Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Archbishop Lucas was justified to act quickly in "Intercessors" case


“There have been a lot of tears,” said the Rev. Mark Nolte, a Roman Catholic priest who belonged to the organization. “But at the same time, we know there's a bright future for us, and we're thankful to the archbishop for supporting us and being willing to walk with us.”

Fresh from Omaha.com is something very revealing: We get a glimpse into why the archbishop acted so fast.

It is an interview with three of the 48 people being cared for by the archdiocese at a retreat center after their community was suppressed. 

I'm sure that time will reveal even more about what transpired to prompt the archbishop to act so quickly following the resignation of Mother Nadine.  He was not only justified, it would have been cruel to leave the 48 in that situation given what was going on.

After reading what is below, I ask again, to please consider sending donations to the Archdiocese of Omaha to spread the load of caring for these people until they can get situated. Do not send to the Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc., which is no longer recognized by the Catholic Church, but to the address provided by the Archdiocese of Omaha here.

Here's an excerpt (emphasis mine in bold)

But on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 3 — two days after Brown's resignation was announced — people close to her began taking steps signaling that they would not comply with the archbishop, the three former Intercessors said.
A board member and a man she identified as her lawyer walked into a house the Intercessors owned on a neighboring street and announced that they were there for the association's assets, Neuhoff said. [keep in mind these people signed over their own assets when they joined!]
She said they took computers and files with financial and personal records from the house. Then people began carrying boxes out of the main house on the Intercessors campus, including in the middle of the night. That was confusing and frightening, the three said. [especially with personal information]
The three called police and archdiocesan officials [!] They were told that the civil corporation had the legal right to move its property.
The corporation changed the locks on the Intercessors' homes and asked for their car keys, Nolte said. It was becoming obvious, he said, that the faction close to Brown would not budge.
He said the situation became more tense in the two weeks that followed [!!!], culminating with Friday's suppression and the archbishop's offer of sanctuary at the retreat. [Some wondered, "why the rush to suppress" and "why wasn't there a 'cooling off' period" if the majority of the lay board of directors were not cooperating with the archbishop.  This explains it.... read on]
“We were all very happy to get on that bus,” [!]Nolte said. “This was not done with any malice or evil intent toward Mother Nadine. It was necessary for us to disassociate ourselves from her because of her lack of obedience to the church.” [non serviam]
Brown and other leaders could not be reached for comment Monday.
Levy said Monday: “It was a very chaotic time immediately after the archdiocese had Mother Nadine resign and took over the campus. The officers and employees of the corporation were doing what they thought was appropriate to do to protect the assets and property of the corporation.”
The Intercessors' civil corporation, he said, “was continuing to take care of the hermits and would have continued to do so.”
Levy declined to comment on specifics, saying he didn't think it productive to get into a back and forth.
Nolte said a board member told him the members would have to go elsewhere. That process is just beginning.
Nolte said he hopes that the group can create a new community with the same calling, and he said that Baxter and Lucas have agreed to examine whether that could be possible.
“We really don't know what the future holds,” Nolte said.
Source Former hermits put faith in future (Omaha.com) - This was a longer article and I only excerpted a portion of it, so I do recommend you follow the link if interested in this story.

But where they hermits in the true sense?
Also, there is a very good post, posed to a sister, who also happens to be a blogging, diocesan hermit.  She distinguishes between the canonical hermit state of life, and why these "hermits" as they were called, could not simply be admitted to this way of life automatically.  It's an interesting read about a state in life that few are aware of and I highly recommend you check it out....

Go read: Intercessors of the Lamb and Profession under Canon 603 by Sr. Laurel

10-19-2010; 10:00pm - Post was edited to include inline comments; and a few more relevant excerpts. 

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!
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Nick said...

Very enlightening! May God give to the Intercessors the virtue of holy obedience and docility to Mother Church.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church on Revelation

TNP said...

Kudos to the 48 who had sense enough to leave. My prayers are with them. I am curious, however, as to how long this was going on. (It would make for a good expose at some point.)

We've had issues with Intercessors in my diocese with crazy teachings. When our bishop at the time was made aware, he assigned a priest as director to help guide them. However, there was a "glitch" on their part, preventing them from meeting with him. Later, it was said that they get their direction directly from Omaha and had no need of local direction.

It remains to be seen how they will now justify that flawed logic in face of these facts. How does one suddenly dismiss what they've absorbed and what they themselves have promoted locally? How does one explain that this woman they held on a pedestal and who could do no wrong is now in error?

Apparently, they don't. Sadly, there has been no statement on the local level in that regard. Instead, they are scrambling to figure out how to continue meeting in their prayer group. The scary thing is that they still have no direction from anyone in our diocese and I fear that those errors will find a way to resurface, hidden in new and different terminology.

Our new bishop has been made aware and I can only hope that he will act soon as there are several people in my parish alone sucked into this movement.

nazareth priest said...

This is merely my opinion...and it could be absolutely "off-mark"..but the "time-line" of this "event" looks like canon law was very surely in place...there were 15 days between Nadine Brown's resignation and the suppression of the "Intercessors of the Lamb"...that is canonical; and what present reports indicate is that any warnings or requirements made known were rejected by those in authority or power;
there was no "surprise" here...the involved parties knew what was required and what would happen.
I am so sorry for the "formerly vowed members" that are now without a "homeland". Archbishop Lucas has truly been a spiritual father to them and is caring for them.
A great man, spiritual father and bishop!
There is more here...an untold story, so to speak.
And this is a "reckoning" for new communities...get your canonical aspects in line; live in the "heart of the Church"; be obedient to the legitimate authority, even if it means sacrifice, pain and difficulty.
The "way of the Cross" is the only way for new communities (and for us all, as followers of Christ).
No "megalomania", worship of the founder to extremes, nor disregard of the norms of Holy Mother Church can EVER bring good fruit....EVER!

nazareth priest said...

Further information:
Scary and making me wonder what else is going to come to light?

Charles said...

The BellwetherOmaha.org website is back. They will be releasing an official statement from the foundress soon.