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The Simple Truth - Superior or Not?
Faith

The Crossroads at 23rd Street

 

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

 

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MHFM Imposter Superior - The Facts

Is Frederick "Michael" Dimond a Legitimate Abbot / Superior or Not?

For the sake of avoiding a rudimentary / volatile argument at the commencement of this presentation; let’s agree to “pretend”, for now, that Joseph Natale’s Most Holy Family Monastery (MHFM) was initially setup as a “legitimate” Order of Saint Benedict (OSB).

Let’s also agree, for the time being, to forget and set aside the “polemic” associated with any “religious society” that has the audacity to declare themselves as “self-identified” Benedictines; which in and of itself is ludicrous. One either follows the “Rule” (i.e. the Rule of St Benedict) or one does not. And if one follows the “Rule”, claiming to be Benedictine, then they also agree to abide by the Canon Laws of the Church … at the very least those Laws found in The 1917 Code of Canon Law.

Even "sedevacantist" Benedictines, if there actually can legitimately be any such “Order”, would still be obligated to recognize and accept, as authoritative, any Pope elected before 1958. And with that, these “Benedictines” would be duty bound to obey and adhere to the dictates of all “validly recognized” pre-John XXIII popes. If any “Benedictine” would refuse … then they would be breaking the “Rule”, becoming “renegade”, and would be guilty, before God, of committing “schism” and “manifest heresy” … and they could be, would be “justifiably” condemned before their peers; and excommunicated.

So … the focus of this presentation is on the "simple question":

Is Frederick "Michael" Dimond (Brother Michael) of the Most Holy Family Monastery in Fillmore, NY, a legitimate Abbot / Superior or is he not?

And … the short and simple answer is: Absolutely, Not! And here’s why:

Abbot (noun):
a man who is the head or superior, usually elected.

"Brother Michael" makes the claim that the MHFM is a self-identified, independent monastic community following the "Rule of St Benedict"; so, let’s take a quick look at Chapter III of the "Rule" and discover, for ourselves, “What Kind of Man the Abbot Ought to Be.”

The Abbot who is worthy to be over a monastery, ought always to be mindful of what he is called, and make his works square with his name of Superior. For he is believed to hold the place of Christ in the monastery, when he is called by his name, according to the saying of the Apostle:

"You have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry Abba (Father)" (Rom 8:15).

Therefore, the Abbot should never teach, prescribe, or command (which God forbid) anything contrary to the laws of the Lord; but his commands and teaching should be instilled like a leaven of divine justice into the minds of his disciples.

Let the Abbot always bear in mind that he must give an account in the dread judgment of God of both his own teaching and of the obedience of his disciples. And let the Abbot know that whatever lack of profit the master of the house shall find in the sheep, will be laid to the blame of the shepherd...

We can clearly see from the “Rule's” text that Saint Benedict did not take the position of authority, as Abbot / Superior, lightly.

“Brother Michael” remains, to this day, adamant that he met all the qualifying requirements and and was legitimately elected Superior of the Most Holy Family Monastery; which took place, sometime, shortly after the death of Joseph Natale in 1995.

His claim of validity is simply not true. Regardless as to whether he was an actual practicing "sedevacantist" or not ... the claim is a blatant lie.

Note: A “sedevacantist” considers any and all Vatican II Popes (starting from 1958) as being guilty of heresy (i.e. heretics) and therefore whatever they declare or sanction is to be vehemently disregarded and justifiable disobeyed.

At the time “Brother Michael” was elected, the "rules and regulations" governing a candidates qualifications are found on page 14 of the 1990Constitutions and the Directory of the American-Cassinese Congregation of Benedictine Monasteries”; ”; which, it appears, he either never read or completely ignored.

In order to be validly elected to the office of abbot it is required that a monk be:

  1. at least thirty years of age; ("Brother Micahel" was 22 years old)

  2. solemnly professed for at least seven years (CIC 623); ("Brother Micahel" was a lay brother not a professed OSB.. And even if he had been allowed to profess he would have only been in the MHFM for 3 years)

  3. an ordained priest; ("Brother Micahel" was never ordained a priest)

  4. a member of the Congregation. (MHFM has no affiliation whatsoever with the Congregation or a diocese)

The 1990 rules were basically the same as the ones found on page 44 in the 1979Guidelines for Abbatial Elections in the American-Cassinese Congregation”.

Appendix II
Selections from Juridic Elements

31. to be eligible for the office of abbot , a monk must be:

  1. at least thirty years of age; ("Brother Micahel" was 22 years old)

  2. ten years professed from his first profession; ("Brother Micahel" was a lay brother not a professed OSB.. And even if he had been allowed to profess he would have only been in the MHFM for 3 years)

  3. solemnly professed; ("Brother Micahel" was a lay brother not a professed OSB)

  4. an ordained priest; ("Brother Micahel" was never ordained a priest - Epikeia cannot be used)

  5. a member of our Federation. (MHFM has no affiliation whatsoever with the Congregation or a diocese but that’s understandable as Frederick is a sedevacantist)

The 1979 rules were similar to those found on page 55 of the 1910Declarations on the Rule of Our Holy Father St. Benedict and Statutes of the American-Cassinese Congregation” / permissu superiorum (by permission of the superiors), also approved by the HOLY SEE.

No one, however, can be elected unless he has made solemn vows, is ordained to the priesthood (Frederick was never ordained a priest - Epikeia cannot be used), and belongs to our congregation (no affiliation whatsoever with the Congregation).

So, with that information, I asked a member of the MHFM how can “Brother Michael” legitimately claim he's a validly elected Abbot / Superior? I was amazed at the answer. “Epikeia”! And what is Epikeia?

Epikeia: A liberal interpretation of law in instances not provided by the letter of the law. It presupposes sincerity in wanting to observe the law, and interprets the mind of the lawgiver in supplying his presumed intent to include a situation that is not covered by the law. It favors the liberty of the interpreter without contradicting the express will of the lawgiver.

Note: Epikeia cannot be used to claim exemption from laws that deal with faith (dogma) or morals, which includes the form, matter, and intention of the Sacraments. These laws admit to no exceptions under any circumstances.

So … can “Epikeia” be claimed? Absolutely, Not!

There was no ecclesiastical urgency in immediately filling the position of Abbot / Superior at the monastery.

But, there was an urgent need to fill the position of “Superior” for secular reasons. The MHFM as a “New York not-for-profit corporation” had established in its by-laws:

Article I: Members

Section 1: Sole Member. The Sole Member of Most Holy Family Monastery (the “corporation”) shall at all times be the Superior of Most Holy Family Monastery (the “Sole Member”).

Without a “Superior” the MHFM could not continue to legally function, as a not-for-profit business, in the State of New York.

But, “Epikeia” was never intended and can never be justified for use in a secular matter, a business matter. But the MHFM decided it applied none-the-less.

Absolutely amazing ; which brings to mind this scripture:

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

Now, what professed Catholic, in their right mind, would dare to argue against the 1910 “rules / law” established by the “American-Cassinese Congregation”, and approved by a valid pope (Pope Pius X - the Holy See), stipulating the requirements (without exception) for a professed monk to qualify to become a candidate for the Benedictine monastic position of Abbot / Superior?

“Divine Ignorance” cannot be claimed. The explicit meaning of the 1910 text referred, and sanctioned by Pope Pius X, cannot be misconstrued.

“Brother Michael”, sedevacantist or not, was, by the “Rule”, obliged and duty bound to conform and obey.

But he did not; which is, at the very least, a “Sin of Omission” if not a “Sin of Rebellion”.

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” - 1 Samuel 15:23

But do you actually believe that “Brother Michael” will be forthright and admit, after 20+ years, that he has willfully violated the Church law in this matter?

No, I firmly do not believe he will readily atone for this “sin of omission”. And, though I am not a theologian, I remain committed to the opinion that “Epikeia” cannot be “justifiably” used in “brother Michael’s” defense.

As the 1910 "Declarations on the Rule of Our Holy Father St. Benedict and Statutes of the American-Cassinese Congregation" explicitly state:

No one, however, can be elected unless he has made solemn vows, is ordained to the priesthood (Frederick was never ordained a priest - Epikeia cannot be used), and belongs to our congregation (no affiliation whatsoever with the Congregation).

It is pointedly clear what the emphasis of that text implies. That being, that anyone putting their candidature forward, without exception, must comply with those requirements stipulated or they cannot be legitimately elected.

In short, taking the sedevacantist position on this, the “Chair of Abbot / Superior" at the Most Holy Family Monastery, in Fillmore, New York, is and has been vacant (sede vacante) for at least 20+ years.

So, after looking at the facts … let’s ask the initial question again.

Is Frederick "Michael" Dimond a "legitimate" Abbot / Superior of the MHFM or Not?

The answer remains the same: Absolutely Not!

But with that said … There is still time to repent, “Brother Michael”.

Be ashamed when you sin, not when you repent.”
– St. John Chrysostom –

Pax Tecum

 

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