The “alternate universe” of Wisconsin’s Holy Wisdom Monastery

This group of disaffected Catholics got a big spread in the Wisconsin State Journal last Sunday:

Alice Jenson’s faith took an irreversible turn six years ago.

It was Nov. 5, 2006, and she was contributing to Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Madison as a lay person, reading Bible passages from the lectern.

The same day, Madison Bishop Robert Morlino required all priests to play a recorded message from him explaining his position on three issues state residents would vote on that week, including a ban on same-sex marriage, which he supported.

When the priest hit “play,” Jenson walked out.

“It was the first time I’d ever outwardly gone against what I was raised to follow,” said Jenson, 67.

She found a new religious home at Holy Wisdom Monastery, a former Roman Catholic monastery in the town of Westport, just outside Madison. Its Sunday service, offered by the sisters who live there, retains many elements of a traditional Catholic Mass but diverges in sometimes startling ways.

Women can lead the service and preach the sermon. Gay relationships are warmly embraced. All parishioners, not just Catholics, can consume the communion wine and bread because the service is ecumenical, meaning welcoming of all Christian traditions.

It’s an alternate universe of sorts — what some think a Catholic Mass might look like today if the liberal spirit of Vatican II in the 1960s had taken root and flowered.

“We’re doing what the hierarchical church was afraid to complete,” said Jim Green, a longtime Holy Wisdom parishioner who is gay and describes himself as “a Catholic in exile.”

The service, called Sunday Assembly, is attended by people from many denominational backgrounds but has become especially popular with Catholics displeased with Morlino or church doctrine in general. Membership doubled in five years to 335, and parishioners estimate a majority are Catholics who left their regular parishes.

Detractors say the parishioners strayed too far from Catholicism to warrant the label.

Read more. There’s also an extensive photo gallery from a service and a description of some of what goes on at an “assembly.”  Unsurprisingly, the congregation is significantly older; most appear to be in their 60s and 70s.

  • http://www.canonlaw.info Ed Peters

    I imagine this group welcomes publicity, but I’m not sure that one should assist them in gaining it, at least, not without some corrective commentary. Anyway, speaking of correctives, consider this biased line in the article: “Detractors say the parishioners strayed too far from Catholicism to warrant the label.”

    “Detractors [boo, hiss, mean old 'detractors'] say the parishioners [it's not a parish, so they can't be parishioners] strayed too far from Catholicism to warrant the label [it's not a label, it's an identity, and they either share it, or they don't].”

  • Rudy

    Oh, well, they became Liberal Episcopalians and they don’t know it, do they?

  • Klaire

    My guess is that these folks are still clueless as to the “whys” of what the church teaches, especially all of which they “dissent.” On the other hand, in this day and age of internet access, if anyone is ignorant of church teachings, it’s their own fault.

    At some point, even if “given” the faith, one has to take responsibility to learn it.

    That said, for those who do/might know it, and still need dissent, I guess their lifestyles just aren’t compatible with Catholicism. In all of my experience, dissenters come down to one of two things: ignorance of the faith, or too much pride to consider a lifestyle change.

    There’s a reason the “nothing required” Protestant churches are popular, at least initally.

  • pagansister

    Good for Alice! One shouldn’t stay with any faith that has practices/beliefs that they don’t agree with. Am glad that the Holy Wisdom Monastery is a viable alternative for her and others that have chosen to worship there. AND the services are run by the Sisters! :o )

  • RomCath

    “Alternate universe” is putting it mildly. Sounds more like a bizarro world. Figures Pagan would applaud it.

  • Romulus

    All parishioners, not just Catholics, can consume the communion wine and bread

    Which is all they’re getting.

  • http://SyteReitz.com Syte

    Unfortunately, the Wisconsin State Journal (WSJ) will continue to publish controversial articles about the Church, regardless of input from the Church or from faithful Catholics.
    However, it is in the Church’s interest to provide accurate information to newspapers, lest newspapers rely on less reputable “sources.”

    In this case, the WSJ failed to publish much of the material that was provided by the Diocese of Madison, quoting space limitations. It also failed to publish much of the material that was provided to the WSJ by their selected “faithful Catholic,” a local Madison Catholic blogger, me, also quoting space limitations.

    Here are the complete statements that were provided to the WSJ:
    Diocese of Madison’s complete statement to the WSJ: http://bit.ly/wVWnvK
    “Faithful Catholic’s” complete statement to the WSJ: http://sytereitz.com/2012/02/holy-wisdom-monastery/

  • http://www.canonlaw.info Ed Peters

    Yum! I love home-baked bread and red wine, maybe a little olive oil, with a good documentary on Italian art, or something. Yum.

    At Mass, of course, I prefer Jesus.

  • naturgesetz

    This is honest — they don’t claim that it is a Mass and they don’t claim that those who preside are Catholic priests. This is far better than the situation where women claim t be ordained Catholic priests who are validly celebrating the Mass. Here, people are not being deceived.

    Of course it is unfortunate that a few Catholics believe that bread and wine an adequate substitute for the Body and Blood of Christ and that a non-denominational Sunday Assembly is an adequate substitute for the Mass.

  • vox borealis

    Yes, thank heavens that there is a viable alternative for people like poor Alice, who can’t otherwise find a church to affirm to make them feel good from among the thousands in the US of A.

  • http://www.canonlaw.info Ed Peters

    I thought the same thing, N, about their honesty, that is. It was change from the usual fare.

  • http://imaginemdei.blogspot.com Maggie Duffy

    A membership of 335 in their 60s and 70s. Whoopdeedoo!

  • friscoeddie

    When Charles De Gaulle, a devout Catholic arrived in France in June 1944 and found out most of the French bishops collaborated with the Vichy and German authorities he gave the hierarchy the old testament “you’re all dead to me”
    He spent the rest his Church life in weekly/daily Eucharist with an old priest in a tiny village church and insisted he be buried there instead at a hierarchy led Mass at Notre Dame. The rejection of officious/duplicitous hierarchies has an honored place in a long honored tradition in Church life…… for the discerning people with courage. Where is it found in tradition/scripture the prevailing position ..’Go along to get along’ stance of the frightened pew Catholics.. ?? Go tell it to the Philly Catholics,… just suck it up and keep on trucking ..

  • naturgesetz

    The difference with Gen. de Gaulle is that it was a Catholic priest celebrating a Catholic Mass. He never abandoned the Church.

  • Mark

    Friscoe,
    That is the same thing devout Catholics currently see in those collaborating with the party of death. Glad you see you subscribe to not collaborating with those who sell out Church teaching by voting for Obama and his party of abortion and open attacks on the Catholic Church and the Constitution. You have confirmed that we are discerning people of courage against the go along get along stance of frightened cultural catholics.. Rest assured we will suck it up and keep on trucking until we end the reich of Obama.

  • Max

    This is why this ridiculous marriage issue has to go away. Government should have NOTHING to do with marriage. Just like it was before the French Revolution. Funny how today’s “conservatives” defend the policies of the radically anti-Church French revolutionaries. Marriage is a Sacrament, as such, it is the duty of the Church to uphold it, not the government. I don’t want government defining what a proper Baptism is, the same goes for marriage. Marriage licenses are an immoral intrusion of government into the life of the family. To think that we need to request permission from the government to get married should be absolutely anathema to anyone who styles themselves as a “small-government conservative”.

  • http://www.canonlaw.info Ed Peters

    Max, government has a huge interest, nay a real need, to know who is married and who isn’t, but it has to be marriage we are talking about, and not pseudo-marriage, and that in turn requires accepting an objective definition of marriage.

  • Max

    It has no interest in knowing who is married and who isn’t. No marriage license laws existed in the United States when our nation was founded. It is typical of “conservatives” to defend radical liberal policies if they exist long enough.

    Making gay “marriage” illegal doesn’t stop gays from living together. Making bigamy illegal doesn’t stop people from living with multiple partners.

    Of course, you’ll say that the government has an incentive to give married couples tax breaks to “support family”. Well, the income tax in this nation didn’t start until 1913. Marriage got along just fine without government “promoting” it.

    If we decrease the size of government (something the Sweater Vest won’t do as his plan adds trillions to the debt), to its proper Constitutional role we will have no need for an income tax, and your argument will be irrelevant.

  • Manny

    “We’re doing what the hierarchical church was afraid to complete,” said Jim Green, a longtime Holy Wisdom parishioner who is gay and describes himself as “a Catholic in exile.”

    What a bunch of nonsense. I’m no expert, but I do not think Vat II intended this. It’s nice they consume something at their service, but what they consume is not the Eucharist.

  • friscoeddie

    mark.. I thought we are talking a religious stance for individuals …. about accomodating our religious worship when the poorly led Church structures are falling apart…And if you see no Church meltdown I bet you also deny global warming.. blindness is is blindness… I suggest you take your political ideology and go to one of the million political ideological blogs..

  • Survivor

    From a related article:
    [T]he language at the services has been stripped of gender-specific references.
    Instead of saying “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” when giving the sign of the cross before and after prayers, Holy Wisdom parishioners use “creator, redeemer and sanctifier” or another variation.

    This means that they have rejected the central Christian doctrine of the Trinity and have embraced the heresy of Modalism. This has grave consequences for those involved, since if they are baptizing with the “creator, redeemer and sanctifier” formula, their baptisms are invalid. Not illicit. Invalid. As in, the baptism didn’t happen.

    For the antinomians out there, the formula comes directly from Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” These things matter.

  • Fr. Deacon Daniel

    I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that “All Are Welcome” is sung at least two times a month at the Assemblée.

    Has the Diocese of Madison come out with any statement regarding the canonical disposition of this so-called “monastery”?

  • Deacon Greg Kandra

    FDD

    Check out this link.

    Dcn. G.

  • http://www.canonlaw.info Ed Peters

    Max has done a nice job of refuting arguments I did not proffer and rebutting points I would happily grant (as they are quite besides the point). But, like, whatever.

  • Max

    It’s quite simple really, you insist that government is needed to define marriage; when history shows that this is an invention of the anti-Church French Revolution. I insist that the people and private institutions can regulate marriage just fine without the force of government.

    We don’t need civil marriage licenses. Marriage in a purely civil sense is, and always will be, a contract. In a free society, the government’s role is to be there if the parties cannot come to mutually acceptable parting terms (in the case of marriage). We do not need the government “allowing” us to get married. A license implies that you are receiving government permission to do something that would otherwise be unlawful. Is getting married without the permission of government unlawful in your mind?

  • Fr. Deacon Daniel

    Thanks! A pretty thorough response. As a Benedictine Oblate, I especially liked the quote from Abbot Marcel Rooney:

    “Regarding the Benedictine community, we approached Abbot Marcel Rooney, OSB (Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Order, 1996-2000) who now lives in Madison and has started a liturgical institute in the diocese, to see if he might offer some context to the situation regarding this former Benedictine Monastery. Abbot Rooney notes: Like many
    Americans, religious communities in this country have been affected by the increased secularization and popular philosophies and trends of our age. This has, in some places, led to a chosen separation between that community and the Rule of that order; between a local religious group and the larger religious order, and, too often, between them and the
    universal Church. Sadly, for a number of groups in this country, this has been happening for 50 years. Even as a Benedictine Abbot, I need to remind myself that I am defined first by my Catholic faith, then by the Rule of St. Benedict, and then by my own thoughts, desires, and persuasions, and never the other way around. This is true of all Catholics, relative to our calling in life.”

  • pagansister

    Darn right, I do “applaud it:” RomCath :o ). Seriously, does it make any sense for anyone, no matter what religion they belong to, to stay if they are not comfortable? IMO, no.

  • RomCath

    So Frisco run to Wisconsin and forget the poorly led Church structures. I am sure they would love to have you.

  • pagansister

    friscoeddie: You basically said what I was thinking too. Mark, this article is about a Catholic woman who decided to worship at Holy Wisdom Monastery.. What the heck did that have to do with : “collaborating with the party of death?” as you put it. This article had absolutely nothing to do with abortion.

  • DcnDon

    I agree Manny. One other comment, that this is what would have happened “if the liberal spirit of Vatican II in the 1960s had taken root and flowered” shows an equal misunderstanding.

    I was a willing and eager part of that liberal spirit and I believe at the time it was necessary, as the Holy Father John XXIII said, “… to throw open the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in.”

    Times have evolved, as times will. But the central tenets of our Catholic faith have not changed one jot or tittle; the centre mass of our beliefs has not shifted – what has changed is the way we have been able to express them. We have not by our decisions, preferences or (politically correct or other) actions changed the Faith. If we think we have, we are simply fooling ourselves and conveying a poor example of faithfulness to others.

  • HMS

    Klaire:
    Re your comment: “My guess is that these folks are still clueless as to the “whys” of what the church teaches.”

    Considering that the membership of 335 are in their 60s and 70s,
    my guess is that they were educated by memorizing the Baltimore Catechism.

  • DWiss

    pagansister says:

    “Seriously, does it make any sense for anyone, no matter what religion they belong to, to stay if they are not comfortable?”

    I hear this a lot. But the way I look at it, since I’m not ready to go to Heaven now, the more uncomfortable my religion makes me the better off I’ll be when my going home time comes. So, yes, being uncomfortable makes all the sense in eternity.

  • Mary P.

    Pagansister, it is not the job of the Catholic Church to make life comfortable. As C.S. Lewis said, “If you want a religion to feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”

  • Mary P.

    I think we’re forgetting something here. Max is talking about marriage as if it were a purely social contract. It’s not, at least in the R.C. Church. It is one of the seven sacraments. As such, only a marriage between a man and a woman will ever be recognized in the Church. It has nothing to do with popular opinion, or what individuals decide what is acceptable, or what is politically correct. And I’m saying this as a parent of one who called herself gay, who I love very much who, incidentally, doesn’t agree with me or the R.C. Church.

  • pagansister

    I tend to disagree Mary P. One should feel welcome and loved in the faith they choose. Just my opinion. That can be hard to do if born to love the “wrong” gender, or to question some things that are being taught.

  • pagansister

    Glad you like being uncomfortable, DWiss. If it works for you, that’s great.

  • Peter Domingo

    Just another protestant church! What is newsworthy about that?

  • Tom

    Joanne Kollasch … said … , “I don’t like to be thought of as less Catholic because I’m ecumenical.”

    Neither does the Pope, who incidentally doesn’t break his “bread” with non-Catholics. I don’t think of him as any less “ecumenical” than Ms. Kollasch.

    … it’s appropriate “to have a Bible in one hand and The New York Times in the other.”

    Reminds me of the Al Kresta radio intro, except he purportedly has “The Catechism” in one hand, the NYTimes in the other.

    You seem to have retained many followers from ‘yesteryear’, Deacon Greg ( … even including a certain ‘pagansis’). Muy Impressivo! :-)

  • Fr. Deacon Daniel

    Yes – no one stretches and grows in the Comfort Zone.

  • pagansister

    Maybe it is newsworthy because, Peter D, the service is done by Sisters. As far as I know that isn’t the case in other Protestant churches. :o )

  • R.C.

    Wouldn’t it be correct to say that:

    1. Government has a need to know who has contractually obligated themselves to sexual exclusivity, since government is responsible for contract-enforcement?

    2. Government has a need to know who is the default next-of-kin or has power-of-attorney in medical situations?

    3. Government has a need to know who is the default heir in the absence of a will?

    4. Government has a need to know who is the male legal guardian of a child?

    5. Government has a need to know who is the female legal guardian of a child?

    6. A doctor may need to know who is the biological father of a child, and have access to his medical records, and have the assistance of the government in obtaining them?

    7. A doctor may need to know who is the biological mother of a child, and have access to her medical records, and have the assistance of the government in obtaining them?

    8. The government needs to know which taxpayers live where, whether or not they share a domicile.

    It seems to me that government can get “out of the marriage business” so to speak, but the above eight items must be dealt with.

    These eight items can all be dealt with outside of the context of marriage, and often are:
    - One can write a contract of sexual exclusivity apart from marriage (provided the terms don’t accidentally fall afoul of poorly-written anti-prostitution statutes);
    - One can write a power-of-attorney or declare a next-of-kin apart from marriage;
    - One can write a quick-and-dirty will indicating one’s heir apart from marriage;
    - One can be declared the male or female guardian of a child apart from being married to the opposite-gender guardian;
    - One can arrange for the medical records of the biological parents of a child to be available to the child’s doctors without them being married; and,
    - One can share a residence with another taxpayer without the IRS concluding that you are married;

    …and all of these are pretty common, except, I expect, the first.

    However, marriage as popularly understood makes this easier and more manageable both for the state and for the participants: They can obtain a single document from the state, and have it cover most or all of these issues.

    It seems to me, then, that if the state is going to “get out of the marriage business” it must simultaneously set up legal structures and state services which streamline all of these processes so that they are all available as separate processes, but can be easily obtained “in bulk” or “bundled” as it were without undue hassle.

    Moreover, the state has a “compelling interest” (that’s a vital legal term of art) in ensuring that children are mostly raised by their biological father and mother who are cohabiting in a sexually-exclusive heterosexual sexual partnership with one another, in company with other full siblings being similarly raised. This is the ideal for successful child-rearing in that it drastically increases the odds of educational and income and childbearing success for the children and even the grandchildren, while reducing the likelihood of mental illness and incarceration among the children and the grandchildren. Since these factors are indeed critical for the continuity of a civil society beyond the current generation, they do indeed constitute a “compelling state interest.”

    This means that the state may validly pass laws intended to advantage such arrangements.

    The state could, for example, make contracts of sexual exclusivity, power of attorney, and the rest, and then give tax breaks to the legal guardian of a child for (a.) having a child dependent, (b.) having a child dependent who is his/her biological child, (c.) cohabiting with the opposite-gender legal guardian of his dependent, (d.) cohabiting with the opposite-gender biological parent of his dependent, (e.) having a contract of sexual exclusivity with the opposite-gender legal guardian of his dependent, and (f.) having a contract of sexual exclusivity with the opposite-gender biological parent of his dependent.

    Each of these can be shown to be good for the child, and thus good for the state to incentivize. Stack up all the tax breaks, and apply them additively per child, and pretty soon you get a strong, direct incentive to get married and stay married to a person of the opposite gender who is the biological parent of all your children.

    Complex? You bet. What we have right now, through civil society’s regulation of a Christian sacrament, is far more streamlined.

    But if we want to get government out of the sacrament business, while still retaining incentives which are helpful for our society…? Well, this is the kind of thing we’re in for.

  • susan

    HMS…your statement needs an important correction…

    “Considering that the membership of 335 are in their 60s and 70s,
    my guess is that they were educated by memorizing” AND LATER REJECTING THE TEACHINGS OF ” the Baltimore Catechism.”

  • Teacher

    They may have memorized their catechism, but they never LEARNED it.

  • Teacher

    Then leave. I don’t recall seeing any priest, nun, or lay person twisting anyone’s arm to stay. If you don’t think the Catholic Church is “welcoming” or “accepting” enough, then leave. Just as I would never think of trying to adjust myself to paganistic beliefs, pagans should not expect the same. If I cannot live by the tenets of the Catholic Faith, then I should leave–just as Luther and Henry VIII did. The Church is NOT going to twist itself around to accommodate those whom do not agree. Find another church to attend.

  • Dwiss

    It would work for you, too, pagansister, if you’d try it.

  • Richard M

    Naturgesetz is right: the problem is not politics, but that these women and their…congregants have, by their words and deeds, left the Catholic Church, imperiling their souls.

    General de Gaulle never did so. He continued receiving communion by a lawfully ordained and incardinated Catholic priest.

    In any event, it’s hard for me to see that the bishops of Wisconsin today – and especially Bishop Morlino, one of our most outstanding bishops – are in any way comparable to what may have been done by certain bishops in Vichy France.

  • Richard M

    The problem, Max, is that marriage is deeply embedded in our common law. You will have a vast swath of law to rewrite in contracts, torts, property…the works, before you even get to the tax code.

    The state has an interest in marriage because it is asked to adjudicate disputes about child custody, child support, property, contracts, and torts all the time. And marriage (or its dissolution) affects all of those.

    And yes, the state – the society that the state rules – has in interest in the procreation and rearing of children to sustain that society. And that’s why marriage came into being, long before even the Church itself came into being.

  • Kris

    The comparison of De Gaulle to the current discussion is a metaphor allowing one to see that we have choices when we are wanting to be Catholic and we are not given the fullness of the Catholic faith in our particular parish or even in our particular diocese, so feel like the Bishop is failing in his duty to follow Christ and the fullness of the faith with courage and protect the sheep he is supposed to pastor. We have choices when we see our particular church either live up to the faith or give in to the culture of death (in its broadest terms). We have to find a faithful ‘priest in a small village’ (another metaphor) where we can be fed and nourished in our pigramage as faithful Catholics. To juxtapose this with the Holy Wisdom Monastery, these people wanted not to follow the Catholic faith in its fullness, but chose instead to seek a place that would give them support to live a life they wanted to live that did not find support in their former Catholic Church. This is simple. We , when we chose sin as a lifestyle are not comfortable around those who live in a manner that makes our conscience recoil. We want to be around others who will support us in our sin. A drug addict does not feel comfortable around those who live a life drug free and who see what drugs are doing to his life. We will turn to the truth in its fullness when we realize we must give up our own sinful desires and submit ourselves to the truths that were given by Christ. That is very hard and humbling.

  • Kris

    Deacon Don, do you not thing however, that the many who were drawn into the ‘spirit of Vat II’ and who still site that vague authority to justify the many travesties that still take place in the Catholic Church are the source of the Holy Wisdom Monastery? When someone like Sr. Carol Keehan can be now the spokesperson for the catholic church rather than the Bishops, how do we explain that except for the errors that were espoused for so many years under the guile of the spirit of vat II? Interested in your response.

  • Kris

    Hear! Hear! thank you.

  • Kris

    The tragic thing is , in our Roman Catholic parish in rural Alaska just recently, a baby was baptized using the same words. Yet, I am sure nothing will be done to curtail that either. Maybe the bishops have too much to do to address each misuse of the sacraments, yet the scandal has been going on for too long and it has eroded the faith in so many.

  • Kris

    So you have the grand distinction of being the first protestant church that was started by former catholic sisters. I am sure the history books will give some note to that.

  • RomCath

    It is probably an invalid Baptism.

  • pagansister

    That’s right, Teacher. That is what the folks are doing that attend the Monastery. They left the place that made them feel unwelcome.

  • pagansister

    Churche’s have to be started by someone, Kris.

  • pagansister

    Thanks, Dwiss, but I’m very content as I am.

  • Mark

    Yes, churches have to be started by “someone.” The “someone” who started ours was Jesus the Christ, Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

    This is not said boastfully, for I am a sinner, but said in rapt gratitude for having been baptized Catholic and given the grace, day by day, to struggle in my faith.

  • DcnDon

    Kris, I only feel called to say two things in response. On the remaining issue I defer.

    First, I do not believe in any way that the authority of the Second Vatican Council is in the least vague, and second, any travesties that have taken place have been actions that are the result of the sins of humans and nothing to do with the legitimate stewardship or faithful followers that comprise the Body of Christ on earth.

    As to Sister Carol Keehan and her actions, that is an issue that as a Canadian I feel that I have insufficient knowledge of the landscape or the players to make any kind of informed comment that might be useful, so I will make none.

  • naturgesetz

    Notify the bishop at once!
    It is not just “probably” an invalid baptism. It is an invalid baptism, as you describe it.

    The Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops put it this way in a statement dated October 11, 2011: “The term ‘Father’ is particularly important, as it reflects the usage of Jesus himself.
    There are contexts in which it simply cannot be replaced. For example, in the eyes of the Church, a baptism is not valid unless it is done in the name of the ‘Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.’” (Emphasis added.)

  • pagansister

    Then there are the other Christian churches, Mark, who worship the same God and were started by human beings in order to worship God. Martin Luther, John Wesley, Henry VIII, etc. IMO, all are just as valid. Of course, then there are the Jews who happened to have a fellow named Jesus among them, who began yet another faith. We won’t even go into the Muslims, Hindus, etc., ancient and valid also. Just an observation. Happy that you are happy in your church of choise. Is good. :o )

  • Tom

    They wern’t feeling uncomfortable about their faith, they were feeling uncomfortable about their church.

  • Tom

    Teacher-
    “Then leave”? No one should take up that advice. Luther was wrong. Should have stuck it out. Nobody should make the same mistake.

  • RomCath

    DWiss, the only thing that would help her is if God himself came down. A poor lost soul.

  • pagansister

    Somehow, Tom, I suspect the Lutherans would disagree with you.

  • pagansister

    Excuse me, RomCath? “A poor lost soul”??? So totally inaccurate it is unbelieveable. You are a judge of such things i take it? Not IMO.

  • Cyber

    “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20
    Since the Holy Wisdom Monastery’s Sunday Assembly consists of Christians coming together to worship in Jesus’ name, there is a biblical basis for concluding that Jesus is present there, orthodox fulminations and threats of hellfire notwithstanding.

  • servant of CHRIST

    This monastery has strayed far from the Gospel living that JESUS CHRIST has taught us, in which they claim to be practicing. It is not the person, but the sin that GOD-JESUS hates, and to say it’s okay, from a so-called “CHRISTian” is wrong, and in direct conflict with bible practices. You are just TOO SCARED to say that CHRIST (Who is GOD and our Judge, btw) is right! and YOU are wrong, in creating a situation that “tricks” ppl into thinking this is a loving environment. you just want to do whatever you want, and not make any sacrifices for CHRIST, or COMMIT yourself wholly to HIM, JESUS CHRIST, b/c the monastery is more concerned with offending people, than they are with offending GOD Himself.

    There is no clear structure here, since anything goes, and is wrought with confusion, and confusing messages to the public, leading ppl into thinking sins, like homosexuality is an okay thing to do, hiding under the guise of “loving” all people. How do you love someone, and NOT tell them the truth, that can get them on the right path with GOD, a.k.a. the JESUS way, the Only Way?

    it’s one thing to be loving to all ppl, but LADIES, if you’re not telling ppl that being gay, and having premarital sex, even if heterosexual, is WRONG, then you might as well be shutting up the kingdom of heaven for these ppl, and sending them to hell in a hand basket, b/c your concerns are to be Popular, and not to win souls for CHRIST!

    these practices are clearly against Christ, and His children, and not for the kingdom of heaven’s sake, otherwise you might actually bravely and boldly stick your neck our CHRIST, and proclaim HIM and All HIS ways to be right. and you might even suffer in HIS Name and be honored for it, but i guess your concerns are more “worldly” than anything else, and what everyone else “thinks” of you. what a sad and sorry tune, that is SO played out!!

    These “monastic” sisters even encourage public displays via youtube and facebook. hardly Christ-like, since Christ said to deny thyself, and take up thy cross. not to flaunt yourselves on facebook and youtube so that you can be even more popular with the masses.

    what kind of message are you sending here, and WHY on CHRIST GOD’s green earth, are you misleading ppl right OUT of heaven???

    they don’t even say CHRIST is GOD, they say “God,” and to deny CHRIST, is to deny our ONLY SAVIOR, which is CHRIST, and your own salvation. it really shows how LITTLE you all love, that you’re willing, for your own EGO and popularity, to guide ppl right out of their own salvation, and STRAIGHT to hell, with these mixed messages.

    CHRIST, Who IS GOD, ladies, is our ONLY Savior. You might want to say that out loud sometime, and actually tell the truth, b/c it’s sorely lacking here.

    You are all just scared ppl, who do not want to admit the truth about CHRIST, b/c you’re more worried about what other ppl think of you, then what CHRIST GOD thinks of you.

    what are planning on saying on your judgment day to CHRIST? after you’ve caused countless ppl to burn in hell b/c you denied CHRIST to yourself and to others.

    it’s NOT a secret ladies. CHRIST is GOD, Creator, Savior, Redeemer, and the ONLY chance to eternal life. CHRIST said to follow HIM, GOD, the Father said, to hear HIM-CHRIST. not to pick and choose and to make up your own rules, b/c you didn’t like some of CHRIST GOD’s commandments, which are NOT burdensome.

    the “alternative universe” is called hell in disguise, for those truly seeking CHRIST. changing the Gospel will only lead ppl away from GOD, CHRIST are Savior, and not to HIM, as JESUS Himself gathered people, unto Himself, in the Gospel, for the purpose of their own salvation, REPENTANCE of sins, and to eternal life.

    I guess REPENTANCE to JESUS, isn’t part of the plan at HWM, by first admitting the sins (or pointing them out), then stopping the sin, then asking CHRIST for forgiveness and help to turn away from one’s sins, and to GOD, Who IS CHRIST the LORD.


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