Monday, March 11, 2013
The Diocese of Worcester's "Partners in Charity" fund
Partners in charity or partners in sin?
"If any one comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house or give him any greeting; for he who greets him shares his wicked work." (2 John 10, 11).
The Navarre Bible (which I highly recommend) provides some excellent commentary on this scriptural passage: "In the Middle East, hospitality and greetings were not mere marks of courtesy or good manners: they involved a real sense of solidarity and close affinity. Hence the warning that reception of these people could imply complicity in their evil deeds and the risk of giving scandal to other members of the Church."
If reception of such people can imply complicity in their evil deeds, how much more so actually providing them with financial and other material assistance? Such assistance regularly occurs within the Worcester, Massachusetts Diocese. For example, although Fr. Andre Gariepy has promoted Situation Ethics, which was condemned by Pope Pius XII in 1952, the retired priest still receives assistance from the diocese's "Partners in Charity" fund (See "Retired pastors but not retired priests," The Catholic Free Press, March 8, 2013 edition, pp. 1, 7).
Situation Ethics, a moral system which rejects moral norms and considers only the circumstances (or situation) and the agent's intention when determining the morality of a human act, is a very destructive belief. This because it leads to distrust of God. Pope John Paul II warned in his Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor that, "..man is no longer convinced that only in the truth can he find salvation. The saving power of the truth is contested, and freedom alone, uprooted from any objectivity, is left to decide by itself what is good and what is evil. This relativism becomes, in the field of theology, a lack of trust in the wisdom of God, who guides man with the moral law. Concrete situations are unfavorably contrasted with the precepts of the moral law, nor is it any longer maintained that, when all is said and done, the law of God is always the one true good of men." (No. 84).
And so, the Diocese of Worcester directs some of the monies from its "Partners in Charity" fund to assist a heretic - a priest who has publically rejected immutable moral norms and who has set himself against the teaching of the Church. It apparently does not bother Bishop McManus, or anyone in a leadership position in the Worcester Diocese, that this priest has perpetrated spiritual violence against the lay faithful entrusted to his care (the people who have a right to Catholic doctrine in its purity and integrity - see Veritatis Splendor, 113), by asserting that moral norms such as, "You shall not kill" (Exodus 20: 13) or "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20: 14) are only general "guidelines" and not exceptionless moral truths.
Fr. Gariepy has also promoted Marxist "Liberation Theology," which was condemned in no uncertain terms, in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's "Instruction on Certain Aspects of the 'Theology of Liberation.'"
Fr. Gariepy has never publically recanted his views which are in opposition to the Magisterial teaching of the Church.
Another priest who receives assistance from monies collected for the "Partners in Charity" fund is Fr. Robert E. Kelley, a serial child abuser who, by his own admission, probably sexually assaulted some 200 girls. See here for some background on this priest who served time in prison for his crimes.
Should faithful Catholics contribute to "Partners in Charity"? Or should they ensure that their financial support to the Church is not squandered on priests who abuse the people entrusted to their care either spiritually or physically?