Rumors are flying throughout the DRVC as to who the mysterious Father X is after he authored a letter rebuking Msgr. Lisante for treating the former OLL pastor "with contempt."Reports have been coming in from all over about the letter campaign launched last week by a group of concerned parishioners at OLL. Almost 300 letters were sent out to all the priests of the Rockville Centre Diocese with an appeal for prayers from the parishioners and a letter from Father X, focusing on the financial/ethical aspects of the Blockley affair.Father X also zeroed in on the contemptous treatment given Fr. Mason by Msgr. Lisante, asking if this was because Fr. Mason unequivocally supports the Church's teaching on homosexuality, while Msgr. Lisante has a history of ambiguous statements and actions which call into question his own stand on this facet of the Church's moral doctrine. Click here for Fr. X's letter.I have also heard other very troubling reports. It appears that Fr. Mason is now being accused of being Father X himself.Since I introduced Father X on this blog first, and since I know him personally, I want to go on record to state clearly and emphatically that Fr. Mason is not Father X, and furthermore, these two priests are not connected in any way. They live in different corners of the diocese, in fact, and, to my knowledge, do not share more than a passing aquaintance with each other.Further, Fr. Mason did not order, organize, direct, write, or participate in this letter campaign in any way. As I've reiterated numerous times, he has disassociated himself completely from any resistance, protests, complaints, etc., about the new pastor of OLL.One of the parishioners actively involved in the letter campaign, confided to me in an email this afternoon that,
"Fr. Mason is far too much of a company man to take part in anything like this. I can't tell you whether this is because he actually still believes in these people, fears them, or a combination of both. He wouldn't dare come anywhere near this kind of guerilla tactic. He despises this type of thing, and has counseled patient resignation and trust in God from the beginning, bearing our cross one day at a time.
I, on the other hand, don't feel any such compunction. If anyone were to come in to my home and treat my parents with the kind of malicious backstabbing that Msgr. Lisante has treated Fr. Mason with, I'm not going to think twice about letting the whole world know what's really going on.What Lisante can't seem to understand is that he has hurt us all very deeply by the insensitive and callous way he has stepped on every symbol sacred to us. Trying to hurt Fr. Mason in such a way while blatantly lying to the people is something that is egregious and heartbreaking. There is no way we could not appeal to the priests in the diocese for their prayers and counsel. There isn't much more that we can do as they hold all the cards.
We should get points for being creative. After all, in a diocese where polite letters and phone calls to pastors and bishops don't get answered if you're asking the wrong questions, what other options do we have?
But for some to try and pin this on Fr. Mason is just despicable. If Lisante were a real man, he'd ask for the people responsible to step forward and meet with them face to face."
I want to emphasize that I know who Father X is, and Father X has, in fact, given me permission to release his name. However, knowing the fate of other priests who have stepped forward to denounce corruption in their dioceses, like Fr. James Haley in Arlington, VA, I am very reluctant to do so.If Father X's name were to be publicly revealed, he'd be at severe risk, and might even be physically harmed, as has happened elsewhere to those who have violated the clerical equivalent of the "Blue Wall." He'd be denounced as a homophobe, an extremist, and would be at risk of never being allowed to work in a parish again.If Fr. Mason is being attacked for something he didn't do, and didn't have the slightest connection with, just think what would happen to Father X who actually wrote the letter himself and is currently working in a parish.If you doubt that this kind of vicious recrimination and persecution can happen in the Catholic Church, then I suggest you read this account of what has transpired for several years in the case of a priest, Fr. James Haley, who was critical of another priest's behavior.Apparently, Father X has struck a nerve, but as long as the situation remains in this diocese where a neutral bystander like Fr. Mason is being questioned and threatened for the actions of others, Father X's name will remain in confidence, for his own protection.