Saturday, April 17, 2010

"Just Faith" = Junk Faith

In my post this past Thursday regarding the "environmental events" in the Archdiocese of Washington, you noticed that Just Faith has a hand in all this nonsense.  In conjunction with this post regarding Just Faith, I'd suggest you review the posts about "progressives" - particularly the Real Catholic videos regarding the same.  The characteristics of progressives can all be found in the Just Faith program.  Indeed, the website of Just Faith unabashedly proclaims its progressive proclivities.  I also recommend the reading of an excellent article on the Just Faith debacle entitled "Just Faith Is a Big Part of the Problem", written by my friend and colleague, Stephanie Block, who regularly writes for Spero News.

Two or three years ago, the Just Faith program was introduced into the Archdiocese of Washington; that was before I operated this blog.  However, I was quite aware that a Trojan Horse was being introduced into the archdiocese and tried to sound an alert.  My warnings were rebuffed by people whom I thought would be keen to the dangers.  One told me that her parish implemented Just Faith without the ill effects, and that my warnings were destructive.  While I've no problem believing that her particular parish may have been successful in separating the wheat from the chaff, it is my contention that there is inherently much more chaff than wheat in the Just Faith program.  The writings and afilliations of the founder, Jack Jezreel, corroborate my conclusions.

Go to its website  We will now take a little tour.  Let's look at its "news" page, that is, its newletter archives.  The first newsletter contains an article by two Network officials, touting their efforts to promote the Obama Hell Bill.  You might recall last month that Network was rebuked by the USCCB for its support of the Hell Bill, that further unleashes abortion upon our society.

I learn much about an organization by its board members and their other affiliations. Think back to the Real Catholic videos and the unsavory alliances of USCCB staff and other anti-Church organizations.  Click "about", then "board of directors".  Tom Chabolla caught my eye only because he lives in my area.  I googled him and discovered that he is an assistant to the president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU); prior to that, he was associate programs director for Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  He's also on the Advisory Council of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.  He's also on the board of Center for Community Change; in past months, much has been learned about that bunch.  Mr. Chabolla certainly is a busy man!

Marie Dennis is another "neighbor" of mine.  In 2007, she was elected president of Pax Christi International, a dissident organization.  She too is involved with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.  She is director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.  By the way - look down that list, and notice Judy Coode.  She works for the Archdiocese of Washington while being affiliated with Pax Christi?

Gary and Mary Becker are an interesting couple.  Judging from where they live (near Jezreel), I'd bet they're good friends of his.  They did the Just Faith course and are big promoters of it.  What's really interesting, if you read that link, is that they've ostensibly "trained as spiritual directors".  Don't you just wonder what competent authority "trained" them?  I'm betting it's none that's recognized by the Magiserium.  If I'm wrong, I'm open to correction via the comments.  Anyway, they've opened their own spiritual-direction enterprise called Stillpoint: The Center for Christian Spirituality.  That name seems to be a bit of a misnomer, for if you click "programs", you see that you can get "direction" in all sorts of religions: Buddhist, Jewish, Unitarian, etc.  Anyway, not only can you receive direction (such as it may be), but you can train to become a director yourself!  Doesn't that just sound great??  Boys and girls, can we say "new age racket"?

Rev Daniel Groody, CSC, teaches at Notre Dame University - the same that soiled itself by its bestowal of an honorary degree upon the Messiah Most Miserable.  Fr. Groody is considered to be "an expert on immigration".  He also is involved in (bet you can't guess!) Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.  I'm beginning to sense a pattern here!

Steve Kute is a neighbor of Jezreel's, too.  There is a Steve Kute of Kentucky who donated $1,000 to  I hope they're not the same, but they probably are!  Meg Bowerman made known her sympathies for Voice of the Faithful after she took umbrage at her local bishop for not advertising one of their conferences in the diocesan newspaper.

Such are some of the Just Faith board members - but what of Jezreel himself? 

The answer to that burning question can be found in his own touting of Just Faith.  It's called "How to turn a lukewarm parish into a hotbed of social justice".  Now think for a minute about the phrase "hotbed of social justice".  I find the use of the word "hotbed" rather interesting.  I've only seen it used to describe intrinsic evil, such as "hotbed of civil unrest" or "hotbed of sexual perversion".  Why, oh why, does Jezreel use "hotbed" to describe the outcome of his program?  Could he be inadvertently admitting something that he wouldn't admit knowingly?  At any rate, let's look at the article.

In the second paragraph, he says he "was convinced of the primacy of justice work in the life of faith".  Right there you see a big indication of one root problem.  What assumes "primacy" in the Catholic life of faith is Jesus Christ and heaven.  It is summed up nicely in the old Baltimore Catechism question, "Why did God make me?  God made me to know, love and serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him in the next."  Social justice certainly is a component in this life-mission of the Catholic, but not a primary component by any stretch of the imagination.  Eternal salvation has a much higher priority, as earthly societies will pass away while the immortal soul will not.

Take note of the "conversion" stories.  We read of Gary and Mary Becker, mentioned earlier in this post.  In the article, though, there's no mention of the Stillpoint schtick.  Moving on down, read of Rosemary Smith et al (the "R" is a blue drop-down cap).  They started a "women's homily series".  Boys and girls, women are not permitted to give homilies, no "ifs, ands or buts".  They're gunning for women's ordination.  In the next paragraph we see David Chervenak advocating for gay rights.  Boys and girls, can we say "dissidents"?

Isn't it interesting how Jezreel makes only the briefest mention of them - almost like a subliminal suggestion embedded in other harmless(?)-sounding stuff, like the poison pill in the mashed potatoes.  It is swallowed unwittingly, then starts debilitating one's thnking and their very spiritual life.  That's how much of this progressive crap is insinuated in parochial and diocesan life.

To my friends who take exception to my opposition to Just Faith  I truly am glad that your parish escaped the harmful effects of Just Faith - at least for now.  You may well be the exception to a very deadly rule.  However, by your participation, you have done harm by: 1) opening yourselves and your successors to addtional influences from Jezreel et al, that may well compromise their faith and 2) lending credibility to Just Faith.  The apple rarely falls far from the tree - and this Just Faith tree is indeed very rotten.

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