CHICAGO (ChurchMilitant.com) - The priests of Chicago are being exposed to the heterodox preaching of Bp. Robert McElroy.
The archdiocese of Chicago has its 2018 convocation for priests Monday through Thursday this week. The clergy of the archdiocese are expected to show up in droves, meaning most weekday Mass times are temporarily canceled.
The convocation is taking place at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois — about 40 miles west of Chicago. The keynote speaker is Bp. Robert McElroy of San Diego, considered one of the leading heterodox bishops in the United States.
In November 2016, Bp. McElroy oversaw the publication of parish guidelines instructing the divorced and civilly remarried to decide with their own consciences whether or not to receive Holy Communion.
In July 2016, the San Diego bishop discounted the importance of chastity for those with same-sex attraction, saying that the virtue of chastity "does not have the uniquely pre-eminent role in determining the character of a disciple of Christ nor one's relationship with the Church."
And in February 2016, Bp. McElroy told Jesuit-run America Magazine that instructing Catholics to vote against intrinsic evils is "simplistic and thus misleading."
Cardinal Blase J. Cupich is head of the archdiocese of Chicago. He was recently the subject of a Vortex episode because of comments he made about the growing lack of civility in "public civil discourse," with "people shouting at each other."
News of Bp. McElroy speaking to Chicago's priests comes as a theologically dissident organization in the archdiocese is sending around a left-leaning survey to its members. The document was produced by the Association of Chicago Priests (ACP), a dissident organization with shrinking numbers.
An inside source told Church Militant, "Enrollment has gotten so bad that they are now accepting lay members into the Association of Chicago Priests."
The anonymous source continued, "For whatever reason, they still have some sort of canonical authority as a consultative body."
Talking about the survey that ACP sent out, Church Militant's contact added, "As you read through this survey, you will notice the issues that the 'progressive' priests ... are promoting."
The recent ACP survey asked members for their thoughts on gun violence, General Absolution, married priests, female deacons and changing the English translation of the Roman Missal.
Regarding gun violence, the survey mentions "street violence" and "a lack of trust between a sizeable number of citizens and the police." It asks members if they want to petition Cdl. Cupich and the priests of the archdiocese "to promote dialogue between community leaders and the police."
Secondly, the survey asked ACP members to consider whether broadening the use of General Absolution would fix the problem of so few people going to Confession.
The third question asked whether ACP supporters felt that broadly allowing married priests in the Roman Rite would help boost the plummeting number of priests.
The fourth point proposes that ACP should put its weight behind the push for female deacons.
Lastly, the survey claims there is "wide spread [sic] frustration with [the] current English translation of the Roman Missal," and invites members to consider petitioning for the adoption of the failed 1998 translation.
The 1998 English translation of the Missal was produced by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, but it was shot down by the Vatican. The rejected translation includes all the poorly-translated, interpretive phrases found in the 1969 translation with some gender-neutral language thrown in as well.
Like the long-used 1969 English translation, the failed 1998 Missal translation had the phrase "And also with you" instead of the literal "And with your spirit," and the Nicene Creed beginning with "We believe" instead of "I believe."
Additionally, the 1998 translation reworded certain phrases to avoid gender-exclusive language. For example, the 1998 translation's Invitation to Prayer for the Liturgy of the Eucharist has the laity respond, "May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of God's name, for our good and the good of all the Church."
This rewording avoids using the phrases "His name" and "His holy Church" — in other words, it avoids referring to God as masculine, as a "He."