Pleasant Hill parish hosts dissenting speakers
Agenda not in line with Church teaching coming to Christ the King
The following is a California Catholic Daily exclusive story by Anna Rose:
The dissenting speakers have not ceased at Christ the King parish in Pleasant Hill. On October 1, a self-identified Christian Meditation organization called the Hesed Community has invited the ever-dissident Sr. Joan Chittister to speak at the parish.
In addition, other problematic speakers are slated to speak in the upcoming months, most notably Dr. Lisa Fullam, Fr. Padraig Greene, and Luke Hansen, SJ. (http://cal-catholic.com/?p=25594)
I would love to say that I’m totally and utterly shocked, but I am not. That is par for the course for Christ the King parish. I’m not entirely sure that the parishioners even know there’s a problem with these speakers. They’ve been stuck with the notorious pastors for years and likely don’t have a clue. I think many Catholics from other parishes in the Oakland Diocese were hoping that Fr. Paulson would rein in this type of stuff. If you’re from this parish, please, please, research them and realize that they represent the antithesis of the Church teachings. In fact, if you’re looking to lead the Catholic life, I’d suggest finding another parish altogether. If you want to feel good about your particular sin, feel free to stay. If you want a shot at avoiding a long stint in purgatory and gaining heaven, go somewhere where they are trying to help you do that! It isn’t at this parish.
Oh, and these are still happening per the parish website http://ctkph.org/
Sr. Joan Chittister was the keynote speaker at the 2015 Call to Action Conference. In 2001, the Vatican forbade her to speak at the Women’s Ordination Conference, but she ignored them. She disagrees in many areas with the Magisterium of the Church: women’s ordination, admission of homosexuals to the priesthood, the celibate priesthood, and she is, at best, a moral relativist in the areas of abortion and birth control.
A cursory glance at her teachings on contemplation reveals that she ties all into her radical agenda, not the sublime objective of giving the greatest honor to God. For example, she states in her video program, “From Contemplation to Justice”, that “The contemplative can never be again a complacent participant in an oppressive system” and that “Those that have no flame in their heart for justice, no consciousness for the reign of God, no raging commitment for human community may indeed be seeking God but make no mistake, God is still, at best, only an idea to them, not a reality.” Apparently, Sr. Joan can never see someone devoted to perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as truly knowing God. She encourages being like Martha, where the Church encourages us to be more like Mary, that is, true contemplation.
The beautiful, blue links were stripped out during the copy and paste, so check out the links provided at California Catholic Daily and save me some time. The author is totally right! I can just see the organizers of the Chittister events saying (cue faux innocent voice) “Whaaaaattttt??? She’s just talking about the contemplative life.” Did you even watch the video? Nice try! Everything she does is pretty much Dissent 101, and I’m reasonably sure she would think Eucharistic Adoration misogynistic. Seriously, Joan can even find “inequality” in the Eucharist. No, I’m not kidding. All this woman can see is women being shafted by the Church. I just had to do a quick Google to find this: http://www.joanchittister.org/word-from-joan/6-16-2015/eucharist-dilemna She’s obsessed with misogyny. Sorry, Joan, there are no misogynists under your bed. You really need to let go of your “daddy issues” and stop being so bitter about the real men in our Church. Understanding the Eucharist might be an obstacle for you, Joan, but to a good chunk of us, it’s the source and summit of the Faith.
Dr. Lisa Fullam
Dr. Lisa Fullam is an advocate of allowing same-sex civil marriages. She also has a skewed view of the Church’s teachings on sexual morality and our necessary obedience to them, as shown in this quote from her article entitled, “Thou Shalt Sex Beyond the List of Don’ts”: “Christian ethical reflection on sex has tended to focus on what makes individual sex acts morally right or wrong. This view of sex that looks at acts objectively and tends to regard anything sexual as probably sinful has resulted in a rule-focused sexual morality generally expressed as lists of don’ts: Don’t masturbate. Don’t have sex before marriage. Don’t use contraception when you have sex in marriage. Don’t have sex outside marriage. Don’t have sex with someone of your own sex. Don’t abuse others sexually. I’m not dismissing these don’ts out of hand: Some don’ts are of great value, some are less valuable, and some are grounded in bad biology, bad psychology, or bad theology and should be discarded.”
Uh, who died and made you pope? Oh, that’s right, nobody. Who are you to decide which Church teachings should be discarded? If you don’t want to be Catholic, just renounce the Faith, toddle off and leave us alone. I love all the little accusations without a shred of backup. I cannot believe this one is a Th.D. Really? How do you teach “Fundamental Moral Theology” (https://www.scu.edu/jst/about/people-of-jst/faculty/lisa-fullam-dvm-thd/) when you haven’t a clue as to what it is or what it means? Please, parents, could we scratch Santa Clara off your list? You could get better moral theology as CSU Anywhere.
Dr. Fullam has also contradicted Church teaching that life begins at conception, when the egg and the sperm join to form a completely unique human being. She holds that life begins at implantation, and that contraception that blocks implantation is not an abortifacient because no pregnancy exists. A 2011 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine conducted by Dr. Farr Curlin shows that only 28 percent of the 1,000 OB/GYN’s surveyed believe that life begins at implantation. Fifty-seven percent believed it begins at conception and the rest are unsure. It’s hardly the “settled science” that Dr. Lisa Fullam puts forth. Clearly to have her as an expert on science or theology is a mistake for Catholics, yet this is the woman that the staff of Christ the King thought was the person to bring in to talk about sexual ethics of the Church regarding birth control.
Seriously? I’m not sure what’s more outrageous here. Her general lack of scientific knowledge or the fact that someone thought she would be someone who should ever speak in a Catholic church, much less teach in a Catholic school. Lisa, if a sperm and an egg joining isn’t a new human life, why the heck would you need any form of birth control? Because someone sprinkles the magic fairy dust of implantation and NOW “poof” it’s a pregnancy? Please. Whatever happened to science? She also doesn’t seem to grasp how abortifacients work. Unless you know what you’re talking about, it might be nice to take a seat. Even if her determination of life were correct, yes, abortifacients would still be abortifacients because, while they’re supposed to prevent implantation, they do not always do so. Sometimes they scrape off the newly implanted child or they cause the uterine lining to slough off regardless. She’s wrong on when life begins, but she’s doubly wrong on abortifacients. I mean, doesn’t she understand that even the scientific community classifies them as such? Duh! And, again, she’s contradicting Church teaching so why is she coming to Christ the King, a Church claiming to be Catholic?
Father Padraig Greene
Fr. Padraig Greene was arrested in 1999 by an undercover officer for lewd conduct at a city park frequented by children. He spent two days in jail and was released on $1000 bail to a rehabilitation program. The police report can be seen here. Father Greene was stationed at Christ the King parish when this incident occurred. He still works in the diocese as the parish relationship director with Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services.
This one has always baffled the faithful in the Oakland Diocese. Just the fact that people knew about this, it was never refuted, and you can read the police report on-line seems scandalous enough to count him out of public ministry. Seriously, you kind of lose a little credibility as a moral authority when you drive from Pleasant Hill to Oakland to masturbate in a public restroom and don’t bother to stop when someone walks in on you. Liberals love to talk about “pedophile priests,” but when one of their liberal buddies gets busted for lewd conduct in a children’s sports complex bathroom, we’re suddenly judgmental and they don’t see why we’re worried about an old incident?! I’m all for conversion, repentance, and forgiveness, but what does it say to our children when you can do something so hideous and then be made pastor? It’s the very definition of scandal if I ever saw it. Right up there with Bill Clinton in the White House.
Luke Hansen, SJ, was an associate editor at America Magazine and is now an intern with FutureChurch, a pro-women’s ordination organization lobbying for ordination of women to the diaconate. His topic in the series of talks? The Ministry and Leadership of Women in the Church.
You don’t work for FutureChurch unless you want women in the priesthood. Enough said. You want to talk “women’s role in the Church?” I’d be happy to come in and handle that from a Catholic perspective. It’s nothing but glorious! I might leave people a little less bitter and jealous than Sr. Joan or the America Magazine crew.
Father Paulson Mundanmani, pastor of Christ the King parish, has been on sabbatical for some time and will return on October 1, the same date of Sr. Joan Chittister’s talk. It is not known if he is aware of the upcoming slate of speakers at his parish, but he is scheduled as one of the speakers in the series.
We had hoped that Fr. Paulson’s appointment signaled the end of this silliness. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt, since he’s been on sabbatical, but I hope he comes home and immediately gets his “associates” in line with Catholicism.
The Oakland Diocese has made some strides in the last few years. I’m hoping that Bishop Barber will start requiring speakers to be vetted by the diocese. It would be nice to hope that the pastors are doing their jobs, but hey, they do go on sabbatical sometimes (and some really don’t have a problem with these speakers). A requirement like this would do a lot to keep these wacky speakers from undoing all the good that’s been done in one fell swoop.
If you have further evidence of why these speakers are inappropriate, please pass it along to Bishop Barber (firstname.lastname@example.org) AND Fr. Paulson (email@example.com). Feel free to send them a link to this post, too.
4 thoughts on “Dissent 101 at Christ the King Parish”
Yep. Before going any further, have to point out that the *people* I’ve met at CtK have been very decent, good folks. You are correct to suppose that few understand how far from the Church their pastor has led them. My wife once attended an RCIA class there with a friend, where she mentioned that one could just look up a particular issue in the catechism. Well, the young visiting Irish priest at the class went to some lengths to correct her, and let her and the class know that nobody used the catechism any more, that the Church had moved past that. Right. But how would the sheep learn otherwise?
Christ the King is but a few miles away; we used to live just up the street 20+ years ago and attended mass there a few times until the ‘welcoming’ ‘tolerant’ vibe, whereby Fr. Joyce subtly and not so subtly mocked and sneered at even the slightest deviation, no matter how innocent, from his stated positions. It was eerie. Example: once, he decided that people who showed up early enough to sit wherever they wanted were being unchristian if they didn’t slide to the middle of the pews but instead allowed people to move past them. He actually took time at the beginning of Mass to call out and attempt to humiliate people for this. Unbelievable.
So, the problem is, if possible, even deeper than mere dissent: the man had some serious problems, almost a cult leader. My take: he is very, very charming and very dishonest, but subtly so. Once or twice I tried to point out this behavior to his fans – no clue, absolutely shocked that I didn’t find him the most charming, wonderful priest in the world.
Anyway, I’ve had a couple brief words in person with both Bishop Barber and Bishop (now Archbishop) Cordeleone before him. I love them both. Each time, I got some version of: we are focusing on training and recruiting the next crop of priests, that trying to get this group to change will cause more harm than good. They have a point. And, true to his word, Archbishop Cordeleone did overhaul the seminary faculty and suspend and then overhaul the deaconate program, and then tried to reign in the schools, to mixed results. If the Pope will just leave these guys in place for a decade or two, we could see real progress.
As for Fr. Paulson, I hardly know him, but he has a good reputation. Pray for him – he has inherited a snake’s nest, the kind of people attracted to the environment created by Fr. Joyce (pray for him, too – I do every day). That they would do stuff behind his back or defy him to his face or simply lie, I have no doubt.
On the good news front, all the young priests I’ve met out here have been good to fabulous. If we can just keep it up for a couple decades, we can swap out all the post-VII priests (and, really, we should pity and pray for them – they were truly mistreated in their formation, and might have been perfectly fine with better formation) with younger post-post-VII priests.
And then we can deal with the next crisis.
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I too used to live in that parish. I tried it but ended up attending elsewhere.
You are totally correct. We have a lot of good up and comings. I think both bishops are committed to reforming the seminary first. I think we’re run out of priests to import. We simply have to wait for the dissenters to fade away. Like I’ve said, I’ve seen some miraculous progress. We were in the mess for a good 25 years. It’ll probably take us longer to get out. Fr. Paulson will have his work cut out for him if he chooses to teach Catholicism. Like I said, I give him the benefit of the doubt.
I know a priest who is teaching at St. Patrick’s. Future priests in his classes are in good hands. We will be blessed with well formed priests when they are ordained!
If the priests refuse to take those radical anti-Catholic speakers off of the agenda, then, the local solid Catholics should make a fuss & complain loudly to the bishop & make some signs and protest the event/s. It’s great that there’s a good crop of priests coming in the future, but that doesn’t mean we just sit back and let these anti-Catholics speak unimpeded! To borrow a Protestant question, “What Would Jesus Do?”!? I think of Jesus in the temple when the money changers made it into a den of thieves. These speakers make it into a den of slippery tongued vipers! Evil flourishes when good men do nothing. (I could add “women” to this statement which already implies women along with men, but I don’t fall for that politically correct inclusive language nonsense which Chittister loves so much!)
These speakers should be chastised and at least some of them should be publicly excommunicated.
Where are the good Catholics to stop this evil nonsense!?! Catholics, it’s time to stand up for Christ and His Holy Catholic Church.
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