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This 4 page addendum includes comments from Steven B Clark, James Hitchcock and the author; an update on the outcome of Ottenweller investigation in Steubenville, OH.


I know little about the internal life of the various charismatic communities 1,nthe United States. Assume for the sake of argument that there are serious problems in need of correction. Nevertheless. it is troubling to read in Thomas Nash's .June article'. "Schism in Ann Arbor." about various corrective measures being imposed by ecclesiastical authorities. As most readers of FIdelity know. the term "fundamentalist" is now tossed about to libel any Catholic who is sincerely trying to be orthodox in the fullest sense. While we wish it were otherwise. local church authorities are more likely to tolerate even blatant abuses corning from the "left" than minor ones from the "right." A particular community is accused of being overly "pessimistic." which in practice often means taking sin seriously and daring to doubt that everything done in the name of renewal is truly of God. They are accused of "demeaning attitudes towards women." which has become a stock feminist charge against the clergy in general. and particularly the orthodox clergy. One community was formally commanded to cease its recruitment program. Has anyone heard of such a restriction being trn-

posed on even the most ultra-feminist order of nuns? The community's leaders have been required to submit to "formal. religious training." Who is going to administer such training. and in accordance with what criteria of authenticity? Mr. Nash discusses the conflicts between the People of Hope community and Archbishop Peter L. Gerety. formerly of Newark. I have no direct acquaintance with the People of Hope. However. at tile time of the conflict I did study the documentation of the' case. Among Archhishop Gerety's charges against the community were that they accepted the Scriptures literally and' that they did not incorporate a feminist perspective. Whatever may be the deflciencies of some of these communities, we ought realistically to fear that often the cure will be worse than the disease. James Hitchcock St. Louis. Missouri

I do not therefore understand Jthe claim in the letter of Mr. Gal-Jollo lic to Fr. Schneider which Mr. Nash cites. Thank you for letting clarify this point. me

Most Rev. Theodore E. McCarrick Archbishop of Newark. New Jersey

'Mr. Nash Replies:

I thank Archbishop McCarrick for his complimentary comments. However. I regret not having called the Archdiocese of Newark prior to publication to verify the asser-f tions Bob Gallic made in his letter to Father Herb Schneider. S.J. Upon request from Archbishop McCarrick. I have since FAXed/olJo him a copy of the Gallic lettg, which Steve Clark gave to me as evidence of a Catholic covenant community remaining in the Sword of the Sp1r1tand enjoying a good relationship with its bishop. The letter was also distributed to SOS leaders and members.

Significant Error
Despite the excellent research in Tom Nash's article about the current situaUon in some of the covenanted communiUes in our Fidelity (September, 1991)

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Manipulation and Control

I want to commend you for the fine article Mr. Nash wrote regarding the split in Ann Arbor. As a former member of the Sword of the SpirIt branch here in Steubenville. Ohio. Iwould like to offer a few comments.

they received at the hands of the leadership. Here in Steubenville we have witnessed the devastlng results of this same manipulation and control. Individuals are struggling to salvage their faith in God, and/ or the Church as a result. There is one final observation I would like to make. The leaders of the Word of God have begun to admit their past faults. This is the beginning but not the end of repentance. Are the leaders "bearing fruit that befits repentance" (Luke 3:8)? In what concrete ways are they helping those who have been hurt by their misdeeds? I believe this will be the true test of their repentance.

Clark also freely made crttlcal comments about parties interviewed for the article. From a journalistic point of view. to ignore the split and the ongoing disagreements between WOG and SOS offlctals would be to miss the story. Public discussions or critiques of problems among Christians are not necessarily bad. particularly within Catholic forums. because they provide an opportunity for all parties concerned to gain education and. one hopes. edification. The manner in which the public critiques are engaged in ultimately rest not on the journalist interviewing but on the intervieweeson how they decide to make their points and respond to those with whom they disagree.

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Readers of Fidelity may wonder why you devoted' as many pages in your magazine as you did. It's easy to believe that this is a problem affecting only a few thousand people in the Charismatic Renewal. In reality the Sword of the Spirit has influence beyond its numbers in the Church. business community. and even with governments in Kevin B. Flynn whose countries communities Steubenville. Ohio exist [e.g . Nicaragua and the Philippines]. A model of evangeHad there been a climate relism was adopted that targeted ceptive to crtticism Inside the leaders in these areas through WOG and SOS from the organizavarious "outreaches" of the comtions' origins. whether that critimunities. These outreaches incism came from those outside the cluded UniversIty Christian Outorganizations, the members or reach (to evangelize students and from within the organizations' future leaders). businessmen's bl leaders. I'm confident the serious lunches. Couples for Christ. Pu ic Critiques F.I.R.E . etc. All of these activities I was di smaye d th at th e ar- problems that developed would have been minimized. spread SOS influence throughout ti I b t Th S d f th S irit society c e a ou e wor 0 e p Mr. Clark also states that he . appeared the way it did. I do not Locally we have seen how the lbelieve it proper. for Christians to does "not believe the reporter acFranciscan University has been engage in such public critiques of curately presented my views." I conducted about four hours of in.affected by the Sword of the Spirit. one another. terviews with Mr. Clark. which I Fr. Michael Scanlan. the President I also do not believe the re- taped with his approval and meof the UnIversIty. also served in Iaccuthe top leadership of the SOS. porter accurately presented my ticulously transcribed. rately quoted Mr. Clark from the views. SOS leaders served on the Board interviews and in citations taken of Trustees of the UniversIty and 9 Stephen B. Clark from his books. correspondence spoke at the numerous summer 7t' Gnadenthal, Germany and notes made during college. I conferences held there. Commu$w fPr4llfil,Atl. ? o have the evidence in hand. If Mr. nity members were hired as facClark would like to specify how I ulty members. served as advisors inaccurately presented his views. to student households. and hold h I would be happy to respond. a number of other pOSitiOnS' Mr. Nas Replies: whether in the pages of Fidelity or throughout the UnIversity. When Mr. Clark decided on in some other forum. I think such Mr. Nash quotes a number of being interviewed. he knew there a charitable exchange would bencurrent members of the Word of would be an article published. and efit all members of the SOS and God on the spiritual benefits of he knew others were being interWOG, as well as other concerned viewed who disagreed with him Catholics. covenant community. I couldn't help wonder how Francme McIn- ccncerrung issues involving the (ovt4.) Word of God (WOG) and the tosh and other former members Sword of the Spirit (SOS). Mr. Survived the coercion and abuse


Fidelity (September, 1991)





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An Update on "Schism in Ann Arbor"

On June 18, Bishop Albert H. Ottenweller of Steubenville "reported that allegations of wrongdoing within the Servants of Christ the King Community have 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 came from Sword of the Spirit (SOS) teachings. be corrected. He promised that professional help will be bffered to lead the Servants through a healing process" (Steubenville Register; June 21. 1991). Bishop Ottenweller reported on the findings of a canonical visitation committee. which affirmed these allegations of misconduct in the Servants of Christ the King: Spirit (the bishop directed the "exit counsell1ng" and also a con'commuruty to leave in January tnbuting author to Cults. Sects and the community complied): . and the New Age.
2. The pastoral care system used in the Servants of Christ the King Community must be reformed; . 3; There must be a stronger connection with the Catholic Church through the localbishop since he Is responsible for the well-being and the orthodoxy of the parish. MDr. Margaret Singer. a psychologist from Berkeley. Calif., and internationally known expert on cults. is coming to work with mental health professionals and peychologtsts," the Steubenvtlle Register reported in its June 21 edition. "to share her expertise In overcoming shame. going through a grieving process. growing in wholeness. and coming to a healthy outlook on self. fam1lyand Church."

-Control of members' lives; -Elitism: -Secrecy and privacy concerning Community affairs: According to the Steubenuille -Intrusion into familylife: -Fundamentalism, in Register. Bishop Otlenweller noted which the Community "lookedto that while there is a need to reSword of the Spirit rather than form harmful structures and forto the Magtstertum of the Catho- mation practises. there is also a need to help those hurt via those lic Church for its teaching." structures and practises. The -Lack of compassion: newspaper said the bishop offered -Financial disclosures to assistance for spiritual and emothe Diocese of Steubenville; "while there were no financial tional healing for present and past improprieties as such, the fi- Community members, many of. nances only of the Servants of who are presently in counseling. Christ the KJngFellowship ParThe canonical visitation comish, and not of the larger Committee include Father James munity. were revealed to the diLeBar. author of Cults. Sects and ocesan authorities." the New Age and director of the "Sword of the Spirit played a Office of Cult Awareness in the Archdiocese of New York; Father substantial role in the pastoral visitation," the newspaper re- Walter Debold. professor of world ported. Ottenweller said that three religions at Seton Hall University and a contributing author to things have become clear to him: Cults. Sects and the New Age; and Kent Burtner of the Archdiocese 1. The Community must stay free of the Sword of the of San Francisco. an expert in

"Sword of the Spirit teachings and programs have made a deep impression on the membership." Bishop Ottenweller told the newly elected interim covenant community leadership in June. "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."

Dr. Singer and Fathers LeBar. Debold and Burtner were among the professionals who carne to Ann Arbor July 16-17 at the Word of God's (WOG) request. According to WOG historian and former Community member Tern Yoder. they were part of a team that on July 16 "gave a presentation . , , on the problems that members of Intense, closed groups sometimes face. and some aspects of recovery." About 300 people attended the presentation. said Yoder. includtng Ralph Martin. Also Included were members and former members alike from Sword of the Spirit-Washtenaw (official SOS branch based in Ann Arbor); WOG; the Work of Christ Fellowship of Ann Arbor (afilllated with the WOG); and the Servants of the Word (an SOS apostolic group of celibate men). Audio tapes of the presentation are available from the WOG office in Ann Arbor. Yoder said. A similar presentation on "recovery issues" is expected to take place in Ann Arbor in the fall. Thomas J, Nash

Fidelity (September, 1991)