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Full Version: Most Holy Family Monastery in legal dispute
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(07-24-2009, 09:15 PM)OldMan Wrote: [ -> ]Fr. Leonard Feeney was excommunicated in the early 1950's.

Fr Feeney was reconciled in 1972, without having to recant the strict interpretation of EENS, and, as a profession of faith (since one may choose from the creeds of the Church), he recited the Athanasian Creed: "Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith; which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. … He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. … This is the Catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved."

His memorial Mass was celebrated by Bp Flanagan in the Cathedral of St Paul, Worcester.
(07-22-2009, 11:22 AM)FatherCekada Wrote: [ -> ]It's unfair, I think, to attack the Dimond brothers on this one.

How could one be ignorant of the fact that the MHFM was NOT affiliated with the post-Vatican Benedictine Order? All you have to do is google them.

The fellow who gave them the money made a stupid mistake that he now regrets. Sad, but tough luck.

And under IRS regulations, MHFM probably couldn't give the money back even if they wanted to.

The lawsuit seems like a typical legal shakedown. The donor's lawyer will cash in on this one — lots of bucks for depositions, interrogatories, etc. — but I don't think the guy will get a cent. Caveat emptor.

Moreover, at some point it will occur to MHFM's lawyers to argue that the whole thing is forbidden by the First Amendment. Since when do Federal judges get to decide which is the "real" Benedictine Order?

If an individual misrepresents himself as a priest, and gets people to donate money to him, that would be fraud (and the con man could be prosecuted).  In regards to determining what is a "real" Benedictine Order, I think that could be determined without violating First Amendment rights.  While Benedictine abbeys autonomous entities, they are linked in an international Benedictine Confederation.  Thus, any abbey that is not part of this Congregation is not legitimately part of the Order of St. Benedict.  Also, in their history, they say that their founder, Joseph Natale, OSB, left St. Vincent's Archabbey with the permission of the Archabbot to start a new priory.  However, other sources maintain Natale left the Order before taking final vows.

In addition, if the Dimond brothers executed a document that promised the individual $750,000 and haven't given him a cent, then they'd be violating a contract.

I agree its hard to imagine how the man didn't know that MHFM wasn't an authentic Benedictine Congregation; however, considering that many people of good will have fallen for cons, I think he may have a case.
(07-24-2009, 01:36 AM)PaxVobiscum Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-23-2009, 10:37 PM)DarkKnight Wrote: [ -> ]Then there's the latest American saint, St. Obama of Madup.

Madup or Madeup?  Just askin'.


Hmm, Freudian typo there, I s'pose both can apply to the American Idol.
(07-25-2009, 01:31 PM)MeaMaximaCulpa Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-22-2009, 11:22 AM)FatherCekada Wrote: [ -> ]Moreover, at some point it will occur to MHFM's lawyers to argue that the whole thing is forbidden by the First Amendment. Since when do Federal judges get to decide which is the "real" Benedictine Order?

If an individual misrepresents himself as a priest, and gets people to donate money to him, that would be fraud (and the con man could be prosecuted).  In regards to determining what is a "real" Benedictine Order, I think that could be determined without violating First Amendment rights.  While Benedictine abbeys autonomous entities, they are linked in an international Benedictine Confederation.  Thus, any abbey that is not part of this Congregation is not legitimately part of the Order of St. Benedict. 

My novice master, who was a canonist, explained that there was a theory that, since the Rule of St. Benedict preceded all of the complex canonical legislation on congregations, etc., what really made one a monk was  the reception of the habit from someone who was already a monk, somewhat like apostolic succession. Under this theory, Brother Joseph and those upon whom he conferred the habit would be just as "Benedictine" as the group affiliated with that eminent Son Of Benedict, Rembert Weakland.

If the First Amendment supposedly separates church and state, what gives a Federal Judge the right to decide that this theory is false, that only Weakland's organization can call itself "Benedictine," and that to operate on the basis of this canonical theory constitutes "fraud"?

Whether the theory really flies in canon law is another issue. But courts have no business deciding it.

Another appalling aspect of this suit is the invocation of the RICO (Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations) law. The purpose of the law was to nail gangsters.

But blood-sucking trial lawyers  and conscienceless prosecutors routinely throw this into a suit that has nothing to do with gangsters, because it allows triple damages and can be held like a hammer over the a target.

What an awful legal system we have!
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