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Chicago priest no fan of pope

6/10/2005 12:45:00 PM by Matt C. Abbott -

Father Pat Brennan, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Inverness, Ill., one of the largest parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago, is well known in both liberal and conservative circles. He's been around for some time, and he's no stranger to controversy.

In a 1997 homily, Brennan reportedly expressed admiration for former French bishop Jacques Gaillot, who was deposed in 1995 for, among other reasons, publicly endorsing use of the abortion pill.

More recently, in a May 2005 parish bulletin, Brennan wrote the following:

The Catholic publishing world, as well as Catholic universities, are [sic] reeling this week after the ouster of Rev. Thomas Reese, the editor of 'America' magazine for the last seven years. Reese was criticized by the then Cardinal Ratzinger for years for entertaining controversial topics in the magazine, as well as directly disagreeing with the cardinal.

Reese had difficulty with Ratzinger's comments some years ago about non-Christians being in seriously deficient religions. Reese did not find these comments ecumenically sensitive. Many knowledgeable people say that Reese was forced to resign because of the pressure coming from the new pope and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Thomas Groome, a friend of mine at Boston College and a theology professor said, 'Fr. Reese's removal must be interpreted as an ominous sign against open discourse in the Catholic Church.' Another theologian, Stephen Pope, said, 'This certainly is a repressive move.'

NOTE: Thomas Groome is a habitual speaker at Los Angeles 'Catholic' events sponsored by Cardinal Mahoney. You won't be surprised to learn that Groome is an ex-Priest and like Brennen, an ardent dissenter regarding traditional Catholic teachings.)

What we are up against is more restorationism rather than refounding the Church for a new age and time. [emphasis mine]

Arlene Sawicki, a former parishioner of Holy Family, says "... the use of the word 'refounding' means questioning every known doctrine and tradition of the Church, and setting forth a new paradigm for the Church according to the community's consensus.

"That may include doctrinal and liturgical dissent, and open disrespect for the pope and Magisterium. Father Brennan often refers to the Magisterium as 'those elderly men in long robes' - apparently they are too old-fashioned for his new theology."

The website for Holy Family Parish is

Matt C. Abbott is the former executive director of the Illinois Right to Life Committee and the former director of public affairs for the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League. He is a Catholic journalist and commentator. He can be reached at

NOTES: The use of the word "re-founding" to us implies a questioning known doctrines and traditions of the Church and setting forth a new paradigm for the Church of the 21st Century according to the community's "consensus." This is certainly consistent with the 'Church Democratic' that VOTF is pushing, and makes room for doctrinal and liturgical dissent, as well as open disrespect for the Pope and Magisterium. Former parishions at Holy Family told us recently that Fr. Brennan has refered to the Magisterium as 'elderly men in long robes.' Wonder no more as to why there is such a black cloud hanging over the faith.)




Copyright 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved