Bishop Anthony M. Pilla Justifies Fr. Smiga’s Future-Church Sponsored Presentation Which Plainly Claimed The First Church Had No Altar, No Sacrifice and No priests!
by David Webster
In a stunning two page letter received July 1, Bishop Anthony Pilla tells me he finds no fault in Fr. Sigma’s 6/8/04 presentation at John Carroll University! Clearly attempting to dodge yet another serious responsibility our Bishop claims what Fr. Smiga actually said was not what he meant to say! What Fr. Smiga said in his conclusion that there was no priest, no altar, no sacrifice, and no Mass in the first Church was wholly consistent with what he said throughout his presentation! Nowhere does Fr. Smiga even hint what our Bishop has attempted to read into this, that the first Church was merely not aware of these elements of Catholic faith! (That notion itself denies the plain testimony of John the Apostle and Paul’s testimony to the Eucharist as the literal Body and Blood of Our Lord!) On top of this inexcusable misrepresentation our Bishop adds another: he also claims that since Smiga still maintains that Christ is “present in the Eucharist” that he is representing true Catholic Faith! Lutheran’s also claim “Christ is present” in their Eucharist. Does the Bishop really believe “Christ’s presence” is all there is to the Catholic view? God have mercy on this Bishop whose conscience must by now be almost killing him.
I do not know what our Bishop really believes. He desperately needs our prayers. But lest we put the blame entirely on our Bishop, our wayward priests and religious, I am coming to the conclusion that a very large majority of Catholics in this diocese, including a majority of those who boast of their orthodoxy and loyalty to the Church and the Pope, are equally (if not mostly) responsible for the chaos and disorder we find in this Diocese and that we collectively deserve no more than the leadership we have gotten. It is God who gives us our leaders and it is God who keeps them there until He knows we deserve better! I am convinced the hypocrisy, the self-centered complacency of orthodox Catholics themselves is the primary fuel for the growth of dissidence in this diocese. I believe God’s people need a severe chastening in this Diocese and God is using FutureChurch as part of that chastening.
Except for a handful of loyal supporters and those of you who earnestly pray and distribute to others our literature where is everybody else who have even admitted we are the “only ones” doing anything about this problem? How many of you have approached your pastor about putting the Diocese FutureChurch disclaimer in the Bulletin? What is keeping so many good Catholics on the side lines? We know what it is. Lack of love, selfish indifference (the “let George do it” attitude), spirits of judgmentalism and divisiveness and pride. How many have left this effort because of some petty difference. Well, let us forget these (with a hope they will soon rejoin us), and make sure we allow God to remove all of these things in our own lives that still remain. The key in accomplishing God’s work is never what others do but what we are allowing God to do in us! We will see things change when we begin first to see our own hearts changed by Holy and Divine Love! Yes, that is a process--and a difficult one at that.
What’s next? What is Holy and Divine Love now requiring of us? I would say at least the following:
1. Get a copy of the Smiga presentation and listen to it so you can be certain that my summary accurately presents his views. Then
2. Call the Bishop’s office and let the Bishop know that to say the first Church did not have an altar, a sacrifice or a priest is pure heresy and that if he cannot at least publicly expose this attack on the Church he should immediately resign. Fr. Smiga did not say the first Church was merely not aware of these elements, he says they did not have them! (To even claim the Apostles and the first Church was not aware that they were literally eating the Sacrificial Body and Blood of the Christ is also pure hogwash as Jesus made the truth plain to the Apostles [John 6] and Paul clearly reiterates that testimony in I Corinthians 11:23-29!) LOVE for our Bishop, the Church and the Lord requires that we inform, counsel and even rebuke those who need it!
3. Call the offices of each Auxiliary Bishop and Rev. Wiatrouski (They have all now received full documentation on the Smiga presentation) and urge them to prevail upon the Bishop to publicly condemn Fr. Smig’s presentation and require an immediate retraction or removal from the Seminary and St. Noel’s parish.
4. Share your documentation and our summary sheet with your priest and ask him where he stands. Then let us know the results!! (Ask him ALSO to put the Diocesan FutureChurch disclaimer in his Bulletin!)
CD or audio Cassette
tape of the Smiga presentation is available post-paid for a donation of
$5 for each recording. Included with this comes our one page summary of
the presentation, the FutureChurch flyer promoting this event
and the Introductory prayers/songs used in the meeting. A copy
of the Bishop’s letter will also be included if you request it. Send your request
to: Save Our Church, 433 North Center Street, LaGrange OH, 44050
CD or audio Cassette tape of the Smiga presentation is available post-paid for a donation of $5 for each recording. Included with this comes our one page summary of the presentation, the FutureChurch flyer promoting this event and the Introductory prayers/songs used in the meeting. A copy of the Bishop’s letter will also be included if you request it.
Send your request to: Save Our Church, 433 North Center Street, LaGrange OH, 44050
Office of the Bishop:
Main Cathedral Square Personnel Phone and extensions to 216-696-6525
Rev. Ed Estok, Administrative Assistant to the Bishop ex 2000 Fax (216) 696-6547
Eileen Von Alt ex 2030
Secretary for Parish Life: Liturgy Office:
Sr. Rita Mary Harwood ex 2200 Rev. J-Glenn Murray ex 4120
Interfaith Commission: Chancery Office:
Rev. Joseph Hilinske ex 5110 Rev. Ralph Wiatrowski ex 2080 night: (216) 521-8379
Most Rev. A. James Quinn (440) 244-2120 / (216) 579-0326 / Fax (440) 899-1122
Most Rev. Roger W. Gries (216) 361-0873 / Fax (216) 361-0877
Most Rev. Martin J. Amos (330) 762-9651 / Toll Free 1-877-406-1049 / Fax (330) 762-9655