Archdiocese of St. Paul says ‘reform’ group not associated with Catholic Church
Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis John Nienstedt
Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis John Nienstedt

.- The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has announced that a group of Catholics planning a “synod” for church “reform” is not associated with the Catholic Church, cautioning the faithful that the group is trying to change magisterial teachings of the Church that all Catholics must believe.

The group, the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) is planning to hold a “synod” at an undisclosed location within the archdiocese on September 18, 2010. The theme will be “Claiming Our Place at the Table.”

On its website, the group explains its “Understanding of Church [sic]” as a “communion of communities” based upon “acceptance.” It professes support for the “fundamental equality of all members,” participation and collaboration, a “dialogical spirit” and a “Prophetic/prophetic sign.”

The website announces a “major fundraiser” for the “synod,” held in Lake Elmo, Minnesota on Thursday, with Maryknoll priest Fr. Roy Bourgeois. The announcement says he will share his perspective on “the social injustices within Roman Catholicism” and will offer a vision of the “emerging church.”

Last year Fr. Bourgeois was excommunicated for publicly dissenting from Catholic teaching by advocating the "ordination" of women. 

He has described the “exclusion of women from the priesthood” as an injustice comparable to the injustice he has opposed in the School of the Americas, a controversial U.S. training program for Latin American military leaders. He has also compared Catholic teaching on women’s ordination to the segregation of African-Americans in his home state of Louisiana.

CNA contacted the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers and spoke with spokeswoman Betsey Guest, who confirmed that Fr. Bourgeois had been excommunicated automatically after he did not recant his statements regarding the ordination of women.

A Thursday statement from the Archdiocese of St. Paul says that the CCCR “synod” is not being conducted under the auspices of the archdiocese, the Catholic Church, or any entity or organization associated with either.

“Moreover, the Archdiocese wishes to lovingly caution those members of the faithful participating in the ‘work/study groups’ and intending to attend the synod of the potential that the issues on which CCCR will seek reform are magisterial teachings of the Church, and are therefore to be believed by divine and catholic faith,” the statement continued.

The archdiocese reminded the Catholic faithful that contrary doctrines ought to be shunned, while the faith and morals proposed “definitively” by the Magisterium of the Church should be embraced, safeguarded and expounded.

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