Pious Controversy

Posted by Censor Librorum on Sep 30, 2007 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

There was a little blurb in the paper a few days ago announcing that six Catholic nuns in Hot Springs, Arkansas were excommunicated for heresy because they refused to give up their membership in the Army of Mary.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, acting with the approval of Pope Benedict XVI, declared the excommunication after the Army of Mary performed ordinations without church permission.

Founded as a prayer group in 1971, and recognized by the Archbishop of Quebec four years later as a “Pious Association,” the Army of Mary has been a headache for Canadian Catholic bishops ever since.

In her writings, Mme. Giguere, 86, described visions and messages she received from God, explaining that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is fully divine, and also that, as her modern incarnation, so is Mme. Giguere. Rather than the traditional Catholic Trinity -in which God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are each fully divine and part of a three-part deity – the Army of Mary now speaks of a “quinternity,” including Mary and Mme. Giguere.

“Mother Mary is fully enveloped by God,” Army of Mary priest Pierre Mastropietro says offhandedly. “She prays every day, but her life is so attached to that of Mary’ that she isn’t Mary but she is Mary at the same time. If we try to explain it we’ll change its meaning.”

In plain English, the founder and members of her group believe she is the reincarnation of Mary.

“When something comes up, particularly within the church, that contradicts or would add to or subtract from things which we believe to be the inspired word of God, we are going to be very vigilant,” said Monsignor Hebert of Quebec. “Whether it is too liberal, whether it is too conservative, if it is opposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ as expressed through the Scripture and the Church, (then) that is heresy.”

The nuns say they are at peace with their decision. “We know that for us, we are doing to the right thing,” said Sister Mary Theresa Dionne. “we pray that the church will open their eyes before it is too late.”

I wonder how you go from a pious Marian devotee to believing-and convincing other people to believe-you’re the reincarnation of Mary herself. And, that Mary should be worshipped along with God.

What an interesting phenomena – the ability to encourage other people to think of you as divine. Is it ego…evil influence…madness…revelation…convenient fraud…religious hysteria…or simply a need to manifest prophesy in the flesh?

I think it’s too much religion; too much of hanging around with other people who are all sucked in to the same lifestyle and mission. Put down the prayer book and go out.

A similar phenomena happened in New York in the mid-1990s when some Lubavicher Jews believed Rabbi Menachem Schneerson was the Messiah. Banners outside his headquarters on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn read: “Long live the Rebbe, King Moshiach. Forever and ever.”

Schneerson never actually claimed to be the Messiah, but critics say he did nothing to discourage talk of it while he was alive and never denied it.

I guess if enough people say and believe you’re holy, it’s quite a strong temptation to start believing it yourself.

A lack of self-doubt should be the first warning sign something is amiss.

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