Jun 25, 2007

Tidings columnist Fr. Richard McBrien writes about conversions

Father Richard McBrien's column (click on this post's title) in the current issue of Cardinal Roger Mahony's Archdiocesan newspaper, The Tidings, has some problems.

No, that is not Father McBrien pictured above, but Father C. John McCloskey, and in a minute you will see why he is there.

Father McBrien, in his column, "Converts to Catholicism," says that nowadays most people who convert to Catholicism do so for family unity, or they like Catholic worship, or someone's "strong personality" influences them.
He says that before Vatican II, people converted for theological, Biblical or historical reasons, but that after Vatican II and the ecumenical movement, "it became practically impossible to present the Catholic Church any longer as 'the one, true Church' and all other denominations as awash in error and falsehoods."
Speak for yourself, Father.
Then Father McBrien actually makes this complaint:
"In the past two-and-half decades, however, we have seen something of a reversion to the pre-Vatican II approach. Many seeking entrance into the Catholic Church today do so as an act of rejecting their Protestant past and of embracing 'the truth' found only in Catholicism."
And then he continues his complaint:
"...high-profile Protestants and even a few Jews with strongly conservative opinions about religion, politics and social values have found their way to a Rome that one would have thought no longer exists. It is an authoritarian, triumphant, polemical, anti-Protestant Rome (non-Christians weren't even considered) that flourished during the first half of the 20th century..."
Father McBrien then remarks:
"...a priest in Washington, D.C., who runs the Catholic Information Center there and is a member of Opus Dei, has been doing an impressive job of drawing fellow conservatives into the Church... Conservative Protestants and Jews who convert to Catholicism, especially of the Opus Dei kind, rarely shed the religious, social and political biases they had in their pre-Catholic life."
Nowhere in Father McBrien's column does he hint that love, grace and the Holy Spirit have anything to do with people converting, or that sorrow for sin and desire for holiness do, too. He does use the word "spirituality" once.
Father McBrien does not give the name of the priest whom he says has been doing an impressive job. That priest is Father McCloskey, pictured above.
Actually, Father McCloskey was at the Catholic Information Center in D.C. from 1998 to 2004. He was then a research fellow at the Faith & Reason Institute. I'm not sure what he is doing now; do you know?
It would not hurt Father McBrien, or any of us, to read this testimonial: "Mr. [Russell] Shaw and Fr. McCloskey have written a book [Good News, Bad News: Evangelization, Conversion and the Crisis of Faith] about repentance, recovery, conversion, and joy. I recommend it because I have experienced it through Jesus, my Savior." -- Lawrence Kudlow
And it would not hurt us to read this one, too: "This book is calling all Catholics to share the gift of faith and shows them how to do so with winsome joy." -- Rev. Richard John Neuhaus


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Father McBrien should have been unseated as a Catholic voice years ago. The man is an embarrassment to our Church and the ordained priesthood.

I listen to him less than the rumblings in my stomach for of a bit a snack . . . get more satisfying results, too, even with a [shudder] healthy snack.

I am reading Good News, Bad News and anticipate finding it helpful in ways that Father McBrien could surely learn from.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The man is so completely out of touch with reality, not to mention Catholic teaching AND the current state of Protestantism in the United States. The fact that he would refer to "the truth" found in Catholicism—as though such truth is merely subjective and based on personal whim—is an embarrassment to the priesthood. Then again, it appears McBrien thinks that he should be embarrassed to be a Catholic; he certainly is embarrassed about a lot of Catholic teaching. All you need to know about McBrien is that he served as a consultant on The Da Vinci Code movie. Pathetic.

11:16 PM  
Blogger WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

Oh dear, how embaressing.
I have kept my copy of "Catholicism" despite coming back to the Church 7yrs ago-as a reminder-so I don't get tempted to get uppity with those still in the wilderness. It is sad the damage this one priest has done.

4:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God churchman, or should I say churchpersons, like Fr. McBrien have less and less influence. His days are numbered especially since no one of his political and theological leanings are converting.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

fwiw, I have emailed the editor of The Tidings and requested that they discontinue Fr. McBrien's column. I also asked if it was archdiocesan policy to actively discourage converts and I hope and pray that the cardinal archbishop will consider writing a response on such an important issue.

I think it is pathetic that the Archdiocese of LA gives a voice to Fr. McBrien. Again and again he causes me to wonder why he is even a priest as he so obviously doesn't believe in the truth of the Catholic Church.

Paul in Long Beach

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off topic but l@@k:


11:11 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Pristinus,

Glad to hear you're reading the book. If you'd like to, anytime, please tell us what you find helpful and enjoyable about it.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Carl E. Olson,

You've hit the nail on the head by spotlighting the liberals' view of Catholic truth as subjective and even based on personal whim.

Aomg other things, that accounts for Catholic liberals' constant rush to keep up with the latest secular liberal fads.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear White Stone,

Thanks for telling about your personal victory?

And you're so right about how we shouldn't "get uppity" with those still in the wilderness.

Of course, we all go into "the wilderness" whenever we sin, so we should never, ever consider ourselves "holier than thou."

10:58 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Kent,

Thanks for the good points.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Paul in Long Beach,

Glad to hear you've written The Tidings about Fr. McBrien's column.

And in view of his most recent column, that's a legitimate question you asked them, whether it is Archdiocesan policy to discourage converts.

They'll say, "Of course that isn't policy" -- but in that case, why did they publish that column?

11:02 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Dave,

Thanks for the link!

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All should know that Bishop Finn of KC, MO., immediately after becoming bishop, discontinued the column of Mcbrien in his diocesan newspaper. Sadly the NCR is stationed in KC. Have hope everyone. The Church will live beyond the life of those who wish to destroy it. As St. Augustine said, "there are some God has the Church does not have, and some that the Church has that God does not have."

12:42 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 12:42 p.m.,

Thank you for the news and the encouragement!

2:25 PM  
Blogger Kenneth M. Fisher, CRCOA, crcoa.com said...


I have just heard from John O’Gorman, the Fighting Knight of Columbus from Massachusetts, that the 170,000 signature Initiative Petition to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman was thwarted by the Legislature, meeting in joint Constitutional Convention, on Thursday, June 14 2007. The sad part is it would have passed to go on the ballot in 2008 had it not been for the votes of at least sixteen men who call themselves Knights of Columbus who voted against the Church they are supposed to be Knights of, and for the sodomites they support! They are:

Massachusetts Speaker of the House Sal Dimasi, and House Majority Leader John Rogers.

State Reps: Garrett Bradley, Bob Deleo, Stephen Di Natale, Chris Donelan, Christopher Fallon, Kevin Honan, Charles Murphy, Angelo Puppolo and Bob Spellane, Bob Nyman, and Paul McMurtry

State Senators: Tom McGee, Michael Knapik, and Michael Morrissey.

It only required 50 votes to bring this to the people of Massachusetts for a vote. The vote was 45 to do so. If the sixteen so called Knights had voted with the Church, and for the good of society, they would have had SIXTY ONE! God have mercy on their much compromised souls!

Seven of these Judases have PRO-CHOICE RATINGS FROM PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF MASS,, they are: The Speaker Dimasi, Bradley, Donelan, Honan, Murphy, Spellane, and McGee!

It seems that the Knights of Columbus, like the Bishops they follow, like to write nice things but run when they are asked to back up their writings with actions! In 2003, they actually passed a Resolution to in effect expel from the Order any Knight who supports abortion by forbidding these persons any honors or speaking platforms. WHAT A JOKE! Actually it is worse than a joke, because we have been told that whenever a Council tried to enforce the Resolution, that Council was quickly told not to do so by either their State or Supreme Offices!

Our Divine Savior had a great deal to say about such as these “Knights” when he said “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you are like to whited sepulchers, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within, are full of dead men’s bones, and of all filthiness. So you also outwardly indeed appear to men just; but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.—Matt. XXIII. 25-28. Does anyone wonder what the Lord will say to these men when they stand before His Judgment seat?

This year, the “Knights” of Columbus will hold their annual Supreme Council meeting at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Nashville, TN. As always, it will be in the first week of August from the 7th to the 9th, 2007. We at Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc. are looking for someone from that area to help us plan another demonstration such as the ones we did in 2005 in Chicago and Dallas in 2004. If you or anyone you know is willing to help us in this effort, please contact us at 714-491-2284 or crcoa@dslextreme.com

God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher, Founder & Chairman Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc., P.O. Box 8095, Anaheim, CA 92812-8095
www.crcoa.com June 16 200

7:26 PM  
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