Here is the news story: Their fight lost, members of closed Scituate church start their own.
I sympathize with any Catholics suffering because their beloved parish church has been closed by the diocese. But the shortage of priests, falling attendance, and financial problems have forced the closure of many churches, in many diocese. It is one thing to fight to keep a parish church open, within its diocese. But to respond by departing from the Roman Catholic Church, in order to start your own church, is the grave sin of schism.
“It didn’t take long for the Friends, led by Maryellen and Jon Rogers, to establish a new church, which is meeting at the Satuit Lodge of Freemasons in Scituate, while they plan a capital campaign for their own church building.”
“Here’s how Maryellen Rogers describes it: ‘We are an ecumenical Catholic church, we are still valid practicing Catholics, part of the universal Catholic Church, not the Roman Catholic Church. So if you join our church community, you would see a welcoming Catholic experience but you would not be supporting the Roman Catholic Church or the Archdiocese of Boston.’ “
A few points of doctrine and discipline.
1. Freemasonry is condemned by the Church, by name under the old Code, and by description under the new Code of Canon Law.
2. The Rogers and the group led by them are schismatics, since they have chosen to depart from communion with the Roman Pontiff and the Church of which he is the head. They are each and all automatically excommunicated under Canon Law for the sin of schism.
3. The universal Church subsists in the Roman Catholic Church. Baptized non-Catholic Christians are indeed members, though their membership is harmed and limited by their chosen separation from the Pope and the Bishops who are in communion with him. There is no such thing as an “ecumenical Catholic church” which would somehow be not the Roman Catholic Church. And there is no “universal Catholic Church” apart from the Roman Catholic Church.
4. Their community is in a state of formal schism, and, based on the quote above, also in a state of formal heresy. Their claims about the structure and nature of the Church are heretical. So their group is not a genuine Catholic community, nor can they offer a “Catholic experience”.
5. The Rogers are laypersons. So their community is led by persons who are not ordained. It is no different from one of many other stand-alone Protestant congregations.
The whole Catholic Church worldwide will soon be plagued by many more such schisms, small and large. For pride goeth before a fall.
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