Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis: Reform group and synod not “in union” with either Archbishop or Archdiocese…

…in any way, shape, or form…”  

So stated Dennis B. McGrath, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, privately to organizers behind today’s scheduled “Synod of the Baptized” taking place in the Twin Cities.  

Organizers of the illegitimate synod from the dissident church reform group, Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR), quickly reacted to the attention by posting McGrath’s comments concerning their group on The Progressive Catholic Voice (PCV) blog.  

CCCR is a local coalition of long-frustrated individuals belonging to various national dissident organizations now banded together. Their ultimate goal is to create greater schism within the church as they organize for the upcoming American Catholic Council to be held in Detroit, Michigan, June 10-12, 2011.  

The Progressive Catholic Voice, a mouthpiece for the group and other church reform activists, describes itself as “dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, who in hearing and responding to God’s call to “repair my Church,” emulated the justice-making and compassion of our brother Jesus.”  

Michael Bayly

Perhaps so, but long time homosexual rights activist Michael Bayly (right) is both editor for PCV and sits on the Board of Directors of CCCR, lead sponsors of the unorthodox event.  

McGrath’s comments came in reply to the dissident group’s press release promoting  the synod on Thursday last. Specifically mentioned was the 4th paragraph. In which, McGrath took exception with the wayward group’s attempt at obscuring their efforts at undermining magisterial teachings and the Catholic Church herself under guise of unity with the local church. A promotional ruse used previously by the group in seeking followers and supporters from unsuspecting laity within the Archdiocese.  

The full CCCR press release can be found here.  

Dennis McGrath’s response on behalf of Archbishop Nienstedt (immediately below), is followed by the official, (and some would say canonical warning), statement from the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis:  

The fourth paragraph in your press release about tomorrow’s synod is absolutely untrue and was craftily phrased to give the impression that CCCR and this synod are “in union with Archbishop John Nienstedt.” That is, as you well know, patently untrue. CCCR is not “in union” with either the Archbishop nor the Archdiocese in any way, shape or form. That fact has been posted on our Archdiocesan web site since this past August and has been printed in the Catholic Spirit.    

From the claim that some of CCCR’s “members” are also members of individual parishes does not justify the giant leap to conclude that CCCR is “in union” with this Archdiocese or its parishes in any way.    

The decent thing for you to do would be to issue a correction of this claim, but since I presume that’s unlikely, we would ask you, on behalf of Archbishop Nienstedt, to refrain from making this kind of false claim again.    

Dennis B. McGrath
Director of Communications
Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis    

Updated as of: Friday, September 17, 2010  

 Official Announcement: Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR)  

It has come to the attention of the Archdiocese that a group calling itself the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) is planning a 2010 ‘synod’ in the Archdiocese entitled, ‘Claiming Our Place at the Table’.    

While the agenda for the proposed synod purports to be an exploration of the role of baptized Catholics within the institutional Church of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, it is not being conducted under the auspices of the Archdiocese, the universal Roman Catholic Church, or any entity or organization affiliated with the Archdiocese or the universal Roman Catholic Church.    

The Archdiocese wishes it to be known that the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, the 2010 synod, and individuals endorsing the same, are not agents or entities of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis or the Roman Catholic Church. Moreover, the Archdiocese wishes to lovingly caution those members of the faithful participating in the ‘work/study groups’ and intending to attend the synod of the potential that the issues on which CCCR will seek reform are magisterial teachings of the Church, and are therefore to be believed by divine and catholic faith. The Archdiocese also wishes to remind the faithful of its need to shun any contrary doctrines, and instead to embrace and retain, to safeguard reverently and expound faithfully, the doctrine of faith and morals proposed definitively by the magisterium of the Church.    


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