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Sadly there is much misinformation regarding Fr. Feeney, his excommunication and the lifting of the excommunication. Even more tragic is the misrepresentation of the Slaves in LA functioning as a canonically erected house. While one house was indeed received, with the understanding that holding the extreme postion of Extra Ecclesia is permitted of Catholics as long as it is not proclaimed as Dogmatic, but one of the Theological Opinons permitted on the subject. As the “Brothers” in Los Angeles are under the Canonical See of Archbishop Gomez, and were subject to Cardinal Mahony when the house in New England was received, they would have to submit to the Local Ordinary to erect a relgious house, and function within the Archdiocese. As the “Brothers” consist of older members who went through the formation which was typical of the Slaves in the 40’s and 50’s, and a couple of members with no formation or religious duties, the Archdiocese not myself would have to evaluate their application.
As Catholics we must hold that it is by the Sacrifice of the Cross, our Lord’s passion and death as well as His rising from the dead that we come to salvation. All the graces of that action are dispensed through the means God gave us, ie the Catholic Church. What membership in that Church means is however a matter of contention between followers of Fr. Feeney and the Magestrium of the Church. Unfortunatly many of the followers of Fr. Feeney have taken the postion that the Church was and is wrong, and Fr. Feeney, was correct. Since there are a half dozen well respected Theologians who have written responses to the errors of Fr. Feeney who’s books are difficult to obtain nowadays and detracted by the followers of Fr. Feeney, I’ll post a link to the EWTN article by the late Fr. Most, who is a well respected, very orthodox writer and theologians. It covers the misrepresentations by the Slaves and their followers. Another by Karl Keating, and the Catholic Culture website.
Mr. Keating writes: Ordered to stop teaching his interpretation, Feeney refused and was excommunicated, not technically for teaching heresy but for disobedience. He was reconciled to the Church before his death, and the excommunication was lifted. Some of his followers have tried to construe the reconciliation as a Vatican affirmation of Feeney’s theology, but, since the excommunication did not extend beyond a matter of obedience, the lifting of it did not extend any further.
Mr Mazza of Catholic Culture writes: Fr. Feeney himself, beset with the mental and physical ailments of old age, was reportedly “reconciled” to the Church on November 22, 1972 in the St. Thomas More Bookstore in Cambridge, with the help of a group of members of the Center and some very indulgent diocesan officials. These officials neither pressed Fr. Feeney for a recantation of his theological errors nor even an apology for the harm he may have caused the faithful.
And as I’ve mentioned before the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston commented that he was received back into the Church as an act of compassion to Fr. Feeney, not as an exceptance of his errors.
Much like the SSPX, who incidentally have a massive anti Feeney campaign, the followers of Fr. Feeney seem to have decided that the Church is wrong and they are the only one’s who hold the “Lynch pin” doctrine as Fr. Feeney termed it. If Fr. Feeney was correct, then Blessed Pope Pius IX, and Venerable Pope Pius XII were heretical.