This darkness is cutting a wide path across our land as evidenced by the squeaky wheels of "Call to Action," "We Are Church," "Catholics for a Free Choice" and that ilk. Late last fall these groups met in Cobo Hall making a mockery of all that is sacred and holy. This was documented by Donna Steichen, the well-known author of the revealing book Ungodly Rage. In the January 1997 issue of The Catholic World Report - the excellent monthly publication from Ignatius Press and edited by the respected Jesuit Father Joseph Fessio, Donna, along with a host of other writers including Russell Shaw PR Director for the Knights of Columbus, unmasked the intentions of this hodgepodge of former priests, nuns and malcontents who want to change the Church into their image and likeness, not Christ's. It was a study in contrasting dichotomies for meeting at the same time as "Call to Action" and in the same area were a group of loyal Catholics at a "Call to Holiness" conference. The list of luminaries for this latter conference reads like a who's who of loyal Roman Catholic leaders - Father John Hardon, SJ, Father Fessio, Mother Angelica, founder of EWTN, Father Richard Welch, CSsR,, a canon lawyer for Human Life International, E. Michael Jones, originator of Fidelity and Culture Wars magazines, and Father John Harvey, OSFS, who is the director of COURAGE, a special organization dedicated to supporting people with gay and lesbian tendencies to lead a chaste life. The focal point of this conference for Catholics United for the Faith was the Blessed Sacrament where the temporary chapel was fulled to capacity as conference goers flocked to Our Lord's presence from the early morning until 10 pm each night when the conference ended for the day. Prayer was paramount to these Catholics. On the other hand, at the "Call To Action" conference prayer was non-existent. The list of speakers read like a "has been" list beginning with the rebel German priest Hans Kung whose liberal agenda prompted Pope John Paul II to deprive him of the status of Catholic Theologian. In retaliation Kung continues his tirade on Rome and was only too willing to travel to Detroit to vex his anger and propose an "all-world global ethic" compromise that would recognize most other religions while downplaying the importance and marks of the True Church. The rest of the list consisted of former nuns and priests and, by Donna's own words, "a national organization at the visible tip of the American Catholic ecclesiastical revolt...most of them gray-haired nuns (identifiable as nuns only by their name tags) and other employees of church middle-management, along with priests in colored shirts and v-necked sweaters, defrocked priests, former religious, academics." It is no surprise as to the identification of the four bishops at the conference - Raymond Lucker of the infamous New Ulm, Minnesota diocese where a church there was taken over by a coven of new age witches with his blessing and the parishioners told to like it or leave it; the controversial French bishop Jacques Gaillot who the Pope removed from his see of Evreux; the retired bishop of Steubenville whom the conservative and loyal Franciscan University there was more than glad to say good riddance to - Albert Ottenweller; and, last but not least the notorious auxiliary bishop of Detroit Thomas Gumbleton who has openly supported the gay rights movement presiding at gatherings organized by homosexual activists and blatantly displayed this on his miter which is vividly portrayed on the cover of the aforementioned articles in The Catholic World Report.
We ask, which group would you like to guide you. That, of course, is a no-brainer! But think for a moment how many would stop and wonder and still be confused. Adding to this confusion was Gumbleton's superior, Cardinal Adam Maida who, while not condoning the "Call to Action" Conference did not censure the Detroit Archdiocese Director of the Office of Catechetics and Religious Education Sister Betty Flaherty, O.P. who told all the leaders of religious education in the various parishes of the archdiocese that they were "free to attend the CTA conference" providing they did not let anyone know they were associated with the archdiocese. Conversely, he did speak out about the Call to Holiness conference, saying in part, "I do not think it is helpful when individuals or groups...organize counter-gatherings or protests as a response to Call to Action." The Cardinal evidently was oblivious to Paul's warning in Romans 16: 17-18, "Now I exhort you, brethren, that you watch those who cause dissensions and scandals contrary to the doctrine that you have learned, and avoid them. For such do not serve Christ our Lord but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattery deceive the hearts of the simple." Donna Steichen confirmed that Maida did not actively encourage parishioners to stay away from the CTA conference yet he did actively try to dissaude the sponsors of the Call to Holiness conference to cancel their plans. Readers are free to draw their own conclusions as to the Cardinal's motives. It was a harbinger of things to come as Fr. Hardon related to all at the Call to Holiness conference what his Vatican supervisors have foretold, "barring a miracle of grace, one diocese after another in the United States will disappear." This is highly possible when we see the state of things in the huge archdiocese of Detroit. We doubt there are problems of this type in the Peoria or South Dakota or the Lincoln dioceses. Why? Because the bishops of these dioceses are not only directing their flock in all that is Roman Catholic but vocations are flourishing. Yet the persecutions of loyal Catholics continue and will intensify as we near the new millennium. Fr. Hardon affirmed this when he told the conference goers, "the call to holiness is a call to martyrdom." The martyrdom he spoke of was not necessarily that of being put to death bodily, but spiritually for he continued, "It is martrydom to live under pagan former Catholics. We now live in a pagan culture that serves only the god of self." Our Blessed Mother reaffirmed this in her January Medjugorje Message this year, "You are creating a new world without God, only with your own strength, and that is why you are unsatisfied and without joy in your heart." We have become individuals - self and selfish. That self and selfishness in claiming to be Christs is magnified when bulletin inserts are passed out stating that we should "gaze in awe of each other and ourselves for we have become Christ."
God bestowed the Ten Commandments on Moses ions ago. Now, nearly 6000 years later man has bestowed a new set of commandments on Catholics as Russell Shaw documented in his article in the same issue of the aforementioned magazine. The radical Call To Action group released nine goals for a new Church. In the next installment, we sound the fourth clarion in detailing these nine global objectives which wreaks more of a protestant mentality than the One, True, Catholic and Apostolic Church that has withstood every obstacle for nigh unto 2000 years and will overcome this latest aberration.