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,

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.


Sarcastic Acronym 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" it over a link without clicking just to see the simple acronym interpretation. Click any footnote link to see the acronym and a detailed explanation; "Hover" the mouse over it just to see the simple interpretation.)

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 and ...
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-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
IYI19 Intellectual Yet Idiotic
TTRSCBTF20 Them There Real Smart Catholic Bishop Type Fellers
IACMPVND21 Illegal-Alien-Criminal Marxocrat-Party-Voting Nation-Destroyers
PEJTML22 Palestinian Ends-Justify-The-Means Liar
PSYOP23 "Psychological Operation" Mind Trick
CDC24 Covid Developmentally Challenged
LGBTQ+25 Every Letter Represents A Serious Psychotic sexual Identity Disorder

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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:   Tue Nov 11 2014
From:  Vic Biorseth

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.  . 



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Related WebPages

The Purpose of this grouping of links is to organize all site Cafeteria Catholic webpages in one place for easier reference.

LPMP Cafeteria Catholic Pages.
In the Cincinnati Archdiocese, the Athenaeum Of Ohio's LPMP (Lay Pastoral Ministry Program) consistently taught a do-it-yourself - let-your-conscience-be-your-guide Catholicism to future Lay Catholic Pastoral Ministers.  Just think about that term for a moment.  What have laymen to do with Pastoral Ministry in the Catholic Church?  This was an Alinsky-Lite program of evil disinformation aimed at weakening Church authority and loosening Church doctrine in the minds of Catholic laymen. 

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.

Linda Kimball

Christendom and Protestant America’s Apostasy into Paganism A Timeline

The presence and influence of powers, principalities, and demons in our age of apostasy into godlessness

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Revisiting Nihilism: The Will Turned Toward Evil and the Destruction of Western and American Civilization

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The Last Hour and the New World Order Prayer

Our Call to Battle: Rise of the Spirit of Antichrist Prayer Article: “And this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1 John 4:3)

God to Mankind: NOW Do You See the Stupidity, Depravity, and Evil in Your Hearts?

Raising the New Tower-- Occult Evolution: Antediluvian, Babylonian and Modern Expressions

Psychopathy and the Western and American Tyranny of Evil Leftist Progressive Myths

Supernatural Genesis 1-11 vs. Pagan Darwinism God and Liberty or Fallen Mankind and Tyranny

Luke 21: 29-31: Some Signs Of America's Abandonment And Spiritual Bondage

Eternal Paradise Or Hell? How And Why Both Choices Are Freely Made

Luciferian Humanists: Citing the Genesis Account is Evil "Any country grounded in Judaeo-Christian values can't be overthrown until those roots are cut ... "

Who is intolerant because ashamed: Creationists or Evolutionary Theists?

Death of the Christian God in Hearts of All Humans Why America and W. Europe are Committing Suicide


Pagan-Darwinian-Materialism Redoubt of Miserable Self-Deceived Non-Self Nihilists

Americas' Spiritually Dead, Deep State and Ruling Class Nihilists Walking Dead Parasitic Idolaters

Doctrines of Demons and the Modern Pagan and Pantheist Antithesis The West's Greatest Threat

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Our Age of Malicious Perversion How Truth, Meaning, and Reality Have Been Perverted

The Serpent's Gnostic Luciferian Elite Oligarchy and Global Powers Demonic Darkness Over the West and America

The Creation Model Versus Modern Pagan Models
2 Corinthians 10:5

What Kind of God Do You Believe In?
2 Cor. 10:5 Destroying 'scientific' arguments for false Gods

Evil Spirits, Death of God, Satanic Inversion Pagan America's Reality of Madness, Demonic Bondage, and Non-Self

Judgment and Wrath The Biblical Explanation for Madness and Evil

The Worldview of Evil Spirits Revolution, Evolution, Materialism, Nihilism, New World Order, and More

Gnosis The Main Expression of Modern Paganized Christianity

America's Transformation Into A Mystical Pantheist God-State What the Death of God Has Wrought

Message to All Wearied Truthtellers: Let Isaiah Be Your Inspiration the Remnant

The Triune God, Supernatural Heaven, Souls, Hell, and Demons Do They Exist?

Teachings of Demons The Aeon of Horus, Reign of God-Men, and End of the Christian God

Revelation 2:7" ...the closing of a steel door – a solemn, cataclysmic slamming of a door."

Systemic Nihilism: End of the Human Race Eternal Damnation of Human Souls

Infernal Apocalyptic Atmosphere Over America Disintegration into nothing

Global and Ruling Class Criminal Elitists Their Ring of Power and Pact with the Spirit of Death and Hell

Blessed is the Man Who Does Not Listen to Falling Stars Who Follow After Damnable Heresies

Darwinism: An Abomination Aborting and Rotting the Church. The falling away and apostasy from the one true and personal Holy Triune Creator God has not ended

The Evil One and the Impenitent Who Receive His Mark“. And the LORD God formed man (and) breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7

The Fall of Mankind, the Religion of Evolution, and the Antichrist. "Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18

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Global Oligarchy, Forces of Darkness, and the Spirit of Antichrist. Forces Darkness Within Church and State

Darwinism: Idol of mind symbolizing hatred of Triune Creator God. And Logical End of America

Is the World a Computer Simulation in the Minds of Robotic Overlords? Magic Science, Transhumanists, Gnostic Physicists.

Your soul: Cost of admission to the Progressive Pagan City of Man. New Egypt, Babylon, Sodom and Gomorrah

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Demonic Darkness: America's Invisible Wave of Evil. Staring into the abyss

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Isaiah 57 revisited: America's progressive pagan elites. Staring into the Abyss

Evolutionary Theism Implies That Christ is Wrong About Creation"For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" John 5:46-47

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Trotsky's Permanent Revolution From Hell In America. The Soviet System in America

Why Transgenderism Is Being Forced Upon America and Our Children. The Divine Androgyne

The Evil Eye Of Envy: Why Being ‘White’ Is Offensive To Some People. No Vice Worse Than Envy

Absolute Nothingness and Non-Self: The Reigning Worldview of Global Power Elites and Western Ruling Classes

What is Evil? Man-made alternative realities

Cliff Kincaid

Terrorist Attack in Baltimore By Cliff Kincaid

Moscow Terror Attack is Another KGB Operation to Fool the West

Obama’s New Nazi-Communist Alliance

On the "Days Of Rage" Planned For The 2024 Marxocrat Party Convention Some of you just couldn't believe that the formerly Democrat (Confederate) Party had already gone totally Communist before the 1968 Party Convention

Making Russia Great Again By Cliff Cinkaid

De-Nazification and De-Communization in Russia The The mutual non-aggression Hitler-Stalin Pact, which started World War II, has been carefully “forgotten”

Climate Emergency To Produce a New World Order By Cliff Kincaid

The Next Phase of Obama’s “Permanent Revolution” By Cliff Kincaid

Evil in the White House In This War, The Enemy Is In The Ranks, Standing Right Next To You

Satanism, Communism: What's The Difference? Look To The Roots Of Communism

Fox Is the Leading "Trans" Channel There are some rather peculiar goings-on at the Fox News Channel.

Trump and His Communist Enemies The Demonized Joe McCarthy Turned Out To Be Accurate In Everything He Claimed: Fox News Is Wrong About Him And About Much More

The Five Stooges on Capitol Hill They Think We Need Even More Doped No-Hopers In The American Intelligence Community

The Biden Doctrine of Demoralization and Defeat By Cliff Kincaid

A Republican Church Committee? Do Pro-American Republicans Even Know Who Frank Church Really Was?

A Top to Bottom Housecleaning of America When we clean our house, my wife has a slogan, “Top to bottom,” meaning you have to target the whole house. The same advice applies to nations.

China's Mass Murder Experiment Phase Two

Bury The Dead And Move On Fuggedaboutit!

9/11 Truth This is the real 9/11 Truth: Our “intelligence” agencies are infiltrated.

Moving Toward Gorbachev’s “World of Communism” It's called the Monster Plot.

The Errors of Russia, the Dupes of Putin, and Another Holocaust Can The Increasingly Faithless Free World Be Saved From Russia?

World War Quietly Conquering A Distracted and Blithely Unaware World. Could it actually be Satan's world war on despised humanity?

Stand With Ukraine Against Russia and China By Cliff Kincaid

Tucker Carlson Carlson Gets His Comeuppance. Tucker's View: It is not moral for us to intervene in support of any nation's (Ukraine's) democratic self-determination and against Soviet military expansion.

The Need for Secure Borders. Have we so easily forgotten what borders are for? Have we forgotten that evil exists in the world? Have we forgotten how to keep apart from this evil?

Can Ukraine Survive Putin and Biden? Can America? Can the Free World? Can Faith in God?

The Soviet Union: Back From The Dead The Return of the Evil Empire

Could an American Surrender be in the offing with Biden at the wheel? Is this not the perfect time for Communism to strike, with Commies now governing America, China and Russia? What would Biden do?

Abortion and Communism. If you ever wondered where all the popular abortion-contraception-sexuality-perversion nuttiness came from, look to Marx's Communist Manifesto.

The Secret Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. A life almost totally at odds with his reputation as a minister of the Gospel.

"We belong to the Church militant; and She is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass Her destruction. Not only in the far-off centuries of the early Church, but down through the ages and in this our day, the enemies of God and Christian civilization make bold to attack the Creator's supreme dominion and sacrosanct human rights." --Pope Pius XII

"It is not lawful to take the things of others to give to the poor. It is a sin worthy of punishment, not an act deserving a reward, to give away what belongs to others." --St. Francis of Assisi

Find a Latin Mass

Truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.—Winston Churchill

Note the Military Assault Rifle common to the American Founding Era.

The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.—Ayn Rand

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 The Darwinism Pages)

If you can't find the page you're looking for, try the