Revolution in Church Part 2
Among the groups operating in the "shadow magisterium,"
those that train liturgists and teachers, develop catechetical materials,
or translate scripture have tremendous impact on the faithful. They could
do great good; unfortunately, many have a destructive agenda. The NDCPL
[Notre Dame Center for Pastoral Liturgy] is the "major credentialing organization
for liturgists in North America" according to Petersnet [www.petersnet.net],
an orthodox apostolate that evaluates Catholic websites for their fidelity.
Petersnet gave NDCPL an F saying, "After examining their website one understands
why the liturgy in both Canada and the U.S. is in such a shambles. It's
no accident. The extensive bibliography reads like a who's who of dissent
in the Church."1
ICEL [International Commission on English in the Liturgy)
has been controversial for years. The Vatican delayed the English version
of the CCC [Catechism of the Catholic Church] due to ICEL's bad translation
and ordered revocation of the imprimatur to their 1995 The Liturgical
Psalter. The February 2000 Adoremus Bulletin carried an excellent
article by Helen Hull Hitchcock, ICEL needs "thoroughgoing reform,
" which highlights major problems with the organization.2
Catholics in the pew using ICEL translations don't even realize how much
they are influenced by ICEL's advocacy of feminism and neutered language.
CTU [Catholic Theological Union] in Chicago, "known for
its accommodation of rank dissenters and promoters of the reform-Church
movement,"3 is responsible for 100-plus liturgical design consultants
running around the country like Oliver Cromwell sacking churches. If that
institution's name appears on a resume, faithful Catholics beware!
Resources for Christian Living publishes classroom materials
for CCD and adult education, including RCIA [Rite of Christian Initiation
for Adults]. Petersnet rated them D for fidelity. Other publishers are
rightly criticized for their destructive sex-ed courses, which have infiltrated
many dioceses and damaged countless children. Benziger's Family Life
Program and Wm. C. Brown Company's New Creation series and
In God's Image are just a few. Two other publishers well known
for dissent-ridden materials are Orbis Books, a division of Maryknoll
and Paulist Press. Recently published works by Orbis include
two by Sr. Joan Chittister, O.S.B. and one by Fr. Anthony De Mello, S.J.
(deceased) both CTA [Call to Action] headliners.
A controversial program used all over the United States
(in Bishop David Foley's Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama it is the major
jubilee year initiative) is RENEW 2000 published by Paulist Press.
Beth Roney Drennan spent hundreds of hours reviewing RENEW.4
She found among its writers and contributors some of the most subversive
dissenters in the Church: Diann Neu, Mary Hunt, Monika Hellwig, Fr. Raymond
F. Collins, Thomas Berry, Sandra Schneiders, and Fr. De Mello to name
a few. The controversy over the series has been unrelenting. As a result,
some of the most pagan elements have been deleted, including Diann Neu's
exhortation to the Great Spirit of the four directions. [See The Twilight
Zone: Ding Dong, Sophia's Gone, Vol.5 #2] But changing the trappings
of a bad program doesn't eliminate its problems. RENEW is about undermining
the parish through "small base communities," the foundation of liberation
theology, which has so damaged the Church in South America. Interestingly,
the logo of a tree on the book cover for Renew 2000 resembles similar
logos used by CTA for their national and local conventions.
Lenin once said, "The success of a revolution depends
upon the degree of participation by women." If you have the women you
have the children, if you have the children, you have the future. Women
have been the front guard of the revolution. Radical feminists, many of
them professed religious within and against the Church, know that verbal
engineering precedes social engineering. That's why neutering language
is such a centerpiece of the feminist agenda. Under the guise of respecting
women, it attacks both the fatherhood of God and the priesthood. It blurs
the essential and complementary distinction between men and women, encouraging
androgyny. Anyone examining the culture of dissent must be struck by its
intrinsic link to sexual disorder and dysfunction, whether the rejection
of Church teaching on birth control or support for same-sex relationships.
Volunteer parish catechists, mostly women, have been the
backbone of religious education. Who trains the catechists shapes the
future Church. Many major catechetical conferences feature dissenters
as trainers. The April 8, 2000 Los Angeles Religious Education Conference,
a major West Coast event in Roger Cardinal Mahoney's diocese, featured
a band of heterodox speakers including CTA regulars Fathers Patrick Brennan
and Michael Crosby, sociologist Fr. Andrew Greeley (notorious for his
salacious novels), Sr. Barbara Fiand who was restricted from teaching
seminarians at Cincinnati's Atheneum because of her bad theology, Sr.
Elizabeth Johnson who denies Church teaching on ordination, Fr. Richard
Rohr who officiated at a lesbian "wedding," etc., etc. The same characters
appear at conferences, seminars, and workshops around the country. Catholics
in the pew pay their stipends and expenses. But someone in the diocesan
chancery or parish office approves them. Is this ignorance or malice?
We've spoken often in this newsletter about the radical
feminists and notorious dissent groups like CTA, WOC (Women's Ordination
Conference), We Are Church, Dignity, etc. Less strident, but more dangerous,
is the dissent of religious orders. One would like to believe that nuns
and priests love the truth, follow the pope, and foster the Faith. Unfortunately,
it ain't necessarily so. A Roman collar, a religious title, or a religious
habit is no guarantee of orthodoxy. The recent debacle over the Women's
Spirituality Series at the Dominican Retreat House in McLean, Virginia
is a graphic illustration [See Dominican Retreat House Hosts Lesbians
& Witch, Vol.5 #1], but by no means unique. When CFFC [Catholics
for a Free Choice] began their "See Change" project to get the Vatican
kicked out of the UN, they were joined by hundreds of organizations, including
some religious orders. The Women of Loretto Network, feminist claque
of the Sisters of Loretto, is one. Their website features the Network
with nothing hidden about its radical feminist agenda including "empowerment
of women," reproductive rights, ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment,
and "full access to sacramental ministries in church life," i.e. women's
ordination. This is not the lunatic fringe of the order; but the mainstream.
The Benedictine Sisters of Mount Angel in Mt. Angel, OR
run a retreat house called Shalom Prayer Center. They offer not
only dissent (Edwina Gateley, a CTA regular who "concelebrates" Mass is
leading a retreat in October), but a bizarre hodgepodge of new age spirituality
that includes the Enneagram and Carl Jung's pagan philosophy.5
Unfortunately they also train spiritual directors and have sent out over
100 apostles of error6 to scandalize the community.
The Jesuits, known for centuries as the "pope's men,"
to their shame have become spiritual termites chewing at the foundations
of the Church. Obviously there are still many holy and theologically sound
Jesuit teachers, but too many Jesuit colleges and universities in the
United States are notorious for their scandal and hostility to orthodoxy.
In a recent letter to Fr, Leo O'Donovan, S.J., retiring
president of Georgetown, Ann Sheridan, President of the Georgetown
Ignatian Society, itemized a list of shameful events which have occurred
during his tenure: "the 'culture of death' [condoned] through recognition
of student abortion-advocacy groups; establishment of 'safe zones' for
homosexual clubs and activities; the requirement that incoming students
be trained in the use of condoms; fetal tissue research being conducted
in Georgetown University Hospital; the 'culture of alcohol' on campus,
as cited by The Washington Post, dismissal of orthodox Jesuit priests
from Campus Ministry; violations of liturgical norms at student Masses;
pornographer Larry Flynt's speaking engagement on campus; and the repeated
production of Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues... resistance to the
implementation of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, plus... impediments to the
placing of crucifixes in classrooms."
Mrs. Sheridan closes saying, "Your decisions to disregard
the theological authority mandated both by your vows as a Jesuit priest
and the teachings of the Magisterium, have brought spiritual, cultural
and social disrepute to Georgetown and are now, inexorably, part of her
history and your legacy."
The situation is serious. The revolutionary conspiracy
has negatively affected every aspect of our Faith, Pope Paul VI recognized
it years ago, saying the "smoke of Satan" had even entered the Church.
Are those leading the conspiracy organized and deliberate? Certainly Satan
is. Are his human instruments? Maybe, maybe not. They don't need to be.
The word conspiracy means literally "to breathe together." The dissenters
hold a common vision and a shared goal toward which they move, breathing
chaos, confusion, and destruction. Just as "all things work together for
good for those who love the Lord," all things work together for evil to
those who would place themselves above the Lord and His law.
We who love the Church must remember that Jesus Himself,
in the parable of the unjust steward, said the master "gave his devious
employee credit for being enterprising! Why? Because the worldly take
more initiative than the other-worldly when it comes to dealing with their
own kind." [Lk 16:87 So we must recall the admonition He gave
the apostles as He sent them out to the towns and villages of Israel.
"What I am doing is sending you out like sheep among wolves. You must
be clever as snakes and innocent as doves." [Mt 10:16ff] The picture of
persecution and family division that afflicts the Church in the United
States today is not pretty, but Jesus exhorts the apostles and us
to proclaim the Gospel boldly and fear nothing, except "Him who can destroy
both body and soul in Gehenna." [Mt 10:28]
Heretical times call forth reformers and invite sanctity
in the faithful. We certainly need both at the dawn of the new millennium.
This is no time for hand wringing or despair, but for girding our loins,
plowing the field, planting the seed, and preparing for the harvest. Our
Holy Father often says the 21st century will be a springtime of evangelization
or it will not be at all. It's our choice. In this Jubilee year of hope
may we pray and work unceasingly for the coming of the kingdom.
1 Petersnet: http://www.petersnet.net/search/viewsite.cfm?Site=
2 Helen Hull Hitchcock, ICEL needs "thoroughgoing reform,
" Adoremus Bulletin Vol. V, No. 10-February 2000, page 1.
3 Michael Rose, The Renovation Manipulation, Aquinas
Publishing Ltd. Cincinnati, 2000, page 23.
4 Beth Roney Drennan, Paulist 's RENEW 2000 is Just
a Front for Call to Action, The Wanderer, two part series, September
10 and 24,1998.
5 Petersnet: http://www.petersnet.net/search/viewsite.cfm?Site=1351.
7 All Scripture quotes from The New American Bible.