PITTSBURGH – It was a year ago that an outspoken Roman Catholic priest broke away from the church to form his own.
Now, the Rev. William Hausen’s Christ Hope Ecumenical Catholic Church has 300 members. The church is still meeting weekly at a hotel.
Hausen left the Roman Catholic church because he favors marriage for priests, the ordination of women and debate on birth control. He was excommunicated, and the Pittsburgh diocese said anyone following Hausen also would be excommunicated.
Anna Villella, a medical receptionist and mother of two, said she supported Hausen for being outspoken about the church sex-abuse scandal.
" I just decided to walk this journey with him," she told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I do not feel that I am excommunicated, and still feel as if I am a Catholic." [Source]
Oh that is a sure sign when you feel you are not excommunicated. I just wonder how does it feel to be excommunicated? Does anybody ever ask their spouse how are they feeling and they reply "You know I am feeling a little excommunicated today" or "I feel just a bit schismatic."
You just know an article like this has to end with the following:
Jennifer Blewitt, a 19-year-old Duquesne University student, said she likes Hausen’s church because everyone is welcome there.
"It’s the way Jesus was," Blewitt said.
Sometimes I wonder If I happen to have a different Bible version than others. It is always mentioned that Jesus eat with tax collectors and other outcasts, but they never pair it with the fact that these people were also seeking the truth and were repenting of their sins. He was not very welcoming to those scribes and pharisees who wanted to brandish their own version of the truth. Last I knew "You brood of vipers" was not a very welcoming statement. Jesus was not very welcoming to the goats in the parable of the sheep and goats. Again "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels" does not a first blush sound very welcoming to me. The truth is that Jesus is welcoming, but it is a conditional welcome in our exercise of free will working in grace through the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. “But nothing unclean shall enter it [Heaven].” The Gospel is not preached so that we might find a church that we are comfortable with and reflects what we want, but to help heal us as the sinners we are and to “Strive for peace with all men, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”
Jesus also said "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." This is the problem with those in schism is that they become deaf to part of the truth that is in Christ’s Church. By rejecting the Church they have at least partially rejected the truth that Christ has given us through Sacred Scripture and Apostolic Tradition.
I had posted before about the Rev. Hausen when he originally went into schism. That post included the following:
It will be a church that will "act on our own informed conscience" and "profess no dogmas," Hausen said. The church will "reject absolute statements and decrees. Absolute utterances are the weakest form of argument," he said.
His first decree is that there are no decrees. The first dogma is that there are no dogmas. Absolute utterances are not allowed unless they are about a female priesthood.
Update: Classic comment by Catholic writer Jeff Childers in my comment box.
What a mess! Good thing I do don’t have to worry about it, though, cause I feeling canonized today.