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Independent Benedictine Monastery?
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The Crossroads at 23rd Street

 

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

 

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MhFM:
An Independent Traditional Benedictine Monastery?

 


Cafeteria Catholics: A term applied to those members of the Catholic faith (laity) who “pick and choose” which dogmatic, doctrinal, moral teachings, and/or traditions of the Church they will adhere to.

The swaggering Dimond Brothers, possibly by reason of their obvious lack of normal catechetical instruction and the absence of any formal Catholic theological tutelage (i.e. under the guidance / supervision of a bishop), epitomize the term Cafeteria Catholics.

Yet, with that said, these autodidact sibling “catho-protestant” evangelicals, masquerading as independent Catholic Benedictines, have been quite successful in the marketing of their conspiratorial end-times religious enterprise (MhFM). No one can or should doubt that what these two siblings have managed to do with their secular New York state business venture is quite a “worldly” accomplishment.

These two catholic laymen (turned sedevacantist zealots) have excelled over the years in becoming masters of deception by carefully / painstakingly “picking and choosing” textual abstracts / excerpts from various canonical, doctrinal and/or dogmatic teachings of the Church that, when used out of their intended context, do indeed appear to support their heresy and schism.

The Dimond Brothers play fast and loose with the truth and what they are offering the world’s inhabitants is little more than an Enchanting Lustful Lie. By itself, that lie does no harm and has no power whatsoever. It’s only when others “choose” to believe in the hyperbole and become complicit in its propagation that the myth gathers strength / momentum and becomes a potential threat to any and all unwary / unlettered Christians that come in contact with it.

"A lie that is half-truth is the darkest of all lies." - Alfred Tennyson

In January 2012, during the ERIC E. HOYLE vs FREDERICK DIMOND, ROBERT DIMOND, and MOST HOLY FAMILY MONASTERY trial, in which Eric Hoyle attempted to recover a portion of the 1.6 million USD he believed he’d been “swindled” out of by MhFM, Frederick (Brother Michael) declared in his affidavit to the U.S. DISTRICT COURT OF WESTERN NEW YORK:

Emphasis added: “3. MHFM is an independent Traditional Catholic Benedictine Monastery. Defendants believe that being a “Traditional Catholic” means adhering to all the dogmas [doctrines, moral teachings, canon laws, etc.] proclaimed by true popes, and the traditional rites of the Church."

On March 9, 2015 I received a reply to an email I’d sent to then Abbot Primate Notker Wolf OSB of the Benedictine Confederation of Congregations in Rome, who informed me concerning the Dimonds' MhFM:

“The so-called Most Holy Family Monastery in Fillmore is clearly not an officially recognized Benedictine monastery, but a heretical sect.

Unfortunately we cannot forbid anyone from calling himself Benedictine, even if he is not within the Benedictine Confederation, as long as he claims to be following the Rule of St. Benedict.

There are a number of such reactionary groups. Such is human life ... The real problem: They are demanding obedience yet do not obey the Church."

It is the Dimonds’ claim that they (MhFM) are independent "Benedictine" monks that merits scrutiny in order to ascertain if these purported “monastics” have established and maintain their religious community in compliance with the dictates / spirit of the Rule of Saint Benedict.

The Rule of St Benedict and The Council of Chalcedon

The Rule of Saint Benedict (Latin: Regula Sancti Benedicti) is a book of precepts written in 516 by Benedict of Nursia (480–550) for monks living communally under the authority / jurisdiction of an abbot (i.e. a bishop).

Before writing his “Rule” in 516, Saint Benedict was well aware of the binding canonical decision handed down at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 by its 370 attending Bishops and Pope Leo I that placed certain legal constraints on monasticism ... declaring:

Canon 4: “Let those who truly and sincerely lead the monastic life be counted worthy of becoming honor; but, forasmuch as certain persons using the pretext of monasticism bring confusion both upon the churches and into political affairs by going about promiscuously in the cities, and at the same time seeking to establish Monasteries for themselves; it is decreed that no one anywhere build or found a monastery or oratory contrary to the will of the bishop of the city; and that the monks in every city and district shall be subject to the bishop, and embrace a quiet course of life, and give themselves only to fasting and prayer, remaining permanently in the places in which they were set apart; and they shall meddle neither in ecclesiastical nor in secular affairs, nor leave their own monasteries to take part in such; unless, indeed, they should at any time through urgent necessity be appointed thereto by the bishop of the city. … And if any one shall transgress this our judgment, we have decreed that he shall be excommunicated, that the name of God be not blasphemed …”

What could be clearer? Since the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the requirement for any Catholic wishing to legitimately establish a monastic religious community requires that they must receive:

  1. Permission from the diocesan Bishop under whose authority / jurisdiction they reside, which must include ...

  2. Sanctioning (acceptance) by the Holy See.

Thus those who claim to have established a Catholic religious community without having met those canonical pre-conditions (like MhFM) are fabulists and incur "ipso facto" excommunication.

One is left puzzled and scratching their head as to why Frederick (Brother Michael), in his March 2019 article entitled “Antipope Francis’ Notable Heresies from January 2019”, vehemently condemns the Coptic "Orthodox" Church as being “heretics” and “schismatics” for rejecting the acclamations handed down at the Council of Chalcedon.

Frederick's condemnation becomes especially perplexing as it was made in lieu of the fact that he and his sibling Robert (Brother Peter), themselves, willfully chose to ignore, reject, and violate Canon 4 of those same acclamations in the establishment of their purported Fillmore Benedictine monastery.

Within his "Rule", Saint Benedict denounces as "Sarabaites" those pretentious self-identified “independent” monastics acting of their own accord outside the governing authority / jurisdiction of a shepherd (bishop), stating:

Chapter 1: "of the Kinds or the Life of Monks"

“But a third and most vile class of monks is that of Sarabaites, who have been tried by no rule under the hand of a master, as gold is tried in the fire (Proverbs 27:21); but, soft as lead, and still keeping faith with the world by their works, they are known to belie betray] God by their tonsure. Living in two's and three's, or even singly, without a shepherd, enclosed, not in the Lord's sheepfold, but in their own, the gratification of their desires is law unto them; because what they choose to do they call holy, but what they dislike they hold to be unlawful.”

Thus on can surmise that St Benedict's response to MhFM's claim that they are Independent Benedictine Monastics … would most assuredly be: Only in their schismatic dreams.


Pax Tecum

 

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