TheSpiritual Sabotage That Has Devastated Seminaries
Fr. Eduard Perrone.
(Special to The Wanderer)
DETROIT As a team
of U.S. bishops, including the Most Rev. Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb.,
headed to Detroit to conduct an investigation of the archdiocese's
Sacred Heart Seminary, a Detroit priest sounded off with some practical
recommendations of what to look for, and where.
Fr. Eduard Perrone, pastor since 1994 of the renowned Assumption Grotto
Church known far and wide for its beautiful liturgies and outstanding liturgical
music and a priest since 1978, wrote in his parish bulletin October 16 that a
major area for exploration is the psychological brainwashing that prospective
candidates for the priesthood must endure on the path to Ordination, and the
inculcation of a cynical attitude that destroys faith.
The issue of homosexuals in the seminary, he observed, is only a
"small if necessary focus of this investigation."
What the bishops team must primarily do, he suggested, is examine the teaching
of professors who have been "dizzying the brains of
seminarians with confusing accounts of some pivotal teachings of the Catholic
Church." "Young men entering the seminary usually do
not do so to become rebels against the Magisterium and defamers of Catholic
Tradition. Rather, this is a thing inculcated in them over a period of years of
he wrote. "They are tutored in the subtle art of
theological ambiguity, of how to conserve a veneer of Catholicism while
personally believing and practicing what is contrary to the faith.
Especially through the technique of an oppressive psychological conditioning,
they are led to espouse aberrant theological views (for example, to regard the
Sacred Scripture as mere literature whose inerrancy is to be debunked; or to
doubt that our Lord possessed divine knowledge during His life on earth). "They are permitted to hold and sometimes
openly express opinions on matters contrary to the defined teaching of the Pope,
such as the moral impossibility of women priests (an issue now forever
determined by the definition of Pope John Paul II). They may be taught by word
or example to disregard liturgical norms. "Much more insidious than these is the
infusion of a cynical mental attitude regarding holy things and defined beliefs,
an attitude due to years of 'formation'
in classroom teaching and group discussions, by faculty evaluations, and in
psychological counseling. Often there is no single thing that is the cause of
this kind of malformation. It's rather the cumulative
effect of a twisted and persistent conditioning which clouds reason, foments
arrogance, stifles the devout life, and, in the end, destroys the faith of the
seminarian. "Behold the result: the unbelieving,
rebellious, impious priest who enters the parish to undo the holy apostolic and
Catholic faith and root out any vestige of Catholic piety in the faithful. "If someone were to demand evidence for this
dire account of some of our seminaries," he continued,
"I would call as my witnesses you, the Catholic laity,
who, without knowing how it came about, have seen and heard their
'products' operating in our
parishes. Malformed priests have endangered or destroyed the spiritual lives of
many Catholics, some of whom have stopped practicing the faith altogether. "Such priests have led the laity to doubt
Catholic doctrines, to denigrate the word of God, to neglect Confession, to make
light of sinful matter � even of gravely sinful things. Finally, these priests
have attempted to pacify their troubled consciences by assuring themselves and
their parishioners that, in the end, all will be saved anyway. "Sad to tell, there is yet more to this dismal
picture. This concerns not the seminary directly but what precedes it. This is
the process of interview and evaluation of the candidates. Here they are
screened so that those deemed unsuitable are barred from entry into the
seminary. "While one might think it a good and necessary
thing, one would be shocked to learn that those refused are not those who were
found wanting in orthodox Catholic faith or who [fail to] practice traditional
forms of Catholic piety but rather those who give evidence of those very things.
The special tool employed for this process of exclusion of candidates is
psychological testing with a follow-up evaluation by a psychologist. "If a candidate is found to be too
'rigid' (a cherished term in
their lexicon) because he holds to certain Catholic beliefs and religious
practices, he is rejected as one unsuitable for the diocesan priesthood. One
may wonder who these expert psychologists are who wield such power in
determining priestly vocations. I answer with a single example. "The archdiocese employed a woman psychologist
who, among her other attributes, regarded [as] unacceptable any candidates who
agreed with the Church's mandate of clerical celibacy.
Without a doubt, her evaluation caused several candidates to be barred from
entering our seminary. She has now left her job, but not on account of her
views, but because she took off to 'marry'
a priest of the archdiocese. "All these and many more shameful and
underhanded dealings with seminarians and seminary candidates have been kept
from the devout Catholic faithful who have continued to pray
- rightly of course, but naively - for more
vocations to the priesthood. "I believe that we do not have a true
vocations problem, but rather a crisis fabricated by those who are depriving the
Church of many potentially good priests and unleashing upon the Church some
intellectually and morally unfit men to assume the life and work of the
priesthood. "Not all of their efforts have succeeded.
There have been some very fine men ordained in recent years. Nor would it be
true to say that all our seminary professors have been dissidents. Detroit, in
fact, now has many excellent faculty members. But the aforesaid problems in some
seminary courses and in the formation department really do exist nonetheless."