Diocese head of schools on leave | The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, PA
But wait, there's another one, this time a Canadian, Anglican "priest" facing charges as well. Maybe it isn't just Christian clergypersons we should be hunting down, but the white male?
But we almost forgot to mention that strange case of Deacon Levine, who is currently on hold from becoming a priest, who is also under a pal of supsicion owning to his relationship witht he mostly discredited Society of Saint John.
Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:06 am Post subject:
On a related matter, Deacon Joseph Levine, originally superior of the disgraced Society of Saint John and unsuccessful candidate for the priesthood first for the Diocese of Scranton and then Paterson, New Jersey (see below), has resurfaced as a "patoral year seminarian/deacon" on the staff of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Bend, Oregon, in the Diocese of Baker (http://www.stfrancisbend.org/parishfstaff.htm). If at first you don't suceed ...?
Ordination Permanently out for Former Local Deacon
A Deacon Formerly Associated with the Controversial Society of St. John Will Not Be a Priest in the Catholic Diocese of Paterson, N.J.
By David Singleton
The Times-Tribune [Scranton PA]
May 30, 2007
Deacon Joseph Levine is still a deacon in the diocese, but will not be ordained to the priesthood, Marianna Thompson, the diocesan communications director, said Tuesday.
The diocese announced late last week that Deacon Levine would not be ordained Saturday in Paterson as previously scheduled, but released no other details. Four other men were ordained.
Ms. Thompson confirmed Deacon Levine's ordination is off permanently, a result of the "discernment" process during which the deacon and church officials examined his call to the priesthood.
"As we deepened and widened our discernment process, we discerned not to ordain Mr. Levine," she said. "He will not serve as a priest in the Paterson diocese."
Deacon Levine is the former superior general of the Society of St. John, a clerical association once headquartered at a rural compound at Shohola in Pike County. Recognized by the Diocese of Scranton in 1998, the society was suppressed by Bishop Joseph F. Martino in 2004.
At the time of the group's suppression, two of the society's priests were the subject of a sexual abuse lawsuit filed by a former St. Gregory Academy student. The Diocese of Scranton settled the suit in 2005.
Diocese of Paterson officials acknowledged receiving questions about Deacon Levine's suitability for the priesthood. In an e-mail to the diocese last month, Society of St. John critic Jeffrey Bond, Ph.D., accused the deacon of covering up alleged sex abuse by society priests while superior general.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which asked the diocese not to ordain Deacon Levine, applauded the decision.
"SNAP is very pleased that the Diocese of Paterson is taking a proactive stance in screening its candidates," said Father John P. Bambrick, outreach coordinator for the organization's New Jersey chapter.
David Clohessy, SNAP national director, said colleagues and supervisors who have knowledge of abuse by clergymen have a moral obligation to speak up, and there should be consequences for "secrecy and duplicity."
"We think the bishop should trumpet this far and wide," Mr. Clohessy said. [We think Clohessy should be hung along with the perps for being, at best, a Soviet patsy]
And don't forget another one-time inhabitant of Oregon who has since moved to good old Chicago, Cormac Brissett, for whom consent is the only criterion, as Mark Shea puts it so nicely, of the good whose own pederastic intrigues will no doubt earn him his spurs at the gay parnassus alongside names such as +Weakland, Shanley, Geoghan, +O'Brien, +Mahony, +Gumbleton, +Eidschenk, Liuzi and the once great but now failing Jesuit Order to which he now proudly belongs.
Here's the letter written to Mr. Levine from Dr. Bond's website in its entirety, which shows amply that Mr. Levine didn't do anything to correct the problems and simply hoped to stonewall till the thing blew over. It's amazing that there are still people like "Pat" writing in the comments below who want to defend these types:
An Open Letter to Deacon Joseph Levine, Superior General of the Society of St. John
Dear Deacon Levine,
When I first saw your picture on the front page of the Society of St. John's May 2002 Epistle, I thought for a brief moment that there might still be some hope for the SSJ with you as the new Superior General. I wondered if you might honestly address the former Superior General's betrayal of the SSJ's vision, and thus seek to make a new beginning. That faint hope was quickly dashed, however, when I read your unqualified and dishonest praise of Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity.
Fr. Urrutigoity, as you know well, has been accused of homosexual molestation by three different people from three different places: first, by Fr. Andres Morello, the former rector of the SSPX seminary in La Reja, Argentina, where Fr. Urrutigoity was a seminarian; second, by Bishop Fellay on behalf of a young seminarian who had left with Fr. Urrutigoity when he was expelled by Bishop Williamson from the SSPX seminary in Winona, Minnesota, where Fr. Urrutigoity was a professor; and third, by a graduate of St. Gregory's Academy in Elmhurst, Pennsylvania, where Fr. Urrutigoity was a chaplain. This most recent accusation was made in a federal lawsuit filed by the St. Gregory's graduate and his parents.
In addition to these three accusations, there is abundant testimony, including affidavits, establishing Fr. Urrutigoity's habit of sleeping in the same bed with young men and boys.
Despite the overwhelming evidence of the SSJ's sexual and financial misconduct, you boldly state in the May 2002 Epistle that the SSJ has "advanced under Fr. Urrutigoity's leadership from being a mere group of friends with a common idea to becoming a close-knit and disciplined religious community." While I am prepared to believe that the SSJ is "close-knit," I balk at the suggestion that it is a "disciplined religious community."
First and foremost it must be said that the SSJ is not, and never was, a "religious community." The portrayal of the SSJ as Benedictine has been part of the fraud initiated by Fr. Urrutigoity and now, sadly, perpetuated by you. As both Bishop Timlin and Bishop Dougherty made clear to Fr. Richard Munkelt and me, the SSJ is nothing more than a group of diocesan priests with permission to live together. Nevertheless, the SSJ literature has continually suggested otherwise to the detriment of many unsuspecting Catholic donors.
Bishop Dougherty was particularly insistent on this point, and he reported to Fr. Munkelt and me that he had stressed this when he reprimanded Fr. Urrutigoity, Fr. Eric Ensey, Fr. Daniel Fullerton, and Fr. Dominic O'Connor at a meeting on the Shohola property in September 2001. Bishop Dougherty was deeply concerned because, as he explained to Fr. Munkelt and me, the misuse of the trappings and titles of religious life is, more often than not, a cover for serious sin. How right he was! It should also be noted that Bishop Dougherty, troubled by the SSJ's excessive use of novenas for fundraising purposes, quipped to Fr. Munkelt and me that he was going to become a Lutheran if he saw any more advertisements for Society of St. John novenas.
How sad that Bishop Dougherty has not found the courage to stand for the truth he well knows. Instead, Bishop Dougherty is hiding behind a false notion of obedience to his superior, Bishop Timlin, who refuses to protect young souls from the sexual predations of Fr. Urrutigoity and Fr. Ensey. And you, Deacon Levine, appear to have chosen the same path as Bishop Dougherty. You are reputed to be one of the finest minds ever to graduate from Thomas Aquinas College—undoubtedly the best Catholic college in the country—and yet you refuse to face the truth. What is the value of being able to cite chapter and verse of St. Thomas' Treatise on Law if you cannot, or will not, recognize lawlessness when it is staring you in the face? Do you still believe, as you told me last summer, Fr. Urrutigoity is like St. Ignatius of Loyola insofar as he operates on a plane "above the realm of human reason and prudence"? Is this how you have justified to yourself Fr. Urrutigoity's habit of sleeping in the same bed with boys?
I would suggest you re-read St. Benedict's Rule, especially chapter 22 entitled "How the monks are to sleep." The first line of this chapter reads as follows: "All the monks shall sleep in separate beds." St. Benedict adds that all the monks are to sleep in one room, if possible. If not, then the monks are to be grouped in tens or twenties with a senior in charge of each group. A candle is to burn throughout the night. Finally, the younger brothers are not to sleep in beds next to each other, but interspersed with those of their elders. Now compare these balanced and prudent rules of St. Benedict with Fr. Fullerton's defense of Fr. Urrutigoity's habit of inviting young men to sleep with him in his private quarters. Fr. Fullerton had the audacity to argue that this was done because the SSJ wanted to follow the "Benedictine spirituality" of receiving all guests as Christ.
Read also chapter 35 of St. Benedict's Rule entitled "Weekly kitchen service." You will find nothing there about catered meals from gourmet restaurants.
While it is an outright deception to call the SSJ a "religious community," it is simply absurd to call it "disciplined." Even the SSJ's most loyal supporters, in moments of candor and frustration, have admitted that the SSJ priests, quite frankly, live and often behave like spoiled children. They expect nothing but the best—be it furniture, food, drink, or cigars—yet they squander and waste what they are given. Perhaps this explains why you, though only a deacon, were chosen to be Superior General rather than any of the SSJ priests.
If the SSJ is really the disciplined group you say it is, then please explain how the SSJ—just this past month—has been kicked out of yet another house where some of its members were living rent-free. This is the third house that the SSJ has been ordered to vacate after abusing the generous hospitality of the owner. I am amazed that even now, while the SSJ is under close scrutiny, your members could not at least pretend to be concerned about the property of others. Even naughty children know how to behave well under the threat of punishment, but not so the SSJ. Your "disciplined" group just expects that new living quarters and more money will be provided for them.
Furthermore, where is the discipline in allowing priests under your authority to continue to lie to Catholic donors about the scandal surrounding the SSJ? As the new Superior General, you are now responsible for the lies being told by your telemarketing priests, especially Fr. Dominic Carey who has been shameless in his willingness to deceive donors.
Finally, Deacon Levine, you yourself have not been honest and forthright in your letter about the status of the Catholic city the SSJ has proposed to build. You conclude your letter by exhorting your supporters to "persevere in charity" with respect to this "ambitious project" (that is, give more money), yet you are as silent as your predecessor in the face of the hard questions that must be answered: Is there really any hope of building on the Shohola property? Have you acquired a legitimate public access route yet? Or are you still secretly trying to sell the property? And how has the SSJ spent the five million dollars donated to build its city and the College of St. Justin Martyr?
As you exhort Catholic donors to trust you with even more money, I exhort you to put aside the purple prose of your first official letter and, instead, speak the plain truth about these weighty matters.
Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond
The College of St. Justin Martyr
142 Market Road
Greeley, PA 18425