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Anatomy of a Progressivist Parish

Lyle J. Arnold, Jr.

Christ the King in Pleasant Hill, California, is one of the wealthiest and largest parishes in the Oakland Diocese, home to some 4,000 families. It is a happy parish, a showcase for post-Conciliar Catholicism.

The pastor of Christ the King, a one Fr. Brian Joyce, (he doesn't like being called "Father," just "Brian") is a paradigm for this progressivist, pseudo-Catholic Church. One of the criteria for keeping his flock happy is his teaching that the Devil "does not exist." Brian teaches that evil is a "cosmic force", that is, something relating to the universe and not turned toward bringing men to Hell. In passing, this eliminates the part of the Gospel where "Satan tempts Jesus in the desert" (Matt. 4: 1) as well part of the Epistle of St. Peter where he warns us that the Devil is always prowling around us like a lion to devour us (1 Peter 5:1).

A clown Mass at Christ the King Parish

Fr. Brian, center, presides at a clown Mass
Brian likes to begin the Gospel with "Once upon a time," since he believes that the Gospels narratives and parables are just myths, "stories told to people who could not read. They never really happened.” He includes in those “tales” Adam and Eve, Jonah in the whale, the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes, etc." He promotes clown Masses, eco-spirituality and the theology of Teilhard de Chardin.

In Brian's bulletin of April 14, 2002, he recounted how he and a working group of his parishioners gathered with others to encourage "public debate" questioning the policies of "mandatory celibacy, ordination of women and homosexuality." (1) He is much loved by his parishioners.

In 2003 he was sued for a years-long affair with a married woman.  But, not to worry. His whole world, as it were, stood in his corner. His flock cheered for him, and gave him a "standing ovation during his homily at all six masses the weekend after the suit was filed." He said he had also received "stacks of letters of support," as well as "encouraging comments on the parish website."

The modern church of Christ the King parish

Christ the King church, bare and protestant
So beloved was Brian by his then-Bishop John Cummings, the two of them being "best friends for a long time," that the latter declined any enforcement whatsoever of their disciplinary policy, the very least being to place Fr. Brian on administrative leave during the investigation.

Indeed, in the Diocese policy booklet for clerical sexual abuse, in its question and answer section, it strongly states: "Can clergy sexual activity ever be consensual on the part of the victim? NEVER! The power differential in the relationship automatically puts the Priest (or Deacon) in the position of power... (this mandate) includes not only minors, but also young adults and adults, both male and female."(2)

The lawsuit was filed in June of 2003 by Sue Dee McClelland, mother of four, who said she "first came to Fr. Brian Joyce in 1963 in Oakland for counseling about personal problems ... (and) Joyce started an affair the next year." Eventually she became depressed and suicidal, and filed a lawsuit stating: "He abused his position of authority and the Church, as far as I can tell, has done nothing about it." In regards to McClelland's indictment, Brian adjured, "I have told her that I honestly believe and am morally certain that neither of us at the time would have thought or described our relationship as anything other than caring, supportive and mutual." (3)

The diocesan chancellor Sister Barbara Flannery headed a "Sensitive Issues Committee" on the case with seven board members. The findings were that the relationship was consensual and sex was not involved. Fr. Joyce admitted, however, that he became "emotionally involved with an adult woman who was a friend, co-worker and parishioner," that "he was intimate with the woman," and that his actions had been "improper."

The account given by the Oakland Diocese paper, The Catholic Voice, was a classical sanitized report, saying only "that the relationship had been consensual, not abusive, and involved no predatory behavior on the part of Fr. Joyce." A judge dismissed the suit because he found that Brian was not abusive, and also it "exceeded the statute of limitations." (4) Case closed.

An attitude toward tolerance

What breeds a parish like this and cases of this sort, so common today in Catholic churches world over? It is a mentality described in Animus Delendi I (Desire to Destroy), volume IV of A.S. Guimaraes' collection on the Council. He defines the mentality or state of spirit of Vatican II as follows:

Benedict at the Rome Synagogue

Tolerance at its zenith: Benedict asks for forgiveness for the Church in the Rome Synagogue
"This state of spirit can be defined as the assumption of an attitude of tolerance toward error and evil, as well as toward their agents, taken by conciliar and post-conciliar ecclesiastical leaders." (5)

Once tolerance infects the living soul, as does a virus, it grows and multiplies. To function, a virus (which is not a living organism) can only infect by attaching itself to something living. In a similar way, once a soul accepts the virus of tolerance, the virus "hijacks" the soul's spiritual life and reproduces. Its only purpose, its raison d' etre, is to reproduce and take over the living soul. In parallel, the virus of tolerance metastasizes and generates an intolerant and violent passion against sound Catholic teaching.

An excellent description of the process of the passions in the soul and in history is given by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira in his book Revolution and Counter-Revolution:

"Like cataclysms, the evil passions have an immense power, but that power is to destroy. In the first instant of its great explosions, this force already has the potential for all of the virulence it will manifest later in its worst excesses.

“In the first denials of Protestantism, for example, the anarchical yearnings of Communism were already implicit. From the point of view of his explicit formulations, one may say that Luther was no more than Luther. Nevertheless, all the tendencies, all the states of soul, and all the imponderables of the Lutheran explosion already bore within them, in an authentic and full but implicit way, the spirit of of Voltaire and Robespierre, of Marx and Lenin." (6)

This revolutionary tolerance is not static. Thus John Paul II's tolerance for the Jews advanced from simple tolerance to the complete "absolution" of the Jews for the crime of Deicide. Then he went further and pronounced an "anathema" against the Catholic teaching of the last 2,000 years on the subject of the Catholic-Jewish enmity.

Fr. Brian Joyce

Fr. Brian: tolerance for evil
One objective of the Revolution is to establish a world of “happy” people, like those in the Pleasant Hill parish, a whole world that abandonned vigilance against evil and became intoxicated with a religion that is no longer turned toward accomplishing the will of God, but toward making the life of man comfortable.

It is to inspire this kind of people that the Revolution, through Progressivism, uses the post conciliar clergy, like Fr. Brian Joyce.

This particular case is one of so many others that have become endemic to this Conciliar Church. There is a long and painful history of priests that are still much worse than Fr. Joyce. The real story is about the pathetic and lukewarm tolerance of the whole progressivist parish, who take its bearings from the anti-militant and tolerant spirit of Vatican II. It is also about a corrupted authority, in this case, a Chancery Office that ignores its disciplinary policy to protect its offending priest.

May Our Lady of Good Success see us through this interminable, ugly and disgusting period of history and bring about her Reign.
1. San Francisco Faith, September 2003, p. 11.
2. Ministry for Survivors of Clerical Abuse – Support, Empowerment and Hope, Oakland Diocese.
3. Contra Costa Times, February 7, 2004, p. 3.
4. The Catholic Voice, Diocese of Oakland, June 23, 03, pp. 1, 22.
5. Animus Delendi I, (Desire to Destroy I), Tradition in Action, 2000, p. 22.
6. Revolution and Counter Revolution, York: TFP, 1993, p. 30


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Posted April 27, 2012

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