Larry Henderson (London, Ontario)
This reviewer has long been of the opinion that the upheaval in the Catholic Church was not an outburst of popular dissent, but a carefully planned and coordinated attempt to overthrow Catholicism. It has been difficult to prove because the major players tend to keep a low profile, operating under various guises, which no one suspects. But the truth is beginning to come out.
A small book has recently appeared in England, Alliance of Dissent, by Fr. M. Clifton, which documents the campaign, at least from the vantage point of the United Kingdom. The major thrust has been in the areas of 1) nuclear disarmament, 2) Liberation theology, 3) creation of a Parallel Magisterium, 4) the feminist attack on doctrine, and 5) changing Church structures.
Each of these thrusts did not happen by itself; they were managed by specific people and organizations, many of which report to central nodes of control. They are not necessarily powerful in themselves, but they disseminate their work through unsuspecting agents (mostly priests and nuns). They use media as their sounding boards for dissent, and most importantly, they succeed in getting themselves taken seriously by elements of the hierarchy.
All this we have long suspected. What is useful about this book is that it puts some names and faces to it. Looking at each of these aspects in turn, the author finds the following outlines emerge.
The element of central control was present very early, he states. As early as 1962 the organization known as IDOC (Intelligence Dossier of the Church) was formed to 'manage' the Vatican Council. Its purpose was clearly to move the Church to the 'left' (the very far left), and it had access to the major organs of news and book publishing. It soon created its own magazine, Concilium, and the names of the founders alone tell its thrust. They include Fr. Hans Kung, Fr. Yves Congar, Fr. E. Schillebeeckx, together with Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez and ex-Fr. Leonardo Boff for liberation theology. The point is that IDOC still exists, but now it has mushroomed into a thousand tentacles around the world, under names largely unrecognized, but still subject to a network of control.
Although the Soviet Union is no more, it may surprise some to find that the interconnection of the world peace movement remains under the International Department of the (former) Central Committee of the USSR. In the UK this directly controlled the so-called Christian Peace Conference, which ran the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, of which Msgr. Bruce Kent was the general secretary. The anti-nuclear parades which we saw on TV in Britain, Canada and elsewhere, were thus technically under Soviet management. Thus the USSR was able to use the Church to help disarm its enemies.
The author tells us that one of the great ideals put forward by the Second Vatican Council was the work for justice and Peace. In Britain this comes directly under the Bishops' Conference, which funds good work all over the world. The work is carried out by several organizations including Pax Christi which runs campaigns like 'Peace Sunday' and 'Peace Education'. The vice-president is (guess who?) Bruce Kent (now ex-Fr.) and his wife. So it appears that the Soviet connection still keeps its hand in the Church.
But of course justice and Peace is much bigger than that. In the UK it operates a centre for research on Southern Africa, Latin America and Asia. Its UK magazine promotes Liberation Theology through 'base communities' in all these areas (the current book list features Leonardo Boff). This suggests, at the least, that big organizations like justice and Peace draw their personnel from that great infrastructure, the Parallel Magisterium.
While not an organization in its own right, the so-called Parallel Magisterium represents dissident theologians in all countries who oppose papal teaching. The main unifying factor is opposition to Humanae Vitae but now many other aspects of Church teaching are attacked through semi-official organizations like The Catholic Theological Association. The International body of the CTA is based in Tubingen (headquarters of Fr. Kung) and issued a manifesto in 1990 declaring itself, in effect, a parallel magisterium. Staff names in the British CTA include names drawn from IDOC, Concilium, and official publications of the Church such as Living Parish Pamphlets. (An interesting note: tapes produced for the LPP actually include the work of one James Klugman, subsequently exposed as an active Soviet agent, to Alliance of Dissent.
The author maintains that the Theological Association has a 'strong hold over the bishops of the UK, a good presence on their committees, and virtual control in matters pertaining to catechetic and seminary training.' It is also worth noting that members of IDOC are also members of the Pastoral Development group, the Catholic Renewal movement, the St. Joan's Alliance, and the Newman Association Family Committee. All four are run by one man, Dr. Oliver Pratt. It is also intriguing to find one man, is (or has been) on the IDOC board, Vice President of the Campaign for Nuclear Disbarment, a member of the R.C. Bishops' Committee for Europe, and co-editor of a book on revolution with James Klugman (the exposed Soviet agent). He is Paul Ostereicher.
By this time, we cannot fail to see the extent of the network operating in the Church, as the author adds literally hundreds of names which it is impossible to double check, although many are in the UK National Catholic Directory. Many are published in newsletters. For example, a manifesto of the Catholic Women's Network (a subsidiary of the International Feminist Network) is published by one Lala Winkley, and states: 'We are angry, we won't go away, we want self-determination about sexuality and family life, economics, power, authority. We will be handmaids no longer.' Both Winkley and Pratt operate out of the same Dulwich address.
With this agenda, we cannot be surprised at what the catholic Women's Network has come up with, including home-made liturgies and new Age theology. The author says the CWN has centre stage in Catholic circles. (It is also a Pratt organization). In the sphere of morals, the CWN has shown itself supportive of the Catholic Lesbian Sisterhood (the CWN and CLS publicize each other's events), and their inaugural speaker was Rosemary Reuther, who has called for a 'new theology, a new spirituality, a new Bible, and a new religion.'
All this being the case, are these really the women the bishops want on their Bishops' Conference as resource persons to speak for the views of Catholic women? Yes, says our author, 'the hierarchy entrusted themselves to the National Board of Catholic Women at the very time the group was effectively being taken over by the radical feminists.'
The ideas and initiatives generated by these organizations have now occupied the forefront of Church activities for a quarter of a century. Nor are they confined to the UK. Readers will recognize the same thrust in Canada, the United States, Australia and elsewhere. This is because it is a worldwide network. IDOC operates on a global basis, as does its magazine Concilium. Most of the organizations mentioned in this book are branches of organizations established elsewhere.
For example, on the occasion of 'Jesus Day,' in the diocese of Chicago, on October 10, 1992, dissident theologians Fr. Richard McBrien and Andrew Greeley were joined by British activists Dr. Jack Dominion and Father Edmund Flood (director of Living Pamphlets of Klugman fame). The theme of the meeting was 'Future Church - New Image of Parish and Ministry.'
We hear all about this in our own parish bulletins. These are the people who are invited to address us. These are the organizations they represent. In fact, as claimed by the author of Alliance of Dissent, they belong to most to one anothers' organizations. That is the meaning of 'networking'. They may not be numerous, but they make up for it by controlling nearly all the avenues of communication.
But what kind of Church do they really want? The author of this book offers little in this direction, except for the existence of a name: 'The Dysfunctional Church,' (the title of a book by a certain Fr. Micheal Crosby, which is reviewed in a newsletter for UK Lay Pastoral workers, October 1992). Elsewhere in the publication is an article which proposes redesigning 'churches in the round'. The vision of the round church, 'where there is no them and us,' is as near as we get to what this new Church will be like.
But there is more than a little evidence that the aim behind it all is the actual breakdown of the Church itself. A 'dysfunctional' Church is one that will not work. It is broken, fragmented into factions, women at odds with men, laity at odds with clergy, bishops at odds with Rome. All this effort, all this time, all this dissent, designed to bring the faith of 2000 years to an end.
It will not succeed. It only appears to be successful because so few people seem to be aware of what is happening. But when the awakening comes, when the revolution totters as it did five years ago in the Soviet Union, then this whole nightmare will vanish in the light of day. In the meantime, we will no doubt pass through difficult times. Many will be offended by what they see and hear and leave the Church. Many may tire of the struggle. But many more will be faithful.
The key to the situation is the degree to which the dissidents have been able to insert themselves in the Church's establishment. As we have seen, they have been successful beyond the wildest dreams of a quarter century ago. It is very difficult now for bishops, surrounded as they are by these cadres of dissidents, to believe that they are victims of a plot to bring down the Church. But, as more and more facts come to light, we get nearer to the truth. For this we owe Fr. Clifton a great deal of thanks.
The reviewer has only skimmed the surface of this immense plot. In fact, so tangled is the web that the highlights have to be dug out from many different references and charts in this little book. This is a pity because a fuller treatment, complete with personal biographies of the leading players, and the history of the disleading players, and the history of the dissident movement itself is urgently needed. Also, its particular reference is confined to the UK. We still await a definitive history of these secret societies in the rest of the English-speaking world.
This article, which names many New World Order agents who are operating within the Catholic Church, was first published in a Challenge: A Magazine of Catholic News & Opinion (Winnipeg, Manitoba, May 1994).
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Les Relations des Jésuites contiennent 6 tomes et défont le mythe du bon Sauvage de Jean-Jacques Rousseau, et aussi des légendes indiennes pour réclamer des territoires, ainsi que la fameuse «spiritualité amérindienne».
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