Advice/What to do?


Hi! I’m new to the Forums, but I’ve been coming to the site quite often. I’m a Catholic in the Diocese of Erie,PA. and I’m looking for advice. Here’s the situation:

A new diocesan magazine called “Faith” just debuted last month. I e-mailed the Editor/Senior writer because I noticed some content that was disturbing. Here’s the transcript of what I e-mailed and the response:

My e-mail: “I was rather disturbed by some of the content in the first issue. On page 9, there is the “Theology Profile” of Edward Schillebeeckx. He is a theologian who was officially censured by the Vatican, and is prohibited from presenting himself as a Catholic theologian. He has rejected many Catholic moral teachings, including those on contraception, and promotes heretical ideas such as women’s ordination. On page 26 there is a favorable article on Sr. Christine Vladimiroff, who is closely aligned with the heretical organization Call To Action. Having such material as this is not indicative of an authentically Catholic magazine. I strongly suggest that your staff thoroughly research future content to be sure it is faithful to Church teachings, the Pope and the Magisterium.”

The response: "Thank you very much for taking the time to share your comments and impressions about Faith Magazine. I am a writer, editor and life-long Catholic, but will not for a minute pretend to be a theologian. That is why we have invited people like Matt Clark, assistant director of the Office of Worship and a scholar with a background in the sacraments, to prepare various columns. Matt assures me that although Mr. Schillbeeckx may have been censured at one point, he is regarded as an important voice in the Catholic Church amd his work was deeply integrated into the documents of the Second Vatican Council. It is his work discussing Jesus as the primordial sacrament, accepted by the Vatican, that is quoted in the first issue of Faith Magazine.

In addition, while not everyone who reads the magazine will agree with the personal approach each peraon has to his or her faith, we do stand behind the internationally recognized reputation of Sr. Christine. Her election as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, representing 95% of women religious in the United States, makes her newsworthy in our opinion.

We have received an overwhelmingly positive response from readers, but we are as sincerely pleased to hear from people who disagree with our approach. I have forwarded a copy of your e-mail to Bishop Trautman, who is eager to know how the magazine is being received throughout the diocese.

Thank you, again, very much for your input."

So, what do you I think I should do? I almost feel like I’m being brushed off as some ‘orthodxox’ complainer. I appreciate your help! Thank you and God bless!


Well, I suppose it depends on how these people were being discussed in the magazine. If their heretical beliefs were being lauded, then I could see a cause for concern. If, however, the aspects being considered are either neutral (as in they are figure of current news), or positive (they are discussing an orthodox viewpoint) then I don’t see anything wrong with them being mentioned in the magazine. I don’t notice anything in the response that indicates that you’re being brushed off as an “orthodox complainer”, however. It seems very polite, and they even stated that they forwarded a copy of your letter to the Bishop. It appears that they took your concerns very seriously even if they personally disagree with them; I don’t believe the Bishop would be brought into it if they didn’t.

Just my two cents :slight_smile:


With all due respect, and not trying in any way to “raise a fuss”, I think, humbly as a Protestant, but in line with many Catholics, that that is a major part of the problem of Vatican 2. Men who agreed in non-Catholic doctrines with other censured men like Hans Kung, Pierre Teilhard and the like, had such an influence on the Vatican 2 documents. Truly, it seems like an “Angli/Protestant” council, not a Roman Catholic council.

So, you shouldn’t be surprised at men like that marring what should be a good Catholic publication.

So what should you do? Well, I’d say that at least you should prayerfully consider whether or not you should support that publication by subscribing to it.

But, it could have indeed been a slip, and a thing that may only rarely happen again. So maybe it would still be beneficial to read and support the diocesan publication. Time should tell, but don’t sin by going against your faith’s leading of your conscience. (Romans 14:23)

Really, I’m not trying to get off topic with my paragraph above. Just an observation, and it was pointed out in your concerns.


. . .Her election as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, representing 95% of women religious in the United States, makes her newsworthy in our opinion.

I’m not familiar with her, and she may be newsworthy; but I’ve gotten the impression from a variety of sources that the LCWR is not exactly a bastion of orthodoxy.

I think that some of the Coucil periti, such as Schillbeeckx, were considered orthodox but ‘cutting edge’ academics during the council, but later they tended more and more to the extremes.


I think the editor’s response was both charitable and adequate. I certainly don’t agree with the OP that s/he was “brushed off.” If the publication were to feature dissidents or partial dissidents and praise their dissention, that would be a problem. There are Saints who held erroneous beliefs about some aspects of the faith and we cut them slack, focusing on the positive and taking the negative as a temporary and unfortunate symptom of incomplete knowledge. Does the publication only feature dissidents? That too would be a problem, even if their dissident beliefs weren’t explicitly extolled, because it would imply that dissention is a requirement of noteworthiness.

Here’s a different perspective: praising the good work of partial dissidents could encourage charity in how we treat those who aren’t entirely orthodox. I have some Catholic friends who disagree with some aspects of Church teaching not because they don’t believe in the authority of the Church but because they have some struggles in properly forming their consciences. Some beliefs can be difficult to just let go of even when the correct answer is known and it would be uncharitable of me to completely discount their Catholicism. We should all pray “Lord, I believe; Lord help me in my unbelief!” and encourage others to do the same. If perfect faith is required to be a good Catholic, there would be few good Catholics.



Thank you all for your input! The diocesan magazine is sent out on a mass-mailing basis, so I don’t specifically subscribe to it. I made the reference to Sr. Christine because she’s an associate of known dissident Sr. Joan Chittister. They both are from where I live here in Erie,PA., and have gotten preferential treatment on their dissident views several times in the local newspaper. So I am very concerned when I see the diocesan magazine touting individuals like them as if they represent and support Catholic doctrine, which they do NOT. I will keep a VERY CLOSE EYE on future material in this magazine, and will check to see if my e-mail was sent directly to Bishop Trautman. GOD bless!


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