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By What Authority? Part II
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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.

By What Authority Do The MHFM Preach?
Part II: Still Awaiting an Answer From the MHFM

For some time now I have been sincerely requesting the Most Holy Family Monastery (MHFM) and/or their devoted cyber community to provide the public with proof to support their claim of ecclesiastical legitimacy as a traditional “Catholic” teaching authority, a ministry, and Order of St Benedict; all to no avail. Their silence on this subject has been deafening.

It is a rather simple question: By what authority does the Most Holy Family Monastery (MHFM) exist, teach and/or preach?

It is amazing that few there are who appear actually interested in discovering / knowing by what authority Frederick “Michael " Dimond received the consecrated benediction, ordination and confirmation to validly claim for himself the title and position of the “Right Reverend Lord and Father in Christ, Bro. Michael Dimond, Superior of this Monastery” … (i.e. the MHFM)?

I remain puzzled. Is it not a legitimate question that needs to be asked and answered?

Is it not the first logical fundamental question that should be asked of anyone claiming to have been commissioned / appointed by God to shepherd “exclusively” over His flock?

Is it not a legitimate question that one should ask themselves before hastily joining ranks with and/or sponsoring, through donations and website purchases, a secular New York not-for-profit corporation professing to be “the last remnant Catholic organization in the world”?

This pertinent question, concerning legitimate ecclesiastic teaching authority, is not new. We can see from the scriptures that Christ himself was asked a similar question when he commenced His ministry.

"And when he was come into the temple, there came to him, as he was teaching, the chief priests and ancients of the people, saying: By what authority dost thou these things? And who hath given thee authority?" - St Matthew 21:23 (Douay-Rheims)

Why should the Dimond Brothers be excluded from similar scrutiny concerning the validity associated with the "teaching authority" of their ministry? Wouldn’t providing answers clear up, once and for all, the conjecture and speculation surrounding the MHFM’s legitimacy?

To claim to be a pastor, shepherd, overseer, minister, teacher or professed monk brings with it a tremendous responsibility and should not be taken lightly. It has been proven over and over again that No One can merely take it upon himself, of his own initiative, to start shepherding God’s flock.

"Neither doth any man take the honor to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was." - Hebrews 5:4

The above scripture refers to pastors (shepherds, elders, overseers and even professed monks) as well as the High Priest. They are all shepherds of God's flock and they are all equally “ambassadors” of God as pointed out by St Paul to the Corinthians:

“em>For Christ therefore we are ambassadors, God as it were exhorting by us…” - 2 Corinthians 5:20

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “ambassador” to mean, an "authorized messenger or representative". Thus it should be clear; an ambassador must be sent. St Paul also declared that teachers / preachers must be sent:

"And how shall they preach unless they be sent?" - Romans 10:15

But, what does it mean "to be sent"? It means / implies that someone in authority over a person has conferred the privilege and authority upon that person. It also goes without saying that the one who confers the authority must be superior in authority to the one being commissioned, since no one can confer that which he does NOT possess himself.

In the case of the MHFM … a vote by a group of laymen cannot suffice to appoint a man as "pastor” and/or a “Superior” of a monastery since layman are of inferior authority and therefore cannot legitimately confer superior authority upon anyone.

What is the Scriptural pattern for Divine Succession? Looking at the mission of Our Lord, Jesus Christ we find:

  • God the Father (the superior authority) sends Jesus Christ "... these very works which I am doing, bear me witness that the Father has sent me." - St John 5:36

  • Jesus, in turn, sends the Apostles "... As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." - St John 20:21

  • Jesus sends these Apostles "as the Father has sent me," that is, in the same manner, with the same authority: "… all authority."

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." - St Matthew 28:18

The Apostles, then, did NOT take their office and authority upon themselves, but were appointed by a Superior Authority, Jesus Christ.

Thus we should be able to conclude that a ministry and its message can only be passed on by someone who first possesses it. That is, the mission does not merely entail preaching the message, but with it comes the authority to spiritually "reproduce" and pass on the necessary authority to the next generation.

  • God is the source of this mission and authority.

  • He passes it to Jesus ("the Father has sent me... all authority has been given to me")

  • Jesus passes it on - along with "all authority" to act "in my name" - to the Apostles ("as the Father has sent me, [i.e., in the same way and with the same authority] so I send you," "go and make disciples")

  • The Apostles pass the mission and authority on to men like St. Timothy and St. Titus ("with all authority" - Titus 2:15

  • Each apostolic generation is expected to entrust the mission to the next generation, ad infinitum.

Now, what is preaching? It is the interpreting and teaching of Scripture and doctrine. Along with the title of "pastor," (shepherd) a person takes upon themselves the responsibility, of "rightly dividing the word of truth" and teaching the flock. Yet, as the Scriptures note that ONLY the Apostles are "entrusted" with the Gospel, and ONLY the Apostles refer to the Gospel in the possessive, so also the Scriptures teach that ONLY validly appointed and commissioned "ambassadors" can have the responsibility of teaching Scripture in this authoritative fashion.

"All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

We see that the Scriptures are a tool for "teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness," but who is to use this tool for these purposes? That is, who has the authority to teach, reproof, correct, and train others in righteousness? The "man of God" has this authority.

But, who is the "man of God”? No one can simply claim this title for oneself as it is a “privileged title”. Contrary to the “Protestant” belief that the "man of God" can be anyone who has been “baptized” without distinction, Scripture itself insists that the "man of God" is a figure of authority, either commissioned by God directly through Divine Intervention, or one appointed by another holder of authority. In short … a man must be called by God to hold the title of "man of God."

To summarize, we find in the Scriptures: no man can take the responsibility or title of "pastor" (shepherd, overseer, elder, teacher, etc.) to himself. Rather, he must be sent by God, either indirectly (via succession), or directly (via extraordinary calling). If he claims the latter, his mission must be accompanied by miracles, signs and wonders as proof of his Divine vocation. Thus, once again, I ask the Dimond Brothers and/or the followers of the Most Holy Family Monastery (MHFM) to respond and make clear: By what authority do you claim your office?

Is it by “succession”? If so, demonstrate that you were called by a superior authority who himself had a legitimate claim to his office.

Is it by an “extraordinary calling”? If so, then show the required signs and wonders that authenticate your ministry.

In conclusion, I would simply like to warn the Dimond Brothers and their acolytes: you must be absolutely sure, for your own soul's sake, that your calling is legitimate. In Numbers 16, Korah set himself up as an illegitimate authority against God's appointed authorities, and was destroyed for his audacious act. This problem has not disappeared in our day, for we find St. Jude warning us of falling into the same sin:

"Woe to them! For they walk in the way of Cain, and abandon themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error, and perish in Korah's rebellion." - St Jude 1:11

Though the MHFM may choose to ignore or brush aside, once again, the question surrounding the legitimacy of their authority; it will not absolve them of their accountability before God on this matter. The Dimond Brothers know they have illegitimately established a "self-identified" sedevacantist Order of St Benedict and are guilty of deception and fraud concerning the truth associated with this matter.

It is out of charity, that I wish to remind the Dimond Brothers that it’s still NOT too late to repent.

For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul?" - St Matthew 16:26

Not everyone that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name and cast out devils in thy name and done many miracles in thy name. And then will I profess unto them: I never knew you. Depart from me, you that work iniquity.” - St Matthew 7:21-23

And to those of you who follow the "dictates and teachings" of Frederick Michael Dimond I sincerely ask you to pray about this and ask yourselves: Am I certain that the man I trust to shepherd my soul is a "legitimate" leader? Or am I following a self-appointed shepherd who is in open rebellion against God's appointed authorities?


Beware of false Prophets, and false Teachers, who serve the "Father of Lies"...

Pax Tecum

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