Unorthodox Bishop’s Catechetical Initiative

News: Video Reports
by William Mahoney, Ph.D.  •  •  July 14, 2021   

Institute for the Catechism

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A Connecticut bishop known for unorthodoxy is spearheading a new catechetical effort. The prelate presented the idea of launching an Institute for the Catechism this year at the spring assembly for the U.S. bishops' conference (USCCB). Church Militant's William Mahoney has more on the bishop and his initiative.

Bridgeport bishop Frank Caggiano's new catechetical project is raising eyebrows. 

Heading the project as the chair of the Subcommittee on the Catechism, Caggiano is also chairman of the board for Catholic Relief Services, the USCCB's nominally Catholic charity arm that pushes contraception and has Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion chain, in its referral network. 

And in the episcopal battle on whether to enforce canon law or continue to permit fake Catholic politicians like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi to Holy Communion, Caggiano seems to be on the side of the latter.

The Connecticut bishop was one of the 68 prelates in early June to sign a letter to USCCB president, Los Angeles archbishop José Gomez, to squash a discussion on eucharistic coherence. 

In 2018, Caggiano appointed a self-described "modernist" and "feminist" laywoman to oversee a parish. After the death of Fr. John Baran, the pastor of St. Anthony of Padua in Fairfield, the bishop chose Dr. Eleanor Sauers.

He claimed at the time his decision was based on several factors:

  • The uniqueness of the parish community

  • His deep appreciation for the work that Eleanor has already done here; and

  • The precedent in other dioceses across the country for this model of pastoral leadership

Sauer's work includes a dissertation on the parish titled "St. Anthony of Padua Parish: A Case Study of the Transformation of a Roman Catholic Parish." In that dissertation, she describes parish life prior to 2002 as "rigid," "clericalist" and "authoritarian."

Caggiano's Institute for the Catechism will change how catechetical materials are evaluated in what the prelate calls "the next evolutionary stage."

One main difference will be when the material is evaluated by theological consultants appointed by Caggiano's subcommittee. They will be involved during the creation process rather than at the end.

Critics are skeptical, worried this Institute for the Catechism could do even greater harm, considering Bp. Caggiano's unorthodox track record. 

Bishop Caggiano is from Brooklyn, where he served as a priest and then auxiliary bishop. He was ordained a bishop by Brooklyn's current ordinary, Bp. Nicholas DiMarzio, being sued for sex abuse cover-up, who also signed the letter to crush discussions on eucharistic coherence.

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