Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Call to the State Attorney General

Now that the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, perhaps it is time for the State Attorney General's Office to invesigate the school which they operate. SBC members have referred to the Jewish People as the "Synagogue of Satan" and as a people who "undermine public morality." Is anti-Semitism being taught at the SBC school? Mind you, I'm not levelling accusations. I'm merely asking a rather difficult question. Like Socrates, I believe in playing the gadfly to awaken people from their slumber.

There is a song from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific entitled "You've got to be carefully taught":

You've got to be taught to hate and fear.
You've got to be taught from year to year.
It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear.
You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate!
You've got to be carefully taught!
You've got to be carefully taught!

It is no small thing that Stormfront (another recognized hate group) has defended the Saint Benedict Center. Would this not indicate that Stormfront shares the same ideology (at least on certain points such as anti-Semitism) as the Saint Benedict Center?

Children are created in the image and likeness of God. And they are our future. We must therefore treasure them and safeguard them from any ideology which is rooted in hatred of neighbor. Will the State Attorney General's Office treat this situation with the seriousness it deserves?

By the grace of God they will.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Reconciliation: Its meaning and value

Most of us are aware that sin destroys our relationship with God and that it also undermines our relationships with family members, friends and others with whom we come into contact. Reconciliation refers to that precise effect of Christ's redemption of the human race by His sacrificial death on the Cross which restores our relationship with God and breaks down the barriers of sin which prevent us from engaging in authentic relationships with others.

In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "Conversion is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the poor, the exercise and defense of justice and right, by the admission of faults to one's brethren, fraternal correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, spiritual direction, acceptance of suffering, endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one's cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance." (1435).

In other words, our transformation in Christ, our daily conversion, is made manifest by such gestures of reconciliation by which we demonstrate our commitment toward the theological virtue of charity "by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God" (CCC, 1822). We are told in Sacred Scripture that a faith without works is dead (James 2:14-19). An authentic reconciliation, therefore, will show itself in a charity which embraces both God and neighbor.

As Jean Jaouen so eloquently puts it, "..Christian compassion cannot be a cerebral, fleshless reality. It is completely impossible for one who loves people coldly to dissociate eternal salvation from the temporal well-being of a human person. A person is a whole. Time is eternity already begun yet still not completely visible. The conflict will be resolved if Christian apostles learn to live with their people while remaining present to the Lady who, with her Son, weeps over both the death of souls and the death of little children. 'Lady of heaven, empress of earth.' Through the Virgin Mediator and Queen, apostles will find a balance between the demands of heaven and those of earth." (Jean Jaouen, m.s., "A Grace Called La Salette: a story for the world," pp. 327-328, grassroots publishing international, Enfield, New Hampshire, English edition 1991).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

VATICAN CITY, SEP 20, 2007 (VIS) - In Castelgandolfo at midday today, Benedict XVI received prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Benin, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

The Pope began his address by noting how, over recent years, the bishops had "shown great evangelical courage in guiding the people of God through numerous difficulties, ... showing pastoral concern for the great questions facing society, especially in the field of justice and human rights."

After encouraging the African prelates "to develop an authentic spirituality of communion," both among themselves and with their priests, the Holy Father called on priests to maintain "an intense spiritual life."

Referring then to the influence of tradition on social life, the Pope highlighted the need "to stimulate the best aspects of tradition and to reject its harmful elements, which cause damage, and nourish fear and exclusion." In this context he affirmed that "in order to help the faithful compare their faith with 'traditional' beliefs, a solid Christian formation is necessary" which, furthermore, "will teach them to pray with faith. ... Catechists make a precious contribution to this demanding task."

"Institutes of consecrated life make a generous contribution to the mission," said the Holy Father. "I invite members of communities of contemplative life to continue to be - through their discreet presence - a permanent call for all believers to seek the face of God tirelessly and to thank Him for all His gifts."

In the "cultural context" of Benin, said Pope Benedict, "it is necessary that the Church's presence be expressed through visible signs which indicate the authentic meaning of her mission to humankind. Among these signs, enthusiastic and animated liturgical celebrations have a pre-eminent place. They are an eloquent testimony of the faith of your communities at the very heart of society. For this reason, it is important for the faithful to participate in the liturgy fully, actively and fruitfully."

In order to avoid "introducing into the liturgy elements incompatible with Christian faith, or actions that may generate confusion, seminarians and priests must be given a solid liturgical formation that enables them to gain a profound knowledge of the foundations, significance and theological value of liturgical rites."

The Holy Father then recalled how the bishops had publicly defended, "courageously and in various circumstances, the values of the family and of respect for life" against "ideologies that propose models or attitudes opposed to an authentic concept of human life. I encourage you," he added, "to continue this commitment, which is a service to the whole of society"

"In this context," said the Pope, "the formation of young people is also one of your pastoral priorities. ... In helping them to acquire human and spiritual maturity, bring them to discover God. ... The difficulties people face in committing to Christian marriage and remaining faithful to the vows they have made - obstacles often associated with culture and tradition - call not only for a serious preparation for this Sacrament but also for permanent accompaniment of families, especially in moments of greatest difficulty."

Benedict XVI concluded his talk by expressing satisfaction for "the atmosphere of mutual understanding that characterizes relations between Christians and Muslims" in Benin. "In order to avoid the development of any kind of intolerance and to prevent all forms of violence, it is necessary to pursue sincere dialogue, founded on an ever greater mutual understanding, especially through human relationships, agreement on the values of life, and mutual cooperation in everything that promotes universal wellbeing. Such dialogue also requires the training of competent individuals to help people know and understand the religious values we share, and respect differences faithfully."

What a beautiful message from our Holy Father Benedict XVI as well as a timely reminder of how to approach a sincere dialogue with those of other faith traditions. A dialogue based upon mutual understanding and respect for differences.

Thank you Jesus for the gift of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI: Servant of the Servants of God.
The Second Vatican Council, in its Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio) No. 3, had this to say about other ecclesial communities:

"Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly condemned. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church-for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church-whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church-do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ's body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.

Moreover, some and even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too. All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ."

This is the Church's autoritative teaching regarding other ecclesial communities and what our attitude as Roman Catholics should be toward those who belong to them. We are called to accept members of the Protestant churches as our brothers and sisters. Therefore, the following blog post: highlights the rather unfortunate attitude of an SBC member toward our Protestant brethren.

Which of the two is truly aberrant: Christians of good will who belong to other ecclesial communities and who strive to follow Christ according to the dictates of their own conscience or an organization which preaches anti-Semitism while referring to the Jewish People as the Synagogue of Satan?

I think we all know the answer to that one.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Notre Dame de La Salette,
priez pour nous.
Remember, our Lady of La Salette,
true Mother of sorrows, the tears which thou didst shed for me on Calvary; be mindful also of the unceasing care which thou dost exercise to screen me from the justice of God; and consider whether thou canst now abandon thy child, for whom thou hast done so much.
Inspired by this consoling thought, I come to cast myself at thy feet, in spite of my infidelity and ingratitude. Reject not my prayer, O Virgin of reconciliation, convert me, obtain for me the grace to love Jesus Christ above all things and to console thee too by living a holy life, in order that one day I may be able to see thee in Heaven.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A timely reminder from Pope Benedict XVI:


VATICAN CITY, SEP 16, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI prayed the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in the internal courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo. Before the Marian prayer, the Pope commented on chapter 15 of the Gospel of St. Luke, "one of the most exalted and moving passages of all Sacred Scripture."

The Pope began: "It is good to think that all over the world, wherever the Christian community gathers to celebrate the Sunday Eucharist today, this Good News of truth and salvation sounds out: God is merciful love."

"God does not want even one of His children to be lost, and His soul overflows with joy when a sinner converts. True religion consists, then, in entering onto harmony with this Heart 'rich in mercy,' which asks us to love everyone, ... imitating the heavenly Father Who respects the freedom of each of us and draws us to Him with the invincible force of his faithfulness."

"In our time," the Pope went on, "humanity has need of the vigorous proclamation and testimony of God's mercy. The beloved John Paul II, who was a great apostle of divine Mercy, prophetically discerned this urgent pastoral need. ... Throughout his pontificate he was a missionary of God's love to all people, Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, which blackened the dawn of the third millennium, he invited Christians and men and women of good will to believe that the Mercy of God is stronger than any evil, and that the salvation of the world is only to be found in the Cross of Christ."

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"Institutes of consecrated life" are canonically erected by competent church authority to enable men or women who publicly profess the Evangelical Counsels by religious vows or other sacred bonds, "through the charity to which these counsels lead to be joined to the Church and its mystery in a special way" (cf. canon 573.2 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law), without this however making them members of the Church hierarchy. Such institutes are generally called "religious orders" (for instance, the Order of Friars Preachers; but also, the Society of Jesus and the Sisters of Charity).

A "religious order" is one in which solemn vows are taken by members, and that follows an accepted rule. Institutes in which members take only simple vows are religious congregations (a "clerical congregation", if primarily made up of priests and oriented toward priestly work; a "lay congregation" if not). (Canon 588 -- Note: this is not canon 588 of the Code of Canon Law 1983, so this paragraph needs to be duly revised).

A monk (Greek: monachos, Latin: monachus) is a person that leads the "monastic life" in a "monastery". Nowadays it tends to be wrongly assumed that it signifies someone living in community. From early Church times there has been a lively discussion of the meaning of this term (Greek: monos alone), namely whether it denotes someone living alone/away from the rest of society, or someone celibate/focused on God alone. St Benedict understood it as meaning the latter, namely a celibate dedicated to God, as becomes clear from the fact that he considers a hermit to be a kind of monk (Rule of St Benedict, ch. 1).

A monastery (Greek: monasterion) is a place where a monk lives and works, and may be home to any number of monks, one or many. Often a monastery of one is, however, called a "hermitage".

The term "nun" (Latin: nonnus) has come to be used exclusively for female monks. In English the term "nunnery" is popularly used to denote the dwelling of a community of women. In recent literature one may also find the gender-inclusive term "monastics". Benedictines, Carthusians, Cistercians and Trappists are examples.

A "Friar" is a male member of one of the mendicant orders (principally, the Franciscans, Dominicans and Carmelites).

The term "Religious" (as in, "he/she is a Religious") is commonly used to refer to a consecrated person, a person in religious vows.
Priests in vows retain their usual title of "Father", and "Reverend Father". With a few exceptions (see Jesuits for example), all men in vows who are not priests and therefore to be addressed as "Father" are addressed as "Brother". That is to say, all monks are brothers, but not all brothers are "Fathers".

Women are addressed as "Sister". Benedictines have traditionally used the form of address "Dom" for men and "Dame" for solemnly professed nuns. All nuns are sisters, but not all sisters are nuns. The term "nun", broadly speaking, used to be reserved for women in solemn vows and in religious institutes that are subject to Papal Enclosure, the term "sister" for women in simple vows and in other religious institutes. Today this distinction has become blurred. Some women superiors are properly addressed as "Mother", and "Reverend Mother".


Institutes of consecrated life are regulated in canons 573-746 of the Code of Canon Law. Canon 573 tells us that:

§2. The Christian faithful freely assume this form of living in institutes of consecrated life canonically erected by competent authority of the Church. Through vows or other sacred bonds according to the proper laws of the institutes, they profess the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience and, through the charity to which the counsels lead, are joined in a special way to the Church and its mystery.

Is the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire an Institute of consecrated life "canonically erected by competent authority" within the Church? The Diocese of Manchester has already addressed this: "..the Saint Benedict Center has no permission or authority to exercise any Ministry on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire." (The Rev. Edward J. Arsenault, Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Manchester, to Mrs. Terri O'Rorke).

Additionally, it must be noted that there is no such thing as a legitimate expression of the Catholic tradition that is not in union with the Holy Father. The SBC refuses to accept the Magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church regarding the well-known axiom "Outside the Church there is no salvation" as outlined in Nos. 846-848 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

At the SBC Watch Blog:, a poll was taken asking readers whether they think the Saint Benedict Center is a mainstream church organization or a cult. 85% responded that they believe the SBC is a cult. This out of 75 respondents. Now obviously this poll is by no means scientific. But what it does show is that many who have visited the SBC Watch Blog (because of a concern over recent developments in Richmond, New Hampshire) believe that the SBC meets the characteristics of a cult.

In 1961 Robert J. Lifton wrote Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism after studying the effects of mind control on American prisoners of war under the Communist Chinese. Lifton outlines eight major factors that can be used to identify whether a group is a destructive cult or not:

milieu control (controlled relations with the outer world)

mystic manipulation (the group has a higher purpose than the rest)

confession (confess past and present sins)

self-sanctification through purity (pushing the individual towards an unattainable perfection)

aura of sacred science (beliefs of the group are sacrosanct and perfect)

loaded language (new meanings to words, encouraging black-and-white thinking)

doctrine over person (the group is more important than the individual)

dispensed existence (insiders are saved, outsiders are doomed)


A woman named Elizabeth left the following comment at the Keene Talkback Blog a while back:

"The following is excerpted from:

"By 1978, his [Jim Jones] paranoia had reached a fever pitch. In mid-November of that year, U.S. Rep. Leo Ryan of California had gone to the village to investigate complaints of abuse. When he left the village on Nov. 18, he took several defectors with him. But Ryan, along with four others, was shot and killed by members of Peoples Temple at an airstrip in Guyana.The Jonestown massacre began later that day."

Jones ordered the mass killing of more than 900 of his followers that very same day. But before Jim Jones had moved his cult "People's Temple" to Guyana, he had come to view the media and local residents of his California town with a suspicion which became paranoia. Do we see the same signs of paranoia and mental illness in Brother Andre Marie? Let's look at some of his very own comments in an email sent to Catholic writer Matt C. Abbott at Renew America:

"There is now afoot a very nasty concerted effort to destroy our traditional Catholic apostolate."Jim Jones had previously accused the media of attempting to "destroy" his People's Temple. Jim Jones demonized his critics (no matter how calm and objective they might be). Brother Andre sees enemies everywhere, referring to "local detractors," the "Southern Poverty Law Center," "blogs," "The Keene Sentinel," "liberal academics at Keene State College," 'Monadnock Regional High School" and "residents [of Richmond] who didn't like the new building."

Like Jim Jones, Brother Andre sees enemies everywhere. And like Jim Jones he demonizes them, calling them "anti-Christian barbarians" who are fostering a "demonic mythology."For me, these are signs of mental illness. Brother Andre seems to be sinking into madness and paranoia. He sees any opposition as being the result of "demonic mythology" and a smear campaign. Will this madness become violent? Automatic weapons have been heard at the SBC. Jim Jones and his People's Temple also stored guns. Residents of Richmond should be very cautious."

Is cult too strong a word to describe the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond? I don't believe so. But if you feel differently, please let me know why. Likewise, if you believe the word aptly describes the organization, let me know why you feel this way.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lest we forget

"Fanaticism is essentially opinion pushed to paroxysm; with everything that the notion of opinion may imply of blinded ignorance as to its own nature....whatever ends the fanatic is aiming at or thinks he is aiming at, even if he wishes to gather men together, he can only in fact separate them; but as his own interests cannot lie in effecting this separation, he is led, as we have seen, to wish to wipe his opponents out. And when he is thinking of these opponents, he takes care to form the most degrading images of them possible - they are 'lubricious vipers' or 'hyenas and jackals with typewriters' - and the ones that reduce them to most grossly material terms. In fact, he no longer thinks of these opponents except as material obstacles to be overturned or smashed down. Having abandoned the behaviour of a thinking being, he has lost even the feeblest notion of what a thinking being, outside himself, could be. It is understandable therefore that he should make every effort to deny in advance the rights and qualifications of those whom he wishes to eliminate; and that he should regard all means to this end as fair.."
- Gabriel Marcel, Man Against Mass Society.
Archbishop Fulton John Sheen and the Double Cross

On April 6, 1941, Bishop Fulton John Sheen gave a sermon on his radio show "The Catholic Hour" in which he reminded listeners that, "The basic spirit of the modern world for the last century has been a determination to escape the Cross." He told his audience as well that, "There is no such thing as living without a cross. We are free only to choose between crosses." And then he asked them: "Will it be the Cross of Christ which redeems us from our sins, or will it be the double cross, the swastika, the hammer and sickle, the fasces"?Bishop Sheen believed, as I do, that America is at a crossroads. In his own words, "We in America are now faced with the threat of that double cross...Our choice is not: Will we or will we not have more discipline, more respect for law, more order, more sacrifice; but, where will we get it? Will we get it from without, or from within, Will it be inspired by Sparta or Calvary? By Valhalla or Gethsemane? By militarism or religion? By the double cross or the Cross? By Caesar or by God? That is the choice facing America today.

The hour of false freedom is past. No longer can we have education without discipline, family life without sacrifice, individual existence without moral responsibility, economics and politics without subservience to the common good. We are now only free to say whence it shall come. We will have a sword. Shall it be only the sword that thrusts outward to cut off the ears of our enemies, or the sword that pierces inward to cut out our own selfish pride"?Thus far, America has chosen the double cross. Fleeing from the Cross of Christ and the supernatural kingdom established by the Son of God; one of sacrifice and sanctity, America has chosen to pursue a terrestrial kingdom of pleasure and power founded upon a distorted idea of what constitutes liberty or freedom. But this city of man, which has certainly achieved astounding advancements in various spheres while increasing the affluence of some, has also contributed to a climate where men are regarded as mere machines whose only value is to be found in what they produce or consume. This in turn destroys the individual’s sense of personal dignity and responsibility.Americans, in their tragic desire to flee from the Cross of Christ, have rushed to embrace this distorted notion of "freedom" and have forgotten that, as created beings, they only possess contingent rights. That is to say, rights which are accorded by Almighty God. Consequently, in their zeal to promote the fallacious idea that the basis of public morality should be whatever the majority of citizens are prepared to accept, they have also forgotten that man does not possess, and never will possess, the right to perform or engage in any act which is displeasing to God.

And where has this flight from the Cross of Christ led us up to this point? Was Bishop Sheen being an alarmist? In the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, taken from his Commencement Address at Harvard University entitled "A World Split Apart": "Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, the misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime and horror. This is considered to be part of freedom, and theoretically counterbalanced by the young peoples’ right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil."

Getting back to Bishop Sheen. What did he mean when he said that, "Our choice is not: Will we or will we not have more discipline, more respect for law, more order, more sacrifice; but, where will we get it"? I believe Pope Benedict XVI was providing us with a hint toward an answer when he spoke of the "dictatorship of relativism." Americans who have gleefully embraced the tenets of liberalism have not learned the lesson the concentration camp and the gulag. These unfortunate souls refuse to acknowledge that atheistic ideology (and make no mistake, the current idea of "freedom" which has taken root in America is itself rooted in atheistic ideology) always, and without exception, gives birth to sheer violence. This is the lesson of atheistic humanism. A lesson which the majority of Americans would rather not think about.

Who would deny that Bishop Sheen’s warning, issued some 64 years ago, was highly prophetic? America, and the West in general, is at a crossroads. We have before us two crosses: The Cross of Christ and the double cross (which may also be referred to today as the "dictatorship of relativism"). Which will we choose in the end? Will we continue on our present course or change direction and finally come to embrace the Cross of Christ? Will we embrace Christ and His kingdom of sacrifice and sanctity or continue to rush headlong into the idolatry of unbridled hedonism while declaring ourselves, albeit tacitly, to be God?

If we continue to choose the latter, then we should remember the words of Fr. Vincent Miceli, S.J., "When man becomes God, history testifies that then millions of men become imprisoned slaves, terrified automatons and murdered corpses. Society, in the words of Gabriel Marcel, becomes a ‘termite colony.’" (The Gods of Atheism, p. 463).

Monday, September 03, 2007

The fruit of apostasy

A loss of the sense of sin. And a wake up call for those priests who have failed to be good pastors, who have neglected to care for souls.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

When people love the Pope....

"When people love the pope, they do not discuss his orders; they do not question the extent of their obedience, nor in what matters they are to obey. When people love the pope, they do not pretend that he has not spoken clearly enough, as if he were obliged to whisper in each one's ear that which he has often expressed so clearly in words and encyclicals. They cannot cast doubt upon his order under the pretext so commonly adduced by those who are unwilling to obey, that it is not the pope who commands but those who surround him; they cannot limit the ground on which he may and ought to exercise his authority; in matters of authority, they cannot give preference to persons whose ideas clash with those of the pope, however learned these may be, for though they be learned, they are not saints."

This is the teaching of Vatican II. Lumen Gentium, No. 25 teaches us that:

'In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent of soul. This religious submission of will and intellect must be shown in a special way to the authoritative magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra."

Now, the Catechism of the Catholic Church reflects the teaching of this authoritative magisterium. In his Apostolic Constitution Fidei Depositum: On the Publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II said that: "The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved June 25th last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church's faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church's Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion..." (No. 3).

And this same Catechism, which Pope John Paul II said was "..the object of extensive consultation among all Catholic Bishops, their Episcopal Conferences or Synods, and of theological and catechetical institutes" (Fidei Depositum, No. 1), teaches authoritatively on the subject of the well-known axiom Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus:

"'Outside the Church there is no salvation' How are we to understand this affirmation, offten repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body: Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church, He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.'" (No. 846, citing Lumen Gentium, No. 14).

But this same Catechism also teaches us that:

"This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church: 'Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gosel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience - those too may achieve eternal salvation.'" (No. 847, citing Lumen Gentium, No. 16).

The Saint Benedict Center cult in Richmond, New Hampshire does not accept this authoritative magisterial teaching. Instead, as with most dissidents both "liberal" and "conservative," they prefer the teachings of persons whose ideas clash with the authoritative Magisterium of the Pope and Bishops.

In a letter to Mrs. Terri O'Rorke, a Catholic laywoman from the Monadnock area, the Rev. Edward Arsenault had this to say:

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

There is really no way around this. The Saint Benedict Center cult has no affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church in any way. Louis Villarrubia, who likes to portray himself as both a Religious Brother and a Deacon in the Catholic Church, is actually neither. His cult has no standing in the Church. And his refusal to accept and adhere to the authoritative magisterial teaching of the Church regarding the correct interpretation of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus is shameful.

Civilian prisons.....

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