Thursday, December 07, 2006

Vatican Backs Up Excommunication of Dissidents

From Catholic World News (Subscription required):
The Vatican has confirmed an American bishop’s decision to excommunicate members of the dissident group Call to Action.

Call to Action is “causing damage to the Church of Christ,” wrote Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, in a letter to Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska.

In March 1996, Bishop Bruskewitz had announced the excommunication of all Catholics in his diocese who were members of Call to Action or several other dissident groups which he described as “totally incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

The Nebraska chapter of Call to Action appealed the bishop’s decision to the Vatican. In his November 24 letter to Bishop Bruskewitz, Cardinal Re reports that Vatican’s finding that the disciplinary action was “properly taken.”

The Vatican has determined that “the activities of ‘Call to Action’ in the course of these years are in contrast with the Catholic Faith due to views and positions held which are unacceptable from a doctrinal and disciplinary standpoint,” Cardinal Re writes. He concludes: “Thus to be a member of this Association or to support it, is irreconcilable with a coherent living of the Catholic Faith.”

The excommunication that Bishop Bruskewitz announced covered not only to Call to Action, but also to members of Catholics for a Free Choice, Planned Parenthood, the Hemlock Society, the Freemasons, and the Society of St. Pius X.

The excommunication order applies only within the Lincoln, Nebraska diocese. But the Vatican’s judgment against Call to Action raises clear questions about the status of the group’s members in other dioceses.

Wow! Bishops with backbones! Three cheers for the Vatican and for Bp. Bruskewitz!

Call to Action supports women’s ordination, elimination of the Latin Rite requirement for priestly celibacy, normalization of homosexuality among the clergy and the Church as a whole, the “unsinning” of contraception and (I believe) abortion, and embraces all the usual semi-coherent leftist spirituality of goddesses, crystals, and the far left wing of the Democrat party. (See here.)

In their own words, their spirituality revolves around the notion that "We're beginning to realize now that the self is an expression of this deeper Earth self, and the even deeper Universe self - that there are no separations. The whole is my whole self. Psychically, the sense of unity - true unity - with the inner dimension of the universe then becomes an incredibly beautiful and enticing mystery to enter into. And in terms of our emotional life, the feelings of communion, union with the whole, or oneness are no longer just the idealistic notions of poetic insight. They are empirically founded, because we know that in our very genes we are connected to the whole."

“Since 1991, every National Conference has offered a variety of spirituality, ritual and prayer sessions, from Taize to body prayer, from Celtic poetry and African drums to Buddhist meditation.” A cynic like myself might suggest that the next time they try saying Mass.

I have often wondered why people like this, in the USA at least, don’t just join the Episcopal Church or the Presbyterian Church, USA. Those bodies have largely embraced all the things they claim to want. I guess I’m just a little slow, because the obvious answer just dawned on me. If they became Episcopalian, they wouldn’t be dissenters anymore; they’d just be part of the crowd I don’t know why it took me so long to understand, because I have known plenty of people like that, mostly of my generation, for whom being part of “The Movement” back in the 60’s was the high point of their entire lives. Their entire persona is invested in standing in opposition to “the man.” The worst thing that could ever happen to them is to be successful.

Call to Action seems to be largely composed of people whose pony tails are going gray. They refer to “the next generation” as people from 18 to 42. In the old days, they would have gone to the stake; our kinder, gentler age just waits for them to die off.