Archbp. Vigneron warns about dissenters ball in Detroit

It is hard to know just how much effect this will have, but the Archbishop of Detroit had no choice but to issue a public statement about an upcoming conference of dissent to held in the Archdiocese entrusted to his care.

From the freep with my emphases:

Archdiocese of Detroit: Stay away from liberal Catholic conference

By Niraj Warikoo

The Archdiocese of Detroit is warning Catholics in metro Detroit — including priests and ministers — to stay away from a national conference of liberal Catholics to be held in Detroit next year. And Archbishop of Detroit Allen Vigneron is calling upon organizers of the conference to cancel their plans, saying they are in opposition to the Catholic faith. [I would be stunned if they actually did.]

The American Catholic Council, which calls for church reforms and greater openness, [No!  That is not what it is calling for.  Couching it in this language is deceptive.  They are not calling for “openness”.  They are calling for dissent and a violation of the Church’s teachings.] is set to hold a national gathering in June 2011 featuring progressive [liberal dissenter] Catholic leaders near the 35th anniversary of the ‘Call to Action,’ a Detroit gathering in 1976 that urged reform [dissent] and was held by the late Cardinal John Dearden of Detroit.

The liberal group claims there is too much secrecy and hierarchy in the Church; it also calls for greater acceptance of gays and lesbians, [Again, this is wrong.  The Church does accept them.  The Church will not accept their sins.] and women in leadership roles. It wants women and married priests. [Rather like the editorial board of the New York Times, come to think of it.]

“Serious sexual and financial abuses have resulted,” from problems in the Catholic Church, the group says in a newsletter. [Must we note that those problems were caused by sin and by people who violated the Church’s teachings and laws as well as civil law?]

Their conference next year is to feature a range of Catholic speakers who have been critical of the Vatican, including controversial Swiss priest Hans Kung. [And after his talk there will be a break for the participants either to play some shuffle board or to change their Depends.] The liberal group says its efforts are done in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, whose 50th anniversary is also next year. [Was there ever a better example of what Pope Benedict calls “the hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture.]

But in a statement released Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Detroit slammed the American Catholic Council, saying “the goals proposed are largely in opposition to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.” [Perhaps an exercise in understatement.  I wonder if understatement works in Detroit…. hmmm…]

The Archdiocese, which oversees 1.3 million Catholics, says that some of the scheduled speakers at next year’s conference “espouse positions which are clearly contrary to Catholic faith.”

“The Archdiocese of Detroit cautions any Catholic against participating in the American Catholic Council local listening sessions and national gathering in June 2011,” the archdiocese said in its statement. “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.” [Will there be consequences if they do?]

Archbishop Vigneron said “this national gathering…distorts the true Spirit of Vatican II.”

Vigneron “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,” the statement said.

A spokesman for the American Catholic Council was not available to comment Tuesday, but their website says the conference is set for June 10 to 12, Pentecost weekend. The group says on its website it wants to “celebrate the ideas of Vatican II.”  [Funny way to celebrate.]

I am lead to wonder if any of the organizers and potential participants in this Call to Dissent confab – other than Fr. Kung – have ever read the documents of the Vatican II.

WDTPRS kudos to Archbishop Vigneron for stating clearly what should be clear.

Here is the statement on the Archdiocesan website.  I like this line:

The archdiocese wishes to commend and embrace all true efforts at Church renewal – the American Church Council’s agenda is not such an effort.

In the meantime ….
Buy some coffee!

After a long day of fending off geriatric heretics, why not relax with a WDTPRS mug filled to the brim with piping hot Mystic Monk Coffee.

Heretics hate Mystic Monk Coffee a lot!  That savory goodness reminds them that they have placed their souls, and the souls of others, in peril of going to a place where they can never never never have Mystic Monk Coffee even if they wanted some!   Or any other coffee, come to think of it.  Well… maybe airplane coffee.  Yes, I’m sure now.  They will have to drink airplane coffee.

Battle heresy and dissent!  Annoy liberals now!  Show your love for the truth!

Refresh your supply today!

Not just Monk Coffee … Mystic Monk.

It’s swell!


I see that the National Catholic Fishwrap, in the guise of reporting, is promoting the dissenters event.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Jayna says:

    “Will there be consequences if they do?”

    That’s what I’m wondering.

  2. MLivingston says:

    The comments on the “Free Press” website are so sad… so angry, so sure of their rightness, so sure of the Church’s wrongness, so many different ideas of exactly what they’re right about and what we’re wrong about. God bless Archbishop Vigneron and give him teeth to bite when they defy him.

  3. dans0622 says:

    “It wants women and married priests.” I think a couple of commas would have been helpful in that sentence, as well as the use of a word other than “wants.” Anyway, I’m glad the Archbishop made his statement.

  4. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Ah yes, the Spirit of Vatican II – which means halfway between what you want the documents of Vatican II to say and what they actually say.

  5. Frank H says:

    I was just nosing around the website of these jokers. Pretty elaborate. I wonder whose money is behind this group?

    Looking at some of the photos of their “listening sessions”, you can see that the biological solution is fast approaching.

  6. Fr_Sotelo says:


    You make a good point. But there is something systemic in the Catholic Church which I think you could call institutional “indulging.” Basically, it is no longer within our capacity to just come out and tell people that they are no longer Catholic. We have to satisfy ourselves with issuing “cautions” and being sad or disappointed that people are heretics. If the Pope and bishops actually put stings and consequences into their words against the radical dissenters, we would lose half the membership of the Church.

  7. TJerome says:

    Will walkers, wheelchairs and crutches be provided gratis to the participants? Will there be nap time and hot cocoa?

  8. a catechist says:

    Love the ad! I can think of half a dozen reasons heretics hate the Wyoming Carmel. But you forgot to mention what it is about Mystic Monk that “progressive” heretics hate the most–it’s made by monks who are not only cloistered but praying *in Latin!* In fact, I bet they mutter in Latin over every lovingly roasted batch!

  9. Henry Edwards says:

    Do we? The October 2010 issue of Inside The Vatican contains a statement regarding homosexuals by the Bishops’ Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Greek-Catholic Church. The key paragraph reads as follows:

    “In the name of the One who created the whole universe as well as human nature, that is, in the name of the Triune God, we hereby declare an anathema on all homosexuals who deny the natural and the divine law and refuse to repent in truth. In their pride, such homosexuals and lesbians promote anti-laws and anti-values which destroy human nature, family and society. No Church representative can absolve them from God’s anathema, which forms part of the essence of the whole Scripture, unless they themselves repent. Without this true repentance they will be eternally condemned. This anathema holds true until the Second Coming of the Son of God to this earth, when He Himself will bring all mankind and each individual to judgment.”

    I wonder whether we can expect similar unambiguity–on any issue whatever–from the USCCB any time this side of the Second Coming.

  10. irishgirl says:

    Henry Edwards-BINGO! You nailed it!

    ‘until they themselves repent’—exactly! Why can’t our own Bishops use the same kind of language as the Ukrainian Orthodox Greek-Catholics? At least their Bishops put some ‘teeth’ into their pronouncements!

  11. Henry: Great quote. Is that group is in union with Rome? I think they split off, didn’t they?

  12. ghp95134 says:

    [/Mystic Monk commercial] …

    Hmmmmmmm….. I’m wondering if there is an antithesis coffee … you know, Auld Nick’s; if so, it probably carries the catch-phrase, “Ole Nick’s Airplane Coffee: Devilishly delicious …. Roasted by imps.”

    Had to slightly modify the caption:

    –Guy Power

    Heretics in Hell with Airplane Coffee

    [You beat the great Vincenzo to that one! I wonder… will he step up to the plate too?]

  13. Henry Edwards says:

    According to the Wikipedia article on the Ukrainian Orthodox Greek-Catholic Church, in 2008 it split off from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (in union with Rome), because it (the former) favored closer union with the Orthodox, less Latin influence and ecumenism, etc.

  14. brassplayer says:

    Was the “break for the participants to change their Depends” comment really necessary?

  15. tobiasmurphy says:

    From the looks of the article in the Fishwrap, it appears your assumption bears merit. They have a lot of buzzwords from Vatican II, but all are used out of context. It’s almost like they’re trying to attract others who take Vatican II out of context and misinterpret the council to massive disproportions (you know the type – “active participation means we all participate in the ministerial priesthood! Let’s go consecrating, ladies!”).

    The real question: will an event of this magnitude manage to skew the vectors involved in triangulating the Vortex, even from hundreds of miles away?

  16. racjax says:

    Holy Cross Church in Santa Barbara, CA is permitting them to hold their second meeting in the parish hall on 10/25 (the first was at the public library).

  17. RickMK says:

    Just imagine the reaction it would have had if it said: “…it also calls for greater acceptance of gays, lesbians, and pedophiles.” It would be interesting to see the response that would get.

  18. MLivingston says:

    Fr. Sotelo, bring it on.

  19. albizzi says:

    Ah! Again, the good old “spirit of VaticanII council” which everyone claims to act in accordance with.
    If anybody can give me a good definition of the spirit of VaticanII coucil, he is the winner of the last dime that fortunately couldn’t escape today through a hole in my pocket.

  20. Jayna says:

    Frank H – Just took a look myself. These nutters sound just as bad as those Protestant who run sites talking about how the pope is the Anti-Christ, the Church distorts teachings, etc. Seriously, look at their page on “Constitutional Catholicism.” Certifiable.

  21. vikingjr says:

    I think Emma Kirkby sums up my feelings best, in her rendition of Handel’s “But Who May Abide…” from The Messiah:

  22. vikingjr says:

    Pray for these people, and, more so, for those that formed them. They’ll have a pretty rude awakening on the other side…

  23. Frank H says:

    If these folks spent a tenth of the time praying the rosary as they appear to spend writing ridiculous articles, we’d all be far better off!

  24. Jackie L says:

    There is such a session that the Archbishop cautions against on Monday October 18th. From :

    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.

  25. Random Friar says:

    Perhaps someone could send the good archbishop some [Cue music] Mystic Monk Coffee, to help him start those days when he deals with such difficult issues right!

    Heavens. Now *I’m* doing it.

  26. ray from mn says:

    On September 18, the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform in the Twin Cities held a “synod” at a hotel in Minneapolis to discuss their plans for reform of the Church to meet their requirements. Over 400 showed up, most well over 70 years of age (I was an observer during the registration period and I’m 68, so I know what I’m talking about). Most of the few under 40 were members of various homosexual groups.

    So far, nothing much has been reported to indicate that they reached a workable program for their future (in 20 years most of them will be dead from natural causes). Blog comments indicate that many of them intend to attend the Detroit meeting of the American Catholic Council next year.

  27. bookworm says:

    A somewhat similar gathering is scheduled in Springfield, Ill. on Oct. 23, led by none other than Sr. Joan Chittister. The sponsoring group is called “Women at the Well” and I don’t know a whole lot about it. I do know that the Springfield Diocese and Bp. Paprocki have , so far, said absolutely NOTHING about it, probably not wanting to call any unnecessary attention to it. Also, it’s being held in a (secular) convention hall and not a Catholic facility — I suspect the Bishop turned them away, or they never bothered asking him. Some parishes (apparently the more liberal-leaning ones) have mentioned it but the ones I attend have not mentioned it at all.) I had no clue about it until I saw an ad for it in a secular newspaper.

  28. david andrew says:

    It’s worth noting that “Call to Holiness” is planning to hold their convention in Livonia, MI at the same time.

  29. Magpie says:

    If only the Irish bishops had the courage to issue a statement such as this following the establishment of the dissident ‘Association of Catholic Priests’ here in Ireland. Instead, they welcomed the establishment of a group for priests.

  30. Tony Layne says:

    @ ghp95134: There is an antithesis coffee to Mystic Monk. If you’ll just step on over to Denny’s with me … No? Ah, well.

    We’ll actually have to see how many crypto-Protestants actually show up for this anti-synod. I’m betting that the numbers will be just large enough that the MSM overlooks the average age to play it up.

  31. Jason Keener says:

    “[And after his talk there will be a break for the participants either to play some shuffle board or to change their Depends.]” LOL!!!! This line reminded me of something I’d see in an Ann Coulter column. Too funny!

  32. @ david: Thanks for bringing up Call to Holiness which will be held that same weekend on the Saturday before Pentecost. That is ordination day here in Detroit that Saturday the ACC conference is held.

    The timing of the “Elephants” meeting on October 18th, which is publicly scheduled at Our Lady of Fatima in Oak Park (advertised as a “Listening Session” which the AoD warns against hosting or attending, and the release of this statement yesterday, is very interesting.

    The Elephants in the Living Room are a dissident group of Catholics that have been around a long time.

    I think it was thought among some bishops that it was best to not make public statements and give these groups attention. In the combox of the post I made on this yesterday, sadly, someone says something which goes along these lines. He simply wrote in:

    Thanks, Allen, for helping to boost attendance!!

    That sentiment right there is one reason why I think some bishops were reluctant to speak up. They feared they would actually lead people to the very thing they wanted them to avoid. However, I think many know now, especially the younger bishops, that there is greater harm in saying nothing (which is why we see a number of them speaking up).

    If someone sees that advisory and then decides to go to the event against the wishes of the local bishop (a prideful thing to do), then it is on them. If the bishop doesn’t warn about the dangers of the event, and some unsuspecting soul goes and is taken in by the scandal, it is on the bishop.

    Further, by putting out a statement so early, he is basically letting any of these priests and bishops from outside the diocese know not to bother looking for sanction. His Excellency is saying, “Not in my diocese!”

    With regards to the parish in question, I would imagine the AoD is in contact with them, or has been in contact with them. The only thing showing on the parish website (which is a blog), is in the bulletin. For the 18th, the October 3rd bulletin shows a meeting for the “Elephants”.

    These kinds of groups always use “loophole” theology to get around such statements.

  33. Dissidents throw a nutty; pull “sex abuse” card…

    In a new article released this morning in the Detroit Free Press, we get this…

    The group’s cochair, Janet Hauter of Chicago , responded Wednesday that some Catholic leaders “use scare tactics to silence people.”

    There are “many Catholics dismayed at the lack of responsible pastoral leadership within the church, the lack of accountability for the sinfully criminal behaviors of predator priests and their clerical enablers and the lack of fiscal transparency present in reporting how hard earned donations are being spent and/or stolen,” Hauter said.

    Read more: In a clash over faith, Catholics urged to stay clear of ’11 meeting | | Detroit Free Press

  34. Jackie L says:

    The “Elephants” are meeting on a Monday between 1-3:30. Not a good time for a meeting unless you’re of a certain age.

  35. Vox clamantis in deserto says:

    To Henry Edwards, regarding the Ukrainian Orthodox Greek-Catholic Church:

    The Ukrainian Orthodox Greek-Catholic Church has similar problems like FSSPX…if not worse. Four of its founders are excommunicated, the Apostolic Signatura confirmed the excommunication.

    While much of what they say is up to a certain measure true, they are heading towards some strange kind of sedevacantism…declaring that his Holiness Benedict XVI is the Pope, but ignoring his decisions…

    The schism is spreading also into the Roman Catholic Church. In January 2010 three priests and a deacon (all Roman Catholics) were excommunicated in the archdiocese of Bratislava (Slovakia). The reason was that they more or less repeated what UOGCC says, but with an addition of some heretic statements…

    I highly recommend to be cautious if reading anything from them. Yes, much of what they say is up to a certain measure true, and, exactly because of this, they are dangerous.

  36. wmeyer says:

    As a matter of interest, the ACC website, on the page called “Who We Are” offers nothing specific about who they are. No names, even of their officers (assuming it is an actual organization.) The only actual information about people involved comes from their corporate charter.

  37. Iowa Mike says:

    In answer to Janya’s questions, “What are the consequences if they do [hold the conference].” Great question….these people will incur ‘Latae Sententiae’ [automatic self ex-communication] if they insist on promoting heretical doctrines or practices. There doesn’t need to be any formal declaration by the Church.

    As for the National Catholic Reporter; I have written to them requesting they stop using ‘Catholic’ in their name. After all these people are public heretics and as such are not longer part of the Church (Latae Sententiae]. They should call themselver the ‘National Heretic-Catholic Reporter’ or the ‘National Former-Catholic Reporter’ but they do not have the right to use the term Catholic. I wish our bishops would make this clear to them. I encourace Catholics to do more than post on these blogs……..write the National Former-Catholic Distorter and make clear they should change their name….ask the bishops to ask…..push their buttons.

    God Bless

  38. catholicmidwest says:

    Jayna, you said,” Will there be consequences…..?”
    I heartily doubt it. There never are. All kinds of church employees from all over the US will probably show up and party down. And nothing will be done.

    Fr Sotelo, you said, “If the Pope and bishops actually put stings and consequences into their words against the radical dissenters, we would lose half the membership of the Church.” I’m not sure it would be half, but it would be plenty. And it would sound like a catfight on steroids because our dissidents are the mouthiest characters in the whole church.

  39. catholicmidwest says:

    And….many of our dissidents work for the church. Yes, they are on the payroll and they are in positions that many rank & file Catholics w0n’t defy simply because of their positions. This is one of the practical reasons why rooting out this nonsense has been so difficult.

  40. Supertradmum says:

    Father Sotelo,
    Let there be consequences and a true remnant Church

    What are the devils drinking, or would you rather not tell us?

    And….there absolutely must be consequences, the same in all dioceses, and from the top.

  41. Supertradmum says:

    P.S. What if the Bishops in those places where these horrible Call to Action, and permutations thereof, meetings are taking place,yes, what if the Bishops held a great rally at the diocesan Cathedrals for a public rosary, Adoration, and Benediction, at the same time as those meetings were being held?

    Would not the Holy Spirit answer a cry for orthodoxy?

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