Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Intercessors of the Lamb's Mother Nadine Set to Disobey Archbishop?

If you have not heard, the group known as the Intercessors of the Lamb in Omaha, NE was shut down recently by Archbishop Lucas of Omaha. The charismatic group was known to give spiritual advice and host retreats at their property in Omaha. The Archbishop pressured their foundress, Mother Nadine Brown, to step down, and he also shut down their entire operation after they apparently refused to cooperate with him. “What began as a desire for pastoral solicitude and an effort at positive reform resulted in a refusal to accept the assistance and jurisdiction of the church by a majority of the lay board members,” Lucas said. The Archdiocese further clarified the suppression by saying, “Public worship and the celebration of the sacraments are prohibited on the Intercessors' property; priests and deacons are forbidden from ministering at the property; donors are advised that their contributions will not go to support the mission of a Catholic organization; Intercessors of the Lamb, Inc, is no longer affiliated with the Catholic Church; and the chapel on the campus is no longer a Catholic chapel. Moreover, the vows of the members ceased at the moment of suppression.”

A news release gave the following reasons for the suppression. 
"...errors in governing documents; serious disunity within the community; widespread dissatisfaction with leadership; lack of safe environment policies; questionable financial practices; violation of its own proper law; use of intimidation tactics to secure obedience from members; inability of members to articulate the Intercessors’ charism; lack of financial transparency; violating norms governing alienation and acts of extraordinary administration; a flawed understanding of prayer and spiritual discernment; absence of good human resources; confusion and violation of internal forum and external forum in formation and governance; absence of adequate economic stewardship; illegitimate and irreverent custody of the Blessed Sacrament; and confusion over the administration of Mass offerings."

This happened on October 15th and if you go to the Archdiocese of Omaha website, they have an updated list of articles on the suppression. I cannot find anything that alludes to the Archbishop changing his mind on the matter. If anyone knows anything different then let me know. It appears now that the Intercessors are going to continue on anyways against the wishes of the Archbishop. If you go to their website, they have the following posted. "We are still here. An official statement will be coming from our foundress right here." What I also find to be interesting is that on the website the following is in all capital letters. "We remain dedicated to the contemplative formation of ALL Christians." Does this mean that they are going to continue on outside of their original Catholic identity? It will be interesting for sure to see what she posts. If she is going to continue on against the will of the Archbishop, this is indeed very disturbing.

The last release by the Archdiocese was yesterday and this is what it said.

Regarding Intercessors of the Lamb resources 
Lay companions and prayer groups of the former Intercessors of the Lamb should exercise caution when using resources authored by Nadine Brown or resources published by the former association. These resources and titles were never reviewed or approved by the Archbishop of Omaha. Moreover, lay companions should understand that the former Association of the Hermit Intercessors of the Lamb received canonical recognition in 1992 and 1998 from the Church; however, the companion group – the Intercessors of the Lamb – never received canonical recognition from the Church.

See update here.  10-27-10


Anonymous said...

They harboured a fugitive invovled in a child kidnapping case? For this alone, they deserve severe disipline!

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

The archbishop spoke yesterday.

See my post: Breaking: Archbp Lucas; former "Intercessors" address "lay companions"

As I mentioned previously, I thought it was a little difficult for the archdiocese to offer more than a "caution" until Nadine Brown's message emerged.

Now that it is out, that October 25th statement by the archdiocese has been replaced with a stronger admonition late yesterday to refrain from using any books, media, or websites involving Nadine Brown.

The Archbishop has written a letter aimed mainly at the former "lay companions" whom Brown invited to make purchases and to support her efforts financially. He also shares his thoughts on the future of the 50 who are cooperating with him.

Those 50 have released their own, three page letter addressed to the former lay companions. It is signed using their real, and former community names and they have urged the companions to follow the directions of the archbishop.

With regards to Nadine Brown's material, the theological review of her works was not completed when the suppression took place. He does not indicate whether that will continue. But, he says that it is an error to say that those materials are free of doctrinal error when his review has not been completed.

I don't know that they will complete that review now that it is no longer considered a Catholic organization, but I hope they do.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Thanks for the info, I put up an update as well.

prolifer said...

We love Mother Nadine and will never forget how she and the Intercessors prayed for our families, our children and the world!!! We think that there is some serious persecution going on....like St. John of the Cross, Padre Pio and other Saints experienced, even by officials in the Church....My heart and prayers are with Mother Nadine.

Anonymous said...

Ive just received a used book I ordered a few days ago: God's Armor by Mother Nadine. It has Nihil Obstat by a canon lawyer and an Imprimatur from the former Bishop of Omaha. Should I consider this volume approved as it appears or suppressed as the letter above states in genrality?

Matthew Bellisario said...

That is a good question Anna, and one that I cannot in good conscience answer. I really have no idea. Perhaps you could write the bishop and ask about it. As for my personal opinion on the matter, when in doubt, set it aside until to you get further clarification from an authoritative source. That is all I can really say at this point. If you do find out anything please post it here. Thanks!