Tag Archives: Archdiocese St. Paul Minneapolis

Archbishop Cautions Priests…

According to the editor of The Progressive Catholic Voice, the following letter was sent July 18, 2011, by Archbishop John C. Nienstedt to the priests of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis.

Reverend and dear Fathers,

I recently received a letter from the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR), informing me of the upcoming activities that they have scheduled in this Archdiocese. You will recall than an official announcement regarding this group was published last year.

According to this letter, the group has scheduled a second ‘synod,’ to be held on September 17, 2011, at the Sheraton Hotel in Bloomington. In preparation for this event, CCCR is sponsoring ‘Council of the Baptized Listening sessions’ at various locations in the Twin Cities, as well as having a fundraiser at Lake Elmo Park Reserve. Based on previous communications from the CCCR, and having reviewed the materials provided on these events, I have a number of concerns and wish to caution you, as well as the Catholic faithful of this Archdiocese, against participating in these events or otherwise supporting the CCCR and its efforts.

Given my sacred responsibilities as catechist and defender of the faith, I especially wish to caution those who may consider attending one or more events that the invited speakers at both the fundraising event and the ‘synod’ hold positions contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Christine Schenk is the Executive Director ofFutureChurch, a group that ‘respect[s] the leading of the Spirit and primacy of conscience of women seeking to obey their priestly call outside the present canons of the Church (1), and actively promotes optional celibacy and an ‘inclusive’ priesthood. Anthony Padovano, whose theological writings have questioned the physical resurrection of Jesus, the virgin birth of Jesus, the perpetual virginity of Mary, and the need for an ordained priest to celebrate a valid Mass, was President of CORPUS (National Association for Married Priests) and Vice President of the International Federation of Married Priests (2). He has also been active in promoting an ‘ecumenical alliance’ of various schismatic groups.

This is not to suggest that some of the aspirations of those affiliated with these groups are not valid. On the contrary, I believe all Catholics share the desire to be a prophetic sign in and for the world, to promote justice and reconciliation in the Church, and to facilitate courageous and honest dialogue. However, it is the bishops, in communion with the Roman Pontiff, that have the responsibility to respond to the issues raised by the CCCR, and to do so in a way that reflects the mind of Christ and the Church. Furthermore, one of the practical effects of the CCCR and its activities is the creation of a counter-structure of authority within the Church that stands against the teachings of the Catholic faith on the authority of the bishops, the Holy Father, and the divine constitution of the Church as articulated by the Second Vatican Council. My grave fear is that faithful Catholics who may attend these events will receive confusing and inaccurate information about the teaching of the Church, and thereby be led astray.

I ask that you join me in praying for the unity of the Church, and for an outpouring of the infinite love that she embodies.

With every good wish, I remain,

Fraternally yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

(1) FutureChurch Statement on the Canonical Warning Issued to Fr. Roy Bourgeois, 3/31/2011.
(2) Documentation from the writings of Dr. Padvano can be supplied.

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.    

END OF POST/CONTINUED PRAYERS FOR AUTHENTIC UNITY

Residence of Archbishop John Nienstedt Burglarized

Audacious theft at archbishop’s home nets Catholic treasures

By ANTHONY LONETREE, Star TribuneJune 30, 2008

An overnight burglary at the St. Paul residence of new Archbishop John Nienstedt netted the thief or thieves the gem- and precious-metal-laden rings and crosses worn by bishops throughout the 150-year-plus history of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, a church official said Monday.

“These things are historically and reverentially irreplaceable,” said Dennis McGrath, spokesman for the archdiocese. “They’re beyond value.”

Believed to be missing, as well, are rosaries and a small safe. “It’s like a historical treasure trove, if you will,” McGrath said.

The burglary came on a weekend that was set to be a glorious one for Nienstedt, who was in Rome for a welcoming ceremony featuring Pope Benedict.

According to St. Paul police, the break-in occurred at the residence at 226 Summit Av. between 1:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Saturday. Whoever broke in climbed onto a first-floor roof and broke into a second-story window, police spokesman Peter Panos said.

About a week earlier, Nienstedt had set out for Rome with a group of about 100 church officials and worshipers, many of them acquaintances from his years as the bishop of the New Ulm Diocese, McGrath said.

On Sunday, they were witnesses to a ceremony in which Nienstedt received from the pope a pallium — a garment presented to all archbishops. “It is an important event,” McGrath said.

Along with Nienstedt’s “former faithful from New Ulm,” the archbishop then was to embark for Ulm, Germany, on a trip that had been delayed by his selection to his new post, McGrath said.

Early Monday, Panos, the police spokesman, said that it appeared that the stolen items might consist of a camera and personal jewelry, “but they’re not sure,” he added. But by afternoon, McGrath reported first the addition of the safe, then the rosaries and finally, after a church official reached Nienstedt overseas, the rings and pectoral crosses.

McGrath said there is no evidence that the burglary had political overtures against Nienstedt, whose orthodox style has been controversial with some Catholics in the archdiocese. The intruders were clearly bent on burglary, he said, adding that it appears that there were at least two people working in tandem and that they were familiar with the residence.

“These guys were pros,” he said. “The glass they broke through is, like, three or four inches thick. They couldn’t get through without a sledgehammer. They executed a well-thought-out plan. They knew exactly where to go in his bedroom.”

Panos said that police, too, believe that more than one person might be involved. The weight of the safe alone, he said, suggests that teamwork was required.

McGrath, who said he did not know if the stolen items were insured, said he couldn’t imagine someone wearing them. The crosses, for example, “are on a gold chain, very ornate,” and drape over the chest, he said.

“I don’t think 50 Cent would wear it,” he said, referring to the rap star.

Looking back, McGrath said he could not think of another such incident in the archdiocese’s history.

“It takes a lot of gall to rob an archbishop” across the street from the Cathedral of St. Paul, he said.

Staff writer Terry Collins contributed to this report. Anthony Lonetree • 651-298-1545