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Southern Poverty Law Center Cheers Diocese of Manchester

Thursday, January 24, 2019

     The anti-Catholic bigots of the Southern Poverty Law Center—the extremist organization which monetizes left-wing paranoia by demonizing Americans who believe in Christian morality—are applauding the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester for its heavy handed attempt to shut down the religious ministry of a small group of traditional Catholics, the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in the Town of Richmond, New Hampshire.

     “I’m really proud of the Catholic Church’s decision here,” said Heidi Beirch of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “They’ve denounced them for years over their anti-semitism.”

     The radical SPLC has, for years, perpetrated a campaign of defamation against traditional Catholics, categorizing them as “hate groups” comparable to neo-Nazis and the KKK. While claiming alleged anti-Semitism as an excuse, the SPLC’s actual motive in targeting these Catholics—beyond the obvious fund raising incentives—is contempt for the Biblical and natural law understanding of homosexuality upheld by faithful Catholics.

     Among the hysterically deranged and absurdly dishonest claims made by the SPLC in their project to vilify the Slaves are charges that the brothers and nuns train in firearms and martial arts, have rifles with night vision scopes, and are believed to engage in automatic weapons fire.

     The SPLC has also mis-characterized as “hate groups” such mainstream conservative organizations as the Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Family Association, the Liberty Counsel, and the Family Research Council, whose Washington headquarters was the object of a terrorist shooting by a man acting on the SPLC claim that the FRC was promoting hate.

     The SPLC is acclaiming the draconian decrees by the Manchester Diocese aimed at the complete suppression of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of the Saint Benedict Center, a ministry which defends the traditional Catholic doctrine of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus—Outside the Church there is no salvation.

     The diocese has not only deprived the Center of the services of a priest and prohibited the celebration of Mass and the administration of the sacraments there, but has told Catholics not to support the Center or send their children to its school or summer camp. It has even demanded that the Slaves contact the IRS and the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office and deny that they are a Catholic organization.

     Although a small diocese, Manchester is one of the more troubled Catholic jurisdictions in the country. More than sixty priests and religious order brothers have been accused of sexual abuse, and both former Diocesan Bishop John B. McCormick and former Auxiliary Bishop Francis Christian have been accused of protecting predators. In December, 2002, the diocese avoided criminal indictments by agreeing to periodic audits by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office.

     The former chancellor and public face of the diocese, Msgr. Edward J. Arsenault, was sentenced to state prison in 2014 after being found guilty of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in church funds to maintain his lavish lifestyle and those of his same-sex paramours. He was defrocked in 2017. Some years earlier, another priest, the Very Rev. Richard T. Lower, who was a close friend of Arsenault, committed suicide after being accused of molestation. Manchester is also the home of the controversial canonist, Father Georges de Laire.

     Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle made the following comment: “At at time when grand juries are being empanelled to investigate past cases of the molestation of minors by Catholic clerics, when top ranking prelates are being exposed as serial predators or their enablers, and when seminaries are under investigation for their same sex corporate culture, the real problem in the Church, according to the Diocese of Manchester, is a small group of orthodox Catholics who agree with Saint Augustine about the necessity of the Catholic Faith for salvation.”

     “If the leaders of the Church had only pursued the rapists and the perverts in the clergy with the same inflexible intensity with which they are now trying to destroy the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary—one of the few Catholic religious orders completely untainted by charges of sexual misconduct—perhaps two-fifths of all baptized Catholics in America would not have abandoned the Faith. The diocesan Precepts of Prohibition against the Slaves and their Saint Benedict Center are not only unjust, unwarranted, and unprecedented, but are astonishingly ill-timed, iron-fisted, and tone deaf. The credibility of the American Catholic hierarchy is at an historic low.”

      “Meanwhile, the two Catholic institutions of higher education in New Hampshire, Saint Anselm’s College and Rivier University, both of which host LGBT events and groups which reject Catholic moral teaching, remain in good standing with the Diocese of Manchester.”

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