St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, MN


Does anyone know what is going on at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church of Minneapolis MN? They seem to be catering to feminist, homosexuals, and hippies. Why doesn’t the Bishop blow their parish up?

They had this link on their website:


Interesting that this appeared in the ‘Non-Catholic Religions’ forum. Not wholly inappropriate in my estimation…



St. Joan of Arc is well known around this area for its dissent. As for why Archbishop Flynn doesn’t “blow them up”—to be honest, I don’t think he’s terribly committed to orthodoxy himself. It is very frustrating—so much so that I will not contribute to the annual diocesan appeal, but I have sent checks to other bishops around the country (Weigland, etc) who do actually stand for something. Archbishop Flynn is for “getting along” at all costs—he would actually make a decent politician, as I think that he’s the kind of guy who likes to form committees and compromise. Of course, objective truth gets mangled, but hey, ya gotta break some eggs…

During last Sunday’s homily, our priest spoke of attending a Mass at the College of St. Katherine in St. Paul: there was no “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” but “Creator, Redeemer, and Empowerer”—and this was the pattern all throughout the Mass. They have also had pro-abortion speakers. Sadly, none of this is challenged by Archbishop Flynn.


It comes from the Russian Orthodox Church, but this is my favorite example of how a “good” bishop deals with heterodoxy:

“A priest has been sacked, his church bulldozed and the wreckage burnt after he allowed the building to be used for a gay marriage last month. Church officials in Nizhni Novgorod, west Russia, said that the chapel in which the men were married had been destroyed because the marriage ceremony had “desecrated” it.”



I respect those Russians. As for the bishop Flynn, he’s sounds like a total whimp and would be better of dead. I noticed that Minnesota has a lot of SSPX parishes. Now I understand why. Maybe we can get the Russians over here to buldoze down that building.



You wrote: “As for the bishop Flynn, he’s sounds like a total whimp and would be better of dead.”


That is a disgusting thing to say, and I hope you don’t make a habit of throwing that around when speaking or writing of people you don’t like.

Instead of saying that someone would be better off dead, consider saying a novena for that person, or maybe fasting for better bishops. I do not care for Archbishop Flynn (as a bishop, that is—he might be a very nice man) but you are being extremely inappropriate when you say something like that. Not to mention that you destroy your credibility as someone who’s worth reading…


I originally took the “why doesn’t the Archbishop blow that parish up” comment as a joke, but now I’m not so sure…

And may I say I absolutely do NOT respect a mob that would destroy a church, regardless of what happened there. That seems to me a barbaric and violent action that, if emulated, will only lead us into a new Dark Age. We need to reach to those we disagree with, not threaten to kill them or pull down their church.


I can just about imagine what would happen if our parish participated in a gay pride parade, and it wouldn’t be pleasent. There’s only one thing to do if the priests and bishops disregard everybody’s complaints. Hit them in the pocket book. When the money stops coming in maybe they will listen.


Being from Minnesota, I, too, have been disappointed in what’s going on at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Minneapolis. This has been going on even before Archbishop Flynn’s time. I remember many, many years ago when Gloria Steinum, the famous feminist, spoke at the Church and I believe the Archbishop was Roach. All we can do is pray for these people. Flynn is definitely a passive man who does not like to make waves and sometimes I think he gets confused as to what his role should be and follow church’s teachings on homosexuality. I attended the Cardinal Mass a couple of months ago at the Cathedral and at least 40 gays/lesbians were there, with their rainbow sashes making a statement. The EVIL ONE is very busy these days and we must remain strong in our faith to combat. It is spiritual warfare, to be sure. To “blow up” the church is definitely not the answer. One of the most powerful weapons is Eucharistic Adoration and pray, pray, pray.



Their mission statement is way off the wall. I see no reference to “Catholic” or “Eucharist.” Bizarre.:rolleyes:


I have been to that church, and I would like to share a story about it that still impacts me.

A friend and I attended as it was near to where we lived at the time. (We were roommates). She is not Catholic or religious in any way, but had heard of the church from a lot of homosexual friends and acquaintances. No surprise as Minneapolis is a homosexual Mecca. (No offense to resident Muslims).

Anyway, I was happy to escort my friend to what I thought was a Catholic church…only to sit through a Mass that was a complete heresy.

To put this in perspective, the priest at the time had been the priest in my parish while I was in High School. I wasn’t sure if he’d completely left the church…or got hijacked.

I watched in horror as secular songs were put up in transparencies in the front for us to sing. The “homily” was a time for testimonials.

As my friend and I walked out, both of us felt empty. She actually broke the silence…she, a pro-choicer, pro-gay marriage…etc…she actually said that after that circus, she realized she was a LOT more traditional than she ever thought. She no longer believed in “liberal” Catholicism. Praise God for that small miracle.

How bad does it have to be before a non-Catholic, non-religious Liberal recognizes that something is deeply wrong???

I’ve been distrubed ever since. Thanks for bringing this up. What CAN we do to stop this travesty?


I just sent an e-mail to Father Wertin.

One of the things we are obligated to do is works of mercy…which includes confronting the sinner and leaving the result to God.

I have just done that. I wrote him a letter reminding him of who I am and gave him a little more detail that he didn’t know…something actually pretty difficult for me to reveal. Anyway, I reminded him that he was my confessor and that I always loved him as our pastor.

I also said that it appeared his church is no longer Catholic and included the story I told in my previous post.

I told him that I am praying for him and his parish, through the intercession of Padre Pio and Our Lady and that although I don’t know the circumstances of his current position, I leave it to God.

Does that sound OK? I’ve already sent it, and I pray that my words somehow make a difference to him individually.

I would also ask all of you to pray for him and his parish as they have lost their way. It’s all we can do, but prayer is VERY powerful.

I knew Father Wertin and it pains me to see where he is at.

Thanks for posting this thread…you made me write a letter that I should have written long ago.

God bless!


Thank you so much for e-mailing Fr. Wertin. I do not know him but I feel your grief when you love your priest so much and then they become side-tracked. I can’t understand it. I can only surmise that Arch. Flynn knows all of this as well as other faithful priests/servants in our Archdiocese. I do not understand why our beautiful Catholic Church and our sincere devotion to our faith has to live with this while the hierarchy does nothing. Which is probably why the laity needs to take a more active roll. I also wonder if Pope John Paul knows of this. If he does, it must be agonizing for him.

Pray the rosary, visit Eucharistic Adoration, novenas, pray to St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy for our priests, bishops, and nuns. And, for our children’s children so that they will follow the will of our Almighty Father and His Son, Jesus.

Again, we need to recognize the EVIL ONE and be ready to defeat him in the name of Jesus. If you don’t think he is alive and on a mission, just look around you!!!


[quote=Catholic_Girl 9]I… would be better of dead…

Sorry for sounding crude, what I was trying to reffer to is Mathew 18 6:7 where Jesus says" whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea".

I know we aren’t not supposed to take everything in the bible literally but I feel that Bishop Flynn is in jepordy of losing his soul. I hope the laity of the diocese takes matters into there own hands and brings this abomination to the attention of higher authorities.


Hi, everyone,

If you aren’t aware, according to the latest Vatican document Redemtoris Sacramentum, the laity are allowed to report liturgical abuses to the magisterium. In fact, if the local bishop doesn’t respond, you can take it straight to rome.

My suggestion would be to print all the pages from the site that show their rebellion against rome and send it to the papal nuncio in washington dc. If several people do it, eventually they’ll have to look into it.



[quote=Catholic_Girl 9]Does anyone know what is going on at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church of Minneapolis MN? They seem to be catering to feminist, homosexuals, and hippies.

I’m not sure what is going on right now at St. Joan of Arc parish in South Minneapolis. But I did attend there for a while 20 years ago or so, so I can imagine.

That parish takes a lot of liberties with doctrine and liturgy and many violations of both could be easily found by members of this Catholic Answers Forum.

I’m sure that Archbishop Flynn and virtually every priest in the archdiocese knows exactly what is going on there. And, like with pro-choice politicians, they don’t exactly know what to do with it.

I would imagine that if a very orthodox priest became pastor of that parish, 90% of the parishioners would leave for other parishes nearby (and there are more than a few), leave for another religion, or stop going to church at all.

In a society where of 60 million Catholics, only 15-20 million regularly attend Mass, the hierarchy is between a rock and hard place. If they shut down the parishes that don’t rigidly adhere to doctrine and liturgy, maybe they will lose another 5 million regular attenders.

They won’t talk about it, but I believe that Church prefers to take the long view in such matters. It took about 30 years between the time that Martin Luther nailed his theses to the church door and the time of the Council of Trent, which was the Church’s formal reaction. And the Council of Trent made major changes in the Church which became all the better for it.

Right now, the pastors who were ordained in the 50s, 60s and 70s are retiring and dying. In many dioceses new ordinations are on the rebound. The younger priests and younger parishioners are clamoring to regain much which was lost in the Church as a result of Vatican II mis-interpretations.

Rather than burn the buildings down, my suggestion is to pray; pray for the Church, pray for the priests, pray for the parishioners, and pray for yourself and your own intentions.

Many of those at St. Joan’s and other like-minded parishes will find their way back to Orthodoxy. Many won’t, but that has always been the case. There have been apostasies and heresies almost from the beginning of the Church and there will continue to be, largely because of the Deadly Sin of Pride. :frowning:


Last year Archbishop Harry Flynn forbade a gay rights activists from speaking at this church. On their web site was this letter from the Pastor of St. Joan of Arc parish:

I continue to receive expressions of support for my homily responding to the Archbishop’s banning of Rev. Mel White’s speaking at St. Joan of Arc. Consistently, parishioners appreciate that we have chosen a path that seeks to avoid both confrontation and caving in. We are seeking a third way following the principles of active non-violence. As Thomas Merton wrote, “Nonviolence has great power, provided that it really witnesses to truth and not just to self-righteousness.”

  In my homily I stated that we cannot just walk away from the issue and pretend it never happened. We as a parish are committed to following up. The Parish Council has written a letter to Archbishop Flynn asking to meet with him to discuss the basis for his decision.

Secondly, we have to commit ourselves to pursuing Satyagraha or Soulforce-the demanding process of waging a struggle for justice in which we seek, not to exterminate the opponent, but through love and a willingness to suffer, if necessary, to create a just resolution of conflict refocusing the conflict from persons to principles.. This is a demanding spirituality which draws us beyond anger and confrontation, to a new inner strength and freedom.

I must have missed that RCIA class that discussed Satyagraha and Soulforce. It must have been the class titled “Using Ghandian terms to confuse the heck out of your opponents.”

Finally, we must find new ways to commit ourselves to being a welcoming, compassionate community, especially to our gay and lesbian sisters and brothers. I think our Holy Week liturgies helped to do this.

I thank you all for supporting me in pursuing a path that moves beyond “being right” to seeking the truth and learning through this painful experience… Even though there is still much healing to be achieved, let us stay true to our course.


Conincidentally I have been reading the Catholic Spirit ( and I just realized Archbishop Flynn is the Publisher.

There is an article in the commentary section that cites an argument from Garry Willis’ book (“Why I am a Catholic”) that a ‘good’ Catholic is someone who believes in “certain doctrines” – specifically those contained in the Apostle’s Creed. WIllis thinks there are other “peripheral stances” that are “not only non-binding, but scandalous” that ‘good’ Catholics don’t have to believe and should even work to repeal. The author of this coulmn goes on to describe how he disagrees with the bishops and the pope on certain issues but continues to receive the Eucharist anyway.

As a Protestant considering converting, this is very confusing for me. I do believe in the Apostle’s Creed and if that is the criteria for being a ‘good’ Catholic, sign me up! I happen to have problems with infallibility but, if Willis is right, I can just say this is a “peripheral stance” and get in line to receive the host.

I suspect, however, that the “real” Catholic answer is different than what is given in that coulmn…

As an American with a libertarian streak, I don’t mind allowing people to publish different opinions on things. I think allowing alternative views on doctrine in a diocean newspaper is a little different. If a column tells folks they can dissent on “peripheral stances” but doesn’t define what those stances are, isn’t that just more Protestantism?

And there was no disclaimer that “the views in this column do not represent the views of the diocese…”

Very confusing.



There is an article in the commentary section that cites an argument from Garry Willis’ book (“Why I am a Catholic”) that a ‘good’ Catholic is someone who believes in “certain doctrines” – specifically those contained in the Apostle’s Creed. WIllis thinks there are other “peripheral stances” that are “not only non-binding, but scandalous” that ‘good’ Catholics don’t have to believe and should even work to repeal. The author of this coulmn goes on to describe how he disagrees with the bishops and the pope on certain issues but continues to receive the Eucharist anyway.

The author is Gary Wills and he is a known progressive and dissenter. He can be safely ignored. Infallibility is not something peripheral the the Church but the very guarantee that it is not teaching error in the areas of faith and morals. Jesus could not make a statement like “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” (Matt. 18:18) unless there was no chance that the Church could bind something on earth that was not in accordance with God. It might be hard to understand at first, but its necessity for a teaching Church. Otherwise no Catholic could know if something was binding or private opinion.

Catholic Answers tract on infallibility.


[quote=Catholic_Girl 9]I snip
. As for the bishop Flynn, he’s sounds like a total whimp and would be better of dead.

Im sorry but I had to laugh, I have often been told that. It is even suggested that I should help things along.

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