It has come to my attention that an organization called the American Catholic Council (ACC) will be holding what they describe as the “North Florida Listening Assembly” in Jacksonville on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011. Self-described as “seeking to reclaim the promise of the Holy Spirit manifested in Vatican II,” this assembly is billed as “a day of reflection and stimulating dialogue” – all in preparation for a national gathering to be held in Detroit in June of 2011. I want to clearly and unequivocally advise all Catholics that this North Florida Listening Assembly is not conducted under the auspices of the Diocese of St. Augustine, nor is it sanctioned, approved or endorsed by the diocese or any other entity of the Roman Catholic Church.
Although the stated purpose of the ACC is to “reclaim the promise of the Holy Spirit manifested in Vatican II,” in fact, the goals proposed in their literature, as well as the organizations which make up the ACC, are largely in opposition to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and the Holy Spirit, which inspired that Council.
I commend and embrace all true efforts at Church renewal, but the ACC’s agenda is decidedly not such an effort. Many of the groups which have banded together in the ACC espouse positions which are clearly contrary to Catholic faith and morals, and which engender only alienation and estrangement from the Church.
Accordingly, the Diocese of St. Augustine cautions any Catholic against participating in this North Florida Listening Assembly, as well as the national assembly to be held in June in Detroit. Catholic parishes, schools, and institutions are not to host any meetings, gatherings, or “listening sessions” associated with either event or with the ACC.
Additionally, priests, deacons, and lay ministers are expected to avoid these events, and to strongly urge the faithful not to attend or support them or the ACC in any manner. I ask, rather, that we all pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and shun efforts which threaten the unity of the Church for which Christ, himself, so fervently prayed — Bishop Victory Galeone
Archbishop Allen Vigneron had already issues a similar statement in regards to the Detroit meeting.
It is so predictable the names these dissident groups choose. “North Florida Listening Assembly” like I guess Hillary Clintons Listening Tour. They always betray themselves by saying they are listening when really what they have their ears attuned to is the spirit of the age in an act of itchy ear listening. If tons of faithful Catholics went to one of their events – I can guarantee you there would not be much listening going on.
But really if they are so interested in listening than they should listen to Jesus and specifically when he said “He who hears you, hears me.” when addressing the Apostles and giving them teaching authority. In the case of the ACC they have only not listened to the respective bishops, but have defied them. Jesus continued his statement with “and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” This perfectly describes the ACC and like groups.
God Bless Bp. Galeone, the handful of times I had been in the same room with him , he never once shirked from a teachable moment.
There is a group in Minnesota called Concerned Catholics for Church Reform that held a daylong session in September. Mostly quite elderly folks trying to recreate the “Spirit of Vatican 2.” Our Archbishop Nienstedt issued a similar warning to Minnesota Catholics. The CCCR is planning on having representatives to the Detroit meeting next Pentecost Sunday weekend. See here for info: http://is.gd/iD5tt
My diocese is already doing all or at least most of the things ACC is into so if they were to visit here it would just be redundant.
Funny, I’ve been trying to recreate the spirit of the descent-of-the-Holy-Spirit of Pentacost, 33 A.D., every year. Guess I’m not groovy enough?
It’s encouraging to hear our bishops speak definitively against this group. Of course, the ACC takes it as a sign that they are relevant because the hierarchy has noticed them. Crazy, what?
God bless, him! I suspect we will see more of these around the country, as there should be. It is so sad that these dissidents are holding that meetin here in Detroit on the very weekend that priests are being ordained (the Saturday before Pentecost). Call to Holiness is having a conference that Saturday, as an alternative to the dissident meeting. CTH began over 10 years ago when a large Call to Action meeting took place in Detroit.
Jeff, you said: “If tons of faithful Catholics went to one of their events – I can guarantee you there would not be much listening going on.”
Sometimes I wonder whether we should do just that? Organize groups of faithful Catholics around the country to attend these things. I wonder exactly what would happen if a group of calm and friendly but faithful Catholics attended and just would not go along with their agenda. They’d probably have us thrown out.
And its probably not a good idea. My desire is probably just springing from my love of poking sticks in people’s cages. Your bishop undoubtedly has the right idea in just urging people not to go.
But man, would it be fun to poke a stick in that particular cage. 🙂 They get so indignant and flustered when someone dares to be joyfully orthodox.
Yes, I’m happy too when a Bishop does the right thing. And yes, we need to follow them. However, there are many who must be followed only because they “sit in the seat of Moses”. The Espiscopate is presently the obstacle to driving out the modernism, liberalism and protestantism from the the liturgy and from the Mass in general. Would that the Holy Father could shake them up so that they would follow him as religiously as they ask us to follow them.