This Week’s Ask Alice: Evaluating Catholic sites that are critical of the Vatican, the Pope, and the Church.



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Andy Asks: I’m not sure what to make of sites like this. Particularly this article. What’s your opinion?

Alice Answers: The article entitled, “The Apotheosis of Antichrist,” attacked Pope John Paul II as the Vatican was preparing for his recent beatification. Written by Br. Bruno Bonnet-Eymard, editor of “The Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 21st Century,” Br. Bruno is a member of Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart, a small religious community founded by the late Fr. Georges de Nantes, a French priest, who was suspended a divinis by Apostolic Signature in 1966.

Rather than debate his diatribe against Pope John Paul’s character and sanctity, please consider the source (de Nantes) of these comments, many of which are scurrilous.

Fr. De Nantes hurled harsh criticisms against Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II when he accused them of heresy in his “Books of Accusation.” It was his “disrespect for the popes” that earned his suspension. The Catholic Counter Reformation, CRC, which Fr. de Nantes founded is deemed “outside the Catholic Church.” His fringe faction, “The Little Brothers and Little Sisters of the Sacred Heart” which belongs to the CRC, was labeled as a cult by the French Commission on Cults in its 1995 report. In 2001, Fr. De Nantes was forbidden to celebrate, give and receive the sacraments anywhere, which is the highest penalty before excommunication.

It seems ironic that Fr. de Nantes, who wrote “Pope John Paul II had faith in man,” expects his followers to have blind faith in his own opinions against two Catholic pontiffs. Faithful Catholics are called to respect the Magisterium of the Church, a stance which seemed to have eluded Fr. de Nantes and his successor, Br. Bonnet-Eymard. The writings of both men seem reminiscent of Martin Luther’s Reformation ramblings.

As Catholics we are called to support the Body of Christ. Not divide it. Sadly, Fr. de Nantes’ legacy bequeathed his egotistical agenda to Br. Bonnet Eymard.

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Doug Lawrence Adds: Many of these sites are well intentioned, and may even be at least partially correct in some instances, regarding some issues … while others are totally outrageous and impossible to reconcile with either common sense or the one, true faith. Still, it’s often hard to tell one from another.

An alert, thoroughly educated and well-read Catholic can usually spot problem areas in a New York minute, while others may be easily led astray, and may even have their faith unnecessarily attacked and/or improperly tested.

Issues are often addressed in a way that combines the worst of two worlds: religion and politics. For most people, that spells nothing but trouble!

Best to avoid such sites unless you really need to go there … and you really know your faith, your politics, and your history. If in doubt, evaluate the content and demeanor of the website in light of common sense, common courtesy, and relevant Catholic Canon Law:

Canon 212.3 states: “According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess,
[the faithful] have the right and even the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of the faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.”

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

1 Comment

  1. “As Catholics we are called to support the Body of Christ. Not divide it. ” Indeed. Perhaps rather than attacking the Abbe de Nantes with ad hominem attacks you could give a fair assessment of the situation. If you had researched the situation more fully, you would know that the Holy Office was never able to bring charge against him, and were never able to explain what his ‘errors’ were. Which they were required to do by canon law, every Catholic has a right to be judged by the ecclesiastical authorities according to the Church law. Also, the Abbe de Nantes was fully obedient to the authority of the Church and the unjust penalties against him, hardly egotistical. Thus, to judge his character and dismiss him entirely as you have as ‘egotistical’ is unjust and needlessly divides the body of Christ. The Abbe de Nantes had every right to make the accusations he did and to have them judged by the Church, this is confirmed in the canon law of the Church ratified by the Pope who is your God given authority. You do no service to the Church to judge this case for the Pope, who alone has the authority to judge a case at this level.

    God bless you,

    Tutilo

    The full story of the Abbe’s canonical situation.

    http://www.crc-internet.org/Abbe_de_Nantes/Canonical_Situation.htm


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