Saturday, October 30, 2010

Breaking: Archbp Lucas; former "Intercessors" address "lay companions"

Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha, Nebraska
- Diocesan Homepage -


There is a significant development in the "Intercessors case" that I think is worth noting and talking about.  I am hoping to hear reactions to what was released today from former lay companions, and others who were deeply involved with the suppressed association.  See my note below about commenting. Others are welcome to join in, but I am calling upon everyone to be mindful of the dignity of the many who are probably very hurt and confused by all that has transpired.  It will help give context to one's comment, if a brief background is offered the first time.

Several things have happened:

1) Archbishop Lucas has issued a letter which goes into greater detail about the future of the roughly 50 souls who are cooperating with him, and he strengthens his request for everyone to refrain from using books and media by Nadine Brown, and to avoid her website. He also calls for a ceasing of "group discernments" among former lay companions.

2) Those former Intercessors who are cooperating with the archbishop have written a letter to lay companions.  They explain what transpired, how they are doing, and what needs they have at the moment.  They are encouraging lay companions and prayer groups to heed the Archbishop's directives
3) A statement put out on October 25, 2010 by the Archdiocese of Omaha concerning books and media by Nadine Brown and Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc., has been superceded with a more strongly worded statement on October 29, 2010 in the wake of a recent message by Nadine Brown who offered "suggestions" to lay companions and prayer groups.

We will go into more detail into each of these three areas below, with direct links to diocesan statements. I have personally learned alot from the three things I discuss in this post. It also leaves me feeling hopeful for those who were cooperating with the archbishop. What say you?

I am copying the full text of Archbishop Lucas' letter into this post for the sake of international readers who are using auto-translators.  My international traffic has been up on anything related to the Intercessors. Many are making use of them through the flags in the upper RH sidebar.  It is often difficult or nearly impossible to read PDF files in auto-translators.

It may take some hours to moderate at times, so please be patient.  I use comment moderation due to internet spam of an immoral nature. 

Please use your name, or a nick name by choosing the NAME/URL option (leave URL blank if you don't have ont).  It's impossible to dialogue with 20 people all using "anonymous".

Archbp. George Lucas to Lay Companions:

The entire letter ought to be read slowly and more than once.  I am not going to embolden anything.

Direct link to PDF at Archdiocese of Omaha

October 29, 2010
Dear Friends,

As you know from the events of the past several weeks the Hermit Intercessors of the Lamb have been suppressed as a public association of the faithful in the Catholic Church. As former lay companions of the Intercessors I know that most of you are aware of the circumstances which led to this suppression. They have been documented in public statements that I have made and have also received attention in the news media. The attached letter from the former Intercessors gives an overview of these circumstances and I invite you to read that letter which I have approved. For those who seek more detailed information I invite you to go to

The purpose of my letter is not to revisit the circumstances which led to the suppression but to look toward the future. In this spirit I ask for your continued prayerful support for the 53 former members of the Intercessors who have decided to spend time in community discernment over the next 12 months. During this time they will pray and study and seek advice and counsel relating to developing a deeper and more profound appreciation of the charism of intercessory prayer. They will also pray and discern how such a charism could be of service to the local Church of Omaha as well as to the Universal Church in the context of community life sanctioned by the Church in distinct communities of women and men.

Many of you have had questions over the past few days on the use of books written by Nadine Brown and on the use of other media that contain her teachings. Prior to the suppression of the Intercessors I appointed a trustee to govern the community and help them work on a variety of issues and concerns that had been raised as the result of an official visitation I conducted of the community. One of the tasks I gave to the trustee was to review these teachings for theological accuracy and conformity to the teaching Magisterium of the Catholic Church. As a result of the suppression this review has not taken place. It is therefore not possible to state that the teachings of Nadine Brown are free of doctrinal error.

As we move forward I am asking that former companions and all Catholics refrain from using any materials and websites associated with Nadine Brown and all other material provided by the former Intercessor community. I also ask that you cease “group discernments”. However, if you decide to continue to meet with your prayer group, I encourage you to offer prayers of intercession for the needs of priests, for the former Intercessors in community discernment, and for our Holy Father’s intentions. I also encourage you to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church with special attention given to Part IV: Christian Prayer. If you continue to meet in your prayer groups I ask that you do so under the guidance of your Bishop or local pastor.

With best wishes and prayers I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend George J. LucasArchbishop of Omaha

I said in a previous post, that it is up to the Ordinary - in this case, Archbishop Lucas - to discern a charism's, validity.  What can throw a charism into question is when problems arise with a founder or foundress (see "FOUNDER'S CHARISM" in Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary).  The archbishop's letter shows that Archbishop Lucas sees potential for a community to emerge with a charism of "Intercessory Prayer".  With former members cooperating with the Archbishop, we ought to pray it will be successful and shaped according to God's will .

Letter from former Intercessors to "Lay Companions"

Direct link to PDF of Letter to Companions from former Intercessors

Here is a summary for my international readers to read through auto-translators. 

  • acknowledge the questions, concerns, and prayers sent to them, "from all over"
  • are calling it a time to pray, to grieve, to reflect
  • call the time ahead a period of discernment for the future and ask for prayers.
  • are seeking financial and material support (see letter for list), going into some details of expenses.
  • specifiy that checks should be made out to the Archdiocese of Omaha with "Intercessor Relief " in the memo field (on this, they also point out that if you make a check out to any individual not listed in the letter, you run the risk of supporting "Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc." which is not a Catholic organization). 
  • It includes a short memo from Fr. Gregory Baxter, the trustee appointed by Archbishop Lucas.

The letter by the former Intercessors cooperating with the archbishop also state that "the canonical visit with Fr. James Conn was not the reason for the suppression of the public association of the Intercessors of the Lamb, nor was it due to problems with the charism itself." It goes on to state that the majority of the community was excited about working with the archbishop and Fr. Baxter.  They then say, "the suppression came because of the unwillingness of Nadine Brown" and "the majority of the civil board to comply with Archbishop Lucas' directives that would have put the civil board in conformity with the Canon Law of the Church...".  The letter offers a word of thanks to those few board members who did comply with the Archbishop.

These former members then ask former companions and prayer groups to heed, "the directions of our Archbishop, George Lucas", by discontinuing use of "all manuals, books and other material published by the former Intercessors of the Lamb community and to discontinue all discernment ministries". 

The letter ends with a request for prayers for the Church and Her priests, and especially for those who have chosen to remain under, "the direction of our Archbishop in the hope of discerning the formation of a new community with a charism rooted in intercessory prayer"

Lay Companion Resources Update

A new statement has been issued on October 29th, which supercedes the one written on the 25th.  That one urged "caution" against using resources put out by Nadine Brown or Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc. 

This statement strengthens the advisory based on Archbishop Lucas' directive to refrain from using these materials (see his letter).  Here again, is that PDF link and statement, with text copied in for international readers.

October 29, 2010

To the Former Lay Companions of the Intercessors of the Lamb

Lay companions and prayer groups of the former Intercessors of the Lamb should discontinue using all manuals, books and other materials published by the former Intercessors of the Lamb community and discontinue all discernment ministries. One of the tasks given to the Archbishop of Omaha’s trustee was to review the teachings and resources authored by Nadine Brown for theological accuracy and conformity to the teaching Magisterium of the Catholic Church. As a result of the suppression, this review has not taken place. It is therefore not possible to state that the teachings of Nadine Brown are free of doctrinal error. Moreover, lay companions should understand that the former Association of the Hermit Intercessors of the Lamb received canonical recognition in 1992 and 1998 from the Church; however, the companion group – the Intercessors of the Lamb – never received canonical recognition from the Church.

I don't believe there ever will be a formal review of those materials by the Church because they now belong to an organization which is no longer considered to be Catholic ..... by the Catholic Church.  To review them now, is a moot point. [Edit: RC in the combox suggests the materials can still be reviewed if the Church feels people need that clarification.]

Prudence of Heeding the Archbishop on use of Materials

Is it safe to drink?
 I would like to leave you with one final note on that point.  Prudence, not just obedience, would suggest that you heed the Archbishop on this.  It could be that 98% of what is found in that material is well and good.  But, 2% may have problems that are not visible to the untrained eye.  Using a popular example: If you have a full glass of water, and replace just 2% with poison, drinking all that good water, with just a little bit of poison can make you sick, and it could cost you your life. Determining if there is poison requires detailed analysis. In the case of religious and spiritual material, a theological review requires trained theological eyes.  My take on what Archbishop Lucas is saying is that he can't guarantee that that glass of water is pure enough to drink because it has not yet gone through analysis.  Would you drink water which may not be safe to drink before it can be tested?

My advice: Find another well to drink from.  The Church has an arsenal of time-tested, approved material.  Here's a pretty good start: 

Further Reading:

All of these items, and much more can be found on the Archdiocese of Omaha's webpage for the Intercessor's case.

Please see my latest postContrasting Nadine Brown and Padre Pio

Got comments?

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!
Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.


Millie said...

Hello Diane! I am really watching for updates and your commentaries.

First, the Archbishop and the former Intercessors have been clear; that Nadine and her band are disobeying. It's just too sad, for I am a former Lay Companion. I love Nadine and still I do, but I am just so sad to see her going away from the Church. When she made a statement on her website, I was saddened more. Her statement clearly reflects her disobedience. What's on their heads?

On the second paragraph of Arch's letter, it shows that the charism of contemplative intercession is true and authentic, contrary to other comments that says the charism is false and must be disregarded. I repeat that the charism is contemplative intercession. Period.

Also, we must stop using the teachings of Nadine Brown. To continue reading her teachings is to support her disobedience.

I cannot understand the disobedience on Nadine's part. We were always taught to obey and obey and obey because lambs are obedient. Jesus is obedient, even it means death the Cross.

It's good that they released the names of the obedient lambs. There were former hermits who were not in Bellwether when these things happened. They were either at home or at other country. Imagine their pain.

Bellwether website features "Daily Messages" and if you click it, it will lead you to a part of God's Armor. Then under the message, the Imprimatur and a message from a Bishop prior to the events. This will cause confusion for sure.

Not Surprised said...

It is good that things are coming into light. I was a member of this group and it is good to see the obedience of the former group, but I am experiencing some anger that there was awareness of these issues for a long time and it seems there was not action taken by the former members to have the problems corrected. I saw nothing after years of trying to get them taken care of.

RC said...

I wouldn't be surprised if a doctrinal review of Miss Brown's writings should eventually be done. Occasionally Church authorities do check out influential fringe materials, for the guidance of the faithful.

Millie said...

Temporary home for the former hermits

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

@RC - I do hope you are right because it will end up being just like the writings of Vassula and Valtorta: Argued over incessantly on the web for how many years.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Also, on the writings, there is that whole loophole mentality where people look for every reason to read something after there are signals that it may not be pure.

Why not read Teresa of Avila, Fr. Thomas Dubay, St. Francis de Sales, etc.?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church said...

87 Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me", (Lk 10:16) The faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.

2216 Filial respect is shown by true docility and obedience. "My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not your mother's teaching.... When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you." (Prov 6:20-22) "A wise son hears his father's instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke." (Prov 13:1)

Uncertain said...

Hello to all,
I have been very dismayed at the events relating to the IOTL. I do not live there, nor have I had experience with them in the past few years. I met (former Mother)Nadine (then referred to as Sister Nadine) in the very early days before she had a community going.
I found her to be a wonderful, deeply spiritual woman who began her personal relationship with the Lord at a young age in her life.

What she once began alone in the early days grew to be the IOTL.
It has been difficult for me to believe that she has done something horribly wrong, and I am uncomfortable since her side of this dreadful situation remains untold. Do I fear she has perhaps changed from that person who I knew a few brief periods from years ago....yes. My heart goes out to all of the Intercessors who struggle to continue under the guidance of the Archbishop. The entire thing breaks my heart.
I feel there is confusion on all sides of this. A couple points have struck me, and that is the Archbishops record from his prior Illinois diocese; and that this supression followed so quickly after the failure of the handing over of the property from the IOTL inc to the diocese. The only thing Nadine Brown has said this far, was on Spiritdaily where she says she was presented a paper from the Archbishop requesting that she resign and hand all property over. It was not legally binding since she, herself, did not own the property.
I do not live there, so the only means I have to judge whether she has been obedient is the fact that she indeed resigned when asked to do so and stepped down fron the board that controls the assets at the same time. I am not saying she does not have influence with the members of the board. I am sure she does. But, I am not there and I am not in a position to pass Judgement upon her or anyone.
The many negative depictions of Nadine Brown I have come across online just do not jive with my own earlier experiences. It is frankly, difficult to believe. Still, my fear is she has changed somehow in more recent years, but I have confidence that God in his great love and mercy will restore Nadine Brown to that person He wants her to be, if she has in fact, stepped into error.

Anonymous said...

Please read all the articles. There has nver been any indication that the suppression is tied to the property. In fact in one of the articles publihed it specifically talks about the Archdiocese not wanting any of the property. Please read carefully.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

REMINDER: Please use the Name/URL option using a nickname if you prefer not to use your real name.
Eave the URL field blank. It is optional.

We can't dialogue with lots of people all "anonymous".

If I turn that feature off, other options are also lost that I want to retain.

Thank you for cooperating.

Uncertain said...

I have read all the articles. The frustration to me is that Nadine Brown seems to be credited with all sorts of negative behavior/actions based on speculation that she manipulated the board to disobey the Archbishop. Yet, the only side we have heard from is the Archbishop's and he does not level all accusations at Nadine Brown. I prefer to not judge this situation as so much of it is speculation and unclear. I don't like knowing only one side of an arguement and in this situation there is only great loss really with the displacement of the poor Lambs and the shock this has been to so many people. I am hoping the Archdiocese will help the former hermits to start anew.
I guess I would like it to be more clear to me in the ways the board refused to cooperate if it did not include handing the property over?

Grace said...

I apologize for the anonymous response. I currently work for the Archdiocese of Omaha. I really do encourage people to read carefully all the articles that are posted on the Archdiocese of Omaha web site. They are very clear. Reading between the lines, assuming things, does not do anyone any good. The Archbishop has been completely transparent in his decisions. Having lived and worked in this diocese for many years and having watched the development and growth of the Intercessors, I can assure you the actions that have been taken are well over due. The fact that our Archbishop is willing to commit reaources to the care and future of the remaining members speaks volumes. Our Archdiocese is no different than any other diocese in that we do not have lots of money, but yet Archbishop Lucas is willing to make the care happen. Archbishop is smart, pastoral, wise and humble and holy. His decisions were not made in hsste or with a desire for power. With all this said I think we should turn all our words into prayer for all those involved.

Owen said...

Thanks for covering this item in such detail. Personally I have no vested interest apart from the declaration of Truth - not a small matter.

For me this whole topic few have said it better than Cardinal Arinze as heard in this clip and may be applied to this specific instance and this sort of thing in general.

To the possible chagrin and almost certain disdain of many faithful I know, this clergy convert focuses on what is dogma, what is doctrine, what is magesterium, what is approved.

There is a known (but not approved or verified) instance on this side of the Detroit River of a oil weeping, smiling and sometimes tear weeping statue of Mary no more than a five minute bicycle ride (I choose to commute by bike as often as possible) from my house. The bishop knows of it, friends tell me though I tell them this is no necessary approval and I haven't been yet. Why go? What will I find there that I cannot find in a bike ride of the same length in the opposite direction to the Rosary Chapel where I may spend time in Adoration?

Well - what Arinze says.

Joyful Catholics said...

Well said, Owen. I am from Omaha, and know a couple of friends who were involved w/ IotL. I am only grateful for a holy shepherd, who takes his calling seriously. Judgement begins in the House of God.

"Fall Cleaning" has begun. I pray for the faithful, holy souls who have obeyed Holy Mother Church. Nadine has my prayers, too, but as we know from the Magnificat of Our Lady, "The proud He humbles and the arrogant He scatters. The lowly and humble He will exalt!"

God's Will be done.

It's painful, but who said it would be easy? Padre Pio is one of the many Saints for them to call on now as I am sure they have. He knows all about "losing everything" even to the point of being held a 'captive' in solitude, not even being able to hear confessions.

They were/are hurt,dazed and were left w/ nothing, not even clothing, but yet they still have everything! They still have CHRIST!

Thanks for the good, well written, informative, truthful post! God bless.

GD said...

I just checked Spirit Daily and the only thing Michael Borwn has posted is the Imprimatur page submitted by Bellwether as evidence they had the approval of a previous bishop. On the other hand, he has a heading that Mother Angelica read his book three times. It disturbs me that a website that has such a wide reading chooses only to print what appears to be Nadine's side of the story. It seems to promote division rather than unity behind the bishop. I really appreciate your honest posting.

nazareth priest said...

Again, I thank you, Diane, for your great work in this matter.
My work with the prayer group formerly affiliated with IOL makes me very solicitous to do "the right thing".
They are now going to study "Way of Perfection" by St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) in a newly released "study edition".
They have been, in some cases, heartbroken by this whole debacle; but they are faithful and devout Catholics.
The instruction and direction of the Archdiocese and Archbishop are very helpful; we are doing what he requests.
I'm just sick about this; but God is ever greater; He is the Lord; He is Everything.
And His Holy Church is our "rock" and the foundation of our lives as Catholics.
Disobedience, in any form, is the work of the devil/demons...Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us NOW and at the hour of our death.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

"Uncertain" says: I have read all the articles...[snip]...I guess I would like it to be more clear to me in the ways the board refused to cooperate if it did not include handing the property over?

If you believe that the board's refusal has something to do with handing over the Bellwether property, it didn't come from anything I have read from the Archdiocese of Omaha (and I too have read all documents).

Quoting "Uncertain" again: Yet, the only side we have heard from is the Archbishop's and he does not level all accusations at Nadine Brown.

Indeed, he speaks much about the uncooperative lay board of directors, which "disagrees with the findings" of the canonical visit. You can't apply a secular mindset to Church law, nor to spiritual things. I don't think anyone on that board has the qualifications to "disagree" with canonical and theological concerns the found.

Perhaps you have missed the letter signed by 56 former members of the now suppressed Intercessors of the Lamb, including 6 priests. These people are not being held captive by the archbishop, but are choosing to remain in his care. They had very strong words to say about how this thing went down. They are speaking for themselves, not the archdiocese. If you don't trust the Archbishop, do you not trust what they say? According to them, cooperation of the lay board of directors would have given the community an opportunity to come into conformity with Canon Law. This is an acknowledgement that things were not in compliance. I think the Archbishop is the one who deserves the benefit of the doubt, not a civil corporation.

Hence, are there not several groups of people involved in this? Let's see:

1) Archdiocese which includes the Archbishop (and they represent the position of the Church).

2) 56 former Intercessors who are choosing to work with the Archbishop (and 4 who decided to head home)

3) The lay board of directors of the the civil corporation, Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc. (clerics involved resigned; majority of lay members were uncooperative).

4) Nadine Brown, foundress who was asked to resign. In a very public way, she aligned herself with the uncooperative lay board of directors when she released a message on their website aimed at former lay companions. So, we have heard from her in what can only be described as an act of defiance which undermines the Archbishop.

5) Approximately 10 former Intercessors who are thought to have gone with Nadine. Source

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

GD said: just checked Spirit Daily and the only thing Michael Borwn has posted is the Imprimatur page submitted by Bellwether as evidence they had the approval of a previous bishop. On the other hand, he has a heading that Mother Angelica read his book three times. It disturbs me that a website that has such a wide reading chooses only to print what appears to be Nadine's side of the story. It seems to promote division rather than unity behind the bishop. I really appreciate your honest posting.

Thank you for the compliment. I try. Some may disagree on the basis that I am not linking to the website for the uncooperative former Intecessors, which now includes Nadine Brown in the wake of her October 27 message. This can't be viewed through a secular lens. If the Archbishop has specifically asked people to stay away from that site, I don't know how I can in good conscience link to it. It would only cause people to do the very thing he is asking them not to.

With regards to Spirit Daily, I have been unable, for the life of me, to understand why do many Catholics frequent that sensationalist site. It may as well carry the title: "Signs and Wonders for our Times".

I pray that Michael H. Brown who owns the site will shift to a focus on what has been approved by the Church rather than on things like unapproved apparitions and private revelations.

Catholics should note the rating given to Spirit Daily by Catholic Culture, which does site reviews. It is rated as a "caution". Why?

Spirit Daily is a Catholic start page of news and links. Unfortunately, the site focuses on the sensational and the links are to a wide range of sites, of which many are secular and Protestant.

The webmaster of the site, Michael Brown, is the author of several books which promote unapproved apparitions.

See the full review at Catholic Culture.

Here is the site review homepage at Catholic Culture to find reviews of sites you visit. It is periodically updated with new reviews, and I also recommend understanding how their review system works. It is not subjective by any means.

Nick said...

Hey Diane,

I've been reading some material from former Intercessors (before the surpression) and some of the stuff they believed is pseudo-mysticism, while some of their practices are a sign of a cult following.

Example of pseudo-mysticism: The IOTL had believed that someone could bear another's burden for them if God permitted it. Victim souls are sometimes permitted by God to bear the suffering of other souls, but no one can become a victim soul by his own choosing; victim souls are rather chosen by God, and chosen very rarely. An example of a victim soul is Saint Margaret Mary.

Example of a sign of cult following: The IOTL forbid members from contacting non-members. Hermits are called to a life of solitary, but are not forbidden from seeing others. An example of a hermit is Saint Jerome.

Recommended Reading:
Mysticism (New Advent)
The Study of Cults (Wikipedia)

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

@ GD

With regards to the imprimatur cited by Michael H. Brown found in only one of Nadine Brown's many works and media, know that the Holy See can order them to be subsequently removed, as it did in this one case I found on a quick search.

I am not saying that this will happen with the one book by Nadine Brown that does carry an imprimatur. However, given all that has transpired, it's possible that book will be revisited to see if anything was missed.

People would do well to study up and not assume that an imprimatur carries the weight of an ex cathedra statement by the Pope. More information on the imprimatur and nihil obstat.

GD said...

Two words keep coming to me as I reflect on Nadine's letter, and even her posting of the former bishop's imprimatur: "cunning" and attempting to "outwit". I fear the father of lies has deceived her as the actions do not reflect one of a docile servant.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

I just want to jump back in here with a quote from the end of Archbishop Lucas' letter. He says:

I also encourage you to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church with special attention given to Part IV: Christian Prayer.

First, the point he makes about the CCC and prayer is an important one (which is why I embedded the link right in his statement when he says it).

Look at what I pulled from the Table of Contents on that section he wants people to read (I eliminated some spaces and reformatted since it didn't paste in well):







I. Blessing and Adoration
II. Prayer of Petition
III. Prayer of Intercession
IV. Prayer of Thanksgiving
V. Prayer of Praise





I. Vocal Prayer
II. Meditation
III. Contemplative Prayer


I. Objections to Prayer
II. Humble Vigilance of Heart
III. Filial Trust
IV. Perserving in Love




I. At the Center of the Scriptures
II. "The Lord's Prayer"
III. The Prayer of the Church


I. "We Dare to Say"
II. "Father!"
III. "Our" Father
IV. "Who Art in Heaven"


I. "Hallowed Be Thy Name"
II. "Thy Kingdom Come"
III. "The Will Be Done on Earth as It Is in Heaven"
IV. "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread"
V. "And Forgive us Our Trespasses, as We Forgive Those Who Trespass against Us"
VI. "And Lead Us Not into Temptation"
VII. "But Deliver Us From Evil"


TB said...

After reading the posts, comments & attachments, I have to say I'm with "Uncertain" on this. Obviously, the people on this site will disagree but, in my opinion, what's going on here seems to be a bit of "piling on" of Nadine. I cannot speak for the IOL Board & their actions but, having met Nadine several times, read some of what she's written & listened to tapes etc, I doubt very much that her intent was usurp the Bishop or Fr. Conn or Church teaching.
As any parent of a disobedient teen knows, we can't always be held directly responsible for the actions of others. As any good bishop would know, I'm sure Omaha's bishop is just as solicitous for Nadine Brown's soul as he is for all the souls in his care in that diocese.
While acknowledging the Bishop's right & responsibility to follow up with this group in the way he sees fit AND the responsibility of Catholics to listen to what he has to say about that, I am asking for a little more Christian Charity in chastizing Nadine who, at 81, must be truly saddened by all this.

Ron said...

Previously the diocese informed us that Mother Nadine's works lacked an imprimatur. Now we come to find that at least one of them had both an imprimatur from the previous bishop and a recommendation from a cardinal. What nefarious message are her books supposed to contain that these men overlooked? Why the disinformation? Can't the diocese simply look at her books and tell us? The whole process comes off as dishonest, clandestine and spiteful to an independent observer.

hauntingsacristy said...

I was a lay companion for two years, and even considered a vocation as a "hermit" before leaving the group altogether because of problems I began to have with the spirituality of the group.

I really hope that the Archbishop does decide to go back to review the teachings of this group. I think that as long as the writings aren't condemned, there are lots of people who aren't going to take this suppression seriously (one priest told me that it will just 'blow over'). If the writings themselves are never condemned, then they are just going to surface again and Nadine Brown will still have influence over some of the former lay companions or anyone else who believes in her writings.

And when I learned that the lay companions were never even canonically recognized, I was shocked. I had thought that when the prior approvals had been given, they were extended to include the companions.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

haunting said: I really hope that the Archbishop does decide to go back to review the teachings of this group. I think that as long as the writings aren't condemned, there are lots of people who aren't going to take this suppression seriously.

I too hope that a theological review of materials can be made. Those findings could be instrumental in assisting spiritual directors, pastors, and bishops who are working with people who have been impacted spiritually.

On the flip side, I would imagine such a thing would take a very long time because of the volume of material that they must go through. So, what does someone do in the meanwhile?

I still think the prudent thing to do is to heed the archbishop's admonishment to refrain from using the material. For those wanting to build virtue, here is an opportunity to practice a free act of obedience. It's not like there is a shortage of fully approved material in a Church that goes back over 2000 years.

That's always a challenge. People want to drink suspicious water rather than wait for the analysis and drink it when, and if, it is deemed safe.

In light of the archbishop's admonition, it would be imprudent for a Catholic to say that they will continue to use them because they find them helpful, or the usual, "I see nothing wrong with it". What qualifications does such a person have to say that?

A poisonous mushroom can look good and it can even have nutritious ingredients in it. But, unless a trained expert examines it, you don't know if you are getting a poisonous or non-poisonous variety. There are often very subtle differences between two mushrooms which look alike.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

haunting also commented:

I think that as long as the writings aren't condemned, there are lots of people who aren't going to take this suppression seriously (one priest told me that it will just 'blow over')

It's hard to know the context of his statement, so I won't judge that on it's own. However, I want to use it as an opportunity to point something out....

I am aware of cases where a priest might be promoting something which contradicts a bishop's written decree (i.e., Holy Love Ministries). There is a danger of getting so attached to something which has not been fully approved, that they cannot let go when the Church says, "NO". This results in behaviors which undermine the authority of the Church. People are led astray through surface pieties right smack into something which is anti-ecclesial beneath the surface, but you wouldn't know it.

These are rare, but they do happen. I get emails from people and I encourage them to get away from such a priest, and to contact the diocese. Further, they do their spiritually predatory work in the darkness of email, or private conversation, spiritual direction, confessional, etc.

They prey upon Catholics by encouraging a spirit of "dismissiveness" of a bishop's admonitions or directives.

This, my friends, is a very unholy thing for a priest to do. It is anti-ecclesial, and it does not come from the Holy Spirit. And, when it is done below the radar, you should be all the more suspicious and consider terminating further involvement with him.

In fact, I'm going to go so far as to say that if you are being counseled by a priest, who is aware of the position of Archbishop Lucas, to continue using Nadine Brown's materials, or to read some kind of daily message she puts out on a website, or is inviting Brown and friends to visit private prayer groups, contact your local bishop. Include copies of the statements by Archbishop Lucas in your communications.

I'm just sayin'

Nick said...

Re: "In fact, I'm going to go so far as to say that if you are being counseled by a priest, who is aware of the position of Archbishop Lucas, to continue using Nadine Brown's materials, or to read some kind of daily message she puts out on a website, or is inviting Brown and friends to visit private prayer groups, contact your local bishop."

I also recommend correcting the priest. It has helped with me, at least. For example: A priest I know would tell me you don't have to confess the number of sins, so I told him the canon where it says you do have to confess the number of sins, and now he doesn't tell me that anymore. :)

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...


You are absolutely correct. I usually suggest that people speak to the priest first. Some may not be aware of the situation and developments.

I was referring to those priests who are clearly knowledgeable about the situation.

I had a person once email me inquiring about a particular decree issued against something. A priest was fully aware of the decree, but was encouraging her to discern the matter for herself. His reasonaing was that if it helped bring her closer to God, then the bishop's decree against it did not matter.

Of course, when this kind of thing happens privately, in email, in prayer groups, etc., some people do not know what an unholy thing this is for a priest to do.

And if a priest persists in trying to get the person to disregard the bishop's decree, then I'd take it right to the bishop.

Sadly, often times such a priest is a beloved priest. It can be difficult to disassociate from him, much less report his behaviors to the bishop.

I always suggest that people think about their attachments to priests, religious figures, etc. Ultimately, their goal is to lead us to God. But, if one is forming an inordinate attachment to them personally, it is time to do an examination of conscience on whether it is God they follow, or the person.

A simple self-test to do, is to ponder your reaction to the transfer of a beloved priest, or religious leader, or founder/foundress.

Our Lord had to leave the apostles. They had to carry on His work. And, so it is with priests and religious. They come and go in our lives. We should never become so attached to any one person that we are willing to engage in dismissiveness, disobedience, and defiance to legitimate requests, directives, or admonitions from Church authority.

Ariel Fauley said...

I have known Mother Nadine for years and she is one of the holiest sweetest souls God ever made. Let's not forget Mother Angelica was abused and harrases by bishops and in the end came out smelling like roses. All saintly souls are tried tested and crucified think about it. Every single one. Padre Pio - Bernadette of Lourdes - Sister Faustina and the list goes on and on. I have worked for the church for years and years and years and her teachings have helped me and thousands and thousands of people serve love and know God better. I heard the last archbishop at one of her conferences praise and praise and thank her. When the final judgment comes why don't we let Jesus decide who and what she did for the Lord? All the people throwing stones at her could not possibly know her or the truth of who she is. They crucified Christ too. And he was highly favored. Stop judging and let her earn her crown like all the other saints who' s bishops and priests mis understood their mission and or opposed or shut them down you watch in time God will deliver her like all the people she delivered and helped. She is a GREAT soul and friend of God you will see. Ariel

Deirdre Mundy said...

Ariel-- The key difference here is that Padre Pio and St. Bernadette were OBEDIENT even when the punishment was unjust.

Mother Nadine and company are being DISOBEDIENT.

Remember, Christ was Obedient even unto death on a cross. He's the one we're supposed to be imitating.

Lucifer is the one who proclaimed "Non Serviam!"

It's a pretty stark, easy difference. Disobedience is NEVER from God. It's one of the glaring marks of a movement/apparition/visionary who is NOT INSPIRED by the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

Ariel defended Nadine Brown and said "They crucified Christ too. And he was highly favored."

Christ Jesus was and is God.

He was not merely "highly favored." He was and is God.

This is at the core of Catholic Christian Faith.

To make a comparison of the suppression of the lay association which Nadine Brown founded to the Crucifixion of Our Lord and Saviour is blasphemous.

Examine your priorities, Ariel. God should be first in your life, in mine, and in every Catholic's.

Visionaries and even canonized saints and Doctors of the Church are as nothing compared to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Pax tecum,


Faithful and Frustrated said...

I am grateful to Archbishop Lucas for his faithfulness and pastoral care and while I, as an IOTL companion, don't like the nixing of their past materials, I choose obedience... But I do struggle with the inconsistencies in our Church. The position is that these materials may contain something unacceptable because it is not known that they don't. However, how many diocesan school libraries carry Harry Potter books, for example. Sorcery unquestionably contradicts God's Word.

Deuteronomy 18:10-14 (RSV) "There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD; and because of these abominable practices the LORD your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, give heed to soothsayers and to diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you so to do."

Galatians 5:19-21 (RSV) "Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

Or consider the commentaries from the NAB bible, the USCCB's bible of choice. How many comments undermine God and surely must be borderline heretical? And even on the USCCB website, Psalm 1:1 (NAB), for example, reads "Happy those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked, Nor go the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers." So much for "Blessed is the man...", i.e. Christ. Of course I can go on with many more examples... It doesn't seem like a great mystery as to why why obedience is taken so lightly and why we are so easily led astray.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

With regards to Ariel's comments, these are not unusual to hear today in an era of poor catechesis. I think it is good to walk through these points gently.


Your comment gave me an idea for a new post. I hope you will come back to see my response to it.

There are some underlying things that need to be understood before confusion can be lifted.

I will come back to this thread and drop in a link. You can also check my homepage: Te Deum Laudamus!

nazareth priest said...

Diane, Please keep us up to date on this!
You are doing a great service to many...the numbers of "companions" of the former IOL is astounding.
We need you, dear.
God bless and keep you.
Mary help you and save you from the deceits of the Evil One. Amen.,

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Please see my latest postContrasting Nadine Brown and Padre Pio