Sunday, October 28, 2007

Continued dishonesty at the SBC Richmond

At the website of the Saint Benedict Center (Richmond, New Hampshire), there is a response to the Chronicle episode which aired last Thursday. According to the SBC, "A fraudulent claim that the followers of Father Feeney are 'not Catholic' went uncorrected."

This is false on two levels. First of all, I never made the claim that all of those who have a love for Fr. Feeney are "not Catholic." There are communities in Still River, Massachusetts which have been regularized and which are in communion with the Church. These communities have not embraced - and propagated - a rabid anti-Semitism.

However, I was referring to the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire. In a letter to Mrs. Terri O'Rorke (which was referenced in the Chronicle piece) we read:

"I write to you in reply to your letter dated May 24, 2007. I share your concern about the ongoing controversy and difficulties with the Saint Benedict Center. As you know, the Saint Benedict Center has no permission or authority to exercise any Ministry on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire.

Bishop McCormack has and will continue to do all that he can to encourage people to refrain from participating in any of the spiritual exercises at the Saint Benedict Center. For my part, I will continue to make it clear that Saint Benedict Center has no affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church in any way.

Please know that I will continue to pray for you and all those who are affected by difficulties that have been created by the Saint Benedict Center.

With every good wish, I remain
sincerely yours in Christ
Edward J Arsenault
Moderator of the Curia
Manchester NH

No affiliation. This could not be more clear.


The SBC also posted the following statement: "The vicious portrayal of our founder did not present a true picture of the zealous priest whose love for God and man led him to great lengths in his defense of Catholic doctrine and his work for the salvation of souls."

As with most statements issued by the SBC in Richmond, this one is long on emotion and short on substance. I have already documented Fr. Feeney's viciousness and sheer hatred for those he deemed unworthy of eternal salvation here: http://lasalettejourney.blogspot.com/2005/12/saint-benedict-center-in-richmond-nh.html

And Fr. William Most, an internationally-acclaimed theologian and Scripture scholar has responded to what he so aptly describes as the "tragic errors of Leonard Feeney" here: http://www.ewtn.com/library/SCRIPTUR/FEENEY.TXT

Fr. Most writes:


"In the late 1940s Leonard Feeney, S. J. began to teach that there is no salvation outside the Church. He was correct in saying that there were official teachings, even definitions, on that score. But his tragic error came when he adopted Protestant method*, thinking that in that way he would be one of the only true Catholics! We spoke of his protestant method with good reason. First, he was excommunicated for disobedience, refusing to go to Rome to explain his position. Then the Holy Office, under Pius XII, sent a letter to the Archbishop of Boston, condemning Feeney's error. (It is known that Pius XII personally checked the English text of that letter).

...the very first paragraph pointed out what is obvious: we must avoid private interpretation of Scripture -- for that is strictly Protestant. But then the letter said we must also avoid private interpretation of the official texts of the Church. To insist on our own private interpretation, especially when the Church contradicts that, is pure Protestant attitude. What the disobedient Feeney said amounted to this: he insisted that all who did not formally enter the Church would go to hell. Hence he had to say, and he did say, that unbaptized babies go to hell. Further, all adults who did not formally enter the Church - get their names on a parish register - would also go to hell, even if they never had a chance to hear there was a Church, e.g., those in the western hemisphere during the long centuries before Columbus. Therefore Feeney consigned literally millions upon millions to hell, even though He gave them no chance. Not just the documents of the Church as interpreted by the Church should have kept him from this: merely common sense, and the realization that God is not only not a monster, but is infinitely good - that alone should have stopped him.

We have, then, most ample reason for calling his error tragic. Even the sexually immoral do not deny that God is good. Feeney does worse than they."

Amen Father Most. Amen.


* Please note: Fr. Most's reference to the "Protestant method" of interpreting Sacred Scripture is not intended in any way as an insult to those who belong to any of the Protestant churches. However, as Catholics, we believe - as Vatican II re-emphasized in its document Dei Verbum - that the task of authentically interpreting the Word of God belongs to the Magisterium and not private individuals.

5 comments:

Christine said...

As with all those who seek to "correct" Jesus who teaches us through His Magisterium, the SBC members suffer from an unbridled arrogance.

They think they know better than Jesus and His Mystical Body which is the Church - the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

Marie Tremblay said...

When Paul Melanson was opposing the column of dissident moral theologian Fr. Richard McBrien in the pages of The Catholic Free Press throughout the 1990's, he was vilified by many and even ostracized at his parish. In March of 1998, Fr. McBrien's column was finally removed from that newspaper.

Paul took a stand against inclusive language when many were so readily accepting and even promoting it within the Diocese of Worcester. For this he was called "sick" by a fellow parishioner at his parish. Rome subsequently ruled against inclusive language.

He warned of the dangers of "Voice of the Faithful" (VOTF) when again, many were rushing to embrace that dissident group.

He began publically opposing Feeneyism in the early 1990's and warned of the anti-Semitism embraced by many Feeneyites. He was held up to public ridicule. This year, national and international attention was brought to bear upon this problem.

I could go on. But I want to say that I am proud to know Paul and of having worked with him in the past. Time and again he has been a prophetic voice which has been either ignored or slandered or even threatened.

Paul, my prayers are with you always. Your courage and example will always inspire me.

Thank you.

Marilyn said...

I always tried to keep an open mind regarding the SBC in the past. However, their record of lies and hate has opened my eyes. Jews undermine public morality and are the Synagogue of Satan? I mean, really!

But something else has bothered me. Anyone who has the courage to oppose this hate group is immediately slandered by them. Karl Keating, Paul Melanson, the Diocese of Manchester, the Roman Catholic Church (the hierarchy of which the SBC said is "corrupt," Russell Provost, Victoria Provost, Roger Vaste, Michael Cole, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ADL, The Keene Sentinel, Chronicle, Keene State College faculty and students, Monadnock Regional High School, the Richmond Planning Board and on and on and on....This is evidence of real fanaticism and an inability to admit that they are wrong.

sbctracker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Padre said...

CORRECTION Benefit Concert is scheduled for Sat. Dec. 8th, 7pm. Protest is still being planned.

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