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