Ss. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Mission
P. O. Box 7352
York, PA 17408
Very Rev. Robert M. Gillelan, Jr.
Diocese of Harrisburg
Union Deposit Road
Harrisburg, PA 17111-3710
September 29, 2012
+Dedication of St. Michael
Dear Rev. Gillelan,
In your letter to Mr. David C. Smith, August 20, 2012, you said that you "presume" Rev. Samuel Waters’ "ordination to be valid" because he was ordained by "John Cardinal Kroll." Firstly, he was not ordained by Cardinal "Kroll." He was ordained by Cardinal Krol. And secondly, the definition of "presume" is "to accept that something is almost certain to be correct even though there is no proof of it, on the grounds that it is extremely likely." The word implies taking something for granted or accepting it as true, usually on the basis of probable evidence in its favor and the absence of proof to the contrary. Since you only “presume” Fr. Waters’ ordination to be valid, do you then only "presume" Bishop Joseph McFadden's "ordination to be valid" for the same reason?
Which raises the question, how is it then, after raising the possibility that Fr. Waters’ ordination (and thus Bishop McFadden's) is less than certain, you can affirm without a question of doubt that Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Mission is a "schismatic church"?
On our web page entitled, "Canned Answers to Stale Objections," is the following reply to the allegation that we "are a group in schism from the Catholic Church":
Are they? Then why do they pray for the Pope and the local bishop by name in the Rosary of Reparation recited daily in their chapel? Why do they pray for the Pope and the local bishop in every Mass offered in their chapel? Schism, as an ecclesiastical crime, is defined as failure to hold communion with the Pope in Rome or with those in communion with him. If it is true that the members of Ss. Peter & Paul have failed to hold communion with the local bishop and the pope, why have they formally petitioned for their official judgment regarding matters of Faith and Morals? Where is the evidence of the findings of fact and legal judgment determined from a formal canonical judicial case against them? The Masses offered at Ss. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Mission are open to the public. Since you are advising Catholics not to attend their Masses, are you refusing “communion” with them? Who then is guilty of “schism”?
The accusation of "schism" is a criminal charge. It is a criminal charge that has been publicly denied for years. But for someone who cannot take the time to check the correct spelling of Cardinal Krol's name I do not suppose you have taken the time to look any deeper into this question before you bother smearing someone's reputation.
When a criminal charge is denied, you cannot, without sin, canonically or morally affirm that the accused is a criminal, while at the same time denying due process. Due process has been demanded from Bishop Nicholas Dattilo, from Bishop Kevin Rhoades and now from Bishop Joseph McFadden. Since our local ordinary has historically demonstrated a prejudicial bias and incompetency in evaluating the theological questions involved, we have asked for a judgment from the Chair of Peter from which every faithful Catholic is entitled. We have yet to get a local ordinary in Harrisburg with the requisite virtue of charity, which always and necessarily entails the attribute of devotion to duty, to bring a formal canonical case that can be directly appealed to the Chair of Peter.
You said in your letter that you "do not want to be uncharitable." Then my advice is that you stop being uncharitable for without charity nothing else has value. Charity firstly requires that you keep the commandments and calumny is a grave sin. Secondly, charity requires that you fulfill the duties proper to your state in life. Your duty, and Bishop McFadden's, is to bring a canonical case against the doctrinal, liturgical, moral and canonical positions publically professed in the documents published by our Mission. For if they are true, we have not only a right but a duty to do what we are doing, and if they are determined from the infallible Chair of Peter to be false, then your obligation in charity will have been fulfilled. After all, the purpose of a canonical judicial procedure is to discover the truth, and the purpose of imposing a canonical penalty is to bring back those who have erred from the truth, thus it is an act of charity. When truth is divorced from charity, charity ceases to exist. If you would understand this you would understand why over the last fifty years there has been the greatest collapse of the Catholic faith beyond all compass in the entire history of the Church.
Would it be fair if we were to publicly declare as fact that Bishop McFadden was guilty of aiding and abetting Cardinal Krol in the felonious scandal of covering up the sexual molestation of Catholic adolescent boys based upon the Philadelphia Grand Jury findings in 2005 and 2012 because Bishop McFadden served as Cardinal Krol's personal secretary, without giving Bishop McFadden an opportunity to defend his name? Schism is a greater sin than pederasty and pederasty is a crime for which "it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matt. 18, 6).
We are beginning the 'Year of Faith" and the "new evangelization" to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Vatican II. The last "year of Faith," two years after the end of that same council, in the heady days of the new "springtime" of the Church, began June 29, 1967, the feast of Ss. Peter and Paul. The suppression of the Oath Against Modernism followed in July 1967. Then we got the updated Bugnini edition of the Novus Ordo Missal and the year closed with the publication of the "Credo of the People of God," heavily footnoted to this same non-dogmatic pastoral council. Since then, the greatest decline in the Catholic Faith and practice in the history of the Church, has occurred. If you dispute this claim I would recommend that you borrow the Index of Leading Catholic Indicators by Kenneth Jones that was sent to Bishop McFadden August 18, 2010. For this you and Bishop McFadden will unhappily have, in part, to answer.
While others in their dotage are still searching for the "true meaning" of Vatican II, we at Ss. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Mission have spent our time more profitably. We publicly affirm that God has imposed upon us, by virtue of our baptism, the obligation to profess our faith and worship Him in the public forum. Therefore, we possess by right the unimpeded use of the immemorial Ecclesiastical traditions of the Roman rite which are the perfect outward manifestation of the faith we hold in the internal forum. These Ecclesiastical traditions, the most important of which is the immemorial Roman rite of Mass, are not, and never could be, matters of simple discipline. That these immemorial traditions are necessary and integral elements of the Faith by which it can be known and communicated and without which, "it is impossible to please God" (Heb. 11, 16). Furthermore, the regulating of these traditions to mere accidents of the Faith that can be legally discarded at the whim of any legislator is a modern error that is one of the most important reasons why the faith is dying throughout the world. We have affirmed that no ecclesiastic of whatever rank or dignity possess the authority to damage the Faith. Since no one seems to understand why the last "Year of Faith" was followed by ruin and desolation, how can this coming "Year of Faith" and "new evangelization," established upon the same first principles, bear anything but the same fruit?
We petition again that the claims of Ss. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Mission on questions of Faith, worship, morals, and canon law be respectively submitted to the See of St. Peter for a definitive judgment from the infallible Chair, or, that the diocese of Harrisburg bring their own canonical censors against us on these questions that will serve as a means to appeal to the judgment of Pope Benedict from the infallible Chair of St. Peter.
Failing to get the canonical process which we have demanded, perhaps we can get something less from you. We have for years publically posted an open invitation for a cleric from the diocese to enter into a public written debate on the liturgical, doctrinal, canonical and moral claims of Ss. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Mission. Perhaps you would be interested in doing so?
Sincerely in Christ,
David M. Drew
Ss. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Mission
cc: Bishop Joseph McFadden
Board members, Ss. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Mission