Tag Archives: Voice Of The Faithful

“Getting the Priests…”

“Quite frankly, it is more acceptable in our society today to defend the rights of Gitmo detainees than Catholic priests…”

Straight Talk About the Catholic Church

by Bill Donohue

When the Boston Globe exposed massive wrongdoing in the Boston Archdiocese in 2002, Catholics were understandably angry. And when more horror stories surfaced elsewhere, we were furious. But now our anger is turning on those who are distorting the truth about priestly sexual abuse. That some are exploiting this issue for ideological and financial profit seems plain.

Every time a new wave of accusations surfaces in one diocese, not coincidentally we see a spike in accusations in other dioceses. What is not often reported is that the vast majority of new accusations extend back decades. For example, for the first quarter of this year, 80 percent of the cases of alleged abuse involve incidences that occurred before 2000.

In March, an 80 year-old man came forward in St. Louis claiming he was abused 70 years ago by a priest who has been dead for a half century. This is not an anomaly: the same phenomenon has happened in other dioceses. Unfortunately, too often bishops have been quick to settle, thus inspiring more claims. When $225,000 is dished out to a Michigan man who claims he was abused in the 1950s by a priest who died in 1983—and the diocese admits the accusation is unsubstantiated—it encourages fraud.

A common belief, fostered by the media, is that there is a widespread sexual abuse problem in the Catholic Church today. The evidence is to the contrary: In 2004, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice issued its landmark study and found that most of the abuse occurred during the heyday of the sexual revolution, from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. What we are hearing about today are almost all old cases. To wit: from 2005 to 2009, the average number of new credible accusations made against over 40,000 priests was 8.6. This is a tribute to the reform efforts that have taken place: 5 million children and 2 million adults have gone through a safe environment program. Indeed, there is no religious, or secular, institution that can match this record, either in terms of the low rate of abuse or the extensiveness of a training program.

Penn State professor Philip Jenkins has studied this problem for years. After looking at the John Jay data, which studied priestly sexual abuse from 1950-2002, he found that “of the 4,392 accused priests, almost 56 percent faced only one misconduct allegation, and at least some of these would certainly vanish under detailed scrutiny.” Moreover, Jenkins wrote that “Out of 100,000 priests active in the U.S. in this half-century, a cadre of just 149 individuals—one priest out of every 750—accounted for over a quarter of all allegations of clergy abuse.” In other words, almost all priests have never had anything to do with sexual molestation.

The refrain that child rape is a reality in the Church is twice wrong: let’s get it straight—they weren’t children and they weren’t raped. We know from the John Jay study that most of the victims have been adolescents, and that the most common abuse has been inappropriate touching (inexcusable though this is, it is not rape). The Boston Globe correctly said of the John Jay report that “more than three-quarters of the victims were post pubescent, meaning the abuse did not meet the clinical definition of pedophilia.” In other words, the issue is homosexuality, not pedophilia.

When the National Review Board, a group of notable Catholics, issued its study in 2004, the team’s chief, attorney Robert S. Bennett, said that “any evaluation of the causes and context of the current crisis must be cognizant of the fact that more than 80 percent of the abuse at issue was of a homosexual nature.” One of the members, Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins, has said that “This behavior was homosexual predation on American Catholic youth, yet it’s not being discussed.” By the way, the figures after 2004 haven’t changed—eight in ten cases involve homosexuality. Worldwide, the Vatican estimates that 60 percent of the cases are same-sex, 30 percent are heterosexual and 10 percent involve pedophilia.

Though the data belie the conventional wisdom, it’s hard to break stereotypes. The assault on priests as child abusers has become a staple in the arsenal of Jay Leno, Bill Maher, Denis Leary, George Lopez, “The View” panelists, and others. So it is hardly surprising to learn that a stranger approached New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan at the Denver airport last month saying, “I can’t look at you or any other priest without thinking of a sexual abuser.” Indeed, most priests I know do not dress in priestly garb when traveling—they’ve had to deal with similar instances.

Why are priests being singled out when the sexual abuse of minors among other segments of the population is on-going today? According to Virginia Commonwealth University professor Charol Shakeshaft, the nation’s leading education expert on this issue, “the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.” We know from the work of Jenkins, and others, that there is no reason to believe that the rate of abuse is higher among Catholic priests than among the clergy of other religions. Moreover, there has been a slew of stories over the past few years detailing the extent of this problem in the Orthodox Jewish community; some rabbis still insist that sexual abuse cases should be handled internally. No wonder Jenkins maintains, “As a result of the furious investigations of the past decades, and particularly the John Jay study, the U.S. Catholic clergy are now the only major group on the planet that has ever been subjected to such a detailed examination of abuse complaints, using internal evidence that could not have come to light in any other way.”

It would be nice if we could all get on the same page regarding the proper remedies. But just three months ago, Federal District Court Judge Jack B. Weinstein took a “compassionate” view toward a man found guilty of collecting thousands of explicit pictures of children, as young as three, that he downloaded from a child porn website. Weinstein slammed existing legal penalties for the crime, saying, “We’re destroying lives unnecessarily. At the most, they should be receiving treatment and supervision.”

How often has the Church been ripped for following the advice of psychiatrists who thought they could “fix” molesters? To be sure, that was the zeitgeist several decades ago, as virtually every institution and profession can testify. Indeed, the punitive approach so favored today would have been cause for condemnation at that time had it been followed. Interestingly, a report on this situation in Ireland correctly concluded that had more bishops followed canon law, instead of seeking a more “compassionate” strategy, much of the problem could have been avoided.

The real damage done by the therapeutic approach is that it fostered the phenomenon of reassigning priests after they were treated. The exact same thing happened in the teaching profession. Indeed, moving treated teachers to new school districts is so common that it is called “passing the trash.” While moving treated priests to new parishes is no longer tolerated, the New York Times found that the practice of moving abusers around who work in New York’s state-run homes is commonplace.

Mandatory reporting of sexual crimes is not uniform in law or practice. In New York State, several attempts to blanket the clergy and other professionals have been met with resistance. Not by the bishops—but by Family Planning Advocates (the lobbying arm of Planned Parenthood) and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). Planned Parenthood counselors routinely learn about cases of statutory rape; mandatory reporting would obviously work against their clients’ interests. Even where mandatory reporting is law, such as in the state-run homes, it is seldom followed (more than 95 percent of the time the authorities are not contacted).

Calls for suspending the statute of limitations have regularly been made. But even if one sets aside the fundamental due process reasons why such laws exist, what is most disturbing about this issue is that they almost never apply to public employees. Unless explicitly stated, laws that revise the statute of limitations leave untouched those in education: they are protected by “sovereign immunity,” making transparent what the real goal is—“getting the priests.” And when proposed changes apply to teachers, in every state where this has happened, teachers’ unions and school superintendents have organized to register their objections. Why, then, should bishops who protest these revisions be criticized for doing so?

When the bishops met in Dallas in 2002 to consider reforms, panic gripped the conference. If there was one cleric who saw what the rush to judgment would do to the rights of priests it was the late Cardinal Avery Dulles. Sadly, events have proven him right. Quite frankly, it is more acceptable in our society today to defend the rights of Gitmo detainees than Catholic priests.

Grand juries are launched with the specific directive of investigating “sexual abuse of minors by individuals associated with religious organizations and denominations,” but then quickly evolve into the single-minded pursuit of priests; in Philadelphia, those who initially reviewed the accusations weren’t even called to testify. The unseemly practice of attorneys searching for new “victims” in bars and prisons is a disgrace. Just as sick is the sight of attorneys advertising for alleged victims of priests, but refusing to represent those abused by others. It has gotten so bad that dioceses are now being sued for “wrongful death” in cases where an alleged victim kills himself after his accusation was found wanting. And when AP runs a story on the “scandal” of allowing ex-priests to go unmonitored—as if someone is monitoring non-priest abusers—the bias shines through.

There is a huge difference between an accusation, a credible accusation, a substantiated accusation and a finding of guilt. But not when it applies to priests. I once had a female reporter lambaste me in my office when I expressed my opposition to proposals calling for all dioceses to publish the names of accused priests. I then asked her for her boss’ name and phone number. Startled, she asked why. “Because I want to press charges against you for sexually harassing me,” I intoned, “and then I want to see your name posted on your employer’s website.” She got the point.

BishopAccountabilty.org is accessed by reporters and lawyers for information on priestly sexual abuse, though the standards it uses cannot pass the smell test. It admits that the database “is based solely on allegations reported publicly” and that it “does not confirm the veracity of any actual allegation.” Swell. Furthermore, it says that “If an individual is ‘cleared’ or ‘exonerated’ by an internal church investigation and/or a diocesan review board decision, the individual remains in the database.” Ditto for cases where a priest faces an allegation for an act which occurred after he left the Catholic Church; even lawsuits against the dead are listed. There is no other group in the U.S. which is subjected to such gross unfairness. No wonder wildly exaggerated claims have been made based off of such collected “evidence.”

Perhaps no reform made in Dallas has proven to be more intrinsically dangerous than demands for “zero tolerance.” It all sounds so macho, but priests on the ground know first-hand what it means. Obviously, there should be no wiggle room in the most serious cases, but when priests are sued for “emotional” abuse, or violating “boundary issues,” the door is left wide open for exploitation. Dulles got it right when he said that “A priest who uttered an inappropriate word or made a single imprudent gesture is treated in the same way as a serial rapist.” Even worse, we now have the specter of a priest being suspended because a woman heard a kid in a playground call him a pedophile; she promptly called the cops. Joe Maher, president of Opus Bono Sacerdotii, a group that monitors the incidence of falsely accused priests, says that “at least a thousand priests…have been removed and remain out of public ministry because of unproven accusations.”

Because the Catholic Church is often criticized for not following a “zero tolerance” policy, the Catholic League did some investigation of its own. Here’s what we found. Almost every media outlet, teachers’ union and religious organization we examined does not have a “zero tolerance” policy in place for sexual misconduct (or any other offense). The few that do make no mention of mandatory reporting.

These organizations are not wrong for not having the same kind of policy that the Catholic Church has. The New York Times seems to understand this matter when applied to schools. In an editorial titled, “The Trouble With ‘Zero Tolerance,’” it noted that schools which have adopted these policies have created conditions where children are being “arrested for profanity, talking back, shoving matches and other behavior that would once have been resolved with detention or meetings with the students’ parents.” The NYCLU agreed saying, “De facto zero tolerance causes wrongful arrests, searches and suspensions of students in too many of the city’s neediest schools.” Yet as recently as April 2, the Times issued another editorial insisting the bishops follow this flawed policy.

No amount of reform will ever satisfy some. Attorneys like Jeffrey Anderson, and his well-greased friends at SNAP, a professional victims’ group, are dogmatic in their convictions; their hatred of the Catholic Church is palpable. Similarly, when others tell the bishops we’re going to “sue the s*** out of you,” and are informed that the goal is to put an “out of business” sign in front of every parish, school and charitable center, it is evident that the Church needs to fight back with greater vigor.

What accounts for the relentless attacks on the Church? Let’s face it: if its teachings were pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage and pro-women clergy, the dogs would have been called off years ago.

The British atheist Richard Dawkins is no fan of Catholicism. But he is honest enough to say that the Catholic Church “has been unfairly demonized over the issue, especially in Ireland and America.” Now if Dawkins gets it, why can’t others?

Bill Donohue

President

Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

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(Full Text) Florida Bishop Victor Galeone issues statement warning faithful on American Catholic Council

“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:

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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.

Bishop Victor Galeone

Diocese of Saint Augustine

END OF POST/SOURCE

Faith Advisory: Detroit Archbishop Vigneron issues warning on American Catholic Council, asks organizers to cancel…

 
Stating that the movement called American Catholic Council  distorts the true Spirit of Vatican II and causes alienation and estrangement of the faithful from the Church, Archbishop Vigneron of Detroit, Michigan, issued the following advisory:
 
Archdiocese of Detroit Statement on the American Catholic Council
Issued: October 12, 2010
Contact: Joe Kohn, infodesk@aod.org / (313) 237-5943

The Archdiocese of Detroit has been contacted by concerned members of the faithful about a movement called the American Catholic Council. Self-described as “bringing together a network of individuals, organizations, and communities to consider the state and future of our Church,” they have planned a national gathering in Detroit for the weekend of Pentecost 2011. The American Catholic Council movement 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 universal Roman Catholic Church.

Although their stated purpose is to “respond to the Spirit of Vatican II by summoning the Baptized together to demonstrate our re-commitment and the documents issued by the American Catholic Council offer some valid aspirations for the Church, in fact, the goals proposed are largely in opposition to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and the Holy Spirit, which inspired the Council.

The archdiocese wishes to commend and embrace all true efforts at Church renewal – the American Church Council’s agenda is not such an effort. Some of the advertised speakers and groups organizing the effort espouse positions which are clearly contrary to Catholic faith, leading to alienation and estrangement from the Church. The Archdiocese of Detroit cautions any Catholic against participating in the American Catholic Council local listening sessions and national gathering in June 2011. Catholic parishes, schools, and institutions are not to host any meetings, gatherings, or “listening sessions” associated with the planning of the June 2011 American Catholic Council. Priests, deacons, and ecclesial lay ministers will want to avoid lending support to such a misguided effort. On behalf of the archdiocese, Archbishop Vigneron has asked the organizers to cancel their plans for this national gathering that distorts the true Spirit of Vatican II. He asks us all to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that we may embrace authentic development of faith and morals, and shun efforts which threaten unity.

END OF POST

‘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…

END OF POST

BREAKING: Hallucination en masse within Arch. Saint Paul/Mpls: Another Bishop sideswiped by Roman Catholic Womenpriest movement

When will these folks wake up?

bemidji-paul-bunyan-and-babe-the-blue-ox-mn138 (1)

Here’s the official definition according to Babe:

hal⋅lu⋅ci⋅na⋅tion [huh-loo-suh-ney-shuhn en min-e-apo-lis]

–noun — [hopefully without nuns]

1. a sensory experience of something that does not exist outside the mind [women priests], caused by various physical and mental disorders [see: bad spirits and intellectual wish-list philosophies inspired by renegade theologians], or by reaction to certain toxic substances [any potions conjured up that smell of the notion of obedience to Christ and His church], and usually manifested as visual or auditory images. [see (or hear): any call to action mass wherein puppets and liturgical dancers mystically appear… KAZAAM!!!]

In Prophetic Obedience to the Spirit…

Well, that’s the claim anyway over at the Wild Reed:

“Yesterday in Minneapolis, the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement hosted its Sixth Midwest Region Ordination – an event that drew over 500 people to witness the ordination of one woman to the deaconate (sic), and three women to the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church. (sic, again)”

This notion of prophetic obedience to the spirit (which, includes the Apostles and their successors the Bishops) is a sham. Recall that only a few days ago, while bemoaning Archbishop Nienstedt’s official warning on the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, the same Mr. Bayly on the Progressive Catholic Voice said:

“The Archbishop has nothing to fear from us. We want to be in communion with him. But communion is not a juridical relationship, it is primarily a relationship of spirit. Real communication is necessary for communion.”

Right.

Which, begs this question:

If real communication is necessary for communion, and your ardent desire for union is authentic and true, why is it necessary to sideswipe your fellow brothers and sisters, including Bishops, with underground ordinations within our dioceses?”

Pitiful, Tragic, and Juvenile…

It appears that all the groups that make up the American Catholic Council, including its satellite, the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, are circling the wagons for Custard’s Last Vatican II Stand. Perhaps, the USCCB will take this opportunity to act decisively and put an end to all this error by stating clearly the non-Catholic status of these groups as was done in St. Paul/Minneapolis. Why? Because it’s all pitiful, tragic, and juvenile…

(A personal observation)

Yes, pitiful, in that Christ has given you the sublime gift of eternal salvation and life (if you remain in Him and He in you) through the gift’s of the Holy Spirit within His Church, yet, by this ‘false spirit of pride’ you continue to thwart and grieve the Holy Spirit of God and the good works He began within you as a child born through baptism; tragic, in that the unsuspecting will, or may, be led away from the same and only gate of salvation, turning instead, towards the gates of hell, which, are wide and many and filled with similar such souls who fell through error into the same moral and spiritual ills the American Catholic Council proposes to Christians; and finally, juvenile, in that this false ‘spirit of Vatican II’ is stunting the growth of the Church and her proclamation of the Gospel–so necessary for the salvation of souls–by proclaiming a false Christ and false Church under pretext of the Holy Spirit.

Here’s my ode of hope for all those fast asleep within bygone era’s, followed by a warning to the Body of Christ within the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis….

WHAT YOU CAN DO DEFEND YOUR FAITH AND PROTECT THE FAITH OF OTHERS FROM SUCH ERROR WITHIN YOUR 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–

Click here for more information on the ACC/CCCR

St. Joan of Arc Mpls. – Dialogue on difficult church issues, or, advertisement to subvert the Catholic Church in America?

tj200809182332-1

Editors Note: 

In this week leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday I’m praying the novena and Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily. Today’s intention (The Fifth Day) relates to Christ’s will that we should bring to Him the souls of all those who have separated themselves from his Church. Our Lord encourages us, saying:

 “Immerse them in the ocean of my mercy. During my bitter Passion they tore at my body and heart, that is, my Church. As they return to unity with the Church my wounds heal and in this way they alleviate my Passion.”

Yes, of course, Our Lord was speaking to Blessed Faustina preeminently about Protestantism and the scandal of Christian disunity as it was understood in her age, but we ourselves are able to recognize within the one Passion this very same tearing of His body and heart in our own days.

One need only consider, for instance, that with every non-ordination publicly proclaimed as “valid” by the sect Roman Catholic WomenPriests another soul thus separates his or herself from full communion with the Church through self-excommunication.

This is serious business. And made all the more serious and troubling by the confusing fact that many of these souls have stated outright the unbiblical notion of refusing to hear the Church in this matter, and in doing so, fail to acknowledge the reality of their own excommunication.

The following report begins with the long-troubled parish of St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis, but portends of an even deeper tearing of the body and heart of the Church with the advent of the American Catholic Council. I encourage you for the sake of these souls, their return to full unity, and ultimately for the sake of alleviating this ongoing passion of Christ, that you too pray with me for these children of the Church and by actively making your concerns known about the American Catholic Council by contacting your bishop and the Archbishop of the Diocese of Minneapolis and St.Paul – Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt, S.T.D.. The story follows… 

3

Last Palm Sunday (2008) St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Minneapolis, Mn. brought us “liturgical” images like this one above. This year there were no such heinous images offered up to heaven within the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Instead, there was this faith-threatening invitation found within the Sunday bulletin:

SJA Palm Sunday Bulletin April 5, 2009

Catholic Coalition for Church Reform: A number of Catholic organizations and groups are partnering for a prayer breakfast on Saturday, April 18 at the Metropolitan Ballroom. Planning will begin for a series of Synods of the Baptized to initiate dialogue around difficult issues in our Church. Cost is $25; no one will be turned away due to inability to pay. FFI contact Julie Madden.

What the unsuspecting pewsitter needs to know

Perhaps for the sake of cover from Episcopal notice, what the SJA bulletin ad conveniently fails to mention to Joe and Mary Pewsitter is that those “Catholic organizations and groups involved in planning this series of “Synods of the Baptized” (Note: Only bishops can convene Synods) to dialogue around difficult issues within the Church” are using this prayer breakfast as a fundraiser and means of support for the newly formed anti-church organization known as the American Catholic Council.

The SJA promo ad advertises the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform. Only upon visiting their site does the unsuspecting Catholic learn about the American Catholic Council (ACC). The ACC is a multiplicity of heterodox church reform groups and other like-minded sympathizers who are currently in the planning stage of developing their stated goals of radically restructuring the Roman Catholic Church along the lines of the American Constitution-meaning, democratic governance by the laity–A proposition obviously at odds with the Head and Founder of the Church.

According to the event flier found on the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform website:

[The] CCCR is a coalition of Minnesota Catholic organizations dedicated to Church reform, including the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC), the Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities (CPCSM), Call To Action MN (CTA-MN), Corpus, Dignity Twin Cities, the Progressive Catholic Voice, Roman Catholic WomenPriests, FutureChurch, and MN St. Joan’s Community, dedicated to women’s ordination. The keynote speaker at our April 18 Prayer Breakfast will be Janet Hauter, vice-president of Voice of the Faithful, and co-chair of the American Catholic Council, a national convention dedicated to church reform, projected for 2011.

Reform of the reform groups

Up until the onset of the homosexual abuse scandal within the Church, reform groups in America (such as many of those mentioned above) were widely known to be waning in influence due to many factors including: lack of interest and non-involvement by laity, the reassertion by the Holy Spirit of fundamental truths concerning authentic Catholic faith and morals under the leadership of Pope John Paul II and (now) Pope Benedict XVI, as well as, by the aging populace of the reformers themselves.
After the scandal broke, however, reformers were reenergized for a time making it possible for new groups such as Voice of the Faithful to emerge. When it became apparent that the original good intentions and goals of VOTF were exchanged instead for the apostate goals associated with structural reorganization of the Catholic Church, VOTF too fell by the wayside both in membership and financial support. Which seems to remain their same struggle today. Perhaps this helps explain, at least in part, why two members of VOTF are the first ever co-chairs of the American Catholic Council. We shall see.

While it may be true that the majority of American Catholics have very little interest in helping to undermine the Catholic Church in America and will rightly reject this latest mystery of betrayal by kiss, one hopes that American bishops will not overlook the danger that the ACC represents in the days, months and years ahead. It would be a terrible mistake to underestimate the intent of the ACC or extent to which they’ll plunge themselves headlong in acting out their long-held goal of restructuring the Church. The “Institutional Church” as they see it has for the most part, and for many years now, frustrated the member organizations that now make up the ACC. This latest reform of the reform movement into one big trail drive shows signs of desperation, including a reckless encircling of the wagons for survival.

For example, all the headlines last month read that the State of Connecticut was trying to force the Catholic Church to reorganize itself financially. There was a big hullabaloo over the government attempt to impinge upon the eternal affairs of the Church, and thus, our religious freedom. What was not so widely publicized from the beginning was the reality that two Members of VOTF were responsible for helping introduce the content of the bill #1098 to lawmakers, [See: here] which in turn was placed on the legislative agenda before being pulled (without vote) due to strong Catholic protests locally and nationwide.

General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Bishops, Anthony Picarello, described the bill during the controversy, saying that 1098 was not only “blatantly unconstitutional” but also that it “targets the Catholic Church explicitly and exclusively, and attempts to use the civil law to alter Church governance.” Mr. Picarello nails it, of course, because in effect members of VOTF attempted to influence the Church through civil litigation by instigating the specious use of government in the clear attempt to undermine the apostolic nature and authority of the Catholic Church in America. And that’s the plan of reformers however tragically nearsighted and dangerous that might be…  

Bishop Lori [Diocese of Bridgeport] warned the faithful at the time, saying that, “If this bill were to be enacted your bishop, would have virtually, virtually no real relationship with the 87 parishes…they could go off independently, some of them could break off from the Church if they wished, and go their own way as has happened, for example, with the Episcopal Church.” One doesn’t have to look to the Episcopal Church for future examples of independent catholic parishes with virtually no real relationship with their bishop. Try this story from another part of the world for the sad results of such a break in communion.

Remember, I said “signs of desperation”

What’s obvious (and pitiful) concerning the lessons learned in Connecticut is that these groups perceive that unless they somehow manage to garner control of the wealth of the Church, (placing it into the hands of the laity), they will not find themselves in any viable position of power to leverage bishops in order to secure the “change” they seek. It comes down to money equals power for them. And for such reform groups it makes sense, because the change they seek flies in the face of authentic faith and morals as proposed for belief within the Catholic Church and bishops obliged to defend faith and morals cannot accept the multitude of errors these groups propose for belief under the guise Catholicism.

As it is, today’s reform groups remain under funded, are prevented mostly from using church facilities within dioceses by bishops because of their heretical anti-Catholic stances, find themselves unsupported by the same laity they presume to be the voice of, and therefore have come to determine that in order to remain relevant and survive they need now band together in order to keep alive the dream of recreating the Church in the world according to their own image. But, the question remains: Is it possible they might succeed?

Those “and other” groups and the future moves of the ACC

What the Connecticut blunder taught VOTF and other likeminded reform groups is that bishops and laity alike will not stand for government abrogation within the eternal affairs of the Church, financial or otherwise. And any further attempts on the part of reformers to openly (or secretly) use government as their jackhammer to undermine the foundation of the Church will not only meet with swift rejection as it did in Connecticut, but may even signal the final death nil for Church reform groups through episcopal action as well as final recognition by the faithful that the “spirit of Vatican II” is, what it is, a spirit of destruction that harms the Church, and thus, her mission in the world–the salvation of souls.

Licking their wounds, reformers must come up with another alternative. To gain the means to realize victory they need financing that far exceeds what many “prayer breakfast fundraisers” might provide. And that alternative may consist in turning their attention to other groups for help. Groups such as heterodox Christians and sympethetic non-Christian political activists, tacticians, and community organizers with long histories of emnity with the Church. No, I would not be surprised if the ACC moved into a mode of operation that mimicks groups such as Faith in Public Life, who helped successfully dupe nearly 55 percent of Catholics in America into voting into power the culture of death under the pretext of “hope” and “change”. At any rate, I look for an ACC full court press for help upon the following groups [described here] such as:

  • Catholic Organizations – official catholic bodies
  • Dissident Organizations- exist actively and deliberately to alter Catholic church teaching. All these organizations are associated with Call to Action.
  • Other Religious Organizations – member organizations from other religions, usually liberal members. Many who make abortion and homosexual rights denominational policy.
  • Community Organizations- Alinskyian organizations and their networks. These organizations are made up of congregations from all denominations. They have an historical and ongoing relationship with Call to Action. They promote liberation theology, progressive political activism, and they often receive funding from the Catholic Church.
  • Issue-based Organizations- organizations working for a particular cause. In this category we find a large number of Faith in Public Life members whose only advocacy is to act to secure abortion rights or homosexual rights.

Reform Groups: resurrection from the dead, or, Custer’s last stand in Detroit?

Bishops and laity alike would be wise to be on guard for reformers approaching such groups for needed financial assistance, training, and adaptation of the same successful community organizing tactics within their dioceses and parish’s as was utilized in the election of 2008. Simply put, there will be no effective American Catholic Council if reformers can’t somehow hoodwink laity and bishops into believing that their illegitimate goals are, well, legit. And this entails substancial participation of both bishops and laity for any chance at success. If they fail here, the American Catholic Council tentatively scheduled to convene in Detroit, Michigan, in the fall of 2011, will end up being just another Catholic Call To Action convention that no one pays any real serious attention to any longer–and the only difference being is that this Catholic charade will be held in another city other than Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Or perhaps, stated more positively, it will turn out to be Custer’s last stand in Detroit.

For the sake of the Church, that is, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, let us hope so.

State Vs. Church in Connecticut? Try V.O.T.F. Vs. Apostolic Church in America…

judasbetrayal 

Quasi-Masons    BREAKING NEWS: CONNECTICUT BILL PULLED

      In Monday’s, March 9th, 2009, online edition of the National Catholic Reporter Tom Gallagher (VOTF) wrote the following within his article A Proposal: Look to Civil Law to reform parishes:

The parish is the primary institution where the church lives out its life. “The parish is a beacon that radiates the light of faith,” Pope Benedict XVI said in December. “Thus it meets the most profound and authentic desires of the human heart, giving meaning and hope to the lives of individuals and families.”

The pope speaks of an ideal. The reality in the United States’ 19,000 parishes is, unfortunately, quite different. Far too often, the local institution designed to radiate the light of faith is dulled by structures that impede the church’s mission.

      Mr. Gallagher is right. And those structures that dull the radiant light of our faith and impede the church’s mission are those structures of organized dissent such as the group he represents, Voice Of The Faithful (VOTF) in Connecticut, and other quasi-mason-like entities undermining the Catholic Church in America today. Groups such as (Fidelity Warning):

Accountability in Connecticut

      Despite perhaps the half-truth that the church-imperiling Bill #1089/2009, introduced in the Connecticut legislature by Rep. Michael Lawlor and Sen. Andrew McDonald (that would in effect order the Catholic Church to reorganize), is seen by many as pay back by Lawlor and McDonald in attempting to silence the Church over moral issues, it appears now that the full truth behind the impetus of this attack, (and those responsible for it), is beginning to surface.

From the Journal Inquirer :

HARTFORD – The co-chairmen of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee say a bill that Catholic bishops contend would strip the church of control over its finances did not originate from their desks and is not an “attack on the church.”

In a statement issued this afternoon, the co-chairmen, Sen. Andrew J. McDonald, D-Stamford, and Rep. Michael P. Lawlor, D-East Haven, wrote:

“It has been incorrectly characterized that this legislation originated from the two of us as an attack on the church and freedom of religion. That is not the truth, and the facts do not support such a claim.

“In reality, this bill was proposed and written by a group of faithful Catholic parishioners from Fairfield County who asked the Judiciary Committee to consider giving the subject a public hearing,” the statement continued. “Especially considering the fact that one of the large-scale embezzlements which gave rise to this proposal originated from a parish corporation in Darien, a town that Senator McDonald represents, we decided to give these parishioners a chance to present to the Judiciary Committee a case for their proposed revisions to existing corporate law.

“A lot of misinformation has been spread about this proposal, and we ourselves are still learning exactly what its impact would be. We are keeping an open mind to what these parishioners have to say about their church, and we respectfully ask that others give them the courtesy of listening to their proposed changes in the existing state law governing Roman Catholic corporations.

“We ourselves are questioning certain aspects of their proposal and even the constitutionality of the current law. Despite what has been portrayed, we have not endorsed nor are advocating for this proposal,” they added.

      On March 11, there will be a public hearing on this bill. Bridgeport Bishop William Lori and Hartford Bishop Henry Mansell are imploring Catholics to attend. Perhaps, then, we’ll discover the name of the “faithful Catholic organization” who approached the legislators with the bill. I’m betting, as I said yesterday, that this attack on the apostolic nature and authority of the Church was born from Voice of The Faithful. One thing is for certain, if it’s discovered to be true that VOTF is responsible for such public irresponsibility in attempting to harm the Church they should be held accountable, (and in full measure), by proper authority.

We believe in one Church

      Below you’ll discover why some years back Bishop Lori (with forthought) refused to allow VOTF within his diocese, and today it seems we know why. Here’s VOTF in its own words from a affiliate review:

When Bishop Lori learned of the formation of a VOTF Chapter, he was not supportive. He mentioned to Fr. Blanchfield that he was against it because of certain speakers who had addressed the National Meeting in Boston. In particular, Frances Kissling who had publicly supported Freedom of Choice in the past.

We asked for a meeting with Bishop Lori, but he sent his Vicar General, Fr. Cullen to meet with Fr. Blanchfield and our Board. We met with the Vicar General and Fr. Blanchfield at the St. Jerome rectory. Fr. Cullen told us that the bishop would let us meet on church property if we: 1) Changed our name from VOTF to some other name, and  left the National VOTF, and 2) each member of the Board agreed to sign some kind of affidavit affirming our agreement on several Church proclamations regarding abortion, birth control, women’s ordination, celibacy, etc. On the spot, none of us would agree to this, and the meeting broke up. Subsequently, Bishop Lori forbade Fr. Blanchfield from letting us meet on St. Jerome property or anywhere else in the diocese.

Bravo, Bishop Lori, Bravo.