The picture that follows this post was taken in Rome in 2007. It was an extraordinarily lovely evening in late May, and I had taken my two dear friends, Fr. Mankowski and Catholic author Mary Jo Anderson, out to dinner at my favorite restaurant, the dearly departed Il Passetto, of happy memory.
(The waiter in the picture was named Romeo. I had eaten there enough to get to know and love him. He had a wonderful explanation of why a good waiter is like a priest, which I wish I could remember. And a deep devotion to St. Rita, whom he was convinced would someday help him come into a lot of money.)
At the end of the dinner, I had a plan. I was going to get someone to take our picture, so I'd have a remembrance of the evening. I knew I had to act fast and with stealth, because I knew that Fr. Mankowski would object to having his picture taken. As I handed the camera to a waiter, Fr. Mankowski initiated his move to exit stage left by scooting his chair out of frame. I gave him my best executive producer "you WILL do what I say" look and said, "Shut up, you're in this." I must have convinced him that I had some leverage (I certainly did not) because he scooted his chair back over, put on his best "I'm not thrilled about this" face, and this picture has been in my office ever since.
As I wrote the title of this post, it occurred to me that "Shut up, you're in this" was pretty much the Jesuits' attitude about Fr. Mankowski. Definitely the "shut up" part, as they officially silenced him years ago and, in my opinion, thus robbed the world of the God-given treasure of his voice. As for the "you're in this," part, their attitude was "we're stuck with you." They tried every way they could think of to make him miserable enough to leave. It was a waste of time, resources, and energy. I have never met a human who took a vow more seriously. St. Thomas Moore would have caved first.
I have many stories to tell about my friendship with Fr. Mankowski, but I am not going to tell them here. (Well, maybe one or two of minor note.) I'm writing like a fiend. When I know where these words will emerge, I will let you know. In the meantime, I am going to maintain and update this site, so you will have access to everything written by Fr. Mankowski that has been published, and everything that has been written about him. (And also several videos, for those of you who have not had the pleasure of hearing him speak.) The link to that post will remain in the upper right hand corner.
If he had not been silenced, the things that are coming to light now would have been known all along. There would, in my opinion, be far fewer "Catholic" Democrats, and far more people who know and love Holy Mother Church and the 2000+ year magisterium. The modernists knew that, and that is why had to keep him quiet. That, and the fact that he knew where the bodies were buried. I am going to do everything I can to un-silence Fr. Mankowski. It has long been my plan, should he die first. it's the only thing consoling me right now: the thought that I can help undo the evil that was done to him.
I am in this. And I will not shut up.