The Liturgical Press was founded and is run by the Benedictine monks at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. It has been a cesspool of dissent and disaster certainly recently and possibly since it's very start. The abbey, founded in 1856, is the largest Benedictine community in the world. Sadly and predictably, it is in a nose dive and its future is uncertain. The monks' average age is 71 with understandably not many vocations.
One does not have to dig deep to uncover the Liturgical Press' agenda. The publications listed above are highlighted on its website.
"Liturgy's Imagined Past" is a veiled attempt at proving women were clergy in the early Church. One of the authors, Teresa Berger, is an academic who specializes in gender theory and has an interest in cyberspace liturgical practices (who doesn't?). Catholicism is one of seven faiths she's participated in so maybe number eight isn't far off. The other author doesn't pretend to be Catholic, listing his faith preference with the Church of England, where everything changes except the bread and wine.
There is a twelve volume set on feminist interpretation of Scripture authored primarily by Protestant academics interested in gender theory, women's ordination, and LGBT issues.
Julia M. O'Brien Stacy Davis Mary Ann Beavis
Do they share the same barber?
Another featured author, Thomas O'Meara, OP, when not delving into Vatican II hijacker, Karl Rahner, SJ, theology, spends his time wondering if ET could be saved.
"Building A New Church" isn't what I initially thought it was about, but architecture. James E Healy, STL, built St. Mark the Evangelist in Independence Missouri.
Beam me up, Scotty.
"An Unfinished Council" is what you'd expect: the dissident excuse for the decline in faith post-Vatican II. People like Richard Gaillardetz argue the "spirit of Vatican II" hasn't been properly implemented - the changes haven't gone far enough. This is similar to those who insist communism is the perfect form of government, it just hasn't been properly implemented by any nation state, yet.
Finally, Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. offers a fresh and new way to pray the Stations Of The Cross, in case St. Alphonsus Liguori's version bores you. Rev. Radcliffe was the Master Dominican from 1992-2001, is currently Pope Francis' consultor for social justice and peace, and is perhaps best known for suggesting men sodomizing each other can reflect Christ's 'self-gift'.
Near the bottom of Liturgical Press's website you can find a link to their blog, Pray Tell. Several of the website's featured authors provide blog posts. Anthony Ruff, O.S.B. is the main contributor. He's also one of fifty three monks of St. John's Abbey accused of sexual abuse/misconduct. Rev.Ruff has blogged about whether the Church misrepresents Jesus and the possibility He didn't found the Church.
Rev.Ruff was a member of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) but resigned in 2011 because he thought the new translation was going to be too hard for us non-liturgists to understand. He has given talks (not the fraternal correction kind) to known dissident groups Call To Action and Future Church.
Just an aside: what's with liturgists throwing temper tantrums and quitting, anyway?
Of course it's not just liturgists who quit in a huff:
Minnesota Gay Priest Resigns Over Vatican Policy
"Collegeville - A priest at St. John’s University said he was resigning his leadership position because of the Vatican’s latest statement that homosexuals should be barred from entering the Roman Catholic priesthood.
“Because I can no longer honestly represent, explain and defend the church’s teaching on homosexuality, I feel I must resign,” the Rev. Bob Pierson said in an e-mail December 14 to administrators and students at St. John’s and the nearby College of St. Benedict.
The Vatican announced last month that it was toughening its stand against gay candidates for the priesthood, advising that men with “deep-seated” gay tendencies or who “support so-called gay culture” shouldn’t be admitted to seminaries or ordained. Others with “transitory” homosexual inclinations can be accepted if they have “clearly overcome” them for three years."
Perhaps the most public monk at St.John's Abbey is Bob Pierson, O.S.B. who believes his authority overrules his Ordinary and the Magisterium.
During Minnesota's debate on same-sex marriage, Bishop Nienstedt gave clear direction on how Catholics in good standing were to vote. Fr. Bob disagreed. At least he was being consistent with his abbey:
As far as I can tell, Bob Pierson, O.S.B. is in full communion with Rome (but the SSPX is the problem, right?). He claims to be celibate. Why does it seem the liberal/progressive/spirit of Vatican II orders and dioceses have sex abuse crisis and the traditional ones don't?
Father Scott McCaig, superior general of the Companions of the Cross, has some ideas:
"The priesthood was once seen as a manly commitment, almost like going into the military, one that demanded courage, rigor and a sense of dedication that was commended, he said. "You are in a war for souls."
There has also been a kind of false feminization in the Church that strips out anything to do with a male-oriented spirituality, such as military terminology concerning the war for souls, he said."
Just in time for Advent, a new Hollywood product is hitting theaters with yet another Catholic Pedophile Priest story. Even one victim is one too many, however, it's worth noting a few facts about clerical sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. First, the incident rate of sexual abuse in the Church is no higher than any other religion and significantly lower than the public school system. Why doesn't Hollywood make movies about Pedophile Teachers? Second, the vast majority of victim in the Church were teenage boys, so not pedophilia. Third, Hollywood, the media, and other Church enemies use any excuse to attack the Bride Of Christ. For example, the Boston Globe wrote about the local scandal more than they did World War II.
However, defending the Church is difficult when stories like this keep slithering out of the shadows.
Secret Files on St. John's Abbey monks show hundreds of possible victims
The rot at St. John's Abbey is covered by the blog Behind The Pine Curtain:
This web site is dedicated to the 260+ known victims of sexual and other misconduct by over sixty members [ View ] of Saint John’s community in Collegeville, Minnesota (USA). The community includes Saint John’s Abbey, Saint John’s University, Saint John’s Prep School, the Liturgical Press, the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library and the School of Theology.
Other blogs such as the Eponymous Flower keep an eye on St. John's Abbey too.
In all this concrete there are no kneelers, Tabernacle, and the Stations of the Cross are set in the floor.
You can watch their Masses on-line. To save you some time, yes liturgical abuses are prevalent. The November 22 homily blames the empty pews and their withering order on the natural order of things. Self-awareness has yet to enter their sanctuary.
The homilist is right about one thing though. Sodomy among the clergy isn't new. A thousand years ago St. Peter Damian addressed the problem and proposed solutions. Hopefully the good monks will indeed look to the past to fix the present if they are to have a future.