About that meeting…(thanks to Andrew Rabel)

This is just FYI. You remember that I referred to a public meeting coming up for supporters of “that petition”. It was held last night while I was at an important ecumenical meeting.

I add no comments to this piece, since I wasn’t there, but Andrew Rabel (who was) has written what appears to be a very good summary of the event. I do put this up with some trepidation, as I know it will be fuel to the fire of some who see such actions of dissent as proof to the apostacy of the Catholic Church. I simply point to the fact that

1) the teachings of the Church are quite clear even if there are many who do not want to hear them, and

2) the “disruptors” were a group of young people while the presenters were generally from the ranks of the over 60’s.

Special Report by Andrew Rabel

On the evening of November 22, 2007 in Melbourne, Australia a well organized public meeting of dissenters to the Catholic faith, was disrupted by a group of mainly young persons, who protested their loyalty to the Holy Father and the Magisterium.

Held under the auspices of a newly named organization called Catholics for Ministry, the group in conjunction with a previously long established organization subversive of church teaching known as Catalyst for Renewal has this last few weeks been organizing a nation wide petition to the upcoming meeting of the Australian Bishops Conference later in the month, asking for the ordination of married men to the priesthood, the employment of ex-priests in church ministry, and for discussion on the ordination of women. The petition has received 11,000 signatures according to organizers.

At one point, the organizers threatened to extricate the vocal group from the auditorium seated in the front who held up copies of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, rosary beads, and placards with signs like “Women Priests. Don’t you understand the word no” and “We profess loyalty to the Holy Father”, as the speakers gave their presentations. There were several hundred persons assembled in the Camberwell Civic Centre (the location of the conference) mainly of middle aged and elderly persons.

One young member of the vocal group who was being shouted down was threatened with assault by one of the organizers, “I will hit you if you keep on doing this”, creating a situation of near pandemonium and a threat from the floor to end the meeting, but eventually tempers cooled.

At least where Australia is concerned, there is little doubt the tensions that followed in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, are alive and well and are evidence of the existence of parallel church structures that profess to be Catholic. Mrs Veronica Sidhu, a well known Catholic laywoman in Melbourne, an organizer of the counter protest said, “Catholic people are just sick and tired of the dissent to church teaching that appears to be tolerated in official circles.”

The keynote speaker to the address was Mr Paul Collins, religious broadcaster and former Catholic priest who left his ministry in 2001 in the middle of an investigation by the Vatican of his then published book Papal Power which indicated the papacy as practiced in the contemporary church is an anachronism, and should embrace democratic structures.

When someone referred to the fact that the then Cardinal Ratzinger who was conducting the investigation was now the pope, Collins referred to his record of defense of the former head of the CDF, a very hollow claim in light of his published book, and his previous work, Mixed Blessings.

In his paper he drew attention to the tremendous shortage of priests in the country, and how the present situation is unsustainable for church ministry, despite the fact that Australia has one of the best parishioner-to-priest ratios in the world.

Dr Anne O’Brien, educator and former official of the Catholic Education Office in Melbourne indicated that the Church must adapt to present day viewpoints and perceptions, and that notions like salvation and redemption were outmoded. Looking at the young people in the front she commented that she had taught many youngsters like this over the years.

Ms Marilyn Hatton, (now the wife of Mr Collins) co-convener of a group called the Ordination of Catholic Women, said in light of the drastic shortage of priests, it was the time the Church appreciated the scriptural evidence that there were no barriers to women’s ordination, despite the definitive judgment of Pope John Paul in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, that the Church is not authorized to ordain women as clergy.

Mr Terry Curtin, a former leader of a parish in Aspendale, that was part of an experiment conducted by the Archdiocese of Melbourne in the early 1990s to have a parish run by a layperson, referred to the positive aspects of his ministry that was later discontinued, making a very strong plug for the ordination of married men. He said the then Archbishop George Pell didn’t have an ideological problem with married priests, but feared the departure of celibate men from the priesthood, in discontinuing the experiment. More likely, it would have been for his strong defense of the Catholic priesthood and much repeated notion that “I will not have my priests deprived of their ministry” when heading the archdioceses of both Melbourne and Sydney.

Critics of the young people in the audience accused them of being discourteous, calling out and not letting the speakers be heard, but they said it was the Catholic position that was silenced at this meeting.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to About that meeting…(thanks to Andrew Rabel)

  1. Peregrinus says:

    I wasn’t there either, but it may be of interest to draw attention to another report of the meeting which has been posted on the Cathnews discussion board: http://members4.boardhost.com/cathtelecom/msg/1195800341.html

  2. Past Elder says:

    Same old, same old. Welcome to the 1960s. Yawn. Snore.

    I suppose the old illusion that “dissent” is just a dying thing with aging dissenters, after whose death everything will be wonderful with the vigourously Catholic youth is supposed to save the day.

    Yeah, that’s why the seminaries and novitiates are turning them away in droves, and more Masses have to be added to parish schedules to accomodate all these young people. Right.

    Guess what. The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” is also a product and expression of dissent from Catholic teaching by the now over 60 crowd. So two brands of non-Catholicism confront each other. Who cares who wins that one, either way Catholicism loses because it was never in the game.

    And THAT is what witnesses to the apostacy of the “Catholic” church — not the presenters at the podium. Presenters and protesters alike are dissenters, the latter position holding official sanction and the former including most everybody else who bothers to hang around this ludicrous time warp.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The trouble with meetings like this one is that attenders go with minds already made up.

  4. Brian Coyne says:

    Andrew Rabel rang me seeking confirmation of the name of the wife of Paul Collins. In all honesty I did not know and he protested he wanted to get his facts correct. He later emailed saying that he had confirmed the information via a Google search. What I find disappointing in Mr Rabel’s report is his attempt to downplay the success of this petition. Also clearly available on the net is the fact that it has collected in excess of 16,000 signatures, not the 11,000 that Mr Rabel mentions. I thought that would have been an even easier fact, and a more important one to get correct.

    Good attempt Andrew but I sense the wind has shifted and those who have attempted at every turn for the past 40 years to undo the collective work of the Bishops of the Church at the Second Vatican Council are coming to an end. I do concede that you may still “win” and drag the institutional Church down to the point where only 5% remain as active participants and you’ll all be marching into who knows where absolutely and totally convinced that you are the only ones who are “saved”.

    As you people would well know, it is one of the hardest jobs in the world to get ordinary folk up off their butts to express openly how they feel. For decades the conservative elements have had the field to themselves because it is relatively easy to motive the zealots and those who feel threatened by various insecurities. It is all the more remarkable then that so many turned out to this meeting, so many have actually taken the trouble to sign this petition, and similarly the meetings concerning Bishop Geoffrey Robinson’s book have been drawing such large audiences and it’s sales have stunned the Australian publisher. We hear that the Cardinal has actually banned any meetings on Church property in the Sydney archdiocese concerning Bishop Robinson’s book, including meetings attended by Bishop Robinson himself. What a pathetic joke. What do you people think God must be sitting up there thinking of these sorts of games? Do you think he might be clapping his hands with glee? What sort of reception do you believe is awaiting these men who have overseen the decline of the insitution over the last century? Do you think God is going to listen to the escuses that it was all the devil’s fault? Or it was because they were sucked out of the Church by liberalism, secularism, consumerism, libertarianism or whatever? Do you honestly think those who have exercised leadership position in stewardship of the institution while this most massive decline in history has been allowed to take place are going to be able to offer excuses like that? Oh, but we’ve all been so Loyal to the Holy Father!!!!!!!!!

  5. Samuel Clemens says:

    For those who came in late, here is an mp3 recording of the meeting last night. It runs for almost 2 hours and is 77mb.


  6. andyjourn says:

    It is important to get one’s facts right, and I do regret to say the version of my article David put on the site, is an earlier draft, where I have made a number of changes to. I did not know David was going to put this on his blog, and was something I just wanted to share with him.

    In justice, I would like to say in regard to the incident I refer to in my piece that this was not an organizer, but a security guard who made the threat and I apologize to the organizers of the conference for any misrepresentation here.

    In addition to this, in the later version I have indicated the correctly quoted number of 16,000 signatures.

    From this experience I have learnt that as a writer, one must be cautious about showing a draft version of an article to somebody, in case there are corrections to be made, as in the world of cyberspace it can easily be transferred on to the Net with the current climate of blogs.

    So Brian, I may call you again if I am unsure about any particular facts.

    However, I make no apology for drawing attention to the meeting, as I believe their subversive agenda is disloyal to the Church’s Magisterium and the Holy Father, and thankfully most young Catholics who are serious about their faith (evidenced by the young people at the meeting) have no interest in these things, but want to be loyal to the Holy Father, as today’s quoted statement by the president of the Australian Catholic Students Association on CathNews.

    After the meeting I joined the kids to sing a chorus of Salve Regina, emphasizing our reliance on the intercession of Our Blessed Mother.

    As for Brian’s comment that I believe “my group are the only ones who are saved” surely he would know that it is a Calvinist idea that the “Church is the community of the elect” and that it is Roman Catholic teaching that no one has an absolute assurance of salvation.

    As St Paul says in his epistle to the Phillipians, “Work out your salvation in fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12)

    Andrew Rabel

  7. Schütz says:

    My apologies, Andrew. I assumed that this was the final draft. Sorry. I will ask permission before doing this next time. But truly, I assumed that since you had given me the article, it was for publication. I do have a reputation, you know!

  8. andyjourn says:

    Ha ha. Well don’t we all, David. Thankfully the updated version has appeared in Catholic World News (CWN) in Boston, this morning.

    I had a chat with Phil Lawler on the telephone, and he is just as determined to expose the agenda of individuals who dissent from the Church’s teaching, as obviously this is not confined to Australia, regardless of the fact that to use the lexicon of Bob Santamaria, this “provincial backwater” is my concern.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *