Catholic Easter "Little Books"
Posted in the Saginaw Forum
#1 Apr 1, 2008
After Easter mass this year I recieved what is called "the little white book' which is a series of Easter reflections for the Easter season. The "little books" are a series of books, six minute meditations that arrive during advent, lent and easter each year. In the last several books such as these I have read thourgh I have been concerned with what I felt to be non-Catholic and non-doctrinal ideas by the writer or writers of this book. It at least a rather reductionist viewpoint of the Holy Scriptures and symptomatic of poor cathechesis.
The "little books" for those who do not know are published by the diocese of Saginaw in Michigan. Looking up more information I learned that the Diocese of Saginaw was that which was under the Bishop Kenneth Untener, a noted "liberal" or "left wing" Catholic Bishop. I wrote a letter to my Bishop at my diocese and expressed my concerns about these books. Bishop Untener was noted for taking stands not in line with the Catholic Church and Catholic teaching on more than one occasion, most notably his alarming views regarding birth control and abortion, gay rights and the ordination of women priests. He also was also involved in what were apparently very controversial activities regarding human sexuality at the seminary where he taught when he was a priest. The "little books" are based upon the writings of Bishop Kenneth "Ken" Untener and the books are dedicated to him.
I hope that more people will take a loook at these little books. As I said, they are being distributed at the churches and I think that their content in somewhat concerning, if not alarming.
What is alarming in my opinion, is that anything would be based upon the writings of such a controversial figure as that of Bishop Kenneth Untener,(close friend of Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, another very controversial figure that once lectured that homosexuality was an acceptable lifestyle!) Bishop Untener did not certainly at all times embody the beliefs of the Catholic Church and was perhaps very emblematic of so much that is wrong in the Catholic Church in these United States today. Bishop Untener would appear to have often flagrantly disregarded the authority of the Holy See of Rome embracing or condoning behaviors that were at odds with Catholic teaching.
Example... April 5th the writer talks about the Gospel of John in which "there is the lengthy story of man born blind who gradually able to see Jesus through the eyes of faith" as if Jesus' miracle of restoring the man's sight did not occur. Are we to take the restored sight of the man as merely a story that is a symbol for something? In another 'reflection' the writer speaks of Jesus walking on the water in John 6:16-21 as a "reassuring lesson" and claiming that the "point of the 'story' is simply the unexpected appearance of the Lord- there is no miracle other than this." John 6:16-21 is not a parable, nor simply a story, it is an account. In the Gospel it says, "It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true."
#2 Apr 13, 2008
I have read the book myself and couldn't disagree with you more.
#3 Apr 17, 2008
I have read the books and I do disagree with you more. They are not the work of Catholics. They are new age feel good pseudo-chistianity, based upon the writings of the rogue Bishop, too little on the Gospel and too long on his philosophical meanderings and left wing politicism.
#4 Apr 15, 2009
I'm with Mary. I personally haven't experienced anything horribly wrong with these books. In fact, I find it a nice little way to reflect throughout the Easter, Lenten, or Advent season... a little scripture to think about, a little bit of fun history , and a way to help in a routine of prayer. I don't see how something that brings about prayer can be so bad.
Since: Apr 09
#5 Apr 30, 2009
I met Bishop Untener. I knew him and I spoke with him. He lead in Saginaw, Michigan. I can tell you I liked him better than the one who took his place. The Late Bishop Untener would not expect the Catholic church to provide a expensive home so he could entertain people. He lived where people would allow a welcome to him. That man was a very good and faithful servant of GOD. He took advangtage of no one! He spoke the truth and as a catholic I was allowed to speak my mind in front of him without reservation. He served the poor helping the local mission houses and worked at local hospitals and well quite frankly I being a Catholic have never in my 50 years met a man who really to me was a better Catholic than most! At least he wasn't a hypocrit!
Problem is here...You think because he is liberal or left wing that he condones such things? Hello! Most "Church going Catholics" are hypocrits themselves they preach one thing and turn around and do the other! I would stand next to 100,000,000,000 "Bishop Entener's" in a heart beat. Sometimes I didn't agree with some things that he implemented but I knew that I could take it right to his face and he would take the time to listen, talk and explain. Most priest now days don't even care~! They have a house, car, job and go to school for other degrees. Go golfing at our expense and well I am pretty tired of working 8 hours 5 plus days a week and giving my money to the church so they can show me how NON Catholic they can be. Now I can see how people like you run the so called church. Guess what... In a few years when most younger kids see it too.. There won't be a Catholic church! and if there is.. They will be miles and miles apart. Sorry you hit a nerve Augustine! But you obviously didn't know the man!
#6 Jan 19, 2010
This is a year-old discussion that surfaced when i ordered my 2010 Little Books but I was miffed enough to respond. I work in a Catholic ministry in a very non-catholic area/environment. I have used the Little Books very effectively for years with both Roman Catholics and various Protestant groups. As to them being non-Catholic...have you read the mission statement of the USCCB? It's primary goal is evangelization and I've found that these simple and straightforward books have profound effects on catalyzing dialog with those not yet "Catholic christians"...or do you think latin might be more helpful? Also when did strictly literal translation of scripture become the Catholic way to further revelation? 3 Cheers and blessings on the Diocese of Saginaw!!
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