TO THE EDITOR:
I was quite surprised to read in the “Around the Diocese” section a paragraph publicizing an upcoming convention of the Voice of the Faithful. (RI Catholic 13 Sept., '07). This organization has made statements which oppose Catholic beliefs and teachings. In fact, some dioceses have silenced the organization and/or banned them from using church facilities.
One of the speakers billed for the convention, Fr. Richard McBrien, has been recognized as a major dissenter of Church doctrine and teaching. This was done in a special report published in June, 2007, titled Wolves in Sheep's Clothing-Dissenters in the Catholic Church. (Catholic Answers- June, 2007.)
The report notes that one of Fr. McBrien's books, Catholicism, which is used as a textbook at colleges and parishes, does not carry an imprimatur. The book was criticized by the U.S. Bishops Committee on Doctrine. Even after revision, the changes were deemed insufficient to affect the committee's critical review. According to the committee review, the book still had problems as follows:
"First, some statements are inaccurate or at least misleading.
Second, there is in the book an overemphasis on the plurality of opinion within the Catholic theological tradition that makes it difficult at times for the reader to discern the normative core of that tradition.
Third, Catholicism overstates the significance of recent developments within the Catholic tradition, implying that the past appears to be markedly inferior to the present and obscuring the continuity of the tradition."
In my view, the publication of information about the organization, its speakers and its agenda may give many the impression of diocesan approval.
We should not do anything to assist persons or organizations that reject the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church.
ROBERT G ARCIERO
Ed. note: The decision to publish news of the event was made after discussion among the newspaper staff and with the publisher