Category: 2012
Hits: 9938



V2 50 years
Vatican II - Voice of the Church

The mission of this website is to promote and explain the teaching of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) which was the most significant event in the modern era of the Catholic Church.       Website


Opening the Church to the World
John W. O'Malley     Oct.11, 2012

Vatican II, which has been rightly described as the most important religious event of the 20th century, began 50 years ago today in St. Peter's Basilica. Over three years, from 1962 to 1965, some 2,800 bishops from 116 countries produced 16 documents that set the Roman Catholic Church's course for the future.

. . . .

Its most radical inward move was not to democratize the church (though it has often been described that way) but to reinstate an older, more collegial style in church governance. Under the council's version of this teaching, known as collegiality, the papacy had the final word, but others in the church, from the bishops to the priests and the laity, had a voice, too.


The bishops at Vatican II felt that more than a century of centralization needed to be tempered. But in their euphoria, they failed to reckon sufficiently with the resistance of entrenched bureaucracies - jealous of their authority and fearful of disorder - to change. A more participatory mode of church life took hold for 15 years or so after the council, but from on high it began to be more and more restricted, to the point that central control is now tighter than ever.

This has led to widespread disillusionment and anger.  

. . . . 

The fact that collegiality now seems little more than an ideal resting quietly in the council's documents - with little relevance for the real life of the church - stands as a major failure to carry out what the council intended.


What has been less appreciated about Vatican II, though it is as significant as the halting steps on governance, is that it took account of the world outside the church. The church validated for the first time the principle of religious freedom and rejected all forms of civil discrimination based on religious grounds.

. . . .

The council, in its decree on the liturgy, also opened the Mass to symbols and traditions of non-Western cultures, permitting the displacement of Latin with vernacular languages. This reconciliatory move has played a part in the remarkable growth of the church in Africa and parts of Asia.

. . . .

The post-Vatican II church was not a different church. But if you take the long view, it seems to me incontestable that the turn was big, even if failures in implementation have made it less big in certain areas than the council intended.

Read more


Get the facts straight
Fr William Grimm    Oct.13, 2012


October 11 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Vatican II. The anniversary is being marked by a "Year of Faith." Unless preliminary indications and predictions are wrong, during the year we will probably see yet another case of the Vatican and its minions rewriting the history of the Church. 

. . . .

The salient fact about Vatican II is that it was an ecumenical council, the latest of only twenty-one in the two-millennia history of the Church. It was not a cabal of subversives out to destroy the Church. Apart from a handful of bishops who were unable to attend because of health or political problems (those from some communist countries, for example), the participants were every active Catholic bishop in the world. Catholic teaching reminds us that in such a gathering, the Holy Spirit is also a powerful participant. As such, it was and is to be respected as a specially authoritative voice of the Church.

. . . .

Something to keep in mind about those bishops as well is that they were not a bunch of feckless radicals. Not one of them, except for those from the Eastern rites, had ever celebrated Mass in any language but Latin. Obviously, not one of them was a post-Vatican II priest. They had, for the most part, been ordained priests in the 1910s, 20s 30s and 40s. The theology in which they had been trained was traditional, and they had studied it in Latin.


Nor did the bishops of Vatican II naively follow a group of radical theologians without understanding what they were doing. In fact, the opposite was the case. When the bishops arrived for the council, they found that Vatican curialists had already tried to take control of the process. Not at all compliant or naive, the majority of the council fathers took control, over and over again defeating attempts on the part of others to steer the content of deliberations and statements in a conservative direction.

. . . .

If during the "Year of Faith" you hear complaints about Vatican II and its stress upon the Church as the People of God, about collegiality, about confident encounter with the "joys and hopes, the griefs and the anxieties" of people today, about respectful encounter with other religions, about worship marked by "full, conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations," about reminders that "the revision of liturgical books should allow for legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, regions and peoples" - if you hear such complaints, no matter the source, remember the facts and give the complaints the attention they deserve. None at all.

Read more


Don't let anyone tell you the Council didn't change much
Robert Blair Kaiser     Oct.11, 2012

These days, both wings in the Church are saying the Council was a failure. The left wing is saying the Council didn't go far enough. The right wing is saying it went too far.


I do not believe the Council was a failure. It has already changed the way we live - and think - as Catholics. I believe the charter that was written at Vatican II is the only thing that will save the Church, the people-of-God Church, not the hierarchical Church.


I had a peculiar vantage point on Vatican II. I was Time magazine's man the Council, sent there in part because I had spent 10 years in the Jesuits and because I was one of the few reporters on earth who could speak fluent Latin, the official language of the Council.  

. . . .

The Council changed the way we thought about God, about ourselves, about our spouses, our Protestant cousins, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Jews, even the way we thought about the Russians.

. . . .

Before the Council, we thought we were miserable sinners when we were being nothing but human. After the Council, we had a new view of ourselves. We learned to put a greater importance on finding and following Jesus as 'the way'

 . . . .

Before the Council, we were told we were excommunicated if we set foot in a Protestant Church. After the Council  . . . . , we stopped fighting the Methodists and the Presbyterians and conspired with them in the fight for justice and peace and marched with them to Selma.

. . . .

Before the Council, we thought only Protestants read the Bible. After the Council, we've seen a new Catholic appreciation of the Scriptures; they've been given a more prominent place at Mass; and in many parishes, we have groups gathering every week for Bible study.

. . . .

Before the Council, we took pride in knowing that we were the only people on earth who could expect salvation, according to the centuries-long mantra, 'There is no salvation outside the Church.' After the Council, we began to see there was something good and something great in all religions. And we didn't think we had all the answers.  

. . . .

Before the Council, we identified 'salvation' as 'getting to heaven.' After the Council, we knew that we had a duty to bring justice and peace to the world in our own contemporary society, understanding in a new way the words that Jesus gave us when he taught us to pray, 'thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'

. . . .

Before the Council, we were sin-obsessed. It was even a sin to eat a hamburger on Friday night after the game. After the Council, we had a new sense of sin. We didn't hurt God when we sinned. We sinned when we hurt somebody else. Or ourselves.

. . . .

The Council Fathers did not follow the example of Trent. They followed the example of Jesus. They did not anathematise anyone or anything. They set a new style of thinking about ourselves as followers of the guy who told us how we could have life and have it more abundantly.

Read more


A Conscience-forming Website
Robert Schutzius, Ph.D.     Oct.19, 2012


Sooner or later, each of us encounters personal decisions that confront and conflict with the principles of faith and the demands of every-day life.   Searching for the "pat answer" is futile and frustrating since each situation is personal and in many ways unique.  It demands a response, a choice, by each following what our well-formed conscience dictates.  "There's the rub", because we all know that the dictates or our human conscience are not all that morally certain.  But this is the God-given gift that Jesus taught us to use lovingly to make choices.  And so we must.
Easy choices are easy to make.  Black is black and white is white.  However, there are the very important (and perhaps critical) decisions falling in the shades in-between, that drive us up the wall.  And so we stew, and read, and seek advice so as to honestly attempt to make the better/best choice clearer.

A more recent, single, source dedicated to help inform one's moral conscience, not found nor endorsed by officialdom, is now available.  We all need a "second opinion" in these matters.  Don't go there looking for the, "silver bullet".  Rather, by searching carefully, you will find the wisdom of many who have your same faith, who have walked in your shoes and have studied and encountered the same moral "stumbling blocks" as you.  There is no certain formula for resolving your unique situation for you.  But, then you already know that.


Be prepared for a wild and profound learning experience as you delve into the vast and enlightening content found at   There's no doubt that you will emerge a wiser person, better equipped to deal with the serious moral decisions of life, THAT ONLY YOU, CAN AND MUST, MAKE based on the true freedom of conscience that Jesus exemplified for us. 


Moreover, you may know a friend who needs such help.  


Bob Schutzius has been a long time ARCC Board officer, is an ARCC Presidential Advisor and ARCC's office manager.
Some things we have been reading
On all our shoulders
Statement on threats to the endangered Common Good by 100 Catholic theologians from universities around the nation
Oct.9, 2012

We write as Catholic theologians, academics and ministers concerned for our nation and for the integrity of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.  We write to hold up aspects of the Church's social doctrine that are profoundly relevant to the challenges our nation faces at this moment in history, yet are in danger of being ignored.  At a moment when the ideas of Atlas Shrugged influence public debate and policy, we write to proclaim the Catholic truth that the stewardship of common good rests upon all of our shoulders together.  This is a responsibility we dare not shrug.  We fulfill this obligation in myriad ways, but indispensibly among them, through the policies of our government.  We highlight these principles of the Church's social doctrine in the hope that their substance will better influence our political and policy debates.

Read more
Pope summons all Nuncios to Rome
Vatican Insider staff     Oct.17, 2012

The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone announced this during his speech at the Synod on the new evangelisation that is currently taking place in the Vatican. The cardinal explained that the meeting is one of the initiatives planned for the Year of Faith and was inspired by a similar gathering held in the year 2000 on the occasion of the Jubilee.


In agreement with the Episcopates, the Holy See uses "instruments of diplomatic dialogue with civil authorities," to ensure that its action "is not aimed at guaranteeing anachronistic privileges but guaranteeing the Church as much freedom in internal government and in the exercise of its mission, to which it lays legitimate claim as possible. When this freedom exists, it also benefits members of other religious faiths and fosters social harmony," Bertone told Synod Fathers.

Read more


Church must eliminate child sex abuse, promote women: bishop
Naomi O'Leary     Oct.12, 2012

The Roman Catholic Church must strengthen safeguards against any further sexual abuse of children by its clergy and expand the role of women in the Church, a Canadian bishop said on Friday in a speech to hundreds of his peers at a Vatican conference.


In his address to the Synod of Bishops, convened to discuss how to battle dwindling numbers of practicing Catholics in the face of growing secularization and dissent against its teachings, Bishop Brian Joseph Dunn called on the Church to "become more authentic in our contemporary world".

Read more


Rome asks Legion head to step down
CathNews     Oct.17, 2012

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, the papal delegate charged with reforming the scandal-stained Legion of Christ (LC), has removed the conservative order's director-general four years before the end of his 12-year mandate, reports The Tablet.

In a letter on October 10 to members of the Legion and their Regnum Christi (RC) lay movement, the cardinal announced that Fr Álvaro Corcuera had agreed to take "a sort of sabbatical year", ostensibly for health reasons.
Fr Corcuera, 55, was elected head of the two groups in 2005 after the Vatican blocked their founder, the late Marcial Maciel, from re-election.

Read more


Son of former Legionaries leader arrested in Mexico for extortion
Jason Berry     Oct.23, 2012

Mexican police arrested Jose Raúl Gonzalez Lara, a biological son of the late Legion of Christ founder Fr. Marcial Maciel, on Monday on charges of attempted extortion against the Legion.

Gonzalez Lara was taken from his home in Cuernavaca and jailed in Penal de Barrientos in Tlalnepantla, a rough industrial suburb in the northern part of sprawling Mexico City. Although he posted bail, he is reportedly still being held in custody.

CNN broadcaster Carmen Aristegui wrote in an email that authorities confirmed the arrest at 5 p.m.

"No one has officially recognized that he was arrested at 7:30 a.m.," said Aristegui, the author of Marcial Maciel: Historia de un Criminal.

Gonzalez Lara, 33, married with a 1-year-old son, works in a physical fitness center. In 2010, St. Paul, Minn., attorney Jeff Anderson sued the Legionaries in Connecticut, where the order has its American headquarters, stating that Maciel abused Gonzalez Lara in several U.S. locations as he was growing up, and that the order knew the founder had a history of abusing seminarians.

. . . .

His arrest marks a bizarre twist by which an arrest in Mexico would appear to bolster a legal defense in Connecticut.


On Oct. 5, 2011, the Hartford, Conn., law firm Robinson & Cole filed a counter-claim for the Legion, charging that Gonzalez Lara used extortion, seeking $26 million from the Legion in Mexico.

Read more
Troublesome priests?
Martin Prendergast     Oct.14, 2012

In recent years, priests across all continents have been galvanised to initiate projects of reform and renewal within the Catholic Church. The media has often reported these initiatives either as strident rebellion or groans of the depressed, leading nowhere. Is this a global conspiracy on the part of disgruntled priests to undermine the Church's restorationist thrust? Or are more complex driving forces at play? Many of these priests' initiatives are in early stages of development, so what follows can only be a snapshot of what many clergy see as a longer term project.


In Austria, Ireland, England & Wales, and the United States, common themes emerge in the various clergy associations, even if the starting points vary according to local contexts.  . . . .

The Austrian Appeal is reflected in others' agendas: new models of Church leadership in the face of decreasing and ageing clergy numbers, optional celibacy, admitting divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, advocating reappraisals of the Church's gender discrimination and sexual theologies, including admittance of women to ordained ministries, and honouring same-sex relationships.

Clergy are frustrated with what they see as false obedience to unjust ecclesiastical regulations, forcing them to say one thing, yet do another. Awakening from this imposed pathology, they affirm that now is the time to speak pastoral truth to hierarchical power.  

. . . .

Some radical Catholics could criticise these various initiatives as still highly clerical. Are their challenges regarding clerical celibacy, women priests, and more appropriate sexual theologies, simply a subconscious desire to preserve the institution from total irrelevance? 

. . . .

The model of Church sometimes appears to rely on old paradigms, where the higher and lower clergy are providers to a dependent laity: "We are talking about providing basic rights for the people of God and a structure of participation in decision-making and feedback between the top, centre and base of the church. We also want to establish a system of control for those who hold power and authority in the Church," said Mgr. Schüller in a recent CNS interview (30 August 2012).  

. . . .

Even so, We Are Church, calling for the 2012-2013 Year of Faith to be also a Year of Dialogue for the Church, expressed solidarity with the Pfarrer Initiative, following Benedict XVI's criticism of the latter on Maundy Thursday, 2012.

. . . .

Rejection of an imposed, unwieldy English translation of the Roman Missal and the disciplining of theologians, unites other English-speaking clergy groups. The Association of United States Catholic Priests (AUSCP), with over 800 members in 117 dioceses, judging by the Resolutions passed at its 2012 Assembly, also shows signs of moving beyond narrow clerical interests, to endorse broader church reform agendas. 

. . . .

If the Council had not happened something very similar might well have emerged organically. In Church terms it spawned a range of bottom-up initiatives, the most radical being the notion of the Basic Ecclesial Community. This creative energy has not necessarily been undermined or destroyed with the appointment of more conservative bishops, or the dominance of more 'acceptable' movements such as Opus Dei, Communione e Liberazione, and the Neo-Catechumenate.

. . . .

Change in groups involves new insights, providing new patterns of motivation. Organisational change often fails because people hang on to self-belief about what the organisation is for and therefore how members should behave, rather than being open to the contrary evidence before them. In this environment, the Vatican could become increasingly oppressive, and the excommunication of those refusing to pay German church taxes is one recent example.


With the Vati-leak scandal, there is much talk of feuding factions inside the Vatican which could implode. Nevertheless, it is likely that change will only come with new leadership which has the determination to see it through and the power to make it happen whilst at the same time not destroying those people who will not change.

. . . .

In all of this, how can we rescue a grace-giving sense of power out of those demonic clutches which have allowed abuse, corruption, and dishonesty to prevail in some parts of the Church? Communities, big or small, can change when consciousness of reality is awakened, relational power is nurtured and used for the common good.  

. . . .

Signs are that some of the clergy initiatives are beginning to learn this.

Read more


SSPX expels Bishop Williamson
Ed West     Oct.24, 2012

The Society of St Pius X has confirmed that it has expelled the English Bishop Richard Williamson.


Bishop Williamson, 72, one of four men illicitly ordained in 1988 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in Écône, Switzerland, has been a controversial figure, particularly for his views on Jews, who he has called the "enemies of Christ".


In a statement the society said: "Bishop Richard Williamson, having distanced himself from the management and the government of the SSPX for several years, and refusing to show due respect and obedience to his lawful superiors, was declared excluded from the SSPX by decision of the superior general and its council on October 4 2012. A final deadline had been granted to him to declare his submission, after which he announced the publication of an 'open letter' asking the superior general to resign.

Read more


Cardinal causes uproar with "Muslim scare" video at Vatican
Naomi O'Leary     Oct.15, 2012

A Roman Catholic cardinal has caused an uproar at the Vatican by screening a spurious YouTube video that makes alarmist predictions about the growth of Islam in Europe.

The seven-minute clip, called "Muslim Demographics," was the talk of an international gathering of bishops on Monday, two days after Cardinal Peter Turkson screened it during a free discussion period.


Turkson, a Ghanaian who is based in the Vatican and is president of its Council for Justice and Peace, sparked consternation among his fellow bishops over the clip.

. . . .
The clip, which has been viewed over 13 million times on YouTube since it was uploaded by an anonymous user in 2009, combines dramatic music with skewed population statistics to make claims about various European countries such as "In just 39 years France will be an Islamic republic."

. . . .

The Holy See's relations with Islam have not always been smooth. In 2006 Pope Benedict gave a speech in Regensburg which was perceived by some Muslims as an attack on Islam.

Read more


Holy See rebukes anti-Islam video
Tom Kington    Oct.18 2012

The Vatican has distanced itself from a row over Muslims in Europe triggered by the showing at a synod of a video that claims ''Europe as we know it will cease to exist''. . . . . Yesterday a Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, sought to distance the Holy See from the video, saying: ''This video does not express the view of the synod or the Vatican. Turkson has said he is sorry if the video was wrongly interpreted since he did not intend it to be anti-Muslim, merely a comment on the nihilism in Western society.''

. . . .

Bishops who watched the video were reportedly shocked by its content. ''I think it would be fair to say that several in the room questioned the veracity of the facts followed by 'Who can this be attributed to?' and 'Who actually wanted this film to be shown?''' said Father Thomas Rosica during a press briefing.


Vatican radio was more critical, calling the video ''fearmongering'', adding: ''Why one of the curial cardinals chose to show this piece of anti-Islamic propaganda is quite unclear.''

Read more


For omplete documentation of synod:
Vatican to Send Delegation to Syria
Rachel Donadio     Oct.18, 2012

The Vatican said Wednesday that it would send a high-profile delegation to Syria, including Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, to encourage a political solution to the war there. "We cannot be mere spectators of a tragedy such as the one that is unfolding in Syria," the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, told bishops in Rome, according to a Vatican statement. On Pope Benedict XVI's orders, the seven prelates are expected to visit the country "in the coming days," it said. The delegation is a rare diplomatic intervention in a papacy in which internal scandals have often overshadowed foreign policy. It also represents the growing role of Cardinal Dolan.



Vatican postpones peace mission to Syria
Alvise Armellini     Oct.23, 2012

A peace mission to Syria by envoys of Pope Benedict XVI has been rescheduled because of the worsening crisis, a top Vatican official said on Tuesday.

The delegation was expected to travel to the country during this week to express the Catholic Church's "solidarity" with Christians in the region and call for an end to the civil war.
"Considering the seriousness of the situation, the visit will be postponed," the Vatican's second-highest official, Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said during the synod, an ongoing bishops' summit in Rome.

Bertone said the seven-member delegation will "likely" travel to Syria after the end of the synod, which concludes on Sunday, and will likely change in its composition. 

Read more


Vatican court: Butler's theft harmed pope, church
Nicole Winfield     Oct.23, 2012

The Vatican tribunal that convicted the pope's ex-butler of stealing private papal correspondence sharply condemned the theft on Tuesday as causing "reprehensible" damage to the pontiff, the Holy See and the entire Catholic Church, and said investigations are continuing.

. . . .

Noting what they called Gabriele's "simplistic" intellectual capacity, the judges acknowledged that he had thought he was doing the right thing by leaking the documents. But they said Gabriele's crime was a "reprehensible" violation of trust that damaged the pope himself and the rights of the Holy See, the Vatican City state and the entire Catholic Church.


The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, noted that the investigation into Gabriele remains open and that prosecutors could charge him with other crimes.


The judges said Gabriele betrayed the good name of all the people involved in the case and also the secrecy that is owed to the pope in his role as a sovereign - a hint at the direction Vatican prosecutors might go if they pursue further charges.

Read more


Surprise cardinal appointments spark Pope health concerns
AFP     Oct.24 2012


Six non-European Catholic prelates will join the Vatican's College of Cardinals in a move which may influence the election of the future pope, amid uncertainty over Pope Benedict XVI's health.

The 85-year-old Benedict, who has been looking increasingly tired and worn, said on Wednesday he will appoint cardinals from Colombia, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, the Philippines and the United States in a surprise consistory in November.

The college, the elite body that advises the pontiff and elects his successor upon his death, is currently heavily weighted in favour of Europe. Religious watchers had not expected there to be another consistory until next year and the surprise announcement sparked concern among Vatican watchers that the elderly pontiff's health may be worse than thought.

Read more


Catholic voters target of aggressive push
Ginger Gibson     Oct.15 2012

A group of conservative Catholics led by a former George W. Bush campaign staffer is engaging in a highly-targeted effort to turn out regular Mass attendees in swing states on Election Day.


The most aggressive efforts are being waged in Ohio, where organizer Leonard Leo - the former Catholic outreach director for the 2004 George W. Bush campaign - and a group called The Catholic Association is trying to move the needle toward Mitt Romney.

. . . .

Using voting rolls, consumer data and previously compiled lists, the group is targeting about 6 million Catholic voters in battleground states who regularly attend Mass and are likely to be swing voters, a fraction of the 57.2 million Catholics the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey estimated to live in the country. 

. . . .

For those voters his group identified in Ohio, where 26 percent of likely voters identified as Catholic according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll, Leo estimates they will be contacted between five and six times before Election Day. The group isn't spending big dollars on radio or television advertisements, which Leo said are unnecessary when dealing with such a targeted population.

. . . .

In the next month, the campaign plans to "door knock" at every Catholic church in Ohio, distributing a "score card" that outlines their arguments against Obama, said Leo, who is the executive director of the Federalist Society, although the group has no ties to The Catholic Association's effort.


The card gives Romney an "A" while scoring Obama as a "Fail," and highlights the GOP nominee's work as governor of Massachusetts to prevent efforts to require Catholic Charities to let gay couples adopt, his anti-abortion rights position and several statements he's made defending religious freedom. The scorecard also criticizes Obama for the original Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate, supporting abortion rights and using the term "freedom of worship" instead of a "freedom of religion."

Read more
Church left me
Church Left Me
Tom Poelker     Oct.9, 2012

Instead of describing me as a lapsed Catholic, it would be more accurate to describe me as a Catholic abandoned by a lapsed institution. For me, the final blow was the nearly complete rejection of Sacrosanctum Consilium by the Roman Curia.


My dearest and lifelong interest in Catholicism continues to be its liturgical practices. I spent forty years promoting [and financed my own graduate degree to be accurate in my promotion of]  liturgy as taught authoritatively by the highest teaching authority of Roman Catholicism, an ecumenical council in union with the pope. This was the work the council fathers chose to put first, what they considered most important, but now it has been set aside except for out-of-context proof-texting.


Long before the recent Latinate translation was imposed on English speaking Catholics, it was obvious from the new General Instructions of the Roman Missal that the Curia was not interested in good liturgy but in distinguishing Catholicism from Protestantism.  In addition the new instructions were patently clericalist, instead of being oriented to the call for full, conscious and active participation of all present, something the Council insisted upon fourteen times in SC. Finally, the new translations abandoned all the progress made in having common texts among liturgical Christians. Fifty years of Ecumenical work was destroyed in a single swipe. 


The Romans have shown a persistent pattern in this regard. When a Commission was ready to present a new approach to contraception, a commission selected and appointed by the pope to be his experts, the pope closed the Commission on the advice of the Roman Curia.


When the Biblical Commission, again selected and appointed by the pope to be his expert advisors, prepared a draft that found no biblical basis for limiting ordination to males, again the pope dismissed them without officially receiving their report.


Later they did the same sort of thing to the International Commission on English in the Liturgy [ICEL]. If the experts don't agree, the Curialists throw out the experts.  They also throw out any pretense of respect for theologians.  The Curia is very far from its hero Aquinas who taught that there are two magisteria, the bishops and the theologians.


This sort of intellectual dishonesty, this disrespect for learning, this rejection of expertise is disgusting to me. I learned how to think logically, philosophically, theologically in Roman Catholic seminaries. These were supposed to be the dependable bases of orthodox teaching. To have all that rejected by authoritarians, is to have them destroy the very basis of respect for their offices, because they have taken to acting like self-serving dictators, outside of theology, outside of the laws of logic, outside of science, self-perpetuating through selection of like minded rather than competent successors.


The Roman Curia has betrayed the people of God and done so out of self interest rather than out of any theological concerns. They are satisfying their own tastes and forcing that diet down the throats of the faithful instead of nurturing them.


The Curialists continue to undermine authority because they do not understand that there are two kinds of authority, that of jurisdiction on which they build pyramids of power-based decisions, and that of  expertise from which comes earned respect. The abuse of jurisdictional authority by rejecting outside expertise and actual evidence is a sure sign of dictatorship. The dictatorship serves itself and those who support it, not the populace.


I still believe in what the Church has taught, but I have been driven away by what the Curia has imposed after taking over and making meaningless the Synods of bishops. They have used their bureaucratic organization, and the desire of many bishops to avoid confrontation, to do exactly what the Council Fathers rejected, prepare bureaucratic null content documents and expect the bishops to rubber stamp them.    I am totally at a loss to understand why bishops put up with this.  At Vatican II, the Fathers brought their own experts, the periti including Ratzinger and Küng, and thought for themselves and had meaningful discussions instead of set piece adoption of bureaucratic documents. Now the bureaucrats will not recognize any theological idea as valuable unless it supports their personal positions. They have ceased to be able to distinguish the doctrines of the faith from the disciplines of the institutions they want to preserve. That is why I say the Church has left me. I have not left it.



Young, Catholic and Conflicted
Lauren Boyle     Oct.16, 2012

I am a wavering Catholic. I don't want to be like this, but I am.


You'd think my strong Irish-American Catholic background -- complete with a large family, weekly Mass, patron saints and 16 years of Catholic school -- would have built a solid foundation upon which I could rest my religious convictions. But alas, here I am, once again evading any kind of religious identification in favor of putting my head between my knees, my fingers in my ears and saying, "I don't know; I DON'T KNOW!" over and over again.


I know I'm not alone. Many young people who grew up in the Church find themselves figuratively locked out of the building at some point or another, even if they may still be deeply attached, because of their disagreements with the Church on issues like the ordination of women, abortion, contraception and gay marriage. Are we even Catholic, then? We don't know what we are. Are young Catholics allowed to wear the jersey if we're batting less than .500 on agreeing with the pope?

. . . .
This has been happening to me my entire life. My "Catholicism" seems to rest on my belief about one single, solitary scenario: what to do about an unexpected pregnancy. How, in a world filled with as much trouble as ours, did my faith get reduced to that singular question?

Now, unless I was asleep those 16 years of Catholic education (and we all know that no self-respecting nun would have that kind of misbehavior in her class), I'm pretty sure Jesus cared about other issues, too.  

. . . . 

I certainly feel "on the outs" this election, more so than I have for the last few months as Nuns vs. Bishops heats up and the stories of abuse at the hands of priests keep pouring out, breaking my heart every time I pick up a newspaper -- or, you know, open the app on my iPad.

. . . .

I want to want to be Catholic. But I also want the rest of the world to recognize that Catholicism's rich social justice teachings are not based on one solitary concern. I am SO much more than a single-issue voter; as a Catholic, I am also focused on what's best for immigrants, women, the elderly, the poor, the sick, the incarcerated and the young.

Read more


A Nineteen-Year-Old College Freshman's Thoughts on Liturgy, Theology, and the Church
David J. Wesson     Oct.12, 2012

I was born into a devout, conservative evangelical nondenominational Christian household in Alabama. When I was fourteen, in eighth grade, I read myself into the Roman Catholic Church.    

. . . .

I was attracted to the Roman Catholic Church firstly by the fact that it was a great church of history, a church of the arts, visually (Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Raphael, etc.), architecturally (St. Peter's, Notre Dame, Chartres, St. Mark's in Venice, Salisbury Cathedral, Lincoln Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, [yes they are now Anglican, but still...]), and musically (Tallis, Palestrina, Gesualdo, Sheppard, Byrd, etc.).


The writings of theologians such as Congar, Rahner, Schillebeeckx, von Balthasar, Küng, McBrien, Boff, Gutiérrez, the liturgical scholarship of people such as Virgil Michel, Godfrey Diekmann, Jungmann, and the scriptural scholarship of greats such as Brown, Fitzmyer, Boadt, as well as the fact that it was the Church which sustained such greats as Oscar Romero, the El Salvadorian Jesuits, Dorothy Day, Cesar Chavez, and Joseph Bernadin, sealed the deal for me that I should enter full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.


I knew from the time I entered into communion with the Roman Catholic Church that it was not any more the church that these people were part of. Rather, today liturgical renewal at the official level is by and large dead. Concerted efforts have been made to kill moral theology and liberation theology. Saint John's is a place where this is not so. Rather, Collegeville still stands out as a center of liturgical scholarship, and is a place that does not believe that the "grand age" of liturgy ended with theMissale of 1962, yet the Liturgy is still celebrated with reverence and has not devolved into "Guitar Masses." Also, this is a place where theology, not catechism at a university level, but true theology, takes place, where people dare to ask the hard questions, and not fear the potential answers. This is why I chose Collegeville.

. . . .

Disheartened progressives and all people who lament the unfortunate condition the Roman Catholic Church is in today: do not lose hope. Do not lose faith in the Church. The hierarchy may be corrupt, the liturgy may be in decline, and Christians of all traditions may be forsaking the ecumenical dreams of years past, but God will make a way. The Spirit will prevail. We may be in the winter now, but a new springtime will come. This truth is why I am Roman Catholic. This truth sustains me when, joining another communion seems so enticing.
Billboard calls for convicted KC bishop to resign
Associated Press    Oct.24 2012

An electronic billboard in Kansas City calls for the resignation of the highest-ranking U.S. church official to be convicted of a crime related to the child sexual abuse scandal.


The Kansas City Star reports that the sign, located along Interstate 35, directs passers-by to an online petition that urges Bishop Robert Finn to step down. So far, more than 100,000 people have added their names.
Large letters read: "For the good of the people Bishop Finn must RESIGN!"

Read more


After a year of exile, anti-abortion priest Frank Pavone is back with eyes set on Obama, bishops
David Gibson     Oct.15, 2012

A year ago, the Rev. Frank Pavone was facing an existential crisis in the unlikeliest of places.


The longtime head of the anti-abortion group Priests for Life, Pavone had been confined to the Diocese of Amarillo by his bishop, Patrick J. Zurek, who sent a letter to every other U.S. bishop declaring that he had so many concerns about the group's $10 million budget that Pavone shouldn't be trusted with donors' money.

. . . .

Today, however, everything has changed. Pavone is a free man, thoroughly enjoying a measure of redemption, and then some.


"There's been a turning of a corner both in terms of reputation and giving," Pavone, 53, said with satisfaction as he tucked into a plate of shrimp parmesan during a recent lunch in suburban Staten Island, around the corner from the nondescript two-story building that is home to Priests for Life. "The donations are coming in quite steadily." 

. . . . 
The corridors of Priests for Life's offices are lined with photos of Pavone and his staff with conservative luminaries past and present: Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, John McCain, Gary Bauer, Clarence Thomas and the late Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms. Portraits of Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II fill any blank wall space.

Earlier this month Pavone issued a voter guide that highlights Mitt Romney's perceived strengths over President Barack Obama. With characteristic brio, Pavone calls churches that do not distribute such guides "cowardly."


Pavone is also a regular on the conservative Catholic cable network EWTN, where he talks politics as much as piety, and he has sued the White House over the controversial birth control health insurance mandate. In August, anti-abortion Republicans in the House, led by Reps. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Christopher Smith, R-N.J., convened a special session one evening to honor Pavone on PFL's 20th anniversary.

. . . .

Most important, Pavone said he may soon be free of any bishop's oversight, working with the Vatican to find a way to reinvent PFL as a special ministry that would report directly to Rome.

. . . .

Indeed, the lesson of Pavone's rehabilitation may be that in today's Catholic Church, it helps to have friends in high places, and to be battling on an issue - abortion - that is such a priority for Rome, especially during a critical presidential race. Whatever PFL's financial woes, keeping Pavone in business trumped the usual niceties of ecclesiastical life.

Read more


Barack Obama, Pro-Life Hero
Eric C. Miller     Oct.22, 2012

On October 3rd researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine published a study with profound implications for policymaking in the United States. According to Dr. Jeffery Peipert, the study's lead author, abortion rates can be expected to decline significantly-perhaps up to 75 percent-when contraceptives are made available to women free of charge. Declaring himself "very surprised" at the results, Peipert requested expedient publication of the study, noting its relevance to the upcoming election.


As most observers surely know, the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") requires insurance coverage for birth control, a provision staunchly opposed by most of the same religious conservatives who oppose legalized abortion. If Peipert is correct, however, the ACA may prove the single most effective piece of "pro-life" legislation in the past forty years.

. . . .

Peipert himself touted this benefit. "The way I look at it as a gynecologist with an interest in women's health and public health and family planning, is that this saves money," he said. "When you provide no-cost contraception, and you remove that barrier, you finally reduce unintended pregnancy rates. It doesn't matter what side one is on politically, that's a good thing." Dr. James T. Breeden, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, called the data "an amazing improvement," adding, "I would think if you were against abortions, you would be 100 percent for contraception access."

Read more


Vatican doctrine czar on LCWR: We expect 'substantial fidelity'
John L. Allen Jr    Oct.13, 2012

In commenting on the Vatican's standoff with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States, the Vatican's new doctrinal czar said today the right question is not who's wrong, but "who respects revelation and its essential elements?"

Archbishop Gerhard Müller, 64, said he "looks with sympathy" on groups such as LCWR, but at the same time that "no group can set itself up as the source of authentic interpretation" of church teaching.

That role, Müller insisted, belongs to "the pope and the bishops in communion with him," who expect "substantial fidelity" from the rest of the church

Read more


Movie on Catholic church molestation scandal gets director, screenwriter
Doug Most     Oct.18, 2012

The story about how the Catholic Church's long coverup of child molestation unfolded and came to light is one step closer to becoming a movie. The production companies Anonymous Content and Rocklin/Faust, which plan to make the movie based on the stories of the Boston Globe journalists who uncovered the scandal, has hired a director and screenwriter to keep the project moving.

. . . .

The project, described as being in the mold of "All the President's Men," focuses on the efforts of the Globe reporters, including Spotlight Team reporters Michael Rezendes, Sacha Pfeiffer , and Matt Carroll, along with Spotlight Team Editor Walter "Robby" Robinson, project editor Ben Bradlee Jr., and Globe EditorMarty Baron. The Globe eventually discovered that Cardinal Bernard Law , America's Senior Catholic Prelate, had hidden years of serial abuse by moving guilty priests from one parish to another where the priests often abused again .

Read more


New Vatican ordeal for rebel priest Fr Flannery
Garry O'Sullivan     Oct.10, 2012

Silenced Redemptorist and Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) founder Fr Tony Flannery has been contacted by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Irish Independent can reveal.


It emerged earlier this year that Fr Flannery was silenced by the Vatican and put under investigation for his "liberal" views on women's ordination.

. . . .

Now Fr Flannery has received further correspondence and documents to sign from the CDF under its new head, German Bishop Gerhard Muller, who has a reputation for taking on what the Vatican see as Catholic 'dissidents'.

Fr Flannery is having difficulty signing up to some of the demands in the latest documents seeking his retraction on certain liberal views.


Some of these views include campaigning for women's ordination and married priests; a complete re-think on contraception; and a change in what is seen as harsh and insensitive language in the church's teaching on homosexuality.

. . . . 

It is widely speculated in church circles that Fr Flannery has been singled out for his public support of Taoiseach Enda Kenny's post-Cloyne Report speech in which he castigated the Vatican for its "elitism, dysfunction, disconnection and narcissism".

Read more


Priests attend assembly in Cork
Patsy McGarry     Oct.15, 2012

More than 350 attended the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) regional assembly in Cork where speakers warned against accusations that they were against church teaching.

One of the leadership team, Fr Brendan Hoban, said "there are those, we know, who for different reasons would like to pretend that we're left-wing, radical, raving extremists, that we're trouble-makers and dissenters, that we're out to destroy the church." But, he continued "let me put the record straight".


He recalled the Orlando Figes' book The Whispers, Private Life in Stalin's Russia. It was about a situation where a fearful people had to whisper their criticism.


"We're the whisperers now but we have to do more than whisper, we have to find our voice, to stake a claim for the right and the responsibility to speak our truth about the church we love.

Read more


Scandal-hit Brady to go as new cardinal lined up
Garry O'Sullivan     Oct.13, 2012


The Vatican is set to make Cardinal Sean Brady pay the price of the recent scandals surrounding him by announcing his successor within two months.

The Vatican and the Papal Nuncio, Dr Charles Brown, are advancing plans to replace Dr Brady as Primate of All Ireland.

. . . .

Senior Vatican sources said his successor -- most likely to be a bishop from abroad -- will be named before Christmas.


Dr Brady has up to now refused to resign despite the revelations about his mishandling of abuse allegations about the notorious Fr Brendan Smyth.


It is understood Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, and most of the current Irish Catholic hierarchy do not figure in the succession stakes.


Instead, the Vatican is shortlisting Irish clerics based outside the country.

Read more


McAleese criticises lack of canon law courses in Ireland
Sarah Mac Donald     Oct.15, 2012

Former president, Mary McAleese, has criticised the lack of opportunities to study canon law in Ireland, and expressed concern over the fact that the Pontifical College in Maynooth has wound down its course.

. . . .

The Church, "doesn't make it easy for people like me to become literate in canon law and yet we are expected to obey canon law.  It's rather odd," she commented.

. . . .

"We have a bright, intelligent, confident and educated public who in the public space, that is outside of the Church, have enormous freedom to debate everything to death.  Ireland must be one of the most open democracies in the world."


However, she said this freedom to discuss and debate and access information in the public sphere is in increasingly stark contrast to the Church where no such forum for discussion or debate exists.


"Realistically, what we have in the Church is a centralised primatial system of governance, a style of governance which relies on the brain power of one man, the Pope, and whoever is permitted to feed into him.  So he is the author essentially of governance and decisions and we as a lay faithful or indeed as the clerical faithful don't have much input into those decisions."


She added, "We have a system of command and control where we are obliged to respond in obedience to the teachings of the Church and to accept certain things.  I think the issue of obedience is quite difficult due to the erosion of trust in the judgment of those whom we are expected to obey.  That really falls at the feet of the abuse issue," she explained.

. . . .

"If the bishops had more input into the decision making, by almost a process of osmosis, they would be obliged to have a much greater input into their own decision-making processes.  Greater collaboration, greater discussion, greater access to the views of laity and clergy, in order to inform the views that they would then bring in turn to the governance of the universal church."

Read more


Pope appoints archbishop Joe Tobin as head of Indianapolis archdiocese
Gerard O'Connell    Oct.16, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Archbishop Joseph William Tobin, the Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated life, as the new head of the archdiocese of Indianapolis in the USA.


While the move is likely to be warmly welcomed by the 246,000 strong Catholic community in Indianapolis archdiocese, it will certainly sadden many of the almost one million men and women religious, not only in the USA but also elsewhere in the  world, sources in religious orders told Vatican Insider earlier this week.


Tobin flew to Indianapolis on Monday 15 October.  Rumors predicting this change began circulating soon after the publication in April 2012 of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's highly critical report of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States.  At the time, it was widely known that Tobin was not happy with that report and, it seems, had not been consulted on it.  

Read more
Catholic bishop expected to meet with Indiana priest who went missing for a week
Robert King     Oct.15, 2012

Father Christiaan Kappes, the Indiana priest who went missing in Europe for a week after telling his family he feared for his life, is expected to meet today or tomorrow with the presiding bishop of Indianapolis to discuss his ordeal, a Catholic official said today.


Kappes, 36, returned home Wednesday night but has been recovering since then and unavailable to speak, according to a family spokesperson. But Father Stephen Giannini, the archdiocese's vicar for clergy, a position akin to a personnel director for priests, said Monday that Kappes has also expressed a desire to meet with Bishop Christopher Coyne, the auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

. . . .

Giannini said he personally met Monday morning with the priest's friend and interpreter, Ioanna Lekakou, but she declined to shed more light on the story. She has been staying with a Catholic family in Indianapolis since accompanying Kappes to Indiana last week.

. . . .

In late September, the priest's family said Kappes began phoning them with an increasingly urgent series of updates on a situation involving Lekakou's family and their interest in obtaining an inheritance she received from her grandparents. The family said Kappes told them both he and Lekakou had received death threats.


The pair disappeared for a week but turned up in Germany, where Kappes told the family the pair escaped to safety.

Read more


An open letter to the archbishop
Rt. Rev. Herbert Chilstrom     Oct.14, 2012

Letter to Catholic Archbishop John Nienstedt, published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune


Dear John:


Having served as a Lutheran bishop in Minnesota and then as the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), I write as one who stands on level ground with you. Like you, I have a deep sense of call to the ministry of the Gospel.

On the marriage amendment, you are described in the media as having "drawn the line."

In my judgment, you have drawn the line at the wrong place.

I recognize your authority in formulating positions for your own flock in Minnesota. That is one thing. But for you and others to campaign for an amendment that imposes your stance on all citizens in Minnesota, including other Christians, believers of other faith groups and nonbelievers, is overstepping your bounds.

. . . .

By word and action, you leave the impression that there is little room for dissent in your church. Yet many of us recall that Raymond Lucker, your predecessor as bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm, challenged your church to begin thinking about the need for married men and, yes, even women, to be ordained as priests. He clearly understood that one could be a good Roman Catholic and still be open to change.

. . . .

As private citizens, you and I have the right to put forward our opinions on the marriage issue. Beyond that, we should trust our legislators and judges to enact and guard laws that are for the good of all the people. If we like what they do, we can keep electing them to office; if not, we can vote them out. That's the republic for which I stand.

Read more


One in 20 priests an abuser, inquiry told
Barney Zwartz    Oct.23, 2012

At least one in 20 Catholic priests in Melbourne is a child sex abuser, although the real figure is probably one in 15, the state inquiry into the churches' handling of sex abuse was told yesterday.


RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) professor Des Cahill said his figures, based on analysing conviction rates of priests ordained from Melbourne's Corpus Christi College, closely matched a much larger American analysis of 105,000 priests which found that 4362 were child sex offenders.


The intercultural studies professor also told the inquiry that the Catholic Church was incapable of reforming itself because of its internal culture. He said the Church's Melbourne Response abuse protocol had to go, and the state would have to intervene to achieve it.

In other key testimony, Professor Cahill:

  • Called for married priests, as are being allowed now in the Anglican ordinariate within the Catholic Church, as a "circuit-breaker" that would reduce child sex abuse. The state should remove the Equal Opportunity Act exemption letting the church discriminate on grounds of marital status, he said.
  • Described the Church as "a holy and unholy mess, except where religious sisters or laypeople are in charge, for example schools and welfare agencies".
  • Called for an "eminent Catholic task force" of lay people to work with the Church on reform and transparency.
  • Said other religions were not immune from child sex abuse, including credible anecdotal evidence of two incidents within Melbourne's Hindu community where the offending monks were "shipped back to the home country".

Read more


Colombia bishop resigns, involved in court case concerning priest who accused him of slander
Associated Press     Oct.15, 2012

The pope has accepted the resignation of a Colombian bishop accused by one of his priests of slander, the latest bishop to be removed after mismanagement or other accusations became public.

Bishop Carlos Prada Sanmiguel of Duitama-Sogamoso is two years shy of the normal retirement age for bishops. The Vatican said Monday he was resigning under the code of canon law that says bishops should step down if they're sick or because a "grave" reason makes them unfit for office.

Colombian news reports have said Prada Sanmiguel claimed a priest had a relationship with a woman. The priest in turn accused the bishop of slander in a court case that is ongoing.

Read more


3 Catholic priests kidnapped in eastern Congo
Associated Press     Oct.21, 2012

Congolese civic leaders say that three Roman Catholic priests were kidnapped in eastern Congo.


The three priests were taken captive from their monastery by about 10 gunmen on Saturday night.


Omar Kavota, the Vice President of the North Kivu civil society, said the abductions took place in Beni, north of Goma, in North Kivu province.


The three, indentified as Wasukudi Anselm, 41, Jean Ndulani, 52, and Edmond Kisughu, 53, were tied up and taken away by the armed men, who witnesses say spoke Swahili.

Read more


'Playboy priest' flees with a million euros, married woman
Agence France-Presse     Oct.16, 2012

A Croatian priest has run off with almost one million euros ($1.3 million) after illegally selling church property, officials said on Tuesday, amid media reports the Catholic clergyman had fled with a married woman.


Franciscan priest Sime Nimac earlier this year signed a deal with a local firm to sell a plot of church land, the Split archdiocese said in statement.


Nimac, 34, the former parish priest of Baska Voda on the southern Adriatic coast, in May withdrew more than 980,000 euros in cash from the parish's account "without a valid explanation why the money was taken and what it will be used for," the archdiocese added.

Local media have reported that the priest, described as a handsome aficionado of expensive clothes and luxury goods, had fled the country with a young woman who is a married employee of the bank from which the cash was withdrawn.

Read more


Whose Liturgy is it, anyway?

John Chuchman 


B1: Your Eminences, We've got to do something;
We've lost control of the Liturgy.
B2: Yes, since V-II, the laity actually think
the Liturgy belongs to them,
that it is theirs.
B3: Indeed, if we lose control
of the Liturgy,
we risk losing control of the laity;
we must act.
B1: What should we do?
B2: Let's keep them away from the altar;
none of this standing near the
Holy Celebrant.
B3: And let's ban them from even touching
the Sacred Chalice and utensils,
even to clean them.
B2: Especially since we have specified
they Must be Gold and bejeweled.
B4: We cannot let them choose the music;
we must go back to what has been approved
in centuries past.


B3: The music many have been using

is much too upbeat anyway, does not remind the laity of their guilt and unworthiness.

B4: Let's get them bowing more to us; it will help solidify our superior rank.

B1: We thought about bringing back the clickers the

nuns used to let people know when to stand, sit, kneel, etc.

B3: You know, the laity were a lot more docile when they could not receive Communion in their hands.

B4: That'll be corrected, I hear that XVI will be mandating reception on the tongue.

B1: Great, we're making real progress; How about language?

B2: Yes, it's much too familiar, much too ordinary, much too comfortable; We've got to force a Sacred Jargon, used only at Liturgy.

B3: Let's impose "Lamb of God" on them.

B4: Great idea; and let's add words beyond their comprehension.

B1: And we need words that keep stressing the laity's unworthiness

B3: Dare we bring back Latin;

Only we use it?

B4: Great! Let's slowly introduce it and expand it across the board; that will really put us back In Control!

B1: And who in heaven's name, started allowing lay people to preach?


B2: A few B's here and there,



B3: No question,

that stops here and now, the Holy Spirit speaks Only through us. 


B4: But so many laity in this country

have advanced degrees (MA's and PhD's) in their religion, and are more educated than the few programmed clerics we churn out. 


B1: Exactly why we MUST

keep them off the ambo. 


B2: Frankly we'd be better off

if these educated laity would just leave. Catholic Education is for kids, not adults. 


B3: Yes, and if they would just leave,

instead of causing a ruckus, we could get on with making this church Smaller and Purer as Ratz envisioned. 


B4: Some laity had even discovered

that it is the Community Gathered that consecrates the bread and wine, and not our personal power. 


B1: God help us

if that idea spreads. 


B2: OK, that settles it,

we slowly and surely undo all the V-II missteps and bring the Liturgy and the Laity back under our control.

B3: Super,

Shall we pray over it?

B4: No need, We are God's Chosen leaders. 


B1: Thanks, God.
B2: One last thing,

Do we need to revise our current regulations to make the altars higher?



South Carolina diocese defecting from the Episcopal Church
Daniel Burke     Oct.18, 2012

The Diocese of South Carolina announced on Wednesday (Oct. 17) that it has disaffiliated from the Episcopal Church, escalating a long-running skirmish and setting the stage to become the fifth diocese to secede from the denomination.


South Carolina said the split was triggered by disciplinary action taken against Bishop Mark Lawrence, its conservative leader. The diocese passed a resolution on Oct. 2 stating that it would immediately secede should the Episcopal Church "discipline, impair, restrict, place on administrative leave, charge, derecognize" or otherwise inhibit the diocese or its leaders.

. . . .

In a broad sense, the split was prompted by theological differences over homosexuality. The Episcopal Church has ordained gay and lesbian bishops and voted this summer to allow the blessing of same-sex unions. Lawrence has called such moves "the false gospel of indiscriminate inclusivity."


Dozens of congregations and four dioceses --  in California, Texas, Pennsylvania and Illinois -- have split from the Episcopal Church, often triggering long and expensive court battles over church property.

Read more


Letter to the editor
Bless us, Fathers, for we've been shunned
Joe Klock, Sr.    Oct.10, 2012
If you're long enough in the tooth and not afflicted with failing memory, you'll fondly recall the Kigmy, a 1949 creation of the brilliant cartoonist/philosopher Al Capp, artistic father of Li'l Abner and the other delightful denizens of Dogpatch.
Aside: Another of his brainchildren was Senator Jack S. Phogbound, a pompous, self-serving, devious dodger of truth, among whose real-life clones are the Sinators and Reprehensibles who recently fled the business of governance in Washington in order to strew pre-election bullscat in your home town. (Watch where you walk between now and November!) If you miss their public appearances, you'll find ample exposure of their partisan prattle on those "Talk (But Don't Listen) Shows" which pollute the boob tube 24/7/12/365.
The Kigmy was a pudgy little doughball whose principal delight in life was to be kicked, without need of provocation, by anyone willing to give it a buttful of foot.
There is, arguably, a Kigmy gene in anyone who allows any opinion to escape the confines of his/her subconscious mind. This is because - regardless of its benignity, veracity and good intention - it is certain to evoke rebuttal after the first few airings. (Try, for example, to share some of your wisdom on the subjects of child-rearing, politics, or mixing martinis.)
Kigmyosis is an occupational disease among those of us who recklessly invite scorn, condemnation and trips to the woodshed by publishing op-ed articles, a.k.a., the world according to us, or the dark practice of columny.   
While few topics (cute babies, for example) are immune to backlash, none is a more effective lightning rod for angry feedback than criticism of the wholly Roman, but decreasingly catholic Church. Note, please, that lower-case "c" in "catholic" and look up the word before you lock and load. (I do not apologize, by the way, for that "wholly Roman" pun, as the following comments will confirm.) 
I am a cradle Catholic, reared by devout parents and educated by Sisters of St. Joseph and  Jesuits. An AC (Assenting Catholic) until my mid-thirties, I was drawn toward the "DC" (Dissenting) ranks by the dynamic impact of the Second Vatican Council.
I saw in it, as did millions of my co-religionists, a reaching out by the hierarchy to those in the pews who had previously been exhorted to merely pray, pay and obey, blindly following the Vatican dicta.
During the ensuing years, I welcomed Masses in which the dialogue was understandable, the faithful participated and the priests presided, rather than performed.
I saw young people flocking to church, twanging their guitars, singing their faith and doing good works, led by an abundance of clergymen, some only slightly their elders.
Fast-forward (maybe reverse is a better word) to the present, when the ranks of the priesthood have been decimated by deaths, defections, defrockings and pathetically few new recruits. 
Churches have closed, pulpits emptied and, as a tragic result, the admonition of Christ to "feed my sheep, feed my lambs" is being honored in the breach.
Okay, what to do about it? I don't know - and it's not my place to decide. 
What I do know is that not much is being done, beyond encouraging the faithful to pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Recent meetings of Church leadership have produced little more than minor changes in ritual and an unsubtle retreat toward the status quo before the reign of Pope John XXIII, who must be at least frowning "up there."
What MIGHT be done is the immediate convening of a Third Vatican Council to discuss such critical issues as birth control, lay control of temporal parish affairs, divorce, a married priesthood, female ordination, the gay culture and serious dialogue with separated Christian groups.
Say what you will about tradition, solidarity and other historical precedents, the undeniable facts are that we are losing our young people, not relating to the wants and needs of the "fallen away," not facing up to the realities of modern life and not, as a result, feeding a hungry and dependent flock.
We, the sheep - a growing number of us, at least - feel that we have been shunned by the shepherds, particularly those in the hierarchy, some of whom seem more bent on control than on bending to the needs of their people.
No, I'm not leaving the Church, but neither am I abandoning the free will and willingness to express it which are God's gifts to us Kigmies.
Freelance wordworker Joe Klock, Sr. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view
Association for the Rights of Catholics in the  Church




This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





Like us  on Facebook
Like us on Facebook