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Upcoming UD Ministry conference features more problematic speakers September 17, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in General Catholic.
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Another year, another conference, more problematic speakers.  I really can’t work up the energy to explain in great detail why these folks are problematic.  One is well known for his heterodox views.  I’ll just list t them with a brief description and move on:

  • Keynote speaker Fr. Ron Rolheiser: Rolheiser has long been controversial, although he also has alot of fans (which, in the climate of the Church in this country, in this day, doesn’t mean a whole lot).  He tends to focus on sex a great deal.  A great, great deal (I can’t stress this enough).  He wrote a book on spirituality in which he described it as what we do with the fire of our eros (sexual longings).  His comments on celibacy are often baffling, and, at times, can be construed as derogatory.  He implies/states that Jesus and St. Therese of Lisieux were constantly tormented by sexual desires.   In general, his outlook is modernism through and through, and frequently hetereodox (he states that Sacramental Confession is not necessary for the forgiveness of sin).  I wonder how Cardinal George, the other keynote speaker, feels about being booked with Rolheiser.
  • John Allen of the Distorter:  he of “taliban Catholic” fame.
  • Dr. Greer Gordon: Covered last year.
  • Sr. Dorothy Jonaitis: Ditto.  She had been an instructor in the problematic UD School of Ministry, but she was let go earlier this year.  She was to head a group making a formal presentation to the USCCB demanding ordination of women.
  • Linda McCray: no doctrinal issues noted, I just don’t like churches that are cold, impersonal, and filled with abstract art.
  • James McGill: Taught ecclesiology at UD in 2010 based entirely on the work of Fr. Richard McBrien.  The book in question has been castigated for its heterodox views.

I was tempted to just ignore this conference.  There are a number of pretty good speakers, like Ken Ogorek.  But the presence of Rolheiser and Jonaitis, in particular, made me feel I had to do a post.  Jonaitis has been known to be problematic – the furor over the UD School of Ministry earlier this year focused, to some extent, on her.  I do not know why a conference has to have speakers like that.  And what is “Latino Theology,” anyway?  Must we Balkanize the Church even further, must we so mirror the culture?  And Rolheiser……I don’t even want to get started.  Given the general thrust of the other speakers, his presence, is, to me, shocking.

We have a number of good things going on in this Diocese.  I recognize that. I am particularly grateful to Bishop Farrell for certain actions that have been taken of late. But I don’t know why conferences/retreats continue to be a source of problems.  I am certain it is quite possible to put on a conference that has no speakers that hold views counter to what the Church believes.

Anyway, this post has been weighing on me for over a week, now it’s done.  I have contemplated trying to attend the conference, to check out some of these speakers and just interact with the crowd and see what they think, but…it just doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.