I am taking the time to evaluate a life of three years in Boston, Ky in order to expose the dangers that lurk in that compound. All that I write can be verified by seminarians who departed ways with Fr. Pfeiffer. This exposition is meant to correct and help perfect what is going on in that site. A saintly priest and confessor of mine, Fr. Thomas D' Amato used to repeat: "Father, there is no perfection without correction." Fraternal Correction is an act of charity and so I will write. There are five parts to this exposition: 1) Order vs. Disorder; 2) Self-centeredness vs. Christ-centeredness; 3) Heart's expression in Criticism of others but not of self; 4) Illegitimate effort vs. true resistance; 5) Heresy, lay investiture, Protestantism in effect. On to the first topic.1. Order vs Disorder
Order is the first sign of a celestial imitation. In heaven we will find perfect order and so in a seminary the entire effort must be to place such an order in the work that the seminarian can focus upon the work and word of God. Without any backing, without any novena of prayer and without a bishop to sanction the project, Father opened a seminary (?) with a would be cook, a musician, a recent high school graduate and an elderly gentleman. From the beginning there was a lack of professors so the high school graduate became the Latin professor though he possessed possibly 4 years of study himself. The two fathers would go out each weekend and sometimes be missing for a week at a time in Asia and around the world. When one returned then classes took place. In the meantime, mass could be missed; prayer life suffered; but the men carried on in spite of the disorder.
One seminarian took sick and could not seem to get better. Age, sickness and other circumstances argued that the man had no vocation to the priesthood so Father decided he should be a brother. Next disorder: hold onto the numbers and follow the pattern of preparation that exists in Winona. It seemed that the structure was modeled on SSPX for the reception of the cassock, the outings, and the scheduling but it was a very loose match. Fr. Hewko arranged hikes but this was not a good group for that type of outing only one had the stamina necessary so Father took a supplement of Father Pfeiffer's nephews.
My point: Father Pfeiffer bit off more than he could chew and kept wanting more and more. Instead of a prudent evaluation of the place, the personnel, and the lack of legitimacy he plowed on getting deeper and deeper in the mud of activity. The more he was out; the more difficult the program became. I could only think and express my view when I visited during weekends or during school breaks. I cannot remember Father calling even one meeting to iron out problems or to coordinate with Fr. Hewko.
In fact Fr. Hewko never really knew when he would be teaching or where he would be going for the next weekend. I could not believe my eyes at what went on there for the preparation of seminarians in that first year.
When the second year came around, the manner in which you begin determines the way you will end. Again I pleaded for a meeting to organize. Fr. Hewko agreed that much had to be changed. We now had a good number of men entering the seminary and they had promise. The problems were never ironed out and the seminary went on. Conflicts began to take place with Bishop Williamson because Fr. Pfeiffer always knew better. This conflict could have been resolved with an increase of humility but with all his important travels and his desire to open more and more mass sites power began to go to this priest's head. Power corrupts and with no leader but himself, Fr. Pfeiffer could do whatever came into his head.
Seminarians should work all night in preparation for whatever great event was on hand. No matter if they could not get up the next morning for meditation and mass. Priority number one is to please Fr. Pfeiffer. These young men did their best but most were incompetent workers. The fact is that whim determined everything that happened in their seminary life and in the end the disorder and the conflict with the "boss" caused each one to speak with Father and then to depart from him.
Correction of the situation: First, there should be no seminary unless it has a bishop who erects it and directs it through a seminary director who should remain at the site. Second, the schedule of the seminary needs to be worked out clearly so that the courses are consistent and the prayer life regular. Third, no layman should be placed in charge of the seminarians only a priest.2. Boston, Kentucky evaluation: Christ centered vs. Self centered.
Fr. Libietis made an astute observation concerning the project that Fr. Pfeiffer began when he stated that all those in the Church who resisted the world's call went into seclusion and prayed for the guidance of the Holy Ghost. These men were truly Christ centered and their missions flourished because they dealt with their personal sanctity first before they sought to help their fellowman.
Boston, Ky did not have the same beginning. When I arrived in Boston, Ky I was alone and I worked daily with Mr. Jack Pfeiffer to clean up and repair one thing at a time. It was months before Fr. Pfeiffer came and then Fr. Hewko followed later. The priests' house was painted, floor repaired, new refrigerator installed. All was put in order and closets were cleaned of dead priests possessions. When the other fathers arrived they had places for their lodging. Work proceeded but the talk of a seminary was only in the mind of Fr. Pfeiffer but no novena took place, no discernment of the spirit came into discussion. In fact, the whim was the philosophy of the leader. "If it's worth doing; it is worth doing badly." This quote of Fr. Pfeiffer is the foundation stone of all that took place.
Reality began to set in when I saw that Fr. Pfeiffer would easily excuse himself from the prescribed times for prayer. His hectic schedule, his constant concern for phone calls, and his personal life style were things that I had never seen before in my religious life. Unless he takes the time to put prayer and meditation as priority number one he will continue in his self-centered approach to everything. The order is backward. As Christians we must focus our efforts upon the glory of God and the salvation of souls. His focus has been on showing off his intelligence and his ability to critique.
Consider that every evening there is the grand silence which ought to exist in every seminary. In Boston I lived above Father's living room and had to invest in some ear plugs due to talking that went on to all hours of the night. When I woke in the morning to head to the chapel I would find Father lying on the couch dressed in the same white cassock he had been wearing for days. I couldn't help but think that if he would go to his private room and put some order into his living schedule he would be better off and would serve others in a more orderly and Christ-like manner.
In a truly Catholic seminary the priority must focus on the knowledge and love of the Most Holy Eucharist as noted in The Soul of the Apostolate. Since the superior informs the inferior our seminary leader (Fr. Pfeiffer) must learn to be the example at prayer and limit himself to formation of these young men rather than travel throughout the states seeking to do as many centers as possible.3. The Critical Tongue vs. the Tongue of an Advocate.
At the center of the life in Kentucky was the daily criticism of any and all priests or bishops that did not listen to the wisdom of the "soul" of the resistance (Fr. Pfeiffer). Pride goes before every fall and pride manifests itself in the speech of the person. How often I have found this truth born out: "Small minds speak of people, mediocre minds of things and events, but great minds speak of ideals."
The focus was upon Bishop Fellay, at first, and no doubt his 180 degree turn from the principles of the good Archbishop was a singular sore spot for all of us. Our desire was to preserve the tradition of the Archbishop and to reinforce this love among those who would come to and embrace the resistance to this betrayal.
When a new member (pablo the M_exican) came into Boston, this focus began to change little by little. Criticism of the Traditional "sissies" became a daily affair. Neither Father Pfeiffer or Hewko would correct this divisive talk from Pablo. When this person entered into a full time occupation of the priests' home, I complained to Fr. Pfeiffer but my point that the priests' house is for priests and that this layman was out of place there. It was useless to waste my breath. I would come to learn that Pablo could do no wrong.
Now the poison of this man's tongue has set Fr. Pfeiffer against priests and bishops and effectively has driven a wedge in the resistance community. In fact, the words of Quo Primum have been wiped out recently by Fr. Pfeiffer who believes that every resistant parish or place of worship is his private domain and only he can determine who can offer the mass there for the souls. This in turn means that a chapel may have the holy mass once every two or three months. This is contrary to the very notion of Catholic. There are other good priests who are working to preserve the faith but in Fr. Pfeiffer's world they must pass his test of their "doctrine'”. Who ever heard of such a thing?
Besides that the good Bishop Williamson is critiqued on everything without a semblance of Christian charity which urges us to "say only the good things men need to hear and all else is from the evil one." Boston does not want to expose its dirty laundry to the world but it can critique the every speck of dust in the other man's eye while the log in their own eye is neglected. Its desired transparency is a ruse. Its openness to others was short lived and now the cult of the leader begins to be felt by the world of the resistance. If only humility could reign in the "boss", then most of the problems would be solved by simply communicating with the bishops and following their advice.
This has not happened and so Bishop Williamson is correct desiring a leaderless resistance. Authority which ought to come from God to the Pope then to the bishops does not exist any longer. We all must adapt in a manner which seeks sacrificial love as its criterion for work and word. Hence it behooves us to cooperate with the bishops and thank God for their presence. We welcome our newly consecrated Bishop Don Thomas Aquinas and submit to his guidance. We should shut down all rude and de-moralizing sites which only destroy the faith. Only in this way can we continue to trust each other to do the Will of God in these confusing times.4. Is the Layman the "boss"?
The superior informs the inferiors as the good Archbishop taught but few understand and practice this principle. Seminarians need a holy priest to keep the goal of their lives before them. They do not need a layman who abuses, complains about them, ridicules and berates them. They do not need a non-practicing baptized Catholic generating hatred in the atmosphere of the seminary.
As Jack Pfeiffer said to me: "My son and Pablo are joined at the hip. If I send Pablo away I am sure that I will lose my son." Well, the reality is that Mr. Pfeiffer has already lost his son to the "boss". Lay investiture is something that is an error but in the case of Pablo it is a sickness in the "boss". He will not and can not correct the abusive nature of the layman.
It is due to the machinations of this layman that I personally had to leave the Boston, Ky site because hatred and sin not checked by the superior do not make for an healthy environment. I have already shared an open letter http://www.cathinfo.com/catholic.php/Open-Letter-from-Fr-Voigt-about-Boston-KY-mess
describing how I was asked to work with the seminarians while the two Fathers went to the Philippines. The insulting behavior of the layman and his acts to undermine my priestly authority were neither corrected by Father Pfeiffer nor was there any apology for his conduct.
Daily the layman takes over more and more territory. He has brought into the mix a family without the father. The father of this family wants his children and wife back but Pablo continues to mock him, denigrate him before his children and glorifies the independence of the wife. All of this under the careful eye of the "boss".
It is this layman that has given Father a black eye for Father cannot see well enough to release this man from his position and trust that God will accomplish the work if it is necessary for souls' salvation. There is much that I could relate concerning the manner in which this man operates but it would take a book. I can say that what I have written is only the tip of the iceberg and that I receive emails from souls of Catholics who have experienced his "strong-tongued" tactics in their own regards. He has no qualm of conscience to threaten and to detract if it works for his good.5. Pastor to the World on whose authority?
Is it possible for one priest to serve the world? It is a silly question but it also silly for a priest to bite off more than he can chew. It was funny to watch the operations of this priest with a phone here and a phone there. Every device was operative so that he could take on the problems everywhere. Fr. Chazal was incompetent in Asia and so our hero had to visit there at least twice a year to put things back in order. The multiplication of mass sites went up on a map of the United States in order to see how he might make as many sites in a weekend as possible.
In the end flight schedules were a nightmare because we had to do two or more sites in one day. Many places received the priest and mass was offered and then down to the airport to go to another place for evening mass. It was crazy. But if something is worth doing it is worth doing badly.
Our question is: who determined that one priest should take on the world apostolate? Was there some kind of commission offered to him that no bishop recognized? Did he take this on himself? Just as there is no legitimacy to the work of a seminary; so too there is no legitimacy to his trips around the world. Who pays? On any whim again he will take off in the shiny new world airlines and arrive to solve the problem of even one family who calls upon him to baptize their child.
In the end he becomes his own enemy and priest after priest become sick of the manner in which he operates. No other priest has come to his aid. He will allow bishops to be slighted; priests to be maligned; and lay leaders to be mocked, spat upon and whipped with vicious words from a man whom he cannot control.