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Father Michael Palud, former Son of Mary

As our Foundress, Mother Paul-Marie, has repeated so many times, in the Army of Mary “the doors are wide open to come in and wide open to leave,” and we respect the progression of people who have chosen to leave it, without any comments.

Nevertheless, when these people spread falsehoods about the Work, we have the responsibility of defending the Work that is unjustly being attacked. And that is the purpose of our publishing here an excerpt from Father Michael Palud’s blog, as well as the reply by Padre Jean-Pierre who was a confrere of Father Michael in the Community of the Sons of Mary.

As a reminder, Father Michael entered the Community of the Sons of Mary in 1983, and this latter offered him the possibility of pursuing his studies for the priesthood at the Angelicum in Rome. With eight Sons of Mary, he was ordained a priest in 1987, at L’Aquila. In the course of the years that followed, having lost faith in the divine Work and its foundress, he chose, in complete freedom, to leave the Community in 2001.

Sylvie Payeur Raynaud
October 7, 2009

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Excerpt from Father Michael Palud’s Blog

Monday, October 5, 2009

It was in 1984... Blessed Isidore had been beatified on the Sunday and I landed in Rome on the 3rd of October. Passionists from all over the world had gathered at the Generalate in Rome for the beatification. One of the first Passionists I dared to talk to, was from Australia. He was a Passionist Brother and none other than the personal secretary of the Most Rev. Father General! The Successor of St. Paul of the Cross. Who would have thought that the General would have become a Bishop some day in the Carribean, and I, back then a 1st year theology student would have been his Vicar General. Furthermore, I was far from dreaming that this General would found a Society of Missionaries of which I would be elected Superior! God’s ways are astounding.

At any rate, during that first year in theology, at meals we read the life of this extraordinary brother. I even learned a few “cooking tips” from him.

Isidore was a HUMBLE man. Quiet, dedicated and in love with the Crucified Jesus.

This evening I was reading a blog linked to the tragedy of the Legionaries of Christ. As I read it, I found the EXACT same terminology a persons shared with me that was proper of the thinking of some persons in a certain movement in Canada. Here is the quote from the Blog “Life-after-RC”:

  • Membership in the Movement was hermetically sealed to our baptismal call, and God ordained it;
  • Leaving the Movement was a betrayal of Christ Himself (like cutting off an arm, according to Marciel Maciel)
  • The overall good of the Church depended on our fidelity to the charism of the Movement;
  • Our souls (and those souls contingent on us) actually hinged on our generosity to the Movement;
  • Outsiders could not understand this elite vocation and couldn’t be trusted to help guide members.

Obviously, this type of mentality is pervasive in all movements that are not authentic. But what is the antidote? One has to think that underlying all this is this spiritual elitism which is very very seductive because it answers the deep beckoning of our hearts that we are made for greatness. So people enter a movement. They hear that it is of mystical origin that they were “called” because they are “little” or “simple” of heart. As we read above, “God ordained it”... Then, of course, come the clutches. Since now you know the “secrets” revealed to the elect, then if you leave the Movement, you are betraying the Lord. The Founder of the Legionnaires said, according to the above-quote, that it is like “Cutting off an arm”. The Founder of another movement I know speaks that “Grace passes only once”. So, if you don’t cling to the grace [which means following blindly what is said without asking yourself if it is really what the Church teaches] then you sin against FIDELITY. This engenders a fear. I remember a certain woman whose family was in a movement, as she was. Every day she prayed “for the grace of Fidelity”. Obviously, it was not about FIDELITY TO GOD, to His Church or commandments, but FIDELITY to the Founder of a movement. I asked that so gracious lady what she meant, what fidelity was for her. She did not know what to answer. The ugly demon of elitism always succeeds in disguising himself. Finally, as the author above writes concerning the Legion, “Outsiders cannot understand this special vocation”. Elitism once again. Those who are not in the Movement (or worse still have left it) are blinded, they “cannot see” because “they do not have the grace to understand anymore”. Lies, lies, lies. All and straight from the Devil.

Isidore de Loor, this blessed Brother of the Passionist Congregation represents an antidote to any kind of elitism. His humility, his joyful service to his fellow brothers without fear, all his life centered on the Passion of Jesus is a lesson of how to live for the Lord, safe from spiritual elitism.

Are you in the RC or a movement that has the above? Do yo think you belong to a “special” movement that has a “special grace for our times” to save the world, or save the Church or “Renew the Church”, etc.... If you belong to any such movement, KNOW that it is not the path laid out by our God. It does not correspond to the Gospel. Have recourse to the Blessed Isidore to open your eyes and bring you back to the Fold.

Lord God, in Blessed Isidore’s spirit of humility and work you have given us an example of a life hidden in the shadow of the Cross. Grant that our daily work will be a praise to you and a loving service of our brothers and sisters. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Father Michael Palud)

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Padre Jean-Pierre’s Reply

Lac-Etchemin, October 7, 2009
Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

Rereading the Journey of a Young Priest

The English web site, Journey of a Young Priest, relates from day to day the journey and the thoughts of Father Michael Palud, formerly a confrere of novitiate, of religious profession and of ordination to the priesthood within the Community of the Sons of Mary, and today a Prelate of Honor of His Holiness the Pope, and therefore a Monsignor.

A rapid overview of Father Micheal’s web site allows anyone who is even only slightly familiar with the Work, its Foundress and the Community to see the numerous allusions to them, regrettable and wrongly made, without his naming them for all that.

Such great care taken to spread so much poison – on the part of someone who is consecrated, who considers himself endowed by God with a keen rational sense and an almost instinctive faculty for recognizing that which is erroneous in the doctrine of the Church and is not in conformity with the Gospel, and who claims to always want to defend the truth – can only give rise to many questions with regard to the deep motives underlying his undertaking:

  • Why show such caution?
  • Out of love “of God and the Church”, according to Father Michael’s motto?
  • Out of a missionary spirit?
  • Out of a concern for ecumenism towards separated brethren who, like those of all the other denominations present in a missionary land, have a right to the protection of their human and Christian dignity, and therefore to the respect of their beliefs?
  • Why such a relentless effort to spread so much poison?
  • Why waste so much energy denouncing when there is so much work to be done?
  • Out of the fear of having made a mistake?
  • Out of the fear of being confronted?
  • Out of the fear of being given a taste of one’s own medicine some day?
  • Out of the fear of whom or of what?

“Lips speak out of the abundance of the heart,” the proverb reminds us. At this time of an End, may we all reflect upon the impact of our words, for it is in the pierced Immaculate Heart that the secret thoughts of many are laid bare...

Contrary to what he declares, Father Michael knows full well that the sacrament of Confirmation conferred at Spiri-Maria and elsewhere within the Church of John is not a game; otherwise, he himself would not waste his time questioning everything. This having been said, it is nonetheless rather odd that he should continue to intervene in this matter even after the excommunication of the members of the Work. This is neither a sign of a missionary spirit nor of an ecumenical concern.

At the very least, Father Michael should be able to respect our status of separated brethren, just as all those who officially condemned us must do.

The authorities of the Church of Peter who excommunicated us must now be consistent and logical with themselves. By rejecting us, we have now become, for them, separated brethren whom they must respect, which, by this very fact, henceforth prohibits them from having any right to intervene regarding our reality or our persons. This was something permitted by God in order to allow His Work to advance, with a view to realizing the mission and revealing the Mystery of the Co-Redemption.

When we reread all the false accusations and claims made by Father Michael, it is not long before we realize that the crux of the problem lies in the fact of believing or not believing in the Mystery of the Co-Redemption being accomplished in this hour of the final combat between the Woman and the Dragon.

Father Michael exhorts the reader, with his usual serenity, to beware of false prophets..., to be on his guard... But, Father Michael, one would really have to be careful not to strike everything that moves and to see the action of the devil only in one’s neighbors...

The calmness and peace of God are a better indicator in the circumstances than is the arrow of a weather vane being spun about in a windstorm.

Father Michael’s reflection on the holy chrism makes no sense and only shows a deep contempt for the Knights of Mary, as if these latter were unable to form their own judgment without him.

God does not have to request anyone’s permission in order to give His Grace and to cause His Work of Love to advance. He is not limited by men’s limitations... no matter how great their limitations may be or how great the men who are limited are....

If we were to follow through with Father Michael’s own logic, he should be in conflict with all the people who belong to any religious denomination other than his own. Not a very open or ecumenical attitude.

Father Michael considers the ideas presented in an article, especially in no. 3 in which reference is made to bad mothers-in-law, to be very good, adding that there are enough such cases to make of them a serious point...

That is a funny way of reasoning, especially when, in the end, this comparison is used to attack a Work of God in which the doors are always open, as much to enter as to leave, contrary to what Father Michael claims.

It might be well not to lose sight of the fact that when one fights against a Work of God, one is fighting against God above all... Really, that is not the kind of war to be wished on anyone.

Father Michael’s general attitude is that of someone who claims to know many things, not to say everything. No openness... one might think it was really a complex of fulness.

The unfavorable allusions to mystics lead one to believe that Father Michael is getting at our Foundress.

The references to the action of the devil and to pride are in very bad taste. Father Michael has already spoken openly in the past, in Italy, of his problem of pride. Why deny that reality now?

Father Michael’s article in the Catholic Light was not much better. In that article, he mentions the Sons of Mary and his departure from the Community. The account of the facts is not totally in conformity in all respects with the story as it was lived in reality. There are a few little shortcuts, some strong mental reservations and also good detours. For anyone who wishes to defend the truth, this is not a complete success...

I have just read the last additions to the blog dated October 5... It is not much better than the rest. Father Michael is floundering more and more. He continues to attack the founder of the Legionnaires of Christ and his work, as though he had personally received the power to take God’s place and judge everything and everyone by condemning them. Is that the lesson of humility and charity which he retained from the life of Blessed Brother Isidore de Loor, a Passionist, whom he is pleased to cite as an example in his blog? In any case, I hope that this is not a modern way of pursuing one’s personal ascent by trying to look good in the eyes of the hierarchy.

To want to gild one’s own image at the expense of people who are in an unfavorable position has nothing enviable or praiseworthy about it, for the only summit to be reached with an inordinately swelled ego is that of the frog in La Fontaine’s fable that wanted to become as big as a steer. We know what happened to that frog which, by dint of outbursts, finally burst....

But let us come back to Father Michael’s case. What astonishes me is his extraordinary memory, although it is somewhat selective at times. He is able to remember certain details, twenty-five years later, such as culinary tips found in the biography of Blessed Isidore which was read in 1984, in the small dining room of the Sons of Mary lodged at the Generalate House of the Passionist Fathers in Rome.

Without casting any doubt upon the importance of those valuable details – which, for my part, I admit having no memory of – I am nevertheless surprised that Father Michael did not dwell more on the fact that Blessed Isidore de Loor became what he was through his good will along with the Grace of God in a life marked by suffering, illness, humiliation, self-detachment, being forgotten and ignored, and even being scorned during his lifetime by his confreres. These latter did not even realize, on the eve of his death, that he was seriously ill and about to die.

It is wonderful to recognize, several years later, that we had a saint in our ranks; it is even an honor, as it is an honor to be appointed a Monsignor... But I am not at all certain that, in God’s eyes, that is what is most important. One thing is certain, in any case, and that is that Brother Isidore de Loor did not strike anyone during his lifetime; on the contrary, he let others strike him instead. And that, I think, is something we should all meditate upon..., even Father Michael who has a good memory, but also at times, unfortunately, some good memory losses.

Who knows if, in digging a little further into the depths of his memory, Father Michael would not discover his true roots instead of being content with gleaning a few scattered memories from his new Passionist religious family, and he would not remember his own Foundress who is still alive, as well as the Work of his youth and his first Community, the Sons of Mary?

Who knows too if, after having hit rock bottom with the accusations which are just as devilish as they are malicious and unfounded, Father Michael might not recognize “Celle” and, with her, the men and women who, for so many years, have not ceased to love her gratuitously, without expecting anything in return, drawing abundantly every day from the common source of the Gospel and Life of Love?

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Padre Jean-Pierre, Church of John