Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Archbishop Nienstedt hosted Dissident Jesuit Against His Own Policy

This is a recap of the aforementioned event at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Edina, Minnesota, a large, white trimmed, church campus that looks more like a protestant megachurch in a disneyfied colonial style. It's actually difficult to descry a church structure amid the cluster of buildings.

Controversial, pro-homosexual speaker, Fr. Kevin Burke led a retreat at a Catholic Parish earlier this month in opposition to Archdiocesan Policy established by the allegedly conservative Archbishop Nienstedt (Who also supports Socialized Medicine and the CCHD). The response from the Archdiocese to this problem was not decisive and it wasn't in line with its own directives.

As a response to this problem, we just received an e-mail from a probable local yokel named, Peter Canisius, which was written by the Communications Director of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis; which seems to be directed at us, reproduced here in its entirety:

You and I both know who you really are and that you are not a dead Jesuit saint but a poor deluded soul who has tried to serve as some kind of avenging angel to the Church and the Archdiocese over the years. Now I know who disrupted my afternoon with your phone call and your unwillingness to listen to facts.

How dare you defame Archbishop Nienstedt with a fake news release like this that is totally untrue. He issued no "document" to Our Lady of Grace or its Adult Formation Office affirmation that Father Kevin Burke SJ is a priest in good standing and that Liberation Theology is fully in line with the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church." This is not only false, but you have committed the sin of calumny in distributing this falsehood.

Since you are such a self appointed guardian of our Church's teachings and the "Magisterium[''s" edicts, you must know that Archbishop Nienstedt is always a faithful follower of both. He has, as you must know, again, prohibited a number of scheduled speakers who did not conform with the Church's teachings from speaking at some of our parishes. At his direction, I personally called the office of the provincial for the Jesuit Order in California and was told that Father Burke is absolutely a priest in good standing with their order. Who are you to deny their authority?

And Archbishop Nienstedt has never approved Father Burke's appearance nor issued any proclamation. I presented him with the information he had asked for and he has not chosen to interfere in this priest's appearance at the parish. We have, however, also been in touch with the parish and directed them to speak with Father Burke in advance to assure that he does not make statements that conflict with the teachings of the Church.

How dare you accuse the Archbishop of violating both the terms of the Manhattan declaration and his own Speakers Policy? Shame on you!

Dennis McGrath
Director of Communications
Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

It is a confusing letter, not to mention strident, and is confused about the Archdiocese's own policy regarding Catholic speakers which forbids them from speaking on Diocesan property (which did occur) if their writings are not harmonius with Catholic teaching; and we've already demonstrated that the Jesuit speaker, Fr. Kevin Burke is far from problematic, indeed, his writings reek of heresy. We've also demonstrated that the organizer of the event, Terry Grieb, is a member of the CCCR (Catholic Coalition for Church Reform). In the course of our phone call, Mr. McGrath did mention this organization and said that he and the Archbishop had cancelled several events sponsored by them. Why indeed have they permitted this to take place?

It makes the Archdiocese look bad if it has policies that it isn't enforcing. It almost looks as if the Archbishop isn't really serious about combating error. We made Mr. McGrath aware of the event and he became very angry. In any event, he admits in the letter that he was aware of Father Burke SJ, he admitted that he knew Liberation Theology was bad (and that Fr. Burke promotes it in his writings) but insisted that merely getting a verbal agreement was sufficient to ensure that no error would be taught at the retreat on the 7th and 8th of December. Mr. McGrath accused someone of calumny, we're not sure who, but is he aware there is a commandment against lying?

We've also heard that a local Bishop actually said the event had been cancelled, but we were there. Fr. Burke SJ was present, so the talk went on as planned, against Archdiocesan Policy.

All that taken into account, the current pastor, Father Bob Schwartz, by virtue of his assocation with the aforementioned CCCR, Father Kevin Burke SJ, and his assigned reading list featuring books by dissident authors should be sufficient to demonstrate the problematic nature, not only of the talk which recently took place, but of Father Bob Schwartz himself, who by his assigned writings, promotes an environment of dissent and departure from Catholic teaching, writers like Sr. Joan Chittister (women's ordination, homosexuality) and Fr. Richard Rohr would not be welcome speakers at the Archdiocese of St. Paul, that is, if the policy in place were actually enforced at least as we understand it.

One thing's for sure, you won't be in danger of getting instruction on the Catholic Faith by reading Father Bob's Book List, which we will reproduce here:


General Spiritual Enrichment:
Finding Sanctuary - Monastic Steps for Everyday Life
By Abbot Christopher Jamison - Liturgical Press [not a reliable publisher]
Finding Happiness - Monastic Steps far a Fulfilling Life
By Abbot Christopher Jamison - Liturgical Press
Forgotten Among the Lilies - Learning to Love Beyond Our Fears [meaningless self-help]
By Fr. Ronald Rolheiser - Doubleday
The Holy Longing - A Search for Christian Spirituality
By Fr. Ronald Rolheiser - Doubleday (Also almost anything else by him)

My Life With the Saints
By Fr. James Martin, SJ - Loyola Press
A Jesuit Off-Broadway [campy]
By Fr. James Martin, SJ
For an even deeper look at the Spiritual Life:
A Blessed Life: Benedictine Guidelines for Those Who
Long for Good Days
By Wil Derkse - Liturgical Press
For Men/ Fathers. Sons and Grandfathers:
Wild at Heart - Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul
By John Eldredge - Nelson Books
The Way of the Wild Heart-A Map of the Masculine Journey
By John Eldredge - Nelson Books
Adam's Return - The Five Promises of Male Initiation
By Fr. Richard Rohr - Crossroad Book
For Anyone Over Sixty:
The Gift of Years - Growing Older Gracefully
By Sr. Joan Chisttister - BlueBridge
"I recommend all of these books very highly. The last one is especially good
reading for anyone who experiencing the troubling questions of aging." [How about preparing for death by having a good confession?]

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