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A Persecuted Priest Speaks Out

Here is a link to a 10-minute on-camera Church Militant interview with Father Paul Kalchik, the Chicago priest who is now in hiding after being tossed from his parish by Cardinal Blase Cupich. [1]Kalchik lost his position after presiding over the burning of a rainbow flag that had a cross stitched on it. In the early 1990s, the gay pastor of Resurrection parish hung it over the altar as a sign that the parish was gay-friendly. After Kalchik and fellow parishioners ritually disposed of the flag recently, the cardinal ordered him removed from the parish, and allegedly commanded him to go to St. Luke’s, a mental health treatment center best known for treating clerical pederasts.

Kalchik fled — he says to avoid being arrested. In the final three minutes of the interview I link to above, Kalchik talks about the death of the gay pastor, Daniel Montalbano, who was found dead in his rectory bedroom of a heart attack in 1997. Kalchik says that three deacons saw Montalbano hooked up to some sort of “sex machine.” Montalbano had walls covered by mirrors. In cleaning out Montalbano’s room, deacons found two closets full of gay pornography — magazines, videos, and so forth. Kalchik says the deacons took them out to be burned, and were ordered by the Archdiocese never to speak of these things.

I posted in this space the other day an excerpt from an archdiocesan document, in which the then vicar for priests, Father Dan Coughlin, made reference to the contents of Montalbano’s closets. “Jesse” is Father Jesse Garza, the priest sent in by the Archdiocese to take temporary custody of the parish:

In his interview, Father Kalchik says that despite knowing the circumstances of Montalbano’s death, the Archdiocese threw a big three-day funeral for him. Such was life in the Archdiocese of Chicago under Cardinal Bernardin. And today, under Cardinal Cupich, a priest has to go into hiding to prevent himself from being ordered to a psychiatric facility against his will, for standing boldly against Montalbano’s filth, and his legacy.

Such is the “mercy” in the Church today. Father Kalchik says in his interview that what’s happening to him — going into hiding to avoid persecution from his bishop — is going to become more normal in the days to come.

I hope Chicago reporters are searching out those deacons to ask them what they saw. I hope Chicago reporters are checking police files to see if a report on Montalbano’s death remains on file.

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68 Comments To "A Persecuted Priest Speaks Out"

#1 Comment By Brett On September 26, 2018 @ 8:57 pm

The “sex machine” reminds of a scene in “Everybody Loves Raymond”. Robert had a Bowflex type exercise machine. Marie (the mother) saw it and said “I know what that is – it’s a sex machine!”.

#2 Comment By Harve On September 26, 2018 @ 9:05 pm

“[NFR: If the cardinal ordered him to leave, and he didn’t go, then the cardinal, I presume, has the right to file charges of trespassing against him. The archdiocese owns that property, not Father Kalchik. — RD]”

Off the top of my head this might be a civil matter requiring a hearing and notices before the sheriff can do an eviction. The police likely wouldn’t want to touch this. As he is actually living there this seems more a landlord – tenant sort of thing.

#3 Comment By Maruerite Ashley On September 26, 2018 @ 9:25 pm

Church Militant posted a September 16 homily by Fr. Kalchik. It is faithful,unflinching, and courageous. Eases my mind about him.
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#4 Comment By Nonna Mouse On September 26, 2018 @ 9:33 pm

@ drk —

There were parishioners who witnessed the threats made to Fr. Kalchik.

#5 Comment By dominic1955 On September 26, 2018 @ 9:35 pm

It shows they can move swiftly and decisively if they want to. Over this? I think a private phone call about a concern about the prudence of such an action would be more than enough.

The problem is-where is this sort of concern and fast-action with all the clerical perverts or heretics? Plenty of records of priests doing and saying things contrary to the Church’s teaching and bishops will say things like, “Oh, but what can I do?!” Bullsh!t. You know you can do practically everything they could do in the old days short of burning them at the stake. Grow a pair.

#6 Comment By savvy On September 26, 2018 @ 10:11 pm

The whole psych evaluation thing, is from the sixties. Anybody who went against the “trend ” of the day, was considered to be inflexible or rigid, and needed to be reprogrammed by seeing a shrink.

This happened to nuns who refused to take off their habits after V2, or were unhappy with their leaders tampering with their constitutions.

Fortunately, for them, they split into two groups, The LCWR and the CMSWR, so they could run their affairs as they saw fit.

I wonder if priests could form a group like this for likeminded orthodox priests? Is this even possible?

#7 Comment By Did the Chicago gay man’s choir sing? On September 26, 2018 @ 10:26 pm

“In his interview, Father Kalchik says that despite knowing the circumstances of Montalbano’s death, the Archdiocese threw a big three-day funeral for him. Such was life in the Archdiocese of Chicago under Cardinal Bernardin.”

Montalbano died in May 1997. Bernardin died in November 1996. George had just become bishop: “Less than a year later, on April 8, 1997, Pope John Paul II appointed George the eighth Archbishop of Chicago to fill a vacancy left by the death of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin on November 14, 1996. He was the first native Chicagoan to assume the office. On May 7 after his appointment, the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio Agostino Cacciavillan installed Archbishop George as Archbishop of Chicago in Holy Name Cathedral.”

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“the Archdiocese threw a big three-day funeral for him” (bet (way) more congregants attended than attended the rainbow banner burning–and how many are still the same? maybe should exorcise the congregation (?))

“A Jewish farewell service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the church at 3043 N. Francisco Ave. A wake service in Spanish will be there at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, and a parish vigil service will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday. Mass will be at 10 a.m. Friday in the church.”
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#8 Comment By BAMinRI On September 26, 2018 @ 10:38 pm

I have been following this story for a week or so now, and would like to offer a few comments and thoughts.

Fr Kalchik announced earlier this month in the parish bulletin that there would be a public burning of the flag in front of the church. This would certainly be taken as a direct insult by the local gay community, and Kalchik was told not to proceed with the burning by Cdl Cupich. Still, the burning was done in a brazier on the side of the church by a small number of parishoners along with the exorcism prayer. Further, Kalchik bragged about this circumvention of Cdl Cupich’s order. (on Twitter, I think).

Needless to say, His Eminence was not amused, and took actions which bring us to where we are today. I haven’t a lot of sympathy for Fr Kalchik. I’m retired after almost 50 yrs in the business world and I think an employee who acted as Kalchik did has only himself to blame for being fired!

#9 Comment By Fran Macadam On September 26, 2018 @ 11:44 pm

‘To be sure, since the late 80s I’ve lived in the ecclesiastically lax Pacific Northwest.’

Nothing and no one could be more ecclesiastically lax than the rogue hierarchy itself. They really have revealed themselves as antiChrist. Those defending them are clearly of the same ilk.

#10 Comment By Anastasios On September 27, 2018 @ 2:12 am

Bob said “to avoid his being personally served/notified to “report for psychiatric evaluation” at a known perv haven run by pervs, for pervs, who will render any decision Cupich wants…”

Once again, on whose authority? Certainly the Cardinal can make such a condition of remaining employed, but only civil authorities can order psychiatric evaluation, usually as part of an arrest procedure. Is there such a warrant and order on record?

Bob also said, “and must admit, given the absolute shower of “arrested for what? he’s paranoid” comments one after the other, it really did smack of an organized push…”

Yep, never doubt the power of us Greek Orthodox Roman Catholic Southern Chicago Jacksonian Mafia Hit Persons Using Male Pronouns On Most Occasions. Now, to contact HQ and get my payoff of deep dish pizza coupons and a plenary indulgence.

#11 Comment By JonF On September 27, 2018 @ 6:25 am

Re: . This priest put on of his victims in a mental institution to cover his innocence.

???
How could he do that? Committing anyone is very difficult, and a priest would have no legal standing to do so.

#12 Comment By Margaret On September 27, 2018 @ 9:34 am

Anastasios and Nell …these two need to be shipped away for “psychological counseling.”

#13 Comment By Eugene Giudice On September 27, 2018 @ 12:57 pm

Is the Jesse Garza referenced in this article the same Jesus Garza that appears on the list of priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago with credible allegations of sexual misconduct against them?

[NFR: Yes. — RD]

#14 Comment By Fran Macadam On September 27, 2018 @ 1:21 pm

“Needless to say, His Eminence was not amused, and took actions which bring us to where we are today. I haven’t a lot of sympathy for Fr Kalchik. I’m retired after almost 50 yrs in the business world and I think an employee who acted as Kalchik did has only himself to blame for being fired!”

Exactly. It’s a corporate business run by insiders for their own benefit, just like all business corporation fiefdoms.

#15 Comment By Duane Miller On September 27, 2018 @ 1:52 pm

Meanwhile, what is Pope Francis doing? This sort of thing:

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#16 Comment By JohnInCA On September 27, 2018 @ 2:35 pm

@Rie

Yes, the people accusing of Fr. Kalchik of “paranoia” obviously don’t know how the mafia works […]

Personally, I’m pretty skeptical of accusations that the Catholic Church is a literal criminal enterprise. Guitly of criminal negligence, of trying to cover things up rather then be publicly embarrassed, and so-on? Sure.

But using the “levers of power” to sic the police on people they don’t like?

Sorry, sounds a bit too TV-Drama for me. You’re going to have to do a lot better to convince me that the Catholic Church is literally as criminal as the mafia.

But let’s say it is. That doesn’t make Kalchik and his “persecution” more sympathetic, it makes it less, because then he isn’t some innocent priest in a dispute with the bishop, he’s a member of the “mafia” who is having a dispute with his “crime boss”. At that point, he shouldn’t be “hiding out” and duking things out with the bishop in news articles, he should be hightailing it to the FBI and asking for witness protection in exchange for ratting out his crime boss.

Dead honest, if we take your characterization of the church seriously, then Dreher and Kalchik aren’t taking it seriously enough.

#17 Comment By Anastasios On September 27, 2018 @ 6:29 pm

‘Anastasios and Nell …these two need to be shipped away for “psychological counseling.”’

Oh, good, a vacation! I hope they have ping pong. And I like Jell-O. Never was a hospital that didn’t have Jell-O. Of course, Jell-O memories are different nowadays, what with Cosby and all. But at least it would be a place to get away from the Kavanaugh hearing for five minutes.

#18 Comment By Michael On October 3, 2018 @ 9:02 pm

“I have been following this story for a week or so now, and would like to offer a few comments and thoughts… This would certainly be taken as a direct insult by the local gay community,…”

Your mind and morality is at best detached from any notion of God, and at worst rotten through and through.

The Catholic Church does not exist to avoid offending homosexuals, when burning anti-Catholic values homosexual propaganda that made its way into the Church via a prior corrupted priesthood. It exists to affirm God’s morality.

There is no “once through the door, always through the door” policy for improper signage.

If Cardinal Cupich refuses to uphold Catholic moral dogma with clear signals to the community at large, then he has no legitimate spiritual authority. Above all the priest serves God. Neither the Pope nor the Cardinal are above his station. If they begin living demonic lives and teaching demonic doctrine, then the sheep are not to follow them into the abyss. The ongoing sexual abuse scandal is more than enough to affirm that truth.

In more righteous times, hierarchical defenders of abusive homosexual priests, and their lifestyle, would not have he power to threaten involuntary commitment. They’d be holed up in the most distant tower they could find in hope that the crowd did not discover their location.