Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Austrian "Called to Disobedience" founder to be hosted by Fr. Bechard at Saints Simon and Jude in Metro Detroit

In what can be described only as a brazen gesture, the parish of Saints Simon and Jude, 32500 Palmer Rd, Westland, Michigan 48186, (734) 722-1343, is planning to host Fr. Helmut Schüller, founder of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative, a dissident priests' group, on July 26, on church property. Schüller's "Call to Disobedience," signed by a majority of Austrian dissenting priests, has brought worldwide momentum to the group's initiatives.

As their publicity literature shows, the group is now on world tour, promoting a "new season of dialogue" and creative dissent. The parish priest of Saints Simon and Jude, where the group is being hosted locally in Metro Detroit, Rev. Gerard V. Bechard, is apparently personally facilitating the event, as his email and phone number are given as contact info.

To be "fair," I suppose one should acknowledge that these priests are all doing what is right in their own eyes in order to address what they view as the crisis in the Catholic Church, including the "shortage of priests" and "necessity of reforming church governance."

The Book of Judges also refers to a time "in which there was no king in Israel, and everyone did what was right in their own eyes" (Judges 17:6, 21:25). The context, however, suggests anarchy rather than remedy. Dissent holds the attraction of autonomy, but its fruit is rebellion and dissolution. If this group had its way, there would soon be no need for priests at all, since, despite all its talk of the Holy Spirit, it would soon see to it that the supernatural task of the Church in the world is completely abrogated.

The correspondent who brought this event to my attention wrote, simply: "Disgraceful! I thought nonsense like this was put to stop years ago! I hope Fr. Bechard has a change of heart about hosting this scandalous group."

Amen to that.

Contact: Fr. Gerry Bechard pastor@stssimonandjude.com 734-722-1343

[Hat tip to B.C.]

Update:Update: "The Liberal Protestant Future of Catholic Dissent" (Musings, September 3, 2013).


Lynne said...

It's a good thing Fr. Helmut Schüller didn't call the group "RealCatholicPriests" or something. Then he 'might' have a problem speaking in Detroit.

Anonymous Bosch said...


Anonymous said...

Someone should contact the Archbishop about this meeting. I am guessing that he does not know about it. He was very clear in regards to the American Catholic Council when they came to Detroit and he said that they were not allowed to have "Listening Sessions" on parish property. He also prohibited them from celebrating Mass (even though a dissenting priest still said Mass). I am sure that he would act likewise with this group.