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While Pope Francis moves toward inclusion, NJ archbishop increases restrictions

While Pope Francis moves toward inclusion, NJ archbishop increases restrictions

Religion News reports:

Even as Pope Francis and Catholic leaders from around the world debate ways to make the Catholic Church more inclusive, Newark Archbishop John Myers has given his priests strict guidelines on refusing Communion to Catholics who, for example, support gay marriage or whose own marriage is not valid in the eyes of the church.

In the two-page memo, Myers also orders parishes and Catholic institutions not to host people or organizations that disagree with church teachings.

According to a spokesperson, the Archbishop issued the document, “Principles to Aid in Preserving and Protecting the Catholic Faith in the Midst of an Increasingly Secular Culture,” this week to priests in response to current conversations within the Catholic Church, and at the same time the church is holding its Synod on the Family (follow coverage at the Catholic News Agency here):

“With so much being generated in the media with regard to issues like same-sex unions and such, this memo about ensuring that Catholic teaching is adhered to in all situations — especially with regard to the use of diocesan properties and facilities — seemed appropriate,” James Goodness, a spokesman for Myers, said in an email.

From the memo:

“The Church will continue to cherish and welcome her members and invite them to participate in her life to the degree that their personal situation permits them honestly to do so.

“Catholics,” he continues, “must be in a marriage recognized as valid by the Church to receive Holy Communion or the other sacraments. Non-Catholics and any Catholic who publicly rejects Church teaching or discipline, either by public statements or by joining or supporting organizations which do so, are not to receive the Sacraments.”

Myers will retire next year to be replaced by Pope Francis-appointed Coadjutor Archbishop Bernard Hebda following a series of controversies in his term, including:

In one instance, Myers was criticized for allowing a priest — who was under court order to stay away from children — to work with youths, and in another he was criticized for using church funds to pay for pricey renovations to a retirement home.





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Eric Bonetti

I have said many times that what we really need here in my corner of Northern VA is an Anglo-Catholic parish in Fairfax…..perhaps we could share space with Truro. 😉

Anne Bay

From reading about the actions of R.C. clergy, the R.C. Church seems to be solidly restrictive in following their beliefs. So, the Pope on the one hand gives the ‘look” of a more welcoming group, but in reality the clergy on the front lines maintain the old dogma-stifling rigid and no change or opportunity for growth at all. Fascinating that Myers is telling people who they can associate with to. Talk about oppressively controlling…. Ecumenical relations are null and void.

Herschel Atkinosn

sounds a bit passive aggressive to me, a non-psychologist.
How does this square with long standing ruling that CofE, and so TEC, orders are nullities?

Doug Simpson

The message this guy is sending out sounds eerily similar to the messages from some of our own dioceses. Springfield … we’re looking at you:

“No church building of the diocese, nor any other venue owned by or associated with a church of the diocese, may be used for such a ceremony.”

“No such ceremony may be recorded either in the Service Register or the Marriage Register of any church in this diocese.”

Sounds like Martins and Myers could be besties.

Andrew Gerns

This breaking news just in!

Newark Archbishop Makes Bold Pastoral Move
In a public statement, Newark Archbishop John Myers today invited Catholics who disagree with his church to become Episcopalian.

In a two page memo to the Roman Catholics of northern New Jersey, Archbishop Meyers told his priests that only persons who agree with the Catholic Church on issues of sexuality, the role of women in the church, divorce, birth control, or abortion will be allowed to receive Communion in a Catholic Church. Others will be directed to the nearest Episcopal parish for the Sacrament.

In a move hailed as a visionary pastoral response, the archdiocese will, starting this Sunday, station ushers outside of parishes. They will provide needy Catholics a handy informational card. On it will be the name, address, phone number, service times, and web-address of the nearest Episcopal parish.

“With so much being generated in the media with regard to issues like same-sex unions and such,” said spokesman James Goodness. “We just thought these folks would just feel more comfortable down the street.”

“Truly this embodies the spirit of Pope Francis!” said Mary Francis O’Malley of the Our Lady of Fatima Chapter of the Blue Army, referring to the pontiff who famously said “who am I to judge?” when asked about gay Catholics.

Professor Hiram St. John Baxter of Seton Hall University hailed the move as a sign of “creative pastoral ministry in keeping with a traditional church living in a new age.”

Representatives of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark were not available for comment.

The Archdiocesan office gave no word on where they would direct Catholics who disagree with the Catholic church’s teaching on matters of global warming, poverty, or war.

Jay Croft

I don’t think Archbishop Myers told the non-conformists to “become Episcopalian.”

I think he said to go to the nearest Episcopal Church “to receive the Sacrament.”

Thom Forde

If Myers is a conservative as critics claim, I doubt that he would direct Catholics to Episcopal churches “to receive the Sacrament.” Basic Catholic teaching denies the validity of sacraments and rituals in any Protestant denomination.

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