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Monday, February 13, 2006

Those who hate the Church of God

Today I did something very bad for my blood pressure: I went to a presentation given by Sr. Christine Schenk, ringleader of the movement FutureChurch. It was bad. (For some more information on what this group has been doing in Cleveland, see Save Our Church.)

I saw the term "FutureChurch" on the flyers and new that it was surely a sign of a Bad Thing, so I did a little preliminary fact-checking before I went. I discovered some interesting things.
  • They're in bed with Call to Action, which claims they are a local affiliate, and Voice of the Faithful, which some supporters are using a front organization to gain positions of authority in parish councils (in Cleveland, of which the group works).
  • The group also denies the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. You can see on their website that they regard "Eucharist" (no article) as being at the center of Catholic life and worship, but it's dang hard to find out where they say exactly what the Eucharist is -- more on this later.
  • They deny the teaching authority of both the magisterium and Scripture -- they make it very clear that Tradition is the flawed result of males writing history, and one of their leaders, at a "festival" in 2003, called St. John the Evangelist a "liar," and said that people ought not to "buy into Scripture."
  • They also have very close ties and have cooperated in events with wiccan and neo-pagan groups that seek to supplant Christianity with pantheistic goddess-worship.
  • While advocating for the ordination of women, they simultaneously deny the apostolic nature of ordination itself by claiming that "Jesus did not ordain anyone."
  • They deny that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and that Peter was given the keys to the kingdom of Heaven.
  • They've been booted from Church property and officially disavowed in the Diocese of Cleveland.
  • Our guest speaker, Sr. Schenk, participated in "ordination" antics on the St. Lawrence River -- and is therefore almost surely under the excommunication that Benedict pronounced on these groups, or at the very least a latae sententiae excommunication for having participated in a schismatic act. I thought she was just a heretic -- apparently she's a schismatic as well.

So, clearly, we've got someone who is bad news. But it gets better. During the course of her presentation (which started off rather low key: "Jesus was nice to women") she referred to the Holy Spirit as "she," couldn't be brough to refer to the Blessed Virgin by any more dignified name than "Mary of Nazareth" (and only mentioned her at all when asked a direct question), and claimed that women "priests" in the early Church claimed their apostolic succession from Our Lady. When pressed on her views about the Blessed Sacrament, she mumbled the same gibberish about the centrality of "Eucharist" to the Catholic worship, and then said that "we are Eucharist."

"We are Eucharist"? What are you smoking? That's far worse than denying the Real Presence in and of itself -- that's pantheistic self-worship. To say that you and I are the Eucharist -- are God -- is to deny the very existential nature of the universe itself. That's not just a slip-up arising from improperly conflating the mystical Body of Christ with the substantiall present Body of Christ -- it's downright blasphemy. Those who are faithful to the magisterium are often accused of being selfish, or holding too tightly to "old beliefs." But believing the Truths that others have maintained and handed down to you is not selfish -- it's humble, because it represents the recognition that you, by yourself, haven't got the answers, but that God does. Deifing yourself and elevating your own person and own judgment above God is the most self-centered and horrifying act possible. It is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven.

Our Lady, Help of Christians, oro pro nobis
Our Lady, exterminatrix of heretics, oro pro nobis
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities, have mercy on us

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Blogger Moneybags said...

"We are Eucharist"!!!

You handled it better than I. I would have stood up and argued the truth. We really need to pray for these people.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Chad said...

I would have had some sort of seizure and been carted out of the room. But, I suppose that would have been translated as some sort of ecstatic state for the joy of the FutureChurch...

I'll keep an eye out for these wackos down here in Raleigh. I suspect they're well represented.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Theocoid said...

Truly appalling. We get an occasional whiff of funny business around here (Boise, Idaho) but nothing this blatant.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A we are Eucharist article was published in our archdiocesean paper, here in Melbourne Australia, in 2005.

12:06 AM  

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