Author Topic: SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case  (Read 4582 times)

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Offline Mr G

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SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case
« on: February 19, 2021, 02:27:06 PM »
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  • The Remnant Newspaper - SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case

    Editor's Note: I have been asked by Father Niklaus Pfluger, SSPX, to publish the following retraction of comments he’d made here some months ago regarding the Erica Kauffman case.

    As I indicate in my reply to Fr. Pfluger (see below), I fear his attempt at clarification may raise more questions than answers but, as he has asked me to proceed, I am obliged to honor his request.

    I hope this unfortunate exchange—which could now be accurately described as an exercise in futility—will shed some light on my long-established editorial policy against getting involved in abuse cases at all, but especially not when I have little or no direct knowledge of the parties involved or the facts of the case.

    I'm a newspaper publisher, not a private investigator. And as I see it, when such cases are tried in the press rather than a law court, they invariably wind up in a cul-de-sac of “he said/she said” which tends to do more harm than good.  This case is no exception, though my initial hope in publishing Miss Kauffman's story was not necessarily to gain a conviction of anyone but rather a fair and open hearing of the facts of the case.

    Regrettably, this is not going to happen, and so I can only leave it up to our readers to judge for themselves whether or not Father Pfluger's explantion of the facts of this case is satisfying.

    The best advice I can offer our readers by way of avoiding this kind of hellish ordeal--regardless of where you go to Mass--is to make sure to take care of your own. Protect yourselves and your good priests by putting a healthy and wholesome degree of separation between them and your family. Priests are not our pals, nor was it ever intended that they should be.

    Throughout our 25 years of married life, this is something my wife and I have lived by with respect to our many long and cherished friendships with priests. We homeschool our children for the same reason, by the way, and there is nothing on God’s green earth that could convince me to have it any other way. For those who understand what I’m getting at here, no further explanation is necessary. For those who do not, no explanation is possible.
    What follows, then, is my aforementioned exchange with Father Pfluger. I have elected not to publish his final personal response to me, which is just his request that I proceed with the publication of his retraction despite my stated concerns (see below).

    In charity, I can only presume that Father Pfluger is trying to do the right thing, even if those of us on the outside looking in are still left scratching our heads. Clearly, there are no winners here. MJM
    _________
    Von: Remnant Administrator <a****@remnantnewspaper.com>
    Datum: Dienstag, 2. Februar 2021 um 21:24
    An: Niklaus FSSPX <n********@fsspx.email>
    Betreff: RE: Letter to Miss Erica Kauffman


    Dear Father Pfluger:

    Thank you for your letter. Are you quite certain that you wish me to make it public that, after impregnating a woman in his own flock, this priest was asked by Bishop Fellay to merely take a year off before returning to ministry?

    Critics of the Society are going to have a field day with this. Think of what you're saying:  Bishop Fellay slapped the wrist of priest who was sleeping with members of his flock, and then "sent him to Europe" where the priest was "restricted".

    Restricted? In what sense? Did he have access to European women as well?

    You do know, of course, that there are allegations that this priest did in fact have sɛҳuąƖ relations with other women besides Miss Kauffman. It seems to me that Bishop Fellay can now be accused of having allowed this terrible thing to happen to other women.

    How is my printing of your letter NOT going to do even more damage to the Society?

    I would beg you to rethink this course of action, and instead ask Bishop Fellay to personally address this issue in the public forum.  
    Thank you.

    In Christo Rege,

    Michael Matt


    From: Niklaus Pfluger | FSSPX <n********@fsspx.email>
    Sent: Wednesday, January 27, 2021 11:09 AM
    To: a****@remnantnewspaper.com
    Subject: Letter to Miss Erica Kauffman

    January 27th, 2021

    Dear Mr. Michael Matt,

    In a December 29th article, you chose to make public a private letter that I wrote to Miss Erica Kauffman, in which I expressed my deep compassion for her, as well as my shame for the past facts that she had revealed. It was difficult for me not to recognize her as the victim of an odious abuse, and not to respond to her call for help.
    In doing so, as you noted in your introduction, I corroborated her version of the story and questioned, with her, the management of this case by the SSPX.

    However – and it is now a serious duty for me to point this out to you – I made a regrettable mistake at the time. And it is in the hope of repairing it that I am writing to you today, taking advantage on a personal basis of the invitation you have extended to the SSPX authorities.

    As the file never passed through my hands, I happened to be unaware, when writing to Miss Kauffman, of a number of details that I have since learned and which today force me to admit in good conscience that I contributed to convey a distorted image of what really happened.

    Indeed, having been able to consult the archives of the SSPX, I realized that Bishop Fellay, then Superior General, had indeed treated the case with all possible care.

    At the end of his investigation, and after having heard all the parties, he came to the conclusion that it was not a case of rape, but of a reciprocal sentimental relationship. A very sad and serious story, moreover, since such a thing is directly contrary to the sanctity of the priesthood.

    I also learned that other people had noticed at the time the existence of a disordered friendship between the two persons.

    This sinful affair credibly explains how several meetings could have taken place in the same place – in the apartment of Miss Kauffman, of which this priest had a copy of the key – under always similar circumstances, over a period of several months.

    Bishop Fellay had then taken severe disciplinary measures to supervise the priest, who had to spend a year in penance in a monastery before being sent to Europe to exercise his ministry there, with restrictions during about ten years, which were applied and respected.

    Whatever one's opinion may be in this story, it is impossible for me today not to recognize that Miss Kauffman is mistaken when she believes that Fr. Arzuaga was never restricted, or that the SSPX ignored her complaint. The opposite took place.

    Contrary to what she states in her December 30th post, this priest has never been in charge of a school, nor has he ever been allowed to travel freely, out of the control of his superiors.

    Nevertheless, I deeply deplore what happened, and I sympathize wholeheartedly with the distress in which Miss Kauffman finds herself today.

    Renewing my compassion and assuring her of my prayers for all her intentions, I express my regret for having contributed to spread a false judgment on this sad story.

    Fr. Niklaus Pfluger

    P. Niklaus Pfluger   |   FSSPX    
    Noviciat Ste-Thérèse



    Offline Mr G

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    Re: SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case
    « Reply #1 on: February 19, 2021, 02:28:13 PM »
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    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case
    « Reply #2 on: February 19, 2021, 03:39:02 PM »
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  • Quote
    I'm a newspaper publisher, not a private investigator. And as I see it, when such cases are tried in the press rather than a law court, they invariably wind up in a cul-de-sac of “he said/she said” which tends to do more harm than good.  This case is no exception, though my initial hope in publishing Miss Kauffman's story was not necessarily to gain a conviction of anyone but rather a fair and open hearing of the facts of the case.

    Newspapers/journalists are supposed to investigate and prove the facts are true BEFORE publishing.  Mr Matt's actions here are nothing short of tabloid rumors.  What a disgrace to the office of journalist.

    Offline hollingsworth

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    Re: SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case
    « Reply #3 on: February 20, 2021, 05:11:01 PM »
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  • My, what tangled webs we weave! Michael Matt anticipates that critics of the Society will now have a “field day.” Well, of course they will. But the opportunity is afforded to them only because of Fellay & Co.’s failure to properly adjudicate the case in the first place. They hide this priest from public view (as well as numbers of others,) and refuse to address Ms. Kaufman’s case adequately. Now the affair has come back to bite them.

    Matt correctly observes that this priest, who was sleeping with “members,” (note the plural) of his flock, received only a “(slap) on the wrist” from his superiors.


    Quote
    Writes Matt to Fr. Phluger: “Are you quite certain that you wish me to make it public that, after impregnating a woman in his own flock, this priest was asked by Bishop Fellay to merely take a year off before returning to ministry?”

    It’s exactly the question anyone should ask.

    Matt wonders what Phluger’s use of the word “restricted” really means in light of the fact that Arzuaga.s inexcusable behavior doesn’t appear to have been curbed or restricted in much of any way. Arzuaga was sent off to Europe where, Matt reasonably assumes, Arzuaga might have access to European women, as well, Well, yeahhhh!

    Apparently, the punctilious Fr. Phluger writes Matt on Jan. 27 in order to clear up some inaccuracies about the affair, as he had understood and expressed them earlier:


    Quote
    At the end of (Fellay’s) investigation, and after having heard all the parties, he came to the conclusion that it was not a case of rape, but of a reciprocal sentimental relationship.  ….I also learned that other people had noticed at the time the existence of a disordered friendship between the two persons.

    So how does that get Fellay and Phluger off the hook by simply concluding that it was not rape as Phluger had thought earlier? The circumstances are still deeply troubling. Fr. Phluger even admits that “other people” knew about this “disordered friendship.” It was common knowledge. He digs an even deeper hole for himself, I’m afraid.

    As the Remnanr’s ‘comment moderator’ (Michael Matt?) asks on the Remnant website:


    Quote
    Bottom line: Why would a priest who took advantage of an unbalanced young woman in his congregation still be in active ministry in the SSPX?

    I think the same question might have been asked about several other priests in the Society over the years. Why are they still in active ministry? Church Militant poses the same question. CM has a growing data base of Society priests who have sɛҳuąƖly misbehaved and are still in the Society. And, they testify, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    I can understand why Matt would like to kick the matter upstairs.


    Quote
    He implores Fr. Phluger: I would beg you to rethink this course of action, and instead ask Bishop Fellay to personally address this issue in the public forum.  
     Thank you.

    But does anyone , who knows even a smidgen about the way he operates, think that Bp. Fellay will address this or any other issue in a public forum? That’s not the man’s MO.

     
     

     
     

     
     

     
     

     
     


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case
    « Reply #4 on: February 20, 2021, 05:36:30 PM »
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  • Indeed, having been able to consult the archives of the SSPX, I realized that Bishop Fellay, then Superior General, had indeed treated the case with all possible care.

    At the end of his investigation, and after having heard all the parties, he came to the conclusion that it was not a case of rape, but of a reciprocal sentimental relationship. A very sad and serious story, moreover, since such a thing is directly contrary to the sanctity of the priesthood.

    I also learned that other people had noticed at the time the existence of a disordered friendship between the two persons.

    This sinful affair credibly explains how several meetings could have taken place in the same place – in the apartment of Miss Kauffman, of which this priest had a copy of the key – under always similar circumstances, over a period of several months.

    Most of us called BS on Kauffman's story for the same reasons described here, the nonsensical insanity about Fr. having a key and regularly assaulting her against her will while she didn't take even the slightest measures to make it stop.

    This actually underscores that, despite Voris' recent endorsement of the #metoo movement, where every single allegation is treated as truth, sometimes people make crap up and cause damage.  Although Arzuaga appears to have sinned against his vow of chastity, a consensual affair and rape are two different matters, and the SSPX was wrongly smeared for "ignoring" rapes.

    Was a year of penance a "slap on the wrist"?  Not sure, since we don't know all the details.  I probably would have suspended him from ministry for longer than that.  But it's not as if nothing was done.


    Offline Nadir

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    Re: SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case
    « Reply #5 on: February 20, 2021, 10:13:42 PM »
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  • Hollingsworth, Father’s name is Fr. Niklaus Pfluger.

    Offline hollingsworth

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    Re: SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case
    « Reply #6 on: February 21, 2021, 11:39:10 AM »
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  • Quote
    Hollingsworth, Father’s name is Fr. Niklaus Pfluger.
    That's not a comment.  It is, apparently, just a clumsy attempt at misdirection.  I surmise that not many on CI really have much interest in understanding, much less internalizing, the truly grave sɛҳuąƖ scandals which have invaded the SSPX. You do not want to hear the bells tolling. 

    Offline Incredulous

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    Re: SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case
    « Reply #7 on: February 22, 2021, 09:12:52 PM »
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  • "I expressed my deep compassion for her, as well as my shame for the past facts that she had revealed."


    Well, as long as "old baldy" had compassion and shame, it should make things better.  :popcorn:

    "Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it underfoot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor but a destroyer."  St. Francis of Assisi


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case
    « Reply #8 on: February 22, 2021, 09:32:17 PM »
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  • "I expressed my deep compassion for her, as well as my shame for the past facts that she had revealed."


    Well, as long as "old baldy" had compassion and shame, it should make things better.  :popcorn:
    That’s OK.  JP2 expressed shame and compassion on behalf of the entire Church.

    Offline Tallinn Trad

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    Re: SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case
    « Reply #9 on: February 23, 2021, 05:48:10 AM »
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  • Fr. Rizzo was brutally expelled from the SSPX just for reporting the inappropriate letters sent by a teacher to a pupil in Post Falls, Idaho.

    There appears to be an incredible degree of tolerance for mortal sin of fornication and the breaking of priestly vows and the same degree of intolerance for speaking truth to power.

    Is there much difference between the authoritarianism of traditional clergy and the cancel culture of the left ?

    Offline Viva Cristo Rey

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    Re: SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case
    « Reply #10 on: February 23, 2021, 06:53:17 AM »
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  • The priest who broke vows of chastity should be defrocked.  Period.  

    And defrock these queer pedophiles too.  
    It seems ugly history is repeating itself.
    Forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning and concealing sin and sinners.









    To live with the Saints in Heaven is all bliss and glory....To live with the saints on Earth is just another story!  (unknown)


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case
    « Reply #11 on: February 23, 2021, 07:16:33 AM »
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  • The priest who broke vows of chastity should be defrocked.  Period.  

    And defrock these queer pedophiles too.  
    It seems ugly history is repeating itself.
    Forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning and concealing sin and sinners.

    Generally speaking, I don't believe that a priest who had an isolated fall should be defrocked.  Certainly he should no longer have pastoral duties, but he could be sent to a religious house.  Now, a serial violator of chastity should be removed from the priesthood.  It does sound as if Fr. Arzuaga falls into the latter category.  Of course, this is just my opinion.  I could see circumstances where the pastoral services are required for the good of the faithful and so a priest cannot be defrocked without depriving the faithful of Sacraments, etc.

    Of course, any non-consensual assaults, such as rape, or pedophilia, or even consensual ɧoɱosɛҳųαƖity ... there's no question about that.

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case
    « Reply #12 on: February 23, 2021, 11:12:21 AM »
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  • Quote
    Bishop Fellay had then taken severe disciplinary measures to supervise the priest, who had to spend a year in penance in a monastery before being sent to Europe to exercise his ministry there, with restrictions during about ten years, which were applied and respected.

    To all those who are saying that there was only "one year" of discipline, did you read the above?  He was suspended for 1 year, then for 10 years after that, he had restricted ministry.  I don't view that as a slap on the wrist.

    Offline hollingsworth

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    Re: SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case
    « Reply #13 on: February 23, 2021, 11:55:55 AM »
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    To all those who are saying that there was only "one year" of discipline, did you read the above?  He was suspended for 1 year, then for 10 years after that, he had restricted ministry.  I don't view that as a slap on the wrist.
    You may be advised to quit while you're ahead.  If Fr. Aruaga's relationship to Ms. Kaufmann, producing a child, was merely a tragic one off, then you make a point, perhaps.  However, it appears that this priest's bad behavior was repeated over time.  He is alleged to have been a serial predator.  Apparently, his predations were carried out on other young women while, as it were, he was still a member of the Society.  If that is true, then any idea of severe discipline on the part of +Fellay rings pretty hollow, in my opinion.

    Offline Confiteor Deo

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    Re: SSPX Priest Backpedals on Kauffman Case
    « Reply #14 on: February 26, 2021, 09:25:07 AM »
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  • CM also reports that Father Arzuaga wrote a letter of support for James Simmerman, a wealthy businessman jailed for the sɛҳuąƖ molestation of teen girls at attending the SSPX Vermont Mass Center:

    https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/transcript-spotlight-sspx

    Like Fr. Novak, SSPX priest Fr. Pablo Arzuaga also wrote a letter to the court vouching for Simmerman's character. Writing all the way from France, Arzuaga pleads with the court to show the sɛҳuąƖ predator mercy, calling his multiple crimes of repeated sɛҳuąƖ molestation a "mistake": "This is a man who has never done anything wrong before and possesses many good qualities. He made a terrible mistake."

    A reference to this letter of support is in her newly available video testimony



    And this is the news article relating to this conviction

    https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Businessman+sentenced+in+sex+case.-a0164781529

    In the comments of the original OP Remnant article Miss Kaufmann of the Church Militant Article (EDK) states that Father Arzuaga and James Simmerman are friends and that Simmerman supports the priest financially.

    https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/headline-news-around-the-world/item/5280-sspx-priest-backpedals-on-kaufmann-case

    If Father Arzuaga is close friends with a convicted sex offender, it adds a lot of credence to her testimony.




     

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