From Matt Abbott:
Father Pat Brennan, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Inverness, Ill., one of the largest parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago, is well known in both liberal and conservative circles. He’s been around for some time, and he’s no stranger to controversy.
In a 1997 homily, Brennan reportedly expressed admiration for former French bishop Jacques Gaillot, who was deposed in 1995 for, among other reasons, publicly endorsing use of the abortion pill.
More recently, in a May 2005 parish bulletin, Brennan wrote the following:
The Catholic publishing world, as well as Catholic universities, are [sic] reeling this week after the ouster of Rev. Thomas Reese, the editor of ‘America’ magazine for the last seven years. Reese was criticized by the then Cardinal Ratzinger for years for entertaining controversial topics in the magazine, as well as directly disagreeing with the cardinal.
Reese had difficulty with Ratzinger’s comments some years ago about non-Christians being in seriously deficient religions. Reese did not find these comments ecumenically sensitive. Many knowledgeable people say that Reese was forced to resign because of the pressure coming from the new pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Thomas Groome, a friend of mine at Boston College and a theology professor said, ‘Fr. Reese’s removal must be interpreted as an ominous sign against open discourse in the Catholic Church.’ Another theologian, Stephen Pope, said, ‘This certainly is a repressive move.’
What we are up against is more restorationism rather than refounding the Church for a new age and time. [emphasis mine]
Arlene Sawicki, a former parishioner of Holy Family, says "… the use of the word ‘refounding’ means questioning every known doctrine and tradition of the Church, and setting forth a new paradigm for the Church according to the community’s consensus.
"That may include doctrinal and liturgical dissent, and open disrespect for the pope and Magisterium. Father Brennan often refers to the Magisterium as ‘those elderly men in long robes’ — apparently they are too old-fashioned for his new theology."
This is from an interview with Fr. Brennan.
Herron: How can we help people to allow the Lord to control their lives, rather than the church to control their lives?
Brennan: It is a paradoxical sort of situation. When the imagination jumps from the need to control to surrender, that is a genuine conversion experience, at least it always has been in my life. The paradox that I am alluding to, though, is I really think you need a church, or at least a community of faith, to help you make that jump.
When I have been in grief, when I have been in mourning, when I have bouts of a depression or fear, usually it has been the influence of other people around me who perhaps at that moment have a deeper prayer life than I, that help my imagination soar to the directive images of Jesus. But I think we are then into another problem.
Herron: What is that?
Brennan: Churches that, rather than serving, than mentoring, companioning, enabling ministry, really do try to control people’s lives. I fear that some churches are in an addictive pattern or a paradigm paralysis. They are stuck in that control, authoritarian model.
George Gallup’s research tells us that people are not looking for that any more. The days of guilt, obligation, those motivations for church attendance and church membership, are over. People are going where they are spiritually fed and where they feel that there is community, where they can belong.
Herron: Father Brennan, do you think the church is changing today to accommodate those needs?
Brennan: I do. I think the Holy Spirit is moving us back to a truly Pentecostal Acts II church, but I think there is massive resistance, massive resistance at the top for some people who want to maintain control and massive resistance on the bottom where people like to be an audience but don’t really want to be responsible for their faith.
I kind of enjoy progressive gobbledygook and phrases like "paradigm paralysis"
or "directive images of Jesus" much better then hearing "listening church" and "open dialogue" for the millionth time.
When I was a kid, we used to close every mass with prayers for the conversion of Russia. I guess what I am suggesting today is maybe Russia is doing okay and moving along pretty well. We ought to pray more and more for the conversion of us, for the transformation of the directive dominant images, inter-psychically, in our churches and the society in which we live.
Oh well there is always Fr. Barron Chicago with his excellent site containing mp3s of his homilies.