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None Dare Call It Apostasy
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - By Michael Hichborn

On the cross at Calvary, there were two men crucified next to Our Blessed Lord. To His right was St. Dismas, a good thief, who repented of his sins and begged forgiveness. To His left was Gestas, a rebel who mocked Our Lord, challenging Him to reject His cross and save the three of them from their physical sufferings and death. The example of these two men calls to mind the divisions Jesus spoke of when He said that He would separate the wheat from the chaff and the lambs from the goats. On one side is salvation; on the other is death and everlasting fire. Today, this division is becoming abundantly clear.

As the director of American Life League’s Defend the Faith project, I have seen the festering cancer of Modernism, immorality, and disobedience laying waste to communities within the Catholic Church. “Dissenters” put forth ideas suggesting that it is acceptable, and indeed “Catholic,” to disagree with fundamental Church teachings on moral and theological issues such as abortion, birth control, homosexuality, and women’s ordination. Garbage-liners like the National Catholic Reporter, America Magazine, Commonweal, and US Catholic have all published articles attempting to question the Church’s teachings on all these things without openly rebelling against the Church. Funding agencies like the Catholic Campaign for Human Development have seen fit to grant money to organizations that speak at events promoting homosexuality (like the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights), or produce voter guides endorsing same-sex marriage (like Coalition LA). Catholic parishes, like Most Holy Redeemer in San Francisco, host a wide variety of openly homosexual events. Pro-abortion politicians who claim to be Catholic, such as John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelius, or Joe Biden, openly profess their support for abortion, homosexuality, and birth control while maintaining a feigned allegiance to their Catholic faith. The sad truth is this: While these “dissenters” have, in reality, abandoned their faith, very few seem willing to publicly rebuke, chastise, or correct these institutions and individuals. But last week, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) gave us a firm sign of strength and fortitude.

The Leadership Conference on Women Religious, which represents over 80 percent of the 57,000 nuns in the United States, underwent an investigation that started in 2008. Last week, the CDF published the results of this investigation, along with the 5-year reform that will be imposed on the conference. Immediately after the document’s publication, National Catholic Reporter published a screed, concluding with this call for open rebellion against the Catholic Church: “I have just one thought: Resisting injustice is the ultimate act of virtue in our time.”

Earlier this week, NCR broadened this call for rebellion in an article titled, “LCWR: A radical obedience to the voice of God in our time.”   At the end of the article, the author clearly draws a line in the sand—and steps on the side that is NOT with the Vatican: “If the sisters are ejected from the church, we must create church around them. If they are evicted from their properties, those with the means must take them in.”

Not to be left out, US Catholic, in an article titled, “It Ain’t Easy Being a Woman Today: LCWR to be ‘Renewed’ by USCCB and CDF,” also calls for open rebellion against the Vatican: “Finally, they can just accept the findings and the remedies and comply. I, for one, hope they do not. And I look forward to hearing from some of the women religious I have been inspired by, the women who, when studying theology, gave me hope for a better and brighter church.”

It isn’t surprising that dissenting publications such as these are so upset about the CDF’s document. The reason is simple. This document indirectly applies to them as well. For instance, this statement is equally applicable to the above-mentioned individuals, publications, and organizations:

While there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the Church’s social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception [i.e., an individual’s biological beginning] to death, a question that is part of the lively public debate about abortion and euthanasia in the United States. Further, issues of crucial importance in the life of the Church and society, such as the Church’s Biblical view of family life and human sexuality, are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes Church teaching. Moreover, occasional public statements by the LCWR that disagree with or challenge positions taken by the bishops, who are the Church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals, are not compatible with its purpose.

In his 1995 address to the United Nations, Pope John Paul II said, “The tears of this century have prepared the ground for a new springtime of the human spirit.” Over 40 years of dissent and confusion within our Catholic Church over abortion, birth control, and homosexuality have played a significant role in the creation of those tears, and now, praise God, the new springtime seems to be upon us. As openly dissenting Catholics loudly proclaim their rebellion—or dare I say, apostasy—Our Blessed Lord stands in the middle. On His right are St. Dismas, the good thief; the lambs; and the wheat, while to His left are Gestas, the bad thief; the goats; and the chaff. While both sides suffer equally, only one side has life everlasting.

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Preston Ritchie | 2012-04-26 14:53:36
The first sin was the sin of pride. When God's chosen choose their own agendas to fit in with the culture to appease those they serve rather than God and His Chosen Fathers of the Church, their arrogance is stupefying to the faithful Catholic. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide our Holy Father Benedict and the hierarchy to bring those in darkness into the light. If they continue to choose darkness under the guise of their own designs and worship at the altar of the false gods of modernism, they only continue to create chaos among the faithful. May the true Dismas's step forward and hopefully with God's grace the rest may follow.
Kathryn Hichborn | 2012-04-26 09:10:12
Excellent! About time they were called to task!
Barbara Ettner | 2012-04-26 08:37:44
I miss the good old days when the vocation to become a sister originated from a desire to be Christ's bride through an invitation that was recognized as coming from God and not from oneself; the invitation was embraced for the purpose of serving others and not an invented political or social agenda. Based on exhaustive and documented study of contemporary religious order,it seems as though, for some women, the engagement period was not long enough or important enough for them to understand their future Beloved or His perfect plan and the untold riches He had in store for those faithful to Him. We used to think of sisters as "other Marys," whose lives were modeled on her vocation: "Be it done to me according to Thy word." Even with guidance and loving exortation, it appears some women in religious orders today will not be reconciled with their Bridegroom. How incredibly sad for them and for the world.
Terri K | 2012-04-25 17:43:50
I wish I could be satisfied with the thought that these apostates will be denied eternal life. I say more needs to be about the way these people scandalize the rest of us. Hardly anybody in the US gets proper catechesis right now and these loud-mouthed dissenters confuse people. How is it charitable or proper to let that continue unchecked? I hope this action against feminist nuns is just the beginning.
Andrew | 2012-04-25 17:31:49
Needed a little dose of hope today. Thanks for that!
Melissa | 2012-04-25 17:22:32
Wonderful article! I especially appreciate the dominant image of the two criminals on either side of Christ. As for me, I just continue to wonder why individuals -- who have so many problems with the magisterial teaching of the Church and the authority of the Vatican -- persist in calling themselves Catholic. Do they not know what it means or are they getting something else out of it? Are they actively trying to subvert the Church "from the inside" or are they merely arrogant/ignorant?
AzNativeCatholicGrandma | 2012-04-25 17:08:57
SPOT ON!!! Thanks for laying this out in a thought provoking manner. I do hope this is read and shared by all CATHOLICS. There is NO room for debate when it comes to ABORTION and EUTHANASIA. PERIOD. God help us as we battle against the principalities and rulers of darkness! St. Michael defend us in battle!