Friday, October 15, 2010

Breaking: Intercessors of the Lamb suppressed; archbishop seeking your help!

I know that people either love this community or they love to loath it.  However, please suspend your judgment for a minute and read this very carefully.  An archbishop is attempting to work with some 50 members who wanted to cooperate, but were  hindered by the lay board of directors who hold the purse strings (methinks there won't be much money in the purse for very long).  This is a devastating development for these people, but also in their best interest, and in the best interest of the Church. I will moderate comments made with complete charity, so think before you post! 

It's possible that I have misunderstood the future of these people in my initial email that went out and in my blog post which I have since edited. I'm not sure what it all means in the long run: Is suppression a permanent thing, or can a reformed community of some type emerge with those who are cooperative?  I was trying to find more info on the Intercessors to see how long they were in existence when I discovered that the website I had visited a short time ago, was now offline [Edit November 18, 5:40pm - a live link to the website has been removed because the site was hacked. I do not know if there are dangers to visiting the site (i.e., virus) in it's current state.  The homepage has been defaced].  Here is a wikipedia entry for the Intercessors

Continue reading below...and discuss...

The Archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska has information on it's website indicating that the Association of the Intercessors of the Lamb has been suppressed. 

Omaha Archbishop George J. Lucas used a Church procedure on Friday, October 15, 2010 to shut down the Association of the Hermit Intercessors of the Lamb, a contemplative, intercessory, and mixed (lay men, women, and clerics) public association of hermits.

Lucas suppressed the Catholic association after a majority of lay directors of the Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc., the association’s civil corporation, impeded him from exercising his legitimate governance of the association and providing pastoral solicitude for professed members. More information regarding the act of suppression can be found by following the links below [I add them at the bottom of this post].

Public worship and the celebration of the sacraments are prohibited on land owned by the Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc., a Nebraska corporation. Priests and deacons are forbidden from ministering at the property. Donors are advised that contributions to the Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc., will not go to support a Catholic organization. Moreover, the vows of former association members ceased at the moment of suppression. Catholics worldwide are encouraged to refrain from participating in Intercessors-sponsored activity.

Those who wish to support approximately fifty of the former members who are now being cared for by the Archdiocese of Omaha can send donations for this specific purpose to: Intercessor Relief, c/o Archdiocese of Omaha, 100 N. 62nd St., Omaha, NE 68132. Checks should be made payable to the “Archdiocese of Omaha” with a notation made in the memo field for "Intercessor Relief."

Updates on the status of the former association will be made available on this page
Oh boy, here are some nuts and bolts from the news release:

McNeil said Lucas received the consent of the association’s internal governing council before suppressing the association. He further stated that Lucas’ decision was also influenced by Conn’s findings, which reflected negatively on Brown’s leadership. Conn’s findings included: errors in governing documents; serious disunity within the community; widespread dissatisfaction with leadership; lack of safe environment policies; questionable financial practices; violation of its own proper law; use of intimidation tactics to secure obedience from members; inability of members to articulate the Intercessors’ charism; lack of financial transparency; violating norms governing alienation and acts of extraordinary administration; a flawed understanding of prayer and spiritual discernment; absence of good human resources; confusion and violation of internal forum and external forum in formation and governance; absence of adequate economic stewardship; illegitimate and irreverent custody of the Blessed Sacrament; and confusion over the administration of Mass offerings

I've said it before and I'll say it again... with so many new communities emerging, many of them truly driven by the Holy Spirit, I think a delegate should be assigned to work closely with them from outset.  People have good intentions, yet they need guidance to ensure that what they are doing is purified of human weakness, ignorance, and other things.

The community was first erected in 1998, which means some members have not been out in the world for some time.  I can tell you that anyone who leaves even a well governed, balanced religious community after a period of a few years, can go through a range of challenges from basic material needs, finding work (if integrating back into society), as well as the emotional and psychological aspects. How much moreso when someone is exiting a community with the kinds of problems listed above. 

I don't know what the future is for each of these people, but let's give the archbishop a hand.  These people are in need of clothing and other care.  They have nothing. Even $5 or $10 from thousands of readers of Catholic blogs can help the archbishop. Use the address provided in the diocesan note above, and don't send it to the Intercessors.

My check's headed out in the mail to the Archdiocese of Omaha.  These folks will need everything from material basics to other forms of help, especially if they were in this community for many years. Will you join me?

Please pray for Archbishop Lucas, the faithful members of this community, and all of those who are working to help them to discover where the Holy Spirit is leading them individually.

Archdiocesan Links

Related News Articles (may get updated)

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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