George Weigel on Evangelical Catholicism in Boston

Catholic author and Pope John Paul II biographer, George Weigel, spoke at St. Columbkille in Brighton on the topic of “evangelical Catholicism” this past Monday in Boston.  About 250-300 people were in attendance and the event was also livecast over the Internet. This talk was part of the Year of Faith “Catholic Essentials” year-long course for adults being run by the Boston Archdiocese, orchestrated by Bishop Arthur Kennedy, who is responsible for evangelization, with help from the Catholic Media Group.  BCI is a fan of George Weigel and thought the event was excellent. We found a number of things noteworthy about the program we will share.

Excerpts from his talk, as reported in The Pilot:

In his talk, he said evangelical Catholicism displays 10 characteristics that provide a profile of the Catholic Church of the future and suggest standards for continued and deep reform of the Church. [BCI will share the first five]

“First, evangelical Catholicism is radically Christo-centric, or in the phrase of Benedict XVI, evangelical Catholicism is friendship with the Lord Jesus Christ. The Catholicism of the counter-reformation asks the people of the Church to know who Jesus Christ is, and through that knowledge about him to meet him. Evangelical Catholicism begins with meeting and knowing Christ Himself, the primordial sacrament of the human encounter with God,” Weigel said.

He also said evangelical Catholicism affirms divine revelation and embraces its authority as continued through the teaching authority of the Church as Catholics “embrace the authority that Jesus represents and incarnates, the authority of the living God who reveals himself in deed and word to the people of Israel, and who finally and definitively reveals himself in his son.”

“That divine authority is what gives both Scripture and the Church their unique authority,” he said.

He then presented the importance of Church teaching on the sacraments, particularly baptism and the Eucharist, in evangelical Catholicism.

“Third, evangelical Catholicism is a radically sacramental Church. The twin poles of its sacramental life are baptism and the Eucharist,” Weigel said.

In his next point he addressed conversion to Christ as something that remains constant and develops throughout life.

“Fourth, evangelical Catholicism is a call to constant conversion of life, which involves both the rejection of evil and active participation in the works of service and charity,” he said.

He said in his next point that evangelical Catholicism draws from tradition both ancient and authentic, as the Church provides teaching not easily stereotyped as traditionalist or progressive. He said the evangelical Catholic Church recognizes the value of extraordinary form Masses as a means to “accelerate a reform of the reform” of the liturgy, but called liturgical conflicts between traditionalists and progressives “deeply tiresome liturgy wars.”

BCI found the Q&A to be especially interesting, starting with the first question:

Q. “How do we clergy and laity evangelize dissenting Catholics who claim to be authentically Catholic?”

A. (Weigel) “Vigorously!  We have 40 years of trouble to work on here. The notion that there is such a thing as private judgment in Catholicism is now rife throughout the church. One resource we have to deal with this is the Catechism. This was one of the fruits of the Synod of Bishops called to mark the 20th anniversary of Vatican 2. The Catechism lays out, in many respects in a quite beautiful way, what we might call the symphony of Catholic truth. I think it’s important to invite those who are only hearing the flutes or  the clarinets to hear the whole symphony. They might find it a more attractive aesthetic experience and indeed a religious experience.

The parallel problem as we all experience, and perhaps you experience more than others here  Massachusetts, is a tendency to create a barrier between ones Catholic life and ones public life. This is a serious problem.  Voting is an act of public judgement.  It should be shaped by both mind and heart. In a moment in our history when both the right to life and religious freedom—absolute fundamentals of democratic society– are in jeopardy, I think each one of us has a responsibility to speak frankly with family,  friends, neighbors, fellow alumni of institutions (that will go nameless) and say it’s the bottom of the 9th inning on some of these things. and we need to get serious.

Throughout the fall, I must have spoken to several dozen Catholic audiences. Every time someone would complain that this bishop hasn’t done this and this hasn’t done that. I would ask that person how many of the people you come into contact with daily, have you convinced of our point of view?  Look in the mirror and see the agent of the new evangelization! (applause)

In responses to other questions, Weigel talked about the need to protect the unborn as well as help women with crisis pregnancies, he talked about evangelization with the younger generation (via progams like Focus, Eucharistic adoration and being in the presence of the Eucharistic Lord, praying for specific intercessions, having a beautiful aesthetic experience with fine music and liturgy), and reading about the lives of the saints. (BCI differs with Weigel on one point he made regarding recently canonized saints, but we will leave that aside for now).

The event was very good. The only criticism BCI has originates from a reader who notified us of what they felt was a disturbing removal of their comment from the live chat by the Catholic Media folks monitoring the chat. Near the end of the program, an announcement was made by Catholic Media Secretary Scot Landry about the next session, featuring Fr. John Sassani on “How did Jesus pray?”  The reader tells BCI they posted a comment questioning why Fr. Sassani would be leading a faith formation session sanctioned by the archdiocese when he has permitted a Yoga Prayer program at his parish, despite warnings from the Vatican about the spiritual dangers of yoga and when he has a book club at his parish reading  a book by noted dissident nun, Sr. Joan Chittister, “In Search of Belief.”  The reader tells BCI they were on the online chat after the event while people were posting comments about the program when they posted their comment, and then it was removed, while other comments about the program added subsequently were allowed.  The reader pointed BCI to Our Ladys’ bulletin and a comment by a reader, “Newton church-hopper” on our last post:

Our Ladys Book Club was reading “sister” Joan Chittister’s “In Search of Belief” last fall.
http://www.ourladys.com/3communications/12_OLbulletin1117.pdf
Chittister is a dissident nun, 60′s leftist and new-ager, supports women’s ordination, speaks at Call to Action conferences.

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=160011

What an insult to the Blessed Virgin Mary for Fr. Sassani to have “Our Ladys Book Club” reading a book by a dissident nun who disobeyed the Vatican’s request she not speak at a women’s ordination conference!!!!:
http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=4090&CFID=32341358&CFTOKEN=68695370

While the archdiocese does have the right to moderate their chat, if that occurred, BCI shares the reader concern about the archdiocese sponsoring the propagation of perspectives when the presenter has some record of encouraging parishioners to do things or read content contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. If, as Weigel said, “evangelical Catholicism embraces its authority as continued through the teaching authority of the Church,”  then why do we have people teaching about the Catholic faith who promote programs in their parish bulletin that have content which is actually contrary to the teaching authority of the Church?  BCI will send a message to those responsible for this program and see if we get any response.

Next time, we will cover an analysis of the recently announced 2012 Annual Report and many concerns faithful Catholics should have. We are sifting through the reports now.

25 Responses to George Weigel on Evangelical Catholicism in Boston

  1. [...] George Weigel on Evangelical Catholicism in Boston – Boston Catholic Insider [...]

  2. Chris says:

    I’m not surprised that a question about the way Fr. Sassani runs his parish was edited. Look at the vigorous debate in the comments section over at Cardinal O’Malley’s blog… NOT. Some weeks ago I went to the rcab.org site and attempted to send an email to Bishop Deeley’s assistant online with the form they provide but got an error message each time I hit send. They don’t want to hear what they don’t want to hear.

  3. Ginny K. Allen says:

    Just finished doing research in the past two weeks on Sister Joan and on cafeteria Catholics as part of answering questions which may or may not have been asked. Sister Joan has been quoted in our parish bulletin on more than one occasion. I suggested that they not put anything like this in the bulletin and go green saving paper. When there are so many wonderful programs why do they need to quote dissidents?
    When I tried talking to the daily communicant about cafeteria Catholics I was accused of judging and then of pride.
    Also read the book VOWS by Peter Manseau about his father, the priest, who married his mother the nun. His father, who lives in your diocese, is now Archbishop of the Ecumenical Catholic Church of Christ. This was not in the book but on line. Called the Fall River Diocese and reported on one of their churches, Magdalen Church, in Harwichport. Was invited to pray a rosary for them.
    Keep up the great work.

  4. In The Know says:

    I called the Archdiocese on Friday about this.

    They said comments on Catholic Faith Essentials session chats are meant for questions about the session at hand (in last Monday’s case, questions for George Weigel). Comments from known pseudonyms (Joe Sacerdo, Francis Marion, Marilyn Lopresti) and others will be deleted automatically because they aren’t from identifiable Catholics. Also comments or questions that have nothing to do with the session’s topics will also be deleted.

    I asked how can people submit questions or comments about speakers or activities at parishes they represent, they said calls or emails could be directed to Bishop Kennedy’s office. Public attacks of an individual attacking nature isn’t the purpose of the chat window. They asked me politely to spread the word that the ability to ask questions of the speaker on the chat function has been appreciated in the sessions thus far and they hope they can keep it open and that others won’t crash the chat window with unrelated criticism.

    In response to a direct question about Our Lady’s, they said the first step would be to request a conversation with Father Sassani to express any concerns.

    • Angry Parish Council Member says:

      I didn’t get to attend the live event with Weigel but saw it on the replay and thought it was quite good.

      This response from the archdiocese about Our Ladys is par for the course and pathetic. “Go have a conversation with the priest who promotes books by dissidents who don’t accept Catholic Church teachings or respect the Magisterium about why they’re promoting these things?” What exactly does the archdiocese expect will happen? Is the priest going to suddenly change his ways and say, “Gosh, thanks so much for letting me know about that–I didn’t realize the author of the book we encouraged my parishioners to read was a well-known dissident for decades and defied the Vatican.” C’mon!!

      Why doesn’t the ARCHDIOCESE or why don’t Bishops Kennedy Deeley go have a conversation with Father Sassani and tell him it’s unacceptable to promote the writings of a dissident nun to his parish book club? If that’s what he does as a pastor, he shouldn’t be a pastor any more and also shouldn’t be speaking in an archdiocese-sponsored faith formation program. To push this back on the faithful Catholic to resolve is a cop-out. Makes me now wonder who else they’ve got in the line-up for the next year.

      Frankly, I don’t care if the person writes with a pseudonym or not. I’ve sent emails with my name and never get a response.

      • Angry Parish Council Member says:

        sorry for typo–meant to say why don’t Bishops Kennedy and Deeley go have a conversation with Father Sassani.

      • Anni says:

        I also saw Weigel’s presentation on the replay and found it very useful and informative.

        I’d like to second the comments by Angry Parish Council Member. If you go to anyone in RCAB with a thoughtful, respectful comment regarding a concern about a priest or a parish the response is always “talk to Father so-and-so”. Don’t they understand that the reason people “elevate” their concerns – following the “rules” and the principles of subsidiarity – is because talking with Father had no effect. If it had an effect, or at least a response, there would be no need to go to the VF and then the Bishop. The only response has been sending copies of letters back to the priest who is the problem and, with subsequent backlash. The VF and Bishop don’t want to hear about unorthodoxy in the parishes. I’ve been told that “the pastor is in charge of his parish and can do what he wants”. Apparently that includes leading people away from the Catholic Faith and leaving them sheep without a shepherd. There is no oversight of what it taught or preached in parishes.

      • Anonymous Catholic says:

        Anni,
        Amen!! I approached my local priest after Mass not long ago about a clear liturgical abuse during the Mass he’d just celebrated and he berated me. It was so bad, I’d never talk to him again or return there, and I need to inconvenience myself to go to Mass elsewhere now further away. “In the Know,” you sound incredibly naive if you swallowed that hook-line-and-sinker and accepted that answer enough that you’re propagating it further as though you think it will actually work.

      • JohnnyRocket says:

        To: Anonymous Catholic

        If this actually occurred, perhaps your approach was abrasive?

      • Anonymous Catholic says:

        Johnny Rocket,
        My approach was direct but not abrasive.The Eucharist was baked with honey in the recipe, making the Eucharist invalid. The priest’s reaction was to try and tell me this wasn’t something to be concerned with–Jesus was still present at the Mass. The Eucharist is to be made of just wheat flour and water and nothing else; he knew it and I knew it. If honey this month, why not add raisins next month?

        What would you have done–just let it go?

    • Boston Catholic Insider says:

      In the Know,
      Thank you for your comment. Certainly, the Boston Archdiocese has the right to moderate the online chat and remove comments that are not germane to the topic of the program, just as BCI occasionally removes comments not relevant to the topic of one of our blog posts.

      That said, a fundamental concern remains as we wrote at the end of our post. If we accept what George Weigel said that “evangelical Catholicism embraces its authority as continued through the teaching authority of the Church,” then why does the Boston Archdiocese allow people to teach about the Catholic faith who encourage their parishioners to read material that questions or disagrees with the teaching authority of the Church? In case there is any doubt as to the seriousness of this concern, we direct you to the recent Motu Proprio from the Holy Father:

      http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/motu_proprio/documents/hf_ben-xvi_motu-proprio_20121111_caritas_en.html

      § 3. It is the duty of the diocesan Bishop and the respective parish priests to see that in this area the faithful are not led into error or misunderstanding; hence they are to prevent publicity being given through parish or diocesan structures to initiatives which, while presenting themselves as charitable, propose choices or methods at odds with the Church’s teaching.

      Note, “It is the duty of the diocesan Bishop…to see that the faithful are not led into error or misunderstanding.”

      So, “In the Know,” could you let us know who you talked to? Or, double-back with them and tell them the Holy Father has declared clearly that the responsibility lies with the Bishop to correct the problem from the top down–both at the parish level where this is happening, and in the diocesan-sponsored faith formation program which seems to be not adequately screening the speakers.

      Two final points:
      –BCI exists, in part, because concerns raised by faithful Catholics about problems in the Boston Archdiocese have been ignored by years–at either a local level or diocesan level.

      –“In the Know,” you must have the gift of prophecy, as discussed in 1: Cor in the second reading Sunday. You said you called the archdiocese on Friday about this, but BCI did not post about it until Saturday at 3:15pm. Something smells fishy about your comment. Do you work for the archdiocese?

      • DBP says:

        In addition to the miraculous prescience of the question being asked prior to your posing it, two things ‘tell me it’s a “yes” to your last question, BCI:

        (1) The specificity of the response about “known pseudonyms” (“Comments from known pseudonyms (Joe Sacerdo, Francis Marion, Marilyn Lopresti) and others will be deleted automatically because they aren’t from identifiable Catholics.”) Nobody except an employee would have that knowledge, and it would certainly not be given out over the phone to an unknown third party; and

        (2) “In the Know” claims to have been able to get through to someone at “the Archdiocese” to answer his/her questions – on a Friday!!! Anyone who’s ever tried to get any answer to any question knows that the worst possible time to reach any employee at Brooks Drive for an answer to anything other than “What’s your mailing address?” is on a Friday; nobody’s there!

      • In The Know says:

        To BCI – I work with RCIA candidates and want to continue to watch Catholic Faith Essentials with them. I called the Archdiocese on Friday as a result of one candidate’s comments on Monday when “Marilyn” seemed to be crashing the chat area with “her” criticism. So I wanted to know if there were plans to address those types of comments in the future and frankly I called to recommend the Archdiocese’s vigilance with it so that Catholic Faith Essentials can be a good tool for Evangelization and adult faith growth.

        If “Marilyn” reads BCI, I ask her to please consider who is watching these broadcasts and share criticism of the Archdiocese in other forums.

      • In The Know,
        Thank you for your response again. There seem to be several different topics intertwined here. Allow BCI to try and separate them:

        1) Someone crashing the chat area of an archdiocesan sponsored event with criticism about an upcoming speaker. BCI agrees that it would be better to share criticism of the Archdiocese in other forums. That assumes, of course, there are other official forums where the person can share their criticism and get both a response and meaningful action taken if the criticism is valid. The Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, if that is the recommended remedy, does not satisfy that, because a) the average parishioner is not able to participate and b) the concerns shared during the “go around” are usually not directly responded to.

        Unfortunately, the history of inaction by the archdiocese is so well established that people are looking for some way to be heard. That situation, in large part, is why BCI still exists. If the Boston Archdiocese had a forum through which faithful Catholics could share their legitimate concerns and know they would be heard and acted upon, then BCI would be glad to stop blogging. When, since 2003, has Cardinal O’Malley had a real “listening session” or “listening forum” open to all faithful Catholics, where he listened to and responded to concerns of faithful Catholics? In December 2010, we offered the “Top 10 Ways to improve Cardinal Sean’s Blog and Address Governance Problems”:
        http://bostoncatholicinsider.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/top-10-ways-to-improve-cardinal-sean%E2%80%99s-blog-and-address-governance-concerns-in-boston-part-2/

        Please look at #10:
        Communication with Catholics in Parishes: The Cardinal went to Dublin and said he was there to listen, but here in Boston we have had no opportunities for the same. Commenter, “Angry Parish Council Member” suggested the following: “a series of ‘Town Hall’ meetings in different regions of the Archdiocese with the Cardinal presenting his priorities for the diocese and people getting to ask him questions and hear his responses. Then he would blog the most frequently heard comments and his responses and follow-up. Just like they are promoting “Catholics Come Home” to bring fallen-away Catholics back to the church, they could call this “Cardinal Come Home” since it would be bringing the Cardinal back in contact with his diocese.” Prior to rolling out the Town Hall-style meetings, perhaps every time the Cardinal says Mass in a local parish, the parish can host a 30-minute coffee hour afterwards so the Cardinal can talk about the top priorities for the diocese and also invite a few minutes of open Q&A.

        More than two years have passed and nothing of this nature has happened.

        2) People using pseudonyms. BCI cannot control how readers choose to communicate in a chat or via online comments. Most people posting here prefer to use a screenname other than their real name. That is the nature of a blog or chat comments these days. You obviously are doing the same. Of the three names you mentioned, we checked our comments and found one of them has never posted here, one posted here once about 2 years ago and has never posted again, and the other seems to be a regular reader, as we have received occasional messages. We invite “Marilyn” to respond via comments here. For the record, people tell us that when they call, email or write to the archdiocese with their real name, they get no response. Perhaps if the archdiocese responded when people communicate with their real name, they would build more trust and that would encourage everyone to communicate that way!

        3) The fundamental concern about the selection of speakers for diocesan-sponsored programs like this. Bishop Kennedy for the first program–no concern. George Weigel for the program last Monday–no concern. A priest who promotes reading a book by a renowned dissident Catholic nun who defied the Vatican and who promotes a form of Kripalu yoga despite known spiritual risks–alarm bells. See the following for more concerns about yoga for Catholics:
        http://www.zenit.org/article-36066?l=english
        http://bostoncatholicinsider.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/boston-archdiocese-offers-yoga/

        The issue that you and the archdiocese are punting on is that the archdiocese is promoting in a Faith Essentials program a speaker who is OK promoting Eastern meditation methods like yoga with “mind-altering techniques that bring serious spiritual risks” as well as promoting reading material to his parishioners (on what Catholics believe) by an author who does not accept or respect the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. Why is that somehow OK?

        For the benefit of all Catholics or RCIA candidates attending these programs, to ensure participants get a presentation of the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church, BCI would hope that Bishop Kennedy and the Catholic Media group screen the speakers more effectively. Rather than address the symptom of the problem (a person posted a legitimate concern to the public chat, so the Boston Archdiocese removes the post), would it not be better to address the root causes instead (the archdiocese has an upcoming speaker who appears to be problematic, and there is no forum or vehicle through which faithful Catholics can address concerns like this)?

        “In the Know,” it appears that you were not troubled about point #3, since you suggested the concerned Catholic merely go back to the priest, which for most people is a non-starter because they have tried this already and failed. So, if you have an “in” and can get a response where others have failed, would you be so good as to re-approach the archdiocese to see if you can get an answer to how they are selecting and screening speakers? In addition, if faithful Catholics find this program is putting forward speakers with backgrounds that are concerning, through which forum should they raise their concerns such that they will get a response?

      • In The Know says:

        To DBP – We seemed to be typing at the same time.

        When BCI posted on this topic and specifically mentioned the editing of the comments (which I believe is as good thing for the reasons above), I decided to add my comments and what I learned from my call on Friday about the same topic.

    • JUST WONDERING says:

      “JUST WONDERING” is wondering, “In the know” just WHO “they at the PC” is/are?

      • JUST WONDERING says:

        IN THE KNOW, you still have not answered the question of who “WHO” is. JUST WONDERING why and I can’t help but think that there is/are no “WHO”!!!!!

  5. Anni says:

    “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! -Jesus (Matt 18:6)

    This is what comes to mind when I hear of pastors who refuse to preach the true faith and who lead their parishioners to read books that they know are in conflict with Catholic teaching. If people aren’t given the fundamentals of the Catholic faith they will be unable to handle the ideas professed by people like Ms. Chittister without questioning the basic tenets of the faith. You give a book like this to someone whose “Catholic” education consisted of 45 minutes of religious ed per week for six or seven years, taught by people who had no real foundation in Catholic belief, and you end up with compounded error upon error perpetuating in the Church. As St. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians, you have to feed people milk before they are ready for solid food. You can’t throw heavy duty dissenting “theology” at people who have never read the basics.

    A number of years ago, I was browsing in my local bookstore. Dan Brown’s “The DaVinci Code” was on the best seller list at the time. I overheard two women discussing it. One apparently had read it and the other had not. The woman who read it said “I learned so many things they never taught us about our religion”! I wanted to butt in, but they walked away.

    Writers like Joan Chittister poison the well. Unknowing people who read her book can be easily led astray by her ideas, especially when they can rationalize that “a religious sister wrote this book and a priest recommended it”.

    By the way, Joan Chittister’s PhD degree is in Communications. She is not a theologian. She’s a social scientist pushing a radical social agenda that is often at odds with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

  6. JUST WONDERING says:

    I’m “JUST WONDERING”: is there something wrong with the drinking water at Our Lady Help of Christian??? First we had
    Fr. Walter Cuenin and now we have Fr. John Sassani! Would someone please have that water check for contents and/or any impurity that attacks the intellect!!!

  7. Carolyn says:

    Never lump anyone’s name in the same sentence with Walter Cuenin’s, except perhaps Screwtape. That’s harsh, but one can at least credit both with being consistent.

    If your pastor has a practice that concerns you, ask yourself if your annoyance stems from your need to have everything done by your rules, or if the practice is one that truly is a departure from the rubrics or the norms. I knew a woman once who fumed over the priest giving the homily from the center aisle. Probably not a battle worth picking. But the priest sitting while only lay people distribute communion, or the people standing through the consecration, or the priest leaving out whole sections of the offertory prayer, or substituting his own Rod McEwen-ish* verse for the collect probably is worth mentioning. (*how’s that for carbon dating myself?)

    Do talk to him in a non-threatening way. Explain your appreciation for the beauty of the _______ (fill in the blank). Or your concern about the _________. Ask him to consider returning to the rubrics, norms or whatever guidance the Church has set down.

    If it doesn’t get better, ask if you and a small group of parishioners can sit down with him to talk this over. Tell him that you are willing to help with the change. You may see him move in your direction if the encounter is genuine.

    If he stonewalls you or otherwise indicates that he has no tolerance for your point of view, contact your vicar forane to explain your efforts, and ask for guidance.

    Having engaged in the above process myself, I found it effective and a great moment to learn. The priest, though distant at first, came around, and made some adjustments. We made a point of thanking him, and encouraging him. He later thanked us.

    I agree that the bishop should simply ask priests who are wandering from the norms to make course corrections. But I’m not sure this ordinary has the respect of any of the pastoral presbyterate, and I know his minions don’t. You can’t fix that sorry state of affairs, but you can try to support and fraternally guide your own pastor.

  8. K. C.Thomas says:

    Why some clergy works against the catholic Church in such objectionable ways is not clear. The silent bishop also can be held responsible. The dedicated believers should take up the matter, face to face with such priests. How some catholics ( so called) try to build coffin for the Church. they will not succeed.

  9. Marilyn says:

    “In the Know” and BCI, I’m just back from being away for the weekend and saw the questions for me. I’m sorry if my comment in the Monday night chat after the event was seen as “crashing” the chat.

    Please put my chat comment aside if that’s what’s got you in a stir. I’d like to know whether the Archdiocese of Boston thinks Catholics should be reading anything by Joan Chittister? If they think we shouldn’t be reading Joan Chittister, then I’d like to know how they communicate this to parishes and what they think of priests who encourage their parishioners to read books by Joan Chittister? Our Ladys bulletin notice says the book by Joan Chittister offers “challenging interpretations” of the Apostles Creed and “a provocative way of understanding understanding and expressing its tenets.” Yikes! I’d like to know why Catholics need challenging interpretations and a provocative way to understand the Creed, or should listen to a speaker who thinks Catholics need this goofiness.

    “In the Know,” I’d like to know if you and your contact at the Archdiocese think it’s better for a priest at an Archdiocese program to, like Anni said, throw dissenting “theology” at people who have never read the basics and cause “one of the little ones who believe in Jesus to sin,” or if it isn’t better for a Catholic like me to call out problems like this for what they are and prevent what Anni said–poisoning the well.

  10. In The Know says:

    Marilyn – In answer to your question, I think it’s a scandal that Chittister is on the reading list at a Catholic parish. I also think most of the stuff printed at the National Catholic Reporter where Chittister is regularly published is also a scandal. I would never recommend her or the paper to those in my RCIA program. I can’t speak for anyone at the Archdiocese, however most (I wish I could say all) of those in the faith formation and evangelization departments that I’ve dealt with over the last few years I think would agree with me on the fact that this is a scandal.

    • Marilyn says:

      In The Know,
      Thanks for answering my question. I’m very glad we agree on Joan Chittister. I’ve read her in the National Catholic “Distorter” and her writings are terrible! So, why’s the priest who lets her scandalous book be on the reading list in his parish speaking in an archdiocese run faith-formation program? Why doesn’t anyone in the Chancery think that’s a problem? By the way, Marilyn Lapresti is my real name–I chose to keep my maiden name. Whoever tells you that’s a pseudonym should stop making stuff up. Contact Fr. Bryan Parrish in the Vicar General’s office and ask him about the conversation we had in February 2012.

  11. BettyDraper says:

    There is a book that was released about 10 years ago, the title
    is Unprotected. At that time, the author was “anonymous.”
    Recently, in 2007 the book was re-released with a new cover, and,
    the author is revealed as Miriam Grossman.

    It is the cover (photograph) on both of these releases that is
    so powerful. Can this book be used to illustrate the stark choices
    young woman face in conjuntion with religious instruction?
    Every parent will understand the photograph on the cover
    of both the original, and re-released copy of this book.

    Unprotected by Miriam Grossman, M.D.

    A campus psychiatrist reveals how political correctness in her profession endagers every student.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/1595230459/ref=.rdr_ext_tmb.

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