Vic Biorseth, http://www.CatholicAmericanThinker.com
When I took this course, I thought it would epitomize the worst in Catholic dissent that I could ever encounter in a Catholic teaching institution. That assumption would be proven wrong in a couple of later courses. But this course pretty well laid out the overall goals that the LPMP (Lay Pastoral Ministry Program) was pushing, which included broad Catholic acceptance of active homosexuality and the gay lifestyle, feminine ordination, and a complete redefinition of "Church." And let me tell you, this new church ain't your daddy's Church.
The teacher for Formation for Discipleship, and for another course called Theological Reflections, was Sr. Nancy McMullen. The required text was Seasons of Strength; New Visions of Adult Christian Maturing; Evelyn Eaton Whitehead and James D. Whitehead; Saint Mary's Press Christian Brothers Publications. This book provides a perfect case study in Catholic dissent.
Where to begin?
Catholic dissent expressed in group prayer.
The classes were usually opened by group prayer, with everybody reading from handouts, sometimes from the "Guerrillas of Grace," sometimes from Hindu or Buddhist personalities or publications, sometimes from other esoteric sources, rarely from the rich existing deposit of Catholic prayer. Once we all read aloud and prayed a prayer together invoking the name of Buddha as the son of God. Isn't that nice? I still have the handout. Sr. Nancy also turned out to be a case study in Catholic dissent.
This wasn't just Catholic dissent, it was dissent from Protestantism, Christianity, and all "organized" religion.
The overall gist of the whole class seemed to be a movement toward a separated sense of "individual" spirituality, and away from a negative thing called organized religion. I'm not saying this was explicit, but that it was implied, and I was not the only one with this perception. It goes along with the broader movement seen in general American society in which the "in" pseudo-sophisticates learn a mantra or two, practice deep meditation techniques and perhaps some good yoga postures, while turning away from traditional fixed religion. In this case, what we are turning away from is the Catholic hierarchy, liturgy, authority and fixed rules. In society in general, it is away from ANY organized religion in favor of a superior individual spirituality. The error in this theoretical abandonment of organized religion lies in the fact that every adopted mantra, every adopted meditation technique, every adopted yoga posture, originally came from some organized religion. But that's another story for another day.
Catholic dissent on fixed doctrine.
There was, again in this class, the tiresome official teaching that the Roman Catholic Church changes its teaching on faith and morals all the time. Again, the prime example given was how the Church once blessed slavery, and now anathematizes it. Again, I argued off-line with the professor, and again it appeared that my argument carried the day, and again the "official" incorrect teaching to the rest of the class stood uncorrected. My argument can be found at Church Teaching on Slavery, for what it's worth. And, none of these issues would even be issues in a Catholic course of study in a Catholic teaching institution if the whole question of fixed revelation, irreformable teaching and infallibility were not openly challenged, by the teacher and the course material. My argument for infallibility, again, for what it's worth, may be found at Infallibility. But of course, I was wasting my breath. I suppose I should have expected as much when the whole class looks to be designed to teach Catholic dissent.
Let's look at the text book, Seasons of Strength. I would say that it was designed to promote Catholic dissent, except that I can't tell if it's even a Catholic book. The Whiteheads (the authors) refer to themselves on page 12 and elsewhere as having "pastoral" concerns, which made me wonder if they were some kind of Protestant pastors. They were not. They use all sorts of strange terminology describing the "new" Church: reimagining (their word), new images, new models, reunderstanding (their word), revolution, all are heavily used. But we are not told who, other than the Whiteheads, are doing all of this reimagining, revolting and reunderstanding.
Lots of leaping; lots of testing the rules and pushing the envelope. All the references to new images and new models hit me as just another New World Order. On page 15 in opposing "elitism" there is a stretch toward pure egalitarianism in that "all" should consider themselves, and be considered by all others, to be "called" and "chosen" and "ministers." And there is the first of many allusions to the need to de-emphasize reason and re-emphasize passion, and not necessarily allow reason to control our passions so much. Carried to its logical conclusion this would lead us to "if it feels good, do it." Which is fine, for swine. And for teaching Catholic dissent.
Catholic dissent called for in class material.
Chapter 21 opens up almost like the Communist Manifesto, but it is unclear exactly who is revolting, and whether the reader is expected to join in the revolution or wait on the sidelines to see who wins. If indeed a quiet revolution is going on then I know from my vantage point at the grass-roots level that it's not coming up from the bottom, and it seems unlikely to be coming from Rome or from the Magisterium, and so I am left wondering just who is revolting against whom and why. It sounds more like social or political dissent than Catholic dissent, but here we are, in an official Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP Catholic class.
Catholic dissent on Church teaching regarding homosexuality.
The page 28 line "...gay and lesbian adults are pursuing lives that are both genuinely Christian and fully sexual..." cannot be interpreted as anything other than a teaching in Catholic dissent. It is designed and intended to move Catholic students away from consistent Catholic moral teaching. When I told Sr. Nancy that I couldn't believe this was an official Catholic teaching, we had to get into a discussion on what I meant by "official."
What I meant was to use the literal definition of the word. "Official" refers to one who holds office and the responsibility to administer that office. The Athenaeum holds an office to teach Catholic ministry. Sr. Nancy held an office as a consecrated religious, a minister of the Catholic Church, and at least one of her official Catholic ministries was to teach Catholic religion. Whatever she teaches is assumed to be "official" Catholic teaching; Catholic students should not even have to wonder about it, let alone be moved to investigate the validity of her teaching. It's supposed to be "official."
This is the "official" stuff that was being taught as good Catholic material in the Archbishop's name and by his authority in his Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP program, by his faculty. Pure Catholic dissent. Parts of the book, and Sr. Nancy's lectures, descended into pure psycho-babble; being who we are waiting to happen; if our "leaping" and "testing the leeway" convinces others that what we're doing is OK, then it's OK, without regard to any revealed Truths or external laws regarding it. There is a denial of, or at least a lack of recognition of God's role as lawmaker and judge. A movement toward morality determined by popular poll or something.
Catholic dissent on the Depositum Fidei.
Page 45 (and other places) refers to a seemingly evolving purpose for the Church. The Church no longer sees itself "as the proud possessor of God's unambiguous plan" for us, see? And the Church guards only a "fragile and partial vision of God's dream for us," see? We - you and me - are supposed to come up with the rest. Forget the Sacred deposit of faith. The Church’s vocation is still being revealed. In this little piece of official Catholic dissent we are not told who is supposed to be doing the new interpreting of all this new revelation, but the assumption is, EVERYBODY, in a group activity. Regardless of the random directions of our previously mandated individual leaping.
I think you get the idea on how the class taught general Catholic discipleship. Chapter 10 was titled "passages in homosexual holiness." Right. I would really rather not even get into it, but, Sr. Nancy did, up to her neck. This is where we learned the holiness of not only illicit sex, but illicit homosexual sex, and the worthiness of active participants to full participation in Catholic life, including Communion.
Sr. Nancy led us in a gay and lesbian prayer invoking blessings on the gay and lesbian community, using the term homophobia to describe those who oppose the open gay and lesbian lifestyle. She passed out the gay and lesbian prayer cards with a pink triangles that were conceived in response to the Church's recent direction given to the famous (or infamous) Fr. Nugent and Sr. Gramick, leaders of the pseudo-Catholic pro-sodomy movement called Call to Action.
I took extreme exception to this prayer, and to the "homophobic" implication that those who oppose the pro-sodomy agenda of Sr. Nancy and the Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP program were mentally ill, while Sr. Nancy would not accept the term "heterophobic" to describe herself or her counter-cultural and anti-Catholic organizations. The whole gimick surrounded a statement that the larger Roman Catholic Church actually persecutes homosexuals, which was, of course, nothing but another malicious, anti-Catholic, flagrant categorical lie. And I told her so.
Catholic dissent on the Church's Scripture interpretation.
There was just so much. There was Sr. Nancy's (and the Whitehead's) contention that Our Lord was surprised, in His passion in the garden, that his "ministry" was to be cut short so soon. ??? Despite His predictions to the Twelve of exactly what was going to happen here. No doubt, Sr. Nancy was depending on the scientistic methods of historical criticism to come up with this entirely new pseudo-official Catholic teaching of the Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP program.
Get this: Jesus didn't know who He was, and didn't know what His mission was. That was the quite official Catholic teaching in the Particular Church of Cincinnati.
There was the complete replacement of the Cardinal Virtues. (Imagination is now an official Cardinal Virtue.) There were tons and tons of Freudian psycho-babble and Marxian socio-babble. I have about a three inch stack of it.
What can I say? This is pure Catholic dissent.
The clear overriding intention of this official Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP course was to promote acceptance of sodomy and open lifestyles involving active homosexuality, the ordination of women, and the elimination of the notion of hierarchical authority in the Roman Catholic Church.
There were so many side issues and minor bones of contention that I don't even feel it worthwhile to bring them into the discussion. What's the point? Homosexuality, ordination of women and the magisterial authority of Rome are all non-negotiable issues, and they are not ever going to change, whether the Archbishop of Cincinnati likes it or not. The Roman Catholic Church is not, has never been, and will never be a Democracy. Get over it. Democracy is for civil governments, not ecclesial.
This was pure Catholic dissent, and whether it was Catholic dissent taught directly by the Archbishop or Catholic dissent taught officially in his name makes no difference whatsoever to me. It was Catholic dissent quite officially taught under his authority, in his Particular Church, in his teaching institution, by his faculty, on his watch and under his ultimate teaching responsibility.
Scripture, Tradition, history, doctrine, the Catechism, Canon law, all are quite clear on these issues, which you would think would not even be topics of discussion in any Catholic course in any Catholic teaching institution.
Nevertheless, we've seen how the theoretically Catholic course, Formation for Discipleship, was quite officially taught in the Particular Church of Cincinnati, in the name of Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, and by his authority. Now he may claim, perhaps truthfully, that he personally never taught any of this absolute bull crap. But then, he didn't really have to, because that's what he had all his demons for. Excuse me, did I say demons? I meant to say Faculty.
The Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP program has no valid purpose and should be done away with.
Pray for the Archbishop, pray for the office of the Archbishop, and pray, most especially, for the Particular Church of Cincinnati.
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Response
Date: Mon Feb 21 09:33:12 2011
From: Liberal Loony
Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk may be subject to your ire as being way too liberal. But on the other side of the spectrum, what have we got? I listened to Bishop Richard Williamson speak a few years ago. The man talked about how "studentesses" are a distraction to "students" in university, and hence should not be even going there. Ditto with "lawyeresses". Must be my limited ability with English, but I never even heard them words before. Spiritual leaders who pander to the left are as much a curse as the far right nutjobs.
Date: Mon Feb 21 18:41:26 2011
From: Vic Biorseth
”Bishop” Richard Williamson is no bishop; he is a LeFebver-ite, an ex-communicated anti-Semite and a holocaust denier. His ex-communication was lifted, then reestablished when his anti-Semitism was discovered. He is no example of any kind of Catholic spiritual leader. You will have to provide an example of a Catholic spiritual leader who is a far right nut-job, because I don’t know of any such creature.
Saturday, October 06, 2012
As part of the ongoing effort to upgrade this whole website, upgraded this webpage to the new BB 2.0 - SBI! 3.0 release and to make use of the new reusable code features.
An earlier phase of this major conversion corrupted or adversely affected some fonts, alignments, quotes and tables in the previously published webpages. Not to worry; this phase is converting them all, one by one. Eventually, every webpage on this site will have the same look and feel as this one.
LOVE this new release!
Date: Wed Aug 13 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
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My "Education" at the Athenaeum Of Ohio LPMP (Lay Pastoral Minstry Program).
The Athenaeum Of Ohio LPMP program was the required pre-requisite for entry into the Deaconate program in Archbishop Daniel E. Pylarczyk's Cincinnati Archdiocese.
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(Cafeteria Catholic 2)
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(Cafeteria Catholic 5)
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