Secrets of St. Patrick's Cathedral and its Masters
A Guest Document
Originally published in 2012
The author, who was known to us and who is now finally Resting in
Peace, was Baptized in St. Patrick's Cathedral parish and was one of
few resident parishioners as a very young child. His professional life
was intertwined with some of the components of the offering of Divine
Liturgy, so he knows, first hand, he speaks about - from the 'inside'
and the 'outside'.
We have known the author for years and have no reason whatsoever to
doubt his words. Perhaps his unexpected and unexplainable death may add
even more credence to what he wrote since he had been persecuted for
some years. He seemed to have known 'too much'.
There are actually two purposes for this document: (a) Share an inside
view most Faithful never see; and (b) How the "glitteratti" manipulates
the destitute according to their world agenda; an agenda which is at
cross-purposes with that of Jesus Christ and which drives Christians
away from Catholicism.
In the Roman Catholic Church, a parish is the lowest
ecclesiastical geographical subdivision. A parish needs two things
under common law to become a parish. First, a body of Catholics within a fixed
boundary and a named priest with responsibility for that parish.
(1) It is a
We find this citation in the present Code of Canon Law:
518 As a general rule a parish is to
be territorial, that is, one which includes all the Christian faithful
of a certain territory. When
it is expedient, however, personal parishes are to be established
determined by reason of the rite, language, or nationality of the
Christian faithful of some territory, or even for some other reason."
The definition given in the 2nd sentence above applies to either
Eastern Rite or so-called "national parishes", which have no geographic
boundaries. But those are exceptional cases.
point: the purpose for the existence of a parish is to serve the
spiritual needs of Catholics who
reside within it.
Catholics are not now required to attend the parish church in which
they reside (i.e. they may attend another); though in the past they
were. The following distinctions are made for statistical purposes:
The total number of Catholics living within the territorial boundaries
of the parish (as per surveys), and....
(b) The total number of
registered parishioners (i.e. Catholics resident in the parish
boundaries who are literally registered as members of the parish).
In many cases A usually far exceeds B. The total average Sunday mass
attendance is usually a subset or percentage of B, e.g. 1000 registered
parishioners, with 600 coming to mass on average Sundays. But if 200 of
these do not reside in the parish boundaries, they are technically,
i.e. canonically, not parishioners. For a non-resident to register as a
parishioner is technically 'cheating'.
A Cathedral is the "seat" of the Ordinary of a Diocese (Bishop or
Archbishop). While most Cathedrals in the US and Europe were originally
established as parish churches, the present day reality is that many of them are either virtually
empty on Sunday, or are tourist attractions. In either case,
they tend to have few resident parishioners. While there are some
exceptions to this, they are rare. Thus many Cathedrals today exist
largely for ceremonial reasons; and/or as cultural, historical
The result is the inverse of the hypothetical figures given above: in many Cathedrals the actual numbers of
resident parishioners is a tiny fraction of Sunday Mass attendance.
Point: many Cathedrals, regardless of actual attendance or
funding, do not justify their existence - as they do not serve a significant
resident base of Catholics. Yet - as we shall see - they are
treated as pampered pets, while other parishes are treated as stray
That is the case with the most famous Cathedral in the Western
Hemisphere: St. Patrick's
Cathedral in New York City. It's average Sunday mass attendance
is some 14,000 +. Yet it has
only around 100 +/- resident parishioners. (3) Its parish elementary
school closed in 1942. For all practical intent, it ceased to function
as a real parish church well over 50 years ago. It's Rectory has no
parish hall, and no large group
It is a museum. A religious 'tourist trap'. Many if not most of those
who attend mass there are either non-Catholic... or non Christians, who
are there "for the show". Were the hotel/tourist trade to vanish from
Manhattan, this Cathedral would be largely empty. The illusion of
filled pews (or standing room only) masks this reality. (4)
With an estimated 5.5
million visitors annually - most of whom either put money in the
collection plate, or 'poor box', or when lighting a candle, it annual
income must be considerable. Yet a priest on its staff told this writer
with a straight face: "...we have no
"St. Patrick's Cathedral (NYC ) to Undergo a three-year, $177 Million Renovation..." (5)(6)
Note: with $177
million US, about 3.5
million people could each be given $50 worth of food.
"“I'm talking about survival”,
(Cardinal Timothy Dolan) said in an interview last week. “If
we don't do something substantive for St. Patrick's Cathedral, in four
or five years we're going to have to close it, because it will be
Although he has raised $45 million for the
impending renovation of the cathedral from the Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of New York, the cathedral trustees (7) and individual donors,
he's still $132
million short of the total needed. (8)
Note: both the
photos and video on the cathedral web site and personal observations
from recent visits indicate that its interior is anything but shabby or
In long professional dealings with clergy, this writer has noted much
overt and intentional duplicity. Further, that in many cases a parish
with "no money" will see its physical plant intentionally allowed to
deteriorate (thus driving many parishioners away in disgust). But Lo!
Upon the arrival of an OD friendly pastor (and a pre-arranged 'signal'
from the Chancery), money will magically flow from the heavens.
Even assuming the legitimate need for all of this work at the cathedral
(which may be dubious, except perhaps for exterior safety repairs) (9) - the unmitigated gall
of Dolan is appalling. His Blindness to the spiritual reality of the
End of these Times. And the
very real physical needs of the poor in his Archdiocese.
But when a poor Black parish in the South Bronx (10)(11) desperately needed
funds to repair their church, both Cardinals Dolan and Egan denied them
funding. For them "there is no
money". Leading to a
similar self-fulfilling prophecy: that the church would become
unsafe, and thus be closed. This has been done again and again -
to poor, non-White parishes.
"If we have a church that
demographically is now — the people are gone — we have to make a
decision. Are we going to utilize our money serving souls and serving
people, and expanding the church in areas where the growth is? Or are
we going to maintain buildings for — however laudably it might be —
artistic and cultural and historic purposes?..."
Check: that is precisely the case with the Cathedral - it has
virtually NO resident parishioners. It exists as an icon, a pretty
ceremonial site for the affluent members of the Knights of Malta,
Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, Knights of St. Lazarus, et. al. who hold
their rituals there. To use Dolan's words, it only exists for
"artistic, cultural, and historic purposes". (12)(13)(14)
"The Catholic Church, capital C,
needs renewal, restoration and repair, because we've been through a
lot, O.K.? We've got a
wheelbarrow full of problems and tensions and
scandal. There's a lot of soot all over the Church, with a
So St. Patrick's — as it was an icon for the grandeur and the
permanence and the radiance of the Church, with John Hughes — now it
could be an icon of a Church that needs revival, restoration and
To which Jesus responds:
to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you make clean the
outside of the cup and of the dish, but within you are full of rapine
and uncleanness. Thou blind Pharisee, first make clean the inside of
the cup and of the dish, that the outside may become clean. Woe
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you are like to whited
sepulchres, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are
full of dead men's bones, and of all filthiness. So you also outwardly
indeed appear to men just; but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and
iniquity." (Matthew 23: 25-28)
Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
(Accessed in 2012)
(3) From conversations with
cathedral staff members, including one
former rector. Within the parish boundaries there is very little
residential housing. It is mostly office towers and commercial
properties (stores). Any real residential base was lost prior to W.W.
becoming the Madison Avenue advertising district in the 1920s, and
Rockefeller Center (22 acres) in the 1930s.
(4) Thus a question is posed:
how many of the crowds coming to
daily/Sunday masses and receiving Holy Communion.... are Catholic? Or
even cognizant of what they are doing?
(Accessed in 2012)
(6) Source (Accessed in 2012)
web site asserts "more than 500 families are registered as
parishioners". Even if true, only a fraction reside within the
As with other parishes, this number will include former parishioners
who moved away but still contribute.
If you want to find out the identity of the 'Trustees of St. Patrick's
Cathedral', good luck! It is a mystery greater then that of the Sphinx.
Yet the 'Trustees' operate both the present and the original Old St.
Patrick's Cathedral (in Little Italy),
Calvary and Allied Cemeteries, along with other obscure corporate
entities. Such as the "NYC Orphan Asylum", and other assets.
(Accessed in 2012)
personal observation, the 'approved diocesan contractors' are sometimes
only one step above the Mafia. Shoddy workmanship, intentionally
inflated contract prices (with the clergy getting a "cut") are the
norm. In contrast, a similar
project (e.g. painting) done for a Protestant church will usually cost
a fraction of that charged to a Catholic church
of comparable size. It is also standard practice to exaggerate, if not
invent, 'problems' which require major capital projects. Hence, the
'minor repair' requiring vast sums to fix.
(Accessed in 2012)
(Accessed in 2012)
Archdiocese knowingly allowed this church to deteriorate over some 40
years, and a string of pastors It has now closed the parish, despite
its Sunday attendance of 350. Yet many nearby mainline Protestant
churches are lucky to get 30 on a Sunday.
(Accessed in 2012)
(13) Source (Accessed in 2012)
The young adult program at the
Cathedral has overt ties to Opus
Dei, and its various ancillary operations.... and draws young people
from all over the city.
(14) Video of the most
recent Sunday High Mass (Accessed in 2012) Note the obvious
wandering the aisles before and during mass, as if it were Disneyland.
Sure, the pews fill up, but how many of these actually are Catholic? Or
believe.... anything? Those able to view the entire video will find it
Published on April 15th, 2012 -
Mercy Sunday and 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic
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