The recent return of Father Matthew Cowan to full, active priestly ministry was a foundational goal of Gaylord Diocesan Watch. Now that he is back and active as a priest, it is worthwhile to reflect on the journey so many of us had taken to defend him and the priesthood.
It is, of course, the Holy Spirit who is given the credit for the outcome we have hoped for with this priest. But the Holy Spirit has tools to complete the work of the Trinity. These tools include the members of the Church, working through apostolates such as Gaylord Diocesan Watch, to achieve the work of God.
The formula set up by the grace of Divine Providence through Gaylord Diocesan Watch has been, we believe, integral in bringing Father Cowan back to active duty. The formula is simple: a dedicated few individuals develop a communications network to expose good and bad in the Diocese. Faithful Catholics then respond with prayer and action.
The establishment of Gaylord Diocesan Watch forced a corrupted bishop to deal with a whistleblower priest. It is common practice in these situations that a good priest who has been unjustly treated in such harsh a manner will simply disappear. Nothing is heard of him and he is soon forgotten. Furthermore, lacking spiritual and financial support, the priest is forced to capitulate to a string of psychiatric evaluations (which will label him forever) and false confessions. If he does not, he will be put in an administrative limbo that can last for years. He will be cut off from adequate financial support from the diocese, and the cost of both civil and canon lawyers will bankrupt him; often, these men leave the priesthood and the Church.
With Father Cowan, the situation was different. Through its media efforts, Gaylord Diocesan Watch allowed the issue of his unjust suspension to be remembered and countered. Furthermore, with the donations that poured in to Father Cowan, due in part to the active surveillance of Gaylord Diocesan Watch, Father Cowan was able to endure the banishment and come out of it with his priesthood and his mind intact. When faithful Catholics realized that there was organized support for Father Cowan via Gaylord Diocesan Watch, the support continued and he eventually came out of his suspension to shepherd souls. He was not forgotten.
Every diocese should have a watchdog organization such as Gaylord Diocesan Watch to give support to the clergy of the diocese and to fight for the truth. It is vital that wrongdoing in the Diocese be exposed when the Bishop of the diocese refuses to address the wrongdoing. All good priests and faithful should be supported when they work to stop the infiltration of filth, disorder, and chaos in the Church. Our apostolate intends to keep doing that. In order to do so, we continue to need your spiritual and financial support to keep this mission active. We are so grateful for all of you who have given us your support and advice. We will continue to monitor this Diocese for the truth and we continue our pledge to support the Church.