Skip to comments.(Tennessee) Father Breen Retracts Statements -- Saves Job
Posted on 08/21/2010 6:34:23 AM PDT by markomalley
The Case of the Heretical Priest from Nashville is closing, we hope. Fr. Joeseph Breen posted a video on his website and committed multiple counts of video heresy. CMR picked up the video and the story went national.
Fr. Breen was given a choice by Bishop Choby of Nashville. Retract your terrible statements made in the video and abide by your promises not to do it again or you are gone. Father Breen chose to retract his statements.
Here is the official statement by the Diocese of Nashville.
Father Breen retracts statements, apologizesWhile I did call for Fr. Breen's ouster, I totally respect the Bishop's judgment in this case. Father Breen will be retiring in a year and the Bishop clearly wanted to give him an exit strategy that allowed him a graceful exit. If Father Breen abides his promises this time, I think the Bishop did the right thing.
In letters to Pope Benedict XVI and to St. Edward Parish, Father Joe Pat Breen has retracted and apologized for statements made in an internet video and subsequent media interviews that Catholics are not obligated to follow teachings of the Catholic Church as defined by the pope and bishops. In addition, he has agreed to no longer voice his private concerns publically or in the media as required by a document presented to him by Bishop Edward Kmiec in 1993.
The letter to the parish also indicated that he expects to continue as pastor of St. Edward Parish until Dec. 31, 2011.
Father Breen has shared the content of those letters with Bishop David Choby and the letter to the parish will be distributed in the next few days.
Bishop Choby offered Father Breen the choice of retracting and apologizing for his statements or face the process set forth for the removal of a pastor under canon law when a ministry becomes harmful or ineffective.
The offer came during a meeting on Aug. 19, a little more than two weeks after a video interview with Father Breen posted on the St. Edward Parish website received worldwide attention. It was the bishops second meeting with Father Breen about his statements contradicting Church teaching. Bishop Choby asked Father Breen to remove the video from the parish site on Aug. 6. The video was removed but copies remain available on the internet and have been viewed more than 14,000 times.
In the letter to the parish, Father Breen said the meeting was cordial and fruitful.
The terms of the 1993 ban put in place by Bishop Edward Kmiec prohibit him from making statements that disagree with the authentic magisterium of the Church.
Although the process to remove a pastor has not been used in recent memory in the Diocese of Nashville, it is used with some regularity in the worldwide Church.
The role of pastor is particularly important as the leader and teacher of a parish, Bishop Choby said. The office is a direct link to the authority of the Church as instituted by Christ in the apostles and handed down through the popes and bishops. A pastor holds a public office charged with administering, teaching, and sanctifying the local community of the faithful. The Church expects him to work in unity with its authentic teaching as handed down through the pope and the bishops. It is simply wrong to state, as Father Breen has repeatedly, that ones conscience frees an individual from the truth revealed and instilled in Church teaching. A deep understanding of Church teaching is, in fact essential to a fully formed conscience, and helps guide an individual in making the distinction between ones opinions and a decision based soundly on the foundation of a rightly formed conscience. One who chooses to act contrary to Church teaching acts outside of the revealed truth of Gods will.
In recognition of his many years of good work among the people of his parish, I want to give Father Breen every opportunity to correct the errors in his teaching, and gracefully enter retirement, Bishop Choby said, but in any case, his recent public remarks could not stand.
I just read your diocesan statement on the Father Sheen situation. Thank you for standing up for Catholic orthodoxy.
Ad multos annos!
I would encourage all Catholic FReepers to drop him a note of thanks and support!
What were his heretical statements?
What pushed it over the edge is that he expressed those views not only from the pulpit but on a video prominently placed on his parish's website.
I hope he can retire to some conservative monastery somewhere and get his faith back.
Watch the tape. He is a breath of fresh air in a church that prefers stale air. He says God can speak to an individuals conscience and that individual should respond to Gods call. WHOA!! That’s not drinking the Roman KoolAid. Individuals can’t think. The Bible had married minsters but we must ignore that. Common sense may say that a person must restrain from having too many children per income/resources/etc. . . but common sense may not over rule Rome. Stuff like that. He wants to grow the church but he has been deemed outlaw. Fortunately for him they can’t burn him at the stake anymore just take away his paycheck/pension.
Advocating for female ordination;
Advocating for Church acceptance of contraception;
Advocating for Church acceptance of divorce and remarriage-——————————————————————————————
I have little or no problem with any of those (not being a catholic myself) except for whenever possible a marriage should be saved rather than ended. It was not possible to save my first marriage, God knows, I tried but it was not to be.
As far as the other two go, I have NO problem with either of those two issues but it seems that if one is going to be a representative of a particular faith, you probably ought to support and defend the main tenets of it.
That's the point.
As for divorce, Our Lord was pretty clear on the subject. The Church's position is actually not so much against divorce, but against divorce and remarriage.
Of course, as a non-Catholic, that wouldn't be your concern directly.
“The Bible had married minsters but we must ignore that.”
I understand your meaning however the Bible also spoke of idol worship. You do not advocate that, do you? Sometimes we type in such a manner that our words can be misconstrued.
“As for divorce, Our Lord was pretty clear on the subject. The Church’s position is actually not so much against divorce, but against divorce and remarriage.”
So let me get this straight; if a Catholic was married and his/her spouse became a serial adulterer, an addict and abusive towards the fammily (my first wife) and refused to change, a divorce could be acceptable to your church BUT, the non-offending spouse is punished by never being allowed to remarry?
It smacks of muslims punishing the victim of a rape for the crime of adultery.
Maybe you could extend an invitation for him to join your denomination then.
You’re welcome to him (unless, of course, he has genuinely repented of his heresy)
After reading your comment, I sincerely wonder if you are in touch with reality.
“Watch the tape. He is a breath of fresh air in a church that prefers stale air.”
Heresy and sin are not “fresh air”. 2 Tim 4:3
“He says God can speak to an individuals conscience and that individual should respond to Gods call. WHOA!! Thats not drinking the Roman KoolAid. Individuals cant think.”
The Church HAS ALWAYS taught that we must follow our conscience. The Church has always taught we must also have a properly formed conscience so we’re not just kidding ourselves. Apparently you knew none of that. http://ccc.scborromeo.org.master.com/texis/master/search/?sufs=0&q=conscience&s=SS
“The Bible had married minsters but we must ignore that.”
We do? One of my priests was married. So what? I also occassionaly work with a married priest who lives near me. So what?
“Common sense may say that a person must restrain from having too many children per income/resources/etc. . . but common sense may not over rule Rome.”
Your apparent lack of knowledge is amazing: “2368 A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality:”
“Stuff like that. He wants to grow the church but he has been deemed outlaw. Fortunately for him they cant burn him at the stake anymore just take away his paycheck/pension.”
He’ll just lose his soul for teaching heresy instead. A touch of fame in the delusional minds of anti-Catholics at FR and other idiots seems like a poor price for eternity in hell.
Can you show me a verse where Christ said divorced people should remarry or were permitted to remarry?
“Can you show me a verse where Christ said divorced people should remarry or were permitted to remarry?”
Where did He say they couldn’t?
Good for Bishop Choby!
Mark 10:9. Luke 16:18.
Good one, I should have remembered that one. Thank God for 1 John 1-9.
Isn’t it funny how people miss or want to change the meanings of the verses they don’t like?
The rule that Jesus gave us is that one who divorces and remarries commits adultery.
In the application of that rule, the Church permits individuals to submit to the judgment of the Church whether a “failed marriage” was really a valid, sacramental marriage at all. Because obviously, if no true marriage was contracted, then one may marry - validly - for the first time after escaping the failed relationship.
A simple case of an invalid marriage would be one contracted through force or coercion. Shotgun marriages are not valid in the Catholic Church. If a person is compelled to marry, then he or she hasn't freely entered into the relationship.
Another simple case of an invalid marriage concerns those marriages contracted with a significant element of fraud. Thus, a homosexual who is in the closet who marries defrauds his/her putative spouse and vitiates her/his free choice to marry.
There are other grounds to declare a marriage invalid (or null), but as they get more complex, I'm less competent to discuss them intelligently, and perhaps, they may not be as readily discussed on a forum like this.
However, it is possible that in a marriage such as you describe, that the Church could determine there was no valid marriage in the first place.
But if a real, valid, sacramental marriage did take place, then the Church cannot gainsay the words of Jesus, and must uphold the bond of marriage. In such a case, the innocent party would be unable to validly re-marry in the Church.
Well...then we have to enter the subject of annulments. Did a genuine marriage exist in the first place? You may have genuinely consented to such a thing, but did your wife? Was she capable of doing so? Problems like serial adultery, addiction, and familial abuse don't usually pop up overnight (in many cases, as I'm sure your aware, the underlying factors existed for many years beforehand...such factors could very well have caused her to not have the ability to give her full consent)
The bottom line is that did Jesus say, What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder or not? The sole exception to that is if the spouse engaged in fornication (πορνεία)...with the strong implication that this referred to πορνεία prior to the marriage. (You will note the use of the word πορνεία versus the word μοιχάω - adultery)
Did Jesus say, But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting for the cause of fornication (πορνεία), makes her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, commits adultery (μοιχάω)?
The only way out of that is if one or the other spouse did not give (or was not capable of giving) genuine consent to be in a marriage as defined by the Church (i.e., exclusive relationship, consummated, open and able to have children).
Those are Jesus' words, those aren't the words of some Pope.
And I am not trying to condemn you...please realize that. I am just defending the teachings of the Church.