Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Redemptorists - beyond redemption?

Some years ago our then parish priest sent off for a batch of Redemptorist leaflets for the Lenten preparations. He did not keep them long, he returned them with a note far more charitable in tone than if I had composed it.

They were weak and missed the point completely; if they had been produced by some obscure evangelical offshoot of a non conformist faith you might have said, "Yep, sadly misguided" and shot off a prayer or two for God to remove the blindfold.

But they came from a Catholic order or, as the Redemptorists prefer; "A Roman Catholic order".

The order is in the news again at present with the spoutings of Fr Tony Flannery and, I fear, the rot is deeply rooted.

As with dry rot, to remove it you must cut deep and burn all waste (not that I am suggesting any bonfires for the priests of that order, no, no, heaven forfend! (It is a thought though).

A visit to the Redemptorist website, the launchpad for their range of literature, books, posters, CDs and DVDs, is not inspiring.

I see their posters, every so often, when I visit a parish church where the parish priest must keep his brain in neutral gear. Why, oh why, do people drape them all over the sanctuary, like some gigantic classroom project?

And why do the posters all look as if they've been designed by primary stage three on ecstasy?

                             No, it's not hell, silly, it's a sign of Confirmation

I know it appears as if I am an old curmudgeon, constantly picking up on the bad things regarding the Faith....and it's true (although I draw a crumb of comfort from Mrs L who says that if we don't condemn we condone).

But, in reality, these posters and leaflets are as bad as The Tablet; they present the Church in a way that I cannot reconcile with the Faith that I was born into.

Of course, now that we have the reform of the reform underway, such literature is looking distinctly aged, old fashioned, even.

But who controls the Reds Redemptorists? Not the Diocesan Bishop? Not the Archbishop of Westminster? Then who?

There must be somebody in authority who could exercise a little burning control?

I guess it is their own Superior General or whatever title he goes under.

But that is really like asking an alcoholic to oversee a Beer Festival.


  1. The posters reflect the attempt to take all substance, meaning, truth and power out of the Faith. Some of the leading anti-Catholic priests in Ireland are Redemptorists as is Fr Flannery. Their affrontery to continue to pretend to function and minister as priests is truly sickening. The MSM, political elite, etc love them because they can use them to attack the Church on Faith and Morals. It is widely believed that it was Fr Flannery who provided the false and defamatory material for Taoiseach Enda Kenny's scurrilous speech against Pope Benedict last year. He and all in the ACP and who teach lies and contempt for the Faith and the Church ought to be laicised immediately. It is thanks to such heretical priests and religious that the Irish do not know the Faith and have abandoned its practice, though disgracefully being allowed to baptise their children, marry in the Faith, etc. Lord have mercy.

  2. I attend the local parish under the care of the DOMINICANS i am just wondering if they as an order have been infected with the same virus,as i noted that over the Christmas new year break instesad of the parish news they had Redemptorist publications. Although their preaching is pretty spot on. I have been to mass at my local parish and i noted that lay ministers were placing the Blessed Sacrament back into the Tabernacle!!

  3. Their recent sitting on the fence regarding a priest of their Congregation, Fr. Flannery, and the CDF leaves very much to be desired. Their half-hearted support for the CDF is nothing short of scandalous.

  4. A big part of the problem is that much of their income comes from Anglicans who buy their FHC material. They can't 'catholicise' it too much in case it scares the Protestants away. Bugnini would be proud eh? Meanwhile, one of my best friends is a Red and I would suggest that young priests desperately need our support and encouragement in order to facilitate amazing things like this: http://marklambert.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/interview-with-father-dominic-otoole.html
    Meanwhile, I am reassured by the fact that the Redemptorist General spoke out on this and I am assured that Flannery's dreadful rhetoric is merely the last gasp of a dying dinosaur. BTW did you read Thirsty Gargoyles excellent investigation into the Flannery affair? He exposes some very interesting journalistic spin as well as intriguing political dimensions to the story: http://thethirstygargoyle.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/father-flannerys-fables.html

  5. Thanks Lynda and thank you GC, the English Dominicans went through a very bad patch 30 years ago but are coming back nicely thank you. EFPE - agreed. Mark, thanks for the links and yes, you are dead right about the Anglicans; some of the Reds literature is aimed specifically at the Anglican market (but not in a prosylitizing senses).

  6. Last Easter season (Ascension Sunday), the Redemptorist Sunday Bulletin focused upon various themed figures, including a brazen apologetic, seeking the rehabilitation of Judas. Even using an obscure picture also used by such modern anti-Church gnostics such as Pagels and King on their Gospel of Judas commentary, this Peter Stanford tract was clearly and indisputably an attack on the Church and her teaching.

  7. I attended a Redemptorist retreat last year. Our parish group requested a retreat on the eucharist. On that retreat the priest who was dressed in a business suit, informed us that all things were sacred, including the body and blood of Jesus and if everything was sacred then it would be easier for us to believe that the eucharist was sacred. Thus we were sent out into the garden for 15mins to observe all the the sacred things out there. Also during the retreat the priest said that there were rules around the reception of the eucharist needed to be relaxed. Needless to say when I defended the church's stance on this I vexed the priest and embarrassed fellow parishioners (who considered everything wonderful and lovely.) So basically a piece of gum on my shoe is sacred, trees are sacred, bananas are sacred and if I can realise that then maybe I will be more open to believing that the Eucharist is sacred? Am I cracked or is that heresy central? Why go to holy mass when you can stay home and worship the kitchen units? I mean they were once trees and hey, everything is sacred! I feel I have a duty to report this and I don't know where to go. I was quietly rebuked by the priest after when I tried to discuss this. I believe it is my duty to report this but I am unsure where to go and who will take me seriously. How do I do this with charity? As you can see I'm angry that this is being peddled to young teenagers. Please advise as I need clarity. Sincere thanks. A

  8. Anon - no, you are not cracked, you are the sane one.