Sunday, June 17, 2012
Father Joseph Jurgelonis, Sister Joyce Rupp and God's Will
angry feminist and New Age advocate Sister Joyce Rupp lapsed into a hate-filled rant against the Church and her hierarchy while promoting the concept of Yin and Yang and complaining that women are abused within the Catholic Church because they cannot be ordained to the priesthood.
Rupp asserted that, "Many women in the Roman Catholic Church are in immense pain because of how women are treated by this church, particularly by the hierarchy and other ordained clergy. I once told the late Bishop Kenneth Untener that I felt like I had 'just one little toe in the church.' He responded with a twinkle in his eye: 'Keep it there.' I have, but I also understand the throng of women who have left the church because of such things as the continued arrogant use of exclusive language and the constant refusal to recognize the fullness of their gifts in church ministry."
Rupp may have kept her little toe in the Church. But in her heart and mind, she has left the Church. She speaks often about "compassion," but her words and actions have betrayed the fact that she has not persevered in charity. And as Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Council reminded us, "He is not saved..who, though part of the body of the Church, does not persevere in charity. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only in a 'bodily' manner and not 'in his heart.' All of the Church's children should remember that their exalted status is to be attributed not to their own merits but to the special grace of Christ. If they fail, moreover, to respond to that grace in thought, word and deed, not only shall they not be saved but they will be the more severely judged." (Lumen Gentium, No. 14).
Can a person honestly be said to be "persevering in charity" within the Church if they attack the Lord Jesus by attacking His faithful Pastors? Of course not. And we shouldn't lie by suggesting otherwise.
During her hate speech against the Church founded by Christ, Rupp insisted that, "Women suffer a lot because of the church" and asserted that, "..it's not just the ordination issue that drives women away...Women are not cows to be herded back into pens; they are not hens to be shooed away from the altar. It's this attitude of sneering domination and the obvious lack of respect for their individual worth that causes such immense angst in Catholic women today. I am very disappointed with the recent church document on women. I am saddened because it blames feminists for 'the lethal effects in the structure of the family.' Once again women are being blamed for society's failures. I am offended by the way this document pushes the power issue off onto women when the official church has, time and again, used power abusively to silence those longing for dialogue and has threatened into conformity those who dare to question doctrinal ultimatums.
Obviously someone forgot to inform Rupp that, "..the task of authentically interpreting the Word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church." (Dei Verbum, No. 10 of the Second Vatican Council).
Even though Sister Rupp has engaged in dissent from the Church's authoritative teaching for many years while promoting New Age concepts, many parishes across the Worcester Diocese continue to promote her upcoming day-long retreat at St. Anne's Parish Hall in Shrewsbury. One such parish is Holy Cross in Templeton. This morning the "pastor," Father Joseph Jurgelonis, included in his Mass intentions the following: that all Catholics grow in unity in accord with God's Will. This as he promotes Sister Rupp's day-long retreat in the parish bulletin and with a flyer on the bulletin board.
How is such unity to be achieved by promoting dissent or those who engage in such dissent? It should come as no surprise to any of us (unless of course you're a priest of the Worcester Diocese), that dissent within the Church leads to polarization and undermines truth which is the principle of the Church’s communion. In its Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, No. 40, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that, “The Church ‘is like a sacrament, a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men’ (LG, 1). Consequently, to pursue concord and communion is to enhance the force of her witness and credibility. To succumb to the temptation of dissent, on the other hand, is to allow the ‘leaven of infidelity to the Holy Spirit’ to start to work.”
The warning of Pope Paul VI, given during his Homily at Holy Thursday Mass on April 3, 1969, has been largely ignored: "There is talk of renewal in the doctrine and in the conscience of the Church of God; but how can the living and true Church be authentic and persistent if the complex structure that forms it and defines it a spiritual and social 'mystical body', is today so often and so gravely corroded by dissent and challenge and by forgetfulness of its hierarchical structure, and is countered in its divine and indispensable constituent charism, its pastoral authority? How can it claim to be a Church, that is a united people, even though locally broken up and historically and legitimately diversified, when a practically schismatic ferment is dividing it, subdividing it and breaking it into groups which are more than anything else zealous for arbitrary and fundamentally egoistical autonomy, masked by Christian pluralism or liberty of conscience?"
Hypocrisy is pretending to be good or virtuous in order to get something we want or to advance our own personal agenda. It includes deception and the willingness to manipulate others. Cicero says that, "No type of injustice is more glaring than that of the hypocrite who, in the very instant of being most false, makes the pretense of appearing virtuous." (On Moral Obligation, Bk. 1, ch. 13).
Any priest who preaches on the importance of unity, charity and communion while promoting Sister Joyce Rupp, knowing about her New Age beliefs and her dissent from Church teaching, is engaging in hypocrisy. Father Jurgelonis was notified several weeks ago about Joyce Rupp's troubling views. And he has chosen to promote her anyway.
This represents a real tragedy. Especially considering today's reading from 2 Corinthians 5: 6-10:
"Therefore, we continue to be confident. We know that while we dwell in the body we are away from the Lord. We walk by faith, not by sight. I repeat, we are full of confidence and would much rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. This being so, we make it our aim to please him whether we are with him or away from him. The lives of all of us are to be revealed before the tribunal of Christ so that each one may receive his recompense, good or bad, according to his life in the body."
Do we honestly believe that we please the Lord Jesus by railing against His Church? Our Lord told His Disciples (the Pastors of the Church): "He who hears you, hears Me." Can we honestly say that Sister Joyce Rupp, who ridicules the Church's authoritative teaching and her living teaching authority, is pleasing to the Lord? If not, how can we promote her or her works? Do we wish to share in the recompense which she will receive for her disobedience?