Rochester's Diocesan Paper
Continues to Support Dissenter


The following is a letter written by Mr. Likoudis to the Editor of "The Catholic Courier", the official paper of the Catholic Diocese of Rochester, New York issue of 1/22/2004, questioning the Diocesan paper's continued support of a dissenter whose beliefs are contrary to Catholic Doctrine and Teachings

January 22, 2004

Karen M. Franz, Editor
Catholic Courier
1136 Buffalo Road
Rochester, NY 14624

Dear Editor,

Richard P. McBrien again shows his ability to distort Catholic doctrine concerning the Church with his recent column (1/15/04) falsely claiming Vatican II: "set aside an earlier belief that the Catholic Church alone is the ‘one, true Church of Christ’... The Body of Christ is larger than the Catholic Church". When the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith condemned Leonardo Boff’s book "Church, Charisma and Power", it took care to emphasize that Vatican II deliberately chose the word "subsistit" in Lumen Gentium #8 to stress in the strongest possible terms that there is only one social body in this world in which the true Church has existence. and identification. Outside its visible organization, there exist only ecclesial elements which point towards and lead in the direction of the Catholic Church. The possession of "elements of the Church" such as validly ordained bishops and genuine sacraments do not add up to that membership in the true Church always characterized by unity of doctrine and hierarchical communion with Peter’s successor in Rome. Vatican II even refused to use the name "churches" for Protestant communities lacking the Episcopate and a valid Eucharist. Furthermore, in its Decree on the Catholic Eastern Churches, Vatican II emphasized that: "The holy Catholic Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ, is made up of the faithful who are organically united in the Holy Spirit by the same faith, the same sacraments and the same government" (#2).

In today's column (1/22/04) stating: "there is no evidence that Peter himself was the Bishop of Rome", McBrien is at odds with the firmly-rooted conviction and belief of the Catholic faithful from the earliest days of the Church. For example, the ancient Byzantine Greek Liturgy reflects the age-old conviction of the faithful in both East and West: "Supreme foundation of the Apostles... thou didst also become first Bishop of Rome." (Office of Feast of St. Peter’s Chain).

I join with other readers to deplore the continued appearance of this dissenter-theologian in the "Catholic Courier". When the U.S. Bishops censured his book "Catholicism" in 1986 for being "bewildering and unsettling" and giving "encouragement to dissent", they revealed Richard P. McBrien’s incompetence as a theologian faithful to the Magisterium.

Sincerely yours,
— James Likoudis,
P.O.Box 852,
Montour Falls, NY 14865

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