Blogger, Petrus, a member of the Diocese of Paisley, submitted the following article on the schismatic rumblings lurking in the final document published at the conclusion of the recent diocesan meeting of malcontents aka diocesan “synod”.
Pope Francis wants the Church to stop what it has been doing and make a fresh start. He is calling for a revolution in our thinking and acting. We have to stop trying to save the Church and instead try to spread the Gospel. (From the Final Document, Diocesan Synod)
On becoming Bishop of Paisley, Bishop John Keenan announced that he would hold a Diocesan Synod on the “New Evangelisation”. I emailed the bishop with these recommendations to before the synod:
- The faithful should receive Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue.
- Only the priest should distribute the Blessed Sacrament.
- Restore the practice of altar servers being exclusively male given that there is a strong link between serving on the altar and vocations to the priesthood.
- Restore Latin to the liturgy in every parish.
- Weekly benediction of the blessed Sacrament and parish Rosary in every parish.
- Consecrate the Diocese of Paisley to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
I’ve just read Bishop Keenan’s reply, saying this was music to his ears! However, there’s not a mention of these things in the final document, which has just been published. The document is scandalous. I have provided the worst quotes from the report below.
Anyone wishing to read the entire document will find it here
The centre piece of the publication is the Diocesan Charter:
Paisley Diocesan Charter
The Diocese of Paisley, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and through the patronage of Our Lady of Paisley, will work towards being a faith filled community where:
- There is a commitment to effective evangelisation centred on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a life lived with faith and charity.
- Faith formation and active discipleship are of fundamental importance in developing the ‘Role of the Laity in the New Evangelisation’ within our parish and diocesan communities.
- There is dynamic and collaborative engagement among all those called through Baptism into the family of God to use their gifts and talents to build up the body of Christ in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
- All families feel welcome when they enter the church for liturgies, sacramental preparation or for support of any kind.
- Youth are valued as bringing life to the Church.
- There is a commitment to reach out to all of society, in particular those who feel excluded, offering witness to our belief that each person, made in the image and likeness of God, is deserving of dignity and respect.
- The structures of the Diocese are designed to meet the needs of the diverse communities that they serve.
- Each parish grows as a welcoming family of faith and each member of the parish community feels they belong and have something to contribute.
- Communication in all its components: the message, the medium and the language, is understood as central to the success of the church in the modern era.
- We actively use communication to promote the gospel message of peace and reconciliation. END
As readers will no doubt note, this could be used in any denomination and nothing marks this out as Catholic.
As we move into the main body of the document I will simply provide the worst of what is a completely non-Catholic publication:
“Pope Francis wants the Church to stop what it has been doing and make a fresh start. He is calling for a revolution in our thinking and acting. We have to stop trying to save the Church and instead try to spread the Gospel.”
“The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council thought that the laity had become too passive or secondary as members in the Church, not much more than the ‘long arm’ of the clergy. They had not been afforded their own proper dignity, vocation and responsibility. “
“New evangelisation is ecumenical. New evangelisation sees Catholics, Protestants and Evangelicals working together in the world, passing on the central Christian message.”
“Our Church is tired and too introverted to change. Many practising Catholics see the Church like belonging to a spiritual club that exists for the personal benefit of its members.”
There then follows a section on the feedback the bishop received as he went round the Diocese prior to the synod. This is obviously feedback the bishop sympathises with (there’s no mention of the feedback I provided).
- “We need a new Pentecost. Our Pentecostal brethren are strong and we can learn from them.”
- “We can learn from Pentecostal services which are different every week. The young find Mass boring. We need to find different ways of celebrating it in order to convert them.”
- “Those who cannot go to Holy Communion should be addressed. The Church is conflicted on the GAY issue. They perceive themselves to be judged. No-one asked them what their life is like. The Church needs to look at how it treats GAYs and the marginalised. The trials of life take people away, e.g. divorce. So they do not feel part of the Church. This means we lose the parents and we lose the children. What can we do about this? Is it structural? Also policies must include others. We should ask priests to apologise to those who now no longer feel part of the Church.”
- “How about an ecumenical Praise in the Park? As a young person I am really encouraged by this forward-thinking approach of innovation but I can understand the issues other are raising. We all have to look forward progressively. We cannot worry about the past but must now make the diocese better. This may be uncomfortable but remember the aim, a better, stronger diocese. “
- “We need to listen to the perspective of the young. Evangelical churches set up creative ways to bring Christ alive for children. We can learn from them. “
- “We need to focus on the Holy Spirit and work with Pentecostal groups, like Healing Rooms. We are losing our Catholics to them. There are no barriers at ground level to ecumenical work. We are just brothers who love Jesus. How does the ecumenical dimension tie into our renewal? We need to be with other Christians as churches and communities together. Can we not learn from other faiths? We have a lot to learn from evangelical communities. Ecumenism has often been formal and top down. It would be good for it to be at ground level. We can learn much from interfaith.”
- “Encouraging boys to serve at the altar is one way of promoting vocations although it would need to avoid the perception of sexism or the criticism of not learning anything from recent scandals. Young people should not be exclusively identified with boys and too much emphasis need not be placed on gender. Female servers, in fact, encourages vocations to the religious life and serving at the altar is a way for all young people to grow in their faith and prepare to live their Catholic vocation as married, single or religious.” END
I think in terms of renewing the Diocese of Paisley this synod and final publication has zero chance of making any meaningful impact. In fact, there’s really nothing Catholic about this at all. Signed… Petrus.
Before he was announced as the new Bishop of Paisley, “Father John Keenan” was repeatedly described to me as “on our side”, an “orthodox” priest. This despite the fact that he showed absolutely no sign whatsoever of being orthodox, no interest in our work. He presumably pretended to be “on our side” but I never once heard from him – like every other career-priest in Scotland, he ignored us. Then, too, there was the inconvenient fact that, as Catholic chaplain at Glasgow University, he permitted one dissenter after another to use the chaplaincy as a platform to spread their anti-Catholicism and adversely influence students. He would bleat that he really couldn’t do anything about it, when one of the Catholic Truth team would ring him to ask him to prevent this latest scandal.
So, now, here we have him in full blown dissent – not from Pope Francis, of course (that would be virtually impossible) but in dissent from Catholic teaching which decrees that to separate Christ from His Church is heresy. As Cardinal Newman put it, “…the Catholic Church IS the Christian dispensation”. Catholicism IS Christianity. Yet, Bishop Keenan urges us to learn from “our Pentecostal brethren” (Protestant extremists, albeit well-meaning individuals) and to scrap the Church (in accordance with Pope Francis’ desire) in order to start afresh. Now, about THAT they can certainly learn from the Protestants. They’ve been starting new churches since Luther, Knox & Company started the bandwagon rolling way back in the Middle Ages. The writer of the Final Document appears not to have noticed the irony in the the remark that “we are losing our Catholics to Pentecostal groups” – and I doubt if Bishop Keenan will recognise all the irony, all the NON-Catholicity in each and every sentiment of that awful document. Let’s hope it’s actually NOT the “final” document – or Paisley is doomed.
Now, don’t tell me that this is just a diocesan synod and so these suggestions probably came from lay people, or some dissenting clergy. Who cares? That would simply serve to underline the Bishop’s negligence, his dereliction of duty. You read Petrus’s suggestions, entirely in keeping with Catholic Tradition; if Bishop Keenan is so “orthodox” (yeah right) why didn’t he clutch at those suggestions as a drowning man clutches at the proverbial straw?
It’s the Bishop’s job to act as shepherd, keeping the faithful on the right path. If the Bishop had truly lamented the errors, the modernist spirit, in which his synod was clearly steeped, he should have closed it down and sent the revolutionaries home. Fleas in ears, springs to mind.
Do you see why Our Lord warned us to beware of false prophets? Do you recognise Bishop Keenan as a shepherd in wolves’ clothing? Can you see why he – and his ilk – is heading for Hell? If not, visit Specsavers. One thing is clear: if you want to save your soul, avoid Paisley Diocese like the plague.
And about that “revolution”… buy yourself a copy of the Catechism of the Council of Trent. That way, you really will revolutionise your Faith and start afresh [your spiritual life, NOT “The Church”]. We’re called to sanctify ourselves. That’s our essential Catholic vocation. We are called to change ourselves. We are NOT called to change the Church.
Let’s hear your verdict on the Paisley synod.