All Essays Copyrighted by Pauly Fongemie

VISION 2000, PART 2:

(Begun 1988, updated, 1992, 2007-2013)

FOR 2013 UPDATE, See article, Dealing with the Devil, Diocese for Sale


1992 Notes

1. Father Lange's column is now discontinued. Instead, another diocesan priest, Father Roger Chabot, an avowed homosexualist and fan of Hans Kung and Richard McBrien, writes a weekly 'marshmallow' meditation called M-editations. It is full of carefully worded dissent, and he appears to be a shill for CALL TO ACTION. Letters to the editor are either gutted or not printed at all. At a Christology class he displayed temper tantrums, especially when he learned I was a pro-life activist. He told the class that Jesus did not know His mission until near the end of His life on earth; that infant Baptism was not a good thing and that pro-lifers were equivalent to Muslim extremists, imposing their views on society. He said he liked to dialogue, so I took him up on it and he flatly refused. Ad hominem attacks are characterizations, not arguments and this was all he had in his arsenal. A typical revolutionary.

2. At the listening session for the Pastoral on Women, held at St. Philip's in Auburn, there were many rabid dissenters who openly spoke of birth control in front of Bishop Proulx. Afterward I overheard him congratulate one of the more obnoxious women. It was sickening to hear, how he ingratiated himself with her.

The NCCB "formal dialogue sessions" with WOC feminists took place between December 1979 and December 1981. The WOC team included among others, Rosemary Ruether and Marjorie Tuite, O.P. The NCCB representatives were Bishop Michael McAuliffe, Jefferson City, Missouri; Auxiliary Bishops George Evans, Denver, Colorado; P. Francis Murphy, Baltimore, Maryland; Amedee Proulx, Portland, Maine." When the dialogue ended the over-matched NCCB committee agreed with WOC's representatives that the Vatican 1976 Declaration on women's ordination had been written too hurriedly and lacked scholarly documentation. The bishops recommended magisterial review of that document 'in the light of modern anthropology, sacramental theology and the practice and experience of women ministering in our American culture'." (Report on a Dialogue: The Future of Women in the Church, "Origins" 12, No. 1 May 20, 1982:7 quoted in Ungodly Rage, p. 351)
3. A lady parishioner at the above parish had previously complimented me on my courage, and months later when she saw me she referred to the incident, shook her head, and marveled at my courage: her words not mine. I never thought about it all, I just had to come to the defense of Catholic moral doctrine. I didn't even have enough time to be scared or not scared.

4. Stapleton is still the Pastoral Assistant at St. Philip's. The parish now no longer kneels for the consecration, if it takes place, that is. Last Advent the sanctuary was decorated in midnight blue ad nauseam. The whole place had an evil cast or gloom to it. Another parishioner asked me at a meeting if it was permitted for consecrated Hosts to be left out in a basket where anyone could just help themselves. I am not kidding.

5. Gagnon had a part of the original workshop at my parish. Since I was scandalized by her comments I promptly wrote to our then pastor who had not been in attendance. He told her that she could not repeat her poor performance if she expected to return. When she did, she was okay, making reference that "someone had reported" on her and so she "had to behave" herself. She actually said this to us. I made a point to be there to check up on her. Much later, after some of this came out, a nun in league with Gagnon told me on the telephone that I owed her an apology, that I was a bad person, etc. A year or two later I received a hate letter unsigned, but the handwriting was familiar, and I am almost positive that the handwriting belonged to this nun. The police were brought in as a result. I called the Chancery and told the Chancellor, Fr. Michael Henchal, who had a hand along with Bishop Proulx of covering up for a notorious pederast who was moved from parish to parish, that I knew who was sending the hate mail and that it was a federal crime and I wanted it stopped. He pretended he did not know who she was, which was a blatant lie. The letters which had been regular ceased from that moment on. I do not think it was coincidental. Sometimes you can't help chuckling.

1996 Updates

Marguerite Stapleton is still entrenched at St. Philip's, Auburn, pastored by Fr. Chabot. She has been involved with the diocesan RCIA program and continues to speak from the pulpit in liberal Protestant churches; she holds small group meetings where non-churched Catholics go at her bidding. The diocese continues to employ her as a workshop presenter. She is held in high regard by the establishment in Maine.

Fr. Chabot finally became such a scandal with his "Gay Nineties" column that he was finally dropped as a regular columnist, although he is permitted the occasional rambling in The Church World. During one sermon at St. Philip's he held up a book on AIDS, written by a now deceased dissenter. The call for compassion had implications other than that practiced by Mother Teresa and Cardinal O'Connor.  After he left St. Philip's he went to Farmington. The pastor now serving there has invalid Masses in all likelihood because he uses improper matter for the altar breads in place of the hosts. They are small puffy mounds that cannot be made of merely water and flour as required in the Western rite. The ultra modern church in the round is even more grotesque than it was before. The last time I was there the table was  covered by a regular table cloth, exactly like one I use on our dining room table, no pretense of an altar cloth or cloths. Over the high wall in back of the table was an eyesore of a painting in garish colors by a local artist I presume, a mural centered with a picture of a regular bottle of wine, several wine glasses, long stemmed of course, to match the mood music that was playing: a folk song that celebrates drunkenness although it was music without the lyrics, thank God; Next to the image of the wine glasses were heaped loaves of risen bread, the tableau featured a table with a similar cloth as the table on the "altar". At least they are consistent. This table tableau, pun intended, was framed on all four sides by a series of hands reaching out to other sets of hands with all the races represented; just hands with small portions of the wrist, no faces; the focus was on fellowship, not the Sacrifice of the Cross or the Precious Blood or anything remotely Catholic, liturgically speaking.

Sr. Gagnon was made the Superior of her order and enjoys diocesan esprit des corps. She joined with another feminist and offered feminist spirituality seminars in a a converted barn. See updates for 2007 below.

Jacquie Coleman dropped from sight. The last I saw of her she was attending the University of Maine at Orono, taking writing courses. She used to write for The Church World but not for some time. She no longer attends Mass at her parish. Someone thought she may have left the Church all together, but I have not turned up any evidence of that. I do know that she told me she no longer went to daily Mass and eventually resigned from the liturgy committee at her former parish under duress from the pastor and a more traditional parish council, a one time fluke I am certain. She seems to have vanished from the Church scene, although she is still married and lives in the same home they have for many years.

These workshops have evolved over the last few years. Now that parish leaders have been identified and the process for establishing that identification and indoctrination is effective, the mode for further training is now more focused by select purpose or role. Hence, there are few large convocations anymore. The workshops offer little choice in sessions. Everyone attends the same lecture, etc. The groups of "ministry" are smaller, usually way under the former 300 count.
The goal of the diocesan-sponsored sessions is now "priestless parishes" and thus, the ministry of the moment is "Eucharistic Ministers," with the critical term, 'Extraordinary' omitted. Parish-wide workshops or meetings are directed toward Vision 2000. The corollary of Vision 2000 are sessions in which the closure or "twinning" [usually quadruplets in fact] of parishes, a concocted, fully engineered process that deceives the bewildered laity into thinking that they ever had an actual say in the closure of their parish. How? Committees are selected by facilitators. The composition of each committee is similar to those of all the other committees ever chosen by the bureaucratic apparatus: modernists and the malleable always outnumber any Traditional Catholics assigned to the committees or small groups. That way, no Traditional opposition can be successfully mounted, except from the outside through petitions, etc. The possibility for success is enhanced so greatly that it is a virtual victory for the Vision 2000 machinery.

2007 Updates

 In 1990, Auxiliary Bishop Amedee Proulx, Bishop Joseph Gerry, Chancellor Msgr. Joseph Ford and Vice-Chancellor Msgr. Michael Henchal conspired to cover up sexual abuse allegations against Rev. Raymond Melville, the pederast mentioned above.

Melville was subsequently transferred from parish to parish. More teens and older children were sexually abused. Court documents reveal that Bishop Proulx protected Melville and did nothing to protect children. Today he has finally been defrocked under Bishop Richard Malone and is reportedly living in the west.

There's an annual award in honor of Bishop Proulx, if you can imagine. He died of brain cancer either in 1993 or 1994, I forget which, but I think it was 1993 because this year marks the 14th award. A friend and I said the Three Beautiful Prayers for the dying in the Pieta Prayerbook fervently every day for thirty days for him. Although we were not able to say them in his presence, we trust they did some good anyway.

Former Sister, now Ms. Stapleton, originally from Pennsylvania, is vice president, mission effectiveness, Sisters of Charity Health System, Lewiston, ME.  The diocesan web site lists her as a speaker on spirituality. Someone told me that she "marries" people at ceremonies, but I cannot confirm this, although a newspaper article did list her as officiating at one such event. Of course the name Marguerite Stapleton is not that uncommon in Maine or anywhere else in the States for that matter, so this could be another Marguerite. Since she does not hold with the Traditional Sacraments on the whole, the possibility is plausible. I tend to believe the person who told me.

Frances Thomas, RSM, on the occasion of finishing her tenure in 2001 as Director of the Living Water Center in Winslow, Maine, a pantheistic enterprise said this:

"In a special way I want to thank the Sisters of St. Joseph and I especially thank Sr. Janet Gagnon who invited me to assume the responsibility of directing this retreat center for the Province. My heart-felt thanks goes out to all of you who have been friend, co-worker, volunteer, prayer support, and advisor these past 7 years. It is has been a challenging but magnificent adventure. 'Thanks for the memories'. As I look out my office window one more time I see that the Sebasticook River is now unfrozen and the current is strong as the living water flows to the nearby Kennebec River and then out to the ocean. Living Water continues to nourish my spirit in many ways. My hope is that many of you will return to this Center to be nourished by the Living Water of God’s Love as well as the Living Water of God's Creation abundantly present here. May the ripplings of all those people who have graced this place with their positive energy continue to be felt for years and years to come."

The web site is proud that [emphasis mine]:

" . . . We affirm that keeping and healing creation is a central call to people of faith in this time and place.  To increase awareness of the faith aspects of earth keeping, we offer several programs throughout the year that offer a spirituality and nature theme. With 54 acres alongside the Sebasticook River, a network of woodland trails, and a cosmic walk, Living Water is a delightful setting in which to explore who we are, and whose we are in relation to God's bounteous creation."

Ministry Explosion is pretty much universal in the English speaking countries. In Canada, for instance, a news report on one of several similar web sites reported the following:

"There were 69 people from all over Western Canada and one from Nova Scotia at the Pastoral Institute for Lay Ministers in Parishes, June 12-16 at Newman Theological College. That would have been an impossible number 20 years ago.
"You would have never seen that many people then," said Father Francis Morrisey, one of the institute's facilitators.  . . .

"The increasing number of lay people involved in ministries shows the importance their role has achieved in the churches, said Morrisey.

"It is the Church of the baptized, not the Church of the ordained," he said. "One person cannot do all the work." [Ibid.]

"The importance of a program like this is to introduce and re-acquaint lay ministers in properly performing the work they do in their parish.

"A lot of these people did not have four years of theology," Morrisey said. "They need to be given the knowledge to do the work they do."

"Morrisey tried to condense what is normally a two-year program into four days.

"A leading expert in canon law and professor at St. Paul's University in Ottawa, Morrisey spoke on pastoral canon law as it relates to the sacraments. From baptism to the last rites, marriage to divorce, [Ibid.] he helped to define the role of the lay ministers in these sacraments.

"They are becoming more important in the Church," Morrisey said. "Particularly if some (churches) don't have priests, they are getting very involved in the day to day."