All Essays Copyrighted by Pauly Fongemie

Planned Obsolescence

On the Occasion of the Pending Death of a Diocese

AUTHOR'S NOTE: The work you are about to read is part of an unfinished series, and may appear "dated." Actually that is not the case. The workshops are still going on, although evolved in format. The altar girl imbroglio was the successful trial balloon,  and now we have WE ARE CHURCH agitating in the diocese for "women priests."  Eventually this, too, will ebb as revolutionaries come and go, but the revolution has a life of its own. By the time this monograph makes print WE ARE CHURCH will be superseded by another vehicle; each and every one is a runaway train, thus the names are strictly incidental to any period of time. It is my conviction that the banshees on the loose are no longer interested in the priesthood for themselves, if they ever were, but have actually given up altogether for something even more alien. Agitation for a female priesthood in the Church was but a tool for destroying the Church from within, and not the goal in of itself. Actually their efforts have already garnered many bad fruits: essentially a majority of the laity and a number of its religious and priests no longer believe entire sections of the Creed, evident in almost every Novus Ordo funeral. The new Arianism.

A small portion will be redundant in part 2, MIDWIVES OF MODERNISM. This is because MIDWIVES was written not only as a tentative Part 1, but also to stand alone.

Since 1995 there has been some hope. Catholics are starting to wake up and ask the right questions even if they are not sure how to respond to the answers they deserve and do not receive.

I present this volume of material to you as a small portion of the history of the last 10 years in Maine. Please read it as a soldier of Christ. This opus is a "call to arms" to defend the faith and the perpetual Papacy.  Already the voices of sedevacantism can be heard in the distance, ever and ever more shrill and insistent, advancing closer with every passing year.

Not everyone can write a letter or participate in every event or meetings all the time. That is normal and expected. But every one of you has a mind as well as a heart. Both are Catholic. In the past most attacks on the Church were from without, apart from the Arian heresy for over 400 years and the Modernist heresy at the turn of the century. Today the attack on the Church is relentless, both in the media, but most insidiously, from within. The dissenters [now unbelievers] are in every bureaucracy in almost every diocese and in the seminaries and at the Washington offices of the Bishop's Conference. They fill most of the catechetical establishment positions. The bishops, even when orthodox, are weak men mostly and too dependent on their employees who take money from the Church and use their positions to undermine her.  At present we have no more than six solidly orthodox bishops in the United States with any courage at all.

We are without power or position, but we are very powerful and in a position to do something. We are powerful because we have the Rosary. They have the bureaucracy, we have devotion to Mary. They have the buildings and the media, we have the Two Sacred Hearts and our love of the Blessed Eucharist. They have the Chanceries, we have Tradition and the Faith. We must never give in to fear or think our position impossible. All things are possible with Christ. Christ was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. Let us not betray Him once more with 30 more years of silence. We cannot do everything, but we can all do something, and totaled that is very much something. We can speak up to our Catholic neighbor, we can interject Catholic truth in conversations, gently correcting errors. When faced with insolence and open contempt for Tradition and Christ and His priesthood, we can remain resolute, firm about the truth, but not be insolent back. We must defend the human manly nature and the Divine Personhood of Christ and the Virginity of Mary at all costs. We must be prepared to be ridiculed and told to be silent, etc. When Jesus was Scourged at the Pillar and Crowned with Thorns, they spat on Him, mocking Him. We must undergo our own scourging and tongue-lashing. It is such a small thing to give to Christ Who suffered for us already, for our sins, which suffering we undergo now, we can offer as partial atonement for our own weakness.

Know that we are actually privileged to be a part of Christ's and Mary's growing army, the little cohort despised by the world and the modern Catholic. Christ's and Mary's sorrows are our sorrows. The triumph of the Two Hearts is our triumph. We merely have to exist, as Father Calvin Goodwin of the FSSP maintains, grow holy, receive the Sacraments frequently and fervently, speak up each according to his or her position, ask questions, study the Faith and be prepared to respond. It is not much to ask for Our Sovereign King Who went to Calvary for our sake. Be courageous soldiers of Christ and humble children of Mary. Humble does not mean silent in the face of error. It means the repression of ego and arrogance----a vengeful spirit. We must speak the truth in charity, but we must speak it. Silence is only a virtue when the attack is a personal insult to us as individuals. When the Church, her Magisterium, her Sacraments, etc., are under assault, silence is a sin. We must turn the cheek for personal slights, but not to  blasphemy and sacrilege and related matters. Never.

Fight soldiers, fight the good fight, in season and out of season. No retreat. No surrender. We will build up the remnant, soul by soul. We shall be victorious, we have God's word. Pray and fight, fight to pray and pray to fight the fight. To battle, Catholic soldiers!

Pauly Fongemie


IN her trenchant work, THE DESOLATE CITY, Anne Muggeridge eloquently describes the soul, the totality of being we call Catholic:

Catholicism is not just a religion; it is a country of the heart and the mind . . . And there are a great many who cannot emigrate no matter how uninviting living conditions become. We may freeze within it; we would die outside. [From THE INTRODUCTION.]

Ever since the treacherous tenure of one Peter Gerety, now "Bishop Emeritus", Catholics in Maine have been dying a long, slow spiritual death brought on by a war of attrition. Outside of the Church we would surely die, but only quicker, more humanely, if this were an option permitted by almighty God. Since it is not, this paper is an attempt to leave a public record of the betrayal of the Faith by weak bishops, and in Gerety's and perhaps Gerry's cases, heretical bishops and the entrenched gnostics and homosexuals within the established apparatus. The Diocese of Portland, Maine is a microcosm of every devastated diocese and it is de facto in schism while maintaining a facade of "Vatican friendly." Those of us who have been sounding the alarm for almost a decade know well the thankless task it has been to do so. The price we continue to pay is that of being branded pariahs. We press on as dutiful soldiers of Christ. We pray to have the graces necessary to defend the Faith, no matter the cost, to endure all things for Christ, in season and out of season, ever vigilant and rejoicing through our many, many tears, taking up the apostolic charge of St. Paul to Timothy. We shall continue to do so, but now the time has come to publicly rebuke our prelates and some of our priests who have encouraged us to help them squander the rich deposit of the Faith and our Catholic heritage, our traditions as believing, behaving Catholics, many of us first and second generation Americans, born into the Faith of our immigrant parents and grandparents. We the faithful of Maine comprise every class and ethnic group, and all ages, from the very young to the very old. This paper is our last will and testament for our children, whose only Church may in all likelihood consist of an underground Church, the next century's catacombs . . .

Those who cast a critical eye at the dissolution of the Church in America sometimes point to an oft-repeated demarcation line, Pre-Vatican II, and Post-Vatican II, as if suddenly in the 1960s and 1970s all love of Catholic Tradition was swept away in one frenzied moment by the tidal wave that struck, surging over unprepared Catholics, drowning them in confusion and shock. It did seem like that at the time when the dam holding back the brackish, poisoned waters of liberalism broke. [We had not smelled the stench as yet.] But that is not exactly the way it actually was. The crack in the foundation had already erupted long before "the spirit of Vatican II" infected us with its euphoria and pretensions, its worship of change ten years after the "aftermath" elsewhere. There is simply no way that a small fissure could have expanded into the opening for the deluge under the Gerety years unless the breach was strained at the time of the quake. That strain was, in fact, we, the faithful who were complacent and unmindful that our Catholic Faith is a most precious gift that needs nurturing, guarding, to not only be appreciated for its vibrancy and strength, but also for its fragility, its tendency to disintegrate when taken for granted or neglected.

That typhoon washed over us because we did not want to make any waves. We had it too good; we took our Catholic heritage for granted falsely assuming we could integrate it with the Protestant culture around us. The schools were there, the good sisters in full habits were there, the priests were there, sometimes three to a parish even in small towns. There were religious vocations sufficient to the need. So we forgot all the hard work of our grandparents and their fight to remain Catholic in a hostile, Puritan land, and proceeded to become American to the core, taking up the religion of success and "being nice," the civil creed, preserving the Nicene Creed for Sundays and other special occasions. We became not the Church in America, but the American Church, forgetting that the seed of faith sprouts from Martyrdom. Of course we never admitted this outright, but that is what we did by our thoughtlessness and easy surrender to Americanism and eventually to Modernism, otherwise known as the despoliation campaign, the summit of which is the second successor to Gerety, Bishop Joseph Gerry's program of Planned Obsolescence, VISION 2000, modernism Maine-style. Its roots are in Bishop Gerety's 1972 call for what he titled THE MISSION. From a mission to anything but vision. He declared, "The time has come when we must move beyond the old dualism about religion . . . We require in addition pastoral planning or management for mission." This gibberish is so unintelligible I defy anyone to tell me what it means with a straight face.

Peter Gerety was in dead earnest. He had already undertaken a poll prior to launching the forerunner of VISION 2000, THE MISSION. That poll reportedly revealed that priestly vocations would decrease, so Gerety envisioned a new "lifestyle" for parishes and the entire diocesan structure. He apparently had no vision for increasing sacerdotal vocations.  As with VISION, the MISSION is to close parishes built with the hard-earned pennies put aside by half-starved immigrants who were allowing God to give them the children they ought to have, and give the laity more and more responsibility and power, to actually plan for "priestless Sundays".

The purpose of this paper is not to present a thorough critique of Gerety's perfidy as Shepherd, but to briefly point out the beginnings of Gerry's VISION. It is not new, it is at least as old as 1972, for Gerry's words match that of Gerety's, that "priestly vocations would continue to decline."  Why? Why did he assume this? And why did we not challenge this strange, unCatholic plan?

Everything is banked on that supposed reality. Gerety's MISSION did not entail building up the priesthood but planning for a fait accompli, and Gerry's VISION does as well. The parish meetings called to implement stage 1 of VISION 2000 has no room for Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction, the elimination of liturgical abuses, and the like. The people were divided up in tables of ten or so. Each table had a representative to speak for that sub-group. This allowed the "facilitators" handpicked by the Chancery to identify dissenters, that is Traditional Catholics, talk of irony! The next session the groupings were rearranged so as to isolate the Traditionalists as much as possible so that their voices would be marginalized. On old but useful stratagem of warfare. So then the preconceived outcome was assured.  The attack on the sacred is entrenched and will not find much opposition from the Chancery which seems to be directing it, all denials to the contrary. Even the mention of importing priests from countries where vocations are plentiful is a threat to the establishment. Either one attributes this phenomenon to racism or to the distinct possibility that the destruction of the sacerdotal priesthood is not only expected but desired.

The first nail in the coffin of the Diocese was our acceptance and practice of Americanism; the second was Peter Gerety's steering the Barque of Peter in Maine into torrential waters unnecessarily [oh so necessary for him and his friends]; the final nail was the triumph of what goes by the name of the "Lay-Centered church", which our Bishops have permitted to develop and gain a stronghold by sponsoring defective and even heretical catechesis, including "sex-education courses" that violated modesty, purity, and parental rights. Even after being made aware of the harm being done those programs are still being sponsored and fostered in every way and parents be damned! Let us examine our conscience and admit our complicity as we publicly repent in partial reparation:

When "they" came to remove the altar rails, nullifying the sacredness of the Sanctuary, we expressed our disbelief, then helped them to do it; when "they" propagandized for Holy Communion in the hand, we asked a few questions, and then most of us surrendered there also, too easily satisfied with the "answers" they proffered, preferring the acceptance of men rather than the Solemnity of God. When "they" began tinkering, one breathless change after another so that the Mass had become a political and psychological tool, a tedious, profane circus, and not the Holy Sacrifice, we expressed our dismay, disorientation, and outrage, then proceeded to help them by participating in the new pagan worship, the worship of the community. Dancing girls were being applauded at Mass, such as at St. Mary's in Presque Isle for the Midnight Mass at Christmas. At Christmas! In that same parish, as elsewhere, the laity was instructed to join the priest at the altar for the Eucharistic Prayer, including the Consecration, and most of us dutifully complied. [The current diocesan praxis regarding the posture immediately after Consecration is a tale in of itself but will not be covered here.] When Bishop O'Leary, Gerety's immediate successor, put a stop to the practices above, it was however, already too late----the ordained priesthood as a special state of dignity was now up for grabs, if only the agitators could keep up the relentless onslaught, using subtle shifts in the meaning of liturgical and sacramental terminology, chipping away at Tradition and Jesus' Divine intentions for His Bride, Holy Mother Church. The focus shifted slowly, imperceptibly at first, but inexorably from Christ to us. Hence, at St. Joseph's parish in Portland the pastor informed the "Eucharistic ministers" and lectors, that Christ in the Eucharist was no longer confected by the priest, but "was made present by the community." The Women-Lay-centered church had just been baptized. In other words, it was no longer the priest who represents Christ at the altar of Sacrifice, but the "community" which acts as the alter Christus. First by implication, and explicitly as cited above. Utter blasphemy.  And the essence of Protestantism. Traditional Catholics were now alien within their own land, so to speak.
Bishop O'Leary, a true believer, was not up to the task of defending the Faith rigorously. He left too many of the details to delegates who still followed Gerety and were not sufficiently attached to the Sacred doctrinal Councils, and in some cases, surely, served not O'Leary but used their posts as levers to turn the confusion following Vatican II to their advantage, so as to undermine O'Leary behind his back. See Midwives of Modernism for some examples. If he ever fully realized the deed, it was too late to do anything but exert a little discipline here and there, discipline that was obeyed briefly until the dissenters in charge were confident, that Bishop O'Leary, too, could be bought off, euphemistically speaking. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Ergo the ego.  When combined with old age and illness, I need say no more.

As one curate said to me in an unguarded moment, "Any priest can get away with what he wants to, if he knows how to play his cards." Spoken like a true disciple of Curran and McBrien. He told me that he studied Hans Kung, McBrien et al at the seminary in Baltimore. He had no insight that what he studied was not Catholic theology but apostasy and heresy. This same priest would eventually refuse me Holy Communion after publicly castigating me from the pulpit for my support of the Holy See against Charles Curran, the dissenter removed from his position at Catholic University after seven years of "dialogue".

As the months of dizzying change became years, some of us became lectors and the ever-ubiquitous "Eucharistic ministers" etc. We sighed and went meekly back to our pews, still paying, obeying, while praying. We did not question our modernist mentors when they instructed us that lectors could sit in the sanctuary and that "Eucharistic ministers" were to be a regularly scheduled reality every Sunday. When "they" omitted the fact that these ministers were actually "Extraordinary" and to be used only in genuine emergencies, almost never arising in America, we never asked if there was anything more to know. We really did not want to know down deep. Because if we knew, we would have to take action that would be painful and disrupt our reputations as sons and daughters of the "spirit of Vatican II." The spirit is unwilling because the flesh is so weak. Our mentors also neglected to mention that they had lied to Rome, telling the Vatican that the laity was demanding this and that. Rome, already weakened itself, and with Masonic leaning prelates in some key dicasteries, the lie was readily swallowed. Rome gave in. Once more, disobedience was rewarded, which is the modus operandi of the modern establishment. When the enemies of Tradition are accorded privileges the regulars in the pew are either demoralized or learn their lessons all too well.

When "they" introduced heresy into our children's minds and hearts, the prototype Jesus of the ex-priest Girzone and Fr. Richard McBrien, a merely human sentiment in physical form, we objected, but did nothing more. We did not home school or pull our children out of these dens of iniquity. We hoped for a miracle that never came. Sure, some did home school, the stout-hearted few, but most of us thought that it would get better, if only we talked more with "Sister" and dialogued with "Father." We contributed to the financial support of those schools. Rather than speak out, we remained silent, convinced that we were being virtuous, once again preferring the respect of men rather than duty to God. We congratulated ourselves on our obedience to those above us who were anything but docile to the commands of the Apostles, Saints, and Sacred Councils. We forgot  or conveniently overlooked the fact that obedience can never be a means to dally with the many portals that lead to Hell. We continued to support the diocese by contributing to the parish life as it has now come to be, a string of outposts in a vast desert of open and defiant dissent and disbelief. We aided and abetted the infernal Enemy. Our challenges, such as they were, were puny pip-squeaks, since the minute we were chastised we slunk away to lick our bruised egos and hide our flagging spirits. Now our children and their children are paying the price. It is of no avail to blame Vatican II.

Our diocese is terminally ill, in its final death throes, and our being made to witness it is our penance for having repented so late. Now we we have to pray for that miracle. Our marginalization is our atonement, and yet the promise that Christ gave to His Mystical Body must be our very hope.

Everyone knows by now that Peter Gerety was removed from his See in Newark, New Jersey [after leaving Maine ripe for the plundering by the de facto apostates and renegades he left in charge] because of his involvement with the traitorous Call-to-Action network----the new Reign of Terror----and for his imprimatur conferred on a pornographic sex-ed catechetical work, still being advertised for sale by a "Catholic" wholesaler. The means to remove him was the one most often employed, "early retirement." By now we all know about his silly but destructive RENEW, lately taken up by the diocese after years of not implementing the insipid thing. It seems to be an axiom in the diocese that after something is a proven failure in other dioceses and an impediment to the salvation of souls, then that harm is deliberately institutionalized and promoted in the diocese. We are not only a stiff-necked people, we are a perverse one, too. This is what happened with RENEW. We are into our third season [at the time of this writing] of "renewal." The pews are more empty than before and the flock scattered like tumbleweed before a ghost town. Those of us who finally came out of our stupor have become wanderers as of old, nomads sheltered by our tent, Tradition, trekking from parish to parish, seeking oases of relief from rank stupidity and the savagery of sacrilege.

It was Peter Gerety, already a hidden little wreck of a man disguised as a big burly sailor, a heretic apostate, who removed the altar rails and encouraged the de-Catholicization of God's Sanctuary. His iconoclastic rampage was rapid and rabid. Marble altars were literally smashed to smithereens! He imported like-minded priests passively, that is, some came to the Diocese from outside because they admired the "wave of the future" as one of these priests said to me. He was drowned in that wave of his choosing as he is no longer in "active ministry", his faculties publicly withdrawn. That wave was what Gerety epitomized. He incardinated these priests to our detriment. Rather than the waters that refresh, his deed was a deluge that leeched the soil until it was more barren than fertile. The theme that ran throughout each and every program was "I'm OKAY, and God loves me just the way I am". The sacred was now open to experimentation by self-appointed liturgists among the laity. The raging flood uprooted the branches from the vine.

Priests, too, such as the ex-columnist for the blasphemous CHURCH WORLD, our diocesan paper, Fr. Joseph Lange, who mocked Church Tradition and reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. Another: Fr. Paul Coughlin, former pastor of St. Mary's in Augusta, then at St. Mary's in Wells, [balloon Masses] and then thought to be delivering final blows to the Faith in Portland according to reports I received from anxious parents. One of his pastoral assistants, a Sister of Mercy, of all things, is of the Call-to-Action mentality. She once told me that she no longer believed in the perpetual Virginity of Mary. She used to give feminist spirituality sessions that served to plant the seeds of discontent. At one of those she permitted the wife of a big time Democrat in the state, to promote dissent from Humane Vitae. Most of the workshop consisted of what I call "spiritual unveiling" or denuding: Coax participants to reveal the most intimate details of themselves, especially acts of injustice, that reminded them of that injustice, to renew bitterness, reiterate sympathy and bathos, reinforcing resentment that should have been long-forgotten and forgiven. This breakdown of the once Catholic soul was left vulnerable to the outright heretical workshops to come. See Midwives of Modernism.

Fr. Coughlin, one of the "imports" renamed God the Father the "Great Whobody" and told his parishioners about the glories of RENEW and how he wanted it to succeed [the time was then not receptive for that as yet to his disappointment]. It was he who encouraged "feminist spirituality"----ahead of his time as they say----and always brought Jesus down to our level in a presumptuous intimacy that is not the intimacy of the Saints and mystics who have gone before us. It was not the intimacy of the Sacred Heart, for instance. The intimacy of the enthronement in the home with children participating. It was the false intimacy of the warm, fuzzy, huggable, laughing Jesus, and feelings were the essence, beliefs and Tradition secondary, if at all, except the "tenets" about us being OKAY. The new DOGMA. He made reading at least one of the OKAY genre self-esteem books flooding the market a requisite for penance after absolution. We were grateful he still held with Confession as a viable Sacrament. A priest who came after him told us that we could not come to Confession unless we had a mortal sin to confess. At that point it was difficult to imagine a mortal sin he would have thought to be one, if you know what I mean. The emphasis was self and more self. Ego sacramentals. Change was it: Fr. Whobody liked excitement, wanting to set us on fire with "creative approaches." Superficialities and high drama for effect in the Mass. I was removed from the liturgy committee soon after I objected to the idea that the Mass is a scripted play we get to rewrite. He did me a favor. Since Catholicism and Her Sacraments are incarnational in the sacred meaning of the word, visual representation was like giving candy to a baby. We were told that votive candles and statues were an unnecessary distraction to our relationship with God and each other. God was the "Great Whobody" and we were Whobodies. In other words, we were gods, too. He never had to say that last sentence, but that was the message we imbibed. He kept us drunk on Joe Wise songs----the 70's substitute for sacred hymns----those comparable singer-songwriters now so much in demand in dissenting dioceses headed by homophilic bishops who openly rail against the Magisterium. Joe Wise composed a blasphemous creed that is now being used in one of those dioceses. No liturgy with Fr. Coughlin was complete without a couple of Joe Wise ballads. I do not know if Wise was merely naive or wise in the ways of the world. That is for God to judge.  It is for us to judge fruits. The locus of the Consecration turned from Christ and the priest to us, ever so subtly. Perhaps you are old enough to recall these ditties.

Under the ministrations of Fr. Coughlin and the other priests of his ilk----he is merely an archetype----the almighty felt banner and its blazing banality became the new "tradition." Now we are distracted to the point of tears with amateurish mottos and strips of cloth signifying emptiness. Even when these banners are crafted in good taste, they are a distraction. The irony! And every year these dismal shrouds proliferate----we are now immersed with them to the point of suffocation.

Spiritual emphysema. We die tortuously. This priest of which I speak was and is typical; and he succeeded because too many of us allowed him to pander to us, to flatter our supposed intellect, entice our lesser nature, the corrupt part of our humanity with the promise of "empowerment." We were bribed. We mistook frenetic activity for true devotion. We became "pillars of the community" and the parish council, while the bricks in the basement crumbled around us. The foundation stone upturned. So we became Whobodies, too, all except the few who fled, never to step through a Catholic church door again until recently, if ever at all.

When the Fr. Coughlins pushed Communion in the Hand, saying the Pope had approved it [which was a lie at the time] we believed his falsehood, because we were spiritually lazy and did not bother to study Vatican II as we had a duty to do. We allowed these priests to tell us what Vatican II "said" because it was easier just to believe rather than risk being the odd man out, or worse, to appear "stupid." Utter stupidity! The approval for Communion in the Hand would come later, but by then the practice was so widespread that it really did not matter anymore. Even when the Holy Father was known to personally regret the practice.

And then, the Ministry and Feminist workshops began, in full swing under Bishop Edward O'Leary, who inherited the debacle from Gerety, and the killer tidal wave cum earthquake hit with full force bringing on the devastation and the diseases we suffer today. God tried to warn us I think, because that same year a physical earthquake hit Maine, right through the epicenter of the dissent----Lewiston-Portland. Several buildings endured broken windows. While not of the scale of most recorded earthquakes to the west, it was a real earthquake with a registration of almost 5 on the Richter Scale. We paid no heed. This was really something for Maine.

Rather than excise the cancer eating away at our vitals, our shepherds appear by inaction, to be employing leeches to finish us off. This is my testimony, it is true and I give it to you, so that somewhere on this planet there will be the memory of our history, of what happened to Catholics in Maine near the millennium, and our complicity by our own inaction. We beg God's forgiveness and yours. As we dissolve into the myopia of Vision 2000, as we gasp one last breath, let this memory be recorded for our children and their children in the underground Church, that will one day arise from that dust. We were here, we existed, and eventually began the good fight against incredible odds. We are still here and this is our testimony and it is true. We pass it on to you.

Written in the Year of Our Lord 1995 by Pauly Fongemie

The image above is of Strayed Sheep by Holman Hunt, 1852.

Section 2, MIDWIVES, Part 1 is next.