|Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron|
The threat comes from Progressive Modernists within the U.S. Catholic Church. These are "Catholics" who view the Second Vatican Council as some kind of watershed event, a rupture with historic Catholicism, and a license to go forward with various "reforms" and innovations all in the name of the "Spirit of Vatican II." These people, both clergy and laity, have ruled over various parishes and dioceses in the United States like dictators. They've suppressed those who clamored for a return to tradition and promoted those who abused the liturgy and twisted Church doctrine. Their height of power was in the decades immediately following the Second Vatican Council (1970s - 1990s). Now that their influence is beginning to wane under the pontificate of Benedict XVI, these liberal dissenters of the historic Church have seen the writing on the wall. They know their days are numbered, and so in a desperate attempt to preserve what they have worked so long for, and re-energize a new generation with their heretical zeal, these people are now attempting to create a rival council to the pope and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It's called the American Catholic Council (or ACC), and it's first meeting is scheduled for June 10-12 of 2011 at the Detroit Convention Center and Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center.
In response, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron has issued the following statement condemning the American Catholic Council. Here are the highlights...
(Archdiocese of Detroit) - ...Although their stated purpose is to "respond to the Spirit of Vatican II by summoning the Baptized together to demonstrate our re-commitment and the documents issued by the American Catholic Council offer some valid aspirations for the Church, in fact, the goals proposed are largely in opposition to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and the Holy Spirit, which inspired the Council.The Catholic Knight wishes to publicly thank the good archbishop for this strong stand against the American Catholic Council. Indeed, he had to respond this way, as the event is being hosted in his own backyard. Anything less than what was mentioned above might have been viewed as cowardly acceptance of the "council's" mission. The good archbishop rose to the occasion and courageously defended his diocese from this threat. What is needed now is a nationwide response, from every Catholic bishop in the United States, to put down this schism before it has time to spread.
The archdiocese wishes to commend and embrace all true efforts at Church renewal - the American Church Council's agenda is not such an effort. Some of the advertised speakers and groups organizing the effort espouse positions which are clearly contrary to Catholic faith, leading to alienation and estrangement from the Church. The Archdiocese of Detroit cautions any Catholic against participating in the American Catholic Council local listening sessions and national gathering in June 2011. Catholic parishes, schools, and institutions are not to host any meetings, gatherings, or "listening sessions" associated with the planning of the June 2011 American Catholic Council. Priests, deacons, and ecclesial lay ministers will want to avoid lending support to such a misguided effort. On behalf of the archdiocese, Archbishop Vigneron has asked the organizers to cancel their plans for this national gathering that distorts the true Spirit of Vatican II. He asks us all to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that we may embrace authentic development of faith and morals, and shun efforts which threaten unity.
read full statement here
These people are the final result of a three-decade long experiment in leniency and innovation. The so-called "Spirit of Vatican II," which takes upon itself initiatives not called for by the Second Vatican Council, has reached it's ultimate conclusion - SCHISM! This schism however, does not come without a list of heresies to accompany it. It is a list that I dare say nearly half of all baptized Catholics in the United States, who's consciences having been dulled by three decades of poor catechesis and liturgical innovation, will most certainly find appealing. It is a list that I fear will soon hit mainstream, and reverberate throughout this nation, pealing one parish after another away from the magisterium of the Church.
What these people in the American Catholic Council want has already been invented. The structures they advocate already exist. It's called The Episcopal Church. Likewise, once the ACC gets off the ground, it will simply be reinventing the wheel, and the results of this wheel will be identical to those found in The Episcopal Church (or TEC), namely female clergy, gay clergy, gay marriages, acceptance of abortion and birth control, as well as the embrace of Socialism in the form of "Liberation Theology." Some form of unification between the ACC and the TEC will likewise be inevitable, especially after those adhering to the ACC have been excommunicated from the U.S. Catholic Church.
Sadly, there is virtually a 0% chance that the ACC meeting in June will be canceled. Though the good archbishop's stand against the organization was strong, there was not much he could do outside of banning his own people from being a part of it, and prohibiting diocesan property from being used for it. However, the ACC never intended to use diocesan property, and the good archbishop cannot restrict people outside his archdiocese from attending. That's another reason why we need a nationwide condemnation from all the U.S. Catholic Bishops before it's too late. Mark my words, these people will meet, and they will promote heresy. Likewise they will grow to lead others away from the magisterium of the Church. The only variable that exists is "how big" will their movement become. Strong nationwide action against it now will pull a lot of wind out of their sails. Failure to act now will only result in larger repercussions later. For the sake of unity and orthodoxy within the U.S. Catholic Church, let us pray our bishops act quickly.