“Although the stated purpose of the ACC is to “reclaim the promise of the Holy Spirit manifested in Vatican II,” in fact, the goals proposed in their literature, as well as the organizations which make up the ACC, are largely in opposition to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and the Holy Spirit, which inspired that Council…”
The Orate Fratres Blog has long reported here on the American Catholic Council and various dissident sub-groups promoting “listening sessions” within U.S. Catholic dioceses around the country; as well as followed the efforts of Bishops to warn faithful Catholics to this real threat to Church unity. Today, Bishop Victor Galeone of the Diocese of Saint Augustine cautioned any Catholic against participating in an upcoming North Florida listening assembly, as well as the national assembly to be held in June in Detroit… His statement follows:
Statement of Bishop Galeone Regarding the American Catholic Council’s “North Florida Listening Assembly” (scheduled for Feb. 19, 2011)
It has come to my attention that an organization called the American Catholic Council (ACC) will be holding what they describe as the “North Florida Listening Assembly” in Jacksonville on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011. Self-described as “seeking to reclaim the promise of the Holy Spirit manifested in Vatican II,” this assembly is billed as “a day of reflection and stimulating dialogue” – all in preparation for a national gathering to be held in Detroit in June of 2011. I want to clearly and unequivocally advise all Catholics that this North Florida Listening Assembly is not conducted under the auspices of the Diocese of St. Augustine, nor is it sanctioned, approved or endorsed by the diocese or any other entity of the Roman Catholic Church.
Although the stated purpose of the ACC is to “reclaim the promise of the Holy Spirit manifested in Vatican II,” in fact, the goals proposed in their literature, as well as the organizations which make up the ACC, are largely in opposition to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and the Holy Spirit, which inspired that Council.
I commend and embrace all true efforts at Church renewal, but the ACC’s agenda is decidedly not such an effort. Many of the groups which have banded together in the ACC espouse positions which are clearly contrary to Catholic faith and morals, and which engender only alienation and estrangement from the Church.
Accordingly, the Diocese of St. Augustine cautions any Catholic against participating in this North Florida Listening Assembly, as well as the national assembly to be held in June in Detroit. Catholic parishes, schools, and institutions are not to host any meetings, gatherings, or “listening sessions” associated with either event or with the ACC.
Additionally, priests, deacons, and lay ministers are expected to avoid these events, and to strongly urge the faithful not to attend or support them or the ACC in any manner. I ask, rather, that we all pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and shun efforts which threaten the unity of the Church for which Christ, himself, so fervently prayed.
There have been a number of television shows, movies and various articles on the subject of angels and the demonic in recent years. Most of this material is pure fiction, yet the part that is not fiction is an acknowledgment that they both exist.
As part of the Church’s catechesis on creation it is necessary to speak of both the angels and the devil, Satan, or the demonic. “The Apostles’ Creed professes that God is the ‘Creator of heaven and earth.’ The Nicene Creed makes it explicit that this profession includes ‘all that is, seen and unseen” (Catechism #325).
The profession of faith of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) affirms that God from the beginning of time made at once (simul) out of nothing both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal, that is, the angelic and the earthly, and then (deinde) the human creature who as it were shares in both orders, being composed of spirit and body.” (#327)
The Catechism clearly asserts that “the existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls ‘angels’ is a truth of the faith” (#328), the witness of Scripture being as unanimous as tradition. In other words, there is no question about it: the angels are real, not the figment of someone’s medieval imagination. It is a truth of the faith. This quite simply means that for a Catholic, one must accept this as part of God’s revelation. One may not understand it, but one must accept it on faith, and then seek the understanding that faith can ultimately bring. Although, it being understood, that we’ll never understand in this life God and all his mighty works perfectly. We would have o be God to understand him perfectly.
The angels are creatures, pure spiritual beings whose mission or office is to be messengers and servants of God (#329). “As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, [with the exception of the Mother of God] as the splendor of their glory bears witness.” (#330)
The Lord Jesus Christ is the author, center, and end of all creation including the angelic world. They are “his angels.” As the Catechism teaches, “they belong to him because they were created through and for him…They belong to him still more because he has made them messengers of his saving plan.” (#331)
The existence and activity of the angels is more than obvious in both the Old and New Testaments. To say, by the way, that they are mere “literary figures” in Scripture in the name of so-called biblical scholarship is an affront to and an attack upon true scholarship. All Scripture has to be read as a totality, in the light of tradition, and applying the analogy of faith. When this is done it is clear that the Church’s teaching s constant in that angels are really beings, not mere literary devices. They have played a key role in salvation history.
…[E]ach and every person benefits from the ministry of the angels. The Church has long taught that we have a “guardian angel” to guide and protect us through life. “From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their (the angels’) watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.
The existence and malevolent activity of the devil or Satan and the fallen angels or demons is likewise a teaching of the church that must be accepted by all. “The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing.” (#391)
Through the misuse of the gifts of intellect and free will the devil (Lucifer) and those who went his way chose irrevocably to reject God and his reign. Their choice is irrevocable because of their higher nature. Men get a second chance, and many more than that, but the angels clearly saw what they were doing. Hence, “There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death.” (#393)
Christ came to cast out the evil one and his works of lying and death and did so through the humble obedience which led him always to accept the Father’s will, even unto the death of the cross. The essence of the diabolic is that pride and arrogance which leads to disobedience. This leads to fracturing and division. Stepping outside of the truth who is God himself results in this division.
Those who are most powerful in christ through his Church, which is called to fight against “the liar and father of lies, the murderer from the beginning” (cf.. Jn 8:2f) (the devil), are those who are most humbly obedient to God’s authority working through the church. The devil can do nothing when he comes up against those who obey most humbly Christ’s church and her teachings. On the other hand, he is most powerful and untiringly active working through those who imagine themselves to be above the Church’s teaching authority. Humility leads to obedience, which leads to life. Pride leads to disobedience, which leads to death. This is the lesson of the book of Genesis. It is the lesson of the cross.
With the angels of the Lord we humbly and obediently praise and give thanks to the Father through Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit for all that God’s creative and redemptive power has wrought.
St. Clare of Assisi (August 11) is the patron saint of sore eyes. In this case, an eyesore for his Eminence Archbishop Nienstedt…
The billboard proclaiming a September, 18th, 2010, “Synod of the Baptized” stands just off a major thoroughfare leading to the archdiocese-a mere 3 miles away.
The group responsible for purchasing the billboard ad is the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform. 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 what they’re calling the American Catholic Council to be held in Detroit, Michigan, June 10-12, 2011.
Archbishop Nienstedt has previously found it necessary to warn the Catholic faithful concerning CCCR and the organizations’ non-affiliation with the Archdiocese of Mpls/St.Paul or the universal Roman Catholic Church. He had this to say about the group back in August of 2009:
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.
That same year I posted this on CCCR and the American Catholic Council:
WHAT YOU CAN DO DEFEND YOUR FAITH AND PROTECT THE FAITH OF OTHERS FROM SUCH ERROR WITHIN YOUR OWN DIOCESE…
1. Don’t participate. Warn your family, friends, and fellow Catholics of the spiritual danger(s) involved in falling for propaganda (errors) coming from representatives of either the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform or the American Catholic Council within your diocese. Especially, be on watch for advertisements that promote “Synods of the Baptized” or invitations to meetings found within parish bulletins describing “Catholics coming together to dialogue on difficult Church issues…” This smokescreen tactic was used recently within a bulletin at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Minneapolis.
2. Contact your pastor in person or by e-mail and (respectfully) inform him about the dangers CCCR and the American Catholic Council represent within the Archdiocese.
3. Contact your bishop in person or by e-mail and (respectfully) inform him of the same.
4.Pray for all those suffering from a spirit of constantly taking umbrage: with Church, Church doctrine, and defiance of divinely instituted authority–
“You have to either be smoking crack or be a full-blown, hyper-committed believer in The Glories of Modern Life to believe such rot…”
EDITOR NOTE: Carl Olson is busy on Monday, but couldn’t pass up commenting on the following lament. And I couldn’t pass on Carl’s–must read–remarks either…
Charles Curran, martyr for the life-destroying gospel of the “modern life”
I have a big deadline Monday, am behind on that and other projects, but I simply can’t let this one pass by: A Re-Declaration of Victim Status by Charles Curran, titled, “Banned By the Pope,” and written for Newsweak’s “My Turn” column. Tssk, tssk; fisk, fisk:
I knew that the letter—approved by Pope John Paul II and issued by then-cardinal Joseph Ratzinger—was unlikely to be good news.
Because, for one thing, Curran had been openly undermining, scoffing at, rejecting, and attack key moral teachings of the Church since the mid-1960s. (Quick note: the Summer 2009 issue of Nova et Veterahas a great essay, “The Cultural and Ecclesial Situation 1964 to 1967: Paving the Way for Dissent From Church Teaching on Contraception”, by Dr. William E. May, which provides a lot of helpful information and context.) Note how long the process of evaluating and dealing with dissenters takes—a loooong time. And yet the common (mis)perception is that “the Vatican” or the CDF deals in a knee-jerk, off-the-cuff, reactionary manner. False. Completely false. This priest was publicly rejecting the Church’s moral teachings for almost twenty years before he was finally stripped of his ability to teach theology at a Catholic school.
It was 1986, and for the previous seven years, Ratzinger’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith—the office charged with safeguarding official theology—had been investigating my work.
Seven. Years. That’s. A. Long. Time. See point above.
As a professor at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., I lectured and wrote about traditional church teachings.
“About.” Well, how to say this? It’s a rather meaningless word in this case; in fact, it’s something of a weasel word. As in: Arius spoke and sang about the Logos. Nestorius wrote and spoke about the Theotokos. Hans Küng has written volumes and volumes about Christianity. What Curran doesn’t make clear here is that as far back as 1966 or 1967 he was already contradicting Church teaching on contraception. A sympathetic (to Curran) September/October 1989 article in Academe (PDF format) states:
In articles and in his first book, Christian Morality Today, published in 1966, Professor Curran established himself as a scholar who subjected accepted views, including noninfallible teachings of the Church, to careful scrutiny and did not hesitate to publicize his conclusions. An interest in sexual ethics led him specifically to dissenting views on such subjects as abortion, birth control, and homosexuality.
TIME magazine reported in an April 1967 article: “Curran had been fired by the trustees, without a hearing, largely because of his unconventional teaching on doctrinal issues — most notably, approval of birth control.” Curran, you see, had been fired by Catholic University of America for holding and teaching positions directly contrary to clear Church teaching. But, it being the late 1960s, all it took were some student protests and threats, and CUA caved. (Hey, it was all the rage back then.) And so Curran continued to lecture and teach “about” traditional Church teachings. And:
But I also pointed out areas where I believed Catholicism and modern life were misaligned, including Rome’s opposition to birth control for married couples; its stance on homosexuality, divorce, and remarriage; and the status of women in the church.
Hmmm. “Misaligned.” That’s a nifty way of putting it. First, a weasel word. Now a slithery word. But note what Curran is saying, plain as day: he, as a young Catholic priest (he was 33 in 1967), was solidly and publicly on the side of “modern life” over against Catholicism and Rome. He was opposed to the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, divorce, contraceptives, women’s ordination, masturbation, euthanasia, and sterilization (goodness, what’s left??). And so he as ever been.
The Vatican had finally had enough. “One who dissents from the Magisterium as you do,” the letter said, “is not suitable nor eligible to teach Catholic theology.”
Despite that rebuke, I remain a committed Catholic, a priest in good standing, and a professor of Catholic theology (albeit at a Methodist institution).
I bet good money that a Methodist would do a better job of accurately and fairly teaching Catholic theology than Curran, but I digress. Curran, who is something of an American Hans Küng (a dissenter who whines in the press, mocks or openly attacks the pope and Church teaching, but insists on being a “Catholic theologian” despite denying nearly every point of Catholic doctrine), likes to have it both ways, as most dissenters do. He wants to be recognized and known for rejecting the Church, but then complains that he is a victim, a martyr, when the Church says, “Uh, we have a problem…” He’s been employing this stunt routine for over forty years, a routine that Jeremy Lott reported about in the October 2006 issue of Catholic World Report:
In response to the  Vatican condemnation, [Curran] insisted to reporters that “I neither denied nor disagreed with the core elements of the Catholic faith.” Rather, he had “dissented from noninfallible church teachings on a few moral issues . . . far removed from the core beliefs of the Catholic faith.”
So what, exactly, were all those peripheral issues that the Vatican was making such a fuss about? “I was asked to reconsider and retract my positions on contraception and sterilization, abortion and euthanasia, masturbation, premarital sexuality, and the indissolubility of marriage,” he writes. In other words, by the mid-1980s, he had come to disagree with the Vatican on pretty much every moral issue in the catechism.
And this from a man who had, as Lott notes, “wrote, edited, contributed to, or was the subject of Dissent in and for the Church, The Responsibility of Dissent, Dissent in the Church, Faithful Dissent, Vatican Authority and American Catholic Dissent, and now we have Loyal Dissent. The subtitle is ‘Memoir of a Catholic Theologian.'” Curran, in other words, is not only a one-trick pony, he is the poster boy for Catholics who want to be “Catholic” without actually being Catholic (the ponies and the posers go well together, actually). And, of course, he is constantly trying to justify his legless position:
I also continue to care deeply about the church, which I believe is facing a crisis that predates the sex-abuse scandal of recent years. Today, about a third of people who were raised Catholic have left the church; no other major religion in the United States has experienced a larger net loss in followers in the last 30 years.
Ah, the last thirty years. Say, isn’t that the same era during which the many wonders and joys of “modern life” finally came to full fruition, with the sexual revolution in bloom, contraceptives as common as candy, divorce rates skyrocketing, cohabitation likewise, etc., etc., and so forth? What, then, is Curran’s point? Is he suggesting that if the Church had embraced and endorsed divorce, contraceptives, premarital sex, abortion, et al, that those Catholics would not have left the Church/stopped going to Mass? You have to either be smoking crack or be a full-blown, hyper-committed believer in The Glories of Modern Life to believe such rot. You either have to be quite stupid or quite arrogant to go for that line of argumentation:
Many of the issues that troubled me decades ago have contributed to this decline. Some, like those related to contraception, homosexuality, and family life, are considered matters of divine or natural law—the will of God—and, therefore, are immutable. I disagree, and I’m not alone, but we have been unable to persuade the church to make changes.
A Roman Catholic schoolgirl has been labelled a truant after she refused to wear a headscarf during a compulsory trip to a mosque.
Amy Owen, 14, and fellow girl pupils at a Catholic secondary school were told to cover their heads and wear trousers or leggings out of respect for their Muslim hosts.
But when her mother objected, saying she did not want her daughter to ‘dress as a Muslim’, she received a sternly worded warning letter from the headmaster saying she had no choice.
Michelle Davies’ daughter Amy Owen was ordered to wear a headscarf and trousers or leggings for a school trip to a mosque
Peter Lee, head of Ellesmere Port Catholic High School in Cheshire, informed her that the local diocese ‘requires’ pupils to have an understanding of other religions.
In the letter – with words in block capitals and underlined – Mr Lee said the visit was ‘as compulsory as a geography field trip’.
He added: ‘There are two reasons for these visits. One is that the scheme of work in religious studies REQUIRES children to have knowledge and understanding of other world religions.
‘The second is that the school is REQUIRED to promote tolerance respect and understanding. This is known as community cohesion.
‘A failure to do this could result in an unwelcome inspection judgement. None of us would relish that.
‘Whilst I may not require you to pay for this I must require your child to participate.’
Amy’s mother Michelle Davies refused to back down and, after being told no teachers would be back at school to keep an eye on her daughter, she kept her at home, citing religious objections – as did as many as ten other families.
Yesterday, after the school acted on its threat to class Amy’s absence as truancy, Miss Davies accused it of discriminating against Christian pupils.
‘It’s like they’re putting a gun to your head – either you go to a mosque, or you’re marked down as an unauthorised absence on your record – that’s it no two ways about it,’ the 34-year-old said.
‘It’s like they are saying she is playing truant for not wearing a head scarf. If the trip had been without the leggings and the headscarf, that would have been fine but I wasn’t having my daughter dressed in the Muslim way.
‘She’s proud of her school uniform and what it represents and she should be able to wear it like she would on any normal school trip.
The trip to the mosque was organised so that students could ‘deepen their understanding and broaden their knowledge’ of Islam
‘She likes to learn, she takes history and she is really interested in it, she wants to learn, but she can do that her classroom without changing the way she dresses.
‘I even did some research on the internet about non-Muslims attending mosques and it says you don’t have to adhere to the dress code.
‘I also fail to see how a three-hour trip to a mosque is of any educational value to a Catholic when she can learn about the Muslim faith in the classroom.
‘I can guarantee that if there were ten Muslim girls coming to our school it would adhere to what they wanted, because that’s their faith, their religion, their dress code.’
Parents were asked to make a £3 payment towards the Year 9 trip to the Al Rahma Mosque in Liverpool last month, and an 11-point dress and behaviour code from the mosque was circulated.
Miss Davies, a home help, of Ellesmere Port, added: ‘There are some parts of religious education lessons that children who are Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t have to attend because that’s part of their religion, and the fact is Amy is Catholic and not a Muslim.’
Last year, Ofsted praised the school’s ‘caring Catholic ethos’ but said it needed to do more ‘to enhance wider cultural development’.
The school says the trip was an exciting and unique opportunity for students
Considering the following numbers and recent troubles in France, is it any wonder Our Lady is weeping?
The IFOP Institute has just made a survey on Catholicism in France for the daily La Croix. The result is mind-blowing:
Whilst, in 1965, 81% of the French declared themselves as Catholics, they were no more than 64% in 2009.
More serious: whilst 27% of the French went to Mass once a week or more in 1965, they are no more than 4.5% in 2009.
At a doctrinal level, generally, it’s a catastrophe: 63% of practicing Catholics think all religions are the same; 75% ask for an “aggiornamento” of the Church on contraception and even 68% for abortion.
As for communion with the Roman Pontiff, the situation is no better: only 27% of practicing Catholics consider that Benedict XVI “rather well” defends “the values of Catholicism” (personally, I don’t even understand the question, but that doesn’t matter) when 34% think he defends them “rather badly”.
The story follows:
HUNDREDS of people are flocking to see a painting of the Virgin Mary which its owner claims is crying tears of oil.
Esat Altindagoglu has been inundated with more than 50 visitors a day hoping to see the “miracle” at his house near Paris, France.
The foot-high statue was given to his wife Sevin by a Lebanese priest on her birthday in 2006, the Turkish-born salesman said.
It began weeping oil on February 12 this year, and had been crying every day since, he claims.
He said: “As word spread, people started arriving from France, then from all over Europe.
“I’ve been having between 50 and 60 people a day turning up for more than three weeks now.”
An Orthodox priest had now agreed to say mass at his home in Garges-les-Gonesse this week to thank the Virgin Mary, Mr Altindagoglu said.
He added: “Apparently the next step is to have the weeping witnessed by a bishop so the miracle can be officially recognised by the church.”
Over the centuries there have been hundreds of incidents of statues said to have weeped blood, oil or water.
But the only one ever approved as a miracle by the Pope was Our Lady of Akita in Japan in 1973, with all the others ruled out as hoaxes.
THE SOURCE: Mary painting ‘weeping oil’ | The Sun |News