A Quick History:
Why Vaticanites Put Their Disputes
On TV and The Internet
By Brenda Ann Eckels, aMGC (C)2016
The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (TOHCAC) is made up of families of church denominations. Some of the families are the Union of Utrecht (Utrechtian Old Catholic), Anglican Communion (based in Canterbury England, it includes The Anglican Churches), the family of Unaffiliated Independent Catholics, and the family of Orthodox Catholics.
The Vaticanite Catholic family has several different denominations within it. One of these denominations is so large and so diverse, it is comprised of several different, often competing, subgroups.
So, in 2015 this one family of Catholics held a “Synod on the Family” . For a complete breakdown of what a synods is, who goes to one, and what authority they have, if any, please click here.
This was an Empire Model Topic Specific Synod within one family of the many families of Catholic denominations.
In other words, one group, made up of 20+ varieties of roses, in one part of the Catholic Garden, had an assembly on a specific topic that was attended by just those particular humans that the Leader of the Empire Model Synod chose to have come.
They only discussed items about the topic that the Leader approved them to.
They may have used data from the very first attempt by the Leader to actually ask the members of the family what they wanted to say about certain questions related to the one topic.
- Some countries, like England, quickly and efficiently put the survey online and promoted the link to it very well, so lots of members of the family could do the survey.
- Other countries, notably the United States, did not put the survey online, and in some areas did not promote that there even was a survey, never mind where to get a copy, and how to turn it in once it was done.
- Because the survey did not get distributed evenly, and not all members of the family were given a quick, easy way to complete the survey and to submit it directly to the Synod on the Family, any results they did get would not be correct and accurate.
In both the field of Statistics and in the field of Information Technology, there is a simple term for what you get when you have this happen.
“GIGO”. “Garbage In, Garbage Out.”
Wether they used any of the bad survey data or not, the Synod is finished, and the humans who were allowed to attend and to speak have all gone home. Some of the ones who did not get to go, and did not get to speak are upset about this. Some of the humans who did not get to do the survey are also upset about this. Finally, some of the humans who were there did not like everything they heard, and some of the humans who were there did not feel the leader gave them enough time to talk, or did not listen to them are upset.
In some Catholic Churches, this would have caused the members to call a Wisdom Circle, to get everyone to sit down together, and using a method invented by the Quakers, slowly work at all these issues until everyone had a chance to speak, everyone felt they had been heard and that the leader had listened to them. Then they would gradually work on clarifying any remaining differences until a consensus decision was reached about what, if anything, was going to be produced, changed, stopped, or started as a result of the Synod and the Wisdom Circle.
The Vatican family does have the right to solve their problems how they want, within certain standards of moral decency and international law. They, obviously, do not use Wisdom Circles.
When this Synod was over, the Leader, Pope Francis produced a document called Amoris Laetitia.
Now, if you work at a company, and the owner writes a paper, what is the first thing that happens? You get an email with a link so you can read it! Vaticanite Catholics are, well let’s just say they don’t have the system capabilities to keep an email address for each of their members in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area, never mind all their members. They actually don’t even know who all their members are.
So, no email. The Vaticanite Roman Catholic Archbishop, named Charles Chaput, could have printed a copy of Amoris Laetitia for every member of his flock, so everyone under him could read what the leader said, ask questions, and get answers.
Instead he has decided to put out a press release where he explains what He feels the document Francis wrote actually says.
Because the Vatican family is made up of denominations that have an Empire Model of Governance, this Archbishop can make the rules for the Vaticanite Catholics that are active registered members of communities, called parishes, in his territory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A church denomination or a family of denominations that use an Empire Model of Governance are very top down organizations.
This is why it was very unusual for the current leader, Francis, to decide he wanted to do a survey of the group of members called laity. Many Catholics who are not part of the Vaticanite family thought he was very brave and daring to do this, and many decided to pray for him then, that he would stay uncorrupted by the money and power in that country. The reason it was so brave for Francis to do a survey of the Laity is because of the caste system in the Vaticanite family. Laity have no representation in an Empire Model Catholic denomination, except sometimes on a local parish level on things like who will be on the parish council or when the annual ham and bean supper will be. They do have some protections in the Canons and laws, but mostly they have rules.
Just like some black people decided to stay on the plantations after Lincoln declared slavery illegal, there are people who are right at home in being laity in an Empire Model denomination. We have no right to criticize the decision these humans make to join or stay in such denominations.
Some rules are very strict, and you cannot be a member if you break that particular rule. When this denomination decides that someone can not be a member there anymore, they issue a document called an excommunication. Some Vaticanite Catholics believe that if you get an Excommunication, not only are you not part of that family anymore, but you will also go to hell when you die.
It is important to know that not all Catholics believe this, in part because excommunications are documents that are made by humans and given to other humans.
In Catholicism, we believe that the only way someone goes to hell is if GOD decides to put them there. Catholics also have a very strong belief that Jesus will come again, or is in the process of coming again right now, everyday. Many Catholics believe that when Jesus comes again, God will have Jesus judge each human that has ever been and ever will be, and that is when Jesus might decide a particular human is going to hell.
So, no, if you have been excommunicated by the Vatican, that does not mean you can’t still be Catholic. It just means you can not be a Vaticanite Catholic.
There are Vaticanite Catholics who believe that if after a full examination of conscience, it would be sinful or harmful to follow what a Vaticanite Bishop tells them they have to do, they do not have to do it. This is because of the belief that Jesus came to bring salvation to all humans, and the Holy Spirit is with you when you do a proper Examination of Conscience. Since God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirits are merely facets of the same diamond, a person led to object to something a bishop tells them to do because it would be sinful to do it has every right to refuse to do what that bishop says.
A quick note here: the Vaticanite family has many names for bishops, like Archbishop, Cardinal, and Pope for bishops with certain jobs. They are still all bishops. However, in their family, as noted, power is very hierarchal. A Cardinal, for example, has more authority and power than an Archbishop, and the Pope has the most authority of all in the governance – how things run – in that family.
So even if someone is a active, registered member of a Vaticanite Catholic parish in the Philadelphia area, they do not have to follow what Archbishop Chaput has made for rules, or agree with what he says.
- If a Cardinal (who is above him) has said something different, or has not agreed to follow the rules Chaput has made, then any Vaticanite Catholic in Philadelphia can point to that Cardinal’s example as what they are going to do.
- If a Vaticanite Catholic in Philadelphia goes online and reads the Amoris Laetitia, and doesn’t find that what is in that document matches with what Chaput said or the new rules he has made, then they do not have to pay any attention to him at all, because Pope Francis wrote it.
- Finally, if a Vaticanite Catholic in Philadelphia has reads the Amoris Laetitia,and has found parts of it that match the new rules Chaput has made – they can still do an examination of conscience, let the Holy Spirit guide them, and if they find that following the new rule would cause them to commit a sin, they can (and should) not follow what the Archbishop decided.
Here is a link to a news story about what this one Vaticanite Archbishop Charles Chaput said, and what rules he made for the active, registered members of parishes in the Philedelphia, Pennsylvania area.
According to a new set of pastoral guidelines for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia governing implementation of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia, divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, people living together outside of marriage, and same-sex couples are eligible for Communion only if they “refrain from sexual intimacy.
Quick Note: This is just what one reporter at one news outlet decided that Chaput said. This one news story isn’t going to have all the various nuances of either Chaput himself or the actual Amoris Laetitia. It will also be biased by the reporter’s ability to be objective, what religion the owners of the news outlet are, and how much money the new outlet is making from Vaticanite funded SuperPacs during our election. So different News Outlets are going to say different things. How to get the real story from news media? Exactly how much money are news outlets making from Vaticanite Catholic funded SuperPacs? THOSE are entirely different blog posts.
Now, obviously this “pastoral guideline”:
A) Has no meaning or authority to ANY Catholics outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
B) It also has no meaning or authority to ANY other non-Vaticanite Catholics who are inside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
C) It has no meaning to “Home Roman Catholics” inside Philadelphia because they are not registered with the Vatican. It also has no meaning to Roman Catholics who are part of Womenpriest communities, and may not have any meaning to Roman Catholics who worship with Dignity communities.
D) It may have meaning to some Vaticanite Catholics in Philadelphia, but based on 1-3 above, it may not.
So you Independent, Episcopalian, Anglican, Orthodox, Gnostic, Celtic, and High Church Lutheran, and Old Catholics do not have to follow or agree with anything he says. You all have your own bishops. Follow them.
Vaticanite Catholics outside Philadelphia do not have to agree with Chaput or follow his rules. You also have your own Vaticanite Bishops, not all of whom agree with Chaput.
Whatever kind of Catholic you are, however, it would be a good thing to ask your bishop what they think about what Chaput is doing. Catholic bishops do have a responsibility to watch out for their fellow bishops, and if they see one staying way off the path that is in the Apostle’s Creed, or in the Bible, they should write a letter pointing out to Chaput where he has missed things. When Paul, Thomas, Peter, James The Brother of the Lord, Mary Magdalene, and the other Apostles were out overseeing groups of communities, they would usually send the letter directly to the other bishop. In much of the Catholic world,that is still how it is done today – although today many Catholic bishops will write an email instead of a paper letter.
There are a lot of theories as to why the Vaticanite family has a tendency to go and do press releases and TV interviews when they are disagreeing with each other.
It is one reason why the media often put “Catholic So and So…” in the headline, when really they should be putting “Vaticanite So and So…” There are many Catholics who are frightened when they see a story like this, and who wonder if they have to do what this Archbishop or that Cardinal says. This is one reason why other Catholic Bishops have started to put their letters in the media, and on sites that are for all Catholics like todayscatholics.com. You may not agree with every bishop, but you can still learn a lot about their denominations, about theology and ecclesiology, and about what kinds of governance other Catholic churches use besides the Empire Model.
The most important thing is to remember always to pray.
It is a very sad thing that Archbishop Chaput couldn’t sit down and think of a way to talk to his flock without holding a press conference or making a public press release.
If you think about it, how many of you – if you had something very important to say to a group you were leading – wouldn’t be able to sit down and write an email and tell almost all of them all at once? How many of you wouldn’t have Google Contacts or maybe a paper address book for the group you were in charge of? Yet, poor Archbishop Chaput! He couldn’t even do those simple things!
The Vaticanite Catholics have many serious problems they are dealing with. Unlike all the other Catholic families, they have an actual country to run, and it’s bank was full of scandal from having and hiding Mafia money. They have to pay an army, run a post office, and they have to staff parishes in a bunch of countries, fill the bishop positions, set aside a certain number to be cardinals, and do all that with under 425,000 clergy! They have a group of female religious orders in Ireland that have STILL not turned over thousands of records to the Irish government so that stolen kids can try to connect with their birth mothers! They have a Cardinal in Africa who flunked basic biology and isn’t aware that God sometimes makes hermaphrodites…basic genetics! These are all very serious issues, and on top of all that, the Vaticanites haven’t even started to work on what system, policy, and procedures they will develop to accurately count who is in their denominations!
Some Vaticanite Catholics think one reason the nobility classes, like clergy and religious, are always shouting stuff in press releases etc is that they are trying to drown out the news stories with the bad news, the problems, the lack of progress. This is also very sad, as even though it was difficult and painful, it was a very good thing that the Boston Herald investigated and ran the stories about how Bernard Law knew he was moving pedophile priests around, knew kids were getting hurt, and didn’t do the right thing. Even though the headline wasn’t true about the Irish Sewer Babies, it was a good thing that story broke, because the real reason, according to the commission still investigating, that there weren’t 800 skeletons in a sewer tank because there are possibly thousands of babies born in those Unwed Mothers Homes that were illegally adopted overseas.
No one likes to think of crimes being committed by the leaders in their church, but it is only when exposed to the bright light of day that a sick man’s injury’s can truly be counted, diagnosed, and treated. Shouting your internal denominational issues in press release after tweet after interview doesn’t make the problems go away. All it does is make people wonder what you are hiding with all the public shouting.
Just In Pennsylvania, the Archbishop has a lot of people – Catholic and Non-Catholic asking very hard pointed questions about a recent grand jury report that they hid and shuffled pedophile clergy for decades, and there were cases of abuse all the way back to the 1950’s!
So, yes, pray for the Vaticanite Catholics in Pennsylvania!
Pray for Archbishop Chaput to go back and re-study his church history, his bible, and Amoris Laetita so that he can truly understand what Francis is talking about when he says this is their year of Mercy and “Who am I to judge?”
Pray that he is able to get the real work, making sure that every past Pennsylvania clergy, every past bishop, that helped move those pedophile white straight male clergy around are brought to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and then to the local police department to make a full confession and submit to a fair trial for the crimes they committed.
Pray for Philadelphia Vaticanite Catholics who are or who have family that fall into those arbitrary categories that Archbishop Chaput has deemed less worthy than other humans to receive Communion, as they read and pray and do their own examination of conscience.
For those, if any, who find that indeed the local pastor is not going to respect the rights laity have to disagree, pray that God leads them to one of the Catholic denominations that they can be fully spiritually fed.
Pray for the leaders of the other Catholic churches in Pennsylvania, so that they can offer comfort and welcome to Vaticanites that have simply had enough with being the serfs in the Vatican Empire.
Pray for Francis, as he tries to supervise all these bishops, solve all these internal problems, and run a country on top of a church!
Pray for the devil to be stomped under Our Mother Mary’s foot when he tries to churn our Christian brothers and sisters and others to sin and spout lies that the entire Catholic Church is no good because of what one bishop from one denomination in just one family blasted out in a press release instead of communicating directly with his flock.
Brenda Eckels Burrows, aMGC