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Not all religious are dissenters: Christian Brother writes

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 Contents - Aug 1994AD2000 August 1994 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Now that the rebellion is in the open - what? - B.A. Santamaria
Religious orders, associations refuse to accept 'definitive' Papal teaching
Not all religious are dissenters: Christian Brother writes - Br John B. Stephenson CFC
Bishop Spong at Australian Catholic University - Why? - Michael Gilchrist
How dissent operates in the Church - Bishop George Pell

I am appalled that the National Executive of ACLRI has refused to accept the decision and directive of Christ's Vicar, Pope John Paul Il. They should be leaders in implementing it.

I am appalled that our Congregation's representatives did not dissent from this public rejection of Christ's Vicar's decision.

I object to the arrogance of the National Executive in comparing their position to that of St Paul.

I object to the Scriptural rubbish in paragraph 5 which completely distorts and misrepresents the Council of Jerusalem, (Acts 15:1-21).

(a) It was St Peter who first admitted "not just Jewish, converts" in the person of Cornelius, with his family and friends (Acts 10:47-48).

(b) It was St Peter's speech, Acts 15:7-11, which opposed "placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples" and was adopted by the Council. Paul did not oppose Peter at the Council.

Has the National Executive confused the Council with Paul's reproof of Peter's dissembling behaviour in Antioch? (Galatians 2:11-14).

How could the fifteen Leaders allow their names to be appended to the Scriptural ignorance shown in this paragraph?

I object to the snide use of words in this context such as "Roman Catholic Church"; "reactionary elements in the early Church."

As one of the "almost 12,000 male and, female religious in Australia" I dissociate myself from this letter.

I stand with Christ in the person of His Spirit-guided Vicar, Pope John Paul II.

I would propose that the Christian Brothers of the Australian Provinces, who wish to do so, be given the opportunity of signing a Statement of Loyalty to Pope John Paul II. It should be handed to him during his visit to Australia.

Copies of this letter from Br John B. Stephenson CFC, Christian Brothers, Wewak, Papua New Guinea, were sent to the ACLRI National Executive members, Provincials of the Christian Brothers, Superiors of Christian Brothers' Communities in Australia and PNG.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 7 No 7 (August 1994), p. 3

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