Rick Salbato

There are priests and nuns who have apostolate assigned to them by their bishop such as the spiritual director of the National Blue Army, or the American Blue Army, the Legion of Mary, etc. There are also new orders that were founded as a result of a mystic or an apparition. These approved apostolates or new orders we are not talking about in this essay because they are in the hierarchical structure of the Church and not outside of it.

What we want to investigate here is those priests who leave their vocations as extensions of their bishop, administers of the sacraments, preachers of the word, and tenders of the parish, in short, in persona Christi, in the place of Christ. They leave to follow the crowds and to preach instead the messages of self-proclaimed seers and visionaries. We are also somewhat interested in nuns that have left their vow of obedience to follow the rainbow of direct messages from Heaven or, in fact, are only pretend nuns, which means they are pretend Brides of Christ.

The big problem is this. When a priest is in the structure of a diocese or a religious order community, we have the certainty that they are in fact priests. We also have the certainty that they have faculties. These two things are very important - being a real priest and having faculties.

Canon 274, which comes from the Council of Nicea, requires that a priest carry out the duties and obligations given to him by his bishop. This obligation flows from the incardination and commitment to serve the diocese in which he was ordained. It is the bishop to whom obedience is promised at ordination. The priest has faculties as a priest only from the bishop. If he enters into another bishop’s geographical territory, he must get permission from that bishop to perform any sacramental functions as a priest. He also must have written or implied permission from his own bishop to be traveling.

The first type of priest we will investigate is the so-called spiritual director of the seers.


The reason I call them "so-called" is that a true spiritual director is the boss. He is the last word in the direction of faith and morals for those under his care. The problem with the new SD of the new seers is that they are being told what to do by the messages of the seers. The seer controls the priest. They do no investigation into the past of the seer, and they make no test of orthodoxy of the messages. They are called by God, directly, to be the very very special priest for this very special messenger of Heaven. Then spiritual pride blinds logic.


When a priest is traveling in the Marian Conference circuit, how do you know he is a priest. He has the clothes? He knows how to say Mass and hear confessions? How do you know?

Sometimes they are, like Father Gino, but there are doubts. For years the superiors suspected something wrong regarding Brother Gino, but he was too clever. His claim of apparitions and the stigmata were to overwhelming to his superiors. He had bishops eating out of his hand. The local bishop ordained him a priest even though he was in a religious order, The Oblates of the Virgin Mary, without their permission and without the necessary training in a seminary. (Or so he claims.) In time even the Arch-Bishop of the Sacred Congregation for Religious at the Vatican, Vincent Figiolo, was going to him for confession.

Although, not in his name, Gino controlled the money. There were more new postulates than ever before. There was more money. Because of this, his superiors overlooked a great deal of problems. It was not entirely their fault. But without direct proof, they bowed to the evidence of the so-called fruits of his followers: more new postulates, more money, more confessions, more prayers, more visitors, more everything.

From the 1960s testimonials with very compelling evidence of sexual misconduct were sent to the Vatican. These documents were buried in the archives by Gino supporters. Civil cases regarding money were documented. In 1972 a new case regarding homosexual conduct was sent to the superiors. His faculties have been removed and he can no longer hear confessions or give any of the sacraments. He is still a priest but without faculties, which means (in essence) no longer a priest. But then we are not even sure about that. Was he ever ordained as he claims?

In 1990, at a Medjugorje Peace Conference in Irvine, California, Father Stephen Barham laid hands on a man named Marvin Kucera and he received the "spirit of the Gospa", or so tells Marvin of his own story. From that day on , he writes of himself, voices have been talking to him by inner locutions. What’s funny about this is that Father Stephen Barham is not a priest at all. He shows up at all the Medjugorje Conferences, gives talks, hears confessions, and even says Mass, but he is not and never has been a priest. After Marvin became the new mystic of America, he found his own spiritual director, Father Ryan Patrick Scott.

Ryan Patrick Scott was supposedly ordained by Retired Bishop James J. Byrne, S.T.D. Archbishop of Dubuque, now deceased. Proof of his ordination is the one paper Scott carries around with him with Bishop James J. Byrne’s signature. In the last ten years of Retired Bishop James J. Byrne’s life he was senile almost to the point of Alzheimer’s. The fact that a retired bishop has no faculties to ordain a priest or to do any other bishop’s function would have been well known to Bishop Byrne if he knew what he was doing when someone stuck a paper in front of him to sign. He didn’t.

Interesting to note that it was this same bishop who gave an Imprimatur to the 1982 edition of "The Marian Movement of Priests". The fact that he had no authority to give this Imprimatur, is no condemnation of the bishop. He probably had no idea what he was signing. He was already senile. But those who sought him out knew what they were doing. The only prove of ordination by Patrick Scott is the signature of the bishop, who obviously did not know what he was signing. But what about this so-called priest and spiritual director of Marvin Kucera? The National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D. C., who keep all the records, say he is not and never was a priest.


This is true also of all the priests in Medjugorje. Their faculties have been removed by their superiors in the Vatican. Faculties, you will remember, are required for any priest. A priest can only exercise his priestly powers (en persona Christi) as an extension of a Bishop. In practical terms this means he can only administer sacraments at the express permission of a bishop. This law goes back to the Council of Nicea, the first general council of the Church. This same Council made it illegal for a priest to go into another bishop’s geographical area and administer the sacraments without the local bishop’s permission. When the faculties (permission) are removed, a priest administering the sacraments is sinning. A sin against the vow of obedience for a priest is a mortal sin. Only one priest in the Medjugorje area has faculties, all others have been removed from the Church. All priests entering into the geographical area of the bishop of Medjugorje and serving Mass or hearing confessions are violating the laws written at the Council of Nicea. Laws that have never changed.

In Medjugorje there is also a nun, who has an International News business, who is in fact not a nun and never has been. She simply put on a nun’s habit and started calling herself, Sister ------------.


The next man who is in the apparition business, is Father Gruner. Father Gruner was ordained in Italy, and in the same week of his ordination he disappeared and his bishop never saw him again. He ended up in Canada promoting his Fatima Magazine without his bishop’s permission nor the bishops of Canada. When E. Michael Jones informed his bishop where he was, the bishop ordered him back to his diocese. He refused. His faculties have been removed.


Since the very idea of their being a priest in good standing with the Church is a lie in itself, priests who promote un-approved apparitions have no problem lying. Father Gruner lies about the consecration done in 1984, and he knows it. When he was offered a face to face meeting with Lucia of Fatima, he went to the door and then refused to go inside the convent. When Father Gobbi was told by his superiors to quit promoting his false revelations, he faked a final message to bow out without scandal. When Father Roux was asked if he would quit believing in Gobbi if the Antichrist did not appear in 1998, as told in message 407, he bowed around the question and attacked my right to ask or to question the self-proclaimed mystic. When Gobbi was asked about Medjugorje, he said he never promoted Medjugorje, and yet his message of July 3, 1991, "I am still appearing at Medjugorje." On that same day, July 3, 1991 he gave his support to Vassula Ryden.

Of course the biggest of all lies is that "Mary said" when She did not say. But they lie about other saints also and about the Pope. One good example is the promoters of the Kingdom of the Divine Will. They are constantly saying that Padre Pio supported Luisa Picaretti. But we have a sealed document from Our Lady of Grace Capuchin Friary in San Giovanni Rotundo, Italy signed by the head Friar that states, that Padre Pio "never met, nor corresponded" with Luisa, and "there are absolutely no grounds to connect the Venerable Padre Pio with that movement and I strongly desire that his name not be used in any connection whatsoever" with Luisa Picaretti.

The worst lie that these priests and bishops promote is that the Pope said this or that, or that the Vatican has taken over this or that. This is the lie promoted at Medjugorje. I personally made a trip to the Vatican in the mid eighties and talked to Cardinal Gagnon about statements attributed to the Holy Father. Cardinal Gagnon, who was dinning a couple of times a week with the Holy Father, said that "Pope John Paul II has never made a positive statement about Medjugorje."

Again on February 9th, 1998, two newspaper reporters from England went to see Cardinal Gagnon and Ratzinger. The same response regarding Medjugorje. "Never, never has the Holy Father said anything about Medjugorje." In Cardinal Ratzinger we were told what we already know. "The Vatican never ever gets involved in private revelation, unless the local bishop asks for help. And then the Vatican never goes against the judgment of the local bishop. The local bishop is the authority in these matters. The Vatican will only support him the way a Council only supports the Popes.

Lies ulcerate the Divine Will movement. Padre Pio we have already mentioned. But the idea that Luisa is up for beatification is another lie. The lie that Blessed Hannibal Di Francia supported her is the biggest. He never knew her.

Why are these priests and pretend priests willing to lie? Satan is the father of lies. What are they after? What is their goal? It’s the same as any business man who wants to become important and wealthy. If he has no morals, no grace, he doesn’t care how he becomes important and wealthy. These priests are after power over people who will think of them as holy and special. Having people come up to you as though you were a god, is addictive. This addiction is the same as drugs or sex, or alcohol. Once addicted you cannot get enough.


How can you know if you are doing God’s will. Stay with your own bishop. He was appointed by God to be your guide to Heaven. He has appointed priests under him to give you grace through the sacraments. The sacraments give grace. Apparitions do not. The sacraments give grace even from a bad priest. God will honor you if you honor your bishop in all things except sin. Obedience is the law of God in the 4th Commandment. This is not a cut and dried statement, but for now in this booklet it makes the point. In another booklet called, "TAKE BACK YOUR CHURCH WITH OBEDIENCE" we will elaborate on obedience.

But for now, we ask the question again. How do you know that priest who shows up at these conferences is a real priest. Ask him for his traveling papers from his bishop. Then call that bishop. If he has no papers, call the local bishop and ask if he has permission to say Mass in his diocese. Do what the Bible commands you to do - Test. What if he isn’t even a priest at all?