Father Alfred Kunz: For the Love of God
Ten years today, on March 4, 1998, a Wisconsin priest was found brutally murdered in the hallway of his school by one of the teachers at that school. Fr. Alfred J. Kunz was devoted to the truths of Christ, the Church, and his parishioners. The murder has never been solved.|
We will follow up this article with an entire section of International News Analysis devoted to the words and works of Fr. Kunz and whatever progress is made in the investigation into the murder of this true servant of God. A detective assigned to the case has stated that the investigation is still open and is not considered a "cold case." There is a possibility that recent developments in the science of criminal investigation, including DNA research, may at last identify the killer(s).
Fr. Alfred Kunz saying the Tridentine Latin Mass
Fr. Alfred Kunz, pastor of St. Michael's parish in Dane, Wisconsin was found brutally slain in the school's hallway, with his throat cut, lying in a pool of his own blood in front of a statue of St. Michael. The police appear no closer to the apprehension of his murderer(s) than they were the morning when his body was found.
The death of Fr. Kunz is not simply another homicide in the United States; there are certainly plenty of those. It is not simply the matter of the murder of a priest - sacrilegious as is such a crime. Fr. Kunz was a stalwart defender of the Faith, completely devoted to Jesus and His Church. The attack upon Fr. Kunz was an attack upon the Catholic Church, upon the Person of Christ, and an attack upon every faithful believer.
The inability of law enforcement authorities to solve this crime indicates the vulnerability of the faithful to those individuals who hate the Word of God, even to the point of murder.
A large reward did not bring the needed clues to resolve the murder
During his sojourn on earth, Fr. Kunz always remained faithful to his Lord, Jesus Christ. As a priest he never betrayed or compromised his vows or beliefs. He always was attentive to the spiritual needs of those who sought his assistance - from the great and influential to the most humble and contrite. Where at all possible, Fr. Kunz also came to the temporal aid of those in need.
An eminent canon lawyer, Fr. Kunz often came to the assistance of the faithful battling Modernist forces within the Church. Bishops, priests, religious, and laity all received assistance. One of Fr. Kunz' last projects was to provide advice and guidance to Roman Catholic Faithful, an organization led by Stephen Brady, located in Petersburg, Illinois. RCF is dedicated to exposing and seeking remedy for clerical abuses. When the group approached Fr. Kunz, about a year before his death, RCF was struggling to remove their bishop, Daniel Ryan, a reputed active homosexual. (On October 19, 1999 Bishop Daniel Ryan resigned after RCF had made his homosexual activities public.)
Though Fr. Kunz was a humble, unassuming individual, his intellectual powers were highly regarded in the upper ranks of the Church. At one point, Fr. Kunz was requested to assume the position of rector at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, the seminary where he himself studied for the priesthood. He declined the offer because he would not have been allowed to institute needed reforms at the Josephinum.
Fr. Kunz' realization of his own vocation began at age 10. After recovering from a near-fatal appendicitis attack, he came to consciousness and said to his mother, "I want to be a priest." Following seminary training, Fr. Kunz returned to the Madison, Wisconsin, diocese. He was an assistant to several pastors in the diocese before coming as pastor to St. Michael's. He remained at St. Michael's for 31 years.
During much of the time at St. Michael's parish, he was also Judicial Vicar for the Madison diocese and a member of the Marriage Tribunal, where he unfailingly upheld the sanctity and permanence of all valid marriages.
Following the death of Bishop Cletus O'Donnell and the arrival of his successor, Bishop William Bullock, disagreements arose between the new Bishop and Fr. Kunz as to policy and interpretation of Church law. Fr. Kunz resigned as Judicial Vicar and ended his participation on the Marriage Tribunal. Fr. Kunz' knowledge of Church law enabled him to remain as pastor and in contact with the laity.
The progressivist Bishop Bullock
Relations between Fr. Kunz and Bishop Bullock remained strained. On March 4 at 7 a.m., a teacher at St. Michael's discovered the body of Fr. Kunz; Bishop Bullock took nearly five hours to make the half-hour trip from Madison to the village of Dane. In addition, Bishop Bullock never met with the children of St. Michael's school to console them at the sudden and criminal loss of their pastor.
Fr. Kunz also directly confronted Satan. He once told his congregation of an incident of a young lady who came into his office in the chancery. She had been referred to him by others who knew of his reputation. He invited her to take a seat and coincidentally directed her to a chair beneath a crucifix. After she sat down, a deep, animal-like growl emanated from her, followed by the words, "Where is He?" The woman had been drawn into satanic rituals, found them revolting, and wanted to be freed from the unwanted spirit within her.
The demonic voice, however, caused the chancery staff to flee, and Fr. Kunz was ordered to remove the woman from the premises. Despite this eviction, Fr. Kunz was soon able to assist the woman in obtaining her freedom. She remains in the Midwest leading a normal life.
Fr. Kunz was known to have assisted a number of priests in their direct confrontations with Satan.
The same priest who advised the high and influential, and defeated Satan's attacks upon individual souls, could also be seen in coveralls seeing to the maintenance of his - and others - vehicles. One of the "perks" for the teachers at St. Michael's school was free car maintenance from Fr. Kunz. Of course, anyone in need could count on Fr. Kunz' ready mechanical ability. (Fr. Kunz had paid part of the cost of his seminary training through a variety of jobs at a Wisconsin General Motors plant).
As one would expect, after Fr. Kunz' death, St. Michael's changed. The look of the church and the Mass itself increasingly reflected the Bishop's interpretation of the Novus Ordo service.
Fr. Kunz always offered assistance to those in need
Ten years after Fr. Kunz' death, however, a new Bishop is allowing the Traditional Latin Mass and has given his blessing to a memorial Traditional Mass for Fr. Kunz.
Fr. Kunz had offered the Traditional Mass nearly every weekday. On Sunday his 10 a.m. Mass was a sung Traditional Mass.
Though the flock of Fr. Kunz is now scattered, each remembers the privilege of knowing this remarkable priest of God. His legacy, however, is not just for those relatively few who personally knew him or received some sort of assistance from him.
The legacy of Fr. Alfred Kunz is for every faithful Catholic. Fr. Kunz was completely faithful to Christ and the Sacraments. Like Christ the High Priest, he poured himself out for the love of God and the good of souls. In the words of his close friend and one of the founders of the pro-life movement in the United States, the late Fr. Charles Fiore, "in the end Fr. Kunz even poured out his own blood for Jesus and His flock."
The legacy of Fr. Kunz stands today as an example, especially for priests, of a call to courage in Christ.
Fr. Kunz' assailant(s) will one day be known, the motivation revealed to all mankind - as it is even now known to God. The example and legacy of Fr. Alfred Kunz stands brightly against the darkness of those who did so great an evil.
Fr. Alfred Kunz, pray for us.
Posted March 4, 2008
Toby Westerman publishes
International News Analysis - Today
An investigative, analytical, and uncompromising weekly analysis of the world situation
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