By Michael Baumann
It strikes me as odd that the website of a “Roman Catholic Mission” would post correspondence laden with hate, distortion, personal attacks, and falsehoods. The schismatic organization’s website is used as a launching pad for letters to officials of the Diocese of Harrisburg, editors and other individuals who have seen fit to have an opinion that differs from the lay leadership of the mission, notably, Dr. David M. Drew. Dr. Drew signs his correspondence as the chairman of the mission. Dr. Drew has a particular penchant for declaring that his detractors have some deeply rooted psychological problem (although he is quick to state that he is not a psychologist or a psychiatrist) that keeps them from seeing the truth of his religious diatribes. He uses his mission’s website to belittle and dismiss while wrapping himself in the cloak of a defender of the one true Catholic Faith. If you want to read some of his rambling epistles may I recommend the following:
- In response to an Announcement for the Diocese of Harrisburg Dr. Drew takes issue with the Diocese and in the last paragraph infers that one of the Bishop’s advisors is incompetent (of course he is incompetent, he has an opinion that differs with Dr. Drew!).
- In another, he calls the same advisor a “Canon Liar” (those are fighting words!)
- Another missive comes at the same advisor’s expense. This one calls the advisor ” a liar, a calumniator, a Pharisee, he is a disgrace to the priesthood and his office.” I had to look up “Calumniator.” I think Dr. Dave’s thesaurus gets quite the workout.
You get the point. Other letters and articles are available for review if you have the time and inclination to sort through the combative and dismissive prose favored by Dr. Drew. What I have found, and it seems especially true here, is that the more shrill the messenger, the more lost the message. That is as true of Dr. Drew’s rants against anyone with an opinion contrary to his as it is with another leader of a congregation that embraces the practice of personal attacks to show its love of God and the compassion of its leaders. The Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka Kansas comes to mind. There seems to be a similar playbook in use. The fact remains that Dr. Drew has hired, for his “Mission,” at least two priests over the years who have been ordered to stop representing themselves as priests and have been prohibited from active ministry by the Diocese of Scranton because of credible allegations of deviant sexual misconduct. The two priests are Father Marshall Roberts and Father Gabriel Tetherow. Tetherow is still active at the “mission.” While Dr. Drew is quick to attack me and others as being cowards and liars or declaring that we are suffering from deeply rooted psychological problems, he has no problem hiring deviant priests who have been kicked to the curb for their perverted activities. It is from these gutters that Chairman Drew recruits his clergy. Funny, Chairman Drew is quick to assail his detractors, but he is willing to allow predator priests to be in the company of his congregation’s children. I guess that speaks more to his values than any of the venom and vitriol he has spit onto the website of his Mission. Perhaps people would be more sympathetic and supportive of the reasons for establishing this Mission if the message conveyed from the mission’s website was respectful, compassionate and solidly rooted in the faith that mission’s congregation seems to profess. For now, the public face of the mission is one of intolerance. I hope the members of the group take that negative public face into consideration when selecting their next chairman. Dr. Drew seems to feel that my problem is that I do not practice my faith. Perhaps the problem is that he does not live his. I will let you know what else comes up, other people have taken an interest in looking into the workings of this organization and its sympathetic hiring practices towards pedophiles and fans of child pornography.