Archbishop Vigneron Exposes 'American Catholic Council', Warns Faithful
Our age is much like the first half of the first Christian Millennium. Some of the same heresies are emerging once again.
'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. 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.'
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.
DETROIT, MI (Catholic Online) - Throughout Christian history one of the greatest tributes which can be given to a Bishop is "Defender of Orthodoxy". It was used in reference to such greats in our family history as Athanasius and Leo the Great. Bishops are the teachers of the Church, guardians of the deposit of faith.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church declares, "Just as the office which the Lord confided to Peter alone, as first of the apostles, destined to be transmitted to his successors, is a permanent one, so also endures the office, which the apostles received, of shepherding the Church, a charge destined to be exercised without interruption by the sacred order of bishops." Hence the Church teaches that "the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as pastors of the Church, in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ."(CCC#862)
Our age is much like the first half of the first Christian Millennium. Some of the same heresies are emerging once again. Pretending to be new, they have just dressed themselves in new language. Their threat to the health of Body of Christ is as serious as ever. Heresy is like poison; just a little can make the Body very ill. We are fortunate to have contemporary Bishops who deserve the label "Defender of Orthodoxy." We recently called attention to one of them, Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit. His defense of human embryonic life in the Detroit Free Press was an example.
The Catholic Church teaches what the early fathers, Saints and Councils throughout the ages have all affirmed, to belong to Jesus is to belong to His Body, the Church. Our membership in the Church is a participation in the life of God; what the Apostle Peter referred to as a "participation in the Divine nature". (2 Peter 1:4) The Church is not "Some - thing" but rather "Some - One", the Risen Body of the Lord Jesus Christ continuing His redemptive mission in the world until He returns. Through our Baptism the Church becomes our home, the privileged place in which we live our lives in Christ for the sake of the world. We are called to love the Church.
In its treatment of the Church the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is "the world reconciled." She is that bark which "in the full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world." According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood." (CCC #845)
The erection of the new Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization is one more sign of a new missionary age of, by and through the Church. The promise of Christ is reliable;"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18) The Church is the means through which we participate in the very life of God. To her has been entrusted the Sacraments and the Word, the gift of a teaching office and the very means of salvation. The Church is not an optional "extra" that we add to our lives, she is our life. From the Lord's wounded side she was birthed at the tree of Calvary, the altar of the new world. She is the seed of the kingdom to come and makes that kingdom present in a world waiting to be reborn.She is God's plan for the salvation of the whole world.
Last year John Hushon, a "Voice of the Faithful" (VOTF) board member, announced that he was a co-chair of a new umbrella organization of dissenting Catholics calling itself the "American Catholic Council". This "Council" includes other dissenting groups. The Council is planning a public gathering on June 10-11, 2011 (Pentecost), in Detroit, Michigan. It's approach does not demonstrate love for the Church or fidelity to her teaching office. Nor does it accurately present the teaching of the Second Vatican Council.
We need to do more than report on the dissenters who seek to change the Church rather than change themselves. We need a coalition of Catholic Christians who choose to embrace the fullness of the Christian faith found within the full communion of the Catholic Church with gratitude, fidelity and evangelistic zeal to tell the world that there is a rising tide of Catholics who love the Church and seek to be loyal to her teaching. I am one of those Catholics and I invite the global readers of Catholic Online who share this desire to consider a response to this newest effort to dissent from the Church.
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