May 23, 2006

Seminarian forced to apologize for slamming contraception

We are hitting definite lows lately in the annals of "Catholic" institutions of "higher" education.

Recent example: Loyola Law School's hosting, this June 15-17, of the judge who forced the capital punishment-by-dehydration-and-starvation of Catholic housewife Terri Schiavo last year for her heinous crimes of being disabled and being targeted by her adulterous spouse.

New example: The Minneapolis Star Tribune (click on this post's title) reported yesterday that Catholic seminarian Ben Kessler, 21, has had to apologize publicly because in his honors graduate address to his fellow 2006 graduates of the University of St. Thomas (in St. Paul, Minn.) on Saturday last he called students' use of contraception selfish, upheld the school's anti-cohabitation policy for faculty members and denounced a recent campus food fight.

Kessler, who hopes to be a priest, is a student at St. John Vianney Seminary on the St. Thomas campus. He was a star defensive tackle on the St. Thomas football team and compiled a 4.0 grade average to win Academic All-America football honors.

Kessler's apology came in a statement released by the university -- which leaves no doubt that they forced him to make the apology. Last Saturday, he bravely continued with his speech despite members of the crowd booing, crying (!), calling for him to be thrown off the stage and, when he ripped contraception, actually walking out.

A university spokesman, said the news story, claims that previous honorees "typically" congratulated the graduates and wished them well. Father Dennis Dease, the university's president, "said in a prepared statement Monday that he accepted Kessler's apology and that he regrets that graduates, families and guests were offended."

Father Dease added, "I have shared my sentiments with Mr. Kessler that it was not appropriate for him to use the commencement exercise as a venue to express his opinions on several issues [but it is important for everyone] "to treat one another with respect as we speak and as we listen, regardless of how controversial an issue may be."

Which "issue" and "opinions" do you suppose Father Dease meant were "controversial" -- food fights, or timeless Catholic doctrine against fornication and contraception? No word on whether he -- or Minneapolis-St. Paul Archbishop Harry Flynn, who was at the commencement -- has used the whole occasion to reiterate and defend these Catholic doctrines.

Seems the Archdiocese of Los Angeles might not be the only one in which the words "Humanae Vitae" are never heard.

Let us hope -- and pray -- that no seminary or diocesan officials now deem Ben Kessler "too judgmental," "rigid" and "non-pastoral" to continue toward the priesthood. One thing is for sure -- he has learned that a prophet is without honor in his own country.


Blogger Kenneth Fisher, Founder & CRCOA said...

At last count, the petiton seeking the reinstatement of Fr. Robert Altier by Archbishop Harry Flynn has reached almost 1100 in FIVE DAYS!

When we decide that we have enough signers, we intend to forward copies of these signers to the Holy Father, Cardinal Arinze, and ARCHBISHOP HARRY FLYNN, the same Archbishop who was present when this brave Seminarian gave his valedictorian speech.

To sign this petition, go to:

God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher, Founder & Chairman, Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc.

10:25 PM  
Blogger Kenneth Fisher, Founder & CRCOA said...

On second thought, we will only forward the number of signatories to Archbishop Flynn, not the actual names of those signatories!

Kenneth M. Fisher

10:27 PM  
Blogger Jared said...

Kenneth, feel free to tell Flynn my name. He won't know me, so it's not a big deal, but I really wouldn't care if he did.

Quintero: this is absulutely ridiculous. I hope Mr. Kessler continues to be as courageous and outspoken as he's been in this incident.

11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a rumor going around that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will be getting a Coadjutor Bishop very soon. Look for that and pray that he would o a little house cleaning such as Bishop Finn did in Kansas city Missouri.

We need to give this seminarian and future priest our full support and encouragement. He just went face to face with the beast and did not back down and all the people that were supposed to be on his side turned away and ran for the hills. God Bless him!!

3:05 PM  
Blogger Kenneth Fisher, Founder & CRCOA said...


We must pray for this brave gridiron seminarian, of course, but he unfortunately did back down when he apologized for the truth.

Kenneth Fisher

12:14 AM  
Blogger Kenneth Fisher, Founder & CRCOA said...

The petiton is now at 1250 signers and growing.

If you have not signed on to support this brave spiritual priest, do so now by going to

Kenneth Fisher

12:16 AM  
Blogger Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

You can use my name too. Anonymous? No thanks.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

The seminarian who "apologized."

Either 1. He is not fit to be a priest (who is?) and he's just been busted for his own good or, 2. He is (in the eternal view), and God will use this to teach him.

Wouldn't surprise me in the least if this man, somewhere, in someway, in the future, actually stands up to a firing squad Vivo Christo Rey!

6:32 AM  
Blogger Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

oops, I ment Cristo! (:-))

6:34 AM  
Blogger Kenneth Fisher, Founder & CRCOA said...

CROCA Activity Schedule for June 14-17 Bishops’ Meeting
Milenium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday June 14, 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Demonstration outside Hotel

Thursday, June 15, Volunteer day for those who can, we will supply

Friday at Cathedral, Demonstration 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM

Saturday, June 17, Volunteer day for those who can, help us give
the Bishops a send off at the Hotel 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. We will
supply materials.

All day Thursday and the first 30 minutes Friday will be public
sessions and we encourage true Catholics to be present and
vociferous during this time. We are certain that SNAP and VOTF
will try to dominate this time, and we must be prepared to counter


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12:27 AM  

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