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PopeWatch: Looney Bins for Conservative Priests

Father Z tells us how the powers that be in the Church have adopted a tactic from the old Soviet Union:

 

What I am about to post, read carefully.

Over the last few months I have been contacted by diocesan priests (and a religious) who were being sent by their bishops (superior) to be “evaluated” at one of these psych clinics for clergy.  The most (in)famous of these in these USA is St. Luke’s in Maryland.

The pattern is alarmingly similar.  The priest has some sort of dust up in the parish (or wherever).  For example, a woman gets angry because he preached about contraception, someone claims that he as “boundary issues”, somebody on the staff says that he is “cold” or “remote”.  They complain to the bishop.  The bishop tells the priest – pressures the priest – to go for “evaluation”.  With great trepidation the priest obeys (an important point).  He goes for a week or two of evaluation, at the end of which he is told that there isn’t much wrong with him.  He goes home, thinking that all is well.  Shortly thereafter, he is called in to the bishop’s office, where he is told that the clinic sent the bishop a very different assessment.   The priest is diagnosed – and it is always about the same – narcissism and borderline bi-polar.  The bishop then really puts the screws to the man to go back that clinic for “treatment”.  He is told for three months or so.  But when he gets there, and they confiscate his mobile phone and even his shaving kit, and start pumping him full of drugs and monitoring/controlling email, he is told that he’ll be there for six months.  The horror show begins.

A common characteristic of the priests: they are conservative or traditionalists.   I have a friend who was forced into one of these places and, when we could talk on the phone, he told me that I wouldn’t believe the number of conservative men there and what they were reading.   And the fact that they are conservative is important, because conservatives tend to obey.  This is one of the reasons why bishops in past have slammed down hard on conservatives but they let libs do any damn thing they want.  Even if they are slightly inclined to be conservative themselves, they are moral cowards.  They know that libs will fight them like hell and they don’t want the fight.   But they can do anything they want to conservatives because they know that they tend to obey.

There are some clergy who really do need help.   However, bishops are using this process as a way of stomping out conservative or traditionalists in their dioceses.   And I have a suspicion that this is coordinated.  Why?  In the last year, there was a period of a couple months in which several priests contacted me to tell me that they were going into the psych slammer at the order of their bishops.  Before that, I hadn’t had any such call or contact.  It suddenly started, as if some bishops had, among themselves, decided that this was a good way to get rid of troublemakers.   It is almost as if, a one of their meetings, over evening cocktails, one of them grumbled about having this really traditional priest who was spreading his ideas about Latin and Communion rails.  One of his pals, pouring another, piped up saying, “I’ll tell ya what works.  Send him to St. Lukes for ‘evaluation’.   They’ll send back something that can be used against him, one way or another. It’s expensive, but it works.”  “Hey, thanks Bill!  That’s a good idea.  I’ll also tell Fatty and Dozer.  They’ve got these guys too.”

Rare and rare and rare as hen’s teeth are bishops who openly back their conservative priests.

Mind you… sending a guy for “treatment” is a really expensive endeavor.  A month in one of these slammers costs a diocese many 10ks of bucks (of YOUR money).   But they must figure that it is worth it, if they can intimidate priests into towing the line.   Think of the quip of Voltaire on hearing that the Brits after the Battle of Minorca shot Admiral Byng on the deck of his own ship “to motivate the others”. As he put it in Candide, “Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres … In this country, it is good idea to kill an admiral once in a while to encourage the others.”

That’s what bishops are doing to priests.  Slam down hard with this “treatment” on a priest and the rest of the presbyterate will get the message.   In the long run, though it is expensive, it’s ideologically worth it.

Today I read at Dreher’s page a bit of a letter from a priest about this very topic. Dreher posted about The Kalchik Shakeup in Chicago. Kalchik was pastor at a parish where people burned an infamous “gay” banner against the wishes of Card. Blase “Rabbit Hole” Cupich. Kalchik was told that he had to get out of the parish, with minutes notice, or he would be arrested and that he was supposed to go for “evaluation”. Kalchik chose, instead, to go into hiding. I’m told that a prominent Catholic website will have an interview with Kalchik soon.

Here’s what I read at Dreher’s. Read and weep.

A parish priest e-mails:

There is nothing that the laity can do to protect priests. Bishops have total authority over us. We can certainly walk away. We can leave. But Kalchick is a great example of what happens when a priest stands up to his bishop’s agenda. He’s probably done as a priest.

He can submit to St. Luke’s and get the evaluation, but St. Luke’s has an alliance with the bishops as well. It’s the bishops who pay the bill. When a priest goes there the priest must sign a release for everything he discusses to be turned over to the bishop and the diocese. So how is he supposed to deal with any real psychological issues he might have knowing that the data is going to be sent back to the bishop and put into files or even potentially released or used against him? Point being, the priest isn’t free. It’s a coercive environment. It’s rigged against priests and the information can be used by bishops to continue to manipulate those priests for years to come, all under the guise of “I just want Fr. X to be healthy.” What they are really after is reconditioning priests to act within a particular safe metric to avoid bad publicity or cause problems. Sounds a bit Orwellian doesn’t it?

Another side of this is that bishops have to hold liability insurance on their priests and if the priests have some kind of HR problem or Occupational Problem in their parish, the insurance companies are demanding bishops send them to places like St. Luke’s for a kind of “reconditioning therapy” that they don’t actually need. The priests are not actually in any kind of need of psychological assistance, but for the Diocese to continue to have the covered with liability insurance the insurance company puts pressure on the bishop for them to demonstrate that they have taken measures to lessen liability. A St. Luke’s program of 6 months of incarceration and therapy with 5 years of outpatient programming is just such a program. All of this goes into the priest’s file and is held against him the rest of his career to be trotted out any time he gets out of line.

Notice, none of this has to do with the abuse of children. Perhaps some with moral failure or bad decisions. Maybe decisions that would cause a layperson to lose their job. But in the priesthood, you get the shame of six months of incarceration in a lock-down facility and forced psychological treatment that even these facilities know you do not need. But they participate in the sham because it’s big revenue and they are cashing in on the bishop’s need to cover their liability. This is happening in large numbers throughout the country to priests.

This whole business bothers me enormously, to the point that a couple weeks ago I had an unsettling dream about creating a haven for priests, like a prepper redoubt, in Montana or some such place. They would be funneled to the redoubt, set up like a Camaldolese community, through a kind of underground railroad. I digress.

My point is that this is a real problem. Be on the watch for it.

This is what Communists did in the former Soviet union.  If a person dissented, he must be mentally ill.  Kill or send most to the camps, but diagnose some with “sluggish schizophrenia” and “treat them”… pour encourager les autres.   Word gets around what’s in store for dissenters.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Heckuva job Conclave of 2013, heckuva job.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

21 Comments

  1. This needs exposed in the Catholic media.
    There was a time not so long ago that if my sons told me they wanted to be priests, I would have been happy. No more. If a Bishop tried to do this to my son, there would be one very sorry Bishop. I would make Buford Pusser look like Buford Justice. I feel sorry for the Catholic of the Chicago Archdiocese. Wuerl had Cupich put in there. Go to The American Spectator to read what George Neumayr has written about Wuerl. The Swamp is Wuerl’s natural habitat. I feel sorry for the Catholics of the Washington Archdiocese. Wuerl, who had the Pittsburgh media in his back pocket, has covered for McCarrick and done his part to wreck the Church in the US.

  2. Well, this ought to cause a run on young men seeking to become priests. “Free mental health care”, as Marx would put it. This must have been in the fine print of that Jesuit-led Liberation Theology game that spiritually corrupted Latin America.
    One must look at the good side. Such treatment of wayward priests has a low imprint on climate change.

  3. Sorry to focus on the digression, but I’ve also thought of the underground railroad re: the good Fr. Kalchik. Closely related is that there needs to be some sort of manual online about what to do when a bad bishop’s goon squad comes a-calling. One very factual point: since a priest seems to effectively be a tenant at his parish, can a bishop really order a priest to leave immediately? Against reason, laws about tenant rights don’t somehow apply? At this point, I doubt it unless you know otherwise.

    Kalchik’s well meaning supporters still got caught flatfooted, since they didn’t video anything. That should be thrashed out, think tank style, then something educational prepared. (Such as one person hanging back to video the video-er.)

    Kalchik’s brother appears to be in Gretna, LA, btw. So he’s not close by. Staying at his parents’ house means they get targeted by the hatemongers. So how would/should a network of supporters get him temporarily away, and to where?

    Good priests with bad bishops can use some knowledge on how to be anonymous online. Speaking of which, somebody needs to get https put on your TAC site. There are even free certificates for encryption, from “Let’s Encrypt”. https://www.eff.org/encrypt-the-web

    Lots of things to work out.

  4. This is deeply disturbing to say the very least. It is most important to expose these practices to the faithful, since these actions are ostensibly being taken in their name.

  5. In agreement with Chris C.

    This must become common knowledge to the faithful. I was having difficulty believing it as I read it. The infiltration of the diabolical in holy church hierarchy is grotesque. To hell with the Lavender Mafia. Un Christian? No. They are devil’s and to hell with them. How could they have a contrite heart when they are destroying the body of Christ?

  6. For the unfortunate souls who have had to survive as Catholic under radical Bishops know all to well this has been the tactic of the progressive Bishops for decades. A former writer friend, the late Erven Parks wrote of this several times during the Archbishop Hunthausen era.

  7. Adds a whole ‘nother dimension to the scandal of clergy abuse, don’t it?

    I wonder if these places are any better at “curing” “rigid” orthodox/traditionalist Priests of their rigidity than they were at curing pedophile priests of their pedophilia.

  8. There is something certain laity can do: arrange for secular employment and temporary living quarters for priests in the crosshairs. Most priests today had 8 or 10 years in the workforce before entering seminary, so there will commonly be some acquired history on which to build. I know of a capable (if imperfect) parish priest who went off the grid in 2004. It’s the last resort, of course.

  9. I’ve posted comments earlier this year about the Soviet abuse of psychiatry. The left-wing character assassination of people accusing them of various phobias without one bit of proof is also the abuse of psychiatry. It is the verbal equivalent of the stoning of St. Stephen.
    *
    It looks like Cupich is now the Chicago zampolit, insuring the left-wing political orthodoxy of the priests.

  10. To my knowledge no priest can be obligated to enter a psychiatric clinic just because his bishop commands him. Priests have human rights like other Americans and are permitted to consult independent doctors and psychiatrists about such a command.

  11. There’s that whole vow of obedience thing that complicates matters. What’s needed is an appeals process. But, as I understand it, that would first require reestablishing metroplitan sees with jurisdiction over suffragan dioceses.

    I suppose a priest could appeal to Rome. But he’d probably finish his reconditioningtherapy before anybody in the Vatican got around to opening the letter of appeal.

  12. Ronald, I wouldn’t put it past Cupich to arrange for false statements that Fr Kalchik seems mentally ill and has threatened to harm himself or others. However, as this blog article here says, at present they (the bad guys) are mostly using pressure techniques. I’d think that might usually work because the good guys could very well still believe that their bishop must be good – just because he’s a bishop.

    Luckily, Kalchik had lots of supporters around (including off duty cops) because of the violent threats and the demonstrations by the virulent gay radicals. We know that from Kalchik’s interview posted today on CM. The gays shot themselves in the foot on that one.

  13. ERNST, could Kalchik go to Paprocki’s diocese and be established there? I would guess the answer is “no” without permission. Then a second question: what if Paprocki (Springfield, IL) merely gave rooms to live in at his bishop’s residence to Kalchik? Sanctuary. There must be limits to what Cupich can order… and what a PR black eye for Cupich that would be.

    Btw, Kalchik say he never received any official *written* order from Cupich. Also that Cupich doesn’t operate like that.

  14. “Btw, Kalchik say he never received any official *written* order from Cupich. Also that Cupich doesn’t operate like that.” – REAP

    Hearsay is that Cupich is wise to avoiding communications “in writing”—to avoid being exposed, and to avoid subpoena disclosure. Rosenstein should be using a wire on him.

  15. I do not know whether to laugh or to cry. The Word of the Lord is a two edged sword.
    “Unless you honor me, I will make of you a foolish nation, a no people.” Ezekiel 10
    Correct me if I am wrong. The psychiatric dossier on a priest is a carte blanche, a get out of jail free card for any crime the priest chooses to commit…murder, mayhem and claim temporary insanity and the priest has the psychiatric dossier to prove it…. What now?
    Maybe the bishops would want to avail themselves of such protection. Then they would not have to hide behind the altar.

  16. This is frightening, worse than the Inquisition. If true (my wife read this and doubted it, but Fr. Z is reliable), I can only repeat the old adage “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

  17. In Scotland, the Faculty of Advocates and the Law Society maintain lists of psychiatrists (usually clinical professors in teaching hospitals) who act as expert witnesses. I would be very surprised if legal professional bodies in the US do not do the same.

    I would surely be very easy for Kalchik to instruct one of them.

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