Americal Catholic Lawyers Association, Inc.
An Open Letter to Mr. Gerry Wells in Defense of Gerry Matatics
Dear Mr. Wells:
I write to you in defense of my good friend, Mr. Gerry Matatics, whom I respect and admire as a faithful Catholic, a devoted husband and father, and a man of genius. I was privileged to become Gerry's friend some two years ago, in the process of investigating and finding to be false - outrageously false - certain public accusations against his Catholic orthodoxy by Mr. Karl Keating.
I have learned that Mr. Keating advised you to shun Gerry's upcoming speaking tour in Oxford and Cambridge. Unlike so many others who have heard Mr. Keating's allegations, however, you had the decency to telephone Gerry to hear his side of the story. Thus I have addressed this apologia to you, confident that you will give it a fair reading and convey the truth about Gerry to your fellow Catholics in England.
The Parties to the Controversy
Mr. Keating, as you know, heads a lay apologetical organization in San Diego, California called "Catholic Answers," which he founded some time ago in preference to the practice of law. He also edits the organization's publication, This Rock magazine, which essentially serves as his alter ego, as does the organization itself.
What you (and many other Catholics) may not know is that Gerry was once employed as an apologist by Catholic Answers (whose income soared on the strength of Gerry's phenomenal speaking ability), but quit in 1991 to find more gainful employment for the support of his wife, Leslie, and their seven children. This decision did not please Mr. Keating, as I will discuss in more detail below.
For some reason, Mr. Keating later decided that it was his responsibility to monitor Gerry's theological views and interpret them for the world. In a rather vainglorious evocation of the Agony in the Garden, Mr. Keating publicly professed great anguish over the task he had assigned to himself: "This is not something I look forward to doing; it is something I prayed would pass me by." [This Rock, "March" '95, p. 22-23]
Once you have finished reading this letter, I hope you will agree that perhaps Mr. Keating should have prayed a bit harder.
Mr. Keating Will Not Relent
I should note at the outset that although I am writing to you in defense of Gerry Matatics I was once a great supporter of Mr. Keating and his work, having sent a large donation to Catholic Answers and a congratulatory letter to Mr. Keating not long before he began what I can only call his senseless vendetta against Gerry - a vendetta which, in my estimation, has greatly diminished Mr. Keating's credibility and that of his organization.
I had hoped that Mr. Keating's accusations had been laid to rest by the testimony of a number of prominent Catholics who came to Gerry's defense, including several members of this Association's Advisory Board and, most telling, Father Brian Harrison, O.S., a contributor to Mr. Keating's own magazine. It was Father Harrison who, being fully aware of Mr. Keating's litany of allegations, recently endorsed Gerry as follows: " . . . Gerry is one of the few solidly orthodox Scripture scholars we have left in the Church today. His zeal, talents, scholarship and speaking ability in this area are something we cannot afford to do without. Whatever his mistakes or indiscretions may have been, he is definitely 'in' the Catholic Church, and his voice needs to be heard widely . . ." [Letter to Al Matt, Editor of The Wanderer, dated 13 March 1996]
Despite this sort of testimony, it appears that Mr. Keating has no intention of relenting. I understand that in a recent telephone conversation, Mr. Keating told you that he "stands by every word" of his accusations - every word! - retracts nothing he has written or said against Gerry (despite any and all testimony to the contrary), and is not in favor of Catholics attending Gerry's upcoming speaking tour in England because, in his opinion, Gerry is not an orthodox Catholic.
It is this latest outrage by Mr. Keating which has impelled me to send you this open letter, because it seems that no sense of charity, not even mere gentlemanly restraint, is counseling Mr. Keating to put his allegations to rest, to allow Gerry to go on with his life as a Catholic speaker and lecturer - to admit, at least, that his judgment of the man is not infallible and can safely be ignored by other Catholics who admire Gerry's abilities and can learn from him.
And so, in this letter I will come to Gerry's defense, giving you the benefit of my encounters with Mr. Keating over the course of this controversy, and demonstrating why his accusations should be consigned to the trash heap of discredited calumnies, never again to be repeated by any decent Catholic.
In particular, I will demonstrate that Mr. Keating: is no objective journalist in this case, but someone with a very large axe to grind; has falsely characterized Gerry's theological views to the public, with no evidence to support his characterization; has deliberately suppressed a mass of evidence which negates his trumped-up charges of heterodoxy, refusing to publish even a letter to the editor from Gerry in response to the charges, or to disclose to his readers any portion of his three-hour interview with Gerry in which Gerry demolished every accusation that Keating has made; has ruthlessly pounced upon Gerry's admitted lapses in prudential judgment, trumpeting them to the public in a disgusting display of wanton detraction, with no regard for the impact on Gerry, his wife Leslie, and their seven children, and no attempt whatsoever at the private fraternal correction of any "errors" he claims to have detected in Gerry's thinking.
I will demonstrate, overall, that Mr. Keating's attitude toward his former employee is far removed from a charitable concern for the welfare of Gerry's soul, or "the good of the Church" which he piously invokes to justify his outrageous conduct in this affair. I will demonstrate that the attitude of Mr. Keating toward Gerry Matatics is best expressed in his own venomous remark, uttered in response to Gerry's just complaint about the damage Mr. Keating had inflicted on his livelihood as a Catholic speaker and lecturer: "We've all heard the sob stories, Gerry."
For the sake of justice, Mr. Wells, I urge you to circulate this letter as widely as possible, in the hope that my testimony will undo some of the damage Mr. Keating has perversely inflicted, and continues to inflict, on Gerry's good name both here and abroad.
I Once Believed Mr. Keating's Accusations
As I've already noted, I was an admirer of Mr. Keating and his work before this controversy arose. Indeed, so great was my respect for Mr. Keating, and my trust in his opinions, that when I read his statements in an interview in the Wanderer of February 16, 1995, that "Gerry Matatics is a sad example of how schism does lead to heresy very quickly." [p. 7] and "Don't follow the pied pipers out of the Church . . . Gerry Matatics and the others are leading people to schism and heresy." [Id.] it never occurred to me to doubt his accusations. I simply shook my head and thought to myself: "Poor Gerry, he must have gone off the deep end."
Yes, I believed Mr. Keating - at least until I heard Gerry's side of the story, which Mr. Keating has adamantly refused to publish. The crime in this case is that so many other people believed Mr. Keating as well, and still believe him, despite his failure to produce any proof that Gerry Matatics is a schismatic and a heretic, that he has led anyone else into schism and heresy, or indeed that he holds any view which constitutes an error against the Faith.
My Involvement in the Controversy
Soon after I read Mr. Keating's devastating accusations in the Wanderer, I was surprised to receive a telephone call from Gerry. At the time I knew him only slightly, but was a great admirer of his work as well, having listened to his conversion story and many of his other audio tapes. My admiration only increased when I attended an address Gerry gave at Princeton University - an oration so powerful that a room full of some of America's most elite "Ivy-league" students was visibly awed by it. It was probably the most brilliant apologia for the Faith that I have ever heard.
Gerry asked if my organization would help him deal with libelous accusations by Mr. Keating in The Wanderer and the "November" 1994 issue of This Rock magazine, which made its appearance some time in January 1995. The article in This Rock had accused Gerry of holding to the view of the late Father Leonard Feeney that no one who is not a formal member of the Catholic Church can be saved.
Gerry told me that Keating's accusations of "Feeneyism," schism and heresy were utterly false and had nearly ruined his apostolate, causing him to lose numerous speaking engagements around the country as reflected in cancellation letters citing Keating's statements in This Rock and The Wanderer.
Gerry explained that he had once worked for Mr. Keating at Catholic Answers, but had left in 1991 when Mr. Keating informed him that he was not going to pay promised compensation without which the Matatics family could not afford to live in San Diego, where they had relocated on the strength of Mr. Keating's financial promises.
Gerry recounted how Mr. Keating had begun to disparage him privately almost immediately after he left Catholic Answers, even though (as Keating himself later admitted in This Rock) Gerry continued to say good things about Catholic Answers and assisted in some of its work gratis after his departure.
Gerry told me, for example, how a written employment offer by the Bishop of Peoria, Illinois (a copy of which I have in my files) was suddenly withdrawn after the Bishop spoke with Mr. Keating. The Bishop told Gerry that Keating had recommended against the hire, describing Gerry as a maverick who could not be expected to take direction from the Bishop.
Gerry described how Mr. Keating's private disparagement had now blossomed into false public accusations of heterodoxy based on gross misrepresentations of Gerry's theological views, which Keating was discussing in print without any effort to interview Gerry for his side of the story.
We discussed Gerry's views on various matters of the Faith, and I found them to be nothing more or less than the views of a typical "traditionalist" Catholic in full communion with Rome, exercising his right under John Paul II's 1988 apostolic letter Ecclesia Dei (not to mention the immemorial custom of the Church) to abstain from the new liturgy, while not denying its essential validity as a rite of Mass. In this regard, Gerry is no different from the priests of the papally-chartered Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, at whose seminary he teaches Sacred Scripture, and innumerable other orthodox Catholics who feel that they cannot worship in peace in the new rite.
Keating Flounders On Line
After Gerry presented his side of the story and asked for my help, I went "online" in February-March of 1995 and exchanged messages with Mr. Keating on a public electronic bulletin board, to see for myself what evidence he had for his charges. As the exchange wore on, I was surprised, then outraged, to find that the man had no evidence whatsoever to support the public accusation of schism and heresy he had just made in The Wanderer. What I got instead of evidence were Mr. Keating's impressions of Gerry's theological views, based on two phrases from the private remarks he had quoted in The Wanderer, and a couple of exceedingly vague third and fourth-party anecdotes not involving any specific statements by Gerry.
Mr. Keating was unable during our entire exchange to provide even a single quotation from the writings or speeches of Gerry Matatics, or even his private remarks, which demonstrates that Gerry espouses heresy or has broken communion with the Holy Catholic Church. Nor could Mr. Keating supply the name of a single Catholic being led out of the Church by Gerry, whom he had just publicly condemned as a "pied piper" seducing people into schism and heresy.
In short, I was amazed that Mr. Keating had seen fit to charge a fellow Catholic with schism and heresy in a major Catholic newspaper without any substantial evidence, let alone conclusive evidence, for such a damning accusation.
Mr. Keating Backpedals, But Refuses to Retract
As it became obvious during our exchange that he had no proof whatever that Gerry is a "sad example of how schism does lead to heresy very quickly," and a "pied piper . . . leading people out of the Church," Mr. Keating began to backpedal. He tried to deny that his words in the Wanderer meant what they so plainly stated. He even began to ventilate entirely new charges, completely unrelated to matters of Faith - complaints about Gerry's advertising, for example - as if to say that it did not matter how he impeached Gerry, so long as he could find some grounds on which to impeach him.
When I finally demanded - with no little exasperation - that Mr. Keating either show where Gerry had actually said something contrary to the Faith or else retract his charges, Mr. Keating replied that he was in the process of investigating Gerry's views via interviews with various people, and would report the results of his investigation in an upcoming issue of This Rock. In other words, Mr. Keating was conducting an investigation of his charges after he had already publicized them in a major Catholic newspaper and the November 1994 issue of This Rock! On this note our online exchange ended, and the controversy moved into its next phase.
Mr. Keating Shifts to New Charges
After my online exchange with Mr. Keating, he continued backpedaling away from his original accusation of schism and heresy, but without having the decency to admit that he could not prove it. Instead, in the March 1995 issue of This Rock, which actually made its appearance some time in June, Mr. Keating tried to rewrite what he had said in The Wanderer, substituting a new accusation in its place: "The editorial [in Roman Catholic Observer] criticized us for comments made in an interview in The Wanderer of February 16. At the end of that interview I remarked that frustrated Catholics should not follow 'pied pipers' who may lead them out of the Church . . . I went on to say that Gerry Matatics in particular was leading people into error." [p. 20][my emphasis]
Notice how the explicit charge of schism and heresy has been quietly dropped in the retelling - but not retracted - and replaced by the claim that Gerry is - leading people into error (which people, and which error?), rather than heresy and schism. Mr. Keating's attempt to soften his original accusation can only be viewed as a tacit admission that it was untenable as formulated.
Notice also how Mr. Keating attributes his remarks in The Wanderer to "us." This is a reference to co-interviewee and former Catholic Answers staffer Pat Madrid - who, unlike Mr. Keating, declined to condemn anyone by name during the interview. I note here that Mr. Madrid quit Catholic Answers soon after Mr. Keating began attacking Gerry in the Catholic press, and that he has told me and Gerry on several occasions that he refused to have any part in Mr. Keating's actions.
Most recently, for example, Mr. Madrid told Gerry on America On Line that he had never joined in the "Matatics piñata party" at Catholic Answers. A "piñata", for those who may not know, is papîer maché doll stuffed with candy, which blindfolded Mexican children gleefully bash with sticks at birthday parties, until it breaks open and disgorges the candy. The analogy to a blindfolded child happily bashing something with a stick is most apt.
As you might expect, the online exchange and the "March" 1995 issue of This Rock convinced me that Mr. Keating had not made his charges in good faith, but rather with evident malice toward his target. Mr. Keating was simply too stiff-necked to retract his untenable public accusation of schism and heresy, no matter how much harm it had caused to Gerry, his family and his apostolate.
My admiration for Mr. Keating was replaced by righteous indignation, and a determination to help Gerry deal with this obstinate calumniator in any way that I could.
The Charges Multiply without Proof
By May 1995, some two months after the Wanderer interview, Mr. Keating had written no fewer than three articles concerning the theological views of Gerry Matatics - two in This Rock and one in the now-defunct Roman Catholic Observer - with two more yet to be written. In these articles Mr. Keating had accused Gerry of a truly astonishing array of alleged delicts against the Faith, including: "Feeneyism," "rigorism," "Lefevbrism," suspected "sede vacantism," denying the validity of the New Mass, holding that the Catechism of the Catholic Church contains errors and, of course, the original charges of schism and heresy.
Amazingly, Mr. Keating had yet to interview the man whose theology he had been discussing in print for the past six months. Nor had he provided in these three articles a single quotation from any of Gerry's speeches or writings which demonstrates that Gerry had embraced any of these alleged errors.
Mr. Keating's slipshod approach to indicting Gerry can be illustrated by the following three examples taken from the articles in question.
Example #1: "Some, such as Gerry Matatics, seem to have few positive words for the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which they believe contains errors on such topics as salvation." [This Rock, Nov. 1994, p.8]
Notice the verbal sleight-of-hand at work here: Keating does not claim that Gerry actually said the Catechism contains errors, for indeed Gerry has never said anything of the kind (nor does he believe it, as he has told Keating more than once). Rather, Mr. Keating asserts that Gerry "believes" the Catechism contains errors because Gerry has few "positive words" to say about it. Thus, Mr. Keating attempts to "prove" what Gerry believes by what Gerry has not said! What sort of trickery is this? And what on earth does Mr. Keating mean by "errors on such topics as salvation." Precisely which topics, Mr. Keating, and which errors? He never says.
The careless or simply credulous reader of This Rock might well fail to notice that Mr. Keating does not offer even a soupçon of evidence for his charge that Gerry holds that there are errors in the new Catechism. Mr. Keating creates the desired impression in the minds of his readers, then quietly moves along without leaving behind any substance.
Example #2: "Mr. Matatics is now telling people that it would be a sin for him to attend the new Mass . . . He believes it would be a sin because he believes the Novus Ordo is invalid, even when said by a rightly intentioned priest who follows the missal to the letter." [This Rock, "March" 1995, p. 23]
Here we see Mr. Keating's shameless exploitation of a private remark, which Gerry made the mistake of confiding to Mr. Keating during a telephone conversation in January 1995. Mr. Keating fails to mention that during this same conversation Gerry was careful to stress the following points, lest his remark be misinterpreted: that he was not denying the validity of the new Mass; that his own conscientious avoidance of the new Mass was for entirely subjective reasons, obviously binding on no one but himself; that his misgivings related primarily to the infamous ICEL English translation used in America, not the normative Latin text of the Mass of Paul VI. (1) that he had not shared his misgivings with anyone in the course of his ministry, and had not counseled anyone to avoid the new Mass.
Violating a confidence, Keating trumpeted Gerry's private remark to the public in This Rock, placing upon it the false construction that Gerry denies the validity of the new Mass - precisely the opposite of what Gerry had said! In the quoted passage Keating makes it appear that Gerry himself had said that he denies the validity of the new Mass, when this is merely Keating's deceptive gloss on Gerry's actual words.
Notice also how Mr. Keating claims that Gerry is "telling people" that it would be a sin for him to attend the new Mass, when in fact he had told only Keating and had made it clear to Keating that he had told no one else. (Much to Gerry's chagrin, Keating revealed in This Rock that his "colleagues" had been listening in on the conversation without Gerry's knowledge.) Keating then uses the phrase "telling people" to link Gerry's private remark about his abstention from the new Mass to the false impression that Gerry has been traveling about the country telling everyone who will listen that the new Mass is invalid - when he had not even said that to Keating.
All in all, you can see that Keating has gotten quite a bit of mileage out of a single private remark in a telephone conversation Gerry did not expect to become public record. Gerry should have realized that by unburdening himself to Keating, he was only assisting the very prosecutor who wished to indict him, not a charitable fellow Catholic with Gerry's best interest in heart. As Keating himself admits in This Rock, he asked Gerry to repeat his remark so that he could write it down, word for word. Isn't that what prosecutors do?
Example #3: "But Gerry Matatics and Z- - - subscribe to the Feeneyite position." [Roman Catholic Observer, May 1995, p. 15]
This is nothing but an outright falsehood. Keating, in his usual manner, fails to substantiate the accusation with a single quotation from Gerry's writings or speeches. And with good reason: Gerry has never subscribed to the position of the late Father Leonard Feeney on salvation outside the Catholic Church. On the contrary, Gerry has told Mr. Keating again and again since this charge first appeared in the "November" issue of This Rock that he does not agree with the late Father Feeney's denial of baptism of blood and baptism of desire, and recognizes that both doctrines are taught by the Magisterium.
In fact, Gerry and I recently defended baptism of blood and baptism of desire in a debate against two "Feeneyites" in South Bend, Indiana. The debate was tape-recorded and has been distributed throughout the United States, and I am told that Keating is aware of the tapes. Ironically, Gerry and I prepared for the debate using the sources Gerry himself had compiled to prove both doctrines from Magisterial teaching, including the Catechism of St. Pius X (2).
It is simply outrageous that Mr. Keating continues to "stand by" a charge which he must know is a complete canard - like the original charge of schism and heresy he obstinately refuses to retract.
A Fraternal Encounter
One of the first things I did to help Gerry deal with Mr. Keating was to arrange a meeting between Gerry and a number of prominent Catholics who appreciated Gerry's great gifts and were concerned about Mr. Keating's ever-expanding litany of accusations against his orthodoxy.
The meeting took place on May 20, 1995, at the home of Howard J. Walsh in Saddle River, New Jersey. Mr. Walsh may be known to you as the founder of Keep the Faith, Inc., an apostolate which has been distributing solidly orthodox Catholic audio and video tapes throughout the world for over 25 years, including Bishop Sheen's radio and television shows and, more recently, lectures by Dr. William Marra and Gerry's own lectures on Sacred Scripture.
The meeting occurred during a reception in honor of Cardinal Alfons Stickler of Rome, who was in the United States to offer a much-publicized Pontifical Tridentine High Mass in Manhattan the next day (the first such Mass in Manhattan since Vatican II). Gerry was privileged to meet the Cardinal and to discuss his theological views, and Keating's accusations, with a number of the guests at the reception, including Father Brian Harrison, O.S., Father William F. Ashley, Father John Perricone, Count Neri Capponi, Dr. William A. Marra, and Mr. Keating's own friend, Roger McCaffrey, the publisher of Latin Mass and Sursum Corda magazines. I too was present.
The purpose of the meeting was not to indict Gerry - as Keating had already done without even interviewing him - but to dialogue with the man and see for ourselves if indeed any serious errors had cropped up in his thinking. The interest of those who spoke with Gerry that evening was fraternal correction, if necessary, not the transcription of private remarks for publication in sensational magazine articles and interviews in the Catholic press.
The results of the meeting were entirely positive. Quite simply, we all satisfied ourselves that Gerry is not a "Feeneyite;" does not deny the validity of the new Mass; is not a "Lefebvrite" (but on the contrary deplores the illicit consecrations by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988, even though he, like the rest of us, is much in sympathy with Lefebvre's principled opposition to the rise of neo-modernist forces in the Church after Vatican II); is not a "sedevacantist;" but acknowledges John Paul II as his Pope, and had in fact appealed to the Pope's authority in his own newsletter from the Fall of 1994. (3)
On this last point it must be said that our discussions with Gerry that evening did reveal that he had been quite imprudent in airing his speculations about whether there was any weight to the "sede vacantist" hypothesis advanced by those who claim that some of John Paul II's unprecedented actions mean that he has lost his seat on account of "heresy" (4). [Those who assert papal "heresy" refer to a number of unprecedented actions by the current Pope which have certainly disturbed many of the faithful, including the altar girl permission, the interfaith prayer meeting at Assisi, the appearance at the Synagogue in Rome, the address from the Lutheran pulpit, the new permission for intercommunion by Protestants in some cases, the approval of an aboriginal "smoking ritual" in place of the Confiteor at a papal Mass, the reading of the Epistle by a bare-breasted woman at another papal Mass, and so forth.]
Now, anyone who knows Gerry knows that he is a thinker, who reads and studies a question exhaustively before he disposes of it, discussing it with anyone who will listen. It was this very habit of insisting upon getting to the bottom of a question that led Gerry into the Catholic Church. From his reading on the subject of sede vacantism Gerry knew (as Keating apparently does not) that two doctors of the Church - St. Robert Bellarmine and St. Alphonsus Liguori - had taught the theoretical possibility that a Pope could lose his seat through heresy, and that far from being a forbidden theory (as Mr. Keating seems to think it is), the loss of the papal throne through heresy is routinely listed in theology textbooks as one of the possible causes of a vacancy in the Petrine office.
Thus, when he met with us on May 20th, Gerry, being Gerry, was looking for sound arguments to refute the sede vacantist theory, not simply a declaration that sede vacantists are kooks whose position should be rejected without examination.
Suffice it to say that Gerry came away from our meeting with his questions about the sede vacantist position resolved. Father Harrison in particular demonstrated that the theory of sede vacantism had never been successfully defended in practical application, that no Pope had ever been shown to have lost his seat through heresy. He noted that the actions of the current Pope which have disturbed many of the faithful are not "heretical" because none of them involves the obstinate denial of any article of divine and Catholic faith [Can. 751], so that today's sede vacantists have utterly failed to prove their case. Furthermore, the theory of sede vacantism is largely academic, since no one can judge the Pope. I myself pointed out to Gerry that Bellarmine and Liguori both held that despite the theoretical possibility of a heretical Pope, one should piously presume - as indeed Gerry does - that God would never allow a reigning Pope to become a heretic.
Unfortunately, Gerry's intellectual habit of open and exhaustive investigation did not serve him well in this case. He naively believed that he could dialogue with sede vacantists, speak on neutral topics at one of their venues in Washington State, and even teach them Sacred Scripture without incurring any harm to his ministry. He reasoned, not implausibly, that he was no more endorsing their beliefs by speaking with them and to them, than the Pope had endorsed the beliefs of those he addressed at the Synagogue of Rome, the Lutheran church, or the interfaith prayer meeting at Assisi.
Certainly if Gerry had been conducting his examination of the sede vacantist position entirely among friends, he would have had nothing to suffer beyond the kind of private fraternal correction which Catholics are supposed to provide to each other, and which he readily accepted at the May 20th meeting. But what Gerry did not appreciate was that in the hands of someone who was not charitably disposed toward him - namely, Mr. Keating - his indiscretions would become weapons for the destruction of his good name, providing ammunition for public exposés in articles and interviews issued by a man who had no interest in rendering private fraternal correction, or even interviewing the subject of his journalistic attacks before rushing into print.
At any rate, none of us left the May 20th meeting believing that Gerry Matatics was anything but a Catholic in good standing, no matter what his indiscretions had been on the sede vacantist issue. Not long afterward, Howard Walsh became godfather to the Matatics' seventh child, Angelica Rose, and Keep the Faith began to distribute Gerry's superb lectures on Sacred Scripture. Father Harrison kindly issued the endorsement I quote above, and Roger McCaffrey wrote to say that he was going to keep Gerry on his national syndicated radio show, "Where Catholics Meet."
In short, on May 20, 1995 we met with Gerry as his brothers in the Faith, dialogued with him in charity, addressed his concerns, and went on in Catholic fellowship from there. What a pity Mr. Keating could not see his way clear to doing the same.
The Demand for an Interview
On June 8, 1995 I wrote to Mr. Keating, this time as Gerry's attorney, to request on Gerry's behalf that Keating do what his own contributor Father Harrison, his own friend Roger McCaffrey and all the others had done on May 20th - discuss Gerry's views at length with Gerry, one brother to another, and listen, really listen, to his side of the story before writing any more articles about him.
I demanded that in justice Mr. Keating retract his still utterly unproven charge that Gerry is a sad example of schism and heresy, and retract as well all of the other false allegations which had appeared in his magazine. And I emphatically reminded Mr. Keating of his apparently forgotten moral obligation to engage in private fraternal correction before issuing any more public accusations against his fellow Catholic.
Finally, I exercised my duty as a lawyer and told Mr. Keating that my organization was prepared to sue him for libel, without cost to Gerry and family, unless he stopped his nonsense and started behaving like a Catholic, instead of a secular attack-journalist intent on nailing his target with any "evidence" he could lay his hands on.
Indeed, by this time Keating had already announced in This Rock ["March" 1996 issue, p. 22] a massive investigation of Gerry, involving "the testimony of several dozen people" and the presentation of quotes from Gerry's "own words, taken from his own talks and other writings." It struck me that this undertaking was a most peculiar expenditure of the resources of a non-profit organization ostensibly dedicated to combating the errors of Protestant sects.
It also struck me as peculiar that Mr. Keating had lined up "dozens of witnesses" to testify against Gerry, but had yet to interview Gerry himself. As our online exchange had indicated all too clearly, however, Mr. Keating would have settled for proof that Gerry had been seen kicking pigeons in the park, if that is what it took to impeach the man. As it turns out, the "dozens of witnesses" never came forward. Neither did Mr. Keating ever provide the promised quotes from Gerry's talks and writings to prove his case.
At any rate, within days of my June 8th letter advising him of the potential for a libel suit, Mr. Keating finally agreed to offer Gerry an interview to tell his side of the story. Oddly enough, before the interview was even conducted Mr. Keating issued the repeated caveat that he did not feel bound to publish any portion of it. Perhaps he foresaw the result. The interview never appeared in This Rock. Not a single word of it.
The interview was conducted by telephone on July 13, 1995. By agreement, I attended and listened on the speaker phone. Over the next three hours, Gerry completely demolished Keating's flimsy case against him, roundly refuting every accusation of heterodoxy by showing either that he does not hold the position attributed to him by Mr. Keating, or that the position he does hold has already been expressed by a Pope, a cardinal or a major theologian in good standing with the Church.
So pathetically inadequate was Mr. Keating's theological case, that he attempted to cross-examine Gerry instead on some laughably trivial matters regarding the conduct of his apostolate, or his recollection of years-old conversations and business dealings with others which he was not prepared to discuss, since he had thought the interview would pertain to his theological views.
For example, Keating asked Gerry if he had ever received an employment offer from the aforementioned Bishop of Peoria, and Gerry replied that yes, he had, whereupon Keating declared with an air of triumph that the Chancery office in the Diocese of Peoria had informed him that it had no record of such an offer. But Mr. Keating had not dug very deeply: In Gerry's own files are two letters, signed by the Bishop, in which he recites his "offer" and then his "best offer" to Gerry for the position of Director of Apologetics and Evangelization in the Diocese, specifying salary and benefits. ( As I've already noted, this was the very position Keating had recommended Gerry not be given.)
In short, Gerry handed Mr. Keating his head during the July 13th interview. I know, because I heard the entire three-hour session. But the reader need not take my word for it: Consider instead the salient fact that Keating has refused to publish even an excerpt from it in This Rock.
Mr. Keating has also refused to publish any of the dozen faxes and letters Gerry has sent him, defending his views against Keating's charges and demanding the right of reply. Likewise, no letter to the editor defending Gerry has ever appeared in This Rock, to my knowledge, although it is certain that Mr. Keating received letters like the one from David Flores, noted above.
However, Keating did make two passing references to the interview in two subsequent stories in This Rock (without actually quoting anything Gerry said, of course), but only in such a way as to bolster his ongoing false presentation of Gerry's views. Consider the following: During the July 13th interview the following exchange occurred on the issue of sede vacantism:
Keating: Do you believe that John Paul II was a validly elected Pope?
Matatics: Of course.
Keating: Do you believe he is still Pope as of today?
Matatics: Yes. I've never taught anything to the contrary, Karl, again contrary to the insinuation that you have attempted to make in print.
Keating: Would you say the same thing of Paul VI, John Paul I and John XXIII, that they were all valid Popes throughout their reigns?
Matatics: Of course, Karl.
In the "June" issue of This Rock, which appeared weeks after the July 13th interview, Mr. Keating wrote as if this exchange had never occurred, falsely summarizing the interview this way: "Mr. Matatics told me during a recent interview that he no longer plans to teach at the new seminary, but he has not forthrightly rejected sede vcantism or the fringe groups that endorse the theory . . ." [p. 19]
Notice how Keating creates the false impression that during the interview Gerry waffled on the current papacy by not rejecting the theory of sede vacantism (which no Catholic is obliged to do). But Keating completely conceals from his readers the most pertinent part of the interview, wherein Gerry affirms unequivocally, under direct questioning by Keating himself, that John Paul II is our Pope - which he had never denied in the first place!
Concerning Keating's reference to the "new seminary," during the July 13th interview Gerry told Keating quite emphatically that (as I have already noted) he would not be lecturing at Father Sanborn's seminary in Michigan: "Karl, I can save you a lot of time here. I am not teaching at that seminary. The brochure was done without my advance knowledge of it . . . I found the wording of the text of the brochure to be outrageous and certainly let him [Father Sanborn] know that I was unwilling to be a part of the faculty. And he felt exactly the same way . ."
Here is how Keating reported Gerry's statement in the "July/August 1995" issue of This Rock (which appeared in December 1995): "In a July 13 telephone interview with the staff of This Rock, Matatics said he thought he would end up not teaching at Dolan's seminary . . ."
Need I say more?
I hope the readers of this letter remember one thing, if they remember nothing else about my testimony: that Mr. Keating first failed to conduct, then deliberately suppressed, then falsely described in passing, his own in-depth interview of Gerry Matatics - when it is Gerry Matatics he has been writing about and speaking about for the past two years.
What manner of journalist is this? I will tell you: a journalist with an axe to grind, who does away with the inconvenient facts that would blunt his shiny axe-blade; a journalist who has abandoned even the minimal standards of fairness which govern secular news publications, let alone a publication which claims to give us "Catholic Answers."
"Gerry Has No Forum"
Shortly after the July 13th interview I telephoned Mr. Keating at Catholic Answers, hoping to bring this controversy to an amicable conclusion, given Gerry's good account of himself during the interview and the positive results of the May 20th meeting.
Mr. Keating would have none of it. In a reprise of our earlier on-line exchange, I challenged Mr. Keating to show precisely where Gerry Matatics had departed from the faith - on the question of Feeneyism, for example. Keating replied, as the outrage welled up within me, that it was his "impression" that Gerry is a "Feeneyite." His impression! After all this time, and no proof whatever, he was still insisting upon his "impression" that Gerry had erred against the Faith.
I told Keating, in essence, that I was fed up with his conduct, and that Gerry and I would take our case to the public if he would not do the right thing and retract his charges. Keating's reply was very revealing: "Gerry has no forum."
This is the reply of a moral bully, whose only concern is to be sure that his victim cannot strike back with any effect: Gerry has no forum, whereas I, Mr. Karl Keating, have the bully pulpit of This Rock magazine, from which I have banned any reply by Mr. Matatics. That was Mr. Keating's cold calculation of the amount of justice he would render in this case.
A Well-Deserved Rebuke
But it is even worse than this. Having falsely accused Gerry Matatics of heresy and schism before the entire Catholic Church, and having refused to allow him the right of reply in This Rock, Mr. Keating had the gall to find it intolerable that Gerry would defend himself, even once, in public.
I am referring to a question and answer session after one of Gerry's talks at a major Catholic church in Manhattan in December 1995. During that session I asked Gerry to respond to Keating's charges, about which many in the audience were wondering. Gerry did so admirably, just as he had done during the July 13th interview Mr. Keating has hidden from his public.
Mr. Keating listened to a tape of Gerry's remarks, then wrote a letter to the pastor of the church in which he petulantly protested that Gerry had "engaged in a deliberate and grotesque falsehood concerning my own actions" and that "hardly a word he spoke was truthful." He concluded by imperiously informing the pastor - one of America's most distinguished Churchmen - of his "keen disappointment" that "the name of your parish was used to promote Gerry's deceptions." As he has throughout this controversy, Keating failed to supply any evidence to support his charge that Gerry engaged in lies and deceptions: no quotes, no particulars, nothing - just the accusations.
The pastor's reply to Mr. Keating's juvenile outburst shows his instant grasp of the mentality at work in the little kingdom Mr. Keating has created for himself: "Have you lost your grip on the larger world? You imply, astonishingly that because you and Mr. Matatics do not get along. . . that I should have assumed that he is wrong and you right when, even in the recent letter you wrote, you did not mention the subject of dispute, much less why Mr. Matatics is wrong. Grow up. Fight your battles and indeed win them if you can. But contain your disappointment that the whole world is not afloat in your teacup." [my emphasis]
This rebuke did not sit well with Mr. Keating, who had clearly expected that it would be Gerry - the sad example of schism and heresy - who would be rebuked, not he, the President of Catholic Answers. Mr. Keating let his resentment simmer for nearly a year and a half, before publicly musing about it in the latest issue of This Rock, where he describes the great controversy between Kingsley and Newman, likens his situation to Newman's, and publicly ponders what to do, what to do, about the great wrong "Mr. Z" - meaning Gerry - had inflicted upon him "two Decembers ago": "That said, how is one to move beyond this feeling of defensiveness? How does one decide to 'turn the other cheek,' and when is it "a time to speak"? This is a matter of prudential judgment I think, so there can be no hard and fast rule, no mathematical formula into which one stuffs data and out of which is spit an infallible answer. Part of the measure must be the extent of the perceived injury . . .," etc., etc., etc.
This is truly astonishing stuff: Having falsely condemned Gerry - excuse me, "Mr. Z" - as a heretic and a schismatic before tens of thousands of people, Keating publicly muses some two years later about whether he should be turning the other cheek! - and this in response to one attempt by Gerry to defend himself during a Q & A session before 200 people in the basement of a Manhattan church! Where indeed is Mr. Keating's grip on the larger world?
Your Own Advice, Mr. Keating
It is sublime poetic justice that Mr. Keating's conduct in this affair is finally condemned by his own words. In the August 1990 issue of This Rock, Mr. Keating chided someone for, of all things, recklessly applying the labels "schismatic" and "heretic" to a fellow Catholic - namely, renowned British traditionalist Michael Davies. Mr. Keating's advice to the errant author of those calumnies is a ringing indictment of his own actions today: "The operative principle is this: If you want to show someone is wrong (or evil or nuts), just quote him. He'll bury himself. Don't throw nasty labels at him. Labels are like boomerangs. They have an odd way of coming back at you . . .The lesson for apologetics: avoid wild labels and the relentless piling up of accusations. If you want to prove something, no matter what that something might be, try to confine yourself to quotations. Let the other guy dig his own grave. If you don't, you'll just dig yours." [p.5] [my emphasis]
If I have shown anything in the course of this apologia, it is that Mr. Keating has failed miserably to follow his own advice: He has applied wild labels to Gerry Matatics, piled on the accusations, and failed to confine himself to quotations from the writings or speeches of the accused. On the contrary, Mr. Keating has suppressed quotations from Gerry's preaching and teaching which contradict his case - not to mention the whole of a three-hour interview concerning Gerry's theological views, which are precisely the matter at issue!
But there is something else I hope I have made clear, no matter how the reader views Mr. Keating's many accusations: Even if every accusation Mr. Keating made had been true, he has failed drastically in his obligation in charity to engage in private fraternal correction rather than public condemnation of his brother. That Mr. Keating's charges against Gerry Matatics are false only adds calumny to the objective failure of charity which I believe is manifest in Mr. Keating's conduct.
Rather than take my word for it, I ask the reader to consider, in comparison, the good example provided by those who heard Keating's accusations, listened to Gerry's side of the story, then came to Gerry's assistance rather than casting him into outer darkness: Father Brian Harrison, who lent his written endorsement to Gerry, though he had no obligation to do so; Father Arnaud Devillers, Regional Superior of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, who hired Gerry to teach Sacred Scripture at the Fraternity's seminary; Father John Perricone, who has featured Gerry as the guest speaker of his important organization, Christefidelis, in Manhattan; Al Matt, editor of The Wanderer, who accepted Father Harrison's endorsement and allowed Gerry access once again to the pages of his venerable newspaper, so that Gerry could promote his apostolate; Roger McCaffrey, who stood by Gerry and kept him on his radio show; and Howard Walsh, who became the godfather of Gerry and Leslie's seventh child and promotes Gerry's work.
There are others who have helped Gerry and his family weather this storm. All of these good Samaritans have one thing in common: a lively sense of charity toward their fellow Catholic, which led them to presume the best, not the worst, about Gerry, and to act at all times with due regard for what St. Thomas taught us is a man's most precious earthly possession: his good name.
As for Mr. Keating, does anyone seriously contend - could Mr. Keating himself stand before Our Lord and say - that charity has supplied the motive for his actions throughout this affair?
A Challenge to Mr. Keating
In the very article in which he depicts himself as Cardinal Newman redux, Mr. Keating quotes Newman's famous challenge to Kingsley either to prove his infamous accusation or retract it: "You have made a monstrous charge against me; direct, distinct, public. You are bound to prove it as directly, as distinctly, as publicly - or to own you can't." [This Rock, January '97, p. 15]
On February 16, 1995, Mr. Keating issued a public accusation which makes Kingsley's "monstrous charge" look like high praise. Mr. Keating said that Gerry Matatics, a man who has dedicated his life to explaining and defending his beloved Catholic faith, is "a sad example of how schism does lead to heresy very quickly," and a "pied piper" leading other Catholics out of the Church. He could hardly have injured Gerry more if he had shot him through the head.
Mr. Keating tells you that he stands by "every word" he has said about Gerry Matatics. Of course, he tells you this on the telephone, where it is very easy to "stand by" a libel. But will Mr. Keating "stand by" his monstrous charge in a forum where his "evidence," such as it is, can be subjected to scrutiny? Will he prove his charge as directly, as distinctly and as publicly as he made it - or own that he cannot?
So far, Mr. Wells, the answer is no. So far, Mr. Keating has refused the same challenge which Newman issued to Kingsley, and which Kingsley at least feigned to accept. And the reason Mr. Keating flees from public debate with Gerry Matatics is, I submit, the very same reason he concealed his interview of Gerry from the readers of This Rock magazine: Gerry will trounce Mr. Keating in any fair fight.
For what it is worth, however, I issue the challenge once again: Come forward, Mr. Keating, and confront the man you have been accusing for so long without giving him an opportunity to reply. Gerry is ready for the encounter which you owe to him in justice. Name the time and the place, and I will finance your appearance there - all expenses paid. Appear and state your evidence, subjecting it to the crucible of cross-examination. Following your own advice in This Rock magazine, show us the quotes from the teaching and preaching of Gerry Matatics which prove that he is a "sad example of how schism does lead to heresy very quickly" - and, just as you have advised others, confine yourself to those quotes, avoiding the "wild labels' and "relentless piling up of accusations" you profess to deplore. Or, if you find you cannot carry the burden of proof which you have prescribed for others, then by all means retract your charges just as publicly as you have made them, and apologize to Gerry, his wife, and their seven children for the havoc you have wreaked upon their lives.
Mr. Wells, I have no reason to expect that Mr. Keating will ever rise to this challenge. The last time I issued it, only two weeks ago, Mr. Keating replied by e-mail with his newest excuse: that if he debated Gerry, why, Gerry would only try to justify himself. Justify himself! Imagine that! Mr. Keating is like some bizarre assailant who repeatedly punches a man in the face, while sniffing that he cannot descend to fisticuffs with him!
Nevertheless, we await Mr. Keating's reply to this open letter, which is being sent to him today. I should think that ten days will suffice to make it clear to everyone that the challenge will be ducked once again.
Meanwhile, Mr. Keating ought at least to recognize his obligation in both charity and justice to refrain from inflicting further damage on Gerry's good name: He should delete immediately from the Catholic Answers Website all of the libelous articles he has written against Gerry, which he is still telling people to download for "the truth" about Gerry; he should cease speaking ill of Gerry on the telephone to people who have offered him speaking engagements or other patronage; he should tacitly concede, by his silence, that perhaps he was mistaken, that he overreached in what he said, that it would be wrong to "stand by" his accusations despite all evidence to the contrary.
Let us pray, Mr. Wells, that even if Mr. Keating never renders justice to Gerry Matatics and his family, he will at least do them no more harm.
Fraternally yours in Christ
Christopher A. Ferrara
Fairfield, New Jersey
March 12, 1997
(1) Gerry's misgivings about the ICEL translation are, of course, entirely within the realm of Catholic orthodoxy. For example, a recent article by Professsor William J. Sullivan in the venerable Homiletic and Pastoral Review (whose editor, Father Kenneth Baker, S.J. sits on the Advisory Board of this Association) identified over 103 major errors in ICEL's American translation of the Mass of Paul VI. [Homiletic and Pastoral Review, May 1995] Prof. Sullivan concluded that: "[T]he [American] Novus Ordo is not merely badly translated, but translated in a doctrinally unsound manner. [I]t is highly probable that the mistranslations are a deliberate attempt to subvert the Church in America in a modernist direction." [Id. at p. 49] [my emphasis]
It is most telling that in the aborted 1988 protocol of reconciliation with the Vatican, the Society of St. Pius X was required to affirm only the doctrinal soundness of the normative Latin text of the new Mass, not the ICEL translations. At any rate, Gerry Matatics has never denied the essential validity of even the ICEL translation; so that Keating's report is a gross falsification of Gerry's actual view on the new Mass.
(2) I believe that Mr. Keating is now quibbling that Gerry does not affirm what Keating rather idiosyncratically terms salvation by "implicit faith in Christ" - a phrase which appears nowhere in the entire 2,000 year history of the Magisterium, but which Mr. Keating insists is the teaching of Vatican II. Here Keating seems to have confused the possibility of an implicit desire to join the Church sufficing for salvation, with the supernatural virtue of faith, which must always be explicit, as the Holy Office itself made clear in the famous 1949 letter regarding the Father Feeney controversy. Indeed, St. Thomas teaches that one must have an explicit faith in at least the Trinity in order to be saved, and that God can supply this faith even to pagans by an interior illumination.
In any case, the Magisterium itself has never spoken definitively about the content of the explicit faith one must have in order to be saved, so it is absurd, and quite unjust, for Keating to demand that Gerry must affirm not only baptism of desire on the part of catechumens and baptism of blood, but also "implicit faith in Christ."
Mr. Keating has also failed to bring to the attention of the readers of This Rock documentation I sent him on the written permission which the "Feeneyite" community in the Diocese of Worcester, Mass. has received from the Diocese to teach and preach its (according to Keating) "heretical" strict view on the salvation of non-Catholics. The permission was based on advice from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican. According to a letter from the Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Worcester, dated May 4, 1988: "It would seem that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith holds the doctrine ["no salvation outside the Church"] to have been defined and consequently definitive. It is the theological interpretation and speculation which they see as problematical. In our discussions with the Congregation it seemed rather clear that proponents of a strict interpretation of the doctrine should be given the same latitude for teaching and discussion as those with a more liberal view." [my emphasis]
Mr. Keating seems to have great difficulty understanding what the Holy See, and Gerry Matatics, understand: that the salvation of non-Catholics is a problematical area in sacred theology, that the Feeneyites are not "heretics," even if they might be in error, and that they are entitled to teach and discuss their strict interpretation without being condemned by Catholics, such as Mr. Keating, who hold a more liberal view.
(3) Mr. Keating has read this newsletter but has failed to mention it in his later articles implying that Gerry is a crypto-sede vacantist. In fact, he has failed to mention a whole collection of anti-schismatic statements collected from Gerry's recent lectures brought to his attention in a letter dated April 6, 1995 from David Flores, a concerned reader of This Rock, who concluded: "Frankly, Karl, I do not see how anyone can read the aforequoted comments and conclude that Gerry Matatics is a schismatic or even that he is consciously promoting schism."
(Please note the excerpts from Mr. Flores Letter in the Appendix section. This was NOT part of the original letter but provided by Mr. Flores via the internet from the CTAC e-mail list)
(4) Gerry had also been extremely imprudent in telling a sede vacantist priest, Father
Donald Sanborn, that if he ever did embrace the sede vacantist position, he would be
willing to lecture in Sacred Scripture at an irregular seminary Father Sanborn was
founding in Michigan. This resulted in the creation of a seminary brochure, featuring
Gerry's photograph, which Gerry did not authorize and which had to be recalled when Gerry
informed Father Sanborn that he was not persuaded to Father Sanborn's view and could not
teach at the seminary.
Appendix (not part of the original Letter)
I see that my April 6, 1995 letter to Karl Keating is quoted in footnote 3 of Chris
Ferrara's letter. The letter states that my letter gave examples of certain
anti-schismatic comments that Gerry Matatics had made in previous talks. The talks were at
the November 4-5, 1994 Niagara Conference ("Apocalypse Now," Biblical
Foundations tape) and the October 28, 1994 Roman Forum ("Burning while Rome
Fiddles," Keep the Faith tape). I included excerpts from the talks in my letter.
Below is an excerpt from my April 6, 1995 letter.
12306 Brinnon Street
El Monte, California 91732
Karl Keating, Editor
P.O. Box 17490
San Diego, California 92177
...Gerry's Niagara Conference statements stressed the importance of disaffected "traditional" Catholics resisting the temptation to become "lone ranger" Catholics. Gerry stated: "That is a serious mistake. That can at least border on a schismatic mentality. What we have to do, and this is a very complex and delicate razor's edge to walk and I am not saying we all do it perfectly. We have to - on the one hand - we cannot be accomplices in evil in an apostasy. We must clearly say, `No, I do not promote or participate in this or that,' when statements are coming out saying, `This is fine,' or 'We are going to rebuild the Temple and Jews, Muslims, and Christians are only going to be worshiping together in a great ecumenical religion by the end of the century.' We cannot go along with that kind of thing. We have got to call that what it is."
Gerry urged disaffected Catholics to work within the Church for renewal and restoration of faith and to help people to be truly Catholic. Gerry explained: "Let's say that your local parish is given to the most outlandish acts of idolatry in its Masses and so forth: You have got new age religion being spouted from the pulpit; you have got witches consorting in the sanctuary - dancing around, and drawing pentagrams on the ground. You cannot go to Mass there, obviously. But it would be a mistake - in my opinion - to say, `I myself am going to act like the magisterium and sort of cut and consign to condemnation all those people off.' They are not dead yet. Death is definitely reigning there and the Devil is reigning. But there are still a lot of people that are sort of entrapped in that. They don't realize, they feel like its their duty to be there, to be part of that and so forth, and we need to be kind of rescuing people (and maybe even the parish itself is not just hopelessly lost) and [inaudible slur of words] be pulling people out of it. But rather maybe there can be repentance and renewal and restoration there. There can be repudiation of such blasphemy and sacrilege and the Mass can be properly be offered there again, and true Catholic teaching can be occurring there again. That would be the ideal! Obviously! For the local parish to repent and become 'Catholic` again (which is what it claims on its name, on its sign). That's what we want! So if that's all - we should be very slow to give up on, or wash our hands of the local parish situation - if there is something salvageable there. If we can bring it back around by the grace of God then we should certainly expend our every effort to do so because there are people there for whom Christ died - whom he loves, and wants to save - and bring them around to the point where they are truly Catholic in their thought, in their worship and in their moral conduct."
...Gerry made the following comments at the October 28, 1994 Roman Forum: "I think we have to be very careful here while not wanting to fall into heresy or schism, which we must avoid. Our first and most fundamental ambition every day of our life must be to be a faithful Catholic - no more and no less - and to avoid the extreme errors that will plunge us out of the Church either to the left or to the right. At the same time--given the confusion given the fact that the shepherds have been somewhat struck in some sense, that the sheep are somewhat scattered (as Jeremiah predicted, as happened during the life of our Lord when he was arrested), I think that we should be very charitable and very careful to avoid too quickly writing people off who might take, on the one hand either a more benign view of the recent papacy, or on the other hand, a more critical view of the recent papacy than we personally might do. My view is personally somewhere in the middle, but I want to remain open out of a sense of desire to be humbled and continually learning - to people both to my left and somewhat to my right as well - friends, writers, speakers, as well who take a softer line or a harder line. I am making a plea here simply for us to listen to each other, to exercise the virtue of patience, openness and tolerance, rather than saying, `Well, those people - that's it! Don't even listen to them! Don't read their literature!' or `This people' or 'that people,' they are too soft!' `They are too hard!' We need to pray for each other that we can work together because there are these differences and not only on the papacy but also on all other aspects of the crisis as well."
...Frankly Karl, I do not see how anyone can read the aforequoted comments and conclude that Gerry Matatics is a schismatic or even that he is consciously promoting schism...
Sincerely in Christ,
David A. Flores
cc: Gerry Matatics