Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Archbishop Vigneron doing some bishoping.... Advisory on American Catholic Council Meeting

Archbisop Allen H. Vigneron
Priests, deacons, and ecclesial lay ministers will want to avoid lending support to such a misguided effort. On behalf of the archdiocese, Archbishop Vigneron has asked the organizers to cancel their plans for this national gathering that distorts the true Spirit of Vatican II.

I knew he would do it!  Why?  Read on after the advisory...

Detroit's Shepherd raises his staff to warn the sheep about the American [not-so] Catholic Council's meeting coming up in June 2011.  This advisory comes out with more than enough time for the faithful to be informed.

This statement also comes out early enough to let any priests or bishops who are known to speak at conferences with these dissident groups, and who may have been invited to speak at this conferece, not to bother looking for sanction.  Read on...

The Archdiocese of Detroit has been contacted by concerned members of the faithful about a movement called the American Catholic Council. Self-described as "bringing together a network of individuals, organizations, and communities to consider the state and future of our Church," they have planned a national gathering in Detroit for the weekend of Pentecost 2011. The American Catholic Council movement and its national gathering are not conducted under the auspices of the Detroit archdiocese, the universal Roman Catholic Church, or any entity or organization affiliated with the archdiocese or the universal Roman Catholic Church.

Although their stated purpose is to "respond to the Spirit of Vatican II by summoning the Baptized together to demonstrate our re-commitment and the documents issued by the American Catholic Council offer some valid aspirations for the Church, in fact, the goals proposed are largely in opposition to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and the Holy Spirit, which inspired the Council.

The archdiocese wishes to commend and embrace all true efforts at Church renewal - the American Church Council's agenda is not such an effort. Some of the advertised speakers and groups organizing the effort espouse positions which are clearly contrary to Catholic faith, leading to alienation and estrangement from the Church. The Archdiocese of Detroit cautions any Catholic against participating in the American Catholic Council local listening sessions and national gathering in June 2011. Catholic parishes, schools, and institutions are not to host any meetings, gatherings, or "listening sessions" associated with the planning of the June 2011 American Catholic Council. Priests, deacons, and ecclesial lay ministers will want to avoid lending support to such a misguided effort. On behalf of the archdiocese, Archbishop Vigneron has asked the organizers to cancel their plans for this national gathering that distorts the true Spirit of Vatican II. He asks us all to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that we may embrace authentic development of faith and morals, and shun efforts which threaten unity.

Source: Archdiocese of Detroit website.

Just as an aside, the Saturday before Pentecost Sunday is when Detroit traditionally ordains it's priests. The ACC meeting is taking place on that day in June of 2011.

Oct 13 Edit: The Detroit Free Press has now published the story

The American Catholic Council is a group which is acting like it's own "magisterium".  They don't have the mind of the Church; they want the Church to mind them. Think of an umbrella, and under that umbrella is just about every dissident group in America!.  They want to turn the Catholic Church into a designer religion, where - like Burger King - you get to "have it your way".  The funny thing is that if you talk to any number of them, they don't even espouse all of the same "truths" about any one thing.  It hasn't occured to them that truth is not dynamic and moving, but static and fixed.

Extra reading....

Short answer: He did it in Oakland (at least, something similar, and with the same kind of group).

While Msgr. Vigneron was in Oakland he took on the Call to Action, head on, after they blindsided him by sending out surveys to the priests of the diocese asking them for their opinion on clerical celibacy (as Fr. Z so rightly points out, dissidents think that poll numbers count). In reality, should we give credence to Oprah's "truths" on matters of faith since so many follow her?  Archbishop Vigneron's reponse, when he found, out was to offer a little episcopal instruction.

Really... check it out: Archbishop Vigneron, Call to Action, and Priestly Celibacy

It is true that there has been silence from the pulpits over these past few decades on abortion, among other moral issues where people openly dissent - throughout many dioceses of the United States.  I prefer not to look back at what was not done, and instead focus on what is happening now.  His Excellency has led massive pro-life prayer vigils organized by the Helpers of God's Precious Infants of Michigan.  Just last month over 500 joined him in Livonia (see my photostory here).  In November of 2009, his first year at the helm, well over 1000 showed up for the 7:30am Saturday morning Mass, and an estimated 700 walked and prayed on the 8 Mile Blvd in front of two clinics, one on either side (photostory).

On October 3, 2010, he hit spoke out on embryonic stem cells: Archbishop Vigneron: Even in a petri dish, life merits protection.  You can hear an interview on the local secular station here, on this issue.

He has gently, but firmly, pressed forward, restoring time-tested devotions here in the Archdiocese of Detroit, chief among them, Eucharistic and Marian devotion.  He has encouraged devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and has led several Rosaries for various things, including one for the people of Haiti during that devastating earthquake. He has been encouragin priests to devote themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  From Archdiocese of Detroit website, this past June.

Also on June 11, priests of the archdiocese will gather to mark the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Friday afternoon event will include "a Eucharistic Holy Hour, during which we can renew the consecration of our priesthood," Archbishop Allen Vigneron said in a Feb. 12 letter to priests.
"I have in mind that we should consider working together for a renewal of our practice of devoting the First Fridays especially to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with a particular emphasis on joining together," he wrote.

I should note that vocations have gone up since he arrived

Most bishops hear from the faithful when they are upset about something, but how many will send a kind gesture of support and assurances of prayer?  It's obvious by the letter from the Archdiocese of Detroit, that letters of concern were received.  He looked into it.  He acted.

You might be thinking, "he is just doing what he is suppose to do".  Well, consider all that hate-mail he is probably about to receive as dissidents respond.  He's on the side of truth, so he can simply brush it off, but a few letters of support, Mass cards, and spiritual bouquets would probably be refreshing.  The AoD's website has changed, so consult someone on this page as to where to send your gesture of support.  You can also email the archdiocese at infodesk@aod.org.  While you are at it, consider asking him to write to his blog once or twice a month (see the link in my sidebar under his pic).

This is a good time to remind Catholics everywhere, especially in the Archdiocese of Detroit about Rosary for the Bishop.  Sign up, even if it is one Rosary per month.  Here is Archbishop Vigneron's page.

In all seriousness, please remember these Catholics at the center of this group in your prayers.  While some Catholics understanding the teachings and simply dismiss them because they are inconvenient, there are many more who are just uninformed and malformed.  Things like this meeting which will take place in 2011 serve only to mislead even more people.  God bless the Archbishop and the Archdiocese of Detroit for speaking with such clarity.

It's also a good time to mention that the Call to Holiness, which came into it's own right because of Call to Action, will be hosting a conference which is faithful to the Church at that same time. Donations are always welcome.  See details here.


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lizaanne said...

God bless him for his strong and direct message!

Nick said...

May God give our Bishops the strength to protect the faithful from every form of evil within and without the Body of Christ.

Rita said...

The authentic shepherds are coming forth, because the times call for it, thanks be to God, and sadly the times expose those silent ones who have been led astray. May our God bring those home, and soon.

Anonymous said...

Per the "Elephants" page, some will test whether or not there will be consequences to disobeying this Bishop next Monday. http://www.elephantsinthelivingroom.com/

2 Cents said...

For those who don't know, the "Elephants" are a local group of dissenting Catholics, priests included, whose average age is... well... gray.

I wonder if this was scheduled before or after the advisory? More than likely, the AoD has been in contact with them, or the parish hosting. Dioceses usually try to bring about resolution discretely, and when it fails, the public statements follow.

Here is what it says

​Elephants in the Living Room​
invite you to
A General Meeting of the Membership
A Listening Assembly
Our Lady of Fatima
13500 Oak Park Blvd.
Oak Park, MI
October 18, 2010
1:00 PM
The American Catholic Council is having a national conference in Detroit at Cobo Hall on June 10-12 2011 (Pentecost).  This will be based on the Call to Action Conference of 1976, led by Detroit’s Cardinal John Dearden.  The basis of the 1976 conference was listening sessions held in parishes across the U.S., which led to recommendations and resolutions that were approved in Detroit and were forwarded to the NCCB.
The Elephants are offering one of these listening sessions on October 18, at Our Lady of Fatima.  This will be an opportunity to share thoughts and to provide input that will be used at the Pentecost 2011 conference at Cobo Hall. Typical questions for discussion will be:
• What makes you happy about being Catholic?
• Why are you still Catholic?
• How does being Catholic help you in serving others?
• What concrete elements would make the Church more effective as a sign of Gospel values?
• What changes in church practices would you recommend?
• What disappoints you most about the Catholic Church?
• If you had an opportunity to speak to your bishop about your greatest hopes for the Church, what would you say?
In addition, we will hold elections for the offices of Vice-President, Treasurer and Facilitators.

2 Cents said...

Oh. And what a slap in the face to Our Lady of Fatima

Anonymous said...

Not to be picky...but it was not Msgr. Vigneron who took on Call to Action in Oakland, it was Bishop Vigneron. Archbishop Vigneron received his episcopal ordination in 1996 while in Detroit. He was installed as Bishop of Oakland in 2003 and was there until 2009, when he was installed as Archbishop of Detroit.

Anonymous said...

All bishop are considered "Monsignor", which means "my lord".

It is not uncommon to see bishops referred to as "Monsignor" in writings.

You can see a discussion if it here at Fr. Z's blog with a range of opinions.



Nick said...

"Oh. And what a slap in the face to Our Lady of Fatima"

Eh, it's a recurring tool of evil people and confused people to use good figures for evil gain. The Gnostics did it, Martin Luther did it, and now people like American Needs Fatima, Marian Movement of Priests, Intercessors of the Lamb, the Charismatics, Holy Love Ministries, and the Eternal Word Television Network do it.

The real problem is a lack of knowledge. Most people don't know that the Gnostics forged gospels, Luther rewrote the Bible, ANF is a front group for a schismatic organization, MMP is under a heretical priest, IOTL has no definitive charisma, the Charismatic employ Pentecostal methods of prayer, HLM is disobedient to the Church, and EWTN has been forging Angelica's support for the network for years (she left in the late 90s).

I wish more Bishops would share this information with others, it would really help Catholics steer clear of heresy and schism. But the best that I can do is pray.

Anonymous said...

The Church hosting this meeting hosts a women's ordination event every March, I don't expect them to cancel this meeting.

Anonymous said...

As a parishioner in the Oakland diocese, there was still an AWFUL lot of dissidence that was left that didn't get cleaned up, so I for one, am not a big fan of the good Archbishop. His time in Oakland was simply one of waiting for the archbishopric to become available. Dissidents abound here, both in the laity and the clergy. Gay priests (who think they are 'celibate' because they don't have sex w/ a woman) are a dime a dozen. Good and faithful priests are here, but they are very difficult to find and are usually shuffled off to the far corners of the diocese. Even with a new 'conservative' bishop, the stuff continues. God help us.

John Chuchman said...

Thanks, Allen, for helping to boost attendance!!

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Nick (and all),

Please, let's not open up rabbit holes with comments about other groups and people in this post, unrelated to this topic.

Further, I don't appreciate the lumping together of things that have been formally condemned with that have not been. I understand that there is room to disagree over certain things that we think may be good or bad for the Church, but this is not the place to debate those things. Further, when such debates happen, we need to remember what the catechism teaches about interpreting our neighbors actions in the best possible light.

With that, this part of the discussion is closed.

I'll accept further comments which are part of the original story.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

@ John Churchman:

Luke 10:16


Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

PLEASE: I at least permit people to use pseudonyms if they don't want to use their real name Please respect that.

It is very difficult to respond to any number of different people under the name "anonymous". Use the "Name/URL" option, and leave it blank.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Anonymous @Wed Oct 13, 04:39:00 PM:

Our dioceses did not get in the situation they are in overnight. They will not be fixed overnight.

I will respond to this in greater detail later. I regret that I do not have time for it at the moment.