All Essays Copyrighted by Pauly Fongemie

VISION 2000, PART 2:

(Begun 1988, updated, 1992, 2007)


It is time to turn now to the main event, Ministry Explosion: what I saw and heard at that radical, revolutionary revision of "Catholicism". My inclusion of the above anecdotes was to provide the reader with background context so as to afford him or her an understanding of how I came to see what is undermining the Faith in the diocese, from a small bird's eye view as a Catholic homemaker and CCD teacher, the perspective with which I arrived at Ministry Explosion and the insights that occurred to me in the days following my initial shock and horror.

Lest I be considered snide and uncharitable, let me state that I cannot of course be positive of the original intentions of these agents of 'new-churchism', nor is it worthy of Catholic behavior to judge their worthiness before God. While I have been predisposed to make allowances in the past, charity for the preservation of the Faith, for the good of souls, compels me to write about what I have witnessed. It is an accepted axiom that charity, taken too far, slips into sloppy sentimentality that breeds fuzzy thinking. The ordered Catholic mind is meant to think, to make distinctions that need to be made. By their fruits you shall know them: Arrogance in defiance of authority, dissent from divinely established ecclesiology, welcomed decreases in religious vocations, disregard for the virtues of humility and obedience, and methods of calculated deceit, such as warning in conspiratorial tones, "to not breathe a word of some of this stuff to a priest." Let the reader draw his own conclusions. Anyone, misguided in innocence, would be expected to blunder on occasion, rather than display the consistent connivance that runs rife in Maine, and which is a trait of the deceiver.

My main concerns derive from the total context, and not particular phrases standing alone, although these would suffice to expose the real intent of the speaker-presenters. There are four of the five characteristics of neo-Modernism, so incisively dissected by Father Vincent Miceli:

§ The laity as center of the Church:
§ The kingdom is here, salvation is from social evils alone, as perceived and interpreted by the radical feminists (and lesbians), with little regard for personal sin or accountability:
§ The Church is part of the world, existing to serve it, and
§ All authority comes from the laity, who share 'co-responsibility'.

Elements pertaining to these errors were evident as new content added to doctrine, dressed up in language that disguised and or manipulated, to render the incredible, credible. Satan knows that the Big Lie is more easily swallowed when the apple is polished with partial truths.

Ministry Explosion II (I did not attend the first, will there be a third?) as you will see, is the Big Lie which runs ever and ever deeper:

The keynote address was 'proclaimed' by Marguerite Stapleton, no longer a sister but one of the 'sisters'. Her preachment was a sentimental ritual of sophistry, used as a rallying cry to warm up the crowd to a frenzied pitch. The opening lines were sizzlers for neophytes and old-timers alike:

"We are a recovering Church, the Church is an alcoholic parent, and we are recovering our addiction."

The response to this pathetic analogy was that it was hailed as "prophetic" when Sister Gagnon asked for applause. Such is the state of 'truth' that this pronouncement is considered prophecy. Easy gleanings from then on. Converts to the feminist-pagan call are being riled up by what I call the 'spirituality of hatred', trained by 'twinkie theology'; the harvest reaps a passive laity, energized only for social action, particularly action inspired by resentment of the hierarchical structure; inspiration for pursuit of the more metaphysical search for truth is practically non existent, hence the passivity aspect. Thus, after a few years of selectively digesting marshmallow meditations, we are left weakened, unable to resist the siren call of midwifery to Satan, that we are are 'all empowered to be as gods', much like a diet full of sugar drains the body of its vitality, inducing lethargy.

Some low lights of Stapleton's brand of spirituality:

"The Church is not just the Barque of Peter and the people of God it is no longer an institution; the sacramental focus is now Baptism, thus we are all ministers."

This last is not the ministry of the laity as taught by St. Paul, but is employed in the context of her speech as a term implying a 'right' to the order of the priesthood, itself. I base this on the connotations of the next statements:

"We share in the pastoral priestly ministry, we collaborate with one another, we are all mutual collaborators, we perform as co-disciples, we are all chosen. The former members used to be the clergy and the laity; we are no longer thinking in those terms."

"The people no longer go to Mass, we have recovered our smiles (nice touch is this not?), now we celebrate ourselves, Canon Law mandates this." (She failed to cite canon and §-----I wonder why. She is the same person who told parishioners at St. Philip's in Auburn that attendance at Sunday Mass was no longer obligatory as before. So she ought to know that the people no "longer go to Mass.")
Stapleton then launched into what she says are the seven signs of this new ministry, which she calls the marks of ministry:

"(1) The mark of the stable-----initiation
(2) The mark of the carpenter-----ordinary
(3) The mark of Jordan-----anointment
(4) The mark of the wilderness-----to face evil [If only she knew the irony here!]
(5) The mark of the synogogue-----universality [And to think I thought this was an attribute of the Church.]
(6) The mark of the cross-----new way from old
(7) The mark of the open tomb-----new life."
While this silliness is not completely heretical in of itself, or even a disguised attempt to completely alter doctrine, it serves no purpose for increasing the faith of the faithful; it is simply that aspect of 'twinkie theology' that is heralded as remarkable insight by a doctrinally-liberated laity. It also serves as a come-on for the more hard core tenets to come, those tenets of the New Age, which are enhanced by the skill of ardent devotees, who practice what I term the Exclusivity theorem, which I use to describe the underlying philosophy of 'Women-Church' and its new structure: According to these workshop witches I have been abused by, the Church used to be exclusive, lacking in diversity; in the new Age, it is the feminist-pagan dream, or should I say nightmare, that the Church will be all-inclusive. So they say. But I do not believe them. Their real goal is inclusive, just until the 'apostates' have established themselves securely in command of the new hierarchy, most probably consisting of priestesses and some token priests, at which time any 'dissenters' (from the 'Woman-Church') will be excluded. Hints of this are present in their speeches and tirades against the Vatican, Scripture, celibate priests, and in almost every presentation, which they can use as a pretext to preach about the new church members that are coming in, (or maybe "coming out"?) lesbians, "gays", the handicapped, and other minorities.

 It is news to you dear reader, that these groups were never part of the Mystical Body of Christ. Only then in the "bad old days" we did not have special liturgies for certain lifestyles and exemptions from the ten Commandments. And it is certainly surprising news to my handicapped son. The high priestesses of the New Age contend that the Church did not want them, just as Stapleton implied, and Gagnon also-----see later. The nods of agreement from the audience said it all. But, in reality, if the 'new church' ever arrives in a schismatic America, it will be quite exclusive, fortunately for the rest of us.

There was more irony when Stapleton alluded to the fact that "Spirituality is being robbed of its value, when it is indiscriminately applied to everything, and should be used less often."

Her insistence on applying the term 'ministry' to every conceivable Catholic act had the same effect regarding the intrinsic quality of ministry. She failed to see her error, pun unintended. The Big Lie runs ever deeper and deeper:

Still recovering from being 'a recovering Catholic' I proceeded to enter the Bathsheba to Bethany workshop, where I was struck that things were not as they should be, when I viewed the purple banner (for Lent?) adorning one wall. The names of women throughout history were imprinted in large letters. These fem-heroes included non-Catholics, which is okay, I am all for heroes. But excluded (that theorem at work) were the Blessed Mother, Mother Seton, Mother Teresa, Edith Stein, to name a few. One would think at least one of them would have made the grade. When I inquired why their names were missing, the presenter, Jacquie Coleman replied:

"We do not have room for everyone."

She meant it, just examine some disseminations:

"We can't identify with the Mother of God, she is too sanitized, she has to come off her pedestal; We have to find the real Mary."

So much for the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Coleman explained how she felt 'scandalized' by the fact that statues of the Mother of God depict her as "flat-chested". Honest, she was actually irate over this. The response? Laughter, giggles, and applause. Her spirituality of hatred includes a reverse form of envy. Perhaps her mind is more on the antidoctrine of the impure deception. All the attendees at Bethany were women, mainly mothers, with a nun or two. Gee, and I thought that feminists were always decrying that men have nothing on their minds but women's bodies. No man has ever made that observation in my presence.

Moreover a new 'infallibility' was manifest, replacing the one the dissenters have discarded, and it is reserved as a weapon against orthodox Catholics, who are cajoled or embarrassed into not questioning the new 'theology' (psycho-social). They must submit. How exquisitely ironic, for the dissenters would arrogate the very attribute they deny to the successors of St. Peter and the other Apostles, to themselves. Any dissent from feminist-pagan spirituality, the spirituality of hatred, is suspect, dealt with in a condescending manner, with the questioner made to feel stupid or an insensitive troublemaker, dismissed with answers that shift the burden of proof onto her.

An example of a typical dogmatic Coleman workshop, and which occurred at this one, is the following, which illustrates the diabolical nature of the 'spirituality', worth a thousand pictures:

"Women are erased from Scripture we have been cheated and robbed of our personhood by Scripture, we are mostly unnamed."

I interjected that the blind man wasn't named either, along with a large number of other men in the Bible. Coleman counters:

"You will understand just like I did we are products of patriarchy, and it is Scripture that is the source of violence against women today."

 After such a harsh statement, it is difficult to refocus on unnamed persons of either gender, without appearing to be making a scene or appearing heartless about rape, for instance. As was expected there was a distinct absence about abortion as a type of violence against women and their children. At these workshops, social sins never seem to include the abomination of abortion as condemned by Vatican II, supposedly the 'creed' of the agents of change.

Coleman's inspiration (I have been present at workshops where her animus was displayed) is an acquired hostility towards the hierarchy, which she spurns as a form of patriarchy, blaming it for 'inequality' in the Church. I have known Coleman for years and remember when she bore no such loathing. It was only after she became ardent friends with dissatisfied nuns and their lay appeasers that she became radicalized, had her "consciousness raised". Her conscience should have been raised instead. Actually I feel sorry for her, a mother of nine, once a devout Catholic woman who inspired all of us. A lot of Catholics think that this nonsense, as they describe it, will "blow over" so they tend to ignore it. That is one of the problems, we do not meet the threat head on so we lose by default as we are reactionary only after it is too late. Women like Coleman are real and many; orthodox Catholics who are concerned can not allow themselves to be marginalized and neutralized any longer, for the sake of the Colemans in our parishes. This is a tragedy that need not have happened.

But let us return to Bethany workshop: Quoting liberally from her mentors, Rosemary Reuther and Elizabeth Fiorenza-Schussler [eco-feminists; the latter is also the author of many works on Biblical re-interpretation, such, as In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins], Coleman imposes a purely political structure onto the sacred one. The passages were acutely analyzed by Donna Steichen in Fidelity. I sensed that because Coleman was engaging the less initiated along with the more experienced dissenter, she kept her tirade to a milder version that she reserves for the almost converted, so as to not unduly alarm someone still somewhat sane. This stuff takes little rational powers, but instead is designed to work on raw emotion, the worse kind, prejudices that have been instilled slowly, and then used to "raise the consciousnesses" of perfectly normal people who had no idea they could have been so unhappy with such an unjust Church model. Coleman is evangelizing for the very 'Woman-Church' that harmed her. I know, because I used to belong, because of the misguided friendship with Coleman, acting in good faith.

 Through the grace of God a priest salvaged me just in time. So I understand the dynamics involved, the psychological breakdown that occurs to create an attachment to the very people scandalizing you. It works. Spiritual nature abhors a vacuum and when that which is holy is supplanted and uprooted, that which is evil and unholy takes its place. The natural result of feminism as preached in today's Church is paganism and the occult, not an "open Church".

There is no other place for them to go, for although the Church in America is weakened, unnecessarily, it can not grant the increasing demands of the dissenters much further without causing a formal schism to erupt. So another 'church' will be created, although it exists underground now, right in Maine, and the dominant hierarchy of that 'church' is lesbian. I weep and pray for these poor lost women. They are prepared to never budge in their pride and anger.

Jacquie is prepared to never relent, to never relinquish her rancor which she wears as a badge of martyrdom. It is no longer truth that she seeks, but unbridled power and vengeance, for imaginary slights in Scripture and from the hierarchy; every workshop presenter froths at the mouth at the mere mention of the priesthood. (See later for example). In her frenzy about the erasure of women, she fails to perceive or refuses to admit that it is Mary, whom she has 'demoted', who restores dignity to fallen womanhood, and that there is no dignity without obedience to nature, that dignity that is enshrined for women in the Church.

Coleman desecrates true equality by consecrating a socialist theory of equality, equating it with salvation, and working toward a goal that would eliminate equality entirely. When there are no absolute revealed truths, there is only anarchy, and then only the ruthless survive, hardly a noble equality. But the Big Lie runs ever and ever deeper: