03 February 2008

Phan Lecture Sponsored by Some Familiar Faces of Dissent

After Aquinas Institute dropped out, CAN and CTSA pick up the slack.  From STLToday:

The Rev. Peter Phan will visit St. Louis after all

The Rev. Peter Phan will visit St. Louis after all.

Phan was first invited to speak at the Aquinas Institute of Theology, but was then dis-invited after Archbishop Raymond Burke consulted with the president of Aquinas, the Rev. Richard Peddicord, about twin theological investigations into Phan's 2004 book, "Being Religious Interreligiously: Asian Perspectives on Interfaith Dialogue."

Now Phan, a Georgetown University professor and former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, has accepted the invitation of an independent Catholic organization, the Catholic Action Network for Social Justice, to speak at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. 

The lecture is co-sponsored by two other Catholic organizations — the Fellowship of Southern Illinois Laity and the Center for Theology and Social Analysis — and will come less than a week after the cancelled date of his Aquinas lecture, originally scheduled for Sunday. 

Phan's book is being investigated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and by the Vatican. A document issued in early December by U.S. bishops publicly called into question the orthodoxy of Phan's book.

"We want to make sure Catholics in St. Louis have the opportunity to hear Father Phan speak whether or not his book is being looked at by the Vatican," said Megan Heeney, program coordinator of the Catholic Action Network. "We don't want to be a closed-off church. We want to create a more just church, and Peter Phan is the right voice right now in St. Louis."

Phan did not respond to an interview request Friday, but Heeney said Phan had asked for a non-Catholic venue. "This is not about defying Archbishop Burke," Heeney said. 

Burke was out of town Friday and unavailable for comment.

At issue is whether Phan's book represents the doctrinal sin of "relativism," the idea that belief in Christ is not the only road to salvation.

Responding to questions from the Post-Dispatch in December, Burke said that after reading the document from the U.S. bishops' Committee on Doctrine, Phan's book "presents central tenets of the Catholic faith in a manner which is confusing and misleading," and concluded that "Father Phan is not a reliable teacher of the Catholic faith."

Sr. Lears and St. Cronan's are the link between the CAN, which sponsors the women-led "liturgies", and CTSA, the cumbersomely-titled Center for Theology and Social Analysis.  From the St. Cronan's website:

Saint Cronan is also in partnership—sometimes in an ad hoc way, sometimes in an ongoing way—with others in the community, providing other opportunities for parishioners to be involved in helping to realize the Reign of God. These partners include:

  1.    Midtown Catholic Charities Community Services (link)

  2.    The Catholic Worker - Karen House  (link)

  3.    MCU (Metropolitan Congregations United)  (link)

  4.    Family Care Health Center  (link)

  5.    Center for Survivors of Torture and War Trauma  (link)

  6.    CAN (Catholic Action Network)   (link)

  7.    CTSA (Center for Theology and Social Analysis)  (link)

jkdjfSo, while they continue to maintain that their actions are not "about" defying Archbishop Burke, these groups continue to defy Archbishop Burke.  But not just in defiance of Archbishop Burke-- they also defy the Catholic Faith, logic and plain good sense.

AnAAnd though not strictly relevant to this post, why does the St. Cronan's website advertise a "CronanDanceParty 2" with "DJs" Kleba, Lears and Collins at the venue Atomic Cowboy?


Anonymous said...

Peter Phan's coming? I hadn't heard that.

Any news on Tinkerbell?

thetimman said...

Ha! Very nice, thanks for the belly laugh!

Christopher said...

Hey Timman-

I have tagged you for a meme-

Check it out:



Anonymous said...

It's a dance party! It has NOTHING to do with your post - IT IS A PARTY. Do you care to tell us why that is a problem? Is our church against dancing now, too?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting us know about Phan's talk. I would been disappointed to have missed it!

thetimman said...

Will the Atomic Cowboy undergo an exorcism before this event?

Enjoy your party.

Anonymous said...

Why would a restaurant/bar need an exorcism?

Anonymous said...

Any place that has "cabaret dancing" has evil doings. . .WHY would a Catholic "function" be at a place like this? ? ?

Exorcism (from Late Latin exorcismus, from Greek exorkizein - to adjure) is the practice of evicting demons or other evil spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed (taken control of). The practice is quite ancient and part of the belief system of many religions.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Kleba's personal account of his visit with the Archbishop is posted here: