The hidden dissident agenda in the Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP teaching.

The overriding dissident agenda of Liberal Catholicism appeared sometimes mostly in teaching material, sometimes in teachers themselves, sometimes in both.

Vic Biorseth, http://www.CatholicAmericanThinker.com

Here we describe the clear dissident agenda found in official Catholic educational institutions. In the Cafeteria Catholic 1 page I laid out the broad history of my encounter with the Athenaeum of Ohio's Lay Pastoral Ministry Program. Because of that encounter, I can best define, in the most detail, the anti-magisterial agenda that appears in the Particular Church of Cincinnati, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk presiding.

Sometimes official dissent was clearest in the text books and other course material, sometimes it was clearest in the discussion or lectures of the professor or instructor, sometimes it was quite clear in both. It was just about always present, in some form.

Regarding the entire program, just look at what the Bishop, or his Athenaeum of Ohio, calls it: The Lay Pastoral Ministry Program. Think about it. Do the terms "Lay" and "Pastoral Ministry" even belong in the same sentence? Only a priest can be a pastor; only a pastor can rightly do pastoral ministry. Anything we laymen do to help the church would more properly be titled "administrative" or some other form of ministry, certainly other than pastoral.

The suspected goal of this overall dissident agenda is to, one, bring about an equivalent lay view of ministers who are priests, and ministers who are not priests; two, to soften acceptance of fixed doctrine in order to, three, pave the way for ordination of non-celibate priests and priestesses. Working toward that end is a subtle dissident agenda to create "ministers" who will, whether consciously or unconsciously, further advance the dissident agenda.

Two other suspected goals of the dissident agenda are to reduce in total the number of ordained men, and to radically reduce the number of ordinations of completely orthodox men, both to the priesthood and to the deaconate. Not having enough priests to do Eucharist allows the dissident bishops to throw up their hands and say, what can we do? We have no choice; we have to ordain women; there aren't enough men coming in.

This suspicion is strengthened by the clear numerical predictions and yet fuzzy final answers of the bishop's appointed "experts" who are going around to parishes preparing for the future dealing with the ever increasing priest shortage that is obvious in all heterodox dioceses, and not a problem at all in any of the clearly orthodox dioceses. As "the plan" is gradually developed with the assistance of the bishop's appointed "experts," the numbers are repeatedly accentuated and driven home: the clear trend in the declining numbers of priests over some past period is projected into the future to be an "X" number in the future. We are all told that, by a date certain, there will be only one priest left for every ten or twelve parishes, and therefore we need to plan on which parishes will close, combine and so forth. (There is and will be no effort or plan to reverse the priest shortage trend; we all need to plan for failure.) It is our final failure plan that ultimately is to be approved by the archbishop regarding the closing of our more traditional inner-city parishes and the expansion of the newer and less traditional suburban parishes.

But what is glossed over is the final number in the assumed fixed and unchangeable trend line of declining priest numbers. Our plan is for the predicted date certain when the inevitable event occurs that we will have only one priest for twelve parishes.

Question: In counting backwards, what number comes after one?

Answer: Zero.

If it is certain, certain, that we will eventually get down to only one priest for twelve parishes, with no way out of that situation, then exactly how and why does it not logically and mathematically follow that shortly thereafter we will have no priests at all? And shouldn't we, and the bishop's "experts," seriously plan for that eventuality? The "expert" response to that question is:

  1. Of course that won't happen; that's just a silly question.
  2. Something will happen before that point, and the trend will change for the better.
  3. Next question?

The something that they expect to happen, but absolutely will not speak about, is the ordination of women. That is the real plan.

Let me discuss some of the individual LPMP classes and material to provide more detail and light for you. See if you think there is a detectable dissident agenda here.

Basic Doctrine LPC 115

Sometimes a dissident agenda may be covert, sometimes overt, usually it will be disguised if it is a true agenda of someone, and sometimes it will simply be promoted through the naiveté of a "useful idiot" totally unaware of any dissident agenda. It is always difficult to determine whether someone or some institution is actively pushing a dissident agenda or are simply going along with it. But the existence of a dissident agenda can just about always be detected.

Let me begin with the Doctrine class. The instructor was Timothy E. Colbert, M.A., and the required texts were, first: The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology; Bernard Marthaler; Twenty Third Publications. And Second, the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

This should have been safe territory. How can there be any dissident agenda in a class on Catholic doctrine? So, what problems did I have with the class?

1. Confusing purpose of the class.

The Syllabus objectives aimed to teach us about Catholic doctrine and its development.

But the teacher’s constant classroom and reflection-paper emphasis was that this was not a doctrine class, but a lay pastoral ministry class, intended to teach us how to minister.

The "undergraduate equivalency" project was, very strictly, intended to teach us how to teach.

The Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP advertises this as a college-level class, and the teacher’s syllabus even refers to “Undergraduate Equivalency” for those of us who choose equivalency, which most of us did. Yet the teacher repeatedly insisted that detailed questions on Catholic doctrine were out of place in this class, because this was a class for pastoral ministers, and the place for doctrinal questions was in a college classroom setting. Implying that lay pastoral ministers do not need the same level of doctrinal knowledge that real college students need.

Rather than Church doctrine, he preferred to emphasize “journeying with” people not quite ready for full or real Catholic doctrine, although he never really showed us exactly how to do that. He only talked about the Scriptural journeys of the Apostles, and those, when read carefully, involved preaching the message and moving on, shaking the dust, and so forth.

2. The required "Reflection" papers.

The rigidly defined reflection paper instructions severely limited our responses; after several weeks, the teacher said that he never had intended for us to remain within those restrictions (one page, double spaced, one inch margins, 12 point font.) I guess the joke was on us.

First class question on the papers re scope got the response that any material brought into class via lecture, handouts, videos, text, anything at all, were available for comment on the papers.

He then marked papers down for referring to subject matter introduced by him into the class, and narrowed the scope of material to be addressed, retroactively, strictly to the subject topic of the class that day alone, with anything else introduced into class by him as extraneous and peripheral and strictly off limits. A complete change of the rules after papers were done.

The three questions required to be answered on the reflection papers put pressure on us to pretend to have learned something substantive, and to have been challenged by something, and to have encountered some dramatic behavior-changing truth, in every class. In some classes, I learned nothing of significance. Most class time was spent in small groups, not in class.

3. Teacher’s competence.

Re Church Infallibility

The teacher stated early on that he did not believe that the Church is infallible. We argued out of class time; my Infallibility argument carried the day, but the official class teaching stood unchanged.

Re Fixed Revelation

The teacher stated and emphasized in class that the deposit of revelation is not closed, and continues.

Re the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The teacher challenged the “infallible” teaching of the CCC until the Apostolic constitution Fiddei Depositum in the front of it was pointed out to him.

Re Church Teaching

The teacher stated that what the Church teaches on faith and morals changes over time, and used as an illustration the Church's "changed" teaching regarding slavery. (We argued about this off-line; my argument is stated at Church Teaching on Slavery. Although we discussed it off-line, and my viewpoint prevailed, the "official" teaching to the entire class was not corrected.)

4. Nature of the classes.

The teacher brought his favorite rock and roll videos into the class as opening prayers, or thoughts, or something, and took extreme exception to negative remarks about them on class reflection papers.

Re the Creed

The teacher passed out an article from the National Catholic Reporter featuring, as is typical with that publication, an extreme dissident liberal feminist, crying in her beer about her youthful discovery about how the Creed wasn't miraculously dictated, line by line, by the Apostles, one at a time, each dictating one line. And, since that super traumatic youthful experience, she now just mouths the words of the Creed at Mass, not believing a word of it. The teacher then took extreme exception to negative comments about this clearly dissident material, introduced by him, in a positive way, into a class on Catholic Doctrine. (Note: in my opinion the National Catholic Reporter IS a dissident agenda.)

Re the typical class

Constant small group sessions, busy little projects, and “experiential” learning activities were all on about the level of 7th grade retreat exercises.

We learned in class to play nice in small groups, work with scissors and glue and construction paper, to make nice religious collages, to group-author and perform nice little poems, songs and dramatic little skits about religious matters. It was fun, and amusing, in an insulting sort of way.

The fun part was, especially, like, when we cut up magazines to make super neat collages about, like religious stuff. It was all so, like, super spiritual, and I was like, wow.

I mean, like, wow.

Although there was a lot of really "wow" stuff to do, I had a little problem, at my age, sitting, kneeling and crawling around on the floor as we did all this "wow" group activity stuff. But then, hey - after all, I mean, like, wow.


The dissident agenda in this class was palpable. Virtually every class had some manifestation of dissent; dissent expressed by fellow students was not corrected or challenged. Indeed, dissent from Church teaching, in some form, was part of the class presentation on a regular basis. In the absence of a dissident agenda, how do you teach students about the on-going public Revelation still going into Church doctrine, in an official Catholic Church doctrine class?

In the following "Reflection Papers" that I just cut-and-pasted here you will see my growing sense of resistance to the dissident agenda, but not the teacher's defense of it. I don't want to put private communications out here without prior discussion. But there were some contentious exchanges and they pertained to the clear dissident agenda.

Re nature of the Church

In the first class the dissident agenda manifested itself as a clear, teacher-sponsored, favoring of a sense of "majority rule," softly and not explicitly implied in the train of teacher led class discussion. I can't say that a dissident agenda was clear and obvious; what I can say is that the whole notion of democratic rule of the Church dissents from the very nature of Christ's Church.


Class/Reading Reflections for December 4, 1999

1. What significant things did I learn?

That the Creed “developed” as the early Church sought to understand what it was that they believed, with details added as articles of faith were challenged. That making a simple, individual statement of faith is not a simple thing to do. That the very existence of the major complex ideas behind the printed words of Scripture and the handed on Tradition implies the need of an infallible Church to properly safeguard, interpret and teach them.

2. What assumptions did this material challenge?

That we Catholics all believe, with a fairly high degree of precision, the same things, based upon the Creed(s) we confess. Our interpretations of verses and our “ranking” of articles of faith are radically different from individual to individual. On-the-spot, on short notice, none (or very few) of us are likely to come up with a comprehensive statement of faith that all of the rest of us would agree with.

3. How will this change my ministry? Now that I know this, what will I do differently?

The Creed will be my beginning point in arguing or teaching points of faith. It is an excellent test reference point for issues of faith, and I have not paid enough attention to the meaning of it, including even when I re-affirm it at Mass.


The preceding class' dissident agenda concerned a softening of the Creed to reach as sort of consensus Creed, out of mutual respect and tolerance for the other.

Re the need for the Church

The next class' dissident agenda concerned, primarily, a small wedge between belief in God and belief in His Church. Granting that the Creed speaks of belief in God, it was not conceded that His Church produced the Creed in the first place, and continues to safeguard it against change.


Class/Reading Reflections for December 11, 1999

1. What significant things did I learn?

Much about the etymology of the words faith and belief, and that, in the context of our creed, faith is the inner orientation of embracing God and His revelation, and belief is the external expression, or the verbalization of it. Belief is the language by which faith is expressed. Faith is the form, and mere words, such as “I believe…” may not be able to express the fullness of it. (I think I get it.)

That the almighty aspect of God deserves more contemplation than I have given it.

2. What assumptions did this material challenge?

None really, except possibly a weak one that God might be offended by being referred to as feminine in prayer. The three steps of St. Thomas seemed to put that to rest, although I personally still feel just a little bit uneasy about it. I would love to have argued with Faustus of Riez, but alas, I was born some 1,500 years too late. On page 24 he is quoted: “…we must believe in the Trinity alone; so, remove that syllable from before the name of the Church…Whoever believes in the Church believes in man…Away with that blasphemous conviction.” But the Church is the sole source of the teaching of the Trinity, to Faustus, and to us. If we would believe in the whole Gospel message, then we must believe in the Church who preserves and teaches it, or we must reject it all. Faustus might have meant to emphasize that nothing comes before God, and nothing does; but the Church is His body, and our only source of His Revelation. And, He told us that He would guide it into all truth, until the end of time.

3. How will this change my ministry? Now that I know this, what will I do differently?

Try to pass on to others the awesomeness of His ability to create something - anything - out of nothing. I cannot contemplate this idea for too long without disappearing.


Class/Reading Reflections for December 18, 1999

1. What significant things did I learn?

That, when compared to past Ecumenical Councils and on-going controversies, the Vatican II Council aftermath, involving both valid and invalid interpretations, was a very mild and peaceful event, and perhaps among the least disruptive. (In doing the reading assignments about these ancient historical controversies and Councils, I could not help but to go back and also re-examine Vatican II.) Regarding the Incarnation, I saw, in a new light, how God didn’t have to do any of this. I don’t know how many times I’ve read John 3:16 without contemplating the unity of the Trinity. Even granting that I will never in this lifetime fully understand the mystery, just how very much He loves us becomes an overwhelmingly awesome thought.

2. What assumptions did this material challenge?

Because of the millions of Catholics who stopped or cut Catholic practice, and the numbers of priests and religious who left their vows and married, and the dearth of vocations, I had believed that the liturgical changes after Vatican II were among the most harmful in Church history. Now I know that, as compared to past Councils, 35 years is really a very short time in which to judge the full fruit of such a major event, and that the Church has a way of healing herself and coming out better for it. That our Lord suffered for us as the Son, and that our Father gave His only Son for our redemption – and that is true. But I had not previously fully contemplated the idea that the Father and the Son are One, which says that, God Himself suffered for our sake.

3. How will this change my ministry? Now that I know this, what will I do differently?

Knowing that, through history, change is inevitable, and seeing the historical results of change and of resistance to change, my view is now that future change for the better should be emphasized and helped rather than the position of stopping all change in favor of comfortable tradition. Perhaps a major reason that the breaking of liturgical tradition after Vatican II was so disruptive was because it had been so rigidly enforced and allowed to remain undisturbed for so long as to become so very strongly, and needlessly, ingrained in the worshippers as a virtually inseparable part of their worship. I will concentrate on an increased sense of service, of personal availability, of servitude, of sacrifice for others. To pass His love on to others.


The preceding class had no notes by me on anything controversial; all my notes were of a religious nature. So there was no discerned dissident agenda there.

Re secular cultural "sexual revolution" affecting the Church

The next class, however, made up for it, in spades. Dissident agenda was clear in the class itself, in open discussion, in the group break-outs - the whole class was overloaded with "new" material from the sexual revolution that should be adopted by all, because, well, we all just KNOW this stuff is real and reflects real life. There was a dissident agenda clear and obvious among the majority of women in the class, and a significant number of the men.


Class/Reading Reflections for January 8, 2000

1. What significant things did I learn?

No significant ones, only reinforcement of well established doctrine and some new facets of it.

2. What assumptions did this material challenge?

That Mary was poor; it seemed to be a consensus of the class that she was. I have not been able either to confirm or disprove that she was poor. I think it’s fairly safe to say that she was not rich and famous.

3. How will this change my ministry? Now that I know this, what will I do differently?

Regarding the need to “journey with” laymen who are more steeped in the modern worldly culture than in Christian teaching, and who have difficulty with notions such as the perpetual virginity of Mary, I will gently show them the sources of the teaching. I will lead them through Scripture (re the “brothers of Christ” and other interpretive Scriptural questions,) and the writings of the early fathers of the Church, and on up to modern Church teaching. And I will give them some historical insights into the cultural and moral standards and lifestyles of ancient Israel at the time of the Blessed Virgin.

Further, I will show them the incontrovertible evidence of the problems associated with today’s “sexually liberated” secular society, by using simple numbers. This would involve numbers, before and after events such as the 1930 Anglican Lambeth conference, Roe V. Wade, etc., of venereal disease cases (and even numbers of known venereal diseases,) illegitimate births, broken marriages, single-parent families, poor families (who are disproportionately single-parent families,) part-time parenting and children of multiple parent-sets, how they do in life as compared to children of normal families, and right on through the history of the modern temporal condition.

The only things that rocketed more than abortions after Roe vs. Wade were illegitimate births and venereal disease rates. Even numbers of prison inmates and where they come from and what color they are all statistically directly related to historical events on the “liberation” trail. There is one single causative activity for all of these obvious effects, which is nothing more than old fashioned illicit sex, under the titles of “safe” fornication, “protected” sodomy, “responsible” promiscuity, “discreet” adultery and so forth.

The movement was fueled by the very public voices of sexual “enlightenment,” some of whom were purely racist bigots, such as Margaret Sanger, and consistently false prophets, such as Paul Ehrlich, and by demented, sexually obsessed perverts, who even filmed their own perverted acts as “research” and who pretended to be scientists, such as Kinsey (of the Kinsey Report.) But the fact is that there is no such thing as safe illicit sex; never was, never will be. And there is no such thing as a contraceptive method that does not have a measurable failure rate.

There were three major venereal diseases before the thirties; today there are 50, and 20 of them are incurable, and some of them, such as HPV, are transmitted by any skin contact anywhere in the genital area, which means that condoms are absolutely useless against them. But the real shocker is that almost 50% of the “sexually active” population in America already has HPV. And new strains of once controllable old gonorrhea and syphilis are now so drug resistant as to be incurable in some cases. All who tout goodness of the “liberated” search for greater sexual fulfillment really need to ask themselves the simple question, greater than what, exactly? Periodically.

It probably took our great, great, great, great grandmothers about ten minutes to learn all they needed to know about sex, and, rather interestingly, nothing has changed since then. There is nothing new under the sun.

The only true liberation, sexual or otherwise, must involve movement from vice to virtue, from “self-fulfillment” to selflessness, and that is what I need to teach and what needs to be learned. There is nothing wrong with self control, and there is no worldly pleasure that is worth one human soul, let alone more than one. Virginity was not uncommon in ancient Israel, but it is still not exactly extinct today, nor is it or has it ever been either impossible, or unfulfilling.


Re miracles, particularly the Resurrection

The dissident agenda of the next class began with the teacher's playing of his favorite rippity-rap, hippity-hop, unintelligible "spirituality" and portraying it in an equal light with Church teaching as a more "contemporary" theology. The dissident agenda then graduated to open discussion and debate on the reality or actuality on miracles, the central most one being the Resurrection itself. Which the disbelievers in the class appeared to have won. Score one more for the dissident agenda.


Class/Reading Reflections for January 22, 2000

1. What significant things did I learn?

That some of the sounds produced by rock groups (re Talk; Colored People) may actually be captured and recorded, in a form of slaughtered quasi-English, which when studied may even occasionally show some involvement with actual thought patterns, however disjointed. That at least one rock group feels that, on racial topics: 1) the world is bad; 2) just about all of history is bad; 3) only now are things getting better; and 4) that they just might have (they believe,) possibly for the first time in all of recorded history, discovered the virtuous principle of racial equality and a formula for global racial harmony. If only the whole world would learn to interpret their sounds.

That all rockers are not necessarily nuts, and some may even be very nice people, although their sense of hearing remains highly suspect.

That I still don’t like modern rock music, or other versions of loud, giant sounds and tortured English sold today as music. As a reflection of our own historic era, the preponderance of the art of our era is shameful. I would much prefer to have meditated upon King’s dream speech.

2. What assumptions did this material challenge?

Regarding the rhetorical question “does it matter if the Resurrection really occurred?”, and the semi-firm statement that Christians “of good faith” are today questioning the actual physical Resurrection of our Lord:

There is no doubt that a lot of people question the actual physical Resurrection, as people have done from the beginning. But today those who question it are certainly not Christians “of good faith.” As Marthaler pointed out in chapter 12, and Paul pointed out in 1 Cor 15:3-11 (widely recognized as our first Creed,) and in 1 Cor 15:12-19: if He did not rise, then neither will we rise, and the Church teaches in vain, and we all believe in vain, and this whole Christian thing is nothing but a sham, and we would all have to be pretty silly people to believe any of it.

I believe that the field of Scripture scholarship has been infected with the same “separation” that infects so much of science and academia today, which causes researchers to put aside principles of all religious faiths save one (atheism) whenever doing science, in order to do “good” science. In some areas (California; academia,) laws have been passed regarding “who’s a scientist,” and Christians need not apply. This is the eminently predictable result of the non-Constitutional Constitutional principle of separation of Church and State which has grown, along with every new expansion and intrusion of the state, in practice, into separation of Church and everything public.

Some points on that:

No major religion in the world teaches its disciples to “put aside” their religion, ever, for any reason, for any time period, for even a second. Putting aside or disregarding one’s religion is against the religion of everyone who has a religion. Religion is to be lived, not just held or professed.

Modern Christian Scripture scholars, wanting to do “good” science, and disregarding the good work of all of the historical Christian scientists who preceded them, put aside their Christian belief so that they can more “objectively” study their subject. They do not see this approach as narrow or confining or bigoted. This is a method that disallows, up front, all supernatural phenomena from consideration; only natural phenomena may be considered. As a result, when you look at the output of modern Scripture scholarship you will seldom see any Scriptural miracle that is not called into question, if not hammered, on purely natural grounds.

Excepting only certain narrow areas of mathematics, all fields of human knowledge have varying levels of uncertainty, some more than others. The uncertainty level in archaeology, for example, is quite high. Regarding Scripture scholarship, when you strip away the investigator’s tools (linguistics, historical and cultural knowledge, linkages to archaeology and so forth,) what you have at the core of the field is literary criticism, with all of it’s implied subjective imperfections, and it is being done on literature that is thousands of years old. We are talking about highly educated and scientific conjecture and opinion, nothing more and nothing less. This is not and cannot be an exact science, and should not even be hinted to be an exact science. A guess, no matter how highly educated and scientific, can not ever rise above being a guess. The obvious non-literal nature of much of Genesis cannot be used throughout the entire Old Testament, let alone the whole Bible. But the New Testament Gospels began another era, involving the most thoroughly recorded actual events in the entire history of mankind, and a lot less of it can be taken as non-literal without risk of trashing it all. Particularly the major miracles we proclaim in the Creed, especially the Resurrection. Yes, it matters what we believe, equally as much as it matters what actually happened. They coincide, as Paul said.

3. How will this change my ministry? Now that I know this, what will I do differently?

A difficult question. I can show Scripturally and doctrinally and historically how the Resurrection had to occur, but I cannot make someone accept it and believe it; it’s a hard but crucial teaching for those outside or coming into faith. I will strive to demonstrate, by my own reverence, devotion, bodily position and attitude, my own firm belief in His Resurrection, every time His sacred body is raised above His altar during the Consecration. And I will try to demonstrate the joyful, positive aspects of belief, and to pass on John Paul II’s message, which said that “we are an Easter people, and Alleluia is our song.” And I will try to somehow communicate the promise, and the direct relationship, between His Resurrection, and ours.


The dissident agenda in the previous class called into question the very foundational dogmas of the Church.

No real discernable dissident agenda in the next class, except maybe a weak one concerning different synoptic Gospel versions of the same events. In my opinion, and that of a cop I know, small variations tend to corroborate a story rather than falsify it. In group discussion it became apparent that the majority would have preferred word for word exact same stories, as if they got together and practiced them, or all worked from the same script. Is that dissent, or opinion? Who knows.


Class/Reading Reflections for January 29, 2000

1. What significant things did I learn?

Regarding the various Ascension stories (Eph. 4:8-10, Lk. 24:50, Mk. 16:19, Acts 1:6) that different people writing about the same events had variations in their stories, but probably less so than today, in modern parlor games.

The group session considered the Missionary Discourse (Mtt. 9:35-10:42). The main ideas were that the Kingdom “is at hand,” as in right now, that the mission is to proclaim it, and that the those on the mission are to travel light, and not waste a lot of time on those who will not listen. It speaks to abandonment of worldly attachment, and just proclaiming the good news and letting the Spirit take it from there.

The Catechism readings went into final judgment. Christ already reigns over the Church, but all things of the world are not yet made subject to Him. He will ultimately judge the living and the dead according to their works, and according to their acceptance or refusal of grace. It’s what happens in between that I find interesting: the triumph of Christ’s kingdom will not come about without one last assault by the powers of evil (675-677, 680.)

2. What assumptions did this material challenge?

There were no significant challenges.

3. How will this change my ministry? Now that I know this, what will I do differently?

Keep to the message; the Kingdom is at hand, for those who will accept it. Proclaim it in kindness and love, and move on. God respects our free will; we must respect His grace; neither can be forced.


Re Mary's cooperation with Grace

A strong dissident agenda ruled the day in the next class. In the group, in the class itself, open dissent from Church teaching was rampant and uncontrolled, by the teacher, who sometimes seemed to me to be leading the charge.


Class/Reading Reflections for February 5, 2000

1. What significant things did I learn?

There was nothing significant that I learned about the Holy Spirit in this class.

The discussion group kind of fell apart on the CCC readings regarding Mary; two members felt that our Lord would have become incarnate regardless of Mary’s yes, in a sort of Calvinistic, predestination sort of way, because it was preordained by God that this was going to happen anyway. Thus, Mary should be de-emphasized. The position of the other two members was indeterminate, or at least not strong enough for them to take a stand, and I was the only one emphasizing that Mary, though full of grace, still had a free will. Otherwise, she would be robotic; none of us can love God (or anything) without free will, because without free will, love is not love, it is something else. God wants us to really love Him, and he wanted Mary to really say yes, and not just be an automaton. The compromise position wound up with our group report containing one weak and fuzzy statement about Mary, although the CCC readings hit that subject quite heavily.

What this taught me is that there are problems with current catechesis among us even at this level, and that, in the absence of direction from someone of higher authority (a teacher,) groups, perhaps inevitably, wind up with a softer or different doctrine than the Church intends us to hold.

2. What assumptions did this material challenge?

There were no challenges to any of my assumptions about the Holy Spirit in this class.

I felt that I had failed in a couple of ways in getting the CCC points across to the group, arguing as an equal among equals. I also felt compelled to not challenge or embarrass my group mates by specifically bringing up their arguments later in full class, which I think I should have done. I only made one weak reference to the much stronger statements in the CCC. Maybe group dynamics took over or something, but I am normally much more direct and argumentative by nature.

3. How will this change my ministry? Now that I know this, what will I do differently?

There was nothing about the Holy Spirit in this class to cause me to change anything in my ministry, which remains at the moment undefined.

There was nothing that I learned about the Holy Spirit in this class that will cause me to do anything differently.

If, in the future, by some strange quirk of God, I ever find myself teaching a college-level course on Catholic doctrine, as this one is advertised to be, I will do it differently, although I’m not sure exactly how.


Re Church Hierarchy

The thread of the same dissident agenda in the next class could be picked up in the text, the lecture and the discussion. The dissent from official teaching centered around reversing the authority roles of the Pope and the rest of the bishops. This dissident agenda pushes forth the idea that the pope is infallible only when in agreement with the bishops; in fact, it is the other way around. The bishops are infallible ONLY when in agreement with the pope. The pope is infallible any time he says that what he is saying is infallible.


Class/Reading Reflections for February 19, 2000

1. What significant things did I learn?

A new view of the Communion of Saints. There are many aspects, viewpoints and divergent angles of attack from which to contemplate the “One Body” concept of Church. I had always understood several of them. But, before chapter 22, I had not fully considered the Eucharist as a singular major unifying sacred element binding the current Church Militant (us) with the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant, i.e., with all who have gone before, and also with all who will come after, into the One Body. I don’t know how I missed it. It gives Communion with the Lord, and with the assembly, and with the current earthly Church a whole new dimension, in communion with all of the saints and with those in Purgatory.

2. What assumptions did this material challenge?

In the text (The Creed,) Chapter 20, page 309, there is a questionable statement, as follows: “Papal infallibility, furthermore, is an extension of the church’s infallibility, and, as Vatican II makes clear, is always exercised in communion with the college of bishops and the whole church.” It goes on, on page 210, to indicate that the exercise of Papal Infallibility is “rare”. Perhaps what Marthaler meant by “rare” is that the Pope seldom if ever publicly reacts to those who do or will not hear. What Vatican II “made clear,” in fact, almost directly opposes these statements.

This can readily be seen in the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium (LG,) the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. Papal primacy stems from the ancient principle of papal infallibility, and the two principles are so interdependent as to be inseparable. In LG-22, it says that the bishops, individually or collectively, hold no authority unless it is in communion with the Roman Pontiff; that the Pope’s power of primacy is over all, lay and ecclesial, that his power is supreme and universal, and that he is always free to exercise this power. It says that even an ecumenical Council is never an ecumenical council unless it is confirmed or at least accepted by the Pope, and that it is the prerogative of the Pope to convoke ecumenical councils, preside over them and confirm them. Even lesser councils of Bishops are not “collegiate” until and unless they are approved or accepted by the Pope.

In LG-25, it says that individual Bishops, while not infallible, do teach infallibly when they are in communion with the Pope, and that whatever they so teach on faith and morals is therefore to be accepted and adhered to by the faithful, with no special declarations needed. It goes on to say that the Bishop of Rome, who indeed is infallible, speaks with a very special teaching authority, and that the same submission of mind and will given to the Bishops must be given to him, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra. The existing, protected deposit of public revelation from the Apostolic and pre-Apostolic eras represents the only limiting factor Vatican II placed on infallibility.

So what Vatican II actually says to us on this topic is that the river of infallibility begins as a fountain at the See of Rome, and it flows from there through the Church, not the other way round. According to LG-25, when the Pope speaks or writes on Christian faith or morals – and he seldom speaks or writes on anything else – we are all called to discern his teaching intent via character of the document, repetition, or manner of speaking. As St. Ambrose said, “Where Peter is, there is the Church.” (Page 307 of The Creed.)

I think The Creed is an excellent book, and I love the way it deals with history and doctrinal development. However, possibly because of its relationship with the World Council of Churches, and in the interest of ecumenism, it here and there tends to somewhat de-emphasize the unchanging and unchangeable nature of the deposit of public revelation that is at the core of Christianity. A major purpose and office of the Church, with the Holy Spirit, is to protect and not allow that original deposit of faith to change, lest one day we preach another Gospel.

3. How will this change my ministry? Now that I know this, what will I do differently?

Back to item 1, when speaking or teaching on the Communion Of Saints, to incorporate the Eucharist into it as the most significant unifying element in the Church. I will approach the Eucharist with an even greater sense of awe, and with a greater sense of accomplishment, and a sense of personal cooperation in a sacred mystery greater than I had previously imagined.


So, regarding a discernable dissident agenda: was there one?

I found a dissenting agenda in the teacher; in his remarks, his arguments and even in his lectures.

I found a dissenting agenda among my classmates, particularly among the majority of women, some of whom looked forward to future ordination.

I found a milder dissenting agenda in the text (The Creed), although as I say, it is mild. I hate to be pedantic, but it even contains some Scripture miss-quotes, which should not be seen in a text at this level. (Page 75 puts the words 'Are you the Messiah, the son of the living God?' in the mouth of Pilate rather than the high priest.)

The very worst thing about this class is that it was not a serious class. Period. Most of it was nonsense, childish activities and arguments aimed at consensus rather than good, rigorous argument. Which makes argument pointless.

But, what can I say?

That's the way they teach Catholic Doctrine in the Athenaeum of Ohio, in the name of the Archbishop in the archdiocese of Cincinnati.



=====

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Hover-Link Footnotes:  For the convenience of those readers using devices that lack a mouse, these footnotes are provided for all webpages, in case any webpage contains any hover-links.  (If you don't have a mouse, you can't "hover" over a link.)

SLIMC1 Secularist Liberal Intellectual Media Complex
GESGOEAEOT2 Gradually, Ever So Gradually, Over Eons And Eons Of Time
PEWAG3 Punctuated Equilibrium's Wild Assed Guess
TTRSTF4 Them There Real Scientifical Type Fellers
TTRSPTF5 Them There Real Smart Perfesser Type Fellers
TTRSJTF6 Them There Real Smart Journalistical Type Fellers
SNRTACBT7 Surely No Right Thinking Adult Could Believe Today
STNSEACPB8 Surely Today No Serious, Educated Adult Could Possibly Believe
WDN9 We Don't Know
BMDFP10 Baboons, Mongrel Dogs, Filthy Pigs
HBAACOTE11 Human Beings Are A Cancer On The Earth
ACLU12 Anti-Christian Litigation Union
FLORMPORIF13 Flagrant Liar, Or, Mindless Parrot, Or, Innocent Fool
MEJTML14 Marxist Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar
IEJTML15 Islamic Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar
MPAV16 Marxist Principles And Values
WBESSWG17 Wise, Benign, Elite, Super-Scientific World Governance
TRMITM18 The Reason Man's In This Mess

=

Web-Page Comments and
Updates


Note:

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!

Regards,

Vic


Date:   Tue Nov 11 2014
From:  Vic Biorseth
Comment:  

Changes pursuant to changing the website URL and name from 
Thinking Catholic Strategic Center to
Catholic American Thinker.

Pulled the trigger on the 301 MOVE IT option June 1, 2014. Working my way through all the webpages.  . 

Regards,

Vic


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The purpose of this grouping of articles is to attack and refute perverted Catholicism, and to point the way back to Catholic orthodoxy and adherence to magisterial authority and teaching.

Refuting Perverted Catholicism
Opposing "soft" Catholicism, I'm OK - You're OK Catholicism, Cafeteria-Catholicism of the pick-and-choose variety, and the pure evil that seeks to pervert Catholicism from within, while wearing the mask of piety.

Refuting Perverted Catholicism: defending the Church as the Center of all Truth. Refuting Perverted Catholicism at the Layman Level. If proper Catholic catechesis dies, all is lost.

Can we find actual Evil inside the Catholic Church?  Well, why not?  The war between Satan's kingdom (the World) and the Kingdom of God, and Evil inside the Catholic Church.

The Modernist Heresy: Western Man's Descent from Philosophy into Modernism. Modernism is the heresy of heresies, because it carries within it all previous heresies, being as it is a direct, frontal assault upon faith and all doctrine and dogma.

The Smoke of Satan is in the Church in America; has it reached the Vatican too? The Smoke of Satan conceals the true object of the Progressive Agenda.

Lucifer and the CCHD: The Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
Lucifer and the CCHD: how Lucifer’s disciples infected Catholic thinking, enjoyed Catholic funding and advanced evil in America.

The Catholic Communizer Dorothy Day is up for Sainthood? Excuse me?
The Catholic Communizer Dorothy Day’s life work was Marxist Community Organizing for future revolution.

The anti cafeteria Catholic forum is a thorn in the pew for Catholic wimps.
The anti cafeteria Catholic forum addresses weak-kneed, wimpy, inclusive, "Spirit of Vatican II" heterodox Catholicism. Refute these contentions if you can.

On Straying, Right or Left, from the Catechism.
We have before us, on one side, excesses of "Social Justice" and "Liberation Theology", and on the other, the "Lefebvre" movement and related groups. In the center: the Catechism.

Do our Catholic bishops promote and teach Roman Catholicism, or something less?
Cafeteria Catholicism, i.e., Pick-And-Choose Catholicism, is rampant in America, thanks to many American Catholic bishops.
(Cafeteria Catholicism 101)

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.
(Cafeteria Catholic 1)

The hidden dissident agenda in the Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP teaching.
The overriding dissident agenda of Liberal Catholicism appeared sometimes mostly in teaching material, sometimes in teachers themselves, sometimes in both.
(Cafeteria Catholic 2)

A better name for the LPMP's Formation for Discipleship class: Catholic Dissent.
The Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP course called Formation for Discipleship was one big long exercise in Catholic dissent, pure and simple.
(Cafeteria Catholic 3)

Moral Theology, Cincinnati Archdiocese style: This ain't your daddy's religion. Christian Ethics is the title of the course in the Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP course on Catholic Moral Theology.
(Cafeteria Catholic 4)

Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP Christology Course: NOT about the Christ Who Rose Again.
This theoretically Catholic Christology course teaches about a Christ Who didn't know who he was, didn't necessarily rise again after death, but Who "teaches us valuable lessons" nonetheless.
(Cafeteria Catholic 5)

Athenaeum courses consistently taught that the early Church condoned slavery.
This teaching is clearly false. Yet the Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP program, in multiple courses, officially taught that the Church "changed" its teaching on slavery.

The "Enlightened" birthing of Historical-Critical Scripture analysis.
Historical Criticism of the most paranormal literature ever produced calls into question the "enlightenment" of the enlightened.

Catholic Communism: Similarities between Church Hierarchy and Pure Bureaucracy.
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Materialistic Culture Versus The Catholic Thinker.
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The Thinking Catholic Challenge: Walking that very inconvenient walk.
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Compromise with Evil begins the ultimate death spiral.
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You are a priest forever, of the Order of Melchizedek.
They dedicated their whole lives to the Lord, and to the uplifting of man. Think of where the world would be if not for them. Support them all you can.
Traditional Latin Tridentine Mass, offered at Assumption Grotto Church in  Detroit, Michigan.  Our deepest prayer, our highest form of worship, and the way God should be treated.  Click here for Latin Mass availability nearest to you, and to add your Latin Mass Church to the list.
Note the Military Assault Rifle common to the American Founding Era.
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Atheist Genesis:

In the beginning there was nothing, and nothing happened to nothing.
And then nothing accidentally exploded and created everything.
And then some bits of everything accidentally encountered other bits of everything and formed some new kinds of everything.
And then some bits of everything accidentally arranged themselves into self-replicating bits of everything.
And then some self-replicating bits of everything accidentally arranged themselves into dinosaurs.
See?

(See The Darwinism Pages)

Torn and tattered, bruised and battered, but still flying high.

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Explaining the word "American" in Catholic American Thinker. Retaining our distinct American identity in an increasingly Marxist - Scientistic - Collectivist larger world.

Explaining the word "Catholic" in Catholic American Thinker. How do does the Catholic American Thinker retain distinctly Catholic identity and free thinking within mostly Protestant American culture?

Argument: The Good, The Bad and The Pointless. On the Reasoned Argument.  (In the absence of reason, there is no valid argument.)

Political Parties: Redirecting allegiance away from the nation. Political Parties demand first obedience to the Party, not to the Constitution, slowly poisoning the nation.

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The Rabbi Meir Kahane Open Letter to the World is a must read. No decent world history course is complete without the Rabbi Meir Kahane Open Letter to the World.

Aleksandr I.Solzhenitsyn warns the American Worker and American organized labor. Solzhenitsyn speaks to us as a worker from the “Worker’s Paradise” of Communism; words of warning for all who understand the meaning of the word Liberty.

World Revolution returns with a vengeance: the rebirth of Marxism. Marxist world revolution returns, and faces far less opposition than in 1848 or the period between the Great Wars.

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Catholics learn and practice Glossalalia, in the Life In The Spirit seminars. Life in the Spirit seminars, fueling the Catholic Charismatic renewal, bring tongue-speaking "Glossalalia", and being "Slain in the Spirit", to Catholicism.

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Current Website Status. Still too busy for individual responses to questions, comments & criticisms.

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Current Democratic Party platform reveals anti-Semitic streak among Liberals. In their voting, their speechifying, and in the slant of their controlled mainstream media reporting, the current Democratic Party Platform is made clear to all observers.

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Who's driving the Health Care bus? Health insurance companies "grading" doctors? Health insurance companies grading doctors: a legitimized conflict of interest. A preparatory step toward the nationalization of the health insurance industry?

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Home For Christmas 2008. Website Getting Active Again

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Kerry lies again, and then lies about his lies, in concert with the SLIMC. There he goes again! Kerry lies again and again about American servicemen and veterans; he just can't help himself.

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What's going on with Mel Gibson? Is he really an anti-Semite? I am surprised that Mel Gibson is an alcolholic.  But I am never surprised at any words that come out of the mouth of any drunk.

Still Worrying Over NuVo Consequences. The Holidays have gone by, several days have passed, and the SANE  NuVo Initiative still stands pat.

The Dem's October Surprise involves another flip-flop of their public "standard". The clearly pro-sodomy Party that openly seeks the "Gay" vote goes Victorian for another pre-election October Surprise ploy.

Some Problems with NuVo: the so-called Null-Vote Initiative. A "philosophical" movement aimed at keeping religious conservatives from voting? Seriously? Let me state my problems with NuVo.

Come, let us sit and reason together. Jews and Christians of various stripe and spot can say to each other, 'Come, let us sit and reason together.' But we can't do that with the Moslems.

Regarding SANE works dropping NuVo: Nul Vote Initiative dies with a whimper. If you can't really present a good argument, sit down. On SANE Works dropping the NuVo Initiative: a program that works hard to SOUND pro-American while ACTING to oppose American National Existence.

Even experts grossly underestimate the Marxist zeal of the American Left. The sharp Left turn happened in the Hoover-FDR era, and the Marxism of the American Left has been deepening ever since.

Thinking American, in a nutshell: When one has lots to say, but time is limited. The older I get, the busier I get. Answering multiple questions as a thinking American, but in a hurry.

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Witnessing, grieving and weeping for our dieing culture.  What might it take to call a whole people back from the brink of cultural death?

If we have an inherent right to something, then, who must supply it?  Rights and Responsibilities exist in paired sets; a right does not exist in the absence of a related responsibility.  If indeed we have a right to our job, then, someone must provide it. Who?

So how come we have all these homeless people if our system is so great? The strong "Utopian Idealist" firmly believes that absolute worldly perfection is actually possible.  Therefore, there should never be any such thing as a hungry or homeless person.

Taking a look at Illegal Imigration and Tax Problem solutions. In our view, the minimum wage and income tax have outlived their usefulness, and only contribute to the illegal alien problem. 

First journal / blog entries when the thinking catholic blog first opened up. Notes to readers about what I was doing. 

On-going WebSite work and planned WebPages as of 09/07/2006. Adding items to book store. 

Vic's busted finger status - life goes on. Another busted finger status report, since the original one rolled off of the 50-entry BLOG update records.

Website Status as of 02/05/2009. No more Bookstore; no more Contact Me; no more complexity.

Website Status 03-09-2009. Just a note to bring you up to date on website status 03-09-2009.

Website Status 04/06/2009. Busy driving daily now; most website work will be weekend and as available.

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Honky Biorseth really runs this house. If you want to know what's in any cabinet in the house, just ask Honky Biorseth.

Kill the illegal alien marketplace, and illegal aliens will leave on their own. Why should we "imagine" life with no Mexico? Shouldn't the Mexicans be trying to imagine no such thing as the USA?

More Marxist infiltration of higher education. Public school and the media are not the only places dominated by Marxist thought; even Catholic institutions are infected.

Of Families and Fortunes, and Inheritance Vs. Redistribution. Families and Fortunes are despised by Marxists, because Marxism demonizes the family, demonizes fortunes, and even demonizes profit.

Website Status Update 11/09/10. Just a Website status update; where we are and where we’re going.

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Pray for peace in Jerusalem, and for deliverance of Israel from harm. To pray for peace in Jerusalem is to pray for deliverance from Obama.

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God and Nature: on the Nature of Things, established by the Creator of Things. God and Nature: on man’s Perversion of the Nature of Things, even with the best of intentions.

Our Ohio voter Guide for the 2012 Election. The 2l012 Ohio Voter Guide – The Choices Have Never Been Clearer, or more critical.

Evangelization enters the animal kingdom with the first bear prayer. It is fitting that the first bear prayer would be a prayer of thanksgiving.

Is the Internet down in Lithuania? Sudden loss of Lithanian traffic suggests the internet is down in Lithuania. 

The rise of the Femi Nazi Green Beret, and the decline of military victory. The first Femi Nazi Green Beret will be awarded out of fairness, not excellence.

Food Insurance: Is this stuff really any good? All of us conspiracy-theorizing, global-calamity doomsday-preppers need their Food Insurance.

We just had to try to do Robert Irvine's Plastic Wrapped Baby Back Ribs. Put plastic wrapped baby back ribs in the oven? What? Are you nuts?

Thoughts on the first Eucharist, established by the Last Supper.  The first Eucharist was recognized by the Apostles for what it was on that holiest Holy Thursday.

Tea-Party-Candidates-04-18-2014.  The Constitution is not going to be restored to legal preeminence unless we replace leadership incumbents of BOTH PARTIES.

Ecce homo; Behold the man.  Ecce Homo.  Behold the Innocent Lamb, who takes away the sins of the world.

When your system slows down or hangs, it's time for a Total System Reboot.  America, the World, and even the Catholic Church may need a Total System Reboot.

Looking for Limited Constitutional Government?  Fiscal Responsibility? Free Markets? Welcome Home!

Get in there! Get connected! For God's sake, DO SOMETHING!

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