Tag Archives: magisterial teaching

Detroit Archbishop releases Q & A document addressing errors of dissidents and American Catholic Council

Responding to concerns raised by the faithful about a movement called the American Catholic Council (ACC), the Archdiocese of Detroit issued an advisory to its priests and parishes on October 12, 2010. The group has planned a national gathering in Detroit on the weekend of Pentecost 2011. Noting that the ACC and its national gathering are not conducted under the auspices of the Detroit archdiocese, the universal Roman Catholic Church, or any entity or organization affiliated with the archdiocese or the Roman Catholic Church, the advisory cautioned Catholics “…against participating in the American Catholic Council local listening sessions and national gathering.” The advisory noted the goals of the ACC are largely in opposition to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. There are positions espoused by some of the speakers and organizers which are clearly contrary to Catholic faith. What follows is a resource document addressing this matter in greater detail.

Questions and Answers
Regarding the American Catholic Council

1. The American Catholic Council is being held on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Vatican II. Are the positions taken by the ACC consistent with the teachings of Vatican II?

Answer: No.
While the ACC upholds some general values affirmed by Vatican II, there are explicit departures from what the Council actually taught. For example, the Preamble to the ACC’s “Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities [CBRR]” states that “distinctions between clergy and laity are functional and arbitrary,” but Vatican II teaches that “the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood differ from one another in essence and not only in degree.”[i] The ACC’s “Declaration for Reform and Renewal” seeks “reform of the governing structures of the Church so that they reflect the better aspects of the American experience” and “a democratic spirit.” Vatican II, however, affirms the “perpetuity” of the hierarchical structure of the Church, which is realized in “the sacred primacy of the Roman Pontiff”[ii] and “the sacred order of bishops” who have succeeded to the place of the apostles “by divine institution.”[iii] The ACC affirms an alleged “freedom to dissent” from Church teachings (CBRR, no. IV), but Vatican II instructs the faithful to manifest “faithful obedience”[iv] to the Church’s Magisterium and “religious submission of will and intellect” to the teachings of the Roman Pontiff even when he is not speaking ex cathedra.[v]

2. The American Catholic Council is being held in conjunction with the 35th anniversary of the Call to Action Conference held in Detroit. Is the American Catholic Council in historical continuity with the original Call to Action conference held in Detroit, October 20-23, 1976?

Answer: No.
The 1976 Call to Action conference was sponsored by the U.S. Catholic bishops in conjunction with U.S. Bicentennial of 1976. During the conference, however, special interest groups began to dominate, a reality noted by then Archbishop Joseph L. Bernardin of Cincinnati, the president of the NCCB/USCC.[vi] Subsequently, the NCCB/USCC distanced itself from Call to Action. Some Catholics, though, formed an organization called “Call to Action,” which continued without episcopal support. When a Call to Action conference was organized in Detroit in 1996, Cardinal Adam Maida issued a statement, which warned that “the overall climate of the conference creates the appearance of dissent from Church teaching and practice.”

3. Do some of the invited speakers to the ACC conference hold positions contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church?

Answer: Yes.
All of the invited keynote speakers have manifested dissent from Catholic teachings or support for dissenters. Hans Küng has rejected Vatican I’s defined dogma of papal infallibility, and in 1979, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated that he “could no longer be considered a Catholic theologian.”[vii] Dr. Jeanette Rodriguez endorsed a letter in support of Rosemary Radforth Ruether’s appointment to a Catholic Chair at the University of San Diego, even though Ruether is a board member of “Catholics for Choice,” an organization that rejects Catholic teaching on the grave immorality of abortion.[viii] Dr. Anthony Padovano has 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. He is also active in promoting an “ecumenical alliance” of various schismatic “Catholic” groups such as the Ecumenical Catholic Communion (ECC).[ix] James Carroll is the author of the 2001 book, Constantine’s Sword, which calls for a reconsideration of traditional Christology because affirming Jesus as the Messiah is, according to him, intrinsically linked to anti-Semitism.[x] Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is on record as publicly opposing Catholic teaching against legal abortion, and she chastised the U.S. bishops for their determination to make abortion illegal “even if it derails health-care reform entirely.”[xi] Sr. Joan Chittister is an open advocate of women’s ordination to the priesthood in spite of the definitive Catholic teaching on this subject.[xii] She also supported the right of 23 women religious to endorse a 1985 ad in the New York Times opposing Catholic teaching on abortion.[xiii]

4. Are the participants in the ACC representative of the whole Catholic Church?

Answer: No.
In fact, the ACC requires those wishing to participate to fill out a form designed to attract only those who share its agenda. There appears to be no attempt to reach out to Catholics who fully support the teachings of the Magisterium, and Archbishop Vigneron was neither invited nor consulted about the conference.

5. Are there any valid aspirations of the ACC?

Answer: Yes.
All Catholics can agree with the general affirmations made by the ACC regarding the dignity of baptism, the beatitudes, and the sacramental celebration “of God’s love and presence.” These valid affirmations of basic Christian values, however, are obscured by the resistance of the ACC to the divinely constituted authority of the Pope and the bishops in communion with him.

6. Is the ACC fostering alienation from the Catholic Church?

Answer: Yes.
Because a counter-structure of ecclesial authority is being set up that stands in opposition to the authority of the bishops, the Pope and the divine constitution of the Church as articulated by Vatican II.

7. What’s wrong with talking about controversial issues that are on the minds of many Catholics today?

Answer:
There’s nothing wrong with talking about these controversial issues. The question, though, is who has the authority to respond to these issues according to the mind of Christ and the Church. Vatican II states that “bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth.”[xiv] Because the ACC affirms a right to dissent from magisterial teachings, those discussing controversial issues at the conference will be subject to confusion and misinformation about what Catholics can and cannot hold.

8. Why can’t Archbishop Vigneron let people make up their own minds whether they wish to participate in this conference and the listening sessions being held in anticipation of it?

Answer:
Archbishop Vigneron is not taking away the right of people to make their own decisions. He has, however, issued warnings about the ACC because of his sacred responsibility to defend and uphold Catholic doctrine and guide the faithful with sound instruction. Like a good shepherd he is looking out for the well-being of his flock, and, as a faithful steward, he knows he must “one day render an account for their souls” (cf. Heb 13:17, Lumen Gentium, 27).


[i] Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, 10.

[ii] Lumen Gentium, 18

[iii] Lumen Gentium, 20.

[iv] Lumen Gentium, 12

[v] Lumen Gentium, 25.

[vi] Russell Shaw, “Call to Action Conference,” in New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement 2010 (Detroit and Washington, D.C.: Gale Cengage Learning and the Catholic University of America, 2010) Volume 1, p. 191.

[vii] Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Declaration regarding certain aspects of the theological doctrine of Professor Hans K?ng,” Acta Apostolicae Sedis 72 (1980): 90-92

[viii] See “Letter to the University of San Diego Supporting Academic Freedom and Rosemary Radford Ruether” (found on: http://www.womensordination.org/content/view/211/42/ ). The letter was written after the University of San Diego withdrew its invitation to appoint Rosemary Radford Ruether to the Monsignor John R. Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology for 2009-2010. Although Dr. Jeanette Rodriguez has been an invited speaker to Church sponsored events, her support for Ruether is troubling.

[ix] Documentation from the writings of Dr. Padovano and the website of Corpus can be supplied.

[x] See review of Constantine’s Sword by Robert Louis Wilken in Commonweal (Jan. 26, 2001).

[xi] Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, “A Call to Catholics,” Newsweek (November 5, 2009).

[xii] In the summer of 2001 Sr. Chittister ignored admonitions by the Church that she not appear as a speaker at the Women’s Ordination Conference held in Dublin, Ireland. See Patty McCarty, “Nuns Firm Under Fire – Women’s Ordination Conference, Dublin Ireland,” National Catholic Reporter (July 13, 2001).

[xiii] See Alphonse de Valk, C.S.B. “Joan Chittister: Disloyalty as Obedience,” Catholic Insight (Jan./Feb. 2002).

[xiv] Lumen Gentium, 25.

END OF POST/SOURCE

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Angels and Demons: Facts, NOT Fiction by Fr. John Corapi

The painting depicts God addressing a devil, w...
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Angels and Demons: Facts, NOT Fiction

 By Fr. John Corapi

An excerpt from the book, “Ever Ancient Ever New” by Father John Corapi

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.

‘My Son, deliver your church from the National Catholic Reporter and…

 …dissipative structuring’

Fresh off its support for federally funded abortions the National Catholic Reporter turns on the Holy Father this week… 

 

Catholic columnists are beginning to state the obvious when it comes to the enemies of Pope Benedict exploiting the current sex abuse scandal for their own ends: “It’s payback time for Benedict.”  

But, that’s not the whole story, is it?

No, it’s not. There’s a more troubling side to the NCR story… 

Here’s a bit on the underlying movements flying just beneath radar detection “inside” NCR’s airspace this week:

  • VOTF is one of the Catholic reform groups that is joining others under the umbrella “American Catholic Council.” Their first gathering is scheduled for Pentecost, June 10-11, 2011 in Detroit.
  • The goal of the American Catholic Council, in simple terms, is to create and promote an autochthonous Church; a Church both Catholic and American modeled on, as ex-Jesuit Robert Blair Kaiser says, “the Maronites, the Melchites, the Byzantines, the Copts and sixteen other autochthonous churches in the Middle East that are loyal to the pope, but glory in their own governance, their own married clergy, and their own liturgies.”
  • Actually, there is nothing “loyal” about conveners of the American Catholic Council when it comes to the Chair of Peter and his teaching magisterium. These want an independent Catholic Church in America that elects its own priests and hierarchy, condones abortion, contraception, homosexual relations, married clergy, women priests, divorce and other “radically inclusive reforms.”
  • One such group under the ACC umbrella, and mentored by VOTF, is the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
  • Most telling of the many “tactics” the ACC is deploying in order to achieve its goal of re-creating a new ecclesiology, (i.e. a false Christ and false church), comes from CCCR co-chairman Bernie Rodel:

The tactic is called ‘dissipative structuring’. There are four basic characteristics of dissipative structures: 

1. Disorder and Disequilibrium – It is necessary for the system to generate sufficient disequilibrium (Disorder) within itself to create the degree of freedom within which the system’s change can take place.

2. Symmetry Breaking – For a new order to emerge, the old order must be demolished.

3. Experimentation – Breaking symmetry alone can lead to chaos unless it is also supplemented by activities which will generate new forms or configurations around which the system can reorganise.

4. Reformulation – The experimentation process leads to the development of new possible configurations, around which the system must reformulate.

  • To simplify: Dissidents believe under this theory that it’s necessary to create disorder (chaos) within the Church because the divinely instituted hierarchical nature of the Church in the world must be destroyed in order for the body of Christ on earth to finally accept the spurious proposals and reconfigured “American Church” VOTF, CCCR, and the American Catholic Council offers…

Yes, it’s payback time. But, the enemy’s attack by means of NCR and ACC proponents has nothing personal against Benedict himself per se, he’s merely a roadblock. No, this hell inspired attack on the papacy is aimed at weakening–with the intent to destroy–one of the three pillars of God’s divine revelation to man: Magisterial teaching. The hierarchal nature of the Church…

There’s a problem with this course of reformation, however, and something to seriously consider in your own reading of NCR’s article:  God is not a God of disorder but of peace… 1 Cor. 33  

The following is a combox appeal for the American Catholic Council from VOTF’s Sister Maureen Paul Turlish found on the NCR site following its attack article. I’ll leave it up to you to sniff out if it promotes a diabolic attempt at reformation of the one Church of God through means of the four basic characteristics of dissipative structures. My mind’s already made up…

This will be hard to believe

Submitted by Maureen Paul Turlish (not verified) on Mar. 26, 2010.

This will be hard to believe but the pope does have the power to turn the corner on this even at this very late date.

He is the only one who can but it depends on whether he has the will to do it. It will cost him everything and I do mean everything.

The curia has its own vested interest in opposing the pope but, again, the pope is the only one who has the power. He is the most knowledgeable of anyone about this given his former position as Head of the Holy Office. He knows. He always knew.

What will he have to do? Take the next step to start with.

For years he has been saying how sorry, etc., etc., he was and is that this happened. His sincerity is not doubted but he has not followed up by taking the next step.

He has apologized for “any mistakes that may have been made,” much like Boston’s Cardinal Law and the American bishops have said but they never actually ever said they were sorry for what they individually did or did not do, they never admitted that in so many cases that they committed crimes or were complicit in the commission of crimes.

While every country, Ireland, the States, Australia, Germany, etc., has its own variation on this horrid theme, the bishops, generally, have not admitted guilt. In the U.S. they have not.

In the United States no bishop, not even Cardinal Law, left his diocese in disgrace. Law was actually rewarded with his present position. He got to vote for Benedict XVI, he heads important church committees and such.

Auxilary bishops in Boston received their own dioceses like William Murphy and John McCormack to name just two.

Mostly the Catholics I have talked to fall into two groups. Those who have walked away from the institution, although they still think of themselves as “Catholic” and they always will be, and those who are angry and want to help in the reformation of the church. Voice of the Faithful members, www.votf.org have joined with others, the movement for an American Catholic Council, www.americancatholiccouncil.org, to start that going. Bishops in the U.S. and I suspect other countries have as we say, “cut a deal” with individual state prosecutors to avoid being charged criminally.

Yes, the church has lost its way. Leadership, all male remember, has failed big time but why?

Unless the pope admits that there were broad, fundamental, systemic and endemic reasons that allowed, permitted, facilitated this happening and then works with all interested parties to correct those flaws, developing a new paradigm for governmental leadership in the church, the church will evenually(sic) bleed out.

The church’s ministry is pastoral. It should be reaching out in every way possible, first to victim/survivors then to all members who have been affected by this this. The bishops should be welcoming of any group that wants to help, but they aren’t very welcoming.

Leadership hasn’t really been doing this, they refuse to meet with people, they bad mouth groups like Voice of the Faithful and they continue in the U.S. to viciously oppose statute of limitation reform in the individual states by the power of the states’ Catholic conferences, and remember, we have 50 of them!

No, actions need to follow words. They need to speak Truth to Power and they haven’t done that.

Actions have consequences and bishops in the U.S. should be removed from office as should some in other countries.

They have failed the People of God.

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
Victims’ Advocate
New Castle, Delaware, USA

You may contact sister with your concerns. Or, better yet, simply pray for her conversion as with all of these…

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