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They Call Themselves Brothers
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The Crossroads at 23rd Street

 

"For, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." (Romans 1:22)

 

Errors can be corrected and trends reversed if only our faith and determination does not fail us in our earnest quest for the truth.

They Call Themselves Brothers

I Know Mine and Mine Know Me: The Voice of a Faithful Catholic Priest to His Flock: Volume I
- by Father James Wathen (1932-2006)

"During his final bout with leukemia, the heroic priest, Father James Wathen, still kept up his pastoral duties by way of writing detailed sermons and transmitting them to his followers, since he was not able to perform his priestly duties for them in a physical way.

"We have collected these sermons, and have arranged them in book form to present them in a way that Catholics might enjoy. The sermons cover many subjects, and encompass over 600 pages between Volume 1 and Volume 2.

In this book you'll find a short section that Fr Wathen wrote in response to the outrageous, defamatory and pretentious remarks written by Robert “Peter” Dimond and placed on the MHFM website concerning Fr Wathens book “Who Shall Ascend”, labeling him an apostate and a heretic.

The video on the right was made during the time that Joseph Natale was alive. Father Wathen is being interviewed by Frederick "Michael" Dimond who was a simple layman (initiate) under the direction of the Joseph Natale. The subject of the interview concerns a few points raised in Fr Wathen's book "Who Shall Ascend". Please note that the quality of the image of this "1992" converted video degrades at 46:10 into the viewing but the audio remains in tact.

If you will take the time to look at the MHFM website "Heresies of Fr. James Wathen" you will read:

First of all, I want to state that we do this only because it is necessary, and because Fr. Wathen has demonstrated for years an obstinate rejection of the truths that will be discussed.  Various persons we know, including ourselves, have endeavored to charitably point out to Fr. Wathen where his position is mistaken regarding the Vatican II sect, yet he refuses to listen to the facts that are presented – year after year – and he continues to promote the same untenable ideas.

You will discover by reading "Heresies of Fr. James Wathen" on the MHFM website that Robert "Peter" Dimond attacks Fr Wathen on various points that the MHFM never believed in at the time when the monastery's founder (Joseph Natale) was alive. Before the death of Joseph Natale, in 1995, Fr Wathen was invided on numerous occasions to come to the "original" MHFM located in Berlin, New Jersy, and to lecture / speak on matters that Joseph Natale firmly believed in, supported and taught. Yet, after Joseph's death, Frederick "Michael" Dimond usurped control over the monastery and changed it's longterm position on certain matters of Catholic faith and doctrine. In an attempt to justify those "new" beliefs contradicted Joseph Natale's he set out to discredit Fr Wathen a heretic and an apostate. And why did he do so? Simply put, The Dimond brothers saw Fr Wathen as "the competition" within their "business of religion".

A Note About The Dimond Brothers (September 5, 2004 - Fr James Wathen)

I Know Mine

I sent “Brother” Peter Dimond’s little piece containing his listing of my heretical opinions to a number of you. I was confident that everyone who might see it would regard it as a conversation piece for maybe ten, fifteen minutes, hardly more. It wouldn’t do any good to try and tell the young man anything, but usually individuals who assign themselves the task of critiquing everyone’s beliefs and theological positions are here today and gone tomorrow, carried away by arrogance and bitter zeal. A few observations about “Brother” Peter and “Brother” Michael might be helpful:

  1. They call themselves “Brothers”, but neither of them has made the standard novitiate, which the Code says is strictly necessary for professed religious. They call themselves “Brothers” because this lends prestige to their opinions.

  2. The two brothers do not pretend to live a monastic life. Their vocation, as they see it, demands that they busy themselves in controversy. They think that the Church is better served by their spending their time producing various kinds of works of theological criticism, than in prayer and contemplation, which is the traditional obligation of monks.

  3. Neither of the brothers has had the opportunity for normal catechetical instruction, let alone theological training. They imagine that this does not matter, and it does not to the uninstructed. To those of us who have “taken all the courses” their inadequacy is a glaring reality.

  4. Like all other “sedevacantists” they have an appalling hatred of Pope John Paul II, as if he alone were the main cause of the Church’s present malaise. He is not. The Church’s present condition is due to the Great Conspiracy, the World Revolution, about which we have been warned by popes of former times and by Christ, Our Lady, and other messengers from Heaven. This Conspiracy has filled the offices of the Church with its agents, all of whom are bent on converting it into the “religious“ arm of the One World Church.

  5. In order to get Pope John Paul out of his office, it is necessary, as they see it, to get him out of the Church. Any theological principle which prevents them from doing this must be ignored or denied, and anyone who does not see things their way is a “heretic”, a “schismatic”, or something of the sort. I did not see whether Brother Peter considers me in or outside the Church.

  6. The theological dogma which they find obstructive to their view of things is the indelible character of Baptism, which we are taught in the earliest years of our instruction. This indelible character signifies that he who has received it has been made an adoptive child of God, a member of the Mystical Body of Christ, and given a certain equality with Christ in the love of the Father (because he is a member of Christ). This adoption cannot be lost by any sin or renunciation; it remains for his eternal glory or shame. This is one of the chief lessons Our Lord taught us in the parable of the Prodigal Son.

  7. Certain texts of popes and saints seem to suggest that an individual can be expelled or can withdraw himself from the communion with the faithful. All baptized Catholics, whether they are clerics or lay people, can estrange themselves from God and Christ and their Holy Mother the Church by sin, including the sin of heresy (which is nothing more than a denial of doctrine), but they can never become “ex-Catholics”, so that they would lose the indelible mark of Baptism, and their status of adoptive children.

  8. I do not want to overlook the fact that there is nothing heretical in “Brother’s” list. It is surely not a heresy, nor an act of schism, to maintain that John Paul II is the true pope, even though a bad one, or to include his name in the Canon of the Mass. Neither is it heresy to say that “Once a Catholic, always a Catholic”. I think sedevacantists are inclined to think that it is grave heresy to disagree with them.

  9. I have repeated often enough that as Catholics and as human beings we have both the right and the obligation to judge the opinions, positions, and ideas of everyone else. Our life in this world consists in making judgements about other people – whether they can be trusted, whether they are telling the truth, whether they will repay us if we lend to them, etc.; and to judge their opinions, whether they are true or false, right or wrong. As Catholics, we must always be wary of heresy from every quarter, including him who sits in the Chair of Peter, as he is not personally infallible.

  10. The law of the Church forbids us to pass judgement on the status of the reigning pope, whether he is the pope, whether we are bound to obey him in all religious matters that are not contrary to the Faith. I trust it is not necessary to repeat that the pope is infallible in his teaching office, not in his governing office. This is why we do not have to accept the New Mass, because its issuance is part of the governing office (even though there is no law establishing it as a liturgy of the Roman Rite).

  11. Keep in mind also that there is a very great difference between the pope’s or any other cleric’s propounding erroneous views, which Pope John Paul does all the time, and their endeavoring to impose such views upon us as a matter of doctrine and salvation. Pope John Paul has never commanded us to believe any of his heretical opinions under pain of sin. Sedevacantists cannot comprehend this simple truth.

  12. Sedevacantists also have the idea that anything a legitimate pope teaches becomes a part of the “Sacred Magisterium”. This is entirely wrong. Only those teaching that which are conformable to the body of teaching which has accumulated through the years from the days of the Apostles, whose teaching we refer to as the “Deposit of Faith”, is part of the magisterium. Anything that is a variance therewith is not.

  13. The two “Brothers” Dimond are two worrisome little men. Without any authorization and without proper theological training, they have endeavored to establish themselves as teachers of the faithful and ‘certifiers’ of all priests in this country. They make a lot of money with their misleading publications, tapes, etc., and they spend much time on the phone persuading people to stay away from the Masses of non-Sedevacantist priests. Who knows how many Catholics of good will have been persuaded to stay home for months on end -- even years -- rather than attend Mass, confess their sins, and receive Holy Communion? I urge everyone to give these men a wide berth; do not buy or circulate their materials, even those which are acceptable. Do not send them money. Beware of wolves in monk’s habits.

The Author: Father James Wathen (1932-2006)

Father Wathen was a well known Catholic writer and historian. Father Wathen was born in Reed, Kentucky in 1932, the fifth child (of ten) of Samuel Spalding Wathen and Margaret Richardson Wathen.

Father Wathen's ancestors, the Spaldings, Lancasters and Wathens, were among the Catholic families who established the colony of Maryland in 1634. Their descendants migrated to Kentucky in the 1700's and settled mainly in what later became Nelson, Marion, and Larue Counties, which among themselves they ever afterward referred to as "the little Holy Land." These people produced large families, and gave many children to the Church as priests, brothers, and sisters, who, in their turn, made a very significant contribution to the development of the Church throughout the Midwest and western United States. Archbishop Martin John Spalding was the second bishop of Louisville before becoming Archbishop of Baltimore (1864-1872.) First educated in a log school, he entered St. Mary's College at the age of eleven and became its professor of mathematics at the age of fourteen. Subsequently educated in Rome, and president of St. Joseph's College at the age of twenty-eight, he was a zealous priest, outstanding administrator, theologian and scholar, whose amazing accomplishments would fill a book. He helped establish the American College at Louvain, and was a leading proponent for a North American College in Rome and for an American Catholic University. He presided over the Second Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1866, and participated in the First Vatican Council in 1870, where he strongly supported the definition of papal infallibility. His dissertations, both written and spoken, were outstanding, for example his explanation and justification of the famous Syllabus of Errors of Pope Pius IX. Archbishop John Lancaster Spalding was the first bishop of Peoria (1876-1908). In only 7 years he constructed 84 churches, 49 schools, 5 hospitals and an orphanage; while encouraging and sponsoring Catholic colonization elsewhere across the developing West. In addition, he labored assiduously for the establishment of Catholic University of America, with the result that the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore adopted his plans for this institution in 1884.

From such heritage came the author. His grade school education was obtained at St. Francis Academy where he was taught by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky. Sensing his vocation at an early age, he entered the Minor Seminary at St. Charles College in Catonsville, Maryland where he was taught by the Sulpician Fathers from 1946 to 1952. He then progressed to the Major Seminary at St. Mary's University in Baltimore, the oldest and most prestigious Catholic Seminary in America. There he studied under the Sulpicians from 1952-1954, receiving a B.A. in Philosophy. He completed his priestly education under the Benedictines from 1954-1958 at St. Maur's Priory and Seminary in his home diocese in Kentucky. Father Wathen was ordained on May 3, 1958 by Bishop Francis R. Cotton of Owensboro.

Father Wathen's diocesan appointments included that of assistant pastor and high school teacher, 1958-1965; Pastor of Rosary Chapel, Paducah, Kentucky and St. Mary's Church, La Center, Kentucky, 1965-1967; Pastor of St. Joseph's Church, Central City, Kentucky, and St. Charles' Mission, Livermore, Kentucky, 1967-1970.

In 1970, at his own request, Father Wathen was granted a leave of absence by Bishop Henry Soennecker. His mission was to serve as the spiritual director for a soon to be founded religious community devoted to perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. When this effort was aborted by the diocese of Corpus Christi Texas, Father Wathen proceeded to work as chaplain for the Sovereign Order of St. John, which he had joined in 1969, before he left the Owensboro diocese.

Father Wathen prided himself on two things: his effort to adhere strictly to the traditional Catholic Faith, and his never having said the Novus Ordo Missae, the so-called "New Mass" of the Roman Rite. His work as a "Traditionalist" priest has resulted in being the author of 4 books.

In 1972, he authored one of the first critiques of the Novus Ordo Missae (the New Order of the Mass), which was introduced in 1969 in the wake of Vatican Council II. The new liturgy had been established to try to supplant the historic, valid, orthodox, Latin Mass. The book, which he is best known for, titled "The Great Sacrilege" is an analysis of the New Mass in terms of its morality. More than 40,000 copies have been sold. While many books and hundreds of theses have since been published on this subject, Father Wathen's book remains the classic work.

In 1970 he wrote "The Words of Christ". This book was written to encourage everyone to resort to the Scriptures as the ideal book of devotion, instruction, and moral guidance.

In 1972, he wrote an historical work entitled: Is The Order of St. John Masonic? This was an excellent historical work on the origin, nature and continuity of the Sovereign Order Of Saint John of Jerusalem, the greatest of all ancient orders of chivalry, the thoroughly Catholic, Religious, Military Hospitaller Order which defended the Church and saved Christendom on numerous occasions over several centuries. Father Wathen convincingly defends this noble Order of Knighthood and Sovereign Republic against all detractors and their rumors and calumny.

In 1994, he completed his monumental work called: "Who Shall Ascend?" This 689 page scholarly work sets forth in unique clarity the doctrine of the Catholic Church, in particular, the Doctrine of Exclusive Salvation, i.e, what men must do to be saved and gain everlasting life. In addition, the book is a treatise on the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the "Conciliar" or "New Age" Church to which it gave birth. Every Catholic should read this book!

This was to be Father Wathen's last work due to contracting Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, which ironically he had also suffered from cancer at a very early age, but miraculously surviving, which we feel was because God had a great work in store for Father to defend the true faith and the True Mass. His whole life was a sort of battle on many fronts, not least his poor health. He succumbed to the cancer after a heroic battle at the age of 74.

 

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