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Bishop Albert Ottenweller's

Communication with Servants of

Christ the King During and After
the Pastoral Visitation: 1991 - 1992
Using the documents available to me, I have compiled a
chronological collection of letters, news releases and news
paper clippings that map the progression of the Pastoral
Visitation up until the time of Bishop Ottenweller's
retirement. He was replaced by Bishop Gilbert Sheldon
who himself had experience with a community -Bread of
Life in Akron, OH- abandoned their relationship with the
The Most Reverend Albert Catholic Church when told to reform. Instead they became
Ottenweller, Second Bishop Of
a branch of the Sword of the Spirit. Bishop Sheldon's
installation in Steubenville was widely viewed as a follow
up response to Bishop Ottenweller's Pastoral Visitation to
Servants of Christ the King.

The following 14 documents are included in this posting:

1. January 10, 1991 letter from Bishop Ottenweller announcing his Pastoral Visitation. This
two page letter is followed by specific allegations that were given to community
members at that time>
2.. January 25, 1991 letter from Bishop Ottenweller. At this juncture the Bishop had
determined that Bishop McKinney would not lead the Visitation Team and would be
replaced by Fr James LeBar who functioned directly under John Cardinal O'Connor.
3. March 21, 1991 letter from Bishop Ottenweller describing the progress of the Visitation
and refusing the request of the present leadership to resign.
4. April 19, 1991 letter from the three Coordinators of the Servants of Christ the King
announcing suggestions that they had received that day in an extended visit with Msgr.
Foys and Bishop Ottenweller.
5. May 5, 1991 news article included to verify Fr Michael Scanlan's resignation as Senior
Head Coordinator of Servants of Christ the King despite Bishop Ottenweller's request
that the Coordinators remain in their positions until the Visitation was complete.
6. May 22, 1991 letter from Tom Kneier, the Jr Head Coordinator of Servants, explaining
his decision not to participate in an interim government and requesting a sabbatical due to
the toll on his health created by the stress of the Visitation. (Tom would eventually leave
the Community all together.)
7. June 21, 1991 news release ofthe results of the Bishop's Pastoral Visitation to Servants
of Christ the King. The original article is posted at
http://www.scribd.comldocI19099693/0ttenweller-Finds-Allegations- Valid-Steubenville-
Register-06211991. This one is identical and much easier to read.
8. August 2, 1991 news release by the new, interim government of Servants of Christ the
King explaining their absence from a news conference the Bishop had called for that day.
"Please note the absence of representatives from Servants of Christ the King at today's
press conference is meant to emphasize our solidarity with Bishop Ottenweller."
9. August 2, 1991 news release by Bishop Ottenweller wherein he announces progress of
the reforming community.
10. August 21, 1991 news release by Bishop Ottenweller announcing his acquiescence to
demands that the reforming community insisted upon: namely the restoration of the quasi
parish status and a Franciscan TOR to pastor them.
11. August 30, 1991 news article confirming the above.
12. October 23, 1991 news article that covers comments made by Fr Michael Scanlan in an
article in New Covenant magazine. The line "Scanlan says Covenant Community
Failed" is an exaggeration. Fr Scanlan never made any such blanket statements. Scanlan
was supposed to be present for a press conference with the Bishop that morning but
found an excuse to avoid it.
13. October 31, 1991 memorandum from Bishop Ottenweller notifying local mental health
agencies that Dr Margaret Singer will be doing an inservice to help local counselors deal
with present and former member's concerns.
14. January 29, 1992 news article announcing Bishop Ottenweller's well deserved retirement
and Bishop Gilbert Sheldon's nomination by the Vatican as the new Bishop of
Steubenville. Bishop Sheldon had also had experiences with Sword of the Spirit groups.
He notes this in the article.

Not all documents that were public or circulated are here and this collection is only limited by
the ability of this author to find and obtain them. Anyone with pertinent documents can send
copies to

John Flaherty

Grand Island, NE

May 17,2011


January 10, 1991

Coordinators of Servants of Christ the King

c/o Mr. Tom Knier
P.O. Box 806
Steubenville. OH 43952

My beloved Brothers and Sisters:

I greet you with great admiration and affection; the memory

of our celebration on the Feast of Christ the King is fresh
in my mind. You have given a deep witness to Christian
discipleship. strong in the Faith and open to the movements
of the Holy Spirit. You have been a blessing to our diocese.

I come to you with a concern at a time when the Servants of

Christ the King are beset with many difficulties. My concern
is your affiliation with the Sword of the Spirit and the
possible harm their control has done to members of the
Servants. Even though we have had a y e a r Ly review of the
Servants of Christ the King. I was not at all aware that
someone from Sword of the Spirit was actually present here
giving teachings and guidance with such control that you could
say that the Sword of the Spirit formed the Servants of Christ
the King. My concern is twofold:

1. That there was not a clear and complete disclosure

to me of what was actually going on;

2. That the guidelines we developed were being


The guidelines have this caution: "There is a tendency in

certain charismatic communities that the communication of
rules and advice goes from those in charge to the members of
the community without the possibility of a response coming
to the council from its members. As Bishop, I want to in~ure
that the rights of the members through their Baptism and
Confirmation cannot be denied. The Fellowship must be a Holy
Nation, a priestly people with dignity as sons and daughters
of God."

p.o. BOX 969 • STEUBENVILLE, OHIO 43952 • (614) 282·3631
Coordinators--Servant3 of Christ the King
.January 4, 1991
Page 2

Without a guarantee of the personal integrity of each member,

I could not allow the Fellowship to exist as a quasi parish.
Therefore, I must require that you disaffiliate yourselves
from the Sword of the Spirit and the Ln t ernat Lona L Catholic
Associ&tion, Christ the King. This will place the
responsibility for leadership I n your local community which
will be ur.der obedience to the Bishop of this local Church.

Kr.ow that you are in my heart and in my prayers. For the few
I am with you I ·
mon t h s .••
ant to contribute anything I can to
your well heing and your success.

May the Lord bless all that we do in His Name.

Your brother in Christ,

/ ...
' /'/.1/,:, // _
../:. 1'/ / !-/ - . / /~
,_/, .1' / /
L ! tt ~(J(Lt(ll~-'J.L~l:J~"-
The most Reverend Albert H. Ottenweller
Bishop of Steubenville


Having had some contact with more than 35 members of the Servants of Christ the
King, I have been made aware of the following:

1. There has not been an honest communication bet•...•

een the Servant leadership
and myself. as bishop. Members have been told that the bishop knows about
the community. its goals and methods and he approves. The truth is that
I do not kno•...•
what is going on. For example, I had never even heard the
name Paco Gaurilides and he. for several years ••...•
as Sword'.of the Spirit
representative and gave the formation and the teachings for this local

2. The lives of members have been controlled by coordinators and heads. Person
after person has told me examples of sometimes subtle •...•
ays. sometimes open
ways, in which. they were forced to accept patterns of liv~ng, relationships.
even the choice of marriage partners. Great psychological harm has been
done to members.

3. There has been an arrogance that is elitist. The Community lives in

perfection. It has a special call from God. It's members are more perfect.
The Community's Mission is to save the Church. The Church as grown lax.
Parishes are dead. Bishops have taken on liberal views. Seminaries are
not forming priests as devout leaders. etc.

4. There has been an unhealthy secrecy about the affairs of the Community. The
finances were not disclosed to the mem.bership. The pastoral reporting
system violated members' rights to privacy_

5. Leadership controlled affairs that should have been the sole business of
married couples. For example. husbands were told to let their spouses know
that certain behaviors were unbecoming a leader's wife.
6. Teachings and mind set gave a fundamentalist outlook on scripture, on the
world as evil, on submission to leaders or charismatic gifts, rather than
"a call to laity a chosen race, a royal priesthood. a holy nation-whose
state is that of dignity and freedom of the sons of God."

7. A lack of compassion and love for those 1n need. This is an elite group.
If someone falters, that person has failed of his/her calling and so is
avoided. The leadership did not listen to problems nor stand by those who
were suffering.

8. There was not an honest disclosure of finances to the Diocese.

In view of these alleged accusations I. as Bishop. am not able to renew the

agreement between the Diocese and the Servants of Christ the King until we have
.a~ i_nd_epthevaluation.of the Servants and CommunityoLChrist the King. Bishop
Joseph McKinney. the chairman of the Bishops Liaison Committee with the
Charismatic Renewal. has agreed to chair the Review Committee. We hope this
all can ~e accomplished without undue publicity or harm to the leadership and

Hay God give us the Wisdom and the Courage to be His Faithful Servants in all
of this.
r" ':;:-1 - 11
:----THE DIOCESEOF STEUBENVILLE----.....,II"\L<~~ ~r \


. t' "I'
"l.c , _;,:, •• _ •• _1

January 25, 1991

Mr. Kevin Flynn

P.O. Box 4603
Steubenville, OH 43952
My dear people:
I write to you as your shepherd. I want you to know that I care
for you, that you are important to me as a person and that I am
sincerely interested in your formation and spiritual growth. It
is the call of the shepherd to guard his sheep.
I note with satisfaction that the coordinators were prompt in
following out my order that the community and fellowship
disaffiliate from the Sword of the Spirit and from the Servants
of Christ the King. I am grateful for such,prompt and faithful
The investigation is being planned and as soon as I know the
details I will inform the coordinators, and you. We hope to
allow all members, at that time, to be able to share their
experience of what the community/fellowship. has meant in their

The charges that have been brought forward by members of the

community are most serious. My prayer is that the investigation
will gjve us a true picture of the strengths and weaknesses of
the community/fellowship and point a direct~on for the future.
Often you have prayed that I would be a good shepherd for you
and for the diocese. Pray now that, as I exercise my office in
your behalf, I may be strong and wise.
Your brother in Christ,

The Most Reverend Albert H. Ottenweller

.Bishop of Steubenville

PO. BOX 969 • STEUBENVILLE, OHIO 43952 • (614) 282-3631


March 21, 1991

My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord:

I am writing this letter to you to inform you of the progress

of my pastoral visitation to the Community and Fellowship
of the Servants of Christ the King. I have, through the
visitation committee, heard from a substantial number of the
Community membership. We are in the process now of sorting
through the reams of testimony that we have received.

The written and oral testimony has brought to light some

serious difficulties within the Community, but it has also
underlined the loyalty and appreciation for the good that is
manifest within the Community and the love and caring in the
hearts of Community members through the years.

In a letter to me of March 14, 1991, your coordinators suggest

that they formally resign their positions of leadership and
establish a committee to conduct an election of a body oy
leaders to a one-year term. I do not believe this to be a
feasible action. It seems to me it would create confusion.
I am, therefore, directing the leaders to remain in office
until such time as our visitation is complete.

A second recommendation in the coordinators' letter is that

all pastoral care be suspended for a period of one year.
Since pastoral care has been the cause of much debate, I am
directing that all pastoral care be suspended until such time
as this pastoral visitation is complete. At that time, the
whole question of pastoral care and how that care is to be
administered can be better addressed.

The third recommendation is that all Community teachings be

submitted to a review committee of Catholic theologians and
~ philosophers. While this is a positive and much-needed step,
I believe it best, again, to wait until our visitation is
complete. We are assuming that all connection with Sword of
the Spirit and Christ the King Association is severed.

P.O. BOX 969 • STEUBENVILLE, OHIO 43952 • (614) 282-3631

Members Servants of Christ the King
Page 2
March 21, 1991

I know that you are most anxious about the outcome of the
pastoral visitation. I ask you to be patient. We do not want
to rush the process. We want each member I s testimony to be
heard and weighed. We want the final decisions to reflect
that and to be just and equitable.

I have been most impressed by your Faith and the respect you
have shown to me as your shepherd. I thank the coordinators
for their cooperation. Every effort will be made to keep you
informed about the progress of the visitation.

Be assured that I only want good to come from the visitation.

We do not want, in any way, to be punitive.

1: ask God I s blessings upon you during this holiest week of

the year and pray that the joy of Easter will reign in the
hearts of each of you.

Your brother in Christ,

J ./
The Most Reverend Albert H. Ottenweller
Bishop of Steubenville

of ~ r~/$t itru;,~4{r X!LS
-.5crv~nt5(~h ff -
PO BOX '06 • STEUBENVILLE, OHIO <395' • {,'4l"J.(739

April 19, 1991

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

May the grace of the Risen Lord Jesus be ~ith you.

We ~ant to report immediately to you about our April 19 meeting

with Bishop ottenweller and Msgr. Foys. The Bishop asked us to
communicate this information and agreed that it would be best done
through a letter now and a discussion at the gathering on April 28.
We met for t~o hours in the Chancery. John Sengenberger was not
present ~ince we had agreed that it was right for him to be away on a
two week vacation.

The Bishop communicated the following points of information:

1. The Bishop has not received the final report of his committee
and therefore hasn't yet consulted with Bishop McKinney and
Bishop Jacobs. After he has done this he will meet with the
_owhole community 2nd present his conclusions.

2. He recommended a book Toxic Faith to be read by us and pointed

out some characteristics of an addictive system.

3. He notified us that he wass~tting up a healing process with

talks by Adrian Rheimers, Margaret Singer and Mary Boscher.
This process was first of all for those who have left the
community but all members of the community would also be
invited. Details of times and places are not yet determined.

4. He proposed consideration of a personal parish with a priest

appointed by the Bishop as pastor. The community would function
~ithin the parish using small groups operating under the parish
council. The priest appointed pastor would not be a Franciscan
and would not be anyone ~ho is or has been a member of Servants
of Christ the King. The Bishop directed us to bring this idea
to our membership for discussion and response to him.

5. The Bishop asked the coordinators for our proposals on how to

conduct a process of self-evaluation by us of our community life
as ~ell as a process to formulate a new statement of vision and
mission. He will set the parameters for the discussions and
wants there to be an outside trained facilitator to lead the

6. The Bishop-is c;oncerned that the present leaders not resign.'::ff

it. wj"-lr'=·
a confusing and chaotic situation.- He ~ill
w~lcome a proposal to elect new leadership if it seems ~orkable

The most complicated item in the above list is the personal
parish. A personal parish is one which is non-geographical. Its
membership is determined by the characteristics and free choice of
individuals. The most common personal parish is by nationality:
Italian, French, Greek. Our personal parish would consIst of present
and former members of Servants of Christ the King who so elect to
belong. The parish would have all canonical rights, privileges, and
responsibilities, and the lay participation would operate under the
parish council. The final authority would rest in the pastor who
would report directly to the Bishop of the diocese. The coordinators
expressed their concerns with this proposal, but the Bishop asked us
to bring it for full consultation by the membership.

Since we will be discussing these items at length during the

April 28 Community Gathering, please plan on not having your children
attend, s~that you can fully participate.

Your brothers in Christ,

Fr. Mike Scanlan

Tom Kneier
Fr. David Tickerhoof
of ~ rL/ $t {tr u,~4{r f f
5crvAnt5(f1h ~S =.o. BOX 606 • STEUBENVILLE. OHIO 43952· (614)26).4739

May 22, 1991

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am writing to tell you that I have decided to make myself

ineligible to serve on the interim Community Council. In addition,
once the Council is in place, I will be petitioning them for a
sabbatical from my administrative responsibilities.

Since September I have seen my physician twice for chronic

insomnia, headaches, and fatigue. In February I began a reduced
schedule and decreased my availability for individual meetings.
st iII, over t,he past four months I have not been able to funct ion
normally or anywhere near full capacity. I have tried to continue in
leadership despite these things because I kept hoping that resolution
to some of our biggest issues as a community was just around the next

However, during our Pentecost Novena I was able to consult at

length with a counselor. With his help, I was able to see that I
must do something immediately for my sake and the sake of my family.

I have informed Msgr. Foys of my decision and he has assured me

of his support, and that of the Bishop. This decision regarding my
leadership, of course, does not alter my commitment to Servants of
Christ the King in any way, nor does it alter the commitment of my
wife and family. I have great hope for the future of the community.
The Lord has poured out his Holy Spirit richly upon his people and
his work in Steubenville. He will not abandon us. He is the Lord of
all that we are and all that we do.

With great affection I remain

Your brother in Christ,

Bishop Ottenweller determines to correct abuses within local charismatic community

Msgr. James A. Boehm

Editor, The Steubenville Register

STEUBENVilLE - Bishop Albert H. Otten weller reported that allegations of wrongdoing

within Servants of Christ the King Community have been proved valid, and that spiritual and
emotional harm has been suffered by some of its members.
The bishop directed that the abuses, some of which resulted from Sword of the Spirit teach-
ings, be corrected. He promised that professional help will be offered to lead the Servants
through a healing process.
Ottenweller met with representatives of the Community leadership on June 18 at the Chancery
A distinction is made between:
- Servants of Christ the King Community, which numbers 350 adult members, and
- Servants of Christ the King Fellowship. The Fellowship is a parish, established by Bishop
Ottenweller in 1980 and intended to be a model for other parishes in the Diocese of Steubenville.
It is part of the larger Community. Its 287 adult members worship at Christ the King Chapel on
the campus of Franciscan University of Steubenville.
While many members of the Community work at the university, Servants of Christ the King
has no formal or canonical ties with the university, which is a completely separate entity.
Allegations of misconduct were first reported to Ottenweller in December, 1990. After further
inquiries were made, a canonical visitation of the Servants was begun in January to determine
the validity of the accusations. The visitation committee reported:
• A lack of honest communication: The coordinators of the Servants told the bishop only what
he asked for specifically, They did not tell him that representatives of Sword of the Spirit took
up residence in Steubenville to form the Servants in Sword of the Spirit vision, values and
lifestyle. (Sword of the Spirit is a controversial non-denominational evangelical organization
founded in 1982 in Ann Arbor, Mich., whose influence extends to about 50 charismatic commu-
nities it governs around the world.) The membership had been wrongly told that the bishop was
fully informed and had given his approval.
• Control of members' lives: Letters from and interviews with current and former members
confmned that decision-making, child rearing, dating practices, family life, and conduct of daily
life were all subject to the approval and direction of the coordinators and "pastoral leaders." At
times, there was control of members' lives, including buying and selling of real estate, the
location of homes, and employment
• Elitism: The members felt called to a special vocation and were to find salvation in and
through the Community. They were told that the world is evil, the Church, its schools, seminar-
ies, and leaders have gone soft, and that parishes were dead. When the dark days corne, the
Community would save the Church. Members felt they would be lost if they left the Community
which, they were told, is for the strong and perfect. If members could not keep up the pace, they
were shunned .
• Secrecy and privacy concerning Community affairs: Many affairs indicated excessive secrecy

Bishop Otten weller

Page 2

on the part of the Community. On the other hand, many members reported a violation of their
right to privacy.
• Intrusion into family life: Many members were told how to dress, which spouse should do
various household chores, how to schedule their family life, and how to control their children.
Some wives complained that things said in confidence to their "pastoral leader" were eventu-
ally conveyed to husbands.
• Fundamentalism: Servants of Christ the King Community was directed and formed by the
Sword of the Spirit, whose foundation course teaches an attitude towards the world that is not in
conformity with Church documents. The submission of members to pastoral leaders as taught in
the Sword of the Spirit statement of Community Order is not in the spirit of the dignity and
freedom of each individual Christian. The Servants looked to Sword of the Spirit rather than to
the magisterium of the Catholic Church for its teaching. c~

• Lack of compassion: Former members stated that they were shunned when they failed, or left
the Servants, and their children were avoided at school by other children who had once been
their friends. Former members complained that when they needed assistance or support, they
were neglected. Leaders were reluctant to lessen the tithe obligation of those in financial straits.
• Financial disclosure to the Diocese of Steubenville: While there were no financial improprie-
ties as such, the finances only of the Servants of Christ the King Fellowship parish,and not of
the larger Community, were revealed to the diocesan authorities.
Bishop Ottenweller made his June 18 report of the pastoral visitation to the newly-elected in-
terim leadership of Servants of Christ the King Community, Jerry and Virginia Hickey, Donald
Kissenger, Donald Cohen, Franciscan Father Angelus Migliore, Father Ed Wade and Joseph
Loizzo, and to four former coordinators, Franciscan Father Michael Scanlan, Franciscan Father
David Tickerhoof, Thomas Kneier and John Sengenberger .
. Much of the Servants' membership is made up of former students from Franciscan University
of Steubenville who chose to make their homes in the Steubenville area. Few of the Servants are
native to the Diocese of Steubenville and the majority have come from out of state.

All were willing to make a total commitment to live as brothers and sisters in Christ, serving
one another and serving others, calling one another to live out the Gospels in a totally committed
way, the bishop said. "Their experience is of a shared faith and a dedication to building a faith
community, sharing their weaknesses and rejoicing in one another's victories as they strive to
love one another and grow in humility, patience and kindness. "
The bishop spoke of "persons hungering for more than they felt they could get from their local
parish, feeling called by God to come to Steubenville, fmding there a community of faith-filled
people who desired to drink deeply of the Spirit and live together the values of personal and
family life taught by the Gospels."
While he had heard complaints made against the Community many times before, Otten weller
said in: his report, he had dismissed them as inconsequential. The allegations made in December
of 1990, however, indicated serious abuses in the Community, and after interviewing several
members, the bishop called a meeting with 35 people who told stories of injuries suffered by
them and their families.
"What I heard that night was a shocking revelation," he said, "so at variance with what I
knew of the Servants and what had been reported to me by the coordinators."
Bishop Otten weller
Page 3

Early in the inquiry, Bishop Ottenweller was in contact with Bishop Joseph C. .Mclxinney,
chairman of the Bishops' Liaison Committee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and with
Father Dennis Sullivan, Minister Provincial of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis, Loretta,
Sword of the Spirit played a substantial role in the pastoral visitation and Otten weller said that
three things have become clear to him:
1. The Community must stay free of the Sword of the Spirit. "They were happy," the bishop
said, "that I gave the order that the Community disassociate from the Sword of the Spirit. Many
said that even before I gave the order, the Community was moving away from SOS.
"The strong connection that the Servants of Christ the King had with Sword of the Spirit
skewed your relationship with the magisterium of the Church. Your vision, your teachings, your
formation was from Ann Arbor. Your attention was in that direction. The authority came from
Sword of the Spirit. As bishop I had responsibility for oversight, but there really was no link
between me and the Servants of Christ the King. It is odd that despite the fact that I am the chief
teacher of this local church, I was never invited to give a teaching at a Sunday night meeting of
the Community. \
"In no way do we want to quench the Spirit nor the charism of the Community but always the
Church must discern the Spirit."
2. The pastoral care system as used in the Servants of Christ the King Community must be re-
• The manner in which coordinators and pastoral leaders were chosen was autocratic and inde-
pendent of the will of the Community.
• The structure made it difficult to fix responsibility. There was authority without responsibil-
• Pastoral leaders gave direction and advice for which they were not trained.
• Excessive emphasis was put on obedience and submission, even if the pastoral leader was
• There was misuse of confidential information, and invasion of privacy.
• Pastoral leaders were allowed to go too far in giving direction in family matters, dating, etc.
3. There must be a stronger connection with the Catholic Church through the local bishop
since he is responsible for the well-being and the orthodoxy of the parish.
"Sword of the Spirit teachings and programs have made a deep impression on the member-
ship," Otten weller told the newly-elected interim Community leadership. "There needs to be,
therefore, a program of reeducation of the members to return them to a sense of Church that is
important for those who call themselves Catholic."
While it is one thing to reform harmful structures and formation practices, the bishop insisted
that more needs to be done because persons have been hurt. He offered help for spiritual and
emotional healing to members who have left the Servants and for those who remain. Many
persons are presently in counselling.
"We cannot dismiss the emotional damage by saying that members who were hurt were weak
and dysfunctional. Such a charge is simply a form of denial. Most of those in question were
members for more than 10 years and some were in positions of high responsibility."
Bishop Ottenweller
Page 4

Dr. Margaret Singer, a psychologist from Berkely, Calif., and internationally known expert on
cults, is coming to work with mental health professionals and psychologists to share her exper-
tise in overcoming shame, going through a grieving process, growing in wholeness, and coming
to a healthy outlook on self, family and Church.
Dr. Singer will speak to the Community and to the members who have left. "We hope her
visit will be a catalyst for a whole process of healing that can be offered to all who are in need,"
Ottenweller said.
The committee comprising the canonical visitation of the lay covenant community included di-
ocesan priests Msgr. Roger Foys, vicar general, and the deans of the Steubenville area, Msgr.
Gene Muliet and Msgr. Gerald Calovini. Other members were Father Walter Debold of the
Archdiocese of Newark, professor of World Religions at Seton Hall University; Father Law-
rence Gesy of the Archdiocese of Baltimore; Dominican Father W. Kent Burtner, of the Arch-
diocese of San Francisco; and Mrs. Doris Quelet of Baltimore. Gesy, Burtner and Quelet are ex-
perts in "exit counselling."
Father James LeBar chaired the visitation committee. He is director of the Office of Cult
Awareness in the Archdiocese of New York. Burtner and Debold contributed to his book "Cults,
Sects, and the New Age."
Bishop Otten weller stated that the five-month pastoral visitation of the Servants is meant to be
corrective, not punitive. He said: "Emphasis needs to be placed on reforming structures rather
than persons. There needs to be a new vision of what God is calling the Community to be, a
vision that flows from the heart of the teaching of our Catholic Church. "
At the conclusion of his report to the leadership of Servants of Christ the King Community, the
bishop said: "I have been very encouraged through all these months by the spirit of cooperation
you have shown to me and to the (visitation) team. I have tried to corne to you as shepherd,
honestly and open. Let us pray that this painful time lived in faith may open the way to a
stronger and more mature community of faith and love; "



FROM: Interim Council of Servants of Christ the King

RE: Press Conference called by Bishop ottenweller

concerning Servants of Christ the King

DATE: August 2, 1991

In response ,to the conclusions of the pastoral visitation of Bishop

Albert H. ottenweller to the Community of the Servants of Christ the
King, the I Community wishes to reiterate its gratitude and respect
for Bishop,ottenweller's pastoral concern on our behalf.

Immediately the Community began to addz ess the Bishop's concerns.

Committees have, been formed and energies have been refocused as we
begin a long-term period or discernment and restructuring. We are
\most confident that the Bishop will be a valuable source of
.inspiration and direction as this process continues.

please note that the absence of representatives from Servants of

Christ the King at today's press conference is meant to emphasize
our solidarity with Bishop ottenweller.


STEUBENVILLE -- On June 18, 1991 I met with the interim leadership of

the Community of the Servants of Christ the King to review with them the

summary of the report given by the Canonical Visitation Team. At that

time we agreed upon a joint press conference to be held on August 2,

1991. The Community was to begin its process of restructuring

addressing the concerns of the Summary Report. At the same meeting I

offered the Community the opportunity to establish once again a

Fellowship which would be a quasi parish. I asked the interim leadership

to gather from its members interested in a Fellowship the names of three

priests whom they would choose as pastor noting that while I would

consider seriously their recommendations I would not necessarily be

bound by them. Although the interim leadership was to have been present

for this press conference, they have respectfully chosen instead to issue a

press release which will be distributed to the media directly following

this conference. want to impress upon you that the absence of

representation from the Community in no way indicates any disagreement

between the diocese and the community or its leadership.

Following the press release which was issued on June 21, 1991

relative to the conclusions reached by the canonical visitation team

Monsignor Foys, Vicar General of the Diocese, met with the Community

membership on Sunday, June 23 and read to them the Summary Report. On

Thursday, July 25 I met with the interim leadership to discuss with them

their progress in implementing the recommendations of the canonical

visitation team.

The report given me at the July 25 meeting was promising. The

community IS now in the process of organizing committees to examine the

beginnings of the Community, its teachings, the pattern of its gatherings,

its outreach, the pastoral care of its members, youth programs and men's

and women's groups. While the Community is making an honest effort to

restructure they - realize, as do we, that it will not occur overnight. The

leadership already has held sixteen three hour meetings within the last

six weeks.

On Wednesday, July 31 the interim leadership team submitted to me

the names of people interested in forming a Fellowship as well as their

recommendations for the pastor of the Fellowship. I have taken these

recommendations under advisement. Before a Fellowship IS renewed the

interested members will need to be provided with more definite

information. However, I do have every hope that such a Fellowship can be


For those who had in the past experienced difficulties within the

Community we are providing care. We have invited Dr. Margaret Singer,

noted psychologist to address former members. Dr. Singer will be coming

back to the area to meet with interested local counsellors as well as with

interested pastors.

In this entire canonical visitation we have made every effort to respond

both to the needs of those who have been affected adversely by their

experiences in the Covenant Community as well as to those who found and

continue to find Convenant Community membership a positive experience.


FROM: Interim Council of Servants of Christ the King

RE: Press Conference called by Bishop ottenweller

concerning Servants of Christ the King

DATE: August 2, 1991

In response .to the conclusions of the pastoral visitation of Bishop

Albert H. ottenweller to the Community of the Serv~nts of Christ the
King, the Community wishes to reiterate its gratitude and respect
for BishopOttenweller's pastoral concern on our behalf.

Immediately the Community began to address the Bishop's concerns.

Committees have. been formed and energies have' been refocused as we
begin a long-term period of discernment and restructuring. We are
most confident that the Bishop will be a valuable source of
inspiration and direction as this process continues.

Please note that the absence of representatives from servants of

Christ the King at today's press conference is meant to emphasize
our solidarity with Bishop Ottenweller.
~ ..


STEUBENVILLE, OH: Bishop Albert H. Ottenweller of the Diocese of

Steubenville has announced that effective September 2, 1991 the charter

of the Fellowship of the Servants of Christ the King will be renewed for a

six month period. The Bishop has appointed Monsignor Roger J. Foys as

Pastor of the Fellowship Parish. Bishop Ottenweller is working with the

leadership of the Franciscan Fathers (TOR) for the appointment of a

Franciscan Friar who will serve as Associate Pastor.

At a June 18, 1991 meeting with the Interim Council of the Community

of Servants of Christ the King, Bishop Ottenweller extended to the

Community the option of renewing their quasi-parish status. He asked at

that time that the leadership contact those members of the Community

interested in renewing their Fellowship status and have them submit to

Bishop Ottenweller their recommendations for a pastor, noting that he

would consider seriously their recommendations, but not necessarily be

bound by them. The Bishop noted that of all the diocesan priests

recommended, Monsignor Foys' name was most often mentioned.

Monsignor Foys is currently Vicar General of the Diocese and Moderator

of the Diocesan Curia and Pastor of St. Joseph and St. Francis Parishes in

Toronto, Ohio. He will retain those duties in addition to his appointment

as Pastor of the Fellowship. He will be assisted by a Franciscan Friar. As

Pastor of the Fellowship Parish, Foys will also serve as the liaison

between the Community of the Servants of Christ the King and the Bishop.

Members of the Fellowship Parish must also be members of the Covenant

Community but members of the Covenant Community are not necessarily

members of the Fellowship Parish. The Covenant Community and the
Fellowship Parish, although closely linked, remain separate entities.

As defined in the Text and Commentary on the revised (1983) Code of

Canon Law "a quasi-parish is one which has not been established as a

parish because it lacks one or more qualifications, for example, resident

pastor, necessary financial resources, territorial boundaries or a natural

grouping by way of rite, nationality or language. Presumably quasi-

parishes could eventually become parishes in their own right." (Canon 516

#1) In the case of the Fellowship the territorial boundaries would

account for their quasi-parish status. As a quasi-parish the Fellowship is

equivalent in Church law to a parish with its proper pastor.

Monsignor Foys met with the members of the Community of the

Servants of Christ the King on Sunday, August 18 to discuss with them the

renewal of their charter. The Fellowship will continue meeting in the

coming weeks to determine the structures necessary to meet their needs

as a parish as well as to determine a site at which they will worship.

Monsignor Foys was a member of the canonical visitation team and has

worked closely both with Bishop Ottenweller and with the Community

members during these past eight months. Of his appointment as Pastor of

the renewed Fellowship Parish he said: "I look forward to working with

these committed members of the Fellowship Parish. believe that

together, and with God's grace, we can continue to build a vibrant Catholic

Christian witness."

August 21, 1991

St. Louis Review/August 30, 1991

Steubenville Bishop Reinstates Charismatic Parish:

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio leadership problems in the com-
(CNS) - Bishop Albert H. Otten- charter for a fellowship parish _ prepared to do so. 'I
munity surfaced. technically called a "quasi- !
weller of Steubenville announced The evaluation initiated by
Aug. 21 that he is restoring' 'fel- o In January the community sep- parish" in Church law because it Bishop Ottenweller concluded
lowship parish" status to mem- arated from Sword of the Spirit, . is not established by geographic that while the community was un~ 0, i
bers of the Servants of Christ the an international charismatic gov- or other traditional
would be renewed for a
limits _
der the governance of Sword Of j
King charismatic community in erning organization, and since the Spirit, a non-denorninationa
period, effective Sept. 2. organization based in Ann Arb01:~
Steubenville and has appointed then it has submitted to formal o

his diocesan vicar general, Msgr. study and evaluation by a team' of In June the Bishop, expressing Mich., lay leaders had exercise.d
Roger J. Foys, as pastor. priests, elected new lay leaders satisfaction with the charismatic too much authority over the pn-
and worked to correct problems community's progress in address- vate and family lives of members
The community's parish char-
uncovered in the investigation by ing the problems that had devel- and had introduced elitist and furl-
ter, originally established in 1980
and renewed annually since then,
was revoked last January when
Church authorities. oped, told the leaders that if com-
munity members wanted to re-
damentalist religious attitudes
that are not in accord with Catho-
Bishop Ottenweller said the form the fellowship parish he was lie belief and practice.
~ ,_ol....,~l~ ,~ , ~ We'.,,'ay,Od

Scan art says covenant communitY f iled~fO;
conference today to discuss the com- "Now there is a rethinking of com-
ir- STEUBENVILLE - The Rev. munity, but it was canceled after munity life. We are questioning the
nd Michael Scanlan, president of Fran- discussion with Bishop Albert Ot- degree of pastoral care that is
as ciscan University of Steubenville, ten weller of the Diocese of Steuben- necessary," the article says ..
ld, says the approaches of the Servants ville, according to Jim Fox, universi-
B7, of Christ the King covenant com-

ty spokesman.
munity "failed in many lives." The bishop recommended restruc-
7-9 In an article titled "Time for turing of the community earlier this
ick Rethinking" in the November issue year, citing concerns about its ties
~es of New Covenant magazine, Scanlan with Sword of the Spirit, a Michigan-
ev. says "the community, and the based group.
leaders in particular, took too much "I see now that our teachings and ,,~~~~

respC!nsibility over people's lives .... pastoral practices were overly focus-
This frequently led to an unhealthy' ed on correcting harmful trends in
dependence and coming under the family life and, when taken as ab- WINTERSVILLE 2505 SUNSET BLVD.
law rather than the Spirit." solutes rather than corrections, they STEUBENVILLE
lied Scanlan, a former community were too intensive and controlling in P.O. Box 2250, Wintersville, OH 43952

~ent leader, had scheduled a 9 a.m. press courtships and marriages," Scanlan PHONE (614) 264-0563
FAX (614) 264-6092
Step up sought Clarification
~ of
k of
on ozone action
_"~.'",..._.•__ .•-:-~<'. __~.f
dren . ,.~, rW"I~ - T"). __ L,.




TO: Local Mental Health Professibnals/Counselors/Clinical

Social Workers/Psychiatric Nurses/Psychologists/
Psychology Assistants

FROM: The Most Reverend Albert H. Ottenwel~~

DATE: October 31, 1991

RE: A Seminar for Mental Health Professionals and Clergy

On Wednesday, November 20, 1991 Doctor Margaret Singer,

Ph.D., Adjunct Professor in the Psychology Department at
the University of Berkley, will present a full-day session
addressing the problems of psychological, manipulative,
coercive persuasion and religious addiction. This seminar
is being sponsored by the Diocese of Steubenville as a part
of the follow-up of the visitation of the Community of
Servants of Christ the King. The seminar will be held at
Jefferson County Mental Health office, 501 Washington
Street, second floor, Steubenville, beginning with
registration at 8:30 a.m.; lunch at 12:30 p.m., and closing
at 4:00 p.m. The sessions will include the psychology of
religious addiction and related materials. Continuing
education units will be available through the co-
sponsorship of the .Ca t ho Lf,c Community Services, Inc. of
Trumbull County. Please return the enclosed resp~ card
by Thursday, November 14, 1991. A fee of~ for
participation in the seminar is requested. The check
should be made payable to the Diocese of Steubenville and
mailed to: SEMINAR, P.O. Box 969, Steubenville, OH 43952.

P.O. BOX 969 .• STEUBENVILLE, OHIO 43952 • (614) 282·3631

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'NewbishoRl;loo~s to 'same spirit' here iI


~ttenw~iier 'c:lep~rt$.\ '

,t .'" '" "", , " "

with mixed emotions

Jy PAUL GIANNAMORE mitted and happy in their work, j
-,llerald-Star Staff Writer
STEr~ENVIll.E - Bishop Albert
,think vocations will come about,"
Sheldon said. "
H. Otteiweller departs the Diocese' '" Ottenweller
of Steubenville with mixed emotions
said to~,\ead
,diocese, a bishop must be:lble
. j
and Bishtf> Gilbert I. Sheldon arrives listen and have an open heart,
filled will' gratitude to Pope John' especially as lay people play larger
Paul II fOl"~is appointment as third roles in the church.
bishop of tr~ diocese. Ottenweller said Sheldon faces a
Sheldon a¥l Ottenweller spoke to declining population 'trying to sup-
reporters Tuesday afternoon at Holy port the same number of parishes
Name Cathedral. Sheldon's official and' structures. He said the synod
installation ~not been Set, but he showed 35,000 Catholics in the
and Ottenwelle;said m
they are con- diocese don't practice their faith, ,':
tact with the PlDaI nuncio to deter- Sheldon, asked about his views on
mine the date. \,' ' ,Ottenweller's: work to resolve pro-;
grows Sheldon is leaY;ilg his post as aux- blems with the Servantsof Christ the i

i1iary bishop of Ceveland, where he King community, differentiated bet- ~i
said he has been close to the people ween religious charismatic corn-
(AP) -The and priests of the thern part of munities and covenant communities.
at a barely that diocese. ' He said in Akron.wbere he has been
1 rate of 0.3 "I hope the same irit continues based, he worked on a problern he
t three mon- here," he said, exp , '. g thanks to ' believes is similar; but reserved
surge in boos- Bishop ,Anthony ,Pilla of 'comment until he ~mcire about,
not enough to Cleveland, along with t diocese's' - the-pastoral visitation, and changes
weakness in staff and other auxiliary ishops. to the Servants community last year.
ther segment "Already in the short ime that He said the problems stem from
Bishop Otlenweller and onsignor dealings with Sword of the Spirit, a
(Roger) Foys have shOwn me 'groilping of communities based in 11\COMING, OUTGOING. Bishop Gilbert I, Sheldon, the third bishop of Steubenville. Ottcnwcller reached
ontainer around, I am beginning to JUld the Ann Arbor, Mich. , RIGHT, and Bishop Albert H. Ottenweller spoke to retirement age in April. The official installation date for
same things here," the. inCpming Otlenweller, who' turned 75, the reporters Tuesday at Holy Name Cathedral in Steuben- Sheldon has not been set. t Herald-Star Photo by Deanna
hold bishop said. .. , \. church mandatory retirement age, ville.Bheldon has been appointed by Pope John Paul II as J. Watts)
Employees Sheldon said he hasno set agenda, 'in April, said he doesn't mean to ':5f
ontainer in though he said the Diocesan Synod of second-guess the Second Vatica~ Shclci~n also commented on the ef- aware of the diocesan St. John Arena bishops," He said the Diocese of
e informed 1983, .called by Ottenweller the best Council decision that all bishops . fects ~r
declining population and being for, sale on Tuesday and Cleveland used to have more than
ible closure" accomplishment in his time as retire at 75. spiraling costs on Catholic education reserved comment until he learns three auxiliaries,
ccording to bishop, sets the stage for the work of "My health is very good, but I institutions, more about it. The Diocese of Steubenville is the
, vice presi- the local church. think you come to the time where the He said increasing costs mean in- Asked if the I)·county 8,eJ uf the YULlngi'st of the six dioceses in Ohio.
urces for "My ,theme song fornow Is 'Get- mind is not as sharp as it w~~,.You come must be raised and expenses diocese calls for an auxiliary bishop, running from Carroll County to
ting to Know You.' I hopeto do that," get tired. I would like to do tht things must l:ietut, but for declining student both the new bishop and the retiring Lawrence County at the southern tip
Sheldon said. noting the diocese is ',I like to do," Otlenweller said. popul~(lons, marketing is the one sai? while one might be needed, of the state, with 48,255 Catholics in
facing a shortage of priests that is af- Calling the parish the key to the answet.'·}'·'· , there IS Virtually no chance the the diocese. which has 153 priests,
fecting the church nationwide, .Juture of ,the, church, Ottenweller "Our'2neea is to sell Catholic Vatican would approve one, 100 of them in active work,
y's edition
It's up to priests and Catholic said he wilJwork,~AArisluenewal schools,':.lJe said, adding the church "In our.diocese, we say that after Ou e nwcl le'r was installed as
r are Sears,
families, to).-huild .vocations. .to . and has signedup lor worKshops, must try to convince not only its own you get over the first hill from bishop Nov. II. 1977, after he was ap-
and J.e.
religious life, Sheldon sald.>. "I'm ready to hang it up as far as people but those outside the Catholic Steubenville, every pastor is a pointed Oct. II, 1977, The first bishop
"Nolin the hard sell; but by the ex- administration and all that goes, but faith that Catholic schools have bishop," Ottenwellcr joked Sheldon was .John King Mussio, appointed
amples they (priests) set. When I am not going to hang it up as far as something to offer, 'said the Vatican is "not inclined to Marrh 16, 19h Mussio died April 15,
Priests show themselves to be com- ..••. the cburch.vOttenweller'
~ :. -: I,.
sald. '
f ,~~" --Sht'kion said he was only made
' provide. a .plcthora of auxiliary IT-fl,