I do not know Mr. Joseph A. Wemhoff, but I sure do admire the way in which he arrests the “Spirit of Vatican II” in regard to the American Catholic Council in the following article …
Seeking fewer dissident Catholics
The 1,800 people at the recent American Catholic Council conference in Detroit compares with 1,840 at the first Call to Action meeting there 35 years ago. On the ACC meeting, the liberal National Catholic Reporter wrote (6/21/11): “well over half the participants were 65 or older and most of the rest were at least 50 … only a small scattering … in their 20s, 30s, or 40s … overwhelmingly white, with only a tiny black and Hispanic presence.”
The hierarchy need not portray these folks as “divisive, wild-eyed radicals and fringe loonies” — their own actions define them as such.
There is no right of dissent in the Catholic Church. One rejects the Church’s teachings and discipline at the peril of damnation. The Catholic Church never will be a democratic, human institution. It is a hierarchical, divine institution designed by its Founder to preserve the faith and save souls. Like the military, the Church is mission-driven. Like nature, form follows function.
The Detroit conference was a desperate attempt by ideologues to resurrect a dead movement. These closed-minded fanatics are in denial that their agenda is over, even as Anglicans beat a path to the orthodoxy of Rome. Francis Cardinal George wrote the epitaph on Feb. 27, 2001, at the Commonweal Forum when he said, “Liberal Catholicism is an exhausted project. … It no longer gives life” and has surrendered to the world.
Despite their tiny numbers, these heretics — and more so their fellow travelers in the clergy — have done incalculable damage to the Church from positions of power these past two generations by acting “in the spirit of Vatican II,” but contrary to its letter and actual intent. We faithful Catholics have seen our children abused spiritually (inverted order of first sacraments, poor catechesis, etc.); a false ecumenism belying our one, true faith; moral relativism; sacrilege toward the Sacred Species at Mass; invalid general absolutions; advocacy for the homosexual agenda; a contrived, artificial priest shortage; a refocus on humans instead of God; introduction of Masonic elements into our church buildings via needless “renovations”; willful misrepresentations of Church teachings; liturgical “innovations”; etc.
Through Alinsky tactics of deceit and intimidation, rebel clergy and laity have committed violence against faithful Catholics by denying us our rightful patrimony.
The fruits of this unbridled dissent are legion. Vocations have plummeted; only 25 percent of Catholics attend Sunday Mass; only one in three believe in the Real Presence. “Catholic” politicians support abortion and other evils. Bishops lack courage to enforce discipline, and “Catholic” colleges are anything but. The priestly homosexual abuse crisis is an abomination.
Ken is right in that we lay Roman Catholics must act — to help restore our Church. Already, the pendulum has swung to orthodoxy. In its 2,000-year history, under the protection of the Holy Spirit, the Catholic Church has always triumphed, and always will.
We pray that our heretical brothers and sisters will repent, convert, and save their souls.
“We cannot be sure whether Eric’s theological position is typical of a liberal or a radical Protestantism. But as an exercise in loyal dissent it moves beyond the limits of orthodox Catholicism…”
To pell is to pelt; to knock about, is what mell is to beat with a mallet; to hammer… And yesterday Cardinal Pell hammered retired Australian priest Eric Hodgens and his unorthodox ethos of Vatican II, a spirit responsible for much of the difficulties and challenges the Catholic Church faces in the world today.
Eric Hodgens is a Melbourne priest ordained in 1960. He has had parish appointments for all of his ministerial years except for two years of full-time study at Melbourne University. He was Director of Pastoral Formation for Priests in Melbourne for seven years while setting up a new parish. Eric has the most extensive set of statistics on secular priests in Australia and writes occasionally on Catholic and other matters. Further articles can be viewed on his blog www.catholicview.typepad.com
Time to speak – and act
A large section of Catholic priests are at odds with the public stance of the Church. The issues which disturb them include:
the displacement of the main game of spreading a message of life, hope, compassion and forgiveness by overstressing, moral issues;
foreclosing on moral issues which need revisiting – eg contraception, IVF, divorce, homosexuality;
World Youth Days which feed the personality cult of the pope to the detriment of the local church and which have not reversed the flow of youth from the Church;
the autocratic, non-consultative management style of many bishops – themselves unsuitable and unwanted and appointed without consultation;
the promotion of reactionary, authoritarian and fundamentalist movements such as Opus Dei, Legionaries of Christ, Heralds of the Gospel, Communione e Liberatione as real, effective responses to the challenge of faith in a secular world;
the non-consultative and politically motivated superimposition of a new, defective translation of the liturgy. This one has the potential of sparking a people-power revolt as a growing parade of liturgical experts list the bad policy and the abuses still being perpetrated under its banner;
The discomfort these priests feel ranges from embarrassment to outright disagreement.
Yet, we priests do not speak up much. Why?
We were trained not to speak up. In our earlier years we were afraid to speak up because the bishop was too awesome a figure. The rank gradient was steep. Remember “My Lord”. Remember genuflecting and kissing the ring. And bishops learned the trick of controlling the pack by showing anger or displeasure at the first sign of disagreement.
We were also trained to put the Church institution first. Rocking the boat in public was disloyalty and self-aggrandisement.
More recently priests worked out that it was useless to talk up anyway. Bishops generally were impervious to criticism, especially on issues of Roman policy.
The Diocesan Council of Priests became a waste of time in most dioceses. So, why waste your psychological energy? Just go back to your parish and do your own thing.
Finally, there was always the promise of obedience which imitated the antique oath of fealty to the liege lord. “Do you promise obedience and respect to me and my successors?” Priests took this literally and seriously.
This policy will no longer do. It is time to speak up and to act. The matter is urgent. Why?
The church in Australia and the west is in serious trouble. Church-loving laity know it, priests know it. The symptoms are clear: a drought of priests, dropping Mass attendance, the loss of the younger generation and a walking away from membership by the worn down hard core.
So, what is the cause and what response is needed?
In Europe and its offspring, membership of the Church was overwhelmingly a matter of inheritance. The baby was christened and all presumed that it would stay a Church member for life. Most European states had an established religion. They were confessional states. Even after the arrival of the secular states the denominational sub-groups remained relatively large and strong. Christian identity remained confessional – ie I belong to this church, believe what it believes and practice religion the way it does. Membership qualifications were clear and the group’s boundaries were clearly defined.
Two rules of membership provided continued existence. Firstly, you christened your children and inculturated them into the group. Secondly, there was strong group pressure not to defect.
Since World War II the social cohesion of religious groups has weakened leaving christened members freer to think and act for themselves. A lot of this is due to a massive expansion of knowledge — scientific, psychological, sociological, historical, critical. Combined with a massive expansion of education, the result is much more freedom of thought. In this new environment long assumed facts have been turned upside down. So many accepted beliefs and practices are seen as dated and irrelevant. Bemoaning the scene is no help. We must revisit the core message of the Church and re-work the way we present it in the light of the new knowledge in this new social context. One term used to describe this process is recontextualization.
Rome lays the blame on secularism and relativism and calls for a new evangelization. John Paul II started this call. Benedict has followed it up by establishing the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization. The problem with this is that there is no intention to review the articulation of faith and moral teaching, nor an intention to try out new approaches to liturgy, nor to experiment in inculturation. Look at the favoured new movements, the new translation of the missal, the catechesis offered at World Youth Days – all reasserting the old model which is not working.
The foreclosed answer is reconfessionalisation, not the recontextualization needed Recontextualization entails accepting, even welcoming, secular and pluralistic culture. We rearticulate our core faith so that it makes sense in that context.
We rearticulate our concept and imagery of God so that God is the unseen, transcendent core of being rather than the string puller and button pusher of a puppet world. Jesus becomes the face and voice of the unseen God and the channel of God’s faithfulness and love. Salvation is the hope that we can justifiably hold on to in the face of death – a hope reassured by our faith in Jesus risen.
The recontextualized articulation of the central message of Christian salvation is well under way. Scripture scholars like Ray Brown, Joe Fitzmyer, John Meier and Eugene La Verdiere have shown us how faith develops and its articulation grows. As Jesus became larger than life in the belief of the early Christian communities they told larger than life stories. Under their guidance the scriptures make sense.
Karen Armstrong has lucidly shown the distinction between logical and mythological discourse. If you want to have meaningful faith conversation in the modern world you must understand the power and meaning of myth.
Theologians like Roger Lenaers and Roger Haight rearticulate the core of Christian theology in a way which is credible in the modern world. Michael Morwood and Philip Kennedy have done a fine job of popularizing this recontextualized theology. But their efforts are not appreciated by Rome. Haight has been silenced. Tissa Balasurya and Jaques Dupuis were both pursued by the CDF for recontextualizing Christian faith in the face of religious pluralism.
The Catholic Church had a great chance to meet this challenge at the start of the 20’h century. The response was Pius X’s campaign against modernism with mind-numbing results. We were not alone. At about the same time the US protestants answered the challenge with their fundamentalist tracts. We got another chance with Vatican II and Gaudium et Spes. The non-converted curial remnant got busy and won the post-conciliar battle especially under John Paul II. Gaudium et Spes was dismantled. The result is our unpreparedness for the current collapse. It is now the 11th hour. The matter is urgent.
It is precisely because so many priests have taken steps along this econtextualizing path that they are in disagreement with Roman policy as it recycles the old confessional model. Many priests have already very thoughtfully modified their pastoral practice. They are already recontextualizing their own faith journey. They have replaced the simplistic faith of their youth with a more fluid faith borne out of experience, more mature and reflective appreciation of the scriptures and a more vital, dynamic theology.
Our promise of loyalty was made to the Church in the person of the bishop. If the bishop is wrong, a loyal priest speaks up. In the light of relentless alienating Roman policy, made acutely specific in the current imposition of the defective translation of the liturgy, we have the responsibility not only to speak up but to act.
Cardinal Pell responds:
Some Gaudium and No Spes
By George Cardinal Pell
Father Eric Hodgens’ piece on the Gaudium et Spes priests gives us plenty of food for thought. It is well written and provocative, as you would expect of a priest who described his own cohort as possessing “the biggest proportion of intelligent, educated and competent leaders”. But it is unbalanced, misguided, selective and sometimes inaccurate.
Recently I have been concerned by the theological extremism of some Swag contributions, and am grateful for the opportunity to state the case for the orthodox mainstream. I am not ordering anyone to “withdraw to the fortress and sing the old song”, but my best lines are still from the New Testament with its ancient truths and melodies.
Eric sees himself now as “a presbyter called and ordained by the Church – the People of God” rather than as “a priest called and consecrated by God”. It is difficult to know exactly what this means, but it might point us to a number of fundamental issues.
More cards have been laid on the table than in Father Hodgens’ earlier writings. While it would be interesting to know whether he still has any jokers up his sleeve, it is more important to recognize that many of the cards cannot be identified accurately. We do not know, for example, his answers to the nine questions he lists. We do not know the limits to his hostility to some ancient devotions such as adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and veneration of Our Lady. We do not know whether his opposition to the papacy and episcopate touches these institutions themselves or simply the style of recent incumbents. So too with priesthood and traditional Christian teaching on marriage, divorce and sexuality.
We cannot be sure whether Eric’s theological position is typical of a liberal or a radical Protestantism. But as an exercise in loyal dissent it moves beyond the limits of orthodox Catholicism.
Let me attempt to state the issue in the most basic terms.
We find no evidence in Eric’s article that the Catholic Church is the recipient of divine revelation, “God’s message not some human thinking” (1 Thess 2.13); nor that the Catholic Church was founded by the Son of God “the Word who was with God . . . the Word who was God” (Jn 1.1), Jesus the Christ, the son of Mary with a divine as well as a human nature. If Christ is divine, New Testament teachings have a unique authority.
Eric writes with the genuine anguish of most of us older Catholics who grew up at an unusually high tide of faith and practice and lived through the radical decline which followed the social revolution of the 1960s in the First World. But some of the damage was self-inflicted.
One major point of difference is that in my view Eric’s prescriptions are a significant cause of our problems. His solutions were put into practice after the Council, to some degree in Australia, but especially in Belgium, Holland and French-speaking Canada. They emptied the Churches there.
Pope Paul VI appointed no bishops who were opposed to the ethos of Vatican II, and for various reasons the good bishops appointed in Holland were overwhelmed, tossed aside by the liberal gales. This brings me to another contemporary fact, which I never anticipated as a young seminarian in Rome during the Council or as a young priest. The now aged liberal wing of the Church, which dominated discussion after the Council and often the bishops and the emerging Church bureaucracies, has no following among young practising Catholics, priests or religious. This is not only true in Australia, but everywhere in the Western world. In these different countries dominated by a secular media and intelligentsia, liberalism has no young Catholic progeny.
On reflection we should not find this surprising, as growth is tied to Gospel fidelity, to faith, love and sacrifice. After Vatican II many of us overestimated our cultural strengths and underestimated the virulence of anti-Christian forces. You need strong Christian foundations to participate productively in “open dialogue”. Without these roots the end of the road is agnosticism.
I should conclude with a few words in defence of the four popes who were mauled, especially Paul, John Paul II and Benedict. Incidentally it is a matter of historical record that at the 1971 Synod of Bishops, Pope Paul offered to the bishops the option of ordaining married men to the priesthood and the bishops declined to accept this.
All three popes were prolific writers, while John Paul II and Benedict were professional academics with a record of scholarly and popular publications rarely if ever equalled by any Australian priest. I believe Pope Benedict is now our most distinguished living theologian.
The charges against the Holy Father do not amount to too much e.g. instituting a special year to honour priests (which was well received by priests and people), continuing with a new translation of the Roman Missal, and encouraging the Tridentine Mass to be celebrated. He did not receive back the bishops of the Society of St. Pius X, but only lifted their excommunication. They are still in schism.
Pope John Paul provokes a special hostility, allegedly an abuser of power, out of touch in scripture, limited in theology, a bad listener. It is a surprise that anyone came to his funeral. In particular he is denounced for emasculating the leadership of the Church, who are clerical and compliant, “low on creativity, leadership, education and even intelligence”.
In an astonishing example of provincial arrogance, Hodgens claims that “the more intelligent and better educated” bishops (only “some” to be sure) are corrupt and have sold their soul for advancement. Me thinks he protests too much.
Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict were not hostile to intelligence, education or competence, but they have striven regularly to appoint bishops who will defend the apostolic tradition and strive to implement policies which will strengthen the Catholic position, not white-ant it.
Hodgens’ misunderstanding of the magisterium is typical of his position. The magisterium refers primarily to the teaching authority of the pope together with the bishops (Vatican II’s collegiality). The baptised faithful share in this and so do the theologians with priests and religious.
Certainly the teaching authority of the bishops was recognized early by St. Ignatius of Antioch (+107 A.D.) and St Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (+200 A.D.) with his apostolic succession lists of bishops to defend the apostolic tradition. The ancient teaching chair of the bishop exemplifies this, predating by many centuries any groups of professional theologians in the medieval universities. In Pope John Paul’s 27 years of pontificate 24 individuals were disciplined for their theological views, including eight who were silenced or removed, in the worldwide Catholic community of more than one billion believers. Father Hodgens himself escaped any reign of terror and so did many hundreds of dissidents.
Eric is a bit too generous to his generation, to which I belong. Many were formidable, but we coincided with a period of decline probably unparalleled since the Reformation.
“Reflections on an ordination golden anniversary” is thought provoking. I am glad Father Hodgens has enjoyed his years of priesthood. Unfortunately much of the analysis is mistaken since his solutions, to the extent we can identify them, are less than Catholic and would make a difficult situation worse.
‘NEVER let a good crisis go to waste” was the political maxim formulated by Hillary Clinton. It has been adopted by the fading trendies in the Catholic Church who still carry the burnt-out torch of the Second Vatican Catastrophe, in their Intifada against Pope Benedict XVI.
The sex abuse scandal in the Church – the product of the post-Conciliar nihilists’ own iconoclastic destruction of traditional Catholic morals and spirituality – has audaciously been conscripted to serve their desperate agenda to overthrow the Pope, secure a “progressive” successor and eventually replace the Papacy with some kind of lay soviet (well, that is what happens to your brain if you inhaled substances other than incense, back in the 1960s).
Such an inversion of the truth is not without precedent: the Venerable Pius XII saved 860,000 Jews from the Nazis; but today, thanks to defamation by a German playwright, propagated by “liberal” Catholics, the one individual who did more than anyone on earth to help the Jews is demonised and bracketed with Heinrich Himmler. Now, the Spirit-of-Vatican II groupies are going after Benedict XVI on the child abuse ticket.
“Radical” Catholics are attacking the Vatican, like the chav mobs that sporadically besiege the houses of paediatricians. Our television screens are filled with geriatric ex-Jesuits, feminist nuns, “progressive” theologians and every variety of Lollards and Fifth Monarchy Men. Even their 1960s poster-boy Hans Küng (yes, he is still alive) has emerged from obscurity to throw his pebble at Benedict.
Who was to blame for child sex abuse but precisely the generation of Vatican II revolutionaries who are now wringing their gnarled hands in hypocritical outrage? As the official Irish government report into abuse in the archdiocese of Dublin proves, this orgy of evil was overwhelmingly perpetrated in the post-Vatican II era. During the 1970s and 1980s, when it was at its height, there was only one mortal sin in the Catholic Church: attempting to celebrate or attend the Latin Tridentine Mass.
Contrast the vicious persecution of traditionalist priests and laity with the extravagant indulgence extended to serial child abusers. Today, their chickens have come home to roost. These were the children of Paul VI, of aggiornamento, of the great Renewal: now they must be made to take ownership of their own scandal. It is they who are in denial, not the Pope.
They are being supported by the media, whose agenda is to pressurize the Catholic Church into moral relativism, to withdraw its condemnation of abortion, contraception, divorce, homosexuality, embryo experimentation, ordination of priestesses and every other precept that conflicts with the secularist New World Order.
That will not happen. The fatuity of much of the attack is blatant. Evidently priests abused altar boys because of clerical celibacy. There is no compulsory celibacy in the Church of England, yet vicars and boy scouts have been mainstays of the Sunday tabloids for a century. The Dublin report recorded a ratio of 2.3 boy victims to one girl: the last thing these men wanted was a wife.
The much-hyped Wisconsin scandal, used to traduce Benedict XVI, is another example of forcing the wrong pieces into the jigsaw to fabricate the required picture. The local police investigated Father Murphy in 1974 and refused to believe his accusers. More than 20 years later, when Murphy was dying, his case was referred to the then Cardinal Ratzinger. In 1998 he declined to unfrock the now repentant offender who died four months later.
The Milwaukee district attorney had refused to prosecute Murphy because the statute of limitations had run out; the Vatican faced the same canonical problem. Why are the Milwaukee authorities not blamed instead of the Vatican? Why was Cardinal Ratzinger expected to unravel a case that had baffled the local police 24 years earlier?
Unfrocking would not have deprived Murphy of his priesthood – that is irremovable. It would only have prevented him functioning as a priest, which he was no longer capable of doing.
It is time for the Pope to retaliate. He should adopt the liberals’ strategy of not wasting a crisis. The media are howling for the heads of bishops. Very well: give them dozens, even hundreds. This is an opportunity to get rid of every mitred 1960s flower-child obstructing the return of the Tridentine Mass, liturgical reverence and doctrinal orthodoxy. The episcopal gerontocracy, along with the flared-trousered seminary rectors promoting the ordination of social worker priests and blocking genuine vocations, is ripe for a cull. The abuse scandal is only a part of the larger crisis that has engulfed the Church since the Second Vatican Catastrophe – it really is too good to waste.
The bizarre pagentry of four 4′ x 12′ paper-mache Rasta Jesus puppets with human liturgical dancers in-tow frolicking to the reform anthem, “Sing A New Church Into Being”, was too much to stomach for thousands of faithful Catholics in 2008…
“Let us sing a new church into being…”. Gee, how’d that work out? In the 70’s and 80’s, though you and your ilk did fail in your attempt to sing, chant, screech, bloviate, bluster, and fart a new church into being, you did manage to raise the least-catechized generation in Church history. Congratulations…”
Another blogger commenting on Geronimo’s sharp rebuke on liberalism’s 50-year effect on Catholic education in America said, ” it is one of the greatest blog comments of all time..”I agree with the insight as a catechist, it’s tragically true, see here, here, here. However, we’re not alone with the problem…
Geronimo Rumplestiltskin, meet Nergal the Catholic…
In 2007, Behemoth frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski reportedly called the Catholic Church “the most murderous cult on the planet” during a show in Gdynia, Poland, and ripped a Bible up on stage.
Although he was sued by the All-Polish Committee For Defense Against Sects for “promoting Satanism,” the case was thrown out of court because Nergal only had one accuser, and two complaints must be lodged before any formal charges with offending religious feelings in Poland.
A second complaint has now been filed against Nergal, according to Blabbermouth.net, and he’s formally been charged with insulting Catholics. He’s pleaded not guilty and could face up to two years in prison if he’s found guilty.
“There are some organizations and institutions that think they have a right to judge what’s wrong and right,” Nergal told CHARTattack last year about the first complaint against him. “They tried to do something, they made attempts but they failed because they can’t really do much.
“They tried to bring me to court for tearing up the Bible on stage. They tried to stop the show, they sent out letters saying Behemoth is this and that, that we’re public enemy number one or that we’re dangerous. But it hardly has any effect, really.
BIO NOTE:Adam Darski was born in Gdynia, Poland, raised Catholic, and started playing guitar at the age of 8. He goes by the stage name Nergal (naming himself after a Babylonian deity).
“We are not a corporation with head offices in Rome … it is my obligation to insist on the rights and duties of the local bishop in the Catholic Church…”
Archbishop Rembert Weakland
The Other Weakland Issue: Renovate the church, renovate the liturgy, renovate Roman Catholics… Renovate Christ The King.
A day is fast approaching when the so-called “Spirit of Vatican II” will, in human language, be thrown upon the trash heap of history; by divine language, by an Oracle of the LORD, the true Spirit of God will replace the error and quickly place the imposter where no living man desires knowledge of–let alone live to speak of it… And that day will come for one simple reason: the vile and false spirit tried to replace Christ the King within the hearts of men.
In the days ahead there will be sculpture protests, yes, mostly centered upon Archbishop Weaklands role in the scandal of sex abuse during his tenure. But, there’s another story: the Real Presence. If ever, (and I pray not), you’ve experienced the painful reckovation process at your own parish you know well the story. I experienced the same process of lies: Built in efforts to portray parish renovation as a parish supported project when, in fact, that wasn’t the reality at all, but, pure manipulation alone — life-long Catholic men and women ridiculed in public for their faithful protests — Hand picked parishioners Pre-trained as group facilitators (control agents) — petition drives and useless meetings with bishop representatives — Controlled dissension at planning meetings — Years of unnecessary resentments within the parish — But, above all evil, in most instances, was the removal of the tabernacle from the central apex of the church. Relegating to some room, alcove, or closet the true presence of Jesus Christ (God with us) within the Blessed Sacrament away from the view of His people. That’s the other story.
If the “Spirit of Vatican II” aided in lessening the sense of sin and Catholic moral life over the past 50 years, thus, causing many to fall over the same period (including priests and bishops), I’m convinced that the same spirit also attempted to lessen the chances of remembering the only cure to what ails us, the True Presence…
The following report from the long-missed Seattle Catholic from 2001 will help those who haven’t experienced such devastation with their understanding, and hopefully inspire them to protect their spiritual lives by turning from any advance by the ill-spirit, and instead, towards faithful reform of the reform. Also, Catholic Citizens is asking the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Bishop Listecki to Prevent Honors to Archbishop Weakland, and have provided contact numbers to make your concerns known. Numbers follow the story:
Last week, Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland began a $4.5 million renovation of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Despite numerous and repeated protests from thousands of local Catholics and formal instruction from the Vatican to halt the renovation plans, workers began dismantling the high altar and crushing the surrounding marble columns.
Cardinal Jorge Medina ordered Weakland to stop the destruction of the cathedral and resubmit plans that are more in line with liturgical and canonical norms. Weakland said he considered the points raised by Cardinal Medina but saw no issues that required any change of plans. It is heartening to know that Archbishop Weakland’s modernist ability to ignore opposing statements is so well developed. Medina wrote:
“…it would seem to this congregation that the ancient and venerable high altar together with its baldacchino should be retained, given also that it is a most suitable location for the reservation of the Most Blessed Sacrament.”
Weakland’s response was to promptly remove the baldacchino and crush the marble pillars that supported it. In a letter to his priests, he justified his actions by stating:
“We are not a corporation with head offices in Rome … it is my obligation to insist on the rights and duties of the local bishop in the Catholic Church”
We won’t get into (yet) the defiance of American Bishops that has lead to “altar girls” and extraordinary ministers, and the subsequent concessions of the Vatican encouraging the behavior. That’s a whole other issue.
Vosko’s Cathedral Renovations
When planning the cathedral renovation, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee employed the services of liturgical design consultant Fr. Richard Vosko. Vosko, a new-age priest out of Albany, has been on “special assignment” since 1970 renovating (many say “ruining”) Catholic churches throughout the country. He was instrumental in the renovations of Seattle’s St. James Cathedral, which bears the scars of combining liberal theology with poor planning. An article in U.S. Catholic, describes part of the redesign process:
Early in the process some 300 parishioners were gathered at tables, given sheets showing an outline of the church, and asked to draw exactly where they thought the altar, baptistery, tabernacle, and other furniture should be positioned.
Never mind the long history of Church liturgical architecture, entrenched in Catholic doctrine, which has produced some the greatest structural accomplishments known to man. Let’s give a bunch of laypeople some crayons to see what kind of Church would make them feel more spiritual. What was the result? A high altar replaced with an organ, deck chairs encircling a central altar and the Blessed Sacrament relocated into a cage (appropriately enough) with enough space for only six kneelers…
Catholic Citizens of Illinois Asks Archdiocese of Milwaukee Bishop Listecki to Prevent Honors to Archbishop Weakland
Chicago, IL January 8th — “It is an outrageous insult to the victims of sexual abuse to allow former Archdiocese of Miwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland to be honored at the Cathedral of St. John and permitted to speak at the occasion of the renovation of the Cathedral,” said Mrs. Mary Anne Hackett, president of Catholic Citizens of Illinois.
As part of the renovation, Weakland commissioned a bronze, which serves as a pedestal of the statue of the Blessed Mother, featuring the Archbishop, flanked by St. John the Evangelist and St. Anne, Mother of Mary, as a protector of children. That alone is a shocking distortion of the actual situation in Milwaukee under the leadership of Archbishop Weakland.
“Archbishop Weakland has disgraced himself and the Church with his long history of homosexual contacts and then adding to the disgrace by publishing his memoirs, trumpeting his contempt for Catholic teaching on sexual morality and describing some of his reprehensible behavior. In the past he has even seemed to suggest that the blame for the abuse was shared by the victim,” said Mr. Dan Cheely, a board member of Catholic Citizens. He continued, “In view of such a history, he should not be permitted to receive Church honors in a public setting.”
“We respectfully call upon Bishop Jerome Listecki, the newly installed Bishop of Milwaukee, to intervene to prevent further scandal in the Milwaukee diocese,” said Mrs. Hackett. “This is an essential action needed to put the terrible scandal of sexual abuse behind us and allow the correction and healing to be effective.”
Catholic Citizens of Illinois is an independent Catholic lay organization, faithful to the Magisterium of the Church and the Holy Father, Benedict XVI.
CATHOLIC CITIZENS OF ILLINOIS
106 CALENDAR COURT, PMB #122
LA GRANGE, IL 50525
For additional information on the bronze sculpture, CLICK HERE
To contact Archbishop Listecki:
Archdiocese of Milwaukee
3501 S. Lake Dr.
P.O. Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912
To leave a comment on the Archdiocese of Milwaukee website