28 July 2008

Headline Too True

The public relations war to redefine the anti-Catholic movement at St. Cronan parish continues, again in the national version of their bulletin, NCR.  This time Tom Fox pens a panegyric to Fr. Gerry Kleba, who continues to excuse the behavior of Sr. Lears and, by extension, the "womenpriests" Hudson and McGrath-- all from St. Cronan's.  

A person may be dedicated to a cause that is unjust.  Undermining the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, is such a cause.  Opposing the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ, is such a cause. Excusing error and leading souls astray, souls under one's particular care, is such a cause.

Fr. Kleba believes Sr. Lears, who was seemingly afforded more due process than many now on death row, was treated unfairly.  However, his recollections of a meeting with his Archbishop prove the point that fairness is sometimes in the eye of the beholder.  Fr. Kleba's recollections of the conversation at this meeting have no corroboration other than his own words.  The Archbishop, however, has consistently refused to defend himself by publicizing the words and events of confidential meetings; therefore, let me just opine that we don't have the full story.

This is very sad, but Fr. Kleba doesn't understand that the person who looks bad in all of this is himself.

Consider this published quote attributed to Fr. Kleba.  Do you know to whom he is referring?

Kleba sighs: "He is such a good man. But when you live in the shadow of the world's biggest organization and you feel like the organization is the embodiment of Jesus, somehow you don't remember anymore how you have to be the embodiment of Jesus. The Gospel says, 'Love others as you love yourself.' If you don't have a self to love, you have nothing to share. You're just going through the motions."

Archbishop Burke, you say?  Wrong-- the answer is Justin Cardinal Rigali.  The above quote is taken from an article in the Riverfront Times from 2002.  

You see, criticizing his Archbishop and undercutting his authority is not new for this dedicated priest. And, if he is quoted accurately, he certainly gives an impression that the Roman Catholic Church is not the embodiment of Jesus.  A reading of Mystici Corporis might be helpful on this issue.

Below is an excerpt from the NCR article:

Dedicated St. Louis priest like others you know

July 28, 2008

[...]Kleba does not hide his thoughts about Lears’ departure. He says he feels she was treated unfairly by the archbishop.

Speaking about a meeting he had with Archbishop Burke earlier this year, Kleba said, “He called me in and one of the things he wanted me to do was fire Sr. Louise and I said that this case is still open and I have to assume that while I don’t know much canon law, a person is innocent until proven guilty.”

“I told him I couldn’t fire her. He told me to seek out some further advice.”

So I decided to get a lawyer.

That move cost Kleba $790. The amount was more than it cost him four decades back to be ordained a priest, he said.

An e-mail he sent out to friends following his visit with Burke was critical of the archbishop’s action in the Lears’ case. The e-mail eventually got circulated on the Internet.

But he’s not worried. “What have I got to lose?” he asked.

Kleba, at 66, is at an age when many other Americans his age are retiring. He has no plans to retire. His work, he says, is going forward.

Just like a lot of other retirement aged inner city priests we know.


Anonymous said...

The only people who think Fr. KLeba looks bad go to the Oratory for Latin Mass. Also, Louise Lears received nothing that resembled due process. The reason that the Canon Law process hides behind silence is not to protect anyone. The silence only protects the process itself in which the Archbishop is judge, jury and prosecutor. In which someone like Louise Lears doesn't even get to present her final case before the final verdict is given.ev

thetimman said...

Not the only people, ev.

The thing is not a question of liturgy-- I cannot comment on St. Cronan's liturgy because I have not assisted at one. Though to apply the maxim of St. Prosper, "lex orandi lex credendi" (the law of prayer is the law of belief), one can have strong suspicions of what it would be like, liturgy is not the immediate issue here.

This is pure and simple about assenting with the will and mind to the teachings of Christ as given to HIs Holy Church.

I welcome a statement from either Fr. Kleba or Sr. Lears, or both, stating they unequivocally accept the infallible truth that it is not possible for women to receive priestly ordination. Please, ask them to send it to me and I will publish it here.

It may go a long way towards the reconciliation they need and the Church desires.

And the extent of due process given Sr. Lears is well-documented. To disagree with the outcome is not the same as to have a well-founded belief that the process was unfair.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,
Wow, talk about embracing all people and 'diversity'! You fractured all of the rules of political correctness with your opening sentence.

What does the Latin Mass or the people at the Oratory have to do with Father Kleba? As a member of the Oratory I take exception to that comment. It is hurtful and unfair of you (I think that's what liberals say when they feel falsy accused, no?) to characterize people who go to the Latin Mass in this way. You make us sound judgemental, which of course, is a tendency that ALL Christians must struggle to avoid, however in this case members/parishioners of the Oratory have no hand in judging Father Kleba, Sister Lears or Mr. Bozek.

Judgement, in this case is reserved for the highest authority on earth, Holy Mother the Church, and for Sister Lears and Mr. Bozek that judgement has been cast against them, by the CHURCH, not the people who attend the Latin Mass at the Oratory.

What you could have said to be more accurate is; 'the people who go to the Latin Mass at the Oratory stand in full agreement and support of the jurisdiction and authority of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and that makes me angry.'

A statement like that would be accurate and true, unlike your broad brush insinuation and calumny against us.

If you're going to accuse us of something, be accurate, use facts (something the St. Cronins, ladypriests and St. Stanislaus crowd omits from ALL of their propaganda) and have the courage to sign your name.

Mark S.
New Haven, MO

Anonymous said...


Don't kid yourself!

There are more Catholics in St. Louis than go to the Oratory.

There is NO SUCH thing as the "Spirit of Vatican II" my friend.

Peter said...

Mark from New Haven...glad to see there are faithful out here in Franklin Co.!!

To anon:
This is not a democracy...this is the infallible, pure Bride of Christ, Holy Motehr Church- if you don't believe in it, leave. But to say you are Catholic..then you accept the tenets and precepts of the faith. That includes OBEDIENCE!! We submit ourselves to the higher authority chosen and ordained by God. Same as the early discples did to the apostles.
But let's look at the fruits of Lears apostacy... promoting same sex attraction... promoting female ordination to the priesthood Christ created... promoting disobedience to the descendant of the apostles.....

And why have they not removed Kelba?

Anonymous said...

YES YES YES! Right on!

Mark S.
New Haven, MO

You are a prophet?

This is way to good!

God Bless you and thetimman!

The Church needs more persons like yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Everyone I know tells me I'm wasting my time reading this blog. I think I am going to listen to them now. All of you have put your brains out to pasture. The Archbishop is a human being, and the hierarchy are human beings .They can make mistakes, and they can sin too, but you've all put them on the same level as God. There is apparently no room here for someone to point out any flaws your precious Bishops might have. TA ta. ev

thetimman said...


I suspect that excessive blog reading--or writing-- is likely in the end some waste of time. But if you mean reading a blog for Catholic news and views, even if you don't always agree with writer or other readers, is a waste, I hope not.

Certainly I don't agree with your take on the Kleba/Lears/Bozek actions. But really, I don't know of anyone who puts the Archbishop on the same level as God. We just respect his position, the one instituted by Christ and His Vicar. We admire his defense of the faith.

Your too much distrust of the Pope and the Bishops is more of a danger to you than I think you realize. Just because you set yourself up as the standard for moral or theological rectitude doesn't mean you have chosen the intellectual way. I think it is actually an easy way out.

Christ didn't do away with the hard teachings. Some of His disciples left Him because of it. Why not give the Church the benefit of the doubt.

I hope you keep reading.