It wouldn’t be Lent without Xavier University’s Ken Overberg, S.J., denying the Atonement, at this point surely an act of both material and formal heresy, before the students and attendees of Bellarmine Chapel.  Here’s a key snippet:

All too often we hear of ransom, sacrifice, and suffering and dying for our sins.
We may ask–we must ask–of this atonement theory: What does this say about God? What kind of God could demand such torture of the beloved Son? Is this the God revealed by Jesus in his words and deeds? Or has this part of the tradition slipped back into the ancient (but still popular) religion that believes violence saves?

And here’s what the students and baby-boomers of Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel learned over the weekend from Ken Overberg, S.J., about the Sunday readings:

  1. “Social justice is the concern of religion”; not a concern mind you, but the concern.
  2. The capitalized term “Reign of God” is casually slipped into the text, a sure reference to the dissentient theology which goes by that name and that was described and debunked by Pope Benedict in his now classic work Jesus of Nazareth.
  3. Early “puzzled” Christians fabricated much of the content that follows the parable of the unjust steward in Luke’s Gospel.
  4. The First Letter to Timothy was “not actually written by Paul, but by an unknown author probably in the second century.”

That is all.

At some point when I wasn’t paying attention, Liguori Publications must have taken over the production of Franciscan Media’s notorious Catholic Updates.  Meet the new boss.  Same as the old boss.  In a new update by Xavier University’s Ken Overberg, S.J., on “Gospel Values in an Election Year,” he gives one perfunctory, don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it reference to abortion, none to the protection of marriage, and spills most of his ink on topics like the environment, income inequality, and migrations.  He also tries to channel the late Cardinal Bernardin’s discredited “consistent ethic of life” (aka the “seamless garment”) through the writings of Pope Francis.  I suppose none of this is all that surprising, given that Overberg has been riding the social justice hobbyhorse since the mid-70s.  But at this late date, who exactly are Liguori’s editors trying to persuade?  Younger Catholics don’t get their news from leaflets, and there’s nothing accessible here to anyone but purveyors of what Pope Benedict XVI called “partisan doctrine.”  But then again, it’s those purveyors who disproportionately serve as DREs, pastoral administrators, and parish apparatchiks.  Liguori must know its customers.

Cincinnati’s Bellarmine Chapel, a local shrine on the campus of Xavier University dedicated to pelvic dissent, fanciful exegesis, 70’s-style liturgical abuses, and, foremost, denying the salvific action of Christ on the cross, posts last Sunday’s musings from Ken Overberg, S.J., wherein he undermines Christ’s teachings on divorce — just in time for the Synod on the Family.

Here’s the money ‘graf:

Finally, the gospel presents Jesus’ teaching on divorce, as modified by the evangelist. Mark adapts to the Gentile world Jesus’ conviction, adding the part about a woman divorcing her husband. Jesus would not have said that, because Jewish women could not divorce Jewish men. In our context today, we are keenly aware of the seriousness of divorce. We search for ways to be faithful to Jesus’ vision and to be compassionate and wise in our own real world. Indeed, beginning today in Rome is the Synod on the Family that will address these very issues.

He goes on to take note of Respect Life Sunday by sneering at the pro-life movement.

Early in his episcopate, Cincinnati archbishop Dennis Schnurr confronted Xavier University president Michael Graham, S.J., about the many troubling things taking place on campus, even going so far as to issue an ultimatum. It’s fairly obvious at this point who won that standoff.

(It’s been so long since I posted here that I forgot for a moment how to do it.)

Earlier this month for the umpteenth time, and obviously with no fear of correction or censure from either his superior or the local ordinary, Kenneth Overberg, S.J., denied the salvific action of Christ on the cross at Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel.

(When you deny that His suffering was part of the divine plan, that’s what you’re saying.)

Before we hear God’s word, it may be helpful to recall that we don’t have to believe that God sent Jesus to suffer for us. His early followers had to deal with the fact of his terrible execution. Like many of us when we face suffering, they asked WHY? So they searched their Scriptures to find light to help interpret their experience.

In the Psalms, in the Suffering Servant passages, and in other texts of the Hebrew Scriptures they did find passages that colored and shaped their own stories (as in today’s gospel). Not all interpretation, however, and certainly not all pieties have faithfully reflected the God revealed by Jesus. This God is a God of life and love, of compassion and justice and nonviolence. In no way could this God demand the suffering, torture and death of Jesus. The Powers did that – and still do. Faithful disciples face the cross in the dramatic and in the ordinary. The God of Jesus surely does not desire this, but instead leads us as individuals and as community in resisting evil.

With this in mind, let’s listen to God’s word!

You have to love the cheery note of excitement that wraps up Overberg’s heresy. In any event, questions 118 forward in the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church provide what the Church teaches on the topic.

(And the Compendium is still authoritative, even in the doctrinally confused Age of Francis.)

118. Why was the death of Jesus part of God’s plan?

To reconcile to himself all who were destined to die because of sin God took the loving initiative of sending his Son that he might give himself up for sinners. Proclaimed in the Old Testament, especially as the sacrifice of the Suffering Servant, the death of Jesus came about “in accordance with the Scriptures”

I realize I’m a broken record on this topic, but I’m noting these abuses here to provide documentation in the event that someone in a position of authority decides to do something about it.

In the latest homily from Ken Overberg, S.J. at Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel, I learned that Chapter 6 of John’s Gospel, “the Bread of Life” chapter, isn’t “first of all” about the Eucharist but about the identify of Jesus (both/and, Ken!) and that St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians “was not written by Paul.” Regarding his second assertion, Overberg is frequently at pains to … “de-authorize” the writers of the New Testament and project its literary origins onto the believing community or later figures. By his way of thinking, if the “believing community” of the first or second century actually wrote the Gospels and Epistles, then the believing community of the 21st century is free to interpret them. (Or at least some members of the modern believing community — progressives like himself, not those conservative nasties.) In any event, over at the website for the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, whose terrific series on the books of the New Testament is jam-packed with up-to-date scholarship and history, scholar Peter Williamson makes a solid case for St. Paul’s authorship of Ephesians. Here’s a snippet:

The “external evidence” in favor of Paul’s authorship of Ephesians—that is, the testimony of the manuscript tradition and of ancient authors—is as strong as that of any of Paul’s undisputed letters. Ephesians appears in all the ancient collections of Paul’s writings, including those that omit the Apostle’s letters to individuals (1–2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon). It is true that the Letter to the Hebrews, an anonymous work, is often also included in these collections, but from Origen on, many ancient authorities challenged the view that Hebrews was authored by Paul, while the Pauline authorship of Ephesians was never questioned.

Imagine being an eager young Catholic, newly arrived at your Catholic university, on fire with the faith and wanting to evangelize.

And then you walk into Bellarmine Chapel.

It is important to remember that the Acts of the Apostles is not exact history. It is a proclamation of faith that sounds like history. Acts is the second volume of a two‐ volume work; the first volume is the Gospel of Luke. Some scholars judge that this two‐volume work was written around 85 C.E., though recently other scholars have suggested years later. Acts is a creative story about truth …

Scripture scholars now judge that the author of the letters of John is someone different from the author of the gospel. Neither is the apostle, and yes, both are unknown. …