Sunday, August 16, 2009

Notes from yesterday...the apostasy spreads

Attended Holy Mass (Vigil Mass) at St. Cecilia's Parish in Leominster yesterday. Although it was the Feast of the Assumption, not one word was said about the Blessed Virgin. This is a tragedy. For the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was defined as a doctrine of the faith on November 1, 1950 by Pope Pius XII. This feast has been celebrated by Christians since as early as the seventh century. Today it is celebrated as a holy day of obligation in the United States on August 15th. The Catechism has this to say about Our Lady's Assumption:

"Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death." The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:

In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death." (CCC, 966).

But we are in a time of apostasy. It was Our Lady who told Father Gobbi [back in 1988]: "The hour of the great apostasy has come. What has been foretold in Holy Scripture, in the Second Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians, is now on the point of coming to pass. Satan, my Adversary, with snares and by means of his subtle seduction, has succeeded in spreading errors everywhere, under the form of new and more updated interpretations of the truth, and he has led many to choose with full knowledge - and to live in - sin, in the deceiving conviction that this is no longer an evil, and even that it is a value and a good. The times of the general confusion and of the greatest agitation of spirits has come. Confusion has entered into the souls and the lives of many of my children. This great apostasy is spreading more and more , even through the interior of the Catholic Church. Errors are being taught and spread about, while the fundamental truths of the faith, which the authentic Magisterium of the Church has always taught and energetically defended against any heretical deviation whatsoever, are being denied with impunity. The episcopates are maintaining a strange silence and are no longer reacting. When my Pope speaks with courage and reaffirms with force the truths of the Catholic faith, he is no longer listened to and is even publicly criticized and derided. There is a subtle and diabolical tactic, woven in secrecy by Masonry, which is used today against the Holy Father in order to bring ridicule upon his person and his work and to neutralize his Magisterium.....In these times, in the Catholic Church, there will remain a little remnant who will be faithful to Christ, to the Gospel, and to its entire truth. The little remnant will form a little flock, all guarded in the depths of my Immaculate Heart. This little flock will be made up of those bishops, priests, religious and faithful who will remain strongly united to the Pope, all gathered together in the cenacle of my Immaculate Heart, in an act of unceasing prayer, of continual immolation, of total offering to prepare the painful way for the second and glorious coming of my Son Jesus."
There is confusion even in the Church's interior. C. Joseph Doyle is Executive Director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts. He has agreed to appear as a guest speaker at the 2009 Saint Benedict Center Conference to be held this October in Richmond, New Hampshire. The Saint Benedict Center, which is not in communion with the Catholic Church and which has no permission from Bishop John McCormack to do any ministry within the Diocese of Manchester, describes Mr. Doyle as "..the media's go-to man whenever traditional Catholic values are threatened in the public arena, appearing for television and radio interviews approximately 150 times a year...C.J....worked in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for many years as an adviser and aide to the late Rep. James Craven...He also served as National Director for William Donohue's Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights before the Massachusetts CAL [Catholic Action League] was established.."
The Massachusetts Catholic Conference (website may be found here), is the public-policy arm of the Massachusetts Bishops. The Massachusetts Catholic Conference website has a link to Mr. Doyle's Catholic Action League website. I wrote an email to Sean Cardinal O' Malley yesterday and forwarded a copy to The Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester. This is what I wrote:

Dear Cardinal O'Malley,

I am writing to you (and forwarding a copy of this email to my Bishop, The Most Rev. Robert McManus) because it has been brought to my attention that Mr. C. Joseph Doyle, Executive Director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, has agreed to appear as a guest speaker at the 2009 Saint Benedict Center Conference to be held in Richmond, New Hampshire this October.

The Center is not in communion with the Catholic Church. In fact, in a letter written by Fr. Edward Arsenault, Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, to a Mrs. Terri O'Rorke, Father Arsenault makes this clear:

"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."

I have worked tirelessly to expose the anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial of the Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, New Hampshire. Some background may be found in this article: I am well-aware that the Southern Poverty Law Center is not without its own problems. But in this matter (as the Diocese of Manchester will attest to), they got it right. The news-magazine Chronicle dedicated an episode back in 2007 to the whole controversy surrounding the Center.

Since this organization is not in communion with the Catholic Church, has absolutely no permission to do any ministry whatsoever and engages in anti-Semitism and Holocaust-denial, I think it inappropriate that someone of Mr. Doyle's stature should associate himself with this entity. It will only serve as a source of scandal to many of the faithful and reflect poorly on the Catholic Church in Massachusetts.

It is my hope that Your Eminence will agree.

Asking the Blessing of Your Eminence,

I am, Yours Respectfully,

Paul Anthony Melanson

Related reading here, here and here.


Stewart said...

This could really backfire onto the Massachusetts Catholic Conference. Do the Bishops of Massachusetts want to be perceived as being connected somehow to an individual who associates with an anti-Semitic/Holocaust denial organization which is not in union with the Roman Catholic Church?

Alzina said...

The Holy Cross Cardinal Newman Society website has two discussion threads which were added recently: "Why Pope John Paul II should not be canonized" - which suggests the great Pope knew about sex abuse but "looked the other way" - and "In the Spirit of Fr. Feeney: SBC Conference 2009."

Feeneyites and other so-called "traditional" Catholics often harbor a hatred toward non-Catholic Christians, Jews and other non-Catholics and despise Pope John Paul II for reaching out to them. Douglas Bersaw of the Saint Benedict Center cult described Pope John Paul II as "the worst Pope" in the history of the Church in The Boston Globe article "Cherishing an Older Catholicism."

But it's not an "older Catholicism" these people cherish. It is, rather, a perversion of Catholicism. They simply refuse to accept the Church's understanding of the dogma "outside the Church there is no salvation."

Derek said...

Michael Cole said...

If Doyle insists on attending the conference as a guest speaker, the Massachusetts Bishops should remove the link to his website and have nothing to do with him. The Catholic Church in Massachusetts will lose credibility if it continues to associate with him. The Church's enemies in the Bay State would love to portray us as anti-Semitic bigots. It will also harm Catholic-Jewish relations.

Michelle said...

Many "new church" advocates - some refer to it as "FutureChurch" - want to dismantle devotion to Our Lady. Hopefully this is not what is going on at Saint Cecilia's. It is utterly bizarre that there would be no mention whatsoever of Our Lady during such an important feast day.

Ellen Wironken said...

The Saint Benedict Center has called the Jews an "antichrist people." "Brother" Andre Marie said that they "undermine public morals." Doug Bersaw said: "There's a lot of controversy among people who study the so-called Holocaust..There's a misperception that Hitler had a position to kill all the Jews. It's all a fraud. Six million didn't occur." (Cherishing an Older Catholicism, The Boston Globe).

And why does Joseph Doyle want to speak at their conference? Does he also believe that the Holocaust is a fraud and Jews undermine public morals? Does he believe them to be an "antichrist people"?

The Bishops need to address this. And they need to disassociate the Mass Catholic Conference from the "Catholic Action League."

Jacob said...

Doyle, and all those who participate in SBC activities, are being disobedient to the Church. You're right Stewart. Let's hope the bishops realize this before damage is done.

Anonymous said...

"Doyle, and all those who participate in SBC activities, are being disobedient to the Church. You're right Stewart. Let's hope the bishops realize this before damage is done."

But why is disobedience to the Church such a big deal? Are you insinuating that there is no Salvation outside the Church?

According to the logic of you heretics people are saved by "following their conscience" why does that apply to Protestants but not the SBC? LOL...

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

I'm glad you ask anonymous. The Holy Office, in a letter to Archbishop Richard J. Cushing dated August 8, 1949, provides an answer:

"..let them who in grave peril are ranged against the Church seriously bear in mind that after 'Rome has spoken' they cannot be excused EVEN BY REASONS OF GOOD FAITH. Certainly, their bond and duty of obedience toward the Church - is much graver - than that of those who as yet are related to the Church 'only by an unconscious desire.' Let them realize that they are children of the Church, lovingly nourished by her with the milk of doctrine and the sacraments, and hence, HAVING HEARD THE CLEAR VOICE OF THEIR MOTHER, THEY CANNOT BE EXCUSED FROM CULPABLE IGNORANCE, AND THEREFORE TO THEM APPLY WITHOUT ANY RESTRICTION that principle: submission to the Catholic Church and to the Sovereign Pontiff is required as necessary for salvation."

Understand? For your consideration: Luke 12:48.

Michelle said...

Anonymous, unlike yourself, we accept the Church's teaching regarding EENS:

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often 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.

847 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 Gospel 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."

You really should pray for the humility necessary to accept the Church's teaching. It is not for you to "correct" Christ who teaches us through His Church.

Anonymous said...

I think that what Michelle has shared with us has such a powerful message. There are many who were born into families who never practiced any formal religion. This is not their fault. It was/is all they know. These people should not be shunned. If they have goodness in their hearts and do unto others, then Our Lord, will welcome them for their kindness and good deeds.
Likewise, if someone is born into the Jewish faith or one of many Protestant faiths, would Our Lord shun them? I don't believe so. He would also embrace them as they believe in Him.

Michelle said...

Well said anomymous. And thank you very much. That is what the Church teaches in a nutshell.

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