The Church’s 40 Year Failure
Richard Salbato 5-3-2010
Vatican II closed and the so-called “Spirit” of Vatican II spread throughout
the world, the total amount of priests and nuns throughout the world dropped
and dropped especially in Europe and
the same time there was two heresies spreading throughout
the Church: liberation theology and the superiority of the individual
conscience. Priests were being ordained
that believed that they were the ultimate arbitrator of good and evil and not
the Church or even God. These priests
(many homosexuals) believed their own conscience was superior to the teaching
of the Church. In time many of these
priests became bishops and they in turn brought like minded priests into the
Church. And now we have a world wide
scandal that the Church will not overcome for many years. At the heart of the pedophilia scandals
throughout the Church is the founder of the Legion of Christ, the order, and
the massive Church cover-up. I am very
unhappy with the latest news on the Legion, where the Church plans on taking
over the order with
to understand how the Church came to this point, you have to look at a priest
who is still active to this day and has not been investigated or removed from
the Church in spite of the fact that he is a proven and blatant homosexual with
huge financial and political influence in the Church. He not only had a strong tie with the Legion
and its founder, but received finance from the same man that financed the
The point here is that no one did a background check on this man before he became a priest and no bishop did a background check on him when they approved his many appointments in the Church. This is why I spend so much time investigating everything before I accept or reject it. In this case I did not do the investigation (two great friends of mine did) but I did check the many newspaper articles cited below that anyone could have seen with the slightest investigation. Unless cases like the following are investigated, the Church will never get back its good name.
The Sirico Brief
On February 7, 2007, an Open Letter titled “On the Suppression of St. Philip Neri House, Kalamazoo, Michigan” written by Catholic writer, Randy Engel, author of The Rite of Sodomy, was sent to Franc Cardinal Rodé, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in Rome.
The Open Letter, reprinted below in full, requests that Cardinal Rodé appoint a formal board of inquiry, independent of the Oratorian Confederation, to examine the charges brought against St. Philip Neri House, an Oratory in formation, and its religious superior, Father Robert A. Sirico.
The Open Letter was first posted by Renew
Response to the Open Letter, both pro and con, was immediate.
Support for a
Opposition to the Open Letter came almost
exclusively from the Acton Institute, based in
February 14, 2007, one day after the Open Letter was made public,
Couretas claimed that the Engel letter contains “substantial falsehoods, was written by a person who did not allow Fr. Robert or the Acton Institute to respond to her allegations, and contains not a single person on the record backing up her claims.”
Couretas did not identify the exact nature of the alleged “substantial falsehoods,” nor did he explain why the Acton Institute, a non-Catholic entrepreneurial enterprise should be entitled to an opinion on a purely religious issue – the suppression of St. Philip Neri House and the removal of Father Sirico as its religious superior by a Vatican Congregation.
In the meantime, Abbott received additional pressure to abort the Engel article from priest-friends of Sirico and other associates connected with the Acton Institute.
After discussing the matter with Engel, Abbott withdrew the Open Letter, and the other websites followed suit.
Actually, the debate on Father Sirico and St. Philip Neri House is just heating up.
The Sirico Brief contains documentation in support of the charges made against Father Robert Sirico and St. Philip Neri House in the Engel Open Letter of February 7, 2007. A copy of the brief along with pertinent attachments has been forwarded to the Congregation for Religious.
Original Open Letter
An Open Letter to Franc Cardinal Rodé, Prefect
Sacred Congregation for Institutes of
Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
“On the Suppression of St. Philip Neri House,
7 February 2007
Franc Cardinal Rodé, Prefect
Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and
Societies of Apostolic Life
Piazza Pio XII, 3
The purview of the Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life embraces all matters concerning orders and religious congregations, secular institutes, and societies of apostolic life including associations of the faithful erected with the intention of becoming institutes of consecrated life or societies of apostolic life.
St. Philip Neri House located at
This “Open Letter” has as its objective, the securing of a ruling from your Congregation that will bring about the suppression of St. Philip Neri House and the removal of Father Sirico as its superior. St. Philip Neri House is currently seeking membership in the Confederation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri.
The circumstances surrounding the erection of St. Philip Neri House and the selection of Father Sirico as its superior is a matter of grave public scandal, and constitutes a clear and present danger to the spiritual welfare of Catholic men seeking vocational advice and spiritual direction from Father Sirico and other members of the community at St. Philip Neri House.
A Portrait of an Apostate, Marxist, Active Homosexual, Gay Rights Activist
Father Robert A. Sirico was born on 23 June
In 1972, Sirico established a different kind
of “church” - a satellite of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community
Church (UFMCC) founded by homosexual activist Rev. Troy Perry in
1975, Rev. Sirico moved to
On 21 April 1975, Rev. Sirico made the annals
of “gay” history as a pioneer “gay rights” activist when he performed the first
same-sex “marriage” in the
One year later, on 12 April 1976, Rev. Sirico, dressed in a black clerical suit with a Roman collar made the pages of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer under the headline “‘Male Slave Mart’ Raid in L.A. Called a Mistake. ”
As reported by the Seattle P-I, on April 10, 1976, Los Angeles policemen dressed in riot gear arrested 40 persons participating in a homosexual “slave market” held at the Mark IV Health Club in Hollywood. The bathhouse was operated by a sadomasochist cult called the Leather Fraternity. Nude “male slaves” were led on stage by an auctioneer and inspected by potential buyers. “Slaves” went for $10-75. The undercover policeman at the auction told the press that he picked up a man for $16 following assurances from the auctioneer that the ‘volunteer for charity’ would perform specific sex acts on him. The auction room came complete with its own dungeons and cell blocks and sadomasochist apparatus including leather harness restraints and chains.
The event was sponsored by the
May 1989, after completing his novitiate with the Paulist
Fathers at their House of Studies in
THIS ORDINATION SHOULD NEVER HAVE TAKEN PLACE.
On 2 February 1961, all superiors of Religious Communities, Societies without vows, and Secular Institutes received a copy of the document “Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Sacred Orders” from the Congregation for Religious. The Congregation noted that while the Instruction was “privately circulated” its contents were “a matter of public law.” The principle subject of the discourse of the Instruction is the proper vetting and training of candidates for Sacred Orders. The Instruction was in force, but obviously not enforced by the Paulists, at the time of Sirico’s ordination.
On the matter of the selection of seminary candidates, the essence of which is the discernment of character, the tone of the 1961 Instruction is exacting, even strident Moral certitude as to the fitness of the candidate for ordination is demanded of the superior. The Instruction firmly acknowledges that chastity is the heart of religious life and the priesthood. Any candidate unable to observe ecclesiastical celibacy and practice priestly chastity, no matter what other “outstanding qualities” he possesses, is to be barred from the religious life and the priesthood.
The 1961 Instruction specifically prohibits the advancement to religious vows and ordination of habituated onanists as well “as those afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers.”
Even though, by the late 1980s, the Paulists were routinely ordaining known homosexuals for the priesthood, their ordination of Sirico was especially alarming given his long habituation to the vice of sodomy and his public record of homosexual activism.
After his ordination, Sirico was assigned to
Unhappy with his situation, Sirico toyed with the idea of seeking exclaustration
from the Paulists provided he could incardinate in
the Diocese of Grand Rapids, but Bishop Robert
In 1990, only a year after
his ordination, Sirico underwent another career
change. He became the President of the newly created Acton Institute for the
Study of Religion and Liberty in
Sirico Moves to
Sirico moved out from under the authority of his Paulist superiors and away from the Diocese of Grand Rapids
to the “gay-friendly” Diocese of Lansing under “gay-friendly” Bishop Kenneth Povish, a backer of the notorious New Ways Ministry. Sirico was assigned a rural parish by Chancellor James A.
Murray while continuing to commute to his job at the Acton Institute in
St. Philip Neri House currently claims four residents including three priests – enough to erect an oratory and be incorporated into the Confederation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. The residents include Father Sirico, Father David Grondz, Father James Richardson, and Brother Basil, an associate of Father Grondz.
Fathers Grondz and Richardson were ordained by Bishop James A. Murray for the Diocese of Kalamazoo on 13 May 2006 at St. Augustine Cathedral. In addition to their assignment at St. Philip Neri House, both are also engaged in pastoral work for the diocese.
Questions of moral turpitude have arisen in connection with the seminary life of these three men, and with the close existing relationship between Grondz and Sirico, which I am unable to confirm or deny. However, as Prefect for the Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life you will be in a position to investigate seminary records and interview former oratory residents and visitors so as to render a fair verdict on these particular questions.
I have been in contact with men who have discerned at St. Philip Neri House. Their reports suggest disturbing patterns of behaviors at the House including catty, effeminate conversations; inappropriate touchings especially by Superior Sirico; the use of sexually explicit films including “gay” flicks as part of the oratory’s “Home Night” program; and violent exhibitions of [homosexual] rage by Sirico.
These reports come as no surprise to anyone with even a minimum understanding of homosexual behavior. The very nature of homosexual relationships in the religious life and societies of apostolic life precludes the existence of the oratory concept envisioned by Saint Philip Neri, the father of the Societies of Apostolic Life movement. Homosexual relationships poison the well of friendship, discipleship, and stability – the hallmarks of an Oratorian community.
Petition Put Forth to the Congregation
Based on the complaints noted above, I place the following petitions before you as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life:
1. That you instruct the officers of the Confederation of the Oratory of St. Phil Neri, specifically, the Procurator General Very Reverend Edoardo Aldo Cerrato, C.O. from the Rome Oratory and the Delegate of the Holy See for the Oratory, Very Reverend Felix Selden, C.O. from the Vienna Oratory, to withdraw from active consideration the request of the St. Philip Neri House of Kalamazoo, Mich. for oratory status, pending an investigation of the above charges.
2. That a formal board of inquiry, independent of the Oratorian Confederation and its members, be established to examine the above charges against Father Sirico and St. Philip Neri House.
3. Upon finding these charges to be valid, that the Congregation order the dissolution and suppression of St. Philip Neri House.
As you must be well aware, the Holy Father has frequently spoken out
against the very concept of homosexual “unions” and “marriages.” What do you
think his reaction will be when he learns that the first “gay” minister to
perform such a ceremony in the
In a press statement of 4 March 2006, you said that Pope Benedict XVI is seeking to revitalize the life of the Church beginning with the reform of religious orders. Why not begin this reform with the Oratorians and the Paulists and other societies of apostolic life and religious orders that have been compromised by the Homosexual Collective?
One of the favorite sayings of Saint Philip Neri was “Christian joy is a gift of God flowing from a good conscience.” May you do your duty in the matter of St. Philip Neri House and Father Robert A. Sirico, and sleep with a good conscience this night.
Sincerely in Christ,
Randy Engel, author, The Rite of Sodomy
cc. Archbishop Gianfranco Gardin, Secretary
Very Rev. Felix Selden C.O.,
Very Rev. Edoardo
Aldo Cerrato C.O.,
13 February 2007
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ –
According to Cardinal Franc Rodé, Prefect for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Pope Benedict XVI has made the reform of Religious Orders and Societies of Apostolic Life a principle goal of his pontificate.
Letters, e-mails and faxes and phone calls to the Congregation in support of an investigation of St. Philip Neri House under the leadership of Fr. Robert A. Sirico are needed now! Contact:
Franc Cardinal Rodé, Prefect
Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and
Societies of Apostolic Life
Piazza Pio XII, 3
Phone: +39. 06. 69884121
Fax: +39 .06. 69884526
Please give this “Open Letter” the widest circulation possible. No
permission is needed to post it on your website or print it in your
Let our universal battle cry be Alto quien vive!! Loosely translated it means: Anyone on the battlefield who is still alive, stand up and fight!! Fight for your Faith! Don’t Give Up!
Randy Engel, author, The Rite of Sodomy – Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church
1951 Robert A. Sirico is born on June 23, 1951 in
His older sister and
widow, Caroline Pannunzio, was born on October 25,
1938. She moved from her
His older brother, Genaro Anthony “Tony” or “Junior” Sirico was born on July 29, 1942. He is an actor. His most
prominent role to date is that of Paulie Walnuts in
television series The Sopranos. He
currently resides in Bensonhurst in the borough of
Another brother, Carmine
Sirico, also resides in
1969 Upon graduation from high school graduation during the Vietnam War period, Sirico enters the Navy. He enlists on August 18, 1969 and is discharged six months later on January 20, 1970.
In an interview with Ray
Ruppert, Religion Editor of The Seattle Times on January 23, 1971, Sirico
claims he was discharged from the Navy because of his “clergy status.” This
statement is false. According to records obtained from the Navy’s
1970 Sirico settles in
The 19-year-old Sirico takes up residence at the House of Joshua, an all
male religious commune in
He soon gains a reputation and a large following as a charismatic preacher promoting the Pentecostal message and experience of “baptism of the Holy Spirit.” He claims for himself the gift of tongues, the gift of interpretation of tongues, the gift of healing and the gift of miracles.
In addition to drawing support for his Truth in Healing, Inc. ministry from local Baptist and Pentecostal churches, he also attracts the attention of Catholic Charismatic and main-line Protestant churches.
1971 Sirico begins to draw large crowds to the Bethany United Presbyterian Church.
In his January 23, 1971 interview with Ray Ruppert, Religion Editor of The Seattle Times, Sirico says he was no longer a Catholic and had become an ordained Pentecostal minister.
Sirico tells Ruppert that his first religious experience occurred when he was preparing for his First Communion at the age of seven. He said it was like God and him were together and he was speaking directly to God. Sirico says that at age 11, while preparing for his Confirmation, he first spoke in tongues. Kneeling, Sirico said, he spoke in another language before a crucifix. “That I believe to be my baptism in the Holy Spirit,” he explains.
A woman named Mrs. Flourmill A. Marion, injured in a series of auto accidents in 1966 and 1969, hears Sirico preaching on KTW, attends his healing service and claims she has been cured of pain and able to walk without crutches.
On Wednesday, May 10, 1972, Sirico holds a press conference and publicly announces he
is a homosexual and that he intends to start a homosexual church in
Sirico tells the press that, “The harsh stand of most churches has driven many homosexually-oriented men and women… to suicide. It has destroyed in others the dignity and self-esteem that is the foundation of a health personality and a productive career.” “The gay men and women who have overcome this self-hate to live full lives have generally had to reject Christianity to do it, because Christianity is generally represented as incompatible with their nature,” he says.
The Church’s history of “excommunicating, scourging, or burning of ‘faggots’ as heretics and sinners is an arrogant perversion of the Christian law of love,” says Sirico. He admits that many friends including members of his own family have disowned him.
He says the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches will help bring the assurance of the love of Christ to gay people on the terms of self-acceptance that healthy people must live by. [The UFMCC teaches that homosexuality is neither a sin nor a sickness and that “homosexual relationships should be celebrated and affirmed.” The UFMCC has been used as an effective battering ram against the Roman Catholic Church and Protestant sects who oppose homosexuality.]
The young affable Sirico smiles at the press
and tells them he is very happy. “I’m
hoping to be married to a beautiful man in
In Gay Seattle: Stories of Exile and Belonging (University of Washington Press, Seattle, 2003, pp. 161-163), homosexual activist and writer, Gary L. Atkins, quotes Sirico as stating, “The blessings of the Holy Spirit are being passed onto the homosexual community… My [Christian] beliefs have not changed. I have a relationship with the Lord that I never knew existed.” Atkins says that Sirico refused to repent what was not a sin and instead proclaimed he was “proud and glad that God has made me this way.”
Sirico’s public “coming out” sends shock waves through the Charismatic Presbytery whose members, including Protestant and Evangelical ministers and Catholic priests, who oppose homosexuality.
On Thursday, May 11, 1972, a delegation from the Presbytery meets with Sirico to counsel and dissuade. Sirico informs them that he was aware for most of his life that he was a homosexual, since the age of 13.
He says that he used to believe that homosexuality was a perversion and was condemned in the Bible, but recently changed his mind. Citing 1 Corinthians 6:9, Sirico says his new interpretation of this passage is that the Bible condemns “trying to change one’s sexual orientation,” that is, a person who goes against his heterosexual or homosexual nature. In his healing ministry, Sirico says, he has found it impossible to “totally deliver” a person from homosexuality and has seen some become so despairing as to commit suicide.
According to Presbytery
member, Rev. Richard Denham, Pastor of Bethany Presbyterian Church, that past
February, Sirico visited New Mexico and Los Angeles
where he “worked over a bit of Greek in the New Testament” with persons
sympathetic to a condoning of homosexuality within Christendom. Rev. Troy
Perry, the founder of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Churches in
After Sirico and two homosexual companions walk out “belligerently and defiantly” from the meeting, more than 20 members of the Presbytery issue a prepared statement on Sirico’s defection. Rev. Dennis Bennett, rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, a principal drafter of the statement, makes it clear that the Prebytery is not taken in by Sirico or the MCC propaganda machine. He declares, “Mr. Sirico is not actually ministering to the homosexual community in starting a “gay” church, but really condoning and encouraging what Scripture and the Church clearly recognize as a serious sin.” “Ministering to the homosexual community would involve helping the homosexual be delivered and healed and to take an effective and normal place in society,” said Bennett.
Rod McDougal of the Jesus People also expresses regret that Sirico had chosen his homosexual friends over his Christian friends stating that in order to recover from this “sickness,” Sirico needs to stop surrounding himself with ones with weaknesses like his own.
All the members of the Charismatic Presbytery resign from Sirico’s Board en masse.
Later, Sirico receives permission to hold church services at the Capitol Hill United Methodist Church in Renton Hill. Communion services are held on Sunday mornings and a 5 p.m. Mass is celebrated each Sunday by a priest.
Sirico forms a Youth Group at the
MCC made up of young homosexuals, mostly males, including street hustlers.
Young men from the local
In late June, Rev. Sirico travels to
On August 6, Sirico’s church is formally chartered by the UFMCC and Rev. Perry preaches at the dedication service. Bodyguards are on hand to protect both Sirico and Perry. In a statement to the press, Sirico likens the MCC’s struggle for “gay liberation” with the civil rights movement of the late fifties. “If I have to be the person here who says “I ain’t movin’ to the back of the bus,’ then so be it,” he tells the press.
Perry states that his goal is to make homosexuality accepted in the church and in society. Other churches “have to recognize the fact that souls are being won to Christ,” he said. The dedication service includes the ordination of seven deacons. The young church claims 80 members, mostly male homosexuals and their relatives. [When AIDS hits the States, approximately 40% of the MCC’s male members will be living with AIDS or will have died of AIDS including many of its clergy.]
1973 On April 23, Sirico is among a group of homosexuals picketing the Seattle Police Department. The picketers charge that Police Chief George Tielsch has a “personal vendetta” against homosexuals and that the police sexually harassed sexual minorities. When Tielsch does not grant the group a hearing, pressure is increased on him. Sirico and other homosexual activist picket Tielsch’s home. When Tielsch was finally forced out of office, Sirico made his famous quip, “Who says God doesn’t answer the prayers of gay people?” Sirico is joined in the picket by ex-priest homosexual William DuBay.
Fr. William H. DuBay served as a priest of
the Archdiocese of Los Angeles under James Cardinal McIntyre (1948-1970). In
the mid-1960s, DuBay clashed with the cardinal on the
issue of clerical unionism, civil rights, and leftist economics and politics,
and was suspended. He moved to
In July 1973, Sirico continues his homosexual
missionary activities by assisting in the establishment of a new
Later in the summer Sirico travels to
In October, Rev. Sirico is arrested by the
(tearoom) frequented by local homosexuals. Sirico is coming out of a local bar at 2 a.m. when he sees the police arrest two young male hustlers for sexual solicitation. When he attempts to interfere with the arrest, he was taken into custody. He joins other homosexuals in the holding tank singing “We Shall Overcome” until he is bailed out by one of his parishioners.
1975 In February, Raymond “Dutch” Hunthausen
In the spring of 1975, Sirico prepares to
On April 21, 1975, MCC clergyman Sirico
The following day, the Boulder Daily Camera runs a picture of Sirico, dressed in clerics with a Roman collar and alb, preparing “communion” under both species for the “happy couple” - Anthony Sullivan and Richard Adams.
According to Camera staff writer, Tony Stroh, Sullivan is Australian and his
visa expires in July, 1975. Through his
On June 11, the Seattle
Post-Intelligencer, in an article by Joel Connelly titled “
In late summer of 1975, Sirico sets up
the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Gay Community Center, one of the oldest and largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) organizations in the world.
Los Angeles Gay (and Lesbian) Community Center was founded in 1971 by Morris Kight, a wealthy “gay” leader of the early Homosexual
On October 8, 1975, The L.A. Times prints a letter-to-the editor from Sirico congratulating the Times for its coverage of “gay” events. “How depressing life must be for those prime examples of homophobia, those ancient oppressors of people, who suddenly find that they themselves are the ‘queers.’….Hate will never rectify the wrongs done us, but love can make the future a better place to live,” writes Sirico.
1976 In April, 1976, Rev.
Sirico makes national headlines in a controversy over
The P-I reports that on Saturday night, April 10, 1976, 65
The Pasadena Star-News of April 12, 1976, reports that eye witnesses at the scene report acts of copulation and sodomy prior to the opening of the auction.
event is sponsored by the
Sirico networks with various radical political leaders such as Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden, but he continues to be single-minded in promoting “gay” rights
[“Gay” activists consider the Mark VI affair to be the equivalent of the 1969 Stonewall Riots as a “resistant historical moment,” and report that it gave more respect to the leather (sadomasochist) community.]
1977 Sirico, now reported to have
relocated in the “gay” Libertarian mecca of
Sirico reports that an unnamed friend provides him with reading materials by non-Christian libertarian economists such as Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, and Murray Rothbard. This, he says, leads to his conversion to Libertarianism. [See Thomas J. Herron, “The Trouble with Converts,” Part I and Part II, Culture Wars, September 2005, Vol. 24, No. 9, and October 2005, Vol. 24, No.9, 10 for a basic guide to Libertarian economics.]
Sirico becomes a spokesman for
Libertarians for Gay Rights. [The original Libertarian Party for Gay Rights started in the
On September 26, 1977, the Los Angeles Times runs an article, “Libertarians Will Mount 1978 Gubernatorial Campaign,” in which Sirico is interviewed by Times political writer, Bud Lembke. Sirico lists five areas where Libertarians and “liberals” are in agreement: deregulation of drug manufacture, possession and use; decriminalization of prostitution and pornography; extending rights to homosexuals; and allowing mental patients to be free if they don’t break any law. Sirico emphasizes that Libertarians have views that some things, such as sadomasochism, are morally wrong, but they don’t believe government should censor them.
Three years prior to the Sirico interview, the Libertarian Party platform calls for the repeal of laws against voluntary homosexual and heterosexual behavior. It also endorses the right of same-sex partners to marry. It believes that adults have the right to private choice in consensual sexual activity and opposes any government attempt to dictate, prohibit, control, or encourage any private lifestyle, living arrangement or contractual relationship.
1978 Sirico receives an Associates Arts
1980 Sirico attends the
1982 Sirico earns a Bachelor of Arts
(B.A.) degree in English from the
Sirico returns to the East Coast
and shortly thereafter enters the Catholic Paulist
Order novitiate, and later, the Paulist House of
[The Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle, popularly known as the Paulist Fathers, was founded in New York in 1858 by Father Isaac Hecker, a convert to Catholicism, a former Redemptorist missionary, and the “grandfather” of contemporary Catholic “Pentecostalism.” Father Hecker preached in an “ecumenical” and “nonjudgmental” contemporary idiom. Many of his novel teachings, including the primacy of religious experiences over doctrine and discipline, and the idea that the Church must accommodate her teachings and discipline to the spirit of the new age in order to attract those outside the Faith were soundly condemned by Pope Leo XIII. Given Sirico’s background as a Pentecostal Charismatic minister, it was easy to see why he would be drawn to the Paulist Order.
By 1982, the Paulist Order, like many religious orders and societies in
Under the Paulist system, a candidate for Holy Orders serves one year as a postulant, two years as a seminarian, one year of internship, two more years as a seminarian, one year as a deacon, and is then ordained – a total of seven years.
Like the Oratorians, the Paulists are not a religious order, but a society of apostolic life. As such, Paulists do not take formal vows like religious order priests such as the Jesuits or Benedictines, although some members assume the evangelical counsels by some bond (vow, oath, promise) as defined in their Constitution.
The specific apostolic work of the Paulists is the conversion of non-Catholics.]
1983 Sirico completes his postulancy, and starts his seminary scholastic training at
Catholic University of America (CUA) in
1984 On April 23, 1984, Sirico attends the Northwest Bible Conference held at the
1985 Sirico begins serving his internship while residing at
1986 While attending classes at
CUA, Sirico meets Kris Alan Mauren,
a student of economics at
1987 Sirico completes his Masters of
Divinity program at CUA, and in the fall of 1987 is assigned to St. Lawrence
1988 In March, Sirico produces and directs a musical drama, “The Women at theTomb” for
On May 5, 1988, Sirico gives a talk at the
Sirico is raised to the deaconate.
1989 Father Sirico
is ordained a priest of the Paulist Order on May 13,
1989. [It is
unclear if his religious superiors requested and/or obtained the required
The newly ordained Fr. Robert A. Sirico, c.s.p., is initially assigned to the
Sirico and another Paulist priest, Fr. James Fisher, present a talk at the
CIC, “Who Was Ayn Rand?” Both priests are admirers of
Ms. Rand, atheist and author of Atlas
Shrugged and prophetess of the philosophy of Objectivism and “the virtue of
selfishness,” and the “godmother” of the Libertarian Party. [A tape of the Sirico-Fisher
lecture confirms that that Sirico’s return to the
Catholic Church and ordination to the priesthood did not substantially alter
the Libertarian ideals he acquired during the heyday of his “gay” Libertarian
Party activism in
Sirico says he is experiencing a growing concern over the lack of training religious studies students receive in fundamental economic principles, leaving them poorly equipped to understand and address today’s social problems.
In his own words, in a dinner talk given on June 22, 2006 in San
Francisco marking the 25th Anniversary of the Atlas Economic
Research Foundation, Sirico notes: “I remember 17 or
so years ago, walking through the cobblestone streets of Guatemala, as a priest
speaking to Alex Chaufen and expressing to him my
frustration of tendency to socialism within religious circles. The keen,
riveting insight that he gave me in a few words: He said “institutionalize
yourself, recreate the process that introduced you to liberty.’” So, in a real
way since the very inception of the Acton Institute, we have followed that
advice that Alex, then
Alex is Alejandro Chaufen, the Argentinean-born, CEO and
President of the Atlas Foundation. He was one of the original Board Members of
the Acton Institute. Chaufen wrote Christians for Freedom: Late
Scholastic Economics which was published in 1986 by Ignatius
Leonard P. Liggio, served
as a Trustee of the Acton Institute from 1990 to 1999, and is currently on its
Advisory Board. He is the Executive
Vice-President of Atlas; President of the Mont Pelerin
Society; a visiting professor of Law at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín (
For Sirico, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation proves to be a mother load of opportunity - an open door to the corridors of power within the vast Atlas global network of “market oriented” think tanks.
In 1990, Sirico is invited to join the elite
Mont Pelerin Society. In May of
2001, Universidad Francisco Marroquín awards him
an honorary doctorate in Social Sciences.
He is invited to serve on the Civic Institute in
Less than one-year after his ordination to the priesthood, Sirico petitions and is granted a one-year, paid sabbatical
from the Paulists in order to pursue a new
non-Catholic apostolate and career in economics and politics. He considers
leaving the Paulists to become a diocesan priest in
the Diocese of Grand Rapids, but Bishop Robert J. Rose refuses to incardinate
him. Sirico continues to perform minor duties at the
Paulist priests as a rule do not wear their clerics. With the creation of the Acton Institute, Sirico switches from suit and tie to black clerics with a Roman collar. He begins the process of redefining and remarketing his image.
Sirico joins with Kris Alan Mauren
who is working for the Westin Hotels in
Among the foundations to contribute to
the early work of
important early contributor includes the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation
founded by the Libertarian millionaire Charles G. Koch. In 1991,
The list of grantees to Acton and its Board of Trustees and Advisory Board begins to read like a Who’s Who of Industrial, Free Market, Privatization, Libertarian funding.
Acton Institute bills itself as “one of the world’s leading think tanks and
educational centers” designed to “promote a free and virtuous society, and
economic liberty. Although
the Acton Institute is not Catholic, the main target of evangelization to the
free market gospel and Calvinist world-view of prosperity and wealth are
Catholic clerics and religious, Catholic seminarians, and Catholic laymen
particularly high school and college students. While no priests serve on
Like most “think tanks” it is quickly becoming a vehicle for influencing the development of public policy and the political deliberations of political parties, especially the Republican Party, and state and national government. [For background information on the activities of the Acton Institute from 1990-2005 see http://www.acton.org/pdf/Acton15Year.pdf. For updated information see www.acton.org.]
1991 Paulists assign Sirico
to various support groups hosted by the
On May 1, 1991, Pope
1992 While on a visit to
1993 On June 7, 1993, Insight on the News (Vol. 9, No. 23) features an article on Christian Libertarians by Richard Miniter titled “‘Religion stands up to Big Brother’ - Christian Libertarians oppose pornography and drug abuse and government intervention to prevent their pervasiveness; includes analysis of the work of Reverend Robert Sirico and the Action Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.”
Miniter notes that Libertarianism does not only apply to field of economics and politics, but to social and moral issues as well including such as the legalization of drugs.
As an example he cites the views of
Rev. Robert Sirico on drug use. He notes that Sirico “formed the Acton Institute for
the Study of Religion and
“If God made the heavens and the Earth by his mere word, and created man and woman free to either damn themselves or find redemption,” asks Sirico, a Roman Catholic priest in Grand Rapids, Mich., “then where does the government get off” regulating nonviolent behavior such as drug use? Though he doesn't condone drug use, Sirico thinks the government shouldn’t regulate behavior that harms only consenting adults, says Mitiner.
Mitiner identifies Sirico as a Christian Libertarian who believes that the role of government is to safeguard life, liberty and property, enforce contracts and punish violent criminals, not legislate or teach morality. This is essentially the same views he espoused in 1977 as head of Libertarians for Gay Rights. It is not a Catholic view.
1994-1995 At the very time that the
Acton Institute is experiencing phenomenal financial and
1996 Sirico takes a leave of absence from the Paulists and moves from the Diocese of Grand Rapids to the notoriously “gay-friendly” Diocese of Lansing, but is not incardinated either by Bishop Kenneth Povish, the outgoing Bishop of Lansing, or his successor, Bishop Carl Frederick Mengeling who takes office on January 25, 1996. It is unclear which bishop gave his approval for Sirico to move into the Diocese of Lansing, but we do know that Msgr. James A. Murray who had served as Chancellor of the diocese from 1964 to 1997 arranges for Sirico to be assigned to a rural parish staffed by an elderly priest-friend of Msgr. Murray. Without formal assigned duties Sirico can continue to commute to the Acton Institute. He is essentially a free agent.
[Bishop Kenneth Povish of
As President of the Acton Institute, Sirico
assists the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in
1997 As part of a lecture tour
for the Acton Institute, Sirico visits
Sirico is interviewed by reporter Charles Honey of the Grand Rapids Press for a March 29 1997 article on Rev. Martin Kurylowicz, 47, who has come “out” to his parishioners at Sparta Holy Family Catholic Church following his return from a pro-homosexual conference held by New Ways Ministry. Kurylowicz tells the congregation that he is a “celibate homosexual.” He tells Honey that Bishop Robert Rose is “very supportive.”
Sirico tells Honey that he thinks Kurylowicz‘s actions are “irresponsible,” and that divulgence can “unnecessarily offend” and “scandalize” parishioners. Sirico says that the priest should discuss his sexual orientation with a counselor or close friend, not with his congregation.
Three-months later, Kurylowicz leaves Holy
Family to study at the
On November 18, Chancellor Murray is informed that Pope
1998 On January 27, 1998, Bishop
Murray officially takes over the Diocese of Kalamazoo. The diocese purchases a
large home, a former sorority house at
On November 4, 1998, Bishop Murray announces that he is establishing
St. Philip Neri House as a pia domus – the first step in becoming an
Oratory of St. Philip Neri and a member of the
worldwide Confederation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri.
The new religious community will be formed in the spirit of
[The Oratorians, like the Paulists
are not a religious order. They are a society of apostolic Life. The Oratory is a confederation with no
central authority. Secular (diocesan) priests and lay brothers live together in community
bound together by no formal vows but only by the bond of
charity in keeping with the vision of Saint Philip Neri
who founded the first Oratory in
As noted in the Open Letter to Cardinal Rodé,
because of its loose structure with a superior being elected by members, or, in
the case of Sirico, by the local bishop, the Oratorians were among the first religious communities to be
heavily colonized by the Homosexual Collective.
Not surprisingly, especially in
1999 Bishop Murray incardinates Father Sirico as a priest of the Kalamazoo Diocese, thus formally severing all ties to the Paulist Order.
The religious community of St. Philip Neri House is promoted as a community that offers the better of two worlds – the secular priesthood and the religious life. Members will have the responsibility of building an oratory from the ground up.
St. Philip Neri House opens its doors to
seminarians from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in
In April 1999, Sirico is awarded an honorary doctorate in Christian Ethics from Franciscan University of Steubenville.
In October 1999, Sirico, as president of the Acton Institute, gathers more than
two dozen theologians, economists, and environmental experts at a conference
As Superior of St. Philip Neri House, Sirico announces that the Traditional Mass will not be part the community’s practice. However, on December 15, Bishop Murray announces he will permit the Traditional Latin Mass to be held at St. Philip Neri House on a trial basis from January to June 2000. He appoints his Judicial Vicar, Rev. Leonard Bogdan, to say one weeknight Mass on a day that fits into Bogdan’s schedule. One Traditional Mass, filled to overflowing, is held at St. Philip Neri House and then the Mass is moved to the Cathedral of St. Augustine. The revelation that Bogdan is an accused sexual predator is not made public until 2006.
[In late March 2006, when the Archdiocese of Chicago released the names
of living priests who were the subject of substantiated accusations of sexual
abuse, Bogdan’s name was on the list. As it turned
out, Bogdan, ordained for the Archdiocese of Chicago
on May 3, 1960, was one of Joseph
Cardinal Bernardin’s many clerical
hideaways. The first sex abuse of a
minor allegation against Bogdan was made in April
1983, but it was withdrawn in writing in June 1986. The following year, Bernardin had Bogdan squirreled
away in the Diocese of Kalamazoo. The then, Bishop Paul Donovan, accepted Bogdan into the diocese and gave him the position of
Adjutant Judicial Vicar, but the priest was not incardinated into the Kalamazoo
Diocese until 1995. In June 2000, Bogdan retired from
active ministry in the Diocese of Kalamazoo and later retired to
2000 In November 2000, the Acton Institute acted as joint convener of a conference on the theme of “Globalization, the Economy, and the Family,” with the Pontifical Council for the Family.
2001 In January 2001, Sirico acts as a primary facilitator for a retreat conference of a group of the Mexican episcopate, including Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez..
In May, Sirico receives an honorary doctorate
in Social Sciences from Universidad Francisco Marroquín in
2002 On March 26, 2002, Pastor
February 4, Sirico delivers a Business Ethics Lecture
at the Joseph A. Butt, S.J., College of Business Administration of Loyola
On May 1, as President of the Acton Institute, Father Sirico joins other religious and political leaders for the
National Day of Prayer held on Capitol Hill in
December 24, the Acton
Institute posts online one of Sirico’s secular
sermons titled “The Virtue of Tolerance.” According to Sirico,
tolerance is a virtue “because it is the underlying principle of social peace.”
Sirico quotes Fr.
2004 Winter-Spring The
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace releases the long-awaited Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the
Church which contains 75 documents of the Magisterium
on social doctrine beginning with the writings of St. Clement of Rome, St.
Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas and concluding with the popes of the 20th century
including Pope Leo XIII and Pope
co-editor of the publication is interviewed by Zenit
News [an organ of the Legionaries of Christ] on April 30, 2004 on the content
and significance of the compendium. Sirico praises
Bishop Murray thanks
Murray told Pastor
2005 Bishop Murray appoints
Father Sirico, Parochial Vicar of St. Mary Church in
2006 Bishop Murray appoints Father Sirico the pastor of St. Mary Church. Rev. Mark J. Vyveman, C.S., takes over the position of Parochial Vicar. The parish has one Saturday Mass, one Sunday Mass and only 2 weekday Masses.
The Acton Institute opens up its
2007 St. Philip Neri House now has four residents including three priests – enough to erect an oratory and be incorporated into the Confederation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. The residents are Father Sirico, superior, Father David Grondz, Father James Richardson, and Brother Basil, an associate of Father Grondz from the latter’s Benedictine days.
Both Father Grondz and Father Richardson were ordained by Bishop James A. Murray for the Diocese of Kalamazoo on May 13, 2006 at the Cathedral of St. Augustine. In addition to their assignment at St. Philip Neri House, both are also engaged in pastoral work for the diocese.
Of these, Father David Grondz has had the
longest and most intimate relationship with Sirico. Grondz began his vocational journey with the Benedictine
Order, but left. He then went to
February 7, 2007 Randy Engel sends Open Letter ““On the Suppression of
St. Philip Neri House,
Electronic copies of the Open Letter are sent to 72 Oratorian Houses world-wide.
Feb. 14 The Rome office of the Oratorian Confederation releases a formal statement that houses in formation although recognized by the Ordinary of a Diocese are not official oratories or members of the Confederation. Therefore, they come under the jurisdiction of the Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
April 22 Bishop Murray announces that he has submitted his resignation
The Question of Conversion
It is difficult to talk about the issue of “conversion” in the case of Father Robert Sirico because he has had so many of them.
Sirico has publicly discussed
his experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and later, the gift of
tongues, at the age of 7 seven and 11. He has stated that he knew he was
homosexual at age 13, although it is unlikely that he acted out until his late teens. At
the age of 19 he converted to Pentecostalism. At the age of 22 he converted
to the “gay”
Sometime in his late twenties or early 30s, Sirico says he underwent another conversion and re-discovered his Catholic roots.
In one version of his conversion story, Father Sirico says that he encountered Courage and became
friends with Father
Another version is given by Sirico
in an interview with Zenit on April 19, 2005. Sirico says that it was the authenticity of the life of
Sirico’s entrance into the Paulist Order in 1982 raises other serious issues.
There is the question of why Sirico would choose a “gay friendly” order like the Paulists, thus exposing himself to further homosexual temptations.
There is the question of what the Paulists knew or did not know about Sirico’s
homosexual history including his plans to “marry” another man. This question
is closely connected to the validity of his ordination in 1989, a matter
The sincerity of Sirico’s call to a religious vocation is drawn into question, when less than a year after his ordination, Sirico establishes the Acton Institute and adopts a new persona of business man and entrepreneur. Sirico had taken a vow of obedience to his Paulist superiors, but this did not hold him back from pursuing a new career at the expense of his religious vocation.
Sirico’s appointment as the superior of a religious community, St. Philip Neri House in the Diocese of Kalamazoo in 1998, raises additional red flags.
That Bishop Murray would appoint a priest with Sirico’s homosexual background to oversee a house where
young men come for spiritual direction is the height of insanity. The issue
of homosexuality aside, what religious qualifications does Sirico possess that make him a candidate for the superior
of a religious community. Certainly not the virtue of obedience to his
superiors as clearly demonstrated by his track-record with the Paulist Order. Piety and Devotion to
In her Open Letter of February 7, 2007, to Franc Cardinal Rodé, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Randy Engel called upon the Congregation which is charged with the oversight of oratories in formation to establish an independent board of inquiry to investigate Father Sirico and St. Philip Neri House, with the goal of suppressing St. Philip Neri House and removing Father Sirico as its superior. This is the ultimate purpose of posting The Sirico Brief.
If you agree with this line of action please send
a letter of support to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life
and Societies of Apostolic Life in
Alto quien vive!!
This text was prepared by Randy Engel, author of The Rite of Sodomy – Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church. [See www.riteofsodomy.com or call 724 327 7379 for ordering information.]
Engel would like to extend her appreciation to Dr. Vida Barr who assisted in the retrieval of important articles and documents connected with the Sirico investigation.
Also, Engel would like to acknowledge the ground-breaking work of Catholic writer Thomas J. Herron, whose insightful article on Father Sirico and the Acton Institute, “Father Sirico’s Perversions: The Seduction of Catholic Economics and The Economics of Catholic Seduction,” appears in the May 2007 issue of Culture Wars magazine (www.culturewars.com) edited by E. Michael Jones.
My thanks to Randy Engel and Dr. Vida Barr