Friday, July 14, 2006, 1:00 p.m.
Holy Spirit Catholic Parish
Monsignor Louis Brum Again Refuses to Meet with Call To Action members.
Monsignor Louis Brum again refused to meet with members of the Call To Action organization to address the removal of Holy Spirit parishioners from ministries because they belong to the Call To Action organization.
After Monsignor Brum ignored several letters, faxes and a recommendation from his Bishop, a local group of Call To Action members, including Lena Woltering, a representative from the National Call To Action organization, attempted to pay Monsignor Brum a visit.
Our coming to Holy Spirit Parish today is not a demonstration or a protest, it is simply a request to have Monsignor Brum set up a meeting with us to begin the process that his Bishop has called for him to do: "to resolve this matter [the exclusion of CTA members] amicably, as soon as possible."
We know that Monsignor Brum is never at the parish, that he does not respond to his mail or faxes, and that it is almost impossible to set up a meeting with him, however, we also knew that he had to be here for a 3:00 p.m. wedding today. We caught him on his way in the back door and notified him that we wanted to set up a meeting with him to get this matter resolved. He told us he was too busy and didn’t have time, said a Call To Action spokesperson.
Since Monsignor Brum’s assignment as pastor to Holy Spirit Parish, he has systematically removed and prohibited parishioners that were not in full agreement with him, from participating in parish ministries, from being on parish boards and even from singing in the parish choir.
Most of those removals have been based on the pretense that belonging to the Call To Action organization has placed them, “not in good standing with the Catholic Church”. A history of Monsignor Brum’s actions is well documented in the “Archives” section of this Blog.
Monsignor Brum even published an Instructional Handout that he presented at an Extraordinary Ministers Meeting on August 29, 2005, in which he stated: "Extraordinary Ministers cannot be part of any organization that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church such as Pro-Choice, Call to Action…”
Call To Action is not an organization that is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Call To Action is an outgrowth of the 1976 United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Call to Action Conference, where more than 100 bishops were among 1,340 voting delegates and 1,500 observers, including our very own previous bishop, Bishop John J. Fitzpatrick.
Today, the National Call To Action Organization includes over 25,000 members throughout the United States, including bishops, priests, deacons and lay people. There are over 40 local chapters. Call to Action encourages a more progressive and engaged Church and believes that the Spirit of God is at work in the whole Church, not just in its clergy. (Call To Action-USA)
Call To Action also suggests that the Church should be the model of openness and accountability and specifically calls for a full disclosure of those priests that have been removed or transferred to other assignments for findings of sexual abuse of children and adults, which has been the main focus of the local Rio Grande Valley Chapter.
Being a member of Call To Action in no way places its members in a position of being “not in good standing with the Catholic Church”. Cannon Law specifically grants all Catholics the right to form voluntary associations to pursue their Catholic faith and beliefs, including the right to publicly express their dissent to any decisions made by Church authorities, much to the dislike of some Church leaders. (C.212:3, C.215, C.218, C.299, C.300, C.305, C.309, C.753)
I consider these tactics by Monsignor Brum to be absolutely ludicrous and extremely unbecoming of a Monsignor of the Catholic Church. I also feel that it is high time that Bishop Peña gets more involved in this matter and requires Monsignor Brum to publicly apologize to those parishioners that he has so unjustly victimized and that he be required to immediately reinstate them to their ministries and previous positions at Holy Spirit Parish!
This is very serious stuff, folks. I welcome your comments.
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