Taking Down The Deacon Sandy Video

Update: I should have known better.

Deacon Sandy has followed up again on Facebook and I have been weighing what to do.

Let me print his comment and then relay my thoughts.

Hi - Deacon Sandy here again. I wish to thank you Creative Minority for responding. I welcome the opportunity to dialogue.

I think if we continue to we will learn that we have more in common than not. I reference for reflection Mt. 18: 15-17a “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church" I wish you had come directly to me first.

It is specifically because of your feedback that our leadership team gathered yesterday and, after prayer, asking for God to guide us, we revisited our video and found several things that we admit should not have been included.

For example, we did not explain that our Assisting Priests are key in this Parish Director model. We did not say it was unleavened bread that we use. We did not give the history of the kneelers. There was also a "tone" issue that I will deal with in my next confession - it is not appropriate for me to go any farther here. There are other aspects of it that we are still praying over and reflecting on.

We continue to ask you to take down this video which we are admitting here should not have been posted. I think we both wish to be in closer relationship with God, to follow the example of Jesus Christ, and to achieve salvation for ourselves and our parishes. Pax.
As for coming to him first, I reply simply that this was no private sin to be handled privately.  The video amounted to a public boast and I feel it very proper to highlight it as such.

That said, I will comply with the request to remove the video since they now admit there are things in there that are embarrassing, over emphasizing non-essentials, and the like.

Deacon Sandy has personally assured me that the "bread" contains nothing other than wheat flour and water even though it was not clear in the video and has been checked for compliance with the diocese. We are still following up with the Diocese, but I take him at his word.

As for the rest of it, I think it is indicative of a mindset that has been terribly destructive for the Church.  But if they are no longer willing to stand by it as representative of their views, I am compelled in fairness to remove it.

It is my sincere hope that this week of embarrassment leads to real reconsideration of their approach rather than just leading them to be more circumspect about talking about it.

I thank everyone for their attention to this matter, I hope it made a difference. Only time will tell.
*subhead*They no longer stand by it*subhead*


  1. Very Christian of you!
    I agree, hopefully this won't lead to just Hiding what they are doing wrong but a genuine reflection on the whole matter.
    I suspect the letters to the Bishop helped as well!

  2. After reflection he now realizes he shouldn't have so publicly boasted about and revealed what was happening at his parish. This does not change one iota of what is actually happening there.

  3. Well, in my heart, I do not believe him. Sorry. But, I think that you, Patrick, do the right thing in removing such stupid video.

  4. I find it hard to believe that a church built in 1957 does not have kneelers. Something is clearly wrong here, and it looks as though the emperor has finally realized that he's not wearing any clothes.

  5. "As for the rest of it, I think it is indicative of a mindset that has been terribly destructive for the Church."

    The mindset that is destructive to the Church is yours--the one in which you publicly bully a deacon.

  6. Thom
    You win funniest comment of the day. They put out a video, I link it with the barest of commentary. They now admit that they were wrong and I am a bully.

    Well done. Bully for you.

  7. "Limited commentary" + posting your Facebook messages + allowing the cesspool that is your comment section to go crazy with it

    Yeah, you're a paragon of virtue.

  8. They post a video that amount to them jumping up and down saying "look at us, we are unique!!!" I say "Hey look at them" and I am the bad guy? Get real.

  9. Thom, Patrick did them a favor. Sunshine is the best disinfectant. When exposed to the light of day, they were forced to admit they were wrong. One hopes and prays that their prayer and reflection produces positive results.

  10. I say we give Deacon Sandy the benefit of the doubt at this point. Every man is a man of his time. I'd like to see a follow-up in a couple of months. In the meantime, let's knit kneeler cushions (hassocks) for him. Or raise money to buy some. http://www.churchcushion.co.uk/ I'm not kidding. Let's do this. I'd be happy to research it.

  11. Okay, I've just found a place in the UK which does individual kneelers for £5 each. Obviously we'd want to find a supplier in the US but the point is, this is a project which is affordable. If Deacon Sandy is into it, we could crowd-source across the tradosphere and get kneelers for his whole flock. Who's with me? This is an opportunity to show the world how generous trads, or even people who just care about rubrics, can be. It's hot coal time.

  12. Kelly Groen thinks it's a great idea. Right Kelly?

  13. Fr. Z has it now and someone else has another link to it as well. It went pretty viral...

  14. Good for you, Deacon Sandy.

    @Thom, what are Catholics allowed to debate?

    The weather? Sports? Farming techniques in early modern Europe?

    What? This is what an engaged people who care deeply about their faith should do but have failed to do in large enough numbers for too long.

    As far as this being a cesspool, I didn't notice a smell till you showed up. nyuk, nyuk.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Magdelene, beachcomber, are you with me? Let's get DeaSa some kneelers already!

  17. I think the bullying comment is valid. The lack of charity here is stunning. Yes, this deserves correcting, but under what authority do you have the right to publicly accuse, judge, and shame him? Was this really the best way to handle the situation? Are you telling me the scripture he quotes is invalid for public declarations? If so, under what authority do you make this claim?

    No, the right thing would have been to indeed reach out to him in private, and if he wasn't receptive enlist someone else to again reach out with you in private. And if that didn't help you should have brought it to the attention of his bishop.

    Let me be clear -- I'm not defending him. And the Church needs to be defended. But that defense should come with love and charity, not from the outrage of a modern day pharasee.

  18. They are embarassed that their hereterodox practices are exposed for the world to see.

  19. I think we need to charitably take it as a step in the right direction. We should always appreciate a show of humility. Hopefully, it will encourage some extra processing. I will admit that it had a touch of 1960s "fighting the man" to it. There is great beauty in our church, and it should not be denigrated over personal taste.

    If that were so, I would rapidly ban guitar and tambourines at Mass. They make me want to vomit! ;)

  20. @ David:

    I think you are a bully. Under what authority do you judge Pat? If you were going to correct him, shouldn't you have reached out to him privately? What gives you the right to post a public comment like the one above? Your lack of charity is astounding. You are a modern day name-calling Pharisee.

  21. I don't want to speak for Pat, but before someone else publishes another "you're so uncharitable" comment, please stop and think:

    All Pat did was link to a public video and give his opinion of it. It's called blogging. It's not like he went under cover and surreptitiously recorded them.

    The video touched a nerve because it seemed almost a parody of what has gone wrong with the Church and why there is widespread rejection of the doctrines of the Faith. I didn't see any calls in here for excommunications or defrocking; no one said they were going to hell for not using kneelers. I don't think anyone wrote the Vatican asking for an intervention and for Deacon Sandy to be removed. *cough* FFI *cough*

    Sorry, but this was a charitable intervention. It played on social media because that's where these things are being played nowadays. The sooner we realize that this is part of the battleground for the Faith, the better off we'll all be.

  22. As much as I want to, I frankly don't believe him. Do you really believe he is going to change everything he believes in due to some online outrage? He might be sad he bragged about it to the entire world (still available at blog.yankehome.com/liturgy/crazy-deacon.avi for context for those who haven't seen it), not that sad that he actually did wrong.

  23. @wkndbeachcomber: You know, you're probably right that I should have heeded the scripture myself. So apologies for Pat for not following my own advice.

    I'll end with this: those who view these things as a "battleground" are missing the point. As doctrinally challenged as this parish appears to be, thank heaven they are in the Church, where it's much easier to teach/admonish/correct than if they're outside the authority of the Church.

    If your goal is to beat these people into submission, you're not paying attention to the Holy Father. We *want* those who are misguided inside the Church, because we know what the Truth is, and we are confident that if they are seeking God, He will reveal the Truth to them.

    I returned the Church 20+ years ago, in a parish that had some of its own doctrinal issues. And as I've sought out the Truth I've discovered what those errors are (and so did the Bishop, who removed the priests). If someone had approached me 20 years ago and beat me over the head with what I now know to be Truth, I doubt that I would have ever returned to the Church.

    Instead of being ready to crowdsource kneelers and find other ways to bring this errant parish to heel, I think perhaps we ought to be more confident in God's ability to open hearts and save souls.

  24. David,
    I can't agree that this parish truthfully qualifies as a parish within the Catholic Church. Oh, I'm sure the local bishop will address concerns..eventually..but the parishioners will certainly not have been properly fed.

    His video made quite clear that he cared not much at all for rules or authority. Why would you think the Church's official authority would make any difference?

  25. Yes, yes, very interesting everyone, now what about these kneelers? You want to see greater devotion to the blessed sacrament in Deacon Sandy's parish? Then let's cough up for some hassocks - they cost a fiver each. I reckon if we spread the word round the tradosphere we can fix this for Deacon Sandy. If he refuses, then we know this isn't really about money. Who's with me?

  26. I just sent the following message to the man.

    "Dear Deacon Sandy,

    I was impressed with your responses on Creative Minority Report. I and some friends would like, with your permission, to source and fund some individual kneelers (hassocks) for your parish. Here is an example of the kind of thing: http://www.safefoam.co.uk/acatalog/churchkneelers_1210.html. These take up much less space than pew-legth kneelers, and we are confident we can make this happen at no cost or inconvenience to you, save to be available when they are delivered. Would you be interested and if so, how many of these kneelers do you think the parish would need?

    In Christ,

    David Madeley"

    Who's with me? Are we going to make this happen? I believe Pat's done the right thing, but DS has shown he's willing to listen, I say let's build on that.

  27. Dave Madeley
    If you get a positive response from Deacon Sandy, agreeing to use donated kneelers and you set up a secure site to receive those donations, please post the information. Once that is done, I think you will find some are willing to give.

  28. Oh, and David? We don't have to choose between doing something or leaving it in God's hands. We can do something AND leave it in God's hands.

  29. TerentiaJ, thanks for your comments, I'll certainly set up a secure site, facebook page, etc.

    A few years ago, Damian Thompson successfully funded a full set of rose vestments for Gaudete/Laetare Sunday for Fr Finnigan - Fr F had been the victim of an attack ad in the Tablet. All the money came through the internet. This is doable.

  30. @ David

    Spiritual warfare eventually has to manifest itself; swords will inevitably cross over ideas, because the intellect has to be engaged. This is a thinking man's religion.

    But your point is well-taken. Yes, all this has to trace back to really wanting souls to convert and understand, and not emanate from a lust for battle.

    which leads me to...

    @ David Madeley -

    Splendid idea. If Deacon Sandy replies, I would absolutely help by going online and sponsoring a few kneelers for his parish if that is really where the problem lies for them. I'd love the opportunity to be able to put my money where my mouth is and let them know we really care about them. I'd bet more than a few people would join in.

    I'll check back here on CM to see how this goes. Way to follow through Dave M!

  31. Thanks mate. If you find any hassocks when you're out beachcombing, let me know! Pax

  32. Just to really confuse things, another David joins the conversation...

    @David Madeley, I think it's noble that you and others want to help this parish. However, I think the video made it perfectly clear that the reason they don't kneel is because they don't think kneeling is an appropriate posture in the presence of the King of Kings. Lack of money was just an excuse. I'd be surprised - no, shocked - if Deacon Sandy takes you up on your generous offer.

  33. You may prove to be right, but his reply to Pat suggested something different. Will the real Deacon Sandy please stand up?

  34. Has "Deacon Sandy" renounced the errors, novelties, and ambiguities of the Judas Council Revolution?

  35. Hardly - but he may be up for helping his flock kneel for communion.


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