27 August 2010
NotAgain: JustFaith StillPromoted InReview
Following up last week's four-page, highly positive spread on the JustFaith group, the St. Louis Review has published another short article this week promoting this organization, whose founder has ties to the dissenter group Call to Action:
The Catholic Charities website now has a listing of the 10 groups offering JustFaith, JustSkills, JustMatters, Engaging Spirituality. See ccstl.org. Parishioners are welcome to attend at a neighboring parish if their parish is not offering one of these programs. JustFaith is an adult formation program for reading, praying, discussing, experiencing and being formed by Catholic social teachings, Scripture and Catholic faith tradition.
Though this short article does provide decent evidence that JustFaith does not produce any program called JustGrammar, I think the description in the last sentence is highly inaccurate. I covered some of the concerns about JustFaith and its founder, Jack Jezreel, in this recent post.
If Catholic Charities is continuing to promote this group, whose reading list includes works by authors inspired by the radical tactics of Saul Alinsky, and further whose founder frequently speaks at a group dedicated to promoting disobedience to Church teachings on priestly ordination and the sanctity of marriage, that is a sure sign that Catholic Charities is off the rails.
But why in the world is the official Catholic newspaper of the Archdiocese continuing to assist Catholic Charities in promoting such a group? Why is it promoting it to Catholics without giving any hint of the group's founder's questionable fidelity to the faith--a lack of fidelity that calls for great scrutiny of the content of the program itself? Why is there no discussion that the groups with which this man associates publicly dissent from the Church?
Either there has been no effort to investigate the group before promoting it in the paper, or else this is an intentional decision. Which is it?
This article, appearing in the same issue with a nice article by Jennifer Brinker on Catholic devotions, seems to show a schizophrenic understanding of Faith and Charity. They cannot be divorced.
I just don't get it. Why are Catholic parishioners in the Archdiocese being urged to participate in this group's programs as though they spring from the bosom of the Church? What's next? Will the Women's Ordination Conference get a spread, and will Catholics be encouraged to fill the pew(s) of Elsie and Rose's PlayChurch?
Of course not, I would have said.
Perhaps next week the Review might publish a third piece on JustFaith. I'll suggest a headline and article:
SOCIAL ACTIVISM GROUP RECRUITING IN LOCAL PARISHES HAS TIES TO GROUPS URGING PUBLIC DISOBEDIENCE TO CHURCH TEACHING.
If you have been approached by the so-called JustFaith group, or if it is currently active in your parish, please contact the chancery immediately. The Archdiocese cannot endorse this group due to its ties with known dissenter groups.
"The Archdiocese certainly encourages Catholics to fulfill their duty of stewardship, charity and social justice through the many wonderful Catholic agencies and institutions, as well as through their own initiative," said Archdiocesan spokesman _______. However, we cannot encourage participation in JustFaith until we can thoroughly ensure that its programs do not misrepresent the Church's timeless teachings. After all, souls are at stake, and we don't want well-meaning Catholics to be misled."