And then there is what is happening at Our Savior. Travesty!

    • But it is not the True Catholic Church, which cannot defect. These men are impostors. Dolan is no more bishop (or Catholic) than Obama.

  6. What’s going on at Our Savior these days? The comment thread on NLM has been closed and I am anxious on an update of the situation. Was anything said at the weekend Masses? Does the removal continue?

  7. Bad things happen when lazy scaredy apathetic asses don’t do anything to fix the problem. If the lot of you american catholics had lived during the times of islamic invasions in europe, the cruzades would have never happened and they would have never been pushed out!
    Shame on you, whatever happens in your parishes is your fault and you deserve it. Why don’t you protest? Why don’t you demand this to be solved? Oh right, probably too scared to do it. As angry as this makes me i’m glad i’m not american.

    • Where are you from, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It appears to me the Catholic church is in bad shape everywhere. I went to Europe last year and their huge cathedrals were empty, save for fifty people including my wife and myself. Good for you though if you live in that one country that actually follows Catholic teaching.

  8. I remain Catholic and continue to regularly attend an Ordinary Form parish because of my wife. She is a conservative woman and a Catholic by birth and faith. But she doesn’t care about these matters that I hold dearly; it could be a guitar mass or whatever, and she is content. It’s not that she doubts doctrine, but she just doesn’t care, at all, at the spiritual implications.
    I continue to go, but I am seriously contemplating conversion to Orthodoxy. If I do make this step, I will nonetheless continue to worship with my family at Ordinary Form parishes, because I don’t think it is wise to introduce spiritual disharmony in a healthy marriage. I would never encourage my wife to leave what she finds comfortable: for me, the Ordinary Form has utterly destroyed my faith; I feel as if my soul has been torn clean from my body. The Smoke of Satan has so thoroughly clouded the interior of the Church that one can barely see straight anymore.

    • I understand exactly how you feel. The Novus Ordo can be a faith killer. Even its name is somewhat bizarre: New Order.

    • I suffered for years with the feeling there was something wrong with me –because the Novus Ordo is utterly barren but I attributed my feelings of emptiness to me rather than to the fact that there is no Holy Sacrifice of the Mass happening in the N.O. It is a protestant worship service and an ‘assembly of the people’ as the protestant ministers who helped Bugnini put the ‘new mass’ together stated. There is no sacrifice happening there.
      I disagree with your conclusions. You care about your soul. You care about your wife’s soul. There isn’t anything more important in this world than your soul and the souls of those God has entrusted to you. You need to remove yourself from that which kills the soul. There are validly ordained priests who offer a valid sacrifice. Find them. One leads by example.

    • I sympathize but the solution to parishes that are banal at best and heretical at worst is not to apostasize to another, formally heretical sect (any of the “Orthodox” churches). That’s sort of like Catholics in the 4th and 5th centuries abandoning the Catholic Faith because Arian heretics had infested their local parish/diocese.

  9. These scandals must not be considered scandalous to those who have the power to end them or they would be stopped, wouldn’t they?

    What about the majority of the hierarchy, including the popes since Paul VI, who have scandalized and continue to scandalize Christ every time they prayed with and pray with, worshipped with and worship with those who believe in a false god? Where is the outrage? Isn’t this the epitome of anti-Catholic behavior?

    When the shepherd’s are wolves in sheep’s clothing can there really be “shame” or “scandal” about what they do? How can they act any other way? Is there no difference between a righteous and an unrighteous man? No difference between a believer and a non-believer?

  10. After reading this deeply disturbing article, I couldn’t help noticing your message above the comment section ” We need help” and “The Storm is upon us” How prophetic this is!!

  11. Far worse than the examples cited in this article, was Fr Murphy’s demand that parishoners receive the Host in the hand and standing up DURING THE LATIN MASS [when he showed up to assist the celebrant with Communion]…it would seem that satan’s little angels are taking over his soul…pray for his conversion to the catholic faith!!

  12. People just don’t get it. There has been a war on you for 100 years.
    I really don’t understand why people still insist on attending ‘mass’ at these formerly Catholic buildings. There isn’t a shred of Catholicity in them. People need to either walk out and stay out permanently OR, they need to take these people by the collar and literally oust their backsides out the door. The buildings either need to be re-taken or given up as the spoils of war.

  13. It is telling to me that this post has received many more comments than most other articles here because the scandals which Steve points out within the New York Archdiocese are no more scandalous than the public forms of idolatry that all of the popes since Vatican II have performed or the fact that the Church documents of Vatican II specifically encouraged both the “experimentation” that these scandalous acts reflect, and the authority given to the bishops to practically make their own decisions concerning any and all practices within their dioceses. That the German bishops used their very authority to state emphatically they didn’t answer to Rome could not be criticized honestly because they do have such authority. Let us remember that Pope Francis himself said he wanted to be referred to as simply the Bishop of Rome.


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