Saint Vincent De Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, in Bp. Gerald M. Barbarito's diocese, will host its annual Priest Winter Institute, a week-long retreat for parish priests, January 28–February 2.
Titled "Hearts Catching Fire: How to make the Scriptures come alive for our people," the aim of the 2018 conference is to help "those who proclaim and preach ... understand the meaning of the message of God's Word."
For faithful Catholics, the fact that Fr. Rosica is being given a seminary platform, however temporary, from which to mold the minds and souls of priests is cause for grave concern. The strikes against his suitability for the position are legion:
These and a host of other theological and ethical red flags dog Fr. Rosica's years in the Church, and his placement in a position of influence over U.S. priests is prompting concern among faithful Catholics.
Church Militant reached out to St. Vincent De Paul Regional Seminary's retreat contact for comment but as of press time received no response.
Bishop Barbarito is the subject of a lawsuit by whistleblower priest Fr. John Gallagher, who alleged the diocese retaliated against him for turning in a fellow priest caught showing porn to a boy. In 2015, Gallagher reported Fr. Jose Palimattom, who had confessed to showing a 14-year-old boy pornography on his cellphone after Mass, later sending him a note on Facebook reading "Good night. Sweet dreams." Palimattom was eventually sentenced to six months' jail time for the crime.
Although Gallagher received praise from the police for his cooperation, the priest claims he was "frozen out" by the diocese, demoted to a different parish, and placed on medical leave.
The diocese is denying the charges, claiming Gallagher was placed on medical leave at his own request after suffering a heart attack.
Gallagher sued the diocese in 2016 for defamation after it publicly accused him of "blatantly lying." A Florida court ruled in July that Gallagher's lawsuit could move forward, after the diocese moved to dismiss the case.
Beyond the prominence assigned to Fr. Rosica at the seminary retreat, literature currently available suggests a heavily feelings-based theme.
The brochure counsels priests "not to look like sourpusses" when delivering the Word of God and suggests the key to effective ministry is to become more animated.
Pope Francis, it says, "challenges us to be witnesses and not teachers, so the more excited we become about our message, the more excited our congregation will become, and in that way, the message gets under their skin and has a lasting effect."
The brochure makes no distinction between fleeting, self-generated enthusiasm and divine ardor driven by the Holy Spirit.
In short, the Fr. Rosica led retreat will prescribe emotionalism in place of catechesis as the way "to make the Scriptures come alive" for U.S. Catholics.
Executive Secretary to Bp. Barbarito: Email
Phone number: (561) 775-9595