Monday, September 30, 2013

Fr. Belitz Undermines Catholic Identity in Perth Parishes

Fr. Justin Belitz, OFM, has recently been in Perth, Australia, giving his "Success: Full Living" mission at various schools and parishes. Never heard of him? Well…you might consider that a blessing. He was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska; entered the Franciscan Order in 1954; and was ordained a priest in 1961. See his website here; his “Franciscan Hermitage” in Indianapolis, Indiana is described as:

...an international, inter-faith, life center dedicated to the spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual and professional growth and formation of persons of all persuasions and circumstances.

We offer a variety of workshops, lectures, classes and support groups, each designed to empower individuals on their journeys of faith and wholeness.

It’s not even Christian, let alone Catholic. In a video on his website, Fr. Belitz justifies the non-Catholicity of his organization by saying that Vatican II told us to “reach out to other traditions” because no one religion has a monopoly on the whole truth. (Funny…I thought Catholicism had the fullness of the truth!) Fr. Belitz is all about "personal success and fulfillment". I don't see much about sacrifice on his website, or about happiness in Heaven rather than "happiness" on earth. There's not much to support a Catholic identity, and much to undermine it.

Before we go any further, let’s look at what Fr. Belitz has been up to Down Under.

Fr. Belitz has led retreats entitled “Success: Full Living” at several parishes in the Perth (Western Australia) area. For instance, the Parish of Sts. John and Paul in Willetton advertised the September 1-5 event at their parish/school website, saying in part:

Fr. Justin is able to help people of every age, race or religion to find their way to a full happy life, promised to us by Jesus. He shares how relaxation, meditation and prayer are keys to achieving that goal by integrating mind, body and spirit. Most of all, he is a very engaging and entertaining speaker who helps us all to cope and thrive with the daily challenges that life throws to us.

Similarly, there was Fr. Belitz-led “Parish Mission and Renewal” at Floreat Wembley Parish (an “amalgamation” of two parishes) from Sept. 15-20. A description of the event appears on the parish website; it says, in part:

The integration of mind, body and spirit will form the agenda for Fr. Justin over the course of our parish mission and renewal. It is his belief that meditation is a key tool in dealing with life's problems. Through the use of meditation and quietly turning inward, one is able to tap into a source of unlimited energy.

There are certainly some red-flag type words there…but of course, it’s all intentionally vague so as to avoid any hint of not-quite-Catholic teaching.  

Fr. Belitz’s background is hardly that of a priest any faithful Catholic would want to listen to! For one thing, his participation in a blasphemous 2004 film entitled “Jesus and Her Gospel of Yes”…that’s right, Jesus portrayed as a woman. You can see the trailer here (though I don’t really recommend watching it; still, I leave you the choice); the closing line is something about “a gospel of hope from God’s little girl”. Ugh.

The director’s summary of the film is available here and leaves no doubt that the film is intentionally blasphemous! Further, the director describes Fr. Belitz:

Fr. Justin Belitz gives us an erotic sermon. Fr. Justin is, admittedly, a bit of a guru to me and possibly the most profound influence I've had in my life. He is certainly not a typical priest and in short, his is an avant-theology. Many of his homilies focus on sensuous spirituality and meditation. Fr. Justin also never refrains from displaying a sense of humor and here we have all that in abundance.

Flame Ministries International, which is a canonical Public Association of Christ’s Faithful headquartered in Perth, has an article about Fr. Belitz; the article touches on everything that is wrong with this man’s “theology” and “ministry”. It’s a long list, including a history of involvement with Silva Mind Control. The article begins with a quote allegedly from Fr. Belitz: “I think that the Christian tradition has done a great disservice to organized religion by concentrating on adoration of Jesus Christ.”
Fr. Belitz with Archbishop Costello

With that background, one wonders why the hierarchy in the Perth area has essentially condoned Fr. Belitz’s appearances there. In fact, here we see “Justin” (as he calls himself) with Archbishop Timothy Costello.

And the sad fact is, Fr. Belitz has been offering this non-Catholic (if not anti-Catholic) twaddle to CATHOLICS with the consent of their bishops, for decades.

But Michael Voris? Naaah. He doesn't have the right "tone".

5 comments:

  1. Wow.......

    Sounds like the Australian bishops ought to read the opening line of Dante’s divine comedy and consider whether it applies to them.

    "Midway on life’s journey I awoke to find myself in a dark wood, for I had wandered far off from the right path"

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  2. I watched the movie trailer: vomit inducing. God have mercy on those who participated in that film.

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  3. God have mercy on this Priest, too.

    This is sad. Lord, help your Church...

    ~Hannah

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  4. A note for the author and other commenters from a member of Archbishop Costelloe's flock: the photo in question is out of context. It was taken at the Archbishop's installation Mass. Fr. Belitz just happened to be there, and he appeared to have someone taking photos for him.

    I am in no way defending Belitz: his ministry is demonstrably anti-Catholic and I think the trailer for that "movie" speaks for itself. However, please be careful before you jump to conclusions, especially concerning persons of authority in the Church. The photo suggests the Archbishop knows and supports Fr. Belitz, neither of which is true.

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Please be courteous and concise.