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Exploiting Traditionalist Orders The Society of St. John

[The following summary of the controversy surrounding the Society of St. John is taken from The Rite of Sodomy – Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church by Randy Engel, Chapter 16, “Homosexuality in Religious Orders,” pages 954-972. For more information see www.newengelpublishing.com or write NEP, Box 356, Export, PA 15632.]



Exploiting Traditionalist Orders -

The Society of St. John


By Randy Engel




The use of the traditional liturgy is a great good indeed, but it is no good at all to virtue or to the salvation of one’s soul if having it means turning away from the revolting systematic abuse of a spiritual office for sexual ends. The Society of St. John is up to its eyeteeth in that abuse, and as such is mounting a direct assault on the priesthood of God itself. No genuine traditionalist would say: ‘We need the traditional Mass, Don’t anger the bishop—so what if some boys get abused, as long as it is not my son!’ Wherever gross negligence lies in this regard, it must be brought to justice. The Church of Christ, namely, the holy Catholic Church, and the traditional movement will be better for it. Speculum Iustitiae, ora pro nobis.[1]


       Rev. Richard A. Munkelt, Ph.D.




On March 21, 2002, a million dollar civil sexual abuse lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania naming as defendants the Society of St. John based in Shohola, Pa., two of its founding members, Father Carlos Roberto Urrutigoity and Father Eric Ensey, the Diocese of Scranton, Bishop James C. Timlin, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter headquartered in Elmhurst, Lackawanna County, Pa. and St. Gregory’s Academy also located in Elmhurst.[2]

Father Urrutigoity, the founder of the Society of St. John (SSJ) and Father Ensey, Chancellor for the SSJ are accused of the sexual molestation of plaintiff John Doe.[3] Ensey is accused of coercing John Doe into homosexual acts including sodomy while Doe was a minor and a student at St. Gregory’s. Urrutigoity is charged with “inappropriate homosexual contact” towards the plaintiff when Doe was staying on the Shohola property and Doe was no longer a minor. Both SSJ priests were incardinated into the Diocese of Scranton by Bishop Timlin. They acted as chaplains, part-time teachers, and spiritual advisors at St. Gregory’s, an all male Catholic boarding high school operated by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

The lawsuit charges Bishop Timlin, the FSSP and St. Gregory’s Academy with gross negligence in failing to act on information known to them concerning the predatory homosexual background of Urrutigoity and Ensey, and failure to protect the plaintiff, a minor, from the two clerical sexual predators whose positions at the Academy were arranged by the FSSP with the approval of the Diocesan Ordinary, Bishop Timlin. Charges against the defendants include assault and battery, negligence, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and breach of duty.

The plaintiff and his parents, Jane Doe and John Doe, Sr. who reside in North Carolina, are seeking in excess of $75,000 compensatory damages and $ 1 million as punitive damages. A jury trial has been demanded.

This case study on the Society of St. John demonstrates how rapidly the vice of homosexuality can spread even in a “traditionalist” environment like that of St. Gregory’s Academy and the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.


  The SSJ and the City of God


Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, the founder and acknowledged leader of the Society of St. John, claims that the vision for the Society and the City of God came to him when he was teaching at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona operated by the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). In May 1997, the SSPX-ordained priest was expelled from the Winona seminary ostensibly because he wanted to found a new religious order.

After drifting from one diocese to another, the charismatic Fr. Urrutigoity, Father Ensey and a handful of seminarians from St. Thomas were taken in by Bishop James Timlin of the Scranton Diocese, and the Society of St. John (Societas Sancti Ioannis) was born.

On May 24, 1998, Bishop Timlin, with the blessing of Rome, gave his canonical approval to the new society. Six months later he ordained two new priests to the SSJ, Fr. Basel Sarweh and Fr. Dominic Carey.

In September 1999, the SSJ purchased 1025 acres of land in Shohola, Pike County, in the Pocono Mountains for $2.9 million to construct a self-contained Catholic city based on the medieval model whereby its inhabitants would share a common life and common faith. When completed, the SSJ community was to have included cradle to grave Catholic educational and formative facilities par excellence.           

Toward this end, the SSJ asked Dr. Ronald MacArthur, the founder of St. Thomas Aquinas College in California to help the SSJ found a similar Catholic liberal arts college on the Shohola property. Dr. MacArthur asked Dr. Jeffrey Bond to assist him with the College of St. Justin Martyr project. MacArthur later withdrew his support for the project after deciding that the concept of God’s City as envisioned by the SSJ was not feasible. Acting on the belief that Bishop Timlin was wholeheartedly committed to the project, Dr. Bond took MacArthur’s place. He initiated a program to raise money for the St. Justin Martyr’s College/House of Studies.


The Canonical Structure of the SSJ


          The Society of St. John is not a religious order in the traditional sense of the word. It is canonically known as a “Public Association of the Faithful, ” a loose-knit association of diocesan priests with permission to live together according to a rule of life and to carry out a certain apostolic mission. In the case of the SSJ, it is the Bishop of Scranton to whom its priests and religious have promised their respect and obedience.[4] The Ordinary of the Diocese of Scranton also possesses the power to suppress the SSJ at any time.[5]

The official web site of the Society of St. John describes the institute as “an association of priests, clerics, religious and laity, working under the leadership of the Pope and bishops of the Church to revive holiness of life and Catholic civilization in the third millennium.”[6]

The following information on the Society of St. John, its special charism, apostolic mission, structure, and programs was taken from its “Founding Document.”[7] 

The SSJ community consists of three groups. There is a clerical community, living permanently together a life of worship, study, and apostolate by which the society hopes to rediscover the full meaning of each minor and major order. Within the community there is also a religious brotherhood of men “seeking to become a lay religious institute of diocesan right,” and who consecrate themselves to God by means of the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Finally, there is a lay following of Catholic men and women dedicated to the worship of God and willing to place themselves (and their assets) at the disposal and direction of the SSJ and its elite clerical leadership.

The charism of the SSJ is said to be fourfold: the solemn use of the traditional Roman Rite Liturgy, the renewal of priestly life, education, and the formation of small cities with a true Catholic Culture.[8]       

The founders of SSJ, we are told, leaned heavily “on institutes of common life without vows,” as a model and adopted “the basic structures and regulations provided by law, although with the adaptations required by the specific goals and unique charisma of the Society of St. John.” They adopted the love for the Liturgy and clerical excellence in education from the Order of St. Jerome; the confederated priory system from the Benedictine Order; the idea of “a series of autonomous associations working in common under one supreme moderator” as conceived by St. Martin, Bishop of Tours; and some of the canons of the Rule of St. Augustine related to “clerics living in common and helping each other in the fulfillment of their duty of state.”[9]

The Founding Document states that the priests of the SSJ are consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to St. John the Evangelist “in consideration of his fidelity and presence at the Sacrifice of the Cross, where he associated himself with those Blessed Hearts, and the fullness of his prophetic spirit regarding the end times.”[10]

“Restoration” is a key word in the espoused mission of the Society including restoration of the Sacred Liturgy, of the spiritual life, of Catholic wisdom and education, Catholic leadership, communal life, the ascetical life, the apostolate, the natural Order and so forth.[11] All this traditionalism notwithstanding, however, the SSJ pledges to be open to “the need for a genuine and fruitful aggiornamento.”[12]

In a section devoted to “The State of the Catholic Church in Modern Society,” and “The Crisis of Modern Man,” the SSJ claims it is forming a “new generation of priests” who will help resolve the current “crisis” in the Church and in society.”[13]

“The city on the hill we hope to build is neither to hide from the world nor to pharisaically condemn it, but rather to witness to it the truths of the Faith….the possibility of living an integral, corporate Christian life in today’s world; a light to shine, not to be covered under a bushel,” the founders explain.

The SSJ invites people interested in living in God’s City to contact the Society and make a donation to building “the new foundation for Catholic culture” in Shohola and then elsewhere.

The only thing wrong with this idyllic picture is that the whole thing is one gigantic fraud from beginning to end. The SSJ is, as one former SSJ priest correctly described it, a “homosexual cult and their accomplices,” and there ain’t no City of God going up in the Pocono Mountains.[14]


  The Corruption of St. Gregory’s Academy


St. Gregory’s Academy, the flagship of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is an all boys’ high school, operated by the Priestly Fraternity in the Diocese of Scranton. The promotional literature for the school states that it is dedicated to Christian education along the lines set down by Pope Pius XI in his December 31, 1929  encyclical Divini Illius Magistri.[15]


At St. Gregory’s our entire aim is the formation of Catholic gentlemen. We offer a liberal arts education following the perennial wisdom of Western civilization. The Academy forms young men who are strong in faith, hope, and charity, and who manifest in their lives the moral and intellectual virtues, including prudence, wisdom, and understanding….Students are given full instruction in the doctrines and moral teachings of the Church, stressing orthodoxy and obedience to the Magisterium... The center of life at St. Gregory’s is Catholic prayer, the heart of which is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, offered daily in the traditional Latin rite by priests of the Fraternity of St. Peter, with the permission of the bishop of Scranton.[16]


The upscale campus is located on 190 acres of beautiful mountain terrain in Eastern Pennsylvania near the FSSP’s North American District headquarters in Elmhurst. Although St. Gregory’s, as a matter of policy, does not accept boys with a history of serious academic or disciplinary problems, the educational and moral tenor of the school took a nosedive when the SSJ priests arrived at the Academy.

In the fall of 1997, Fr. Arnaud Devillers, the District Superior of the FSSP with the blessing of Bishop Timlin, permitted the SSJ priests to take up a temporary residence in an empty wing of the Academy until they found a new home. The following academic year, the Servants Minor of St. Francis also joined the SSJ in the guest wing of the Academy.

          When the school opened for its 1998-1999 term, Fr. Devillers asked the SSJ priests to act as chaplains for the Academy as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter was experiencing a shortage of priests.[17] No security check the FSSP or the Scranton Diocese was run on the SSJ priests.

The duties of the SSJ included celebrating Mass, hearing confessions, teaching religion classes and giving spiritual direction to the boys of St. Gregory’s. For all practical purposes, within a year after their arrival at the Academy, the SSJ priests were running the facility. Members of the SSJ also took students from the school   on off-campus outings and trips. After the Society purchased the Shohola property, it invited St. Gregory’s students and graduates to visit, camp and party at the new SSJ facilities. 

By permitting the SSJ to take over the spiritual formation of its students, the FSSP in effect gave the clerical perverts of SSJ not only access to the physical bodies of the young men, but access to their souls as well, which gives an added dimension of the demonic to their criminal enterprise at St. Gregory’s.

The systematic grooming of the boys of St. Gregory’s began with the introduction of alcohol and tobacco designed to lower the sexual inhibitions and moral resistance of potential victims.

In sworn testimony given by Mr. Jude Huntz, the head dorm father at the Academy, there was one incident in March 1998 in which he said he observed three students returning from the SSJ’s residence at St. Gregory’s in a state of heavy intoxication. Huntz said that the police were called in and SSJ officials were given a warning against serving liquor to minors.[18] In court affidavits in connection with the John Doe Case, Mr. Paul Hornak, a teacher at St. Gregory’s and Mr. Jerry Zienta, a dorm father, confirmed Huntz’s charge.

However, Father Paul Carr, the FSSP chaplain at the Academy, disputes Huntz’s story. Fr. Carr contends that the only time the police were called was to see if it was alright for parents to give alcohol to their own minor children.[19].

In an addendum to his affidavit, Huntz said that shortly after the arrival of the SSJ priests at St. Gregory’s, they began inviting boys over to their quarters for movies and spiritual direction. This practice led to curfew problems for the dorm fathers as the boys would sometimes return to their dorms at a very late hour.[20]

After Headmaster Alan Hicks, headmaster of the Academy bent the rules to permit the boys receiving “spiritual direction” from the SSJ priests to return at a “reasonable hour” (term undefined), the dorm fathers developed a new system whereby one dorm father checked the boys at night and the other in the morning.

The fact that the SSJ priests kept the students up late led to other problems for the dorm fathers. The boys were hard to get up the next morning, were often late for chapel and were lethargic in classes during the day.

Even after Hicks informed Fr. Urrutigoity that these nocturnal visits were causing problems, the practice of late night spiritual counseling and giving boys alcohol and tobacco continued.[21] There were also reports that students were purchasing marijuana off campus and smoking with their schoolmates at the Academy.[22]


The Grooming of the Boys of St. Gregory’s


Once the SSJ priests were ensconced at St. Gregory’s, reports of homosexual acting out and other bizarre sexual behavior by the students began to find their way to Academy staff and officials.

One senior prefect at St. Gregory’s was reported to have made a practice of “freaking out” lower classmen by jumping into their beds at night naked.  There were incidents of young boys imitating fellatio in the boys’ dorm facilities.[23] Rumors that Fr. Urrutigoity, was sleeping with some students started to circulate on campus.

In February 1999, Paul Hornak, a teacher at St. Gregory’s, took a group of students on a winter camping expedition along the Appalachian Trail at the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border. Fr. Urrutigoity volunteered to go along as a “‘spiritual director.” During the trip, Hornak learned that the priest had supplied the boys in his tent with cigars and wine and that two of the boys bragged that they had shared Urrutigoity’s sleeping bag. When confronted with the charge that he gave minors alcohol and tobacco and that he slept with boys in his sleeping bag, the priest defended his actions as a way of fostering “good camaraderie.”[24]

In his affidavit for the John Doe Case, Hornak stated that Fr. Urrutigoity appeared to consider “sleeping with boys to be perfectly natural, and he evidently had succeeded in convincing the two boys there was nothing wrong with it.”[25]

Hornak noted that during the 1998-1999 school year, “I often heard snatches of conversation between the boys that left me in no doubt that drinking, smoking and bed-sharing were standard occurrences.” He said he “complained openly to anyone who would listen,” but nobody at St. Gregory’s seemed to care.

In the spring of 1999, Hornak gave notice that he would not be returning to St. Gregory’s in the fall. In his exit interview with Fr. Devillers, Hornak told Devillers that he “strongly believed that the Society of St. John had engaged Saint Gregory’s boys in near homosexual activity throughout the term of their stay at the school.” The nonplused Devillers told Hornak that the SSJ would change its ways when it left the school and had to fend for itself. He also said that he believed that “some of the techniques the Society employed to win the favor of boys were perhaps intended to make them receptive to God’s word.” Hornak said he thought Devillers’ statement “preposterous.”[26] 

Devillers did not inform Hornak that he was not the first to complain about the unsavory behavior of SSJ priests.

The Franciscan Fathers who shared the same wing of the building with the SSJ priests had also expressed their concerns about the dangerous influence of Fr. Urrutigoity and his priests over St. Gregory’s boys to Devillers. They told him that Fr. Daniel Fullerton, a SSJ priest, told the students that swimming trunks were “optional” when they swam on the Society’s Shohola property. The friars also said they witnessed upperclassmen exhibiting violent behavior in the form of hazing toward younger students, which they believed Fr. Urrutigoity encouraged as a means of giving the upperclassmen a “stake” in running the school.[27]

One of the Franciscan brothers who was asked by Headmaster Hicks to chaperon a trip to New York City sponsored by Fr. Urrutigoity reported that on the way the priest stopped to buy cigarettes for the boys and wined and dined the students during their stay in Manhattan.

The friars appeared to be fully aware of the homosexual activity of the SSJ at the Academy. They reported to Devillers that they often saw boys in the SSJ’s quarters past curfew and some in their bedclothes in the SSJ’s bathroom in the early morning. On one occasion they discovered a student alone in a room smoking and drinking with Fr. Urrutigoity after midnight. They also reported that for a time Fr. Urrutigoity set up his bedroom in the bathroom.

Further testimony to support Hornack’s charge that the SSJ was turning St. Gregory’s into a pederastic haven was provided by Brother Alexis Bugnolo who stayed with the Franciscan Fathers in the SSJ wing of the Academy for a weekend in February 1999.

Brother Bugnolo had acquired knowledge of homosexual behavior as a result of his work with a prolife group in Boston who conducted a street ministry in the homosexual sections of the city. He stated that during his stay at St. Gregory’s he saw students exhibiting non-verbal homosexual gestures and behaviors that were inconsistent with normal boyhood affection. One night, after curfew, when he went over to the dorm/chapel side of the building to make his confession, Bugnolo said he saw two students kissing and embracing in front of the chapel doors. He also witnessed one boy carrying another down an adjacent dorm hall shouting, “Girls, girls, girls, get them while they’re hot!”[28]

After going to confession to Fr. Urrutigoity, Bugnolo waited in the chapel for the priest to come out of the confessional in order to express his concern about the abnormal sexual behavior he had witnessed. He advised Father Urrutigoity to alert the superiors of the school and the diocesan bishop to the problems he had witnessed so that the situation could be remedied.

After Bugnolo returned to his home in Massachusetts, he wrote Fr. Urrutigoity about his concerns of possible homosexual activities and violations of chastity at St. Gregory’s. In a touch of irony, Bugnolo suggested that Fr. Urrutigoity remove his community from the school to avoid moral contamination.[29]

Sometime later, Bugnolo recalled that he saw a picture of one of the students who exhibited inappropriate same-sex touching at St. Gregory’s the weekend of his visit. The young man was now clothed in a cassock and the caption indicated he had joined the SSJ. Br. Bugnolo brought his concerns to Peter Vere, a canon lawyer for the diocese of Scranton and was advised that there was not sufficient evidence to bring the matter to the attention of Bishop Timlin. Brother Bugnolo let the matter drop, temporarily.

On January 27, 2002, after Roman Catholic Faithful broke the story on the SSJ scandal, Bugnolo wrote a detailed letter to RCF president, Steve Brady, on his experience at St. Gregory’s.

At the end of his letter, Bugnolo repeated the advice of Saint Anthony Marie Claret on action to be taken when a Church institution becomes engulfed in moral turpitude of the kind afflicting St. Gregory’s Academy:


…the only morally certain solution to cure such a problem is the disbanding of the faculty and student body, and the dismissal of the chaplains and confessors from their duties there; if the institute is to be reconstituted, this may only be done if there are entirely new faculty, students, and priestly support to do so; this is so because there are always relationships which will never be discovered, and if these are present in the new foundation, the conspiracy will be renewed. Problems like this can be avoided in good foundations only if confessors and spiritual directors take recidivism in matters of the 6th and 9th commandments seriously, and are given authority to expel candidates that do not have the grace of chastity and continence, without human respect.[30]


There were other tell-tale incidents that should have indicated to anyone with eyes to see that St. Gregory’s Academy had been invaded by an alien moral force in the form of the Society of St. John. 

The mother of one student learned that a parish priest from her diocese who had been convicted of the homosexual molestation of young boys visited St. Gregory’s and engaged her son in a conversation in the hallway. This incident suggests that the SSJ may have brought other sexual predators onto the campus.[31]

It was also discovered that Headmaster Hicks had allowed boys on the school’s hockey team to take a trip to Canada with a man known to Hicks to be both a practicing homosexual and a collector of homosexual pornography.[32] 

At the end of the 1998-99 term when the SSJ priests left St. Gregory’s to take up residence on their own property, they continued to maintain a close relationship with the students of St. Gregory’s.

In a December 10, 2002 affidavit of Mr. Joseph Sciambra in the John Doe case, the former postulant of the Society says that in the late spring or early summer of 2000, a group of young men from St. Gregory’s Academy, camped-out on the SSJ’s property. Fr. Urrutigoity spent the night at the campsite and told Sciambra that he had shared a sleeping bag with one of the young men.

Sciambra himself witnessed the priest serving alcohol to under-age boys, one of whom stumbled out of Urrutigoity’s bedroom in a severe state of intoxication. He said he also saw boys leaving the priest’s bedroom in their underwear some of whom said that they had slept in the same bed with the priest.[33]

Another former SSJ novice who signed an affidavit, but did not want to be identified publicly by name, said that when he was living at St. Joseph’s House, used by the SSJ to house postulants and novices, the overcrowding in the bathroom facilities made it difficult for him to shower after running. When Fr. Urrutigoity heard of the young man’s problem, he invited him to use his shower and bathroom facilities at Drummond House. On each and every occasion the novice took advantage of Urrutigoity’s offer, he said that the priest would appear naked from the bathroom, dressed only in his scapular, and shave while the young man took his shower and dressed.

Although Urrutigoity never approached the young man in an overtly sexual manner, it is clear that his exhibitionist posture before a novice under his spiritual care was a form of homosexual grooming. Happily, the novice did not wait to find out. He left the SSJ in mid-January 2001 without completing his novitiate.[34]

In a September 2002 affidavit written from Valbonne, France, Mr. Joseph Girod, a former teacher of Gregorian chant for the SSJ stated that when he was going through a period of depression, Fr. Urrutigoity referred him to Mr. Walter Bahn, a fellow musician and  psychotherapist for therapy and spiritual direction. In his first session with Bahn on “finding one’s self,” Girod was told that homosexuality was genetic and therefore a permanent state that admitted of no modification. Bahn also told Girod that he (Bahn) was “gay.” In a later conversation with Girod, Fr. Urrutigoity took the same position on homosexuality that Bahn had used with Girod – that “gayness” was a genetic condition.[35]

Another SSJ priest, Fr. Fullerton, is on record as having told a SSJ seminarian that it was “noble” for a homosexual to become a priest.[36]

No doubt these “gay” myths were foisted upon unsuspecting students at the Academy by SSJ priests in the form of classroom instruction on sexual morality and in spiritual direction given individually and in the confessional by Fr. Urrutigoity and his clerical and lay disciples.

Fred Fraser, a St. Gregory’s graduate and later dorm father, who admitted sleeping with Urrutigoity defended his bed-sharing by citing Plato’s Symposium and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov.[37]

On November 10, 2002, Mr. Conal Tanner, a graduate of St. Gregory’s and a former dorm father informed Bishop Timlin that he knew for a fact that Fr. Urrutigoity slept with boys in the same bed and that other members of the Society of St. John were aware of their superior’s actions.[38]

Tanner’s statement to Timlin was also confirmed in an affidavit by Diane Toler of Cherry Hill, N.J. who stated that Father Dominic Carey, SSJ’s head fundraiser, told her that it was no secret that Fr. Urrutigoity slept with young boys and young men on a regular basis. Father Carey defended the practice stating that for two men to sleep together was not an occasion of sin, since there is no natural attraction between men.[39]


  “Guru-tigoity” Exposed as a Homosexual Predator


In February 11, 1999, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X sent a formal communication to Bishop Timlin informing him that Father Carlos Urrutigoityhad been accused of molesting a seminarian under his spiritual care at the SSPX’s St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, Minn.

Bishop Fellay also indicated that in 1987, prior to Urrutigoity’s acceptance by the Winona seminary, Fr. Andres Morello, the rector of Our Lady Co-Redemptrix Seminary in La Reja, Argentina had accused the priest of  homosexual practices.

According to Fr. Morello, he had intended to expel Urrutigoity from the La Reja seminary because of his  significant pride, his habit of forming “particular friendships,” his formation of a faction of seminarians acting under his influence and grave denunciations regarding moral matters.[40]

Among the accusations brought against Urrutigoity by seminarians and laymen living at the La Reja seminary were his uninvited nocturnal visits into the rooms of young men while they were asleep, the fondling and massage of a seminarian’s genitals and buttocks under the guise of a medical exam, and the touching of the private parts of a seminarian in a restroom accompanied by the remark, that the priest adored his “little round butt.” Urrutigoity was also accused of excessive probing during confession and spiritual counseling sessions of the sexual temptations of penitents; and immodest dress (swimming in his underwear) at a summer camp that he organized for young men from the seminary.[41]

Unfortunately, the planned dismissal of Urrutigoity by Fr. Morello never took place as the seminarian had the support of Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta, the SSPX District Superior and other influential priests.

Instead of being expelled, Urrutigoity was sent to the Priory of Cordoba (Argentina) where he received the necessary recommendations that enabled him to transfer to the SSPX seminary in Winona. By this time Fr. Morello had been posted to Santiago, Chile, so he was temporarily out of the picture.[42]

However, in July 1989, when Fr. Morello heard of Urrutigoity’s imminent ordination in Winona, he sent a confidential dossier on the candidate to Rector Richard Williamson at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary. Fearing this effort would not be sufficient to stop the ordination, Father Morello traveled to the seminary in the company of an associate. Upon their arrival, they were confronted by Williamson with a denial or “manifestation of conscience,” by Urrutigoity who proclaimed his innocence of the charges against him. Williamson defended Urrutigoity’s  “humility” and accused Morello and his companion of lying.

A few days later, on July 16, 1989, Morello who had been involved in an internal dispute with the SSPX on matters unrelated to the Urrutigoity affair, was expelled from the Society.[43]

Williamson later claimed that Morello was not believed because he was reported to be connected to a sedevacantist group in opposition to Bishop de Galarreta. Nevertheless, Williamson was ordered by his superior, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who had reviewed the Morello dossier to watch Urrutigoity “like a hawk,” a virtually impossible task given the secretive life of a homosexual predator like Urrutigoity.[44]

Fr. Urrutigoity had successfully manipulated one traditionalist group against another for his own ends.

Not only was he ordained, but he was also assigned to teach at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary where he was known as “Guru-tigoity.”[45]

Little wonder that in his warning letter to Bishop Timlin in February 1999, Bishop Fellay described Urrutigoity as “dangerous” and noted: 


The reason why he got into trouble with the Superiors of the Society of St. Pius X is mainly because we felt he had a strange, abnormal influence on the seminarians and priests, whom he seemed to attach to his brilliant, charismatic personality.  When he asked me to recognize the society he intended to found, among the reasons of my refusal, I explicitly mentioned this strange personal, guru-like attachment between the disciples and their leader.[46]


Urrutigoity Faces Second Accusation


It was not until two years after Fr. Urrutigoity had been dismissed from St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona for “subversive activities,” namely, the secret planning of the Society of St. John, and had settled into the Diocese of Scranton with temporary quarters at St. Gregory’s Academy, that a Winona seminarian came forward to accuse the priest of sexual molestation.

The object of Urrutigoity’s attempts at seduction and forced sexual attention was a young man named Matthew Selinger who once idolized the priest. The two men had formed a particular friendship at the seminary and Urrutigoity served as the seminarian’s spiritual director for two years before making his move.  

Selinger had some strange tales to tell about Fr. Urrutigoity.

He said that on one occasion he was constipated and went to Fr. Urrutigoity to get some Metamucil. The priest offered him a rectal suppository instead. Never having used one before, the seminarian thought it was an oral medication and put it in his mouth. The priest instructed him in its correct use and insisted that the young man insert it in his presence as an act of “humility.” Selinger reluctantly resisted the order and went into the bathroom to insert the suppository all the while rebuking himself for not being spiritually mature enough to follow Urrutigoity’s orders and crucify his “manly pride.”[47]

On another occasion, Urrutigoity invited Selinger and his friend to swim with him in the nude.

     One night, the young seminarian awoke from his sleep to find the priest kneeling by his side massaging his genitals hard enough to produce an erection. Selinger said his first instinct was to punch the priest’s lights out, but because Fr. Urrutigoity was an Alter Christus, another Christ, he turned over and pretended to go back to sleep while Urrutigoity quietly slipped away into the darkness.[48]

The novel use of rectal suppositories as part of Urrutigoity’s grooming repertoire is reminiscent of the grooming techniques employed by the early 20th century theosophist/pederast Charles Webster Leadbeater.

Leadbeater promoted enemas, genital manipulation, and onanism as a means of promoting physical, psychic and spiritual (occult) vigor among his youthful disciples.This spiritualizing of paederasty absolves him from the guilt which makes him hate society. …His is no longer a common human weakness, for he has felt the cleansing fire of divinity,” related Gregory Tillet, Leadbeater’s biographer.[49]
          By the time that Selinger informed his superiors at Winona that Urrutigoity had sexually molested him, the SSJ founder was safely ensconced as a chaplain at St. Gregory’s Academy selecting his next victim from a large pool of young men, who like Selinger before he was molested, worshipped the ground that Urrutigoity walked on.[50]

In June 1999, a meeting took place in Winona between Matthew Selinger and SSPX Rector Williamson, and the pastoral team that the Diocesan Review Board had assigned to investigate the accusations against Urrutigoity. The pastoral team consisted of Auxiliary Bishop John Dougherty, a diocesan priest, and a lawyer from the Diocese of Scranton.

However, even after reading the Board’s report on Selinger’s testimony and with the knowledge that this was the second credible accusation of homosexual seduction and molestation against Urrutigoity, Bishop Timlin decided that the evidence against the SSJ founder was “inconclusive.” He took no further action on the matter.[51] A classic cover-up was underway led by the Ordinary of the Diocese of Scranton with the cooperation of Timlin’s silent partner Fr. Devillers, Superior of the FSSP.

Were it not for the courage and determination of Dr. Jeffrey M. Bond, President of the College of St. Justin Martyr and the moral and legal support given to Dr. Bond by Washington State attorney James M. Bendell, the cover-up may well have succeeded.


 James and Bond to the Rescue


      On August 19, 2001, Dr. Bond received a visit from Alan Hicks, Headmaster of St. Gregory’s Academy.

     Hicks informed Bond that Fr. Urrutigoity had the habit of sleeping with boys, and in fact, had slept with boys from St. Gregory’s when the SSJ was in residence at the school from 1997 to 1999. 

      To support his charge Hicks cited the case of Mr. Fred Fraser.

As indicated earlier, Mr. Fraser was a graduate of St. Gregory’s. During the 1998-99 academic year when the SSJ priests served as chaplains at the school, Fraser was made a dorm father even though he was only a year or two older than the boys he was supposed to supervise. It appeared that the SSJ was given carte blanche at the Academy.[52]

Fraser admitted to Hicks and later to Bond that he had slept in Fr. Urrutigoity’s bed in his private chambers. As a true disciple of his master, Fraser defended the action as part of the priest’s method of “spiritual direction.”[53]

Fraser’s statement contradicts the sworn testimony given by Urrutigoity during his 2003 deposition for the

John Doe case in which the priest, when asked under oath if he ever slept in the same bed or sleeping bag with students of St. Gregory’s or with any males at the school or on trips, answered, “No.” Later in his testimony, Urrutigoity admitted that he did sleep with Mr. Fraser when he was a student at the Academy, but only him.[54]

          In a deposition taken by attorney Bendell on November 10, 2003 from Stephen Fitzpatrick, a student at St. Gregory’s from 1996 to 2000 and a witness hostile to the plaintiff, Fitzpatrick testified that he had slept with Urrutigoity. Another former student and supporter of the SSJ from St. Gregory’s, Patrick McLaughlin, who attended the Academy from 1995 to1999, said he saw a boy sleeping in the priest’s bed after curfew between the hours of midnight and three in the morning.[55]

          Initially, Bond was agreeable to letting Bishop Timlin handle the matter including the disciplining of the SSJ priests. It was only after it became clear from talks with Bishop Timlin and Auxiliary Dougherty that the bishop intended to take no action, that Bond told Hicks and Assistant Headmaster Howard Clark that they should contact the parents of any boy who had been exposed to the priest at St. Gregory.

In the meantime, Bond began his own investigation of the charges. Almost all of the information provided in this section on the SSJ is based on information initially uncovered by Dr. Bond and by James Bendell who is the lead counsel for John Doe and his parents.

    On December 8, 2001, Bishop Timlin was informed that a young man had reported that he was sexually abused while a student at St. Gregory’s Academy by Father Eric Ensey. Three days later Hicks and Clark received the bad news.

    These unwelcome public revelations finally prompted the headmasters to notify all parents of boys at St. Gregory that students were to have no contact with members of the Society of St. John and that they were also forbidden to go on the SSJ property. According to Bond, neither man expressed concern for the young man who had been assaulted, although they were concerned about retaining their jobs.

In October 2001, the Board of Directors of the College of St. Justin Martyr, a civil corporate entity in its own right, took legal steps to separate itself completely from the Society of St. John.  Despite opposition from Bishop Timlin, the Board removed Deacon Joseph Levine, the SSJ representative on the Board, and posted the news of its separation from the SSJ on its website.

As of late 1999, key lay members of the Board of Advisors of SSJ had resigned over charges of gross fiscal mismanagement.[56]

Bishop Timlin was advised that the SSJ property would have to be sold and all its special projects killed in order to pay off the huge debt that the SSJ had acquired.[57] True to form, the bishop continued to let the SSJ  raise money under fraudulent premises.

       In the meantime, Bond went on the warpath against the perverts in the SSJ.

    On November 19, 2001, Bond notified the Apostolic Nuncio in the United States and Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, Prefect of Clergy in Rome, of the immoral activities of priests of the Society of St. John.

After Bond went public with his accusations of financial malfeasance and sexual misconduct by the Society, Fr. Urrutigoity threatened Bond with libel.

Dr. Bond had latched onto a truth that apparently had escaped Bishop Timlin and the FSSP - that John Doe was not the only victim of the SSJ priests. The entire moral, spiritual, intellectual and disciplinary foundation of St. Gregory’s Academy had been corrupted by the Society of St. John in the same way that the entire moral, spiritual, intellectual and disciplinary foundation of a seminary or religious house of studies is corrupted when the vice of homosexuality gains a stronghold within the institution.


Background on Father Eric Ensey


          Father Ensey held the post of Chancellor in the Society of St. John and was one of Fr. Urrutigoity’s first disciples at the SSPX seminary in Winona.

          Born on August 13, 1966 in Upland, California, a suburb northeast of Los Angeles, Ensey converted to Catholicism in high school. In September of 1987, he entered the St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona and was ordained a priest of the SSPX in 1995. When Fr. Urrutigoity was expelled from St. Thomas, Ensey followed him to the Scranton Diocese.

          During the 1998-1999 school year at St. Gregory’s Academy, Father Ensey developed a particular friendship with John Doe, a student for whom he was acting as “spiritual director.” The priest began grooming the minor for a homosexual relationship by providing him with alcohol and tobacco. The young man was usually drunk when Ensey and he engaged in homosexual acts at the school.

          During the Thanksgiving break, Ensey accompanied the young man on a trip to California where the student planned to attend college the following year. Ensey also took the young man to visit his parents’ home in Santa Paula. During the visit, John Doe reported that he was sodomized by Ensey.   

          After Ensey and Doe returned to St. Gregory’s, Ensey suggested that the boy should start taking “spiritual direction” from Fr. Urrutigoity, but assured the lad that they would remain  “very close friends”[58]

In the fall of 2000, John Doe joined the Society of St. John as a postulant. In order to avoid Ensey’s continued sexual advances, the young man sought out alternative sleeping quarters. Fr. Urrutigoity told him that all the guest rooms were filled, but he could sleep in his room. Doe accepted. A few nights later Urrutigoity also began to sexually molest the young man. It was at this point that John Doe moved out of Urrutigoity’s chambers and took up residence at St. Joseph’s House, a privately owned home bordering the SSJ property that the priests had managed to sequester, rent free. Once the owner confirmed the charges against the SSJ, she kicked them out.[59]


More Bad Apples in SSJ


          By early 2002, Bishop Timlin was aware that Fathers Urrutigoity and Ensey were accused of the sexual molestation. The District Attorney’s office of Lackawanna County had launched a criminal investigation into the accusations of sexual misconduct by the two SSJ priests, but was forced to abandon the case because of the statue of limitations. Time had run out for the complainant in May 2001. He would have to resort to a civil suit.

          Bishop Timlin immediately suspended Fathers Urrutigoity and Ensey and brought them to Scranton. Timlin was reported to be considering Urrutigoity’s request to be transferred to another religious order, when he learned that the SSJ had other “problem” priests.

          Fr. Marshall Roberts was another SSJ priest who resided with Urrutigoity and Ensey at St. Gregory’s Academy from 1997 to 1999.   

According to the Vice-Rector of Christ the King Institute in Gricigliano, Italy, in 1993 Roberts was kicked out of the seminary when he formed an inordinate sexual attachment to a fellow seminarian with whom he had become infatuated. Within 24 hours of the Vice-Rector being informed of Roberts’ designs on his classmate, who did not appreciate the attention, Roberts was looking for new living quarters. Roberts was eventually ordained by the SSPX and later became a founding members of the SSJ.  

While at St. Gregory’s, Roberts befriended a young man from the graduating class of 1999 who later became a postulant in the Society. In a very irregular arrangement, Roberts and the postulant shared the same room and bed in a housing unit on the SSJ property.[60]

Fr. Christopher Clay was another follower of Urrutigoity although he was never formally a member of the Society. He was a third possible sexual abuser of John Doe although his name does not appear in the civil lawsuit because, according to Doe’s co-counsel James Bendell, the case of overt sexual abuse was much stronger with Urrutigoity and Ensey.  

After Bishop Timlin was advised that Clay was accused of also abusing John Doe, the bishop removed him from his teaching position at Bishop Hafey High School in Hazle Township, but with no apparent restriction as to travel. Later, Bishop Timlin offered to reassign Father Clay to St. Thomas More Church in Lake Ariel, Wayne County, but the priest had taken a leave of absence and returned to his hometown of Dallas, Texas where he attempted to recover from the stress of his encounter with the District Attorney’s office in Pennsylvania.[61]

After Father Clay returned to the Dallas area, he hooked up with an old friend, Father Allan Hawkins of St. Mary the Virgin Church in Arlington. In 2003, Fr. Hawkins called Bishop Timlin to see if he had any objection to Clay helping him out with Mass and parish work. Timlin said he had no objections. According to Hawkins, he was not told of the accusations of pederasty against Father Clay or that Clay’s case was still under an internal investigation by the Scranton Diocese.

In April 2002, Bishop Joseph Martino, the new Ordinary of Scranton wrote Clay asking what his plans were for his future ministry.”[62]

According to Chancellor Rev. Robert Wilson of the Dallas Diocese, diocesan officials did not know anything about Father Clay, much less that he was assisting Father Hawkins at the Arlington parish. 

Fr. James Early, Chancellor of the Scranton Diocese said that Clay had advised the diocese that he was working in Texas as a medical insurance reviewer. If his statement is true, this means that apparently Timlin kept his own Chancellor in the dark as to Fr. Clay’s pastoral activities at St. Mary’s.

For his part, Timlin defended his actions on the basis that no criminal charges resulted from John Doe’s accusations (due to the statute of limitation) and he (Clay) was not named in the subsequent civil lawsuit filed by John Doe.

One parishioner from St. Mary’s who was interviewed by a reporter for The Dallas Morning News after the Scranton story broke exclaimed that “He’s excellent with the young people. …They feel like they can talk with him.”[63] Hmmmm. Let’s see. A pederast who is good with young people and makes them feel that they can communicate and confide in him! Absolutely astonishing!

The same Dallas paper also reported that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has supposedly authorized an ecclesiastical judicial process against Urrutigoity, Ensey and Clay.[64] The reporter said that Fr. Urrutigoity had been recently spotted in the Dallas area. The $64,000 question is whether or not the two accused SSJ priests will flee the country to South America before their trial begins?


New Victim of SSJ Priests Comes Forward


As of August 2004, the jury trial for the John Doe Case scheduled for September 2004 has been postponed.[65] Both the Diocese of Scranton and Bishop Timlin, and the FSSP and St. Gregory’s Academy have filed separate motions for summary judgment, that is, they seek to be dropped as defendants in the case.[66]

Mr. John Zoscak is the latest key witness in the trial. He made his accusation in July 2004. He is the fourth former accuser of Urrutigoity, the first being the Argentinean seminarian, the second Mr. Selinger, and the third, Mr. John Doe.

Mr. Zoscak graduated from St. Gregory’s Academy in 1999 and then entered the SSJ as a novice the following September.[67]

In his affidavit of July 9, 2004, Zoscak stated that during the winter or spring of his second year with the SSJ, Fr. Urrutigoity pressured the youth to sleep in the same bed with him. The priest attempted to remove the novice’s misgivings by telling him that he held a puritanical attitude and that this was due to a bad relationship with his father. For the first months nothing happened, said Zoscak. Then one night, the priest grabbed his private parts. The boy resisted the priest’s attentions and Urrutigoity took his hands away.

Zoscak said he only told one member of the SSJ about the incident.

Urrutigoity later told Zoscak not to tell anyone what happened and that the incident was an accident. In the summer of 2004, when Zoscak went to the District Attorney’s office to report the abuse he was told that criminal prosecution was barred because of the statute of limitations.[68]

It is significant that in an August 29, 2004 interview with the Scranton Times Tribune, Bethlehem attorney Joseph Leeson, who represents St. Gregory’s Academy and the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter’s, stated that aside from the John Doe complaint, there have been no specific allegations of improper activity that in any way involved the school. “Nothing happened at the school and we question whether anything happened at all,” Leeson said. “This is the only student at the school, as far as we know, who ever made this allegation.”[69]

Apparently the FSSP and St. Gregory’s are still in denial.

Attorney James Bendell did win a victory for his client, Mr. John Doe, when the Judge John E. Jones ruled that the psychological evaluations on Fathers Urrutigoity and Ensey from Southdown Institute in Canada, where the two priests were examined, be handed over to Bendell albeit under strict rules of confidentiality.

The priests have filed an appeal of the ruling.

Although Bishop Timlin had ordered the evaluations as part of the standard procedure regulating priests charged with the sexual abuse of minors, he later claimed he never actually saw the reports and therefore, under the law, the documents are protected by doctor-patient privilege. The priests’ attorney has claimed that the priests never signed release forms.[70]

In October 2002, attorney Bendell filed more than 150 pages of Bishop Timlin’s deposition for the John Doe case that had been taken shortly before his retirement. Bishop Timlin tried to justify the unjustifiable.

Bishop Timlin is still attempting to arrange loans for the Society of St. John to pay off their huge debt - after all someone has to pay for the $134,000 worth of luxurious furniture the Society purchased that included a $6,828 bar, a $2,885 cocktail table, a $7,845 entertainment center, a $12,995 desk, a $15,000 bedroom set, and a $26,480 dining table. To date the SSJ has squandered at least $5,000,000 given by Catholic donors to build God’s City and the College of St. Justin Martyr. Are Scranton Catholics willing to pick up the SSJ’s expense tab without a full accounting by Bishop Timlin?[71]

Sadly, while Bishop Timlin has obviously had difficulty in suppressing the criminal elements in the Society of St. John, he has nevertheless found the will and way to suppress the College of St. Justin Martyr even though its officers were innocent of any wrong doing.[72] At one point, Timlin offered to grant the college canonical status in the Scranton Diocese if Bond stopped his campaign against the Society of St. John (an offer made to other witnesses, not Dr. Bond directly). Timlin has since denied ever making the offer. 

In his  “Sixth Open Letter” to Bishop Timlin sent out on July 27, 2002, Dr. Jeffrey Bond opened the door to the hereto unasked burning question that goes to the heart of the SSJ scandal. Is Bishop Timlin himself a homosexual whose secret vice has opened him up to blackmail by the Society of St. John? This is a very relevant question given the role that extortion and blackmail have played in the ecclesiastical career of other homosexual American bishops and cardinals. Perhaps we will get a definitive answer to this question when the John Doe Case goes to trial. 


Bishop Martino Suppresses SSJ


Bishop James Timlin retired from the Scranton Diocese on July 25, 2003.

He was replaced by Joseph Francis Martino, a former Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, consecrated by Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua.

On November 19, 2004 Bishop Martino issued a canonical decree of suppression against the Society of St. John. The decision to suppress the Society was based primarily on financial grounds and the SSJ’s inability to achieve its stated aim in the six-years of its existence.[73] The decree was published in the diocesan paper, The Catholic Light, on November 25, 2004.

Bishop Martino has since turned the matter over to the Holy See, which will have the last word on the SSJ.

Members of the Society are currently in Rome attempting to have the decree overturned. Fr. Urrutigoity has been seen in Rome wearing a cassock even though he has been suspended from ministry.[74]

Further, the Society sent out a 2004 Christmas financial appeal after the decree of suppression was issued. The appeal letter states that the Society of St. John “is alive and well.”[75] 

The Society of St. John fraud continues.

As for the FSSP, it should consider closing down St. Gregory’s Academy.

To repeat the warning of St. Anthony Marie Claret, “the only morally certain solution” to the moral corruption of a religious institute is to close it down and send the students and staff home. If the institute is to be reconstituted, it will need “an entirely new faculty, students, and priestly support to do so; this is so because there are always relationships which will never be discovered, and if these are present in the new foundation, the conspiracy will be renewed,” said St. Claret.

One final note. Alan Hicks, the former headmaster of St. Gregory’s Academy, has been hired as the principal of Gateway Academy, a Legionnaires of Christ school in Chesterfield, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. His appointment as head of still another Catholic private boy’s school after his scandalous performance at St. Gregory’s and his protection of the criminal pederasts of the Society of St. John, offers a perfect introduction to the unresolved scandal surrounding the Legionnaires’ founder Father Marcial Maciel.


[1] From the March 28, 2002 statement on the SSK scandal by Rev. Richard A. Munkelt. The full text is available at http://www.saintjustinmartyr.org/news/ReverendMunkeltsStatement(1).html. Fr. Munkelt joined the SSJ as a deacon in September 1999. He was ordained into the priesthood by Bishop James Timlin of Scranton for service in the SSJ. He later resigned from the SSJ and is currently a priest of the Scranton Diocese. Fr. Munkelt was one of the first to expose the fraudulent nature of the Society’s land development scheme. He also expressed concern about the particular relationships that members of the SSJ were developing with young men including graduates of St. Gregory’s Academy, although he did not make any association between these actions and homosexual activity until a later date.

[2] Lawsuit was filed on March 21, 2002 in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania, No. 3:CV 02-0444 by attorneys James E. Bendell of Washington State and Douglas A. Clark of Peckville, Pa. 

[3] The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter or (FSSP) was erected in 1988 by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. Its founders were originally members of the Society of St. Pius X or Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Pii X  (SSPX). The Society of St. Pius X is an international Catholic society of Roman Catholic priests founded on November 1, 1970 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and approved by the Vatican on February 18, 1971. The FSSP split from the SSPX occurred after Lefebvre consecrated four Bishops without permission from the Holy See.  Unlike the Society of St. John that is a “Public Association of the Faithful,” the FSSP is a Pontifical Association directly responsible to the Holy Father. Priests of the SSPX, FSSP and the SSJ say the traditional Latin Mass exclusively. At the time of the alleged abuse of John Doe, Fr. Arnaud Devillers, was the District Superior of the FSSP for North America District Headquarters located in Elmhurst (Moscow), PA, and Fr. Joseph Bisig was the Superior General in Rome. The present District Superior is Fr. Paul Carr. The FSSP numbers 105 priests and has two international seminaries and 140 seminarians.

[4] See Code of Canon Law, 1983, Book II, The People Of God, Chapter II: Public Associations of Christ’s Faithful, Can. 312- Can. 320 at http://www.deacons.net/Canon_Law/book_2.htm.

[5] Ibid.

[6] See www.ssjohn.com/.

[7] The SSJ “Founding Document” is available at http://www.ssjohn.com/library/founding.html.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[17] Ibid. The decision was approved by Fr. Joseph Bisig, the FSSP Superior General in Rome and Bishop Timlin.

[18] Affidavit of Jude A. Huntz signed on Feb. 15, 2002 at: http://www.saintjustinmartyr.org/news/LetterOfAffidavotHuntz.html.

[19] The English-born Fr. Paul Carr was ordained a FSSP priest in 1992 and served as a member of the faculty at the FSSP’s Our Lady of Guadeloupe Seminary and a chaplain at St. Gregory’s Academy. In 2000, Carr became the District Superior of the North American FSSP.

[20] Huntz affidavit.

[21] See Brief of Plaintiffs in Opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgement Filed by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and St. Gregory’s Academy filed on July 16, 2004 by James Bendell, Co-counsel for Plaintiffs. Case No: 3CV 02-0444.

[22] See Mr. Jeffrey Bond’s Letter of Warning to St. Gregory Parents at:  http://www.saintjustinmartyr.org/news/LetterWarningToStGregorysParents.html.

[23] Ibid.

[24] See http://www.saintjustinmartyr.org/news/LetterOfAffidavitHornak.html.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid. Fr. Daniel Fullerton served for a short period as the Superior of the Society of St. John, but he was only a figure head. The real power in the order has always been Fr. Urrutigoity.

[28] Letter of January 27, 2002 from Brother Alexis Bugnolo to RCF in response to its press release of January 15, 2002 on the SSJ scandal. The complete text is posted at www.saintjustinmartyr.org/news/LetterFromBugnolo.html. See also http://www.saintjustinmartyr.org/news/BrBugnolosResponse.html. Brother Bugnolo is not a friar, but has taken private vows to observe the Rule of St. Francis in accordance with canon 1191.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] See http://www.saintjustinmartyr.org/news/LetterWarningToStGregorysParents.html.

[32] See brief of Plaintiffs filed July 16, 2004.

[33] See www.saintjustinmartyr.org/news/LetAffidavitSciambra.html.

[34] Affidavit of a Former Novice of the SSJ on March 3, 2002 at


[35] Affidavit of Mr. Joseph Girod written from Valbonne, France on Sept. 15, 2002 at:


[36] Ibid.

[37] Communication from Dr. Jeffrey Bond to author dated August 24, 2004.

[38] Letter of Nov. 10, 2002 to Bishop Timlin from Mr. Conal Tanner.

[39] Affidavit of Diane Toler of Cherry Hill, NJ on May 6, 2002 at


[40] See http://www.saintjustinmartyr.org/news/CarlosUrrutigoityinLaReja.htm. Fr. Morello was rector of the SSPX seminary in La Reja from 1981-1988. He is currently the rector of a group called “Campania de Jesus y de Maria” located in the Andes.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Terrie Morgan-Sesecker, “Accuser to get reports in priests,” March 24, 2004, Times Leader.

[46] Ibid.

[47] Deposition of Matthew Selinger in Civil Action No. 02-0444 in Pittsburgh, PA on October 24, 2003.

[48] Ibid.

[49] See Tillett, The Elder Brother.

[50] Selinger eventually left the seminary, married and settled in California to raise a family. When it became known that he would likely be subpoenaed  to testify against Fr. Urrutigoity in the Case of John Doe, Fr. Eric Ensey who helped found the SSJ and who replaced Urrutigoity as spiritual advisor for a time at St. Thomas in Winona,  paid a visit to Selinger and attempted to persuade him to leave the country to prevent him from being called as a witness against Urrutigoity. He told the former seminarian that Urrutigoity had “a medical protocol” about the penis. He said that if the priest-founder went down he would take him (Ensey) and the whole Order down with him. When these arguments failed to move Selinger, Ensey said that Urrutigoity’s lawyer had connections to the Mafia – a suggestion that implied that harm might come to Selinger or his family if he testified against the priest. Selinger said he had no intention of leaving his wife and children to escape a subpoena and showed Ensey the door. 

[51] Jeffrey Bond Fourth Open Letter of May 19, 2002 to Bishop Timlin, Diocese of Scranton at:


[52] Affidavit of Jude A. Huntz.

[53] Ibid.

[54] Deposition of Fr. Carlos R. Urrutigoity, May 2, 2003 in Scranton, Federal Doe Case No. 2000 Civil 2961. He was deposed under oath by attorney Jim Bendell.

[55] Depositions of Stephen Fitzpatrick and Patrick McLaughlin taken by Attorney James Bendell on Nov. 10, 2003. See summary comments by Dr. Jeffrey Bond at http://runningoff.blogspot.com/2004_09_05_runningoff_archive.html.

[56] Jeffrey M. Bond, “An Open letter to Bishop James C. Timlin,” Diocese of Scranton, January 27, 2002. In addition to calling for the laicization of Fathers Urrutigoity and Ensey, Bond demanded that there be an independent investigation of all other members of the Society including Fathers Daniel Fullerton, Basel Sarweh, Dominic Carey, Dominic O’Connor, Marshall Roberts, Bernardo Terrere, and Deacons Joseph Levine and James Lane.

[57] See Jeffrey M. Bond, “An Open letter to Bishop James C. Timlin, Diocese of Scranton,” January 27, 2002.  

[58] See Lawsuit March 21, 2002 in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania.

[59] St. Joseph’s House and Fatima House were two homes that bordered the SSJ property. The owners permitted the SSJ to use occupy the homes rent free. However, when they were informed of the financial and criminal activities of Urrutigoity, Ensey and other SSJ priests, the owners evicted the order. 

[61] According to Mark Pazuhanich, former Monroe County District Attorney who was handling the Clay Case in May 2002, the investigation into the charges against Clay was continuing. However, the current District Attorney, E. David Christine, Jr. has reported that the Clay file is missing from the office (but can be reconstructed if necessary) and his office had no knowledge of the case. As it turns out, Mark Pazuhanich is under investigation for sexual molestation. See Bonnie Adams and Mark Guydish, “Ex-bishop: Priest OK’d for duty,” Times-Leader, 4 July 2004.

[62] Ibid.

[63] Susan Hogan Albach, “Accused priest led Mass in Arlington,” The Dallas Morning News, 30 June 2004.

[64] Ibid.

[65] See Lawsuit March 21, 2002 in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania.

[66] Brief of Plaintiffs in Opposition to the Motion for Summary Judgement Filed by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and St. Gregory’s Academy on July 16, 2004 by James Bendell, Co-counsel for Plaintiffs. Case No: 3CV 02-0444.

[67] See online letter dated November 1999 by Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, “Dearly Beloved of Our Lady..” on the initiation rites of John Zosack at: http://www.ssjohn.com/news/update_99_11.html.

[68] A copy of the original Zosack affidavit is available on the PACER website at: www.pacer.psc.uscourts.gov.

[69] David Singleton, “Society of Silence,” and “Deposition Excerpts,” Sunday Times Tribune, 29 August 29, 2004.

[70] Mark Guydish, “What does Timlin know? It’s hard to tell,” Times-Leader, 1 July  2004.

[71] See: http://www.churchcrisis.blogspot.com/ A Second Open Letter to Bishop Joseph F. Martino.

[72] Bond, “An Open letter to Bishop James C. Timlin, Diocese of Scranton,” January 27, 2002.

[73]  Tom Kane, “Scranton Bishop Suppresses Conservative Group,” River Reporter, 2 December 2004 at http://www.riverreporter.com/issues/04-12-02/head3-stjohn.html.                          

[74] A picture of Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity is displayed at the website of PATMOS, a lay corporation of the SSJ formed in 2004. See www.patmos.us. PATMOS markets traditional Catholic items such as prayer books and first communion items. A Child’s Missal shows a photograph of Fr. Urrutigoity offering Mass in a traditional Catholic setting.

[75] Matt C. Abbott, “Will suppressed Catholic group use donated money to relocate to ‘Hell itself’?” 1 December 2004 at http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/abbott/041201.