Thank you, Fr. Hewko, for your courage in doing the right thing.
Thank you, Fr. Hewko, for your courage in doing the right thing.
In the video below, Ambrose Moran shows his ignorance of both sacramental theology and the case of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in doubting the episcopal consecration of Archbishop Lefebvre. My question at this point is whether Mr. Pablo Hernandez, who has promoted this fraud and liar, will publicly apologize for such promotion and for the denigration of those who have opposed Ambrose Moran. After all, Ambrose Moran has now publicly attacked the modern day St. Athanasius of the Catholic Resistance and the very priests that Mr. Hernandez works with. What say you, Mr. Hernandez?
This following video contains the official and final statement of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Seminary in Boston, Kentucky regarding Ambrose Moran.
In this post, I expressed great dissatisfaction with the first communication of Fr. Pfeiffer regarding his putting a stop to using Ambrose Moran’s episcopal services. Since then, a new communication was posted on January 23, 2019 that included the first communication with additional material. Let us more closely examine some parts of this new communication.
“After a long investigation, it is concluded that while the Archbishop is a valid Bishop….”
How did Fr. Pfeiffer come to this conclusion with certainty? The truth is that, even if we grant that Ambrose Moran was consecrated by schismatic bishops, we cannot have a moral certitude that he is a valid bishop without the competent Church authorities thoroughly investigating his case. See here and here for more information regarding this matter. Ahh, but according to Fr. Pfeiffer, Ambrose Moran was consecrated a bishop in 1976 by Bishop Hryhorij, who was Catholic at the time, at the Holy Protection Cathedral. There were even, again according to Fr. Pfeiffer, other Catholic bishops who acted as co-consecrators at the same ceremony.
“….there are nonetheless unexplained anomalies related to his case which have not been able to be verified as true since evidence points in multiple directions in these anomalies. Ample time has been given to clear up these anomalies, but the results are inconclusive. Proper sufficient ecclesiastical authentication is therefore lacking. Hence, the Archbishop cannot be used in his episcopal powers for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Seminary.”
Hold on. Fr. Pfeiffer started off asserting that Ambrose Moran is a valid bishop. Then he proceeds with putting into question that which he had just asserted as true. Well, is he a valid bishop or not? If he is a valid bishop consecrated by Catholic bishops, then what’s the problem? After all, it cannot be a show stopper that he is a liar because Fr. Pfeiffer, as attested by others, has stated that even if Ambrose Moran was found to have lied about being consecrated a bishop by Cardinal Slipyj, that would not stop him from using his ministerial services. On the other hand, if he is not a valid bishop, then what are these anomalies that put into question his validity? I think it is only fair that Fr. Pfeiffer brings forth these anomalies after spending so much time in sermons, conferences, and private discussions asserting that Ambrose Moran is a valid bishop and even criticizing those who questioned this assertion.
The communication in the video then proceeds with reiterating the first communication followed by thanksgiving to those who have helped investigate the Ambrose Moran case and then making an apology. I found the bolded word (emphasis mine) peculiar in the apology:
“As for myself, I am sorry for any of my failings in this matter as well. I do not wish to turn down the gifts of Our Lady or to move forward rashly, hence the slow movement forward in this case.”
Should that not read “did“? I am fairly certain that the communication would have been proofread over and over again before publication. That the disassociation from Ambrose Moran is final and no longer open for debate is stated in the communication in the video, but it was not stated in the same communication posted on The Catacombs Forum. Hmm. Strange.
After reading this final communication, the question is:
Is this communication sufficient to support again the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and Seminary for those who withdrew support?
I do not believe so. Here are my reasons:
1. I do not believe that this is a sincere retraction. Up until a couple of weeks ago, Fr. Pfeiffer was moving in the direction to further use Ambrose Moran for his episcopal services. I say “further” because remember that he used Ambrose Moran to conditionally ordain Fr. Poisson in July 2018. Fr. Pfeiffer heated up his promotion and defence of Ambrose Moran over the last few months despite the fact that priests and faithful, including mission coordinators, were trying to convince him otherwise. It was only when Fr. Hewko made his threat to leave OLMC did Fr. Pfeiffer stop. Furthermore, the first communication, which was awful, was all that Fr. Pfeiffer was originally going to issue. It was only after being pressed did he issue the second communication.
2. The conditions that caused Fr. Pfeiffer to bring Ambrose Moran back from the dead have not gone away. Remember that in November 2015 OLMC made a declaration that it would not associate with Ambrose Moran. Many of us came back after leaving at that time on the trust and hope that Ambrose Moran was gone for good. Fr. Pfeiffer broke our trust by, without prior announcement, having Ambrose Moran conditionally ordain Fr. Poisson. Now, the same as in 2015, Fr. Pfeiffer needs a bishop for his apostolate and seminary. The situation will only get more desperate from here forward. All Fr. Hewko did was place a stopgap measure in the process. Therefore, I don’t believe Ambrose Moran is gone for good. And as the saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”
3. Faced with the facts as was Mr. Gregory Taylor, who was commissioned by Fr. Pfeiffer himself to investigate the Ambrose Moran case, the only prudent outcome is to call Ambrose Moran what he is, a liar. Instead, Fr. Pfeiffer uses weak terms like “inconclusive”. The reality is that Fr. Pfeiffer should denounce Ambrose Moran for the liar he is and to reject his ministerial services even if it can be proven with a moral certitude that he is a valid bishop. We do not need shady characters like Ambrose Moran in the Resistance.
4. In addition to denouncing Ambrose Moran, there should be some form of reparation made on the part of OLMC. First of all, to use Ambrose Moran for the conditional ordination of Fr. Poisson is, objectively speaking, an act of sacrilege because there is not a moral certitude that Ambrose Moran is a valid bishop. And even if there was a moral certitude that he is a valid bishop, the same conditional ordination would still be morally reprehensible, if not also an act of sacrilege, because Ambrose Moran to this day refuses to publicly admit and repent of his public schismatic past. Secondly, OLMC has done much damage to the unity of the Resistance with this Ambrose Moran affair (and for the second time). Next to Bishop Williamson’s public statement about the moral acceptability of actively attending the Novus Ordo Mass under certain circumstances, I would place the Ambrose Moran affair second, perhaps even a close second, in the detrimental effect it has had on the unity of the Resistance. Thirdly, Fr. Pfeiffer should not state that “this disassociation is final and not open for debate” if by this he means that he will no longer discuss the reasons for the sudden disassociation. After ramming Ambrose Moran down our throats, causing so much havoc, and criticizing those who provided opposition, elaborating on the “anomalies” seems to be a matter of justice.
Let us continue to keep watch and pray!
After shoving Ambrose Moran down on our throats as a true Catholic bishop over and over again publicly and through countless hours of private discussions, this is the statement we get from Fr. Pfeiffer? There is one thought that came to my mind after reading it:
I thank Mr. Taylor for standing up for the truth despite his loyalty to Fr. Pfeiffer and OLMC. Good work!
The following is the link to Mr. Taylor’s report on Ambrose Moran:
Praise be to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph on this Feast of the Holy Family!
“Dear Faithful, we must pray! We all suffer in this diabolical disorientation that Our Lady of Fatima warned about affecting the entire Church. Regarding Bp. Ambrose Moran, I notified Fr. Pfeiffer that if OLMC has not disassociated publicly from him within a week, I will be obliged to leave. For many reasons this is a dead end. Please offer your Rosaries to Our Blessed Mother for Her intercession!”
[Received from Fr. David Hewko, January 13, 2019]
According to Ambrose Moran in the following video, I have excommunicated myself because I have “insulted, slandered, and attacked a bishop”. I suppose he means that I have incurred the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae (i.e., ipso facto or automatically). Yet, Ambrose Moran does not cite one canon of the 1917 Code of Canon Law (or even the 1983 Code for that matter) to support his claim. Instead, he uses general terms such as “most ancient canons of the Church” or “the canons of the Holy Apostles”. If one is to make such a claim, then please back it up with specific canons of the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law. Otherwise, such a claim cannot be taken seriously.
Even if a Catholic accepts that Ambrose Moran, who claims to be a Catholic, was consecrated a bishop by an Orthodox bishop and not by a Catholic bishop, he must keep in mind that when it comes to individual cases, he must take the safest approach before receiving the sacraments from him lest he commits the sin of sacrilege. I wrote about the validity of Orthodox orders here. In summary of that post, Ambrose Moran’s consecration by an Orthodox bishop must be investigated by the competent Church authorities to determine the validity of that consecration. Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer is not a competent authority to conduct such an investigation, especially given that he has a vested interested in proving that Ambrose Moran’s consecration was indeed valid. No. Until the competent Church authorities investigate the case of Ambrose Moran, if they ever do, a Catholic must treat Ambrose Moran as a layman.
The September 2007 issue of The Angelus has a good article on page 27 titled “Ought Priests of the Conciliar Church to Be ‘Re-ordained’ When They Come to Tradition”. The portion of that article that applies to this post is #2, which reads as such:
Therefore, even if a Catholic believes that a sacrament is probably valid, he must not receive that sacrament. Otherwise, he commits a sacrilege. One must have a moral certitude that the sacrament is valid before receiving it. Since Ambrose Moran was ordained and consecrated by an Orthodox bishop(s) and not by a Catholic bishop, one cannot have a moral certitude regarding the validity of his priestly or episcopal orders. Therefore, one must not receive the sacraments from him unless the competent Church authorities investigate and determine that his orders are indeed valid.
“To Archbishop Gregory of Denver, and to whom it may concern:
I, Archbishop Ambrose (Moran), by this instrument and by my signature affixed hereto, renounce and condemn the heresy of Ecumenism, and in accordance with the 1983 Anathema¹ issued by the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad under Metropolitan Philaret, which is presented herein below, I also anathematize those who profess this heresy: To those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christ‘s Church is divided into so-called ‘branches‘ which differ in doctrine and way of life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all ‘branches‘ or sects or denominations, and even religions will be united into one body, and who do not distinguish the priesthood and Mysteries of the Church from those of the heretics, but say that the baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics, or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their new heresy of Ecumenism under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, Anathema.”
Signed: +Archbishop Ambrose, stamped with his seal.
Dated: October 17/30, 2007.
This is allegedly what Ambrose Moran wrote to Archbishop Gregory of the Genuine Orthodox Church of America in October 2007 when Ambrose Moran was seeking to join him. More can be read about Ambrose Moran’s time with Archbishop Gregory, as narrated by Archbishop Gregory, at the following link:
Now Ambrose Moran, when asked about his involvement with Archbishop Gregory, claims that Archbishop Gregory led him to believe that he wished to be received into the Catholic Church. So, according to Ambrose Moran, his involvement with Archbishop Gregory was to bring him into the Catholic Church. Who, then, are we to believe?
Archbishop Gregory belongs to a group of Orthodox churches known as “Old Calendarists”. They are in the Orthodox world analogous to what Traditional Catholics are in the Catholic world. They reject ecumenism and changes to Orthodox historical teachings and practices. Archbishop Gregory owns Dormition Skete, which his base location. All this information is provided by OrthodoxWiki, which is considered to be the Wikipedia of the Orthodox world.
According to Archbishop Gregory, Ambrose Moran presented these pieces of evidence that he was an Orthodox bishop in an effort to being accepted into the Genuine Orthodox Church of America:
According to Archbishop Gregory, “On Sunday, November 18, 2007, Archbishop Ambrose was received into the Church by joint agreement of Archbishop Gregory of the GOC of America and Archbishop Makarios of the GOC of Greece. The reception of Archbishop Ambrose took place in the Cathedral of the Dormition before all the faithful, where he made his renunciation in public and was chrismated back into the Church.” Archbishop Gregory provided the following pictures as evidence:
According to Archbishop Gregory, “On Sunday, January 6, 2008, the Eve of the Nativity of Christ, Archbishop Gregory and Archbishop Ambrose consecrated to the holy episcopacy Archimandrite George, who was renamed Bishop John. This was conducted in the Cathedral of the Dormition, before all the faithful.” Archbishop Gregory provided pictures in the following link as evidence:
Notice that Archbishop Gregory is the principal consecrator by the fact that he sits and stands in the middle. This thereby also indicates that he is the head of his church:
According to an Orthodox discussion forum in which a thread was posted on November 28, 2007 regarding Ambrose Moran’s alleged reception into the Genuine Orthodox Church of America, Ambrose Moran wrote a letter to his faithful after joining. The following is the link:
The same Orthodox discussion forum publishes another letter in the same thread, allegedly written by Archbishop Gregory, which welcomes Ambrose Moran into the Genuine Orthodox Church of America:
Other independent sources have written about Ambrose Moran’s reception into the Genuine Orthodox Church of America:
1) History of the Orthodox Churches (1924 to 2008) – see Footnote 2 on page 332.
Now note that Ambrose Moran has had many years to refute any of the information provided by Archbishop Gregory or the other sources. For example, you can see in the second picture at the top of this post that Archbishop Gregory has not updated that web page since July 12, 2011. Instead, Ambrose Moran had a website running up until October 2015 in which he asserted that he was an Orthodox bishop in the line of Metropolitan Hryhorij. I wrote about this in the following two links, including showing that Ambrose Moran was indeed the owner of that website:
Point 4 in the following screenshot of the website even makes proud that Metropolitan Hryhorij was an Old Calendarist:
It was in October 2015 that this website was taken down at the behest of Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer, but as you can see, Ambrose Moran did not oppose any claims made by Archbishop Gregory regarding his involvement with the Genuine Orthodox Church of America even though he had plenty of opportunity to do so. It was only when he was questioned in late 2015 that he made his claim that he was involved with Archbishop Gregory in order to convert him to the Catholic Church. And what evidence has Ambrose Moran provided in defence of his claim? It has been only his word.
Therefore, my friends, with all the evidence presented above that Ambrose Moran was involved with Archbishop Gregory precisely as an Orthodox bishop and that there is no evidence to the contrary except the word of Ambrose Moran, what is the likelihood that Archbishop Gregory sought conversion to the Catholic Church with the assistance of Ambrose Moran, then made up everything to support his claims of Ambrose Moran’s involvement with the Genuine Orthodox Church of America, and that no one else picked up on it and reported it? The answer is, “Next to zilch!” Any reasonable person can only conclude that the claim that Archbishop Gregory had a desire to convert to the Catholic Church is an invention of Ambrose Moran, just like he invented his claims of being ordained a priest and consecrated a bishop by Cardinal Slipyj (see here for a presentation regarding this matter).
It is so sad that Ambrose Moran refuses to publicly admit to and repent of his schismatic past, but it is even more sad that Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer has introduced Ambrose Moran as a Catholic bishop ready to continue the true Resistance. Please pray for both of them and all involved with supporting this fraud.
¹Information about the Orthodox 1983 Anathema against Ecumenism may be found at the following links, which demonstrate the Old Calendarists’ (and by extension Archbishop Gregory’s) detestation of the Catholic Church: