Inside Call to Action
By Mary Jo Anderson
The call to build FutureChurch was the rallying cry of 3,500 Catholic dissidents at the 1995 Call to Action conference held in Chicago this past November. For an Orthodox Catholic taking a firsthand look at this subculture that threatens to form an "American Catholic Church," the open, aggressive rebellion unleashed in session after session is sobering. ìIf the institutional church wonít meet our needs, weíll do it ourselves. Weíre not asking permission anymore, ì snapped Anthony Padovano. Padovano insists that CTA members are called to heal the body of Christ wounded by "structures of domination" and "systems of hierarchies" imposed by the "pathologic" popes Gregory VII, Innocent III and Boniface VIII. Padovano himself has a pathologic dislike for Pope John Paul II and has suggested initiating an "impeachment process.î Leadership for the Future - identify and train high school leadership for FutureChurch roles. Nurture the brightest in CTA small faith communities; groom them to seek power positions in twenty years. Using the model of "New Germany" training camps for young men, Cooke explained that these young men later formed the leadership of the Adenauer government.
CTA will create its own think tank staffed with America's brightest to do battle with the best the opposition can offer. CTA will make creative use of all communications technology to create whole information systems. "Whose ideas will control the future? Mother Angelica is not the wave of the future!" Cooke declared.
Goddess worship, augmented with Hindu and Buddhist precepts, figure prominently in the "wholeness" CTA adherents seek. Given the acrimonious disaffection Bishops Gumbleton and Luker feel for John Paul II, one is nonetheless stunned they would officiate at a conference featuring Matthew Fox and his "Seven Chakras of Creation Spirituality." This ritual stars a priestess-prostitute who guides mankind into a form of self-impregnation in order to spiritually re-create oneself as a goddess-woman, or a god-man, raised to a higher consciousness, at one with the universe.
A dozen barefoot women in diaphanous (see through) white gowns "moved liturgically" to rhythmic drums down the isles of the hotel ballroom. They carried bowls of water in which they dipped bunches of chrysanthemums to sprinkle the swaying crowd. On the dais, magnified by three giant TV screens, various ablutions took place as more women arrived bearing potted plants and trees. The processional complete, the speaker praised the sacrifices made by Hunthausen, Kung, Rahner, and Boff, and praised Pope John XXIII for "opening the windows of the Church in which you will now fling open the doors in compassion for all!"
Scurrying along the sky bridge between presentations, a silver-haired woman catalogs her career years as a NASA mathematician and teacher. Well groomed, she wears a large crystal cross.
"My sensitive young friend gave this to me. We've been friends a long
time. Purely platonic. He's gay."
"Wouldn't you prefer a crucifix?"
"Not especially. No, actually. There is prism power in the crystal."
"I sense that makes you uncomfortable. Or is it the gay friend that makes you uncomfortable?"
"Both. How do you defend homosexual practice in light of the clear scriptural prohibition?"
She dismissed Sodom and Gomorrah as part of the Old Testament and when pressed on Romans declared, "Scripture scholars are looking into those problematic texts." Identifying her own lesbian preferences as a "gift from God," who does not expect the gift to go unopened, she was nonplused to have the same analogy applied to pedophiles.
Jesus himself says in the book of Revelation, that he holds it against his CHURCH when they tolerate Jezebel who teaches his children to sin sexually.
Sin is always corporate, never personal. The only personal sin is "participating in my own oppression." Societal sins against social justice and the environment are abhorred while one's personal choice of lifestyle, abortion, or abandonment of vows is warmly affirmed. Call to Action members refuse all calls to repentance, demanding instead the Church grant an imprimatur to clearly sinful behaviors.
|The final plenary session speaker was Sister Sandra Schneiders. Best described as a post-Christian with a Catholic veneer, Sister Sandra espouses a "pluriform" Christianity. Schneiders, a professor of New Testament Studies at Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, authored New Wineskins: Re-Imagining Religious Life Today. Her address, entitled "How Feminist Interpretation of Scripture Is Helping to Renew the Church" is an alarming display of intelligence gone awry. If she, or her confederates, were made a popess of The American Catholic Church, whole chapters of "problematical texts" would be jettisoned. If what you feel conflicts with what you know, your thinking is adjusted to fit your feelings - just invent a new body of "knowledge."||
Sandra M. Schneiders I.H.M.
All of Scripture is recast to fit feminist theology, complete with sacred sodomy, in a bare hour's time. Some samples: "God is more than two men and a bird"; "Not only Christ the King, but Jesus the Mother hen"; "Scripture is violently sexist - the problem is in the texts"; "we reject a woman made from man, subject to man, responsible for his sin"; "terror texts (Judges 19) paralyze women"; "the Bible becomes its own critic disallowing all texts that contradict the message of liberation"; "Jesus is a Sophia Incarnation." The concluding "mass" is too painful for these pages. It is enough to report that only at the words of consecration did a man appear on the "altar." Bishop Gumbleton strode to the table in his street clothes and spoke the words to "The Ultimate One." Only women were vested. Peasant bread was blessed and made available at the isle terminus for communicants to break off and pass back to the next in line.
Is there a real threat in CTA's work for a FutureChurch? They believe the people in the pews will not resist once a few key bishops are dispatched. They know that the vast majority of Catholics are uncatechized and vulnerable to manipulation by appeals to the imputed "spirit" of Vatican II. The CTA regulars are manic, bright, and entrenched in dioceses around the country. They demand a reconfigured, demasculinized God so they can be feel free to release their inner divinity. They will serve no god but the god made in their image. The barque of Peter has weathered many a storm and, may endure yet greater rages. Endurance we have been assured. It is how may souls we may lose at sea that is unknown.
ìThe Bible is not only linguistically and culturally strange to the modern reader; it also contains both scientific and historical errors and morally problematic material such as the biblical promotion of war and colonialism, endorsement of slavery and anti-Judaism, patriarchy and sexism, and attitudes of domination toward nonhuman creation.î
ìOther Catholics, often of a more academic bent, were attracted by the
radical liberalism of secularist scholars
at the other end of the hermeneutical spectrum. These scholars reduce the Bible to the status of a book similar in every respect to any other book and to be studied accordingly. Faith and Church tradition are essentially irrelevant to such study. The Bible, in such a context, ceases to mediate an encounter with God and becomes primarily a source of historical knowledge about ancient Israel and the first Christian communities.î
From the book ìUngodly Rageî comes a quote from Sr. Schnieders:
ìThe problem of Jesus today is not only, for some women, the problem of his masculinity but also the problem of the exclusivity of Jesus,î Schneiders agreed. ìIs Jesus the sole, unique, only absolute revelation of Godóa position that invalidates the other great world religions?î For those who wonder, she said, ìI recommend to you the book No Other Name? by Paul Knitter, who teaches here at Xavier University.î As the title indicates, Knitterís book expresses grave doubts of Jesusí uniqueness and reports that other contemporary Catholic theologians share them. Another questioner asked whether St. Paulís position on homosexuality was ìcultural or counter-culturalî. ìUse of one particular text to construct an entire morality is a good example of the wrong use of Scriptureî was Schneidersí heated reply. ìOne reference in the New Testament doesnít tell the attitude of the early Church toward homosexuality!î To say that it does would be as bad as ìthat awful thing that came out of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faithóand it was an awful thing anything but pastoral and anything but caring.î
from her book Scripture From Scratch:
The Bible, although a witness to divine revelation, is a human text, not an oracle. God did not dictate the Bible any more than God literally created the universe out of nothing in seven calendar days. The biblical texts, then, bear all the marks of human composition: historical conditioning, prejudice, factual error and moral limitation, as well as deep theological and religious insight into the mystery of Godís relationship with humanity.î [read Vatican II Dei Verbum for the real facts]
ìThe only feminine model who has been invoked with real fervor and consistency in the male church has been Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and that invocation has been badly misused in many periods of church history to reinforce and sacralize the subordination and passivity of women.î
From her book Beyond Patching: Faith and Feminism in the Catholic Church
(Mahwah, NJ, Paulist Press, 1991, page 110.):
"When the first Women's Ordination Conference met in Detroit in 1975, the women who attended were focused on...the admission of women to orders.....Since 1978, women have come to realize that...we are not talking about how to organize the institution. We are talking about whether the God of Judeo-Christian revelation is true God or just men-writ-large to legitimate their domination; whether Jesus, an historical male, is or can be messiah and savior for those who are not male; whether what the church has called sacraments are really encounters with Christ, or tools of male ritual abuse of women; whether what we have called church is a community of salvation or simply a male power structure.î
Clearly Sandra Schneiders is anything but a Roman Catholic. Bishop Fabien Bruskowitz has denied anyone to receive communion who belongs to any one of the several organizations that this woman belongs to.
1 John 4:3 "If a prophet does not acknowledge Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist. You have heard that he is going to come into the world, and he is already here."
2 John 1:7 "Many deceivers have gone out into the world. They do not believe that Jesus Christ came to earth in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist."
1 Corinthians 5:11 "But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother or sister who is sexually immoral or greedy, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber. Do not even eat with such a one."
2 John 1:10-11 "If someone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don't invite him into your house or encourage him in any way. Anyone who encourages him becomes a partner in his evil work."
For those of you who are revolted by the explicit detail in this brochure, as I was in learning about them, I apologize profusely. After obeying the following Scriptural text for most of my adult life, I myself was overcome with sickening dread. But the building is ablaze with the fire from hell and woe is the one who observes and does not wake up the inhabitants.
Philipians 4:8 "Finally brothers, fill your minds with everything that is true, everything that is noble, everything that is good and pure, everything that can be thought virtuous or worthy of praise."
For more information on Sandra Schneiders you can go to the website listed below: