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Truly bad news January 7, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.

As you know, I’ve been a busy little beaver, posting away the last two  days.  I spent quite a bit of time and effort researching Sr. Rupp’s work, as I hope my recent posts demonstrate.  Because of the effort involved, I held off sharing some bad, really bad, news I had received on Tuesday.  I wanted to complete the posts analyzing Sr. Rupp’s work from an orthodox perspective before sharing this news.

The news is this: The chancellor of the Diocese, Mary Edlund, informed Fr. Henry Petter, pastor at St. Elizabeth Seton parish, that Bishop Farrell had “not found any [sic] Ecclesiastical Sanctions concerning Sr. Joyce Rupp. Therefore, the bishop will not interfere with the five parishes who have invited Sr. Rupp here at Seton.”   This means, at least for now, that the Diocese will do nothing to prevent Sr. Rupp from holding her retreat.

This is amazing to me, especially given two factors.  For one, I had been told, verbally, that not only was Sr. Rupp’s ecclesial status being reviewed, but that diocesan officials, not necessarily the Bishop, were reviewing the content of her work.  I do not know how one could review her work and not come to the conclusion that Sr. Rupp’s beliefs are verrry problematical, at best.  Secondly, this ‘ecclesial review’ is not terribly substantial.  All that it involves establishing is that the competent authority over Sr. Rupp, in this case, the head of her order, thinks she is A-OK.  Well, that’s a bit like the inmates running the asylum, since, as I demonstrated on Tuesday, Sr. Rupp’s order is deeply involved in New Age practices through the “Servite Center for Compassion.”   I suppose the ecclesial review could also include a check to insure that there are currently no Church-wide prohibitions on Sr. Rupp speaking to Catholics, but it takes a truly outrageous act of dissent from Church doctrine to incur such a penalty – even complete heretics like Charles Curran were able to speak for years before incurring such an injunction from the Church. 

There is one other factor that surprises me.  I am surprised that Bishop Farrell and/or the diocesan staff would be willing to adjudicate postively for Sr. Rupp, given her statements about the Magisterium.  I related yesterday a speech Sr. Rupp gave at the 2004 US Catholic awards.  About half of this speech was little more than an invective filled assault on the Magisterium of the Church, particularly regarding the issue of women’s ordination (sister needs to have a come to Jesus with, uh……..Jesus, on that one).   In this speech, Sr. Rupp repeatedly uses the rhetoric of extreme elements of feminism, stating about the Church and/or Magisterium “Women suffer alot because of the Church,” ” It’s this attitude of sneering
domination and the obvious lack of respect for their individual worth that causes such immense angst in Catholic women today,”  “women’s suffering is related to Church issues,” and, my personal favorite “Power rightly exercised can be healthy and helpful. Rome agrees, but only so long as this power is in the hands of men. When women begin to assert their rights and seek to have their God-given potential and gifts fully acknowledged and accepted for service in the church, they are not only denied this right but are written off as adversaries, reactionaries, and power-seekers.”   Oh, the martyrdom!

This is, obviously, the language of power dynamics that suffuses the thinking of the more radical feminists.  I can not think of a more wrong-headed attitude towards the attitude the Catholic Church takes towards women.  I do not think I should have to remind Sr. Rupp, or anyone who thinks like her, that the most exalted human being in the Church is a woman, the Blessed Virgin.  I do not think I should have to remind Sr. Rupp of the historical contributions of women from St. Terese of Avila to St. Catherine Labour to St. Bernadette, nor the fact that the Church exalts those women saints to the same degree it exalts any of the male saints.  And, I do not think I should have to remind that the Church, though staffed with ordained MEN, has written some truly amazingly insightful and thoughtful commentaries on the relationship between women and their Church, their families and societies, and the world.  And, I know many women, who are not obsessed with the philosophy of male-oriented power dynamics, who recognize the unique and irreplaceable power that a woman has in the world. 

I am, needless to say, deeply disappointed at this decision by the Diocese.  I do not think either the process by which this decision was reached, nor the decision itself, reflect well upon the Diocese. 

This does not mean we shall give up on this issue.  I knew going in that getting this particular retreat cancelled would take  a miracle, and God in His Good Wisdom has not yet deigned to grant such a miracle.  But, I do think our prayers and actions have had an effect, and I remain prayerfully confident that ultimately we will effect some changes in the types of speakers that are brought into this diocese, especially the north deanery.

If you want to contact the diocese, the contact info is below.

Again, be brief, polite, direct, and to the point. 

Mary Edlund   Chancellor, Dallas Diocese   chancellor@cathdal.org 214-379-2819
Elsa Espinoza, Secretary, Bishop Kevin Farrell: eespinoz@cathdal.org 214-379-2816


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2. Casey - January 8, 2010

Why don’t you go the the retreat to hear what Sr. Rupp is really saying? Several times in your posts you indicate you’ve read this or been told that, even from her own website. Before you continue why don’t you attend and hear what she really has to say first hand with you very own ears-then if it is what you think you have more weight behind your argument because you’ve actually attended one of her talks/retreats. I don’t know Sr. Rupp, I haven’t heard her speak, I’ve read your comments and looked at her site. I just think you should hear what she has to say for yourself before you post things you aren’t sure of. I’m concerned.

tantamergo - January 9, 2010

I didn’t just fly off the handle and post this material. I’ve been studying Sr. Rupp’s works for a couple of months. I have read her books, but I only quoted material from the web so people could go see for themselves what she beleived. Please understand, this is a blog, not a doctoral dissertation, so I have to try to weigh what I choose to substantiate my opinion – I biased my sources towards those anyone reading a blog could read. I also tried to get others opinions as much as possible, but Sr. Rupp is not as well known as a Joan Chittister or Richard McBrien, so there wasn’t as much available.

I thank you for your comments, I think they are fair. I’m not “out to get” Sr. Rupp, I would rather she convert to a more orthodox perspective, but my main concern is that her beliefs are not appropriate for either being given in a Catholic Church or being sponsored by same. Her speaking in this diocese is tantamount to endorsement, and after the discussions I have had with the pastors involved and some diocesan officials, I feel that they do indeed endorse Sr. Rupp’s opinions on faith. As I have stated to staff and ordained involved in this retreat, I wouldn’t be happy if Sr. Rupp were speaking at a secular center, but my understanding of my faith, my sensus fidelium, tells me her speaking on Church grounds, with Church endorsement, is wrong.

Dominus vobiscum,

quovadis7 - January 14, 2010

Being an engineer also, I usually try to look for the most straight-forward and direct answers to tough questions….

On the question of why Bishop Farrell has declined to get involved in Sr. Rupp’s retreat @ St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Plano, I think that the likely answer lies is this – if the Bishop were to pull the plug on her retreat, Sr. Rupp would use that act to justify (and likely amplify) her radical position in railing against a male-dominated episcopacy in the Catholic Church.

It’s just sad – no pathetic – that the “leaders” in our Church don’t have more backbone than this, to ensure faithful & orthodox teaching in the Diocese.

And, Casey – uh, the retreat is for women. Do you propose that tantamergo attend in drag? It would be rather inappropriate for him to attend a Women’s retreat of any sort, orthodox or heterodox, don’tcha think???

Tantamergo – despite your striking out on this important issue, kudos to you BIG TIME for making the extra effort in trying to avert what will do nothing but inflict harm upon poor souls in the Diocese – especially, for your making the HUGE sacrifice of extensively subjecting yourself to the utter nonsense of Sr. Rupp’s writings and talks….

Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum.

3. A.M.D.G. - January 9, 2010


Thanks for doing the research! We got the same response when we approached the diocese on a similar matter. We agree with you. Let’s have the Catholic parishes and parishioners pay for Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, Fr. Frank Pavone, the Fathers of Mercy, the Franciscans of the Immaculate, etc. to the parishes for a retreat or mission. As an orthodox priest once told us, “If it is not formative, it is deformative” and “what you subsidize, you get more of.” If one’s words (spoken and written) are not in allegiance to the Magisterum, than they should not be presented to the parishioners. What a waste of time and resources— the retreaters could have been praying the rosary, going to Mass and confession, or helping the poor!In the Year of the Priest, please pray for our priests and bishops to be obedient, humble, and holy!

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