Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Bryce Sibley: The Rohr Phenomenon

Fr. Bryce Sibley - The Rohr Phenomenon
Fr. Bryce Sibley

After a break over the Christmas season, I am back.  I trust everyone had a happy and blessed Christmas and New Year.  I started this morning by looking, with trepidation I might add, at the editorial for this week’s edition of The Southern Cross.  I have to admit that I was actually pleasantly surprised at the content of the editorial.  It is entitled “On Men and Women”.  

The editorial draws attention to the abuse and discrimination against women and the fallacious mind-set, which unfortunately seems to be far more prevalent than it should be in our modern society, that man has the right to dominate women.  The editorial highlights how fiercely critical Pope John Paul II was of gender discrimination. 

The editorial rightly contends that social guidance is required and that the philosophy of gender complementarity has a crucial role to play.  To this end the editor draws specific attention to the recent articles by Cardinal Napier regarding the need for a ministry directed specifically at men.  (Follow this link to see a list of these recent articles by Cardinal Napier.)

It is refreshing how positive this editorial is about Cardinal Napier’s articles.  This is especially true in light of how critical some readers of The Southern Cross have been about some of the Cardinal's articles in the comments section of the newspaper.  We need more editorials like this!

Sadly, as usual, the positive impact of this editorial, as well as the important message from Cardinal Napier about the need for a special ministry to men, has almost instantaneously been diluted by comments from the usual suspects.  Here I refer specifically to the first comment on the editorial, by a person who now goes by the handle Victor Victoria

Those who have followed the comments on this newspaper website will know that the real name of Victor Victoria is in fact Vincent Couling.  This is the same man who previously suggested that the Church’s teaching on homosexuality plays a contributory role to the high rate of gay teen suicide.  (See “Gay Suicide And Church Homosexual Teaching”) 

Anyway, in support of the editorial and Cardinal Napier’s call for a special ministry to men, Victor Victoria suggests that Cardinal Napier should contact Fr. Richard Rohr for “guidance in fostering/establishing a local men’s ministry.”  It is obviously up to Cardinal Napier to decide whether he wishes to take the advice of Victor Victoria or not.  I however believe that this is a horrendous suggestion and feel the need to caution anyone against Victor Victoria’s recommendation.  

Why?  Well Fr. Richard Rohr’s “male spirituality” can most certainly not be called Catholic.  In addition, Fr. Rohr has proposed that it is okay to refer to God as “Mother”, encouraged homosexual advocacy, denied the spiritual reality of Original Sin, as well as the necessity of the Cross for redemption.

Of course one cannot take my word for it. I would therefore suggest that before taking Victor Victoria’s advice, you should read this report by Rev. Bryce Sibley, STL, who holds a Licentiate degree from the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family in Rome and then decide whether you agree with me or not.  The report is entitled “The Fr. Richard Rohr Phenomenon”.

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