My neighbors confound Fr. Feeney

Posted: January 2, 2010 by datechguy in catholic, personal
Tags: ,

Back in the 40’s and 50’s the Catholic Church in Boston was plagued with scandal, but of a much different nature that the recent ones.

A priest named Fr. Leonard Feeney was teaching that only Catholics could be saved. This was and is in direct contradiction to Catholic teaching. He spread these teachings through the St. Benedict’s Center.

The Church took action in 1949 to suppress this doctrine and finally after repeated attempts to get him to recant excommunicated him in 1953.

And that round about method brings us to my Jehovah Witness neighbors across the street.

Before I could even offer to help they had not only cleared their front but with a snowblower and a shovel started to clear mine. Within 5 minutes the three of us had the front all done.

When I came back from the wings I was shocked to see that my driveway (which is on another street our property is an “L” was ALSO snowblowed including a path all the way to my back stairs and door.

This is on a day when they have a million things to do, and this behavior is so typical of them that I can’t even express it.

Theologically their doctrines are not sound but I’ll tell you this, they have the basics, love of God and love of neighbor down pat.

Fr. Feeney would not have cared for them, but I’ve got to say God has blessed them.

For a clearer understanding of the points that refute Feeney see the Catechism of the Church on Baptism here and on Mortal sin here.

  1. Rasha Lampa says:

    APPROVED GROUPS in the Church that hold Fr. Feeney’s position:

    In the Diocese of Worcester, there are three religious houses whose members believe and actively defend Father Feeney’s strict defense of “no salvation outside the Church.” Additionally, they all defend Father Feeney’s good name. Those three houses are St. Benedict’s Abbey, St. Ann’s House (the good sisters have no web site), and Saint Benedict Center. The Abbot of the Benedictine Abbey recently wrote a book defending Father Feeney, Harvard to Harvard. He remains a Benedictine Abbot — a prelate of the Catholic Church — in good standing.

    The following are their websites:

    They are listed on the religious order page of the Worcester Diocese:

    Ecclesia Dei Commission on “Feeneyites:

    “The question of the doctrine held by the late Father Leonard Feeney is a complex one. He died in full communion with the Church and many of his former disciples are also now in full communion while some are not. We do not judge it opportune to enter into this question.”

    Msgr. Camille Perl Secretary, Ecclesia Dei Commission
    Excerpted from:

    Book about Feeney received Imprimatur:

    Brother Thomas Mary Sennott, who was one of Father Feeney’s original followers, wrote a defense of our doctrinal position in his book, They Fought the Good Fight, which was published in 1987. Besides Brother Thomas Mary’s narrative and annotations, the book has long excerpts from Father Feeney’s strongest writings on “no salvation outside the Church.” Significantly, the book bears the Imprimi potest of Bishop Timothy J. Harrington, the Bishop of Worcester. (His Excellency granted this on January 15, 1987, thus indicating that the volume is free of doctrinal or moral error.)

    “Feeneyite” made Papal Knight by Pope John Paul II:

    A well-known “Feeneyite” named Charles A. Coulombe was created Knight Commander of the Order of St. Sylvester by Pope John Paul II on 1 October, 2004. In other words, a “Feeneyite” is a Papal Knight. Mr. Coulombe is a well-traveled and brilliant scholar and historian.

  2. pst314 says:

    “they have the basics, love of God and love of neighbor down pat.”

    Maybe that’s the real reason my secular liberal friends hate them so much.

  3. stephen says:

    If love of neighbor is all you need, then there is no need for the Church or its “divisive” teachings or its Sacraments or its parasitic priests. It would actually be a big waste of time and money.

    >Fr. Feeney would not have cared for them, but I’ve got to say God has blessed them.

    That is slander.

    I think the reason the many people are confused (and this seems to be the great confusion our our day) is that most Catholics don’t understand that natural goodness and good works by themselves do not get you into heaven. Protestants are all too happy to point out the error (in hopes of replacing it with their own).

  4. David says:

    EENS is the doctrine of the Church.

    “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.)

    “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.)

    “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.)

    Your JW neighbors will go to hell if they die refusing to enter the One True Church established by Our Lord Jesus Christ. THAT is Catholic doctrine.

    Also, you should recant your claim that Fr. Feeney was excommunicated for refusing to recant his position. That claim is absolutely false.

  5. David says:

    The documents and the Catechism to which you refer do not contradict EENS as it has been dogmatically taught by the Church. Fr. Feeney held firmly to the dogmatic teaching without exception. The non-infallible and non-dogmatic teaching of the new Catechism is an allowable position for Catholics, yet — please mark this well — Fr. Feeney’s strict position on EENS is also allowed. See the documents provided above by Rasha. Your claim that Fr. Feeney’s position was in direct contradiction to Catholic teaching is utterly false. You really should amend that claim, otherwise you are bearing false witness.

  6. nonsumdignus says:

    There’s only Catholics in Heaven.

  7. Rasha Lampa says:

    The CCC, simply speaking, is not part of the solemn magisterial teaching of the Church. It is only infallible, where it reiterates defined doctrine. Even the Catechism of Trent is not per se infallible,
    but only in the same qualified sense. The Jesuits, for example, refused to abide by the Trent Catechism on the question of efficacious grace and the freedom of the will. The Catechism favored the Thomistic
    view, which emphasized the movement of the free will by grace. The Jesuits emphasized the free will’s cooperation with the grace. Both opinions are free to be held, so long as the two extremes of
    Jansenism, on the one side, and Pelagianism on the other are avoided. As long as one upholds both the freedom of the will and the necessity of grace, either emphasis is acceptable.

    Therefore, to answer the question “Is the CCC part of the ordinary magisterium of the Church?” No, not without qualification.
    If the CCC teaches a novel doctrine, then that cannot be part of the ordinary magisterium. The ordinary magisterium must measure with the solemn magisterium, it is not a parallel magisterium. Basically the famous principle laid down by St, Vincent of Lerins defines what came to be known as the “ordinary magisterium.” That is of Catholic Faith which has been believed “semper, ubique, et ab omnibus.” (always, everywhere, and by all.)

    You should check out this site:

    Don’t just rely on your pastor, they probably didn’t cover this issue in seminary.

  8. Rasha Lampa says:

    And Fr. Feeney was NOT excommunicated for his teaching. He was excommunicated for not going to road when summoned. (An unwise choice in my opinion).

    You should read this book which has the IMPRIMATUR of the Bishop of the Diocese of Worcester. It contains the letters between Fr. Feeney and the Holy Office.

  9. Rasha Lampa says:

    correction “to Rome” I meant to say

  10. […] the fans of Fr. Feeney that took exception to my post here. I said the following in comments to reply to them: But I tell you what, although I’m not going to continue the debate here (particularly since it […]