Friday, January 28, 2005

Brother Andre Marie: A Man in Denial

Brother Andre Marie of the Saint Benedict Center cult has posted a comment to this website in which he accuses me of avoiding his comments and then goes on to suggest that such an attitude is "neither manly nor Christian."

How ironic. For it is Brother Andre Marie who is living in denial and who fails to acknowledge those authentic teachings of the Church which he deems "unacceptable." Brother Andre Marie is blind to the fact that it is intrinsic to the Catholic religion, that before one can become a member, he must satisfy himself that the answers to all questions of faith or morals are contained in a Deposit of Faith which has been revealed by God and entrusted to a Custodian established by God Himself and endowed with infallible protection against any change or error.

Since the only reason for believing any of it is God's promise that it is all infallibly true, it is all or none. Brother Andre Marie and his Saint Benedict Center cult have rejected the Church's authentic interpretation of the dogma which states that "Outside the Church there is no salvation." This is why this dishonest man fails to acknowledge the letter from the Holy Office to Archbishop Cushing of Boston dated August 8, 1949, in which the Holy Office explains that this dogma "is to be understood as the Church itself understands it" and that "Our Savior did not leave it to private judgment to explain what is contained in the deposit of faith, but to the doctrinal authority of the Church."

Like their Protestant counterparts, the cultists at the Saint Benedict Center have, as the reason for their belief, not that of the infallible Teaching Authority established by God, but their own private judgment. At the same time, they condemn Protestants for taking the same approach to faith.

Brother Andre Marie then quotes from several official Church documents pertaining to the dogma. For example, the Fourth Lateran Council's teaching that, "There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved." And that's absolutely true. But who exactly is "ouside the Church"? Certainly not all of those who have not been physically baptized in the Catholic Church. As I have already reminded readers, this is not the teaching of Trent. And it most certainly was not the teaching of Pope Pius IX, when he taught that those who remain "outside" the Church because of their "invincible ignorance" are therefore not guilty in the eyes of the Lord.

The dogma "Outside the Church there is no salvation" must be reconciled with another revealed truth. One which Brother Andre Marie apparently rejects. Namely, that God desires the salvation of all men (see 1 Timothy 2:4). The fact that one can be saved "outside" the Church by reason of his subjective disposition and good faith, not to mention his unconscious desire and connection with the Church, is clearly reflected in the teaching of Popes Pius IX, Pius XII (In his Encyclical Letter Mysici Corporis), and by the Holy Office in the Fr. Leonard Feeney case.

And what does the Catechism of the Catholic Church have to say in this regard? We read that, "The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ." (CCC, 1258). And again, "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery. Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity." (CCC, 1260).

So much for Brother Andre Marie's flawed understanding of the dogma "Outside the Church there is no salvation." What else does this intellectual giant have to say in his inane comments on this website? He writes, "The testimony about Father Feeney you cite from Joseph Devers agrees with what the enemies of our faith have said about him. Your friends in the ADL could not have said it better. However, I've known many people who knew Father Feeney - priests, religious, and laymen; friends, enemies, and those who are indifferent. By and large, the portrait they paint is of a very charitable man who wanted people to go to heaven."

Really? I know many people myself who remember a bitter, angry priest named Father Feeney who would routinely embarass himself as he told various onlookers: many of them Protestants and Jews, that they were all damned to Hell. My mother, who is in her seventies, remembers the priest as one who seemed to be psychologically troubled and very eccentric. Evidently Brother Andre Marie has no problem with a priest rendering judgment on the souls of individual persons as if he were God Himself. And that says much about Brother Andre Marie himself. In fact, in concluding his imbecilic comments, he writes, "may Our Lord have mercy on your soul." As if I am endangering my immortal soul by reminding readers of the Church's authentic teaching on the dogma "Outside the Church there is no salvation" as well as Father Leonard Feeney's profoundly hateful rhetoric aimed at those he judged were going to Hell.

Seems like charity isn't exactly a strong suit in either Father Feeney's (or Brother Andre Marie's) brand of Catholicism. And what of his claim that he knows of those who would paint a more "charitable" portrait of Father Feeney? By "charitable" he obviously means "more sympathetic toward Father Feeney's distorted ideas and personality". This would come as no surprise to me. After all, even Hitler had a circle of friends who would speak of him in more "charitable" terms. But then, they hadn't lost family and friends in the death camps.

One last thought regarding Brother Andre Marie's adolescent commentary. His assertion that I am somehow less than "manly" because I won't engage in an argumentative and hate-filled "dialogue" with him is laughable. I have answered his comments, not because they are of any merit, they assuredly are not. But for the sake of my readers. As for my manliness, I was serving with Air Force Intelligence and training soldiers in the martial arts while defending this great nation at the same time that Brother Andre Marie was wearing short pants and crying on his mother's lap.

Enough said!

Until next time,
God love you all
Paul Anthony Melanson


sgsnow said...

Please comment on the many accusations of anti-semitism leveled against Father Feeney and SBC. I don't mean "doctrinal" points of disagreement with Jews; rather, I am referring to such statements as the following, which ran in the journal he edited, "The Point."

“Essential to the understanding of our chaotic times is the knowledge that the Jewish race constitutes a united anti-Christian bloc within Christian society, and is working for the overthrow of that society by every means at its disposal.” — April 1958.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Karl Keating has written an interesting e-letter dealing with The Point and its anti-Semitism. I will cite a few comments made by Father Leonard Feeney which I believe says it all:

"The Jews have taken over this city..." (Report by Grace Uberti from 14 September 1952, Feeney Collection, Archives, Archdiocese of Boston, Brighton, Mass).

"I would rather be a bad Catholic than any Jew in existence." (op. cit, 19 October 1952).

"Every Protestant hates the Jews. Harvard loathes Jews. That is why they got a new President - to keep the Jews away. I don't hate Jews for the reason he hates them. I hate them because they hate Jesus. They hate Jesus because they are Jews!" (op. cit 9 August 1953).

"Those kikes are from Hillel House. I warn you of what the Jews are going to do to the Catholic City of Boston. In every city you see a new synagogue being built in a Christian country...If I sent Catholics over to heckle Rabbi Shubow, Fingold [Attorney General] would send the police in and have them in jail. But over here in front of the picture of the sacred heart of Mary these Jews are yelling every single filthy thing - every blasphemous word, on Sunday in a Catholic city." (op. cit 31 July 1955).

And Fr. Feeney's idea of "dialog" also included attacks on Protestants and Catholics:

"Archbishop Cushing is a heretic. I didn't say it behind his back; I said it to his face." (op. cit 28 September 1952).

"Here you have me in a Catholic city being spit at and sneered at. I would like to profess my Catholic faith in a city gone to the dogs, thanks to the Jews, Protestants and Masons, and under a cowardly leader." (op. cit 16 November 1952).

"Harvard boys are filthy. Too many Irish, too many Negroes, and too many Jews." (op. cit 8 March 1953).

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