wrong channel

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 29, 2008

Do you believe that everyone who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack went straight to heaven?

Including the terrorists?

They didn't have their 21 virgins in their party but they were celebrated for three days in partying and love and acceptance because they did what they thought they were supposed to do.

That, we are told, is a quote from Padre Pio.

Well not exactly from Padre Pio, of course. He's been dead for 40 years now. But an ex-nun teaching in an Ohio parochial school says that she has been "channeling" the mystic saint for the past five years, and that's one of his messages.

Or perhaps it's one of her messages. It depends whether you believe that by dreaming and chanting and burning incense, you can communicate with the dead, as Dottie Zimmerman claims to do.

It all began with the prompting of her adolescent daughter and the encouragement of her psychologist brother, who is an ex-Jesuit. (A lot of exes in this family...) At first she thought she was communicating with Merlin, but it turned out to be Padre Pio. You know how it is: tough to keep these characters separate.

So now Dottie Zimmerman "channels" Padre Pio fairly regularly. She's just published a book about a young girl with extra-sensory gifts. And she teaches impressionable 8th-graders at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns School.

"More and more kids are coming to me who are hearing voices or who are seeing spirits, some of them both...

By the way, she teaches religion. In the Toledo diocese, where there are 10 "Protecting Youth" workshops scheduled during the month of August.

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  • Posted by: - Aug. 03, 2008 2:44 PM ET USA

    With all the financial problems the Church is faced with, this contact with Padre. Pio can be a godsend. All the ex-nun has to do is to ask Padre.Pio for the winning lotto numbers or the winning horses at the local race track and she will solve the financial problems of the diocese...

  • Posted by: - Aug. 02, 2008 7:20 AM ET USA

    Could OTR please provide follow-up on this issue, if and when, the final disposition of Ms.DZ becomes known? St. Catherine of Siena told me the outcome, but I'd like to verify it before I go public with the revelation...

  • Posted by: - Jul. 31, 2008 1:53 PM ET USA

    I've corresponded with David Yonke, the reporter who wrote the Toledo Blade story, and he states that Dottie Zimmerman has NOT been dismissed from the school where she teaches. This is a false rumor, he asserts.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 31, 2008 8:22 AM ET USA

    Thanks, RPP. It is, however, astonishing that the Toledo Blade did not report that she had been canned from the school (IF that's true - I find it hard to believe that the reporter would omit such an essential fact about this bizarre "ex-Ursuline nun"). I've already written to the Bishop - it remains to be seen if I get any reply.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 30, 2008 4:55 PM ET USA

    Thanks, RPP, for the update. Still and all, it would have been more reassuring if she had been canned for disgracing the Faith, rather than for slapping kids around.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 30, 2008 12:51 PM ET USA

    Well, at least the lady has the correct first name...

  • Posted by: - Jul. 30, 2008 12:12 PM ET USA

    I have been told by a parent at this school that Mrs. Zimmerman was dismissed from her teaching position last year. She no longer teaches at that Catholic school. The reasons for her dismissal were not disclosed. However, there were allegations of physical and verbal abuse of students (not sexual abuse!).

  • Posted by: - Jul. 30, 2008 11:21 AM ET USA

    With serious concern about the harm that Dottie Zimmerman has done & is doing to the young people at Saint Patrick Catholic Grade School in Heatherdowns, we can all write to Bishop Blair & the diocese (at the Diocese of Toledo website & the "contact us" tab), asking that he review the Toledo Blade article and Ms. DZ's comments and that he consider retiring Ms. DZ in order to protect the children from any further harm. Pray for DZ's conversion to Catholicism, & for Bp. Blair to do what is right.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 30, 2008 7:34 AM ET USA

    To "pinecone", about his comment on "Quadratus": "[...] no one alive knows the final disposition of anyone's soul, not even for the worst humans" Because of Scripture, Tradition, the Liturgy and the Magisterium, that is a false statement. See: "Judas Is In Hell!" http://www.inquisition.ca/en/serm/judas_enfer.htm

  • Posted by: - Jul. 30, 2008 3:38 AM ET USA

    What's interesting is Zimmerman's revelation that the hippies had it right after all: Heaven is one big be-in. "...They were celebrated for three days in partying and love and acceptance..." Yeah, man. Like, groovy. You also have to wonder about a psychologist who encourages his patients to listen to the voices in their heads, particularly when they're the voices of fictional characters.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 30, 2008 12:54 AM ET USA

    Long ago, I read Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti. Not Catholic, but about ONE teacher affecting an entire school/community through New Age, channeling, imagery, etc. One teacher. It does not take an Army. She is not the only one, I am sure, as I have met MANY 'Catholics' heavily into New Age junk. The fact that she is teaching RELIGION class adds a whole extra dimension. Are none of the parents aware of this? Are none of the Diocesan people aware of it? So why is she still teaching?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 30, 2008 12:46 AM ET USA

    “II. Regarding the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, the Congregation (CDF) states: 3) Alleged supernatural revelations and writings concerning them are submitted in first instance to the judgment of the diocesan bishop, and, in particular cases, to the judgment of the episcopal conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” Acta Apostolicae Sedis [Acts of the Apostolic See] - AAS, vol. LXXXVIII, N. 12, 956-957.] December 4, 1996 Joannes Paulus II

  • Posted by: - Jul. 29, 2008 10:14 PM ET USA

    Why is it that all these channelers end up speaking for great saints or archangels? No one ever seems to channel Fredrick the stable boy from the 14th century, only a declared "big" saint. The same goes for the idea that her daughter's "mentor" is St. Michael the Archangel. It's never Sam the Angel who grooms wings. Are we sure that it's incense that she's burning?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 29, 2008 9:57 PM ET USA

    We Catholics tread carefully around the supernatural, probably because we don't want the "demon under ever doily" problems that plague some Protestant churches (that them look at little nutty). Yet this woman is clearly deceived, and it seems safe to say that demons are involved. The Bible condemns seances, etc. and says that Satan himself can appear to be an angel of light. In addition to notifying the Bishop, she desperately needs prayers of deliverance.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 29, 2008 7:37 PM ET USA

    Quadratus, except for the case of canonized saints, no one alive knows the final disposition of anyone's soul, not even for the worst humans. The Church doesn't make those judgments because she knows she doesn't have that authority. We can never know what happens in someone's final moments in this life, which is why the Church leaves all judgment on non-canonized saints to God.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 29, 2008 5:38 PM ET USA

    Perhaps St. Pio will suggest a psychiatric consultation to this woman in his next news flash. This would be funny if it were not so serious. Time to terminate Dottie's teaching gig. As for her brother, are you sure he's not an ex-psychologist and an active Jesuit? That would better explain his advice.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 29, 2008 4:07 PM ET USA

    What the terrorist who demolished the Twin Towers did is pure and adulterated evil. They went to hell, first for their evil deeds, second because they rejected Jesus Christ, the only "door" to heaven, and thirdly because any sane person knows (and they were sane) that killing innocent civilians is a mortally sinful action. The nun is a deceived soul, she needs repentance and discipline.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 29, 2008 12:12 PM ET USA

    This is utterly appalling. I urge everyone who cares at all to contact Bishop Blair, Bishop of the Toledo Diocese, to bring this to his attention (assume, for the sake of charity, that he does not know of it). The Toledo Diocese has no direct email for the Bishop, but the Diocese can be sent a message via its website.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 29, 2008 11:36 AM ET USA

    Let's say for the sake of argument that she isn't mad, and that she isn't a shyster. At that point the most likely explanation is that she is communicating with a demon impersonating Padre Pio. Perhaps the diocesan exorcist needs to become involved . . .

  • Posted by: - Jul. 29, 2008 11:27 AM ET USA

    There's a parochial school called "Heatherdowns"?