Open Letter to Bishop Loverde about His Fortnight of Freedom at St. Thomas More Cathedral
Sorry, no. Neither was honored at this event. Truth was discredited. The sanctuary was desecrated. Christ was offended. The cathedral should be re-consecrated.
Have all the martyrs of the last two millennia suffered and died in vain? Perhaps the patron of this cathedral, St. Thomas More, should have tried to find common ground with Henry VIII instead of losing his head. Why didn't he dialogue? Maybe because there are some things that must remain black and white and never be smeared into a murky gray.
The primary responsibilities of a bishop are to teach and safeguard the Faith. Neither occurred at this fortnight event. Instead, Bishop Loverde placed the One True Church established by Jesus Christ on equal footing with the false religions of the world, with those that are not even Christian. Bishop Loverde’s actions neither taught Truth nor safeguarded it. He sat in the pew with the rest of the congregation, while surrendering his leadership and Christ’s sanctuary to those of erroneous beliefs. This successor to the Apostles allowed Buddhists, Hindus, Moslems, and Mormons to enter therein and stand before the Tabernacle. Would St. Francis Xavier have engaged in such syncretism?
Unchanging Truth was compromised and defiled on the altar of Relativism and Dialogue. Will dialoguing get these unbaptized persons into heaven? What about the impression of Catholics who attended or read this story? One religion must be as good as another is the conclusion many will draw, otherwise, they will reason, this event would never have taken place.
Authentic freedom means to be free to profess the Truth. Genuine liberty has to be distinguished from license--liberty to think and act according to our properly formed consciences--not to follow feelings or emotions. The bishop must respect and obey God before man.
If Bishop Loverde sincerely cared for the souls of the people he invited into the cathedral that night, with all his heart and soul he would have professed the Truth of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Bishop Loverde has failed in his obligations before Jesus Christ and before his fellow man. He has given an example of grave error, scandal.
The Catholic Church is NOT a/the One World Religion.
St. John Fisher, pray for our prelate.
Jane S. Elliot
Front Royal, VA
In view of the collapse of catechesis and the confusion of so many Catholics about the faith, this event could only add to the chaos. Holding it in the preeminent church of the diocese made the confusion even worse. According to the article, Fr. Daniel Rooney who heads the Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Commission clarified the event this way, "It was not an evening of praying together, said Father Rooney, but gathering to pray in one another’s presence." Unfortunately, that is NOT the impression given by the Herald article:
Catholics, Mormons, Lutherans and Anglicans joined chanting saffron-robed Buddhist monks, a Hindu man who read from the sacred Rig-Veda in Sanskrit and a Muslim who quoted passages from the Quran. All were there to show common support for religious liberty.How does a Catholic "join" the chanting of Buddhist monks? Buddhist philosophy which strives toward emptiness is directly opposed to Catholic teaching calling on the Holy Spirit to "fill the hearts of the faithful." The "interreligious" choir, led by the Cathedral music director, sang God Bless America. Is that not a "religious" song? Isn't singing hymns together a form of praying together?
Certainly there is no problem with a meeting of different religions to cooperate in fighting evil. It often happens at U.N. conferences where Catholics, Protestants, and non-Christians form coalitions to oppose the population control juggernaut. A conference in the church hall of various churches to form a fighting alliance to combat the HHS mandate makes sense and, frankly, would have been more useful. But to hold what is unquestionably an ecumenical religious prayer service at the Cathedral, even before an empty tabernacle, is deeply troubling. Let the Buddhists and Hindus pray in their own temples and the Muslims pray in their mosques. I agree with Jane that the Cathedral was desecrated by this event.
Fr. Bernard Green has written about the dangers of syncretism and here is just a taste of his excellent article:
The syncretistic tendency can be defined as the attempt to appropriate ideas and practices from a variety of spiritual traditions without any attempt to discriminate their truth or value on the basis of Catholic faith. One way in which the equality and compatibility of various religions is justified is by subsuming their various dimensions under generic categories. So, the writings of different religions are all put on the same level by being labeled "sacred." [Note the article's description of the Hindu's "sacred Rig-Veda.] Similarly, different deities are subsumed under the general category of the Transcendent, and various rituals are all considered to serve the same function of contacting and establishing unity with the Transcendent.Keep in mind that syncretism is essentially religious indifferentism which is a sin against the first commandment. Pray for Bishop Loverde and all who were involved in planning this head-shaking event. Share cookies and lemonade with Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Protestants -- not prayer services!