Monday, October 25, 2010

Developing: What is brewing in Omaha with some ex-"Lambs"?

It's never a good idea to look exclusively at the good fruits in discernment
Bishops must look at both good and bad fruits.
One bad fruit in a basket can spread the rot.

This post has been edited for clarification and easier reading...

Something is apparently brewing in Omaha with Nadine Brown (formerly known as "Mother" and foundress of the now canonically suppressed "Intercessors of the Lamb"). Or, it is brewing with the lay board of directors who were not cooperating with Archbishop Lucas, or both.  Brown resigned on September 30th, 2010 at the request of +Lucas.  I doubt this has any connection to the 48 souls who sought the intervention of the the archbishop, and are currently in his care.

Statement found this morning on the archdiocesan page for this case tells Catholics that Archbishop Lucas has not reviewed any resources being put out under the name "Intercessors of the Lamb", or by Nadine Brown:

The page you will want to check for updates at the Archdiocese of Omaha:

What likely prompted it?

A note on the previously defunct webpage indicating "We are still here" and "Our Foundress" will soon release a statement.

It reads (emphases mind in bold):

We are still here!

Our mission continues and our charism has not changed. We remain dedicated to the contemplative formation of ALL Christians for the powerful ministry of intercession. Our goal is to develop and foster a deep interior life in the hearts of God's people so that they might become, within themselves, a "house of prayer" as God is within Himself. Because it is the life that prays, our own personal relationship with Jesus is the root of power of all effective intercession

Along this strange message, the webpage solicits donations to the corporation, Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc (Archbp Lucas discouraged this since it is not associated with the Catholic Church)

The statement is problematic in several ways.  Here are just a few:

  • It bills itself as a contemplative community for ALL Christians
  • It says the "charism has not changed", yet documentation from the Archdiocese of Omaha indicates confusion among the members over the charism.  A community can claim to have a charism, but it is the archbishop who ultimately discerns the validity and recognition of a charism.
  • An authentic interior life is built with the sanctifying grace that comes with the Sacraments.  In the public releases up to date, there is no indication that any priest went with them.  Priests of the diocese are not permitted on the Bellwether property they have, and one has to wonder what steps Archbishop Lucas will take next if they operate without his blessing, potentially pulling Catholics along in some kind of association which is not in communion with him. Will they be admitted to the Sacraments if they go to a nearby parish?
  • Our personal relationship with Jesus is not the root of power.  That whole last sentence is odd and belongs in the "alarming findings" file at the Archdiocese of Omaha. 
One question on my mind is, have they thought this through enough to ponder whether they are willing to live without the Eucharist, should it come to that?


If you missed these, they are in an increasing expanding list of articles, news and statements  on that page offered by the AoO webpage for the case:

  • October 19, 2010: Omaha World Herald - Hermits put Faith in Future (three former Intercessors, among the 48 cooperating with the archbishop and in his care unveil the chaos which took place behind the scenes ultimately prompting the archbishop to bus them out after the suppression, which took place 15 days after Nadine Brown's resignation on the 30th of September)

Also, Sr. Laurel M. O'Neal, Er., Dio (a diocesan hermit in Oakland, CA; canon 603), has been making some informative posts on this whole subject at her blog

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