Rorate Caeli

A Layman's Appeal to Scottish Catholics

All mention of the event mentioned here, "Teaching as Jesus Did: Handing on the Faith in the 21st Century", has been expunged from various websites that had previously announced it. However, it is unclear if the event itself has been cancelled, and given the gravity of the situation we are thus posting this article submitted to us by Mr. David Brower. CAP.

On Tuesday the 20th of April, Professor Thomas Groome, the ex-priest and noted dissenter from the Church's teaching on the male-only priesthood will lead a study day for priests, schoolteachers, and parish catechists in Glasgow, Scotland. The study day, organised by the Archdiocese of Glasgow and the Scottish Catholic Education Service, is entitled, "Teaching as Jesus Did: Handing on the Faith in the 21st Century". The purpose of the event is to instruct those who teach the faith in Professor Groome's "shared Christian praxis" methodology which the Australian schoolteacher and author of A Generation Betrayed: The Deconstruction of Catholic Education In the English-Speaking World, Eamonn Keane, has described as "encouraging teachers and students to sit in judgement on the Word of God", a method which "institutionalises pride and dissent".

A number of letters have been written in protest to Archbishop Conti of Glasgow, but no response, as yet, has been given to these protestors and the study day is going ahead. In the evening Professor Groome will then give a lecture in the Jesuit parish, St Aloysius, entitled, "What keeps us Catholic?"

In order to make my own protest known I have written to every parish priest in the Paisley, Glasgow, and Motherwell dioceses to appeal to them not to attend this study day on how to teach the Catholic faith to children which will be led by a man who openly rejects the Church's Magisterial teachings. Sadly, it seems, with the full support of the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

I have attached the aforementioned letter.

David Brower

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Dear Reverend Father,

I am writing to appeal to you not to attend or send any volunteers from your parish to the forthcoming study day held by Professor Thomas Groome on Tuesday the 20th of April 2010 in Glasgow. The study day, entitled "Teaching as Jesus Did: Handing on the Faith in the 21st Century", is being given to priests, primary and secondary school teachers, and parish catechists and is supported by the Archdiocese of Glasgow and the Scottish Catholic Education Service. Professor Groome, a laicised priest and professor of religious education and theology at Boston College, has made no secret of his dissent from the teachings of the Catholic Church, including her infallible teachings.

Professor Groome’s approach to the Catholic faith is founded on what can be described as a "hermeneutic of suspicion". That is, he views the content of the Catholic faith as little more than the subjective, evolutionary product of the ‘faith experience’ of previous generations which cannot, therefore, be trusted as containing divinely-revealed truth. Indeed, in his book Educating for Life (p. 142) he states that "a ‘critical consciousness’ seems theologically appropriate to Catholic tradition, given how much untruth is in every statement of faith".

Furthermore, it is in particular from the Church’s teaching on the male-only ministerial priesthood that Professor Groome has demonstrated his most vehement dissent, despite the fact that this teaching was declared by the late Holy Father, John Paul II, in Ordinario Sacerdotalis (1994) to be infallible and to be believed de fide tenenda, that is, to be "held definitively" as inseparable from the deposit of faith.

The Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio Fide (1998), commenting on this category of teaching, declared that,

Every believer is required to give firm and definitive assent to this category of truth, based on faith in the Holy Spirit’s assistance to the Church’s Magisterium, and on the Catholic doctrine of the infallibility of the Magisterium in these matters.

Further, referring to Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, the Doctrinal Commentary explained that,

The Supreme Pontiff, while not wishing to proceed to a dogmatic definition, intended to reaffirm that this doctrine is to be held definitively, since, founded on the written Word of God, constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal magisterium.

The Doctrinal Commentary goes on to affirm that those who reject such an infallible truth (that is, one to be "held definitively") are "in a position of rejecting a truth of Catholic doctrine and would therefore no longer be in full communion with the Catholic Church".

In Sharing Faith (1991), Professor Groome asserts that "the exclusion of women from ordained ministry is the result of a patriarchal mind-set and culture and is not of Christian faith" (p. 328). But even after the late Holy Father defined the restriction of the ministerial priesthood to men as infallible in 1994 Professor Groome declared in Language for a Catholic Church (1995) that "the continued exclusion of women from ordained ministry in the Catholic Church is seen by fair-minded scholars as without theological or biblical warrant" (p. 31). Groome has repeatedly rejected this infallible teaching of the Church, which is to be "held definitively", in books and in seminars and, thus, he is not in full communion with the Catholic Church.

Furthermore, by rejecting this infallible teaching, Professor Groome cannot be regarded as a "Catholic in good standing" according to the definition in Canon Law (§205) which describes such a Catholic as "joined with Christ in its visible structure by the bonds of the profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical governance" [my emphasis].

The question, thus, arises: why has a person who is not in full communion with the Catholic Church and, therefore, not a Catholic of good standing been invited by the Archdiocese of Glasgow and the Scottish Catholic Education Service to teach priests, teachers, and catechists how to "hand on the faith in the 21st Century"?

The Australian author and schoolteacher Eamonn Keane, who has written about the effect that Professor Groome’s methodology - which Groome calls "shared Christian praxis" - has had on Catholic education, relates that,

In Sharing Faith, Groome tells of how he used the shared Christian praxis process in a parish-based program to lead elderly members of the parish away from a position of support for the Church’s teaching on the non-ordination of women to a position of opposition to it. This is a clear example of how the application of shared Christian praxis "according to the mind of Groome" corrupts the teacher of religion insofar as it invites him to be unfaithful to the deposit of faith as it has been transmitted by the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. By thus encouraging teachers and students to sit in judgement on the Word of God, shared Christian praxis institutionalises pride and dissent. (Crisis in Religious Education)

Earlier, I mentioned the Doctrinal Commentary which accompanied the late Holy Father’s 1998 Apostolic Letter Ad Tuendam Fidem, which was issued "to protect the faith of the Catholic Church" against errors arising "especially from among those dedicated to the various disciplines of sacred theology". It was this same Apostolic Letter that Professor Groome described as "a pretentious attempt by the present Pope [i.e. John Paul II] to stifle conversation and dialogue" adding "I read the blessed thing and without being too melodramatic, I was on the verge of tears. It is a very sad day".

If we wish to imagine what effect Professor Groome’s teaching methods will have on the faith in Scotland we need only look to Australia where Groome’s books have been used in Catholic education in many dioceses since the early 1990’s. The effects have been devastating. In 1999, Professor Dennis McLaughlin of the Australian Catholic University released results of a survey he had conducted of the beliefs, values, and practices of student teachers at the ACU. Administered to 647 first and final year student teachers at campuses in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, McLaughlin’s most significant findings were:

· only 50 percent of students understood God as the Blessed Trinity;
· only one-third of students believed that the bread and wine is changed into the
Body and Blood of Christ in the Mass;
· 62 percent believed that the Church should ordain women;
· 2 percent said they accepted the Church’s teaching on contraception and divorce;
· 10 percent accepted the Church’s teaching on pre-marital sex;
· 14 percent said they accepted the Church’s teaching on abortion.

Here it needs to be clearly stated that, even if Professor Groome’s study day were not taking place, the faith amongst Catholic schoolchildren in Glasgow is already in a deepening state of crisis. In fact, I must add here my own personal experience of this situation. Having spent two years in a Glasgow parish assisting with the Sacramental preparation of Catholic schoolchildren it became quite clear to me that the children had little or no understanding of Jesus as God (they had been told that he was a "special person" - but nothing more) or of Jesus as being truly present in the Holy Eucharist (they had been told that the Eucharist is "special bread" - but, again, nothing more). I did what I could to rectify this in the short time available, but against the consistently misleading catechesis of the Alive-O series it was difficult for these truths of the orthodox Catholic faith to make a lasting impression on them.

Indeed, it should not come as a surprise that the works of Professor Groome have been on the syllabus at St Andrew’s College in Glasgow, which trains the majority of Catholic Religious Education teachers for Scotland, for many years.

If the situation of Religious Education in the Archdiocese of Glasgow were not already bad enough, what can we expect, then, when the "shared Christian praxis" of Professor Groome becomes the standard catechetical methodology in our Catholic schools and our parishes? In this regard Eamonn Keane asks,

What are the implications of this for parents whose children are to be taught the Catholic faith according "to the mind of Groome"? It means that their children are to be taught to distrust the word of God as it is mediated by the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. (Crisis in Religious Education)
In short, we are looking at the probable and definitive collapse of the Catholic faith in those dioceses where Professor Groome’s "shared Christian praxis" is implemented and where young Catholics are manipulated into rejecting the faith which is, in fact, their rightful spiritual patrimony. Already we have been seeing fewer and fewer people between the ages of 15 and 45 in the church pews. Most Catholic schoolchildren are lapsing from the practice of their faith as soon as they leave school. Indeed, it is questionable whether, as a result of the extremely poor religious education that children from Catholic families receive at school, they ever really had the faith.

But does that really matter?

Yes, it does, because - quite simply - without faith we remain strangers to the hope of salvation. As St Paul writes, "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Heb 11:6). The faith in question is not merely a ‘fiducial’ faith based on a feeling of trust but, rather, the obedience of faith given by the believer to what God has revealed and what His Church proposes to our belief as having been divinely revealed. It is the supernatural virtue whereby the intellect and will, moved by the grace of God, is able to give assent to divinely revealed truth.

As we have seen, Professor Groome encourages the rejection of at least one infallible teaching of the Church and, through his "shared Christian praxis", encourages Catholics to distrust the authority of the Church in revealing God’s word in toto. Concerning this St Thomas Aquinas states that,

To reject but one article of faith taught by the Church is enough to destroy faith, as one mortal sin is enough to destroy charity; for the virtue of faith does not consist in merely adhering to the Holy Scriptures, and in revering them as the word of God; it consists principally in submitting our intellect and will to the divine authority of the true Church charged by Jesus Christ to expound them…He, therefore, who despises and rejects this authority cannot have true faith. If he admits some supernatural truths, they are but simple opinions, as he makes [these truths] depend on his private judgement. (De Fide, q.v., art 3)

So, again, the question arises: why has Professor Thomas Groome been invited by the Archdiocese of Glasgow and the Scottish Catholic Education Service to train priests, teachers, and parish catechists in how to teach the Catholic faith, when he does not, in any real sense, share that faith? By encouraging people of all ages - from children to the elderly - to reject the teaching authority of the Church founded by Jesus Christ, Professor Groome tempts them to sin against the virtue of faith, thereby undermining the very foundation of their salvation.

I am mindful of my position as a layman in appealing to you, a priest, to boycott the planned study day on Tuesday the 20th of April 2010 and I hope that you do not deem this appeal as, in any way, disrespectful of the sacred office that you hold. I am aware that there is some concern amongst priests of the Archdiocese of Glasgow that Professor Groome has been invited to run this study day but that, owing to their position, it would be difficult for them to speak out against dissent from the teachings of the Church when it appears to be supported by the hierarchy of their own diocese. Laymen, whilst occupying a humbler place in the Church, possess the liberty to voice their protest when priests, mindful of the consequences, may deem it prudent to remain silent.

Neither should this appeal be understood as displaying any disrespect towards the sacred office of the Archbishop in that I am appealing to you directly by letter. I am aware that a number of people have already written to the Archbishop to voice their concern about the planned study day but that the Archbishop has chosen not to cancel this event. I have no grounds, therefore, to believe that a letter from me would have any more success in changing the Archbishop’s mind when other letters have already failed.

Whilst respecting the Apostolic office of the Archbishop and professing my filial obedience to that office, I reserve the right - which is the right of every Catholic - to criticise what I see, in this instance, as Archbishop Conti’s apparent abandonment of the principle task of a bishop: to feed and guard the flock entrusted to him by God. By "feeding" I mean teaching the orthodox Catholic faith without dilution, compromise, or ambiguity. By "guarding the flock" I mean protecting the Catholic faithful from those whom Holy Scripture calls "wolves" who tear the sheep from the flock by tempting them to the loss of their faith and to the loss, thereby, of their immortal souls. Rather than welcoming a man who encourages Catholics to reject the teaching authority of the Church, our Archbishop, as a shepherd of the Lord’s flock, should refuse Professor Groome the opportunity to destroy the Catholic faith in our Archdiocese.

Finally, I should like to explain my own motives in making this appeal to you. My wife and I are expecting our first child at the end of August. I am writing this to you in case our children ask me, decades from now, why I didn’t do anything to help prevent the final loss of the faith in Scotland when it might still have been prevented.

I appeal to you not to attend the study day run by Professor Thomas Groome and to encourage anyone else you know who is planning to attend not to go.

Yours Sincerely,

David Brower


Anthony Bidgood said...

Dear rorate-caeli,

Mr Brower is to be congratulated on his letter and you are to be congratulated on bringing this issue to a wider audience.

In Christo,
Anthony Bidgood

Anonymous said...

And here in the states we have the so-called "religious education' conference put on in California with the full promotion and blessing of all the dissenting things that happen by the cardinal himself.

Anonymous said...

He was invited to speak to an almost empty room. There is almost no one left to listen in Scotland since the majority have abandoned the Faith. Once a great Catholic country the religious Catholic life in Scotland has been reduced to ashes by men like this. They have so confused the laity and in open opposition to Church teaching for decades have left us confused, bewildered, and in total distruct of Rome. This is not part of what it is to be Catholic.

David said...

I have just found out that after intervention by the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith the links were pulled from the Scottish Bishop's BeingCatholic website that had previously advertised Professor Groome's study day. However, it appears that the study is going ahead despite this intervention.

Archbishop Conti has sent an Ad Clerum to all Glasgow clergy dated the 16th of April saying that he knew nothing about Professor Groome being invited until the study day was advertised. He says that, yes, Professor Groome does oppose the Church's teaching on the male-only priesthood, however, he will still be giving the study day because he is excellent at what he (Groome) does and that priests should welcome Professor Groome as a "member of the household of the faith".

Please pray for us here in Glasgow!

Thomas John said...

"I am aware that there is some concern amongst priests of the Archdiocese of Glasgow that Professor Groome has been invited to run this study day but that, owing to their position, it would be difficult for them to speak out against dissent from the teachings of the Church when it appears to be supported by the hierarchy of their own diocese. Laymen, whilst occupying a humbler place in the Church, possess the liberty to voice their protest when priests, mindful of the consequences, may deem it prudent to remain silent."

Owing to their position?

Difficult it may be, brave even, but their "position" as priests is hardly an acceptable artifice of justification for priestly silence. To the contrary, the annointed role of priest imposes on them an unyielding requirement to publicly dissent from such a presentation of Groome's errors.

I wonder if Our Lord 'deems it prudent to remain silent'?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Groome is not in "full communion" with the Church for the simple reason that Mr Groome is not in communion with the Church. Yet again, communion is an absolute, like pregnancy and death. Therefore, there is no such thing as 'partial communion'. Communion is unity in faith, morals, and discipline. It presupposes submission to apostolic authority. It is that authority, as vested in the popes, that reveals its own bounds, that demarcates itself. Submit to this or not; be in communion or do not be.

Mr. Groome is only an enabler. Had he not been born, someone else would have taken his place in a flash. The real problem here is not the presence of heretics. We shall always have them. The real problem is that many prelates are themselves not in communion with the Church. Without their co-operation, miscreants such as Groome would not have access to field over which to run their manure-spreaders of ideas.

I am shocked at Archbishop Conti's misbehaviour in this matter. He is already 76 years old and was regarded as a 'conservative' prelate. So he has nothing to lose should he decide to withdraw support from this freak show. For years, children have been misled by enemies of the faith. But who let the wolf in the door?


wsxyz said...

Cancellation of visit of Professor Thomas Groome (18/04/2010)

Prof. Groome, who is based in Boston, USA, is unfortunatley unable to travel because of the current flight restrictions. The day conference and evening lecture scheduled for Tuesday 20th April have therefore been cancelled.
It is possible that Prof. Groome will be able to deliver the conference and lecture later this year.

I apologise for the inconvenience and disappointment this may cause you.

JE Stoer
Head Master

Anonymous said...

I wondered why God grounded all those aeroplanes.

Dear Headmaster:

I think that you need to change your "unfortunately" to fortunately. Otherwise, your letter is very cheering.

Please invite Mr. Groome to revert to the Catholic Faith. At the moment, he's less Catholic than Mohammad Mullah Omar, leader of the Taliban.

As for Archbishop Conti, I can only thank him for having been gracious enough to have passed his 76th birthday. Tick tock, tick tock.


Anonymous said...

Well At least the Sacred Heart of jesus intervened with a full blown Volcanic Eruption, to keep this heretic out of Scotland!

I hope the Archbishop reads the signs: that volcano is a portent of the fierce damnation that awaits high clerics like himself who promote the destruction of their flocks!

James Card said...

Hmm, didn't know Groome was still around.

His book WHAT MAKES US CATHOLIC was our textbook for my RCIA class 5 years ago. You can imagine the contents---anything but Catholic!

David said...

He is already 76 years old and was regarded as a 'conservative' prelate.

He has never been regarded as a conservative prelate here in Scotland, except by the most extreme liberals. He has championed the heretical catechetical series Alive O! which, instead of teaching children to pray to Jesus (only 3% of prayers in the entire series address our Lord), teaches them to meditate with plasticine creatures called "Little Beings" in their hands and 'listen' to what the Little Beings 'have to say to them'.

Combined with that, His Grace opposes any liberalisation of the traditional Latin Mass in his Archdiocese and after the Motu Proprio sent an Ad Clerum telling priests not start celebrating the TLM.

LeonG said...

".....reduced to ashes by men like this..."

And rogue liberal modernist Dominicans & their supporters who promoted homosexual rights in the 1960s and 1970s.

umblepie said...

Congratulations to Mr Brower - would that our clergy lift their heads above the barrier and speak out against such scandals. I have just read in the later comments that the meeting has been cancelled because the volcanic ash from Iceland has prevented the speaker from attending. Divine Providence works in mysterious ways, Deo Gratias! I suggest that as many as possible contact Archbishop Conti to ensure that he does not extend a further invitation to this man to speak at a later date.

Eilis said...

Thomas Groome was the keynote speaker at a regional religious education conference in Eastern Canada in 2003. A priest alerted the bishop, who should have known about him if he didn't, to the man's reputation and views, and was rebuffed with the remark "he's not so bad."

Londiniensis said...

Mr Brower suffers from a common condition of many self-appointed guardians of orthodoxy - verbal diarrhoea. If he had actually wanted anyone other than the like-minded to read his letter, he would have articulated only a few of the strongest egregious issues, desisted from attacking the Glasgow archdiocese, and made the whole thing fit on one side of A4.

Unfortunately too many good people want to write essays showing off their autodidact theological knowledge, including all and every detail, and not letters that actually get read, noticed and, hopefully, acted upon.

I despair, not only of bishops who tolerate dissenting "catechists" but also of those very laymen who could actually be making a difference.

Kellen said...

Well said, Londiniensis. This like-minded person didn't bother reading the letter after noting its length - I can't imagine what an archbishop's reaction would be.

Seraphic Spouse said...

I've personally witnessed this professor try to verbally strong-arm graduate students in theology into agreeing with him that the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston should disagree and disobey the Vatican on the subject of Boston's Catholic adoption agencies and same-sex "partners". It was unethical and unpleasant. It could have sowed discord among students, and it certainly smoked out at least one, close-to-tears, orthodox "troublemaker".

Kate said...

I see Prof. Groome has already this year,been to the Diocese of Plymouth where he was billed thus:

"Professor Groome is an internationally renowned speaker and author now based at Boston College, USA where he serves as Director of the Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry. He is Professor of Theology and Religious Education. Originally from County Kildare, his initial studies were at St Patrick's in Carlow before he pursued his postgraduate studies and research in the States. His books include Christian Religious Education, widely regarded as the most important and influential work on the subject, and Sharing Faith, a foundational work on Christian ministry.

Tom Groome is a gifted story teller and teacher and his talk in Exeter is designed for the laity rather than professional or clerical audiences. All are very welcome and invited to join in an evening of stimulating conversation.

DM Reed said...

While I applaud Mr. Brower and Rorate Caeli for bringing this issue to a wider audience, my question is this:
At what point does such scandalous activity that is promoted by Church officials reach the 'scandal' threshhold to getting posted on Rorate? The reason I ask is simple: this sort of heterodox event is quite common in most dioceses in the English speaking world, and probably the whole world for that matter. I'm from the states, and this sort of scandal wouldn't make it on many well established Catholic blogs, not because it isn't scandalous (which it is very scandalous) but because it is so common. There are dozens of other scandalous controversies raging right now, yet no mention on Rorate. I know you have finite resources and can't post every scandal, but what is the criteria used to determine when a scandal gets posted to your blog? I'm not trying to cause trouble as I really enjoy the blog, just curious...

David Brower said...

Mr Brower suffers from a common condition of many self-appointed guardians of orthodoxy - verbal diarrhoea

The purpose of this letter was an appeal to priests and I felt I needed to explain in detail in what way Professor Groome cannot be regarded as in full communion with the Church and why he is not suitable to teach teachers and catechists. I was not intending it to be short and punchy. I did not write the letter in order to 'show off' but to make a convincing argument against allowing Professor Groome instruct catechists and teachers in his methods and for that I needed to go into some detail. Sorry, if it bored you, Old Bean!

I have had replies from a number of priests that suggests that, for them at least, the argument was convincing.

If I have become - unwillingly - a "self-appointed guardian of orthodoxy", as you scornfully suggest, it was because the Archbishop, who should be the guardian of orthodoxy in his diocese, abdicated this responsibility and welcomed a noted dissenter from the infallible teachings of the Church. I was not attacking the Archdiocese of Glasgow for the sake of being controversial but criticising the Archbishop for a grave failure of judgement in the teaching of the faith.

The priests of the Archdiocese made no protest that I was aware of. It was down to laypeople, in the final instance, to do something about this scandal.

Do you think that Professor Groome should have been allowed to go ahead with his study day? If so, then you must think heresy is a mere trifle without influence on the salvation or damnation of souls.

How easy it is to criticise when someone actually tries to defend the faith - which by my baptism I am entitled to do.

Mike said...

I can’t imagine what the point of Londiniensis and Kellen is. Are they for Groome or against Groome? If they are for Groome then perhaps they can provide some reasons why his visit would have been of any benefit. If they are against Groome then would they mind telling us what they did to prevent his visit rather than making carping criticisms against somebody who actually did do something. It would be better, both of you, to tell us what you did rather than stand on the by-line and simply criticise somebody else.
Well done to Mr Brower. Thank goodness I can go to Mass at St Aloysius tomorrow (April 20th) and not feel that the place was about to be desecrated with the pernicious views of this undesirable man. I just hope that nobody attempts to re-invite him once the skies are free of the volcanic dust.

Anonymous said...

Exactly what I thought, Londiniensis. When I saw this, the internet slang acronym "TLDR" popped into my head.

Odysseus said...

Gads, I was a Catholic School teacher a few years ago and we had to watch a video of this guy at the diocese. It was a "pleasantly toned" little spiel on all the cute little trappings of Catholic life and, also, by the way, how he had learned to "grow beyond" the simplicity of childhood belief.

The pantsuited laywoman and nun who directed our discussion just loved it!

Rick DeLano said...

Dear God:

Please send us more men like David Brower, and less men like Londoniensis.


Also, may it please Thee, once we have turned again, to send us Catholic bishops.

Anonymous said...

"I wondered why God grounded all those aeroplanes."
"the Sacred Heart of jesus intervened with a full blown Volcanic Eruption, to keep this heretic out"

Were these supposed to be jokes? If so, it's tacky humor and these are very bad jokes.

Paul Haley said...

May I suggest that we consider the problem as it really is rather than attacking the messenger. If the hierarchy won't act, it's up to us to strike a nerve and that is what I believe Mr. Brower had in mind. For too long we lay people have been sitting on our hands watching unbelievable excesses masquerading as our religion. IMHO Mr. Brower is to be commended not criticized.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brower:

Thank you! You are in my prayers...


Where's the Charity?


Anonymous said...

Well it is an ill wind that doesn't blow some good.

Groome is the pits.

Anonymous said...

fate atenzione, le nuove vetrate di una parrocchia a Modena raffigurano a Mons Lefebvre!!!

Anonymous said...

Very quiet here lately. Does anyone know if the Holy Father wore the Easter mozzetta this year?

Anonymous said...

To change the subject, bloggers who are American (and even some of us who are not) will have noticed that H.H. appointed two diocesans today for the U.S.A. One was in Springfield (the Springfield in Illinois). He also appointed Bishop Wenski of Orlando to replace Archbishop Favarola of Miami. What is interesting is that Favarola is eight months shy of his 75th birthday, and neither prelate is even hinting at why he is exiting early. Normally, when a bishop resigns before turning 75, he tells the public the reason, and this reason is normally poor health.

A little rooting aruond on the net finds us this:

It would seem that Favarola might be resigning to avoid implication in a scandal, or even two scandals, both involving sexual inverts who were predator priests. Meanwhile, no sooner had the Holy Father appointed Wenski when a man in Orlando accused the future Archbishop of causing undue delays in the prosecution of another priest-predator, this one, of course, in Orlando.

I am suspicious about the accusation against Wenski. It is all too timely. And the fact that Favaraloa is being pursued does not mean that he is guilty of covering up anything. It may be that, at his age, he just does not want to end his episcopate mired in this sort of controversy.

The point is that these problems are cropping up daily now. It is becoming overwhelming. Pray for Pope Benedict XVI. Pray for the Holy Father. He is having to suffer much. Pray also for the legitimate victims of these vile acts. Justice must be done.


MJC said...

"How easy it is to criticise when someone actually tries to defend the faith - which by my baptism I am entitled to do" - David Brower

I would say rather that by our baptism are we bound to defend the faith. How few of us actually manage this - and how much should we fear to be one day spat out as the lukewarm souls we are. How easy it is to snipe away on message boards, preaching to the converted. How difficult to enter the fray itself, and as a layman.

To Mr Brower, my highest esteem. It is on the shoulders of this sort of Catholic that the church will be rebuilt, while the weak of mind and spine patter about the edges. Keep it up. An eminently well reasoned and articulated argument, which has, I gather from your response, clearly produced good fruit. My hat's off to you. Mòran taing.

Anonymous said...

Kudos, Mr. Bower, you are a true blue Catholic!

To those who criticise you, they evidently have no appreciation for the force of a complete, well argued theological letter.

Shame on them: it shows their lack of education.

To call your letter run-on is merely the half-witting, effeminatry of the liberal who does not want to be outed by a more direct remark.

Anonymous said...

For those of us in Scotland who are Catholic and genuinely love the faith, knows only too well that anyone trying to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church today will have you labelled as a traditionalist maniac. And in my experience, the one’s doing the labelling is other supposed Catholics.

The likes of professor Groome coming to our country and spreading his manure can only make matters worse. So hats off to Mr Brower.

Ps, are there any groups of “solid” Catholics in Scotland who do stand up for the teachings of the Church? Both my wife and I are sick and tired of attending groups/parish bible studies etc, only to end up in heated debates because we believe in what the Church teaches on such things as contraception, abortion etc. Sometimes we feel like we are completely alienated from the rest of the flock just because we want to be Catholic to the best of our abilities.

David said...

Ps, are there any groups of “solid” Catholics in Scotland who do stand up for the teachings of the Church?

Have a look at the Holy Family Apostolate ( They are an association of laypeople who, to my mind, are working the hardest in Scotland to preserve what is left of the faith in our country. They organised the protest against the blasphemous play "Jesus, Queen of Heaven" although they, sadly, received no support from the Catholic hierarchy in Scotland.

Anonymous said...

Controversial cardinal replaced for Washington Mass

Ita said...

David said: PS, are there any groups of “solid” Catholics in Scotland who do stand up for the teachings of the Church?

The one group of lay Catholics who have been standing up for the teachings of the Church for several years now in Scotland and are not afraid to speak out to expose dissent among the bishops and priests, is Catholic Truth (Scotland).

They are the people who have not been afraid to be unpopular in defending the faith at every turn, even against bishops and priests As well as producing a regular newsletter with reports about things you just don't read anywhere else, they do things like leafleting (and were about to leaflet the Groome Lecture before it was cancelled).

I've been reading their very educational blog for ages now and started to comment on it recently - it is well worth visiting the Catholic Truth website so I have posted the URL here.

PeterM said...

David is to be congratulated for his excellent letter. However, there's only so much influence an individual can have, whereas organised groups of lay people, fired with apostolic zeal can achieve much, much more.

I'm very surprised, if not a little disappointed, that David did not mention Catholic Truth when asked about solid Catholic groups in Scotland. This is puzzling to say the least.

Catholic Truth has been "keeping the Faith" and "telling the truth" for over ten years now. Really, it is the only solid Catholic group in Scotland. All others are willing to compromise.

For young, Catholic parents who want to properly educate themselves and their children, mix with like-minded Catholics and work to restore the Catholic Faith in Scotland (and beyond) there is only one organisation - Catholic Truth.

Rory said...

David Brower has raised many critical questions in regard to the responsibilities of Catholic bishops and those who run Catholic schools and educational services.

One of the primary roles of a bishop is to ensure that those young Catholics in Catholic schools are taught the doctrines of the faith in their integrity. In this regard, the first quality required of a Catholic educator is that he or she be a living witness to all that the Church teaches. They must show through their words and actions that they have embraced with love the teaching of the magisterium. As against this, anyone who dissents from the teaching of the Church is not suitable for teaching the Catholic doctrine in Catholic educational environments. This is true no matter how good such a person is in general pedagogical technique.

If a public dissenter is presented to Catholic teachers as a model Catholic educator, then those responsible(e.g bishops, Jesuit authorities at St Aloysius College in Glascow, Scottish Catholic Education Service etc)are complicit in the scandal he gives.

In regard to Thomas Groome, who publicly contradicts some definitive teachings of the magisterium, those responsible for inviting him to address Catholic audiences in Scotland are cooperating in the scandal caused by his public dissent from the Church's doctrine. Have those who invited him to Scotland, or who failed to use their authority to prevent him speaking at Catholic venues, done anything to draw the attention of his likely audiences to the ridicule and contradiction of of Catholic life and doctrine that punctuates his books and published interviews?

Of late there has been much talk about the scandal of clerical sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and the failure of some bishops to protect innocent children from known abusers. Well, there is another scandal going on in the Catholic Church for decades now. It involves the spiritual damage to young people occasioned by the failure of Catholic education authorities to act to keep dissenters away from Catholic children and their teachers. Through their neglect of duty, such Catholic educational authorities betrayed the children placed in their care.

Yours sincerely,
Rory McGeechen

Crux Fidelis said...

Is it any wonder there are so few candidates for the priesthood when children are not taught the rudiments of their faith?

As for Catholic Truth (Scotland) - have they anything good to say about any priest or bishop? They give them stick for just about everything - including attending football matches!

Mike said...

The worst aspect of Thomas Groome's theology is his attacks on Catholic doctrine regarding the ordained priesthood. It is both sad and ironic that Catholic education services in Scotland should offer him a public platform in this the 'Year of the Priest'. If the Principal of St.Aloysius' College insists on inviting him as a speaker, conscientious Catholic parents should call for the Principal to be his sack.

Mike Trayers