09 November 2011

NCR Celebrates Eucharistic Sacrilege on behalf of Sister Louise Lears (Of Course)

The "National" "Catholic" "Reporter" ran a blog post today called Recognizing the church that we already are-- a wonderfully fatuous title, perfectly in line with the inanity of the contents.  It seems to me that the '60s zeitgeist is just as compelling today as it was then-- which is to say, not at all.

Anyway, the post concerns an address made to the national (anti-) Catholic dissident group Call to Action by one of the proletarian (s)heroes who writes for the aforementioned rag.  I will spare you the bulk of the speech, which I think had something to do with a pansexual workers' paradise.

However, there is something worth noting here.  NCR is still carrying the flame-- and continuing the whine-- on behalf of the heresy-supporting Sister Louise Lears, who was placed under interdict by His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke, who was then Archbishop of Saint Louis.  Sister Lears was found to have committed the canonical crimes of pertinacious rejection of doctrine de Fide tenenda under can. 750, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law, of causing scandal, of encouraging contumely against and disobedience to the Ordinary under can. 1373, and of communio in sacris in that she participated in the simulation of a sacrament under can. 1365.  Until she recanted her heresy and reconciled with the Church, she was barred from, among other things, receiving the sacraments.  For the benefit of NCR readers, I will point out that Holy Communion is one of the sacraments.

It comes as no surprise that NCR should think Louise Lears is a veritable hero, like Martin Luther or Satan or any number of great rebels against God's authority.  It is no surprise that NCR would consider the decree of interdict to be of no consequence.  Yet although we have heard the story in bits and pieces before, this is the first time we have heard in such detail the story of the day that St. Cronan's parish aided and abetted Lears' defiance of the interdict.

From the full NCR post, with a few comments of my own mixed in:
... It is a true story that happened in a place as ordinary as St. Louis and as recently as 2008. The year that stretched from the summer of 2008 to the summer of 2009 was especially bizarre for the Catholic Church in the United States (and, I know there is a lot of competition for that title).


Interestingly, it was also during this time that Sister Louise Lears was forced out of all church ministerial roles by Saint Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke. The archbishop also placed Lears under a severe interdict (As opposed to a downy-soft one?), banishing her receiving any of the Sacraments within in the archdiocese. Her crime? You guessed it. She supported women’s ordination. (Of course, there was more, as noted above.)

It was also during this period that Pope Benedict XVI decided to lift the excommunications of four schismatic bishops who reject the reforms (Name one.  Just one.  Please.) of the Second Vatican Council.  (For NCR, heresy beats schism every time!  And btw, since when do they really care about either?)

...Every now and then, you run into a story so powerful, it shakes you up and then re-shapes your entire theology (For some, this is the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ.  For NCR?). This story did just that for me.

On the first Sunday (NB:  the very first Sunday) after she was placed under interdict, Louise Lears decided to attend Mass. The experience with Burke left her wounded and isolated. Naturally, she wanted to be with her beloved parish community. She did not plan to receive communion because she did not wish to jeopardize the parish any further. (Maybe she should have been as solicitous on behalf of her immortal soul.)  But this was her community and she wanted at least to be physically present with this body of Christ.

Her 85-year old mother was at her side at Mass. When her mother went forward for communion, she told Louise to follow her. Louise did not ask to receive communion, but simply walked by her mother’s side. Louise’s mother took Communion, she broke it, turned around and gave it to her daughter. After witnessing this, Sr. Louise’s sister went and did the same. Seeing what was going on, many other parishioners, one by one, also broke their bread and gave it to Louise.  (Can we not presume that the celebrating priest was aware of this?  It should not be hard to find out who this was, whether it was the Pastor, Fr. Kleba, or someone else.  Even if one of the score of "extraordinary" ministers of Holy Communion gave the Host, it would have had to have been physically near the priest.)

By the end of communion, Louise’s hands were filled with fragments of the Eucharist. (Please take a moment to offer an act of reparation to the Blessed Sacrament.)  After the Mass was over, as the family was standing in the back, Louise’s mother said to her daughter, “I was the first person to feed you, and I will feed you now.”

Our stories define us as a community. They recall paradigmatic people. They are vehicles for the sacred. (OK, I admit it.  I kept in this paragraph because it just made me laugh so hard...)

In that moment, Louise Lears’ 85 year-old mother revealed more about the love of God, more about living the Gospel of love, more about what makes a true church, than the entire hierarchy seems to have been able to reveal in quite some time. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

And she figured out that secret that the hierarchy doesn’t want any of us to know: lay people have extraordinary sacramental power. (Um, Miss, I think we need a citation to a council document here...)

...With their interdicts, and denials of communion and excommunications, the hierarchy seems to believe that they can magically separate the children of God from the table of God. That they can separate whomever they wish from the love of God. That God Godself (yes, that is how it is written) is subject to their rules. (Fight the power, man!)

Though the institutional church may attempt deprive us blah blah blah... it goes on from there.

This is very serious.  This should be thoroughly investigated by the Archdiocese.  I assume that Archbishop Carlson was not aware of this outrage when he made a pastoral visit to St. Cronan's parish last year.  Perhaps as a matter of local gossip it did not merit a special effort.  But now, a national publication purporting to be Catholic and marketed to purported Catholics has made this a national issue.  The lawful decree of the Ordinary of this Archdiocese was flouted nearly as soon as it was issued.  Eucharistic sacrilege was committed and countenanced by the parish.

Will this act of grave disobedience and sacrilege be allowed to scandalously stand?


Bartolome de las Casas de San Juan said...

I believe Pope John Paul II regularly met with many women ordained to ministry in various Protestant Christian denominations, and I assume Pope Benedict/Cardinal Ratzinger has done the same. This woman mentioned in your article is not an ordained Catholic priest, but she is an ordained clergy person in a non-Catholic Christian group, and, as such, deserves much more respect than this blog post gives her. Pope Benedict XVI would never treat a Protestant clergy person so disrespectfully and so contemptuously. True, this woman aims to influence and reform the Catholic Church. So what? All the Protestant leaders that Pope Benedict meets and consults with really have the same aim. I believe this blog post itself violates several serious provisions of Canon Law regarding respect for the dignity of all persons, and ecumenical respect for the clergy of non-Catholic Christian groups. The days of the Spanish Inquisition, witch burning, and the Counter-Reformation are gone. Vatican II, a council heralded by Blessed Pope John Paul II and by Pope Benedict, inaugurated the era of Ecumenism. Pope John Paul II said over and over again that there can be no retreat from the Vatican II Ecumenism. Even though she rejects some parts of Catholic teaching, please respect this ordained woman, unless you can produce evidence of actual, conscious malice on her part. Your rage and your fury are, I believe, un-Christian. She continues to be a part of humanity, continues to have human dignity, and even continues to be a part of the one Church of Christ (see Lumen Gentium). Thank you.

Backbone said...

Thank you, Timman, for standing up for the Truth in St. Louis!

Anonymous said...

11/11 - the famous fauxdination anniversary approacheth.


thetimman said...


Really? That's what you took from the post--that I'm not nice enough to protestant ministers?

Sr. Lears is a Catholic religious sister. That is whom the article, and the post, are about. I wrote to express some indignation at sacrilege against the Body and Blood of Our Lord, and at the defiance of the Archbishop displayed by a Catholic parish and countenanced by its clergy. Can you get a little motivated by that, or is it just ecumenism that must be honored, even if Our Lord is dishonored?

You may want to read, or re-read, Dominus Jesus before ending with that last line. And please, if you will, cite the canons from the CIC that punish ecumenical disrespect.

StGuyFawkes said...

Dear Bartholome,

If Sister Lears is actually a member of another religious denomination it is news to me. However, I wouldn't disagree with you that it's possible that she has been ordained by someone somewhere. There is evidence of such that has been posted on this blog before.

As for Cronanites wearing more than one biretta or holding dual ordinations that speculation.
I've seen something on the internet which suggested that former liturgical director Madonna Kucieczak-Kernan was a Quaker clergywoman at one time in her career but I'm not sure if it is true.

Look, let's refresh the main point.

In her former role as part of the "pastoral team" at St. Cronan's, and in her membership in a Catholic religious order she was telling the world she was a Roman Catholic clergywoman. Yet she acted out of communion or contrary to the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church.

There was a big contradiction there and Sr. Lears got in trouble for it.

It's pretty simple. If she wants to belong to a different religion than she should go in peace and hope to meet the Holy Father some day as a delegation of protestant clergywomen as you suggest. If she still claims to be Catholic she needs to live up to it in ways that go beyond being a really nice person with good ideas on peace and justice.

She needs to respect our sacraments. She didn't. She's in a box.

One final thought.

Maybe a much better discussion thread might be developed around why Archb. Carlson will probably never discipline Cronan's for this awful spectacle.

St. Guy

Anthony Emmel said...

Heresy is still heresy.

I'm beginning to despise Protestantism because it is a lie from the depths of Hell. Protestant laity are guilty of believing heresy, but I have little quarrel with them; they are not heretics. Protestant clergy, on the other hand, are heretics because they teach and promulgate heresy.

Brother Bartolome, I am more incensed at the mockery made by this woman of the Death of our Lord than I am that some heretics ~might~ be offended. To the Devil with them! My Lord and my God is more important to me.

Anonymous said...

In answer to your question about the 4 excommunicated, schismatic bishops who had their excommunications lifted, here it is, straight from Wikipedia:

In June 1988 Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre announced his intention to consecrate Williamson and three other priests as bishops. Lefebvre did not have a pontifical mandate for these consecrations (i.e. permission from the pope), normally required by Canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law. On June 17, 1988 Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops sent Williamson a formal canonical warning that he would automatically incur the penalty of excommunication if he were ordained by Lefebvre without papal permission.

On June 30, 1988 Williamson and the three other priests were consecrated bishop by Archbishop Lefebvre. On July 1, 1988 Cardinal Gantin issued a declaration stating that Lefebvre, Williamson, and the three other newly-ordained bishops "have incurred ipso facto the excommunication latae sententiae reserved to the Apostolic See."

On July 2, 1988, Pope John Paul II issued the motu proprio Ecclesia Dei, in which he reaffirmed the excommunication, and described the consecration as an act of "disobedience to the Roman pontiff in a very grave matter and of supreme importance for the unity of the Church", and that "such disobedience — which implies in practice the rejection of the Roman primacy — constitutes a schismatic act". Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, head of the commission responsible for implementing Ecclesia Dei, has said this resulted in a "situation of separation, even if it was not a formal schism".

Williamson and his supporters denied the validity of the excommunication, saying that the consecrations were necessary due to a moral and theological crisis in the Catholic Church.

It is of note too that Williamson denied the Holocaust, and said that Jews were the "enemies of Christ."

Of course, Timman, you'll save your deepest condemnation for a local, holy nun with differing views than you have, while trying to say the excommunication of these hard-line, right-wing, paranoid, Vatican II-denying, nut-jobs is/was invalid.

thetimman said...

To the anonymous attempted poster whose comment does not appear above: You must include a name for your comment to be published. See the advisory above the comment field as you type.

But I can save you some time, perhaps, by clarifying of just what I wanted the name of "one, just one". It is not the name of just one bishop, but rather the name of just one of the "reforms" of the Second Vatican Council for which these bishops were excommunicated. I can save you more effort by supplying the answer: none. They weren't excommunicated for any doctrinal rejection, nor even for opposing the wonderful "reforms" of V2. They were excommunicated for consecrating, or being consecrated, without Papal permission. Wrong, yes; heretical, no.

Methodist Jim said...

Bartolome, just to back up my friend the Timman (though he doesn't need my help), over the course of many years' discussions, the Timman has made clear that while he disagrees with many of the positions taken by Sr. Lears, Fr. Bozek, and those at St. Cronan's or St. Stan's, he objects - and strongly and rightly so - to the claims that those positions are Catholic. He and I disagree on a great many things but since I don't claim to be Catholic, I don't believe that he objects to me. In this post, if "rage and fury" exists, it is directed not at Sr. Lears or St. Cronan's but at claims of Catholicism for patently non-Catholic practices.

Mr. Emmel . . . I'll say a prayer for your soul and make a heartfelt suggestion that you read John 13:34 again.

Matthew said...

Dreadful and despicable. I hope Card. Burke's successor takes prompt and definitive action concerning this sacrilege. Moreso, when are we going to see the Bishops condemn and shut down National non-catholic Reporter? This heresy rag is not worth the paper is printed on, nor its data usage in cyberspace.

Melissa said...

i just don't understand wanting to be Catholic if you don't want to be authentically Catholic...
did i agree with everything the Church taught when i converted? um, that's a BIG "no!" but i did however agree (by converting)to never publicly say or do anything that ran counter to Church teaching. AND to search for truth while allowing the Church to guide me. ok. i can dig that. if i couldn't, i would of stayed baptist/methodist/presbyterian/church of God.
why stay somewhere, doing and professing something you don't or won't believe???

will her Bishop do anything? probably not. these are the times that i wonder if i bought into something that even our own Church hierarchy doesn't believe. (the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, tradition, scripture...)sorry. makes me sad.

Anonymous said...

To the Timman of 10 November, 2011 13:22.
Just use the moniker "nammiT," and please post my comments.

thetimman said...

Sure thing, nammiT-- my response as you see is posted below yours.

Peace out.

Anonymous said...

"Eucharistic Sacrilege" ii
"(anti-) Catholic disident group"
"pansexual workers' paradise"
"Interdict" iv
"canonical crimes"
"causing scandal"
"grave disobedience"

Boy, for a second there I thought you might have been talking about priests who abused children - NONE of whom were excommunicated! Seems Archbishop Burke and the Catholic hierarchy continue to show "mercy" to child-abusers, but God help a prayerful nun who hopes that women might someday be allowed to be priests in the Roman Catholic church - now THAT is worth God's full wrath and eternal damnation!!!

Can you put this in a little more perspective?

Mercy for some, damnation for the rest?

Jane Chantal said...

I can understand your feeling that there is seemingly a double standard; however I think it worthwhile to point out that Sr. Lears is manifestly unrepentant. I would be surprised if that that is the case with each and every priest who has been found guilty of sexual abuse.

Genuine repentance and full reconciliation with the Church can remove a person from the state of excommunication.