Response Regarding Father VanDenBroeke

RICHARD SENNOTT – STAR TRIBUNE FILE

I guess I caused a bit of trouble for Father VanDenBroeke (here is a much better picture that the one that was on his church’s website). I contacted the Catholic Diocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul about Father VanDenBroeke’s homily and received this response, after two days and when the news story broke (or as we say in the blogging biz the shit hit the fan)  I received a response:

Dear Mary,

Thank you for contacting the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis regarding Father Nick VanDenBroeke’s Immigration Sunday homily.  Below is a statement from Archbishop Hebda and an apology from Father VanDenBroeke.

 From Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda:

I have spoken with Father VanDenBroeke about his homily on immigration and he has expressed sorrow for his words and an openness to seeing more clearly the Church’s position on our relationship with Islam. The teaching of the Catholic Church is clear. As Pope Benedict XVI noted, “The Catholic Church, in fidelity to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, looks with esteem to Muslims, who worship God above all by prayer, almsgiving and fasting, revere Jesus as a prophet while not acknowledging his divinity, and honour Mary, his Virgin Mother.”  He called upon the Church to persist in esteem for Muslims, who “worship God who is one, living and subsistent; merciful and almighty, the creator of heaven and earth, who has also spoken to humanity.”  If all of us who believe in God desire to promote reconciliation, justice and peace, we must work together to banish every form of discrimination, intolerance and religious fundamentalism.

That continues to be our teaching today.  Pope Francis has echoed Pope Benedict, stating that it is important to intensify the dialogue between Catholics and Islam.  He has emphasized “the great importance of dialogue and cooperation among believers, in particular Christians and Muslim, and the need for it to be enhanced.”  He has called for all Christians and Muslims to be “true promoters of mutual respect and friendship, in particular through education.”

I am grateful for the many examples of friendship that have been offered by the Muslim community in our region and we are committed to strengthening the relationship between the two communities.

From Father Nick VanDenBroeke:

My homily on immigration contained words that were hurtful to Muslims.  I’m sorry for this.  I realize now that my comments were not fully reflective of the Catholic Church’s teaching on Islam.

Both statements may be found here:  https://www.archspm.org/category/announcements/

Thank you,

VanDenBroeke’s apology reminds me when one sibling is forced to apologize to another sibling: “I guess my fist was hurtful to your face. I’m sorry. I know now that my fists hitting you are not reflective of mom’s teaching on loving your sibling.” I’m sure he is sorry he was caught but apologizing for words isn’t exactly the same as admitting you were wrong. I doubt that he will ever do that. This is what I think a conversation between the Father and I would look like:

 

2 thoughts on “Response Regarding Father VanDenBroeke

  1. Sorry, but that is quite a childish post coming from someone who is “over the hill.” It is so immature that I seriously ask that you consider rewriting or deleting it. I would have hoped someone of your age and stature would act with more maturity than that. Perhaps the next time someone transgresses you or another, you can take Christ’s example on the cross and forgive the sinner in a humble manner and move forward from the situation rather than doubting their sincerity and once again publicly shaming them on the world wide web for all to see.

    Also, I might point out that it seems a tad hypocritical to criticize him at all, when your blog contains multiple instances of profanity, inappropriate sexual references (including an article on why women masterbate), and gluttony. The Church’s teachings are clear that this writing and behavior is sinful. Perhaps this is a good opportunity to look within your own heart and examine whether the things you are writing/doing are in line with the faith.

    That being said, the priest has a good reason (by reason I mean based on logical thinking, facts and evidence) to be fearful or concerned about Islam and its relationship to both Christianity and the West. The top countries in which Christians are persecuted and martyred include many Islamic countries including Iran (a theocracy) and Somalia and Qatar where Islam is the state religion. I have linked to secular source below and I encourage anyone to actually READ them.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2015/jul/27/where-in-the-world-is-it-worst-place-to-be-a-christian
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/02/persecution-driving-christians-out-of-middle-east-report

    This doesn’t necessarily mean that we shouldn’t allow honest, law abiding, and peace seeking refugees into America, but it is concerning that we may be inadvertently letting in citizens from these countries that posses these hateful attitudes towards Christians and the West. This is how I interpreted his homily: there are good individual Muslims and we should not hate them but Islam as an Ideology is incompatible with liberal Western culture/attitudes and historically has not coexisted peaceful with Xty. in most cases.

    I understand that part of Vatican II was an attempt to repair the tenuous relationship between Islam and Christianity and pursue peaceful coexistence, but looking at the articles above it is hard to ignore that most Islamic countries have not kept their side of the bargain.

    I am not trying to shame or humiliate you but only point out the facts as I see them. You yourself have chosen to make your opinions public on your blog and I feel I have a right to repudiate them. I hope to see a response to the articles I posted.

    • Dear Catholic4Life — I am allowing this to be posted in comments because you were respectful to me and I appreciate it. However, I will not take it down nor apologize. I am not a Catholic and don’t go to any church. I don’t agree with you; you don’t agree with me — I won’t lose any sleep. But when you suggest I am hypocritical to criticize him at all because of what I write about or the language I use I’m not a priest so I don’t expect to held up to the same standard as someone who leads a church. When you say “The Church’s teachings are clear that this writing and behavior is sinful. Perhaps this is a good opportunity to look within your own heart and examine whether the things you are writing/doing are in line with the faith.” I don’t have to write or do anything in line with the Catholic church. After all if I knew someone was sexually abusing children I wouldn’t go along with the church and cover it up, I would go to the police and if they wouldn’t stop it I would do everything in my power to stop it.

      When I see something I feel is wrong I will continue to speak out and I am sure you will too.

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