Most Holy Family Monastery
Most Holy Family Monastery is a sedevacantist organization run by Michael Dimond. Due to its publication of a pamphlet entitled "101 Heresies of Anti-Pope John Paul II" it was declared "a dissident organization that challenges the papal authority" by The Catholic League in January, 1999. The group has also been condemned by the Catholic diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, and was designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Most Holy Family Monastery was founded in 1967, in Berlin, New Jersey, by a self-proclaimed Benedictine monk named Joseph Natale (1933-1995), originally as a community for handicapped men. Natale entered the Benedictine Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, in 1960 as a lay postulant, but left less than a year later to start his own Holy Family Monastery. According to an archivist of the Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Natale left before taking vows; he never actually became a Benedictine monk.
Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, Natale denounced the Second Vatican Council and the New Mass, and by the mid-1970s the community had separated from the Vatican. By mid-1980s, there were ten monks in it, but by 1994 the number declined to three. Shortly after a conference in 1994, John Vennari left to work for Fr. Nicholas Gruner.
Natale died in 1995, whereupon Michael Dimond (born Frederick Dimond), who joined in 1992 at the age of 19 after converting to Catholism four years earlier, was elected the Superior. Soon after, he relocated to Granger, New York (close to Fillmore, New York), where Natale owned more than 90 acres (36 ha) of donated land.
Michael and Peter Dimond's position condemning the Vatican's promotion of Natural Family Planning (a Fertility awareness method for married couples to regulate conception, pregnancy, and birth) was noted in the 2010 book Twentieth-Century Global Christianity by Fortress Press, as "an admittedly rare example of contemporary opposition".
As none of their members were ordained into the priesthood, and as they believe that the New Mass is invalid and that the Tridentine Mass (promoted by Benedict XVI) is compromised by the 1962 Missal changes made by John XXIII, they receive the sacraments from a Byzantine rite Catholic Church that is in communion with the Vatican, in Rochester, New York. During these occasions they wear layman's clothes in lieu of their Benedictine habits. Peter Dimond wrote: "In receiving the sacraments from certain Byzantine priests for over the last decade – i.e. from priests who are not notorious or imposing about their heresies – I've received what I consider to be tremendous spiritual graces."
Claims of miraculous experience
- According to Michael Cuneo, who researched the various traditional movements in the USA, Natale claimed that he had the gift of prophecy in these words:
Even before Vatican II was finished, I knew, and knew absolutely, that it was part of a Communist conspiracy to destroy the Church. The bishops at the council wanted to democratize Catholicism, they wanted an egalitarian theology, and most of them were secret communists and Masons. They knew exactly what they were doing. My community here was the first one in the United States to see the council for what it really was, and we rejected it completely. Regardless of what you have been told, John Paul I did not die of natural causes. He was murdered. Shortly after his election "I went into a kind of trance" and was told that John Paul I would be murdered because he wanted to return the Church to its traditions. He was murdered by his own. The Communist infiltrators in the Vatican and the College of Cardinals, working together with the Masons, killed John Paul I. At the same time I also had a vision of John Paul II, and I was told that he would be the next pope and also that he would be an authentic pope, even though most of his actions would be controlled by Communist advisers and manipulators in the Vatican.
Five years [from 1994] is about all the time the world has left.
- A former member claimed that he heard angels singing when he joined the monastery.
- Griff Ruby (a traditionalist) wrote against Peter Dimond regarding baptism of desire.
- Richard Ibranyi (a sedevecantist writer and speaker) wrote against the Dimonds regarding several topics.
Southern Poverty Law Center listing
The Southern Poverty Law Center listed MHFM as a hate group by placing them in the category of adherents of "radical traditional Catholicism, or 'integrism'." This category is said to "routinely pillory Jews as 'the perpetual enemy of Christ' and worse, reject the ecumenical efforts of the Vatican, and sometimes even assert that recent popes have all been illegitimate. They are incensed by the liberalizing reforms of the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council, which condemned hatred for the Jews and rejected the accusation that Jews are collectively responsible for deicide in the form of the crucifixion of Christ."
- "Miscellaneous". Catholicleague.org. December 31, 1999. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- [dead link]
- "Active Radical Traditional Catholicism Groups". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- The Smoke of Satan: Conservative and Traditionalist Dissent in Contemporary ... - Michael W. Cuneo - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- "Hoyle v. Dimond et al :: Justia Dockets & Filings". Dockets.justia.com. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- "Benedictine | What is a Benedictine Monastery?". Mostholyfamilymonastery.com. 1995-11-11. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- [dead link]
- "Question about Gerry Matatics". Mostholyfamilymonastery.com. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- Mary Farrell Bednarowski, ed. (2010). Twentieth-Century Global Christianity. Minneapolis,MN: Fortress Press. p. 427.
- "new mass". Mostholyfamilymonastery.com. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- "Archived Radio Programs". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- "GRIFF RUBY'S STRAIGHT STUFF (jul7str.htm)". Dailycatholic.org. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- "Brief against the Dimonds". Johnthebaptist.us. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- "Active Radical Traditional Catholicism Groups". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- "Radical Traditional Catholicism". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 2014-03-12.