CALL TO ACTION:
The Orlando Truth
to Action (CTA) is
the leading organization of liberal, dissenting, Modernist Catholics
in the United States. It has also become the umbrella organization
for other leftist groups seeking to undermine the Church, such as
Voice of the Faithful, WomenChurch
and Future Church.
Ironically, it was given birth by the National Conference of Catholic
Bishops itself at a convention held in Detroit in 1976, a decade after
the conclusion of the Second
Vatican Council. Its goal was established by its host, Cardinal Dearden, and his
successor, Cardinal Bernardin,
to be the involvement of the American Catholic Community in the economic,
political, and cultural growth of the nation.
The Detroit meeting was an opportunity to
develop a truly Catholic conscience on peace and social justice. More
than 100 bishops were among the 2,800 delegates and observers in attendance.
After 3 contentious days of discussion and debate, the assembly resolved
that the church must stand up to chronic racism, sexism, militarism
and poverty in modern society. Surprisingly, without good reason,
it also declared that to do so in a
credible way the church must reevaluate its positions on issues
like celibacy for priests, the male-only clergy, homosexuality, birth
control, sexual morality and the reception of Holy Communion by divorced
and remarried individuals. Moreover, final decisions in these areas
were all to be made by democratic vote of the laity within the church.
The New York Times (January
16,1977) appropriately declared that the Call to Action Convention had been “captured by liberal extremists”.
from Church to Private Organization
unholy alliance between political and religious issues troubled the
Bishops Conference, which had sponsored the event. The bishops soon
recognized that they had allowed the meeting to get away from them
on doctrinal matters and that political operatives had hijacked the
conference for their own ends. As a result, the United States Bishops
Conference gradually distanced itself from
CTA and its agenda. However, flushed with its successes at the
1976 convention, several groups of dissident priests, nuns, Catholic
schoolteachers and laity re-launched CTA as a private local organization headquartered in Chicago. During
the 1980s, CTA focused
largely on societal rather than Church issues - involving
Catholics in the nuclear disarmament movement, criticism of the capitalist
economic system, the campaign against U.S. policy in Latin America,
and environmental issues.
Then in 1990, CTA
retrained its guns on the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. To
promote its cause, it recruited the theologian, Hans Kung, who had
been censured by the Vatican on February 15, 1975, and removed from
his position as Professor of the Catholic Faith at the prestigious
University of Tubingen, Germany.
At the CTA 1990
Convention, Fr. Kung presented and endorsed their 1990 Manifesto and Declaration
of the motives and goals of the progressive church envisioned by these
reformers. This document was printed as a full-page ad in the New
York Times on Ash Wednesday that year. Within a few months, the
document had 25,000 signers, catapulting CTA
to national prominence.
and Selected Theology
goal is to create a less doctrinal and more humanistic church.
However, a new understanding of God is essential to their rebellion,
because as long as the Trinity is adored and Revelation accepted as
God’s inspired word, the Gnostic New Faith of the rebels cannot come
to power. Therefore, it recognized a need for new philosophical and
theological insights to underpin its cause:
- Because reason leads us to the acceptance of God’s Revelation beyond
a reasonable doubt and because our orthodox Faith as taught by the
Magisterium of the Church is logically consistent, it was necessary
to dethrone the primacy of rationality as the source of
discovering truth in order for the CTA
agenda to prevail. To
accomplish this, it relied on major modern existentialist philosophers,
such as Soren Kierkegaard, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, and their Jesuit
disciple, Bernard Lonergan. These men claimed that reason alone
can never attain ultimate truth,
since all knowledge comes to us solely through the human senses, including
feelings, emotions and personal experience. These philosophers
stressed that actual knowledge occurred by a “leap of faith” over
an “unknown chasm” from
the sensory data to the internal conclusion, which they perceived
to be an act of the will, not of the mind. Therefore, they argued
that this “jump” was never justified by reason alone.
However, unlike St.
Thomas Aquinas, they failed to recognize the errors in this perspective.
Because the “pull of the will” over the unknown chasm is irrational,
it does create only subjective truth. However, this is not what happens.
It is rather the rational “push by the mind” that forces the intellect
to accept objective truth. Thus 2 + 2 always equals 4, regardless
of what other total one might will it to be. By dethroning reason
(a function of spirit and the soul) in favor of human sensory knowledge,
they developed a flawed theory that accented God’s humanity rather
than His divinity, and His immanence (in this world) rather than transcendence
(out-there in heaven), leading to
pantheism and the hegemony of the environment. This worship
of sensory knowledge rather than reason reached a climax last summer
in Tralee, Ireland. There, the Town Council established a permanent
tourist exhibit containing individual sculptures of each of the 5
senses in its Rose Garden Park in lieu of a more appropriate Marian
Shrine at the site.
Selected theology –
Hans Kung, CTA’s leading
and popular publicist, is a disciple of the above existentialist philosophers.
According to Kung (On Being
a Christian, 1974), Christ was God’s special friend and advocate
but nothing more. He dismisses all miracles that cannot be given a
natural explanation. The empty
tomb in the purported resurrection leads us nowhere. Jesus did not
found a Church or priesthood. The Last Supper was just that. It was
the last in a series of meals that Christ had with his apostles. He
also questions Mary’s virginity, papal primacy and the moral law.
Service to man takes precedence over service to God. Christianity
is a human invention so that there is real doubt about anything supernatural.
are the sources of Kung’s essence of belief? He is remarkable in his
selectivity. He starts with the New Testament and the teaching of
the first ecumenical councils between the fourth and eighth centuries,
but before long he criticizes what he alleges those councils added
to the Christian essence. He ignores the Magisterium of the Church
thereafter, including subsequent ecumenical councils and Vatican II.
He minimizes the New Testament content.
He claims the Gospels of Luke, John, the Acts of the Apostles
and most of Paul’s epistles are not valid sources for a genuine image
of Christ. Serious problems arise from the partiality of his scholarship,
leading Scriptural experts to not value his work very highly.
Advocates of CTA Agenda
The major advocates of the CTA agenda are universally in agreement about their perceived evils
of the orthodox Roman Catholic Church. Unfortunately, they are intellectually
dishonest. Here are representative comments from some of their leading
· James Carroll (ex-priest) --
His recent book, Constantine’s
Sword, is a fierce diatribe against Catholicism, accusing it of
vicious anti-Semitism. He argues that Christian theology is founded
upon anti-Semitism, and that one cannot be a good Catholic without
teaching such doctrines. Virtually all scholars believe he is over-presenting
his case in order to justify a reform agenda that amounts to a
blueprint for the annihilation of the Catholic Church. Much
of Carroll’s book is devoted to his agenda for a proposed Third Vatican
Council, which would cure the Catholic Church of the dreadful faults
that have made it, in his eyes, a failed and sinful Church.
Sr. Elizabeth Johnson (nun)
— was quoted in Time magazine that the Blessed Mother Mary “has
no class and no sass.” This slap was intended to emphasize that Mary
is thus a poor role model for active feminists in the Church.
Garry Wills (ex-seminarian)
— author of the book Papal Sins/Structures of Deceit about the evils of the hierarchical
Church and specifically the Papacy. Equally vehement is Will’s denunciation in another book Why
I Am a Catholic, which summarizes the history of the papacy between
1815 and 1962 in two overheated
chapters titled “War on Democracy” and “Reign of Terror”. In his view,
the Second Vatican Council represented one brief shining moment of
liberal enlightenment, but hellish darkness descended once more in
the form of John Paul II, whom Wills depicts as a credulous megalomaniac.
The New York Times book
review opined that the reader might be so bludgeoned by the book’s
exhaustive recital of a millennium and a half of papal horrors as
to wonder why Wills claims to remain a Catholic.
Fr. Richard McBrien — a
Jesuit priest teaching theology at Notre Dame University, forcefully
argues against papal sovereignty saying that the world’s bishops will
not be errand boys for the Vatican, with their every decision subject
to veto power from abroad. He claims the view that the church is primarily
a “legal institution based on papal power” and established by one
verse in the Bible (“Thou art Peter and upon this rock”) may persist
in the minds of many Catholics, but it is wrong and has always been
Sr. Theresa Kane — became
an icon for the women’s movement in the Church by publicly confronting
Pope John Paul II during his first U.S. tour in 1979 on the issue
of women’s ordination. Now she even more urgently demands opening
all Church ministries to women.
Eugene Kennedy (ex-priest
and columnist for the Boston
Globe newspaper) — argues that sexuality is the Church’s unhealed
wound. He demands a married priesthood, the ordination of women and
an end to its perceived hostility to homosexuals.
Roger Haight — a Jesuit
theologian and former President of the Catholic Theological Society
of America, authored a book, Jesus
Symbol of God, in which he argues that Christ
is a revealer of God and a symbol for an encounter with God,
but fails to affirm that Christ is God’s only begotten Son and the
one Savior of creation. For this reason, when it comes to calling
Jesus a symbol of God, many Christians worry: Is that all? Merely
a symbol? The Vatican has banned him from further teaching.
Emphasis on Love and Compassion
In view of the fierce condemnations of the Pope and orthodox
Catholicism by the above spokespersons, it is interesting that Fr.
Rolheiser, the guru of Modernist theologians, stresses the use
of pastoral sensibilities of love and compassion when offering criticism
to those of opposing religious perspectives.
He relates the following anecdote
(Florida Catholic, February
5, 2004 issue):
When he was the acting dean at a theological
college, he received a phone call from the local parish priest, who
chided him about his students, saying, “Your students are a pain!
They take some courses, come over here and terrorize our parish with
their knowledge. Nothing is ever right for them. They roll their eyes
at everything: how we do liturgy, my preaching, and our ecclesiology
in general. I don’t doubt they’re right most of the time, but that’s
not the point. It’s their arrogance that’s destructive. Don’t you
teach them any compassion?” Fr. Rolheiser concludes that, without
love and compassion, being right will only lead to more divisiveness
inside the community and lots of personal bitterness.
But he, and his leftist
Modernist colleagues at CTA,
do not practice what they preach. They constantly ridicule orthodox
Roman Catholics about following the Pope, the Magisterium and Church
laws, emphasizing their gospel of “love, love, love” (James Carroll
above claims “Love is the greatest good”) while flagrantly disobeying
the directives of the Vatican. Thus they continually create the divisiveness
that they so hypocritically
abhor. If these pompous blowhards would remain faithful to the 2,000-year
heritage of our Church, rather than congratulating themselves on their
false and prideful epiphany of wisdom, our Church would be much better
Unlike them, we of the orthodox persuasion
at the Orlando Truth are
not hypocrites. We preach the consistent eternal truths of faith and
morals, and accept the necessary divisiveness resulting from those
who refuse to accept it. Even God accepts the loss of those who refuse
to follow His commandments and are
consigned to Hell.
people, including CTA members,
have embraced such false philosophy and its resulting liberal Modernism
for a time. However, many ultimately renounce it, because they long
for a view of life more satisfying and fulfilling, like the authentic
Catholic Faith. Modernists generally do not seem concerned about Who
or What God may be. Some believe in a personal God but others only
in a life force permeating the universe.
Sartre, on his deathbed, disavowed his entire secular philosophical
system, proclaiming: “I do not feel that I am the product of chance,
a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared,
prefigured. In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here.
And this idea of a creating hand refers to God.” (National
Review, June 11, 1982). In this brief comment, Sartre disavowed
his entire atheistic system at the end of his life.
Camus, the existentialist author of The
Stranger, was killed in an auto accident on his way to seek Baptism.
Voltaire, the French philosopher,
converted on his deathbed. Oscar
Wilde, the famous literary gadfly who lived an actively gay lifestyle,
called for the priest to hear his confession and administer the last
rites during his final illness. Many may preach a liberal lifestyle
but when the final reckoning approaches, they return to the well-established
one can deny the heterodox agenda of the CTA.
is opposed to the two millennia heritage of our Roman Catholic Church
at every level: structurally, doctrinally and pastorally.
No doubt they are completely frustrated by their lack of success
in reforming our Church in their almost 30 years of existence. The
same ex-priests with their wives, disobedient nuns, gays and lesbians
are the nucleus of every meeting. By their fruits, you shall know
What is disturbing is that our shepherds,
our pastors and bishops, extend the hospitality of their parishes
to this group to enable it to continue to promote its nefarious agenda.
Consider that Bishop
Fabian Bruskewicz of Lincoln,
Nebraska had the courage to excommunicate each and every member
of his Diocese that joined this dissident organization. Would that
our own shepherds would similarly guard and protect our unwary parishioners
from its tentacles. However, they consistently fail us in this regard.
Just look at the invitations extended to the CTA
ex-priest who writes for the leftist National
Catholic Reporter, is touring Florida January/February (2004)
to convey his message of dissent from orthodox Church teachings. He
has been welcomed to several parishes in Naples, Ft. Myers, Miami
and Winter Park.
Park, Sr. Elizabeth Demirgian, O.P. [same
order as Dr. Lucy Vazquez, Orlando’s Chancelloress] arranged the
January 24th, 2004, CTA meeting at St.
Margaret Mary Catholic Church with the approval of
Fr. Richard Walsh, Pastor, for the usual assortment of ex-religious,
gays, lesbians and dissenting laity, along with several nuns working
in Orlando Diocesan parishes. It speaks volumes that Sr.
Demirgian is the Vocation
Counselor at Blessed Sacrament
Parish in Clermont while
hosting this gay-friendly convocation. The meeting’s importance was
underscored by the attendance of Robert
Heineman, the CTA Resource Director from their Chicago
Headquarters. Sr. Helen Hayes, O.P., who supervises marriage preparation and annulments
at the gay friendly St. Mary
Magdalen Parish in Altamonte Springs, opined that “I do not need
nor have any use for the institutional Church whatsoever. My church
is the people around me”. Well, right she was. Surprisingly, her pastor,
Fr. Charlie Mitchell, was not in attendance with his close friend,
Fr. Paige Blakely of St.
Anne’s Parish in Deltona.
After all, birds of a feather usually do flock together.
By immediate contrast, only 3 days later Bishop
Wenski was the featured speaker at this same St. Margaret Mary
Church for its DESSERT AND
DOCTRINE program. Our shepherds are talking out of both
sides of their mouth, when they should be teaching us only
the authentic heritage of our Roman Catholic Church. It is the
responsibility of our pastors and bishops to safeguard
our Faith. Hopefully, Bishop Wenski will prove to be the man for the job.