Founders Who Scandalized the Church

Of the six listed in this article I knew one very well and once visited another one. The year was 1974. I was boarding as a seminarian in Rome at the Norbertine Generalate House where Father van Straaten lived. Forty-seven years later I am stunned to read what follows below. That year I also visited then Brother Gino who I found very odd even though at the time I believed his false claim of having the stigmata. In fact I went to Father van Straaten’s office to see if he could convince the pope to stop Jesus Christ Superstar from being played in Rome. I was surprised to see him in non-clerical garb. He did agree that the opera and movie were blasphemous when I handed him a foglio of the lyrics. But nothing happened. The pope himself viewed part of the film according to L’Osservatore Romano as I remember.

Crux, John Allen: This week the name of the late Father Werenfried van Straaten, a Dutch priest who founded “Aid to the Church in Need” in 1952 to aid persecuted Christians, was added to the distressingly long list of founders of new entities in the Catholic Church who’ve turned out to have feet of clay. Read here in full.