Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wisconsin Jesuit Celebrates Mass With Woman His Priestly Faculties Suspended

Fr. Bill Brennan, S.J. and Janice Sevre-Duszynska
A Catholic priest who participated in a eucharistic liturgy with a woman priest last month has been ordered to no longer celebrate the Mass or perform any other priestly duties. Jesuit Fr. Bill Brennan, a 92-year-old Milwaukee-area priest, said the superior of his religious community told him of the restrictions Nov. 29, saying they came at the request of Archbishop Jerome Listecki. Brennan, a retired parish priest and former missionary to Belize, participated in a liturgy Nov. 17 with Janice Sevre-Duszynska, a woman ordained in the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests movement. Brennan said he was hesitant to confirm the news regarding his loss of faculties because he was also ordered not to talk to the press. "I'm risking my existence in the Jesuit order by talking to you," Brennan told NCR. "But if I've committed a serious sin, [the archbishop] is supposed to be responsible for condemning me ... he's supposed to stand up and be responsible for that."
Brennan said the restrictions include:
  • Suspension of priestly faculties, prohibiting him from performing any priestly duties in public;
  • Refraining from contact with media, "through phone, email, or any other means";
  • Not appearing as a Jesuit at any "public gatherings, protests or rallies";
  • Not leaving the Milwaukee area "for any reason" without his superior's permission.
Brennan said he hasn't had any formal communication with Listecki. Jeremy Langford, the director of communications for the Jesuits' Chicago-Detroit province, which is merging with the Wisconsin province, said in a statement Monday the order removed Brennan's priestly faculties "after conversation with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee." The Jesuits "did not approve or sanction" the November eucharistic liturgy and "regrets Fr. Brennan's participation in it," read the statement. "The Wisconsin province has no plans to take any further action," 
Langford said in an interview, calling Brennan a "wonderful Jesuit" who has "fought for great causes his whole life."Julie Wolf,  communications director for the Milwaukee archdiocese, said the restrictions on Brennan were a "mutually agreed upon decision" between Listecki and Brennan's Jesuit provincial, Fr. Tom Lawler
Brennan likened his support for women's ordination to support for women's suffrage: He remembers that at one time, his mother was not able to vote. "I was born in 1920," Brennan said. "All the while my mother was carrying me and six months after, she could not vote. That's the real initiative in my attitude toward women's ordination." Brennan said he understands arguments that women do not have a right to ordination and said ordination is a "privilege that is granted to men." "Why isn't it granted to both?" the priest asked. "And the fundamental approach that I have is that, after all, women have an eminent role to play in the work of creation of children with men. What about the sanctification process? Don't they have any share in the preaching of the Gospel?"
The Vatican labels the ordination of women in the Catholic church as a grave offense and says participants are excommunicated latae sententiae, or automatically. Pope John Paul II's 1994 letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis effectively forbade discussion of the issue, saying the church's teaching on the matter was to be "definitively held by all the Church's faithful." Before deciding to participate in the November liturgy, Brennan said he discussed the matter with Lawler. 
The invitation to join Sevre-Duszynska at the liturgy was causing him a "real, genuine conscience problem," Brennan said he told Lawler. "I'm not trying to defy the church," Brennan said he told Lawler, adding that he sees women's ordination as a legitimate question. "Why is it that this privilege of celebrating the Mass and preaching, why is that exclusively a male privilege? Where do we get that? Isn't that worth discussing?" Lawler told him not to assist at the liturgy, Brennan said. "At the time, I was still struggling to try to decide what I wanted to do, because obviously I knew I might end up outside the Jesuit order," Brennan said. "But I just felt this was an earthy issue, and you can't cover it over with spiritual or authoritarian dictates."
Link (here) to NCR for the full story.


Anonymous said...

This was the correct decision. Good job, bishop!

Now to get all the other phony 'c'atholics out of the Church....

I can hear all the liberals wailing: unfair! unjust! discrimination! tyranny! patriarchy!

The response of faithful Catholics: truth conquers.

A'Esquecida said...

. "Why is it that this privilege of celebrating the Mass and preaching, why is that exclusively a male privilege? Where do we get that? Isn't that worth discussing?"

Dear Fr. Brennen, Perhaps you should allow Most Holy Mary, Mother of our Lord & Savior, to answer that.
May I suggest you read the Transfixion, (vol. III of the City of God, Sister Mary of Agreda - 3 imprimaturs.). Our Lady explains in depth to Sister Mary.

of worthy note: "Venerable Mary of Agreda's Body has Remained Incorrupt for more than 340 years"

Wendell said...

If the shoe fits... .

Fr. Brennan... bad Jesuit.
Janice Sevre-Duszynska... apostate.

Let us pray that they come to their senses before it is too late.

Anonymous said...

Brennan is not a good or faithful Priest.
There is no such thing as a Woman Priest in the Catholic Faith.

According to the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" which ALL Catholics are required to adhere to,
both Brennan and these women are HERETICS and SCHISMATICS - (CCC 2089).

Both Brennan and these women are free to start their own Church. So do it if that is what they want.
However, they should not be FRAUDULENTLY calling themselves "Catholic".

For more info about the Catholic Faith including answering the question why women can not be Priests or Deacons, and the definition of Catholic heretic and Catholic Schismatic on the net go to:
"What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE"

priest's wife - S.T./ Anne Boyd said...

The altar cloth in the photo makes me ill- the Holy Mass is not about us- let's not drag it into the mud of politics.

All who read this post should be very sad for this priest's soul and should offer prayers for his salvation.

Richard Chonak said...

I'm wondering if this action - concelebrating the Eucharistic Sacrifice with a minister of a community lacking the Apostolic Succession - would be considered one of the "graviora delicta" reserved to judgment by the Holy See.

Maria said...

So. Padre Brennan asks the following question: "Why is it that this privilege of celebrating the Mass and preaching, why is that exclusively a male privilege? Where do we get that? Isn't that worth discussing?"


"If the choice of men by Christ and by the Church has really been only time-conditioned and changeable, then indeed very unpleasant consequences could be drawn.

This attempted solution proceeds from the idea that Jesus, if He had lived in another time and in another land, could have also chosen women. This theory thus grants that there could be another time (or place) in which women could be completely appropriate for the fullness of the hierarchical and sacerdotal office.

But then what follows? It follows that the Catholic Church and its supposedly divine office of mediation of grace stand fixed in a social ethos—that of the first century—which stands diametrically opposed to the ethos of the century in which the Church now lives.

Grant this hypothesis and no single teaching of the Christ or the apostolic Church remains normative for all times. Instead of transcending time, Christianity would become the slave of time. The Beatitudes and the whole Sermon on the Mount, the precept of monogamy and the prohibition of adultery would become –as not a few are now urging—moral archaisms that had meaning and relevance in former days but are no longer meaningful and certainly not mandatory in our day.

If someone objects that the ordination of men by Christ and the early Church was simply a contingent fact; that it could have been otherwise, I grant the observation. But since when are Christians to stand in judgment on why God did what He did, like become man, when the world could have (absolutely speaking) been redeemed without the Incarnation; or why God does what He does, like nourish us with His own Body and Blood when our spiritual life could (absolutely speaking) be sustained by other means if He had so chosen?

One of the great blessings I see coming from the present discussion about the ordination of women is our deeper realization of God’s wisdom in providing for a variety of ways He can be loved, and a bewildering diversity of ministries by which He can be served.

It is for us to stand in awe, and not in judgment, on the ways of God who chose a woman and not a man by whom to enter the world. If this was selectivity, and it was, it was not discrimination. God never does things without good reasons, even when these reasons escape or elude us who—would you believe—sometimes want to instruct God."

Servant of God, Father John Anthony Hardon SJ

At the end of Fr. Hardon's life when he was suffering from bone cancer he would often say: "so much work to do. So much work to do." Still, so much work to do...

Anonymous said...

Wow--great job attacking a 92 yr. old missionary.

Fr. Brennan sounds like a holy man who is truly Catholic.

Dad29 said...

Anony 1:52: Actually, Fr. Brennan is a zealot; and to no one's surprise, his zealotry cost him.

And if you're paying attention, "zealot" is not a positive term.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Jesus was a radical too--perhaps even a "zealot." I guess they tried to get rid of him as well.

KyPapist said...

Every day I have the great gift of God to attend daily Mass. Monday through Friday it is usually a 6:00a.m. Mass at a Jesuit Church. (No comment as to good or bad Jesuits.) In the rear of the Church is a statue of St. Isaac Jogues. His fingers show the signs of torture and mutilation, and his head the fatal wound of the tomahawk. Every day I light candles and say this prayer: "Dear St. Isaac Jogues and all the holy Jesuit saints and martyrs, especially Fr. John Hardon and Fr. Alfred Delp, please pray and intercede ardently for the Jesuits of today, that they may become holy and zealous priests of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and loyal sons of our Holy Father. Amen."

Maria said...

"To say that the sacrifice of our own ideas and way's calls for humility is only to restate what must be a spectacle to the angels. The Church's authority tells the faithful to accept her teaching and her directives on pre-marital chastity, on priestly celibacy, on chastity in marriage by not interfering with the life process, on the value of confession for children, on the strict and very rare conditions for general absolution. on the vestments that a priest is to wear at Mass, or the recitation of the Divine Office by those in priestly orders, on the rubrics to be observed in the Eucharistic Liturgy, on the whole gamut of Catholic doctrine like the papal primacy, the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, and the meaning of sin. I said when the angels see what's going on on earth it's a spectacle. I don't quite know what I am saying, but I am sure the angels must weep at the lack of humility as a result of which those whom God has called, even to His deepest intimacy, fail in loving Him. They reverse the prayer of Jesus in the Garden, "Not your will, but mine be done"-and they mean it, they really mean it. I've reasoned, I've argued, given people every possible cogent reason for not insisting on something which the Church said was wrong. "Don't you see that the Church insists: 'You may not do this, you may not teach this'?" But they have a reason and the reason is their will. In the bible of Satan the first verse reads: "in the beginning was the deed. And the deed was contrary to the will of God; and God was left to take the consequences."

~Servant of God, Father John Anthony Hardon SJ

God love you KY...Oh, that our Lord might hear our prayers...

Anonymous said...

You must be a latent pedophile because you always impugn Hardon's wise pastoral discretion in a single instance of handling once ambiguous case. Why are you so obsessed with that one decision out of all the things he did, out of all the magnificent things that he wrote? Hmm... I wonder why you are so fixated on that. Maybe you should see a shrink.

Pilgram On A Journey said...

When Fr. Brennan placed the stole upon his shoulders and processed during the entrance hymn with Janice. He joined Martin Luther, John Calvin, Henry the VII and became a Protestant. Fr. Lawler should have tried harder and demanded Fr. Brennan to cease in his plan. Fr. Lawler bares some responsibility for this unfortunate situation, Fr. Nico must have already been involved in this manner.

Margaret Swedish said...

What is obvious is that there is not a shred of gospel in any of these comments, no Jesus of Nazareth, no love, just the bitterness of the orthodox, of whom Jesus certainly did have some things to say.

wayne said...

The former missionary to Belize is merely continuing the same gospel that he learned and embraced and taught: Liberation Theology and the marxist dialectic applied to selected injustices. It is good to pray,in Love, for those affected by this man's 'ministry'. And to pray for the jesuits.

Anonymous said...

I agree w/you Margaret. This is one of the most un-Christain websites around. The post are filled with homophobia and misogyny.

I visit it every once in a while to take notes for a research essay I'm doing on far right groups and the internet.

Anonymous said...

Margaret and anonymous:

Have you not read Jesus' "woes" in the Gospel of Luke? Have you not read how he said to the people listening to him who rejected him that they were doing the work of their father the devil in the Gospel of John?

Jesus had stern, blunt, severely critical words for those who rejected the truth.

The pansy Jesus of liberalism is not the true Jesus.

Have you not read how Paul called the Galatians stupid? Was he not Christian?

Your liberal fantasies are so easy to demolish.

Truth cuts through error and falsehood with ease.

Anonymous said...

this site truly is set up by a man who has a bone to pick with the Jesuits
- the stories attack each preeminent Jesuit University on every front - no alumni would feel that way about a fellow jesuit school . Most of the people on this site must be jealous and angry they did not attend one
Very angry people on here
very sad

Joseph Fromm said...

"this site truly is set up by a man who has a bone to pick with the Jesuits"

Since you are talking about me personally, I will respond to your comment.

I have no bone to pick with the Jesuits. This is a news and current events driven site, specifically focused on the Society of Jesus. Just because you are unhappy with the news that is reported, Does not make the stories untrue. I allow a free and open comments section so that all viewpoints, ideas and thoughts may be expressed.