The Spiritual Journey of Jimmy Flynn

Banished Prophet to the People of Hope

I was getting the oil changed in my car this afternoon and trying not to cry. The two events were not related. I was reading the letters of Mr. James Flynn, affectionately known as "Jimmy" by those who called him friend. Jimmy and I shared a similar path. We both saw things that were wrong with our Covenant Communities back in the late 1980s. I lived in Steubenville Ohio at that time, a founding member of the Servants of Christ the King, a branch of the Sword ofthe Spirit. Jimmy was in Newark, NJ (or close by) and was an early member of the People of Hope, a branch of the Sword of the Spirit. I have tried to write about some of my experiences in the Sword of the Spirit, but anything I have written pales in comparison to the letters of Jimmy Flynn. I am convicted over and over again by his constant desire to speak out of love, to chastise himself for speaking or thinking otherwise, for always wanting to avoid blame and anger. At the same time, I am amazed at the man's insistence that he be heard ... an insistence born out of pure love for the People of Hope and her leaders ... and rejected/ abandoned/ expelled out of hand by the same. In my brief 55 years on this earthly plane, I have never been more convicted of my own self righteousness and desire to land a punch as I am by Jimmy Flynn's words. Guys like this -while not being perfect- are certainly further along the path toward Sainthood than I will ever be. Jimmy loved the Catholic Church. He trusted that Jesus worked through his Archbishop. He fought with the self appointed "Coordinators" of his community and begged them to come fully under the care and guidance of their Bishop. His constant self examination, speaking out of love and faithfulness to the Church should garner him some pretty good seats at the Second Coming. I call Jimmy the Banished Prophet to the People of Hope. That's the way I see him. He spoke to them about what God wanted long before they were willing to listen. Like the true Prophets of Old, he was cast out of the assembly for speaking things to power that power did not want to hear. Just one example: "Coordinators, lay down your crowns, your positions, your lives, before Me. Let My People go. They are not yours. They are Mine." I don't know where Jimmy is today. I tried to find him -left a voice mail for him- but haven't heard back. He has no idea I am going to post his letters for the world to read. I don't think it's going to be a problem. He sent these letters to me 20 years ago with the hope that I would use them. I know Jimmy Flynn is no perfect guy. A mutual acquaintance believes he has suffered divorce. I don't know the particulars, but I know that the same thing happened to me several years after I left Steubenville. We are not perfect, and some folks will discount our stories because of it. But if only the perfect are allowed to speak, then its likely to get pretty quiet around here. Happy New Year to all of Us and much Peace,

The Spiritual Journey of Jimmy Flynn, Banished Prophet to the People of Hope.
Table of Contents Prologue: POH-Flynn1992-0S-13 Introductory letter to John Flaherty

All letters after this introduction are in chronological order of their creation. 1) POH-Flynn1991-0S-23 Flynn's letter to Coordinators of People of Hope that will result in his expulsion from the Community on July S, 1991. 2) POH-Flynn1991-0S-26 The Flynn's are asked not to attend their "cluster group" meetings any longer. 3) POH-Flynn1991-0S-26 Flynn appeals to Rev Bishop Paul Cordes, Vice President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity in Rome, Italy. 4) POH-Flynn1991-0S-30 In a piece titled "Pacem In Terris," Flynn responds to the intense criticism of the Coordinators of the People of Hope, urges other community members to follow their Catholic Bishop. S) POH-Flynn1991-06-10 Flynn reacts to being accused of violating the 8th commandment by reading or listening to material about the findings of other investigations and developments in other Sword of the Spirit Communities. 6) POH-Flynn 1991-07 -03 Flynn reiterates his and his family's commitment to the Coordinators and the Body of the People of Hope. On July 5, 1991 Jimmy Flynn and his family are expelled from the People of Hope. The Coordinators accuse him of having broken his public commitment by speaking publicly about his concerns that the People of Hope were no longer following God and had avoided authentic submission to their rightful pastor, the Archbishop. 7) POH-Flynn1991-09-16 Flynn calls his family'S expulsion an unwanted "divorce." 8) POH-Flynn1991-09-27 Flynn describes his "homecoming" to the Catholic Church and reflects back on his participation in the People of Hope.

9) POH-Flynn1992-01-24 Flynn mourns the perception of the leaders of the People of Hope, who label Flynn a, "traitor, detractor, destroyer, following the evil one." 10) POH-Flynn1992-01-27 Flynn continues to repent for his failure to love as Christ would have loved, to exhort people to reflect on their lives and the life of the community. He remarks that he and his wife are just getting to know each other after 12.5 years in community. "Oftentime there was more of a marriage between pastoral leader and member then between husbund and wife," he writes. 11) POH-Flynn1992-01-29 "Advice became Law." "Love became legislation." "[Jesus] got extremely angry at the Pharisees ... and He loved them too. Jesus came as the light, but they preferred to live in darkness. They missed the day of salvation because they "knew God better"; Jesus just did not live up to thier expectations." 12) POH-Flynn1992-01-31 Flynn the Prophet speaks to the Leaders of the People of Hope, who ignore him. "Coordinators, lay down your crowns, your positions, your lives, before Me. Let My Peole go. They are not yours. They are Mine." Flynn exposes the double minded deceptiveness of Sword of the Spirit leaders by attaching an SOS Council decision dated October 20, 1990 that states: "Some member groups, while sharing in collaboration with the Sword of the Spirit, may find it more helpful to engage in outreach activities and relationships with other groups under the title of Christ the King Association rather than the Sword of the Spirit. Their collaboration with the Sword of the Spirit, while continuing fullyJ will not be always expressed publicly." 13) POH-Flynn1992-02-20 Flynn quotes the words of Fulton Sheen while challenging the leaders of Hope to follow their rightful Catholic pastor, the Archbishop. 14) POH-Flynn1992-04-13 Reguarding intentionality and wrongdoing, Flynn writes: "I know an indvidual may feel incriminated by pointing out wrongs in a system ... some identify so closely with it ... some are the architects of it ... However, I do not want to point the finger at any person." 15) POH-Flynn1992-07 -01 Jimmy Flynn has been out of Hope for one year. The separation has given him time to reflect on how the Covenant Community controlled him and still controls others. He also becomes more specific about how members were confronted and forced to admit fault or leave via fear and intimidation. "Guilt



~ -------



and fear ...two tactics used often by leaders-- to get member to repent and stay, or leave with shame." 16) POH-Flynn1992-12-06 III was not given understanding but condemnation ...and put on death row. The trouble is, the community had become a church, leaders "saviors" and others leaders "bishops" with power to "bind and loose". I am still waiting to be "pardoned" by the community and leaders. Yet, I know absolution lies with Christ, and is ministered through His priests. I lived within the system so long that the system had power over me and my family. As the "love of law" replaced the "law of love" my spirit crumbled '" yet I was always the one to blame, for not trusting leaders, for listening to friends who were hurt by the system, for going outside the "family" for spiritual guidance." 17) POH-Flynn1992-12-09 lilt is not for what I wrote or to whom I wrote that I repent. I had tried to understand and live, humbly, within a system of loving, that had become a system of fear, law, and guilt. I tried to trust and love, while I saw less of Christ preached/lived and saw more of Hope preached/lived (in myself and others). Ultimately, my reason and free will was violated once too many times; my conscience fought becoming the community conscience (mind). I no longer saw Jesus as Lord of the People of Hope, and I saw us becoming separated from the Catholic Church." 18) POH-Flynn1992-12-12 In the final letter of the spiritual journey ofJimmy Flynn, he writes to the retired Archbishop Peter Gerety who initiated the investigation into the People of Hope some seven years earlier. Flynn writes, "It is sad what has happened. I do not want to look at Hope leaders or members with anger or hate; I do not blame them for my staying as long as we did; God's grace was offered us earlier; I did not accept His hand, and yours." 19) POH-FlynnAddendum In this final piece, Jimmy Flynn is addressed by an 86 year old person who has looked over the teachings from the Pastoral Training Institute. He finds that they are based on doctrines outside the Catholic Church. These doctrines were developed by the Protestant brethren at Christian Growth Ministries: Mumford, Basham, Baxter, Prince and Simpson (Also referred to as the "Ft. Lauderdale Five."] Steven Clark, Ralph Martin, Kevin Ranahaghn and Paul DeCelles -all four leaders in the early Catholic Charismatic Renewal- would bring these protestant teachings into Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the mid 1970s. All nine men would secretly ally themselves in a "Council" that took unofficial oversight over Charismatic Renewal, both Protestant and Catholic. Steven B Clark, architect of

the Sword of the Spirit, was their secretary. The notes from Council meetings that Clark took can be found here: In the end, Jimmy Flynn's friend had probably discovered the primary problem between Catholic Covenant Communities and their Catholic Bishops.

John Flaherty Grand Island, NE December 31, 2011

Dear John, Marie Hack and Tom Morris recently contacted

me •.. last night I spent some in Steubenville. Figured away.

time with a fellow named Tony who was part of your community it was time to write You probably

you ••• have t~~ed a few times ..• a couple pages: Hope to mind, with many unresolved of the arteries.

got carried

know how calling

relationships/differences. I become a

could cause "angst", "basket

ogeta, or hardening

After writing

case" or so wide awake it's difficult

to sleep. Anyway, to Coordinator's

It has been almost a year since writing was preceeded by years of discussion The Church,

let me not delay. 1'791 and friends. ThisAletter my conscience over the

with them .•. as I batteled neighbors

merits of Hope.

local bishops,

ect. saw something

fishy but I leaders

could not bring myself

to admit~at

I saw and heard,in

word and actions,from

was "off", did not make sense. I was overpowered grateful, guilt .•• As one coordinator thousands

with fear, accusations

of not being

put it "Jim, how could you not trust us, after all of dollars (exaggeration), the help ••." Shame that Bishops

we have done for you ... the on me, To even mention

it (in 1986 this was).

I accepted

their statements

were off, the Church was going secular, That everyone Church.

the world would swallow

my wife and kids .•.

was out to get Hope ••• the percecuted

one, for the sake of Christ and His +detraction (keep problems I

By }lay 1991, with Hope pronouncements plus my own experience the intimidation

on counseling

"in the family")

over 15 years with leaders and bondage that enslaved

and members,

could no longer stomach

me and others,

in the name of God and the Church. One of the top leaders "broken anyon~cHe the stained persisted


called me in Jul~ and laid on me more guilt over how I had

glass window" ..••. gtiJ. ~ in his accusations,

:r: SI\"o

was sorry and did not mean to hurt

then declared

my Lord now as when I was first baptised

in the Spirit".




is as much

I have thought

about this for

a long time. I cannot help but draw the conclusion, to my own experience, that of others,

from what I see and hear, in realtion that Hope and communities Coordinators like

and local bishops,

it have become"ll)rds unto themselves •.. and little churches". bishops, and leaders have become and temporal

have replaced

lives in spiritual with "community dress, shorts,

as priests .•. all exercising more authority over members ~ M ftIC~"" fJlj~IJf). mattersA Mem ers are free to act, but if not in accord.} mind) then you do not. belong (even on matters as





pants ••. let alone major areas like need for counseling being accused of slandering or overriding

or right to system).

seek counsel without Leaders Archbishop in service

the pastoral

in Hope still refuse

to lay aside their positions. for any con~unity

to step down, as the Is their position have told me is what;

advises would be proper to Christ,

he could approve.

the Church, members system,

or to self? Many Coordinators

since 1985 that "the pastoral saved the community the foundation,

tight bond of Coordinators attempt to destroy

and members,

from the bishops

it in 1985/86."

Is Jesus Christ

the Savior? Or is it the Pastoral


Who is really Lord? Who is being served? What is being built? For the life of me, it just seems like the answer Lords and members members (the community)have become

(2) For who?

is "man" ••. Men have become upon them that leaders and

so dependent

both fear extinction of the bishop.

if those who lead were to step down .•• even at the has been built? If it did"fall apart', who question


Whose Kingdom

is it being held up by? "btieS£=the firmly believe


and those who follow

them without

that the will of Christ is being accomplished

by them ••. and enemies for the Church, and for

of theirs and the Church are out to destroy what God wants these members as part of the Church.

I guess if they believe

they doing God's will

there is not much else that can be done .•• but try to love, and pray. You know John, there is still so much anger inside of me ••• it is difficult to

pray. •. and I want to slug some of those guys who made me feel like shit ••• who "made" me apologize high school wrestle for their bullying and

--" college

me and other friends

of mine.

I use to wrestle


••• I wish I could get some of them on the mat today. And I of mine to forgive and let go, .to forget. I have a

with this unwillingness


wife and seven children ••• there is much to be thatkful

for, to work for, these

to be concerned people?

about ••. Why do. I still spend hours in mind and soul fighting one letter would

Why? After a year out .•• and I thought

take care of it ! for listening.

Let me close ••• we can talk again if you like. God bless you. Thanks Sincerely,

Jim Flynn

Ave. NJ 07922 Heights, or is Hope preaching Course in 1980's until today it have never

368 Mountain Berkeley


Is "nothing

but Jesus Christ and Him crucified"

being preached

"Hope and Hope crucified "? In 1976 it seemed like the first. Since the Training seems to me Hope has preached

more of "Hope and Hope crucified. "Hope leaders
,.. , < ••••

e:&rer~d:dr,ess~ch<theG Tli<8.:iJn'i$fig;(1;~mrs~:i:1'abcili!s'es::; ?l18.'lcfT1"('Yearsago) it did not ••"Nley'h~Ve~"~ work for some fraternal because


I missed

the birth of three

(of seven) children

they told me it was unmanly of fear of being mocked

to be present.


or considered

The last three I saw I would never ~ a sissy. This was taught in the Tr. Course. in Hope have chosen to do what Yet, why


I think what makes me most sad/ angry is that friends follow the leaders the Archbishop rather then the Archbishop's advise.

Some said they would


then when he spoke ... decided

to follow the leaders.

should I be so angry, Archbishop,

I said the same thing back in 1985-86 •.• I wanted then I did not. Did I follow my conscience?

to follow the following

said I would,

Are members

their conscience? I said I was .•• they say they are ..• and the leaders But how has our conscience to follow their conscience. With whose individual teacheings? desires

(3) tell people

been formed over the past 15 years •• called to sacrifice mind".

In what enviorment?

We were always

for the sake of "the body" and to have a "community

While giving time and money to the community give our mind and conscience? How free are members unwillingness me of wrong, really? Has individual How responsible

in the name of the Lord, did we also conscience are people become "community conscience"? Their

for their actions?

to listen? Although and a distrust "love"for

leaders words and actions/decisions

were signs to

grew inside, I stayed, out of loyalty my wife and children,

to friends and in my

fear of the world, own ability

and lack of confidence

to see and know the truth clearly ••• As a Coordinator 1000 members be wrong and you be right Jim"?

told me in

1986 "How could

(I had told him I

thought the community Christ would

should do what the Archbishop

said, that he loved us, and

take care of us •.• All he said was Hope would be destroyed ••. What did But I stayed anyway, for 5 more years). that people are in a daze.

that say about trust in Jesus?

At times it is as if a haze sets over members, When I met friend at; a wake He simply stared straight expression, (whom I had given my May,

1991 letter to) I said hello This physical

ahead and prayed

in tounges as he passed.

like being in space, another world. if Hope is "Beyond Freedom and Dignity" in the B. F. Skinner sense" using spiritual enviorment by "the world,

I wonder

If an Arian type of race in the Catholic behavior modification

Church is being formed,

system of reward and punishment

in a controlled then be influenced

where leaders have the formula for purity ... Rather flesh, and devil" folks submit to the influence them. Is there any more freedom and dignity says folks are determined, controlled

of others who "know what is best" for then with Skinner, who unfree, so

in this enviorment

by their enviorment Trouble

you may as well control them positively. influence"is?

is, who determines


anyway, basically

what a "positive

I do not think anyone can rob another of their innate, reason. Different on nature, Eventually, a person will be pushed breaking


free will and

to far •.• and the person will push back.

people have different is necessary

points. And the grace of God, while building when human reason and language

, so necessary,

is exhausted

in an effot to expose truth in love. It takes so much patience, forgiveness Christ. God bless you John. to bear with one another ••• I continue

and love, and

to fall short, and crawl back to



Coordinators of the People of Hope, friends, anyone who will listen: This is what I see going on in our community: 1. Sword of the Spirit: We never really left the Sword of the Spirit. We left in name (Christ the King) but not in heart and structtire.Examples: a. You continued to pass out to us "Sword of the Spirit "newsletters up until 1988-1989. b. In the fall of 1990 Steve Clark, a leader in Sword of the Spirit came to Mary Street ab the Coordinators request to give the Coordinators a retreat. c. Coordinators continued to be "formed in the mindset of Sword of the Spitit simply through attendance at Meetings run by Sword of The Spirit leaders from 1986 through today. d. Head coordiantiors of the Word of God and Servants of Christ the King (who know our leaders, community, and structure very well) have told me: "People of Hope come from the same root". This is in response to my question "Do you think we are really like you"? e. My own personal prayer, examination of conscience, speaking with our leaders, reading about and listening to other peoples experiences in our community, Word of God, Servants of the Christ the King •.. I come to the conclusion in my own soul that we ARE NO DIFFERENT ... our attitude and structure today is still "Sword of the Spirit".

2. Attitude towards ordaillled aut'hority in the Catholic Church: Is one of "I like you if you like us (agree with us)." We have a rebellious and basic distrust of Church authority. Examples: a. Archbishop Gerety was (and is still) accused by leadership in Hope of being a "liberal" and out to get us. This is done in a public way. It undermines members basic desire to trust our Bishop ..• Therefore it destroys our unity with the Catholic Church. b. Archbishop McCarrick: We did not follow his direction to us in 1986. We did not accept his leadership or believe he loved us. Leaders constantly appealed to higher authority, saying the new Archbishop did not really understand us and did not want to make Archbishop Gerety look bad. c. There is a vindictive spirit (spoken) in some leaders and people that says even today:" That Archbishop Gerety got what he deserved ... told to retire early by Rome in 1986." Slandering the good name and intentions of Bishops in the Church occurs here frequently. d. Bishop Ottenwhiler: He was hailed as our friend and great supporter of our life in Christ the King ... "If he approves of Steubenville, we must be O.K .... we are part of them ... same statues ... our Bishop must not understand us ... " Now that Bishop Ottenwhiler has disbanded Servants of Christ the King our leaders tell us publically: He does not understand ... it is just some malcontents disturbing things out there~ He does not understand~ He understands when he is for us ... but when he does not support our life like we want him to ... he now does not understand2 We are like Stubenville .when Bishop approves; but when Bishop disapproves we blame "malcontents". I personally believe that Bishops, while being human, are ordained and graced to see matters in their own diocese very clearly, and do not make big decisions and public statements unless they have clearly p~ayed and thought through the matters for whom they are comissioned by God in the Catholic Church to Shepherd and love. He does understand! 3. Fundamentalist attitude towards Sacred Scripture and heavy reliance upon on Coordinators body of teachings: We use (abuse) God's word to justify our own positions (thoughts). We use papal teachings where they f~t in with our way of doing things. He regard our own teachings as "Gods wisdom" as if they were a new form of "Didache" (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles written in the early Church. Examples: a.Youhave toi.fise Matthew 18 principal in all affairs. No speaking to anyon~e else in order to dicern the truth uwless you go through "all the channels" (Pastoral leader, Coordinator, Head Coordiantor ... )By the time you get done



with all that I am so confused, beat up, worn out ... all I can do is feel guilty, wrong, and told maybe I just do not have a vocation to the community. b.As I seek to know the truth of these days unrest in my own soul (been unrest for at least 5 years now) by talking and listening to others, I am warned: "You better watch out. Scripture says: "He who sows discension amoungst the breath ern is liable to the fires of hell". Talk about using scripture (out of love) which instills fear in the soul. I go home shaking when I hear this.(Until my good wife Maureen reminds me that the evil one used scripture to try to get Jesus to do what he wanted in the desert. I tmink the same use of Gods word has fallen into abuse in The People of Hope. 4. Basic Identity: Although we are not sanctioned (approved) as a religious order in the Church our structure, speach, dependency upon leaders for dicernment, attitude is one of a "ordained religious order" ... We really believe God wants us to be the way we are.Examples: a. Language like this is constantly used by leaders and menbers to describe our life: "We ar e r t h e model for the Church; the model for family life in the ' Church; this is the Kingdom of God; where else can you find a life like this; this is a vocation, maybe God has another place for you; we are a family (heavy concentration on "our children", corporate identity); this is just like a marriage ... It seems to me that we have sacramentalized our way of life and ordained our elders even before the Church has approved our statues ... and we make serious public commitments to a way of life with positions of permanenny in coordinators (extreme expectations and trust) even before the Church says "this is good". For my own marriage and family life this has just brought division between husbund and wife, between me and the Catholic Church ("How can you believe the Archbishop is right when 1000 members are deciding to stay in the Community"I was often told by leaders), and has brought tension into my home and family life. This is to say nothing of the extraordinary time commitments placed (asked) of me (serving) which seperated me from my wife and children. All in an effort to love our community (and I do love our community, the people who make up our community). b. Leaders have actually compared us to this day with religious orders: "You can't be in the Franciscans and Benedictines at the same time ... choose where you want to live" ... "We are a religious order" ... "We are becoming a a religious order" ... If you do not do (trust) what I say as your pastoral leader you are not following the order (pattern) of our life and thus will break the covenant .... " The attitude, demands" expectations go on and on ... but if you are not happy here, you can always leave. 5. Spiritual, Interior Life: Prayer is forced, regulated, and the Holy Spirit is stifled. Examples: We are told by the coordinators we must (should) pray an hour and day and part of that prayer time has to be charismatic prayer. The childern have to pray out loud, sing loud at school, raise their hands ... if they do not they are characterized as rebelling, not in unity, not building up the body (of the People of Hope). I feel so deeply a loss of Ln t e r Lo r: s o La ce with God, room for silence, and the putting of God in a box by those over me in the Lord.At gatherings I feel like a noisy gong and clanging cymbal ... my soul has been empty and prayer life has suffer~d for many, many years while in community. Too much rushing, to much talking ... I am afraid in some ways we have been making God into our own image and glorifying ourselvers rather then Him. 6. Church Encycles:Coordinators use in teachings what suppots our life or .h~the way that we think or ways coordinators think we need to change. ExamplQ: We never heard but in Christifideles Laici our Holy Father says:" (73-74) A criteria for the ecclesiality of Lay Groups is that "communion with pope and bishop must be expressed in loyal readiness to embrace the doctrinal teachings and pastoral initiatives of both Pope-and-13Isnop. We did not embrace the pastoral initiatives of our Bishop in 1985 and 1986. ....~ .. We simply did not.

- -"--



b. In the Apost@lic Fathers, St. Ignatius of Antioch says over and over: "Therefore we must regard the Bishop as the Lord himself ': the necessity .. of subordination to the Bishop. "As then the Lord was united to the Fatherand did nothing without him, neither by himself or through the Apostles, so do you do nothing without the bishop and the presbyters. Do not attempt to make anything appear right for you by yourselves ... let there be one mind, one hope in love ... in the joy that is without fault, that is Jesus Christ, then whom there is nothing better. Then "whom there is nothing better, Jesus Christ" this is the answer to the question thrown at us about where~ould go , what could be better then community ... Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. ANd again St. Ignatius says: For when you are in subjection to the Bishopas to Jesus Christ, it is clear to me that you are living not after men, but after Jesus Christ, who died for our sake, that by believing on His death you may escape death. Therefore it is necessary (as is ~our practice) that you should do nothing without the bishop ... " It was our practice to do this until 1985-86. And on the need of remaining loyal to the bishop, with Ihumili:ty :and simple teaching, St. Ignatius warns against heresy asying: "Beware therefore of such men; and this will be possible for you, if you are not puffed up, and are inseperable from God, from Jesus Christ, and from the Bd sh op and the (, (i i. ordinances of the Apostles. He who is within the sanctuary is pure, but he who is without the sanctuary i~ not pure; that is to say, whoever does anything apart from ~he bishop, and the presbytery, and thexdeacons is not pure in his conscience. All of this taken form St. Ignatius, an Apostolic Father, letters to the Trallians,Magnesians, andEphesians. I think they are also letters directly to us. I opened to this book after the Archbishop spoke to us on the night of the Immaculate Conception, Dec.8. 1986. I read them and knew in my conscience it was right to follow Archbishop McCarrick. I ddd for a week. T was constantly pursued by coordinators and others to review my thinking in light of Cannon Law. lay association, Sword of the Spirit leadership ad v is e ... A nd I g av e in... I gave in 0u t 0 f "10 v e" for you all , my de ar wi fe, and children ... the desire to have them safe and protected from "the world". I did not follow my conscience. It lead to 5 struggling, empty years of . .. " prayer an d~oOR 1 atlons h lPS In communlty ~re Wlt hId ea ers. . Jesus, please forgive me; Archbishop, please forgive me; Maureen, please forgive me ; children, please me; coordinators, please forgive me; brothers and sisters, please fogive me. Our of "love" I followed men rather then our dear Lord and Savior voice I heard through our Bishop, 7. Control: There is an excessive amount of control exercised (unordained) by leaders over people they pastor. This leads to a deep distrust of our own conscience (as pointed out above) and distrust of our ability to dicern (know) what is best for our own lives and the people God has given us to help in our marriages. Examples: Even the littlest of matters (like if I should go the wake of a friends father or a district gathering) are ordered t o ub e be brought to the pastoral leader for dicernment (permission). Going to a counselor for help is considered in some cases a "dual pastoral system". The person is told if he choses to do this he will have to leave the community, We think of ourselves as "having all the answers and all the resources for taking care of everyonre in the commmunity~ ~~someone thinks the~ need more help (say 12 step program) and the pastoral leader or coordinator disagrees, the person has one choice: do what we think or leave the community". Who ever said we were Savior's of people wh o lived in the community? Who gave us that responsibility, ordination, or grace? Have we simply assumed that grace to be present in the pastoral system? Another example: At ,a recent General Community Gathering we were taught by the Coordinators: It is a sin of pride to gossip and slander. It is gossip and



slander to talk or listen to anyone (but your pastoral leader or person in question ... again, Mt.18 ... go up the ladder)about problems you are having in or with the community or it's teaching. Repent! Well, I had been to see Msgr. Hayes, discussed these difficulities with my spiritual director, trie~ to seek the truth not only in prayer but also listening to the pain sufferd by people who had been really treated "cruely" by the pastoral leadership system (my friends who I love and care about) ... And I am told at a Gathering, which is part of the body of Community Teaching, that I am gossiping, slandering, and causing other people to slander ... I turned to my wife on the bleacher and said: "Sounds like they have been listening to me ..• but you know, I am not is least bit feel guilty". But, because I know my own pride and weakness I went to confession and asked the priest (and a few other priests and spiritual directors after that) if I had sinned. He said certaintly not. I also asked head coordinator i~ another community like ours about this and he said "JIm, I use to say the same thing to people under me. I was wrong. I tried to control other peoples lives". I th ink that the com m unit y pas tor a 1 s y s tern is afr aid 0 f the L igh t ;, it' sow n weakness being revealed, and thus, under pain of sin, tells people not to go outside the community for help. Another example: I was filled with Jesus love on ohe ThQrsday night a month going to an 8piliigIDedsillheu~e!. expressed I this joy, new excitment in my sharing group and with whomever I met. Two meditations, benediction, confession ... I was beginnnj to feel some spiritual life in my soul again. Until I was told by a leader that I had to stop going or leave the community. I was mad as a wet hen. Fought him for over an hour. I saw this as spiritual pride ... sort of a "we are jealous if you are not totally inspired by teachings in Hope". Well, he said the coordinato tols him to tell me this. I went to the coordinator. He said he did not really mean that ... that he just did not want me to get involved in that because it may interfere in my family life and committments to the community ... that " Benedictines do not go to Franciscan things" ... unless God was leading in that direction, then maybe Ll.d Ld not have a vocation to the People of Hope ... And moreover, if I had the time, maybe I could serve in the community service works on Thursday ... And furthermore, when the priests come back, maybe they can offer something l~ke this for us .... I do not bring this up to critisize anyone person. I just bring it up as a reflection of the "Community mind" we have all been expected to have. One last example in this area: I found a paper on the floor with four childrens from Koinonia names on it it. 'It was group project, writing a short story. It was about a girl who was beat up by someone. The four children write: 'PThe girl prayed out loud and the man heard h e r, and h el. was convert ed and was baptised, and married the girl and they both made ~n underway and public commitment to the People of Hope and lived happily ever after" . The being converted and baptised part sounds O.K. to me,; the emphesis on praying "out Loud t' a nd IIrhaking underway and public m en t s to the People of Hope and living happily ever" is something I am concerned about. I do not t h Ln k I pulling straws to say these things are emphesized in our life ... and the -children th~hk they have to (sometimes forced to) live up to this to be happy. I do not talk this way in our home. I am grateful for the love and relationships we share in Hope, but I certaintly do not hold it up as the answer for happiness. Wh ere are the chi 1d ren get t in g this fr om? 1ft her e is" re b ell ion " in the h ear ts 0 f some children in school, maybe it is the Holy Spirit crying out inside of the for some personal freedom and integrity as children of God ... Not :"our" children or an certain image of God , but our Lord Jesus revealing Himself to children in the way He wants to.. . not the way " community" wants Him to.. . It may be the Spirit of Jesus crying out to these children: "Let them oome unto Me".

What do I think we need to do? May I suggest we: Turn completely to Jesus and live in the Ket Jesus Christ be who He wants to be for us; individually 2. Do exactly as our local bishop says. Repent to him with

Catholic Church. and as a community. all of our heart and



soul, individually and as a community for not following him and trusting his love for us back in 1985 nad 1986 (To Archbishop Gerety and Archbishop McCarrick). Repent for every word uttered characte~izinl a Bishop as liberal and therefore giving him no respect ... and influencing others not to trust him. 3. Ask Archbishop McCarrick for his help in everyth~ng. Ask for him to help us get "untrained" and "retrained", all of us, head coordinators, coordinators, everyone. 4. Completely dissociate ourselves Sword of the Spirit and it's leaders. Completely 5. All coordinators step down from positions of authority. Accept the Archbishops means of helping us remain together if we desire to do so 6. Do not have any permane~cy of leaders, coordinators, ... It is too dangerous. The ordained grace is not even there. (No wonder I have had a hard time trusting leaders when they did not trust the Archbishop). 7. Love one anohher as Jesus has loved us. On a personal note, the more I come to think again, to trust my own "guts" and ability to dicern waht is good for me and with my wife, the good of my family; the happier I am becoming, the freerer man in Christ I am becoming. Ask Maureen, I am becoming a better husbund the more I get free from stime kind of "bondage" I have allowed myself to be under for many years. I am becoming, or :,think I will become a rbdt t e r dad f oer my chri Ld r enu (Noted Lt » is h ar d to say the words "happy" and "feel" since my emotions have been repressed for many years and this language is almost "foriegn" to me.) I am also beginning to feel like God really loves me, he loves Jim Flynn~ as he is. I know community teaching stresse this, but it always had a hard time sinking in. The-are w asv aLw a y s so much pressure put on me from the outside ... plus, I went against my conscience and have tried to please men for so long. Well, I will leave the rest in God's hands. I am free to talk and listen to anyone, and you may share this with someone if you think it would help them know they are not alone. If you are angry or hurt by me, I ask your forgiveness. None of this is written with malice. Although I must admit I get so angry at myself when I think of how weak I have been ,in(lstanding up for who and what I believe to be true. I just ask one thing. Do not gang up on me if you are mad at me for writing this. I can handle one at a time. You know I am use to wrestling, went 53-3-1 in high school loosing only to the State Champion. However, at 41 and with seven children who tire Maureen and lout, plus gaining so much weight ( up to 131 pounds f n o m 98 pounds in high school), I cou Lca+hand Le arguing or "defending" this paper with more then one person at a time. The person doe9i'+have to be in my weight class however, so everyone is welcome to talk. Let's Reep praying for one setting us all free ... all another. of us. I really believe our good Lord Jesus is

With love, ~~ Jim Flynn Member of the People of Hope since 1976 Public commitment made in 1979 Married to Maureen (met my wife in the community) Seven children, newborn to 10 years 908-464-0447




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We want to attend the cluster group and other People of Hope gatherings until we decide to stay in or leave the People of Hope. Reasons: We have been publically committed members since 1979 (MAureen 1978) and members since the community began in 1976. We have not decided to leave yet. We love the people in the community, our brothers and sisters in Christ. I have requested in writing from Walt/Bob evidence that I have broken the statues and have not recieved this information yet. I assume myself to be innocent until proven guilty. In good conscience I wrote and distributed the letter, after prayer, dicernment with my spiritual director. Msgr. Hayes, Archbishop McCarrick's liason to our Community, saw nothing wrong with my distributing, the letter (I spoke with him). --I~rwentup the 'pastoral system with some of my concerns in the letter prior to writing it. I still con~ider'these concerns valid and very serious matters, bordering on moral issues. Out of love for everyone I have a responsibility to make known these matters, not just to a select few within the pastoral system. These concerns are not my alone, and people in the community who share the same (and other) concerns, want to be encourged in seeking the truth and living in the light. This is our community as much as it is a coordinators community~ I recognize order should be maintained ••. the order of loving one another as Christ has loved us should guide our decisions. We think it would be good for us and the cluster group, and the community for us to attend meetings while we are in the process of deciding to remain or leave. Furthermore, if we were to leave the cluster group, it would only be proper, after over 2 years of being in the group, for us to discuss with them our concerns... and to let them speak with us. May OOur Locd ~s will be done. Sincerely,


Jim and Maureen Flynn O.n'emore .re as o nr .W.e.;!~ont:t';ib~b~ ... to the~com~unity·:ou·t :fi,~anc'J~l,~8:nd ~:~::.::;,::. m a c e r ial::·"' s s i s t·~.· )l;: .. :Re:;~a i pay-'ig,-.she"'.: r; n s a La ie.:~::o coc rd';:i, n a t: or s. i.: 1=: and o.f-fi.ces:t,'a'f£:;'co n t r Lbu t e to Ko Ln o nLa in having three children ; we: .: attend the 9chool,:~~ying tuition, and giving extra monies in pledges. Maureen helped our community for years as a handmaid, assisted in: , setting up and teaching the first "growth groups" , worked at camp, and so on. I have served in trying to love younger children and young adults in our community for years as a leader in young adults (1977-1985) which often ment 3 nights out a week plus Saturday afternoon. I have also been a pastoral leader and district head and worked in Couples for Christ. This is not to look for a pat on the back, but simply to say we have contributed to the building up of our life together, I am not seeking to destroy the community nor do I regard anyone as an enemy; my only desire is to be in accord with the will of Our Lord and to live in union with Him and the Ca+holic Church.

Walt, Bob F., and Robert have toJd us we are not permitted to attend, for~uur goodMand the~common good. We disagee. Yet, we do not want to upset your meeting. Please pray for us . Thank you.

5-26-91 Bishop Paul Cordes, President Pontifical Council Of the Laity 00120 Vatican City Vatican City State Dear Bishop Cordes,

Please read the attached letter that I have written. Many people, including myself, in the People of Hope have grave concerns about the pastoral structure, use, and abuse of autho r i t y in this lay community. There is something seriously wr ong here dear Bishop. N" However, every time I bring these matters up to the leaders ~told that Bishop Cordes loves us, blesses our life, wants to stay as we are ... that you say we are the model for family life in the Church. When Bob Gallic returned from his meeting with you all he reported to us was that you would love to come to our community and that our statues are close to approval. Reference to you by the leaders has kept people in the community for years. People who disagree with the leaders are told they are rebelling, the devil is prowling around trying to destroy the conununity, or maybe they just do not belong in this community, "this is probably not your vocation". Bishop, I studied for almost 6 years at St. Meinrad Seminar,y in Indiana, under the Benedictines. We were taught to use our minds. I see mfnds'being stifled here, and .w the Holy Spirit b~~uenched.Grave concerns are met with defensiveness andlack of true desire to understand what the speaker is saying. If you only heard of the way some Bishops are publically degraded here, and others like yourself are upheld. Authority in the Church that agrees with leaders of People of o Hope, Christ the King is praised ... Authority in the Church (ordained) that disagrees .w is undermined. People in this community are influenced not to trust the bishop . .w ...c Many people here are blessed, many people are also very afraid, and fear of "the ~ 4- '",orld')(and or myself) going against your w.i she s , has kept me bound to the community. f ~ . . .w I love the community here dear Bishop; I love the .£~.oplein the community. ~ My wife Maureen and I have lived in the People of Hope for over15 years. We met and ] married in this community. He have been blessed by God with 7 children, from '1'0 years old to newborn. Our children attend the community school, Koinonia. I made a public commitment to the People of Hope in 1979. May I say that I believe now, more then ever, that Archbishop Gerety and Archbishop m McCarrick were correct in their assesment of us in 1985-1986. It is almost like we have 2l '--" set up a "little church" and you have become the Pope. The use of your name, blessing us, has caused me to violate my own conscience and has caused further mistrust of our local Bishop. I have not felt in communion with the Catholic Church since 1985. In 1985 when Ibroughtup to the leadersmy belief that we should follow and trust our Bishops love for us, I was told that would destroy the People of Hope. When I said it again in 1986 under Archbishop McCarrick, I was told he only said what n he sa~d (to disband and come under him, we could remain a corrununitybut needed his care) out~ deference to Archbishop Gerety (and again,\\Archbishop Gerety wanted to destroy us~I was ... and am still told).When I suggested that Our Lord would take care of us , that we should trust Him toepreserve us, this suggestion was met with firm rebuff. It is still met with rebuff today. Dear Bishop, I think the leaders have made this People of Hope, Christ the King, their community. That much of it is no longer under God's authority bue tather under the~ authority and control of men. I think it would be a serious mistake to maintain any statutes with a permancy of coordinators. The assumption of grace operating there in unordained elders is too dangerous. It has lead to the People of Hope not trusting ordained bishops who correct or disagree with the leadership in this community. I am a sinful man, dear bishop, I am grateful to Cod for my life in the Catholic Church. I am grateful for the people within the People of Hope.! am grateful for your concern for us Thank you,.thank you for reading this and praying for us. Sincerely, 368 Hountain Ave., Berkeley Hts., N.J. 07922 Jim Flynn


in Terris

In 1963 our dear Holy Father, Pope John XXIII wrote an encyclicalunder this t~tle: Peace on Earth. Paragraph 34 details his thoughts on Freedom: "The dignity of the human person requires that every man enjoy the right to act freely and responsibly. For this reason therefore, in social relations, man shoulf exercise his rights, fullfill his obligatio~, and in countless forms of collaboration with 6thers act chiefly on his own responsibility and initiative. This is to be done in a way that each one acts on his own deci~ion of set purpose and from a consciousness of his obligation without being moved by force or pressure brought to bear externally. Where any human society is established on relations of force it must be ~rded as inhuman inasmuch as the personalit~f its members is repressed or restricted, wheh in fact they should be provided with appropriate incentive and means for developing and perfecting themselves. Heavy yokes 'hav8been placed upon the "weak" by the "strong" since the beginning of time: The Pharoah Ramsees brutalized Israel; Pharisees levied countless1aws;:Gentile rulers "lorded it over the people, their great ones making thier importence f e Lt !"; slaves were kept in bondage and treated as property;the Gestapo and KGB terrioized the innocent for years. and today; today, are we any different today? Jesus says: "Corne to Me all of you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon your shoulders, and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light, and you will find rest for your souls". Go to Jesus ..•• go to Jesus .•. vt hacr Ls alld keep hearing ... 1ivein Him, and in His 'Body, the Catholic Church. What has happened this past week? I have met with a few coordinators and leaders in our community.Most responded to my letter of 5-23-91 in total disagreement. Argumentation and defense of their own perspective colors all discussion. There is little attempt to understand what I have written, let alone why I have written it. On Saturday afternnon Maureen a nd Lo me t .;rith two coordinators for two hours at our horne. The coordiantors spoke for mo r et then 1 1/2 hours. I was constantly to1dthat I had: " committed a serious violation against the statues of the People of Hope ... in all effect had broken my public commitment ... caused discension with the community ..• was on the verge of slander and gossip ... The tone of the leaders was one of anger ... there was no mention of ourLord (except for an opening prayer). Attempts were constantly made to convict me 0 f the crim e 0 f ma kin g pub 1 i c my con cern s a b 0 u t 0 u r corn u nit y. .. t 0 1 ay m guilt and remorse upon my conscience for trying to destroy a work of the Holy Spirit. My writing was described by the leaders as "lobbying for position" and an "emotional appeal". I appealed to my conscience. That I wrote from my heart about what I saw10ut of love for the community.This has been rising to the surface for many years. After two grueling hours, Maureen and I were worn out (4:30-6:30). The children were hungry and we had guests at the door. As the coordinators pulled away I felt like I had just been interrogated ... fear,and gUilt began to creep in; and relief that they had gone. We could not get to sleep until 2:30a.m. I was told upon their leaving that I had until Friday, May 31, to decide if we wanted to remain in the community. Until then, we were forbidden to participate in any community activities.I asked-them for a letter stating how and where I had vio1at~d the statues ,and what my o p t Lo ns w er e now. "They sa I d if we decided to stay in the community "something"wouJ.d have to be done.


(2 'J'

"Are you i n ti mid ate d by u a ,'I? was a que 5 tion the y ask ed us (twoo the r leaders asked me thsi aghin since Saturday). It would be difficult not to be "intimidated" in the midst of their anger, frustration,and pressure. When I said "a little" I am told this is a weakness in my character and I should not be. Again, I am to blame. It seems to me that some ~eaders "enjoy" intimidating people, "lording it over Lhem .•. making their importance felt". The "weak" are kept weak and dependent on the "system" of pastoral "care". When the "weak" "complain" thay are told "you shold be grateful for all the Lord and we have done for you". Then guilt sets in and people are called to "repent". This is a vicious cycle. And on top of it all, the "poor" make the "rich" look good by letting themselves be"taken care of" .... "Look how everyone is provided for". The "yoke" gets tighter ... it gets "comfortable" living in the system, until that little God given gift called "free will" gets pushed too far, then sparks start to fly again. I wonder at times if we are living in some sort of spiritual communism of totalitarianism? We are told we are a "theocracy", not a democracy. Alot of things have been in the name of God. I wonder sometimes "who is Lord here? Is Jesus really Lord? Or have we become "lords" of one another? Has the "pastoral system" become a "sacred cow", an idol, a "savior"? When I hear remarks like: "The bishop would have destroyed us if it were not for the strong pastoral system and closeness of the coordinators" it makes me think we are giving credit to our leaders for the salvation of the community. When I here remarks from members like "what w o u Ld we ever do without community" I wonder how much Jesus is Savior and the Catholic Church is depended upon. Has the pastoral system become so imbued in people minds that "fear" of living in the Church and the world comes out at the thought of there being no People of Hope? Fear does keep many people within the pastoral system.Guilt keeps others from talking about it. Again, when I mention that God could (would have~ taken care of us is we followed the Bishop, I am told that we would have been destroyed. What does that say about our confidence in God, our trust in Him? What does that say about our trust in man? In the Bishop? In the leaders? The more I think about this, the more I think we are dealing with matters of Fai th and Morals: 1AcK1 Fai~: Our attitude and g r es p e c t for local Bishops in the Church. Our/tf<.kd confidence ~n [he Church. Morals: Our,,¥Jspect for individual conscience and freedom of expression withOV+ undue pressurw and control.Are we free to seek the truth and counsel outside the community without the threat of "removal" from the community? All opposition and disagreement is required to be delt with in the pastoral system. Leasders tell me this is in accord with the statues, which they have written. If I am not satisfied with an "answer" I can gp up the "chain of command" ... and leave if If am still not satisfied with the "pattern and order of our life". The "pattern and order" of our life is determined by the pastll7ral system. There is no vote. There may be "consultation" on some issues. Sometimes "consultation" is a matter of a "rubber stamp" on a decision already made (example: decision to have no 12 step type counseling allowed for members if they chbose to stay in the community). If I choose to accept the "answer", reasoning og the leader, and the issue comes up again, I must continue to climb the ladder. Up and down, up and down ..• but I am "warned" not to go outside the "pastoral system", for fear of commiting gossip and slander against the community. I discussed this with a coordinator this weekend(keeping my concerns ia the system). I said my concerms were ones of 50arding on faith and morels. He disageeed, saying it was only my perspective, and was seeing thi~o3 wrongly. Is th Ls mentality, having a "community mind" leading to a spititual type Nazi Germany .•• where noone is suppose to discuss concerns out of "loyalty" to ahe community? If the house is burning down, by the time I get up and down the ladder "discussing" matters with the "pastors", all the members may burn



to death. Along the same line, the longer the frog stays in the water, as the heat is. turned gradually up, the easier it is for him to get boiled to death without knowing it. I am afraid this is ehe what has happened to persons minds within the pastoral systmm. Out of loyalty and obedience and fear some have been robbed of their ability to make decisions and discern matters for their own lives. Humility and obediance have been taught to such a degree that submission is the only way to live without guilt and being accused of ingratitude. A few times when began to express "distrust" is leaders I have been told: "After all we have done for you .•• how can you doubt our love and intentions". The "left hand" seems to keep track of what the "right hand" is doing ... and it will be held up to keep a person in when questions come up. Do we give without expecting a reward or repayment? From all this conversation I think the leaders believe the community could (would) not exist without their being the leaders. This appeared true (by the reaction to the Archbishop)in 1985-86. and it appears true today (by their reaction to any question of the "pastoral system" or possibility of "spiritual pride" ). All discussion along this line is met with argumentation, defensiveness, hostility, and sometimes rage. Is ~u~·community built on men, on mans ways, statues, order ... ? Is it built upon Christ, His way of love? Who holds the community together? Why is the devil always blamed when there is unrest or a call for change at the "root" of our life? Il[asour "root" become the "apstoral system" rather then Jesus? Why do we shout "percecution" when asked to do something we do not want to do? Who (what) am I (we) holding on to? I do not want to ruin any work of God, or oppese the Holy Spirit. Yet r am accused of both. Weliken ou rc Lf.f vt o va marriage: e "what God has jdlDned together let no man put asunder". We have almost "sacramentalized" our community life, and woe to the person who questions the pastoral system( he is accused causing a divorce). The coordinators are the husbund, the pastoral leaders are the wives, and the members are the children. All concerns must be kept within the family. In fact, there is very little time for the "children" to even "play" with anyone outside of the family. Since the statues have not been approved, as written, by the Church, I suppose we are still in a time of. "courtship". Yet, we are asked to make a public commitment and live as married, under th~ statues. We probably should not be living as "married" before blessed by the Catholic Church. Ev en then, I wonder if the Church really wants~to think of aurdelves as a mariiage, as a special vocation, set apart in a union like husbund and wife? I am told if I do not like the statues as written, I should leave the community. That "our life is the statues", as written by Bob, Walt, and Fr.Herb I am told I should bring my problems into the light, but only into the light "of the pastoral system". Does the light of Christ shine for members only within the community? Why are members forbidden to seek the truth, to know the will of God, outside the pastoral system? Why do we think we have all the answers for members ••. and if we do not, the person "must have another vocation"?Why are trained Catholic .professionals disregarded? I am not calling anyone a liar. Nor do I pretend to know anyones intentions, The leaders of our community are not my enemies; !hay we are brothers in Christ through Baptism. I know my duty (and joy) is to "love one another as Jesus has loved us". I am not a "perfect lover". I ask forgiveness for and thoughts or acts of "malice", percieved or actual. May I say for the most part, these letters and words come out of a desire to love my neighbor as myself ••. to know and do the wil". of Our Father in heaven. I still think that tere is undue pressure to conform and a heavy spirit of control hanging over us, which is stiffling the life of the Holy Spirit. By the mercy and love of Christ, members prosper in grace and charity.


I. -+ J

However, members also sacrifice thier own minds to the pastoral systemout of fear and guilt in exchange for security and protection from "the world". In doing this, the pastoral system be_comes the "Savior" and leaders become little gods .... decisions are made for people with options being to stay in the community or leave ... personal responsibility and accountability are transferred from individual to leader ... with the "community mind" and "common good" being the highest order. Is the "community mind" the nUnd of Chr Ls t ? Is the "common good" the good of the Catholic Church? I believe Our Lord will and is helping us know the answers to these questions.And all of this "unrest" is the wind of the Holy Spirit. In ti mid at ion and s e cr e cy wi ill Ice a s e. The 0 n Iy "lob by for po sit ion" sh 0 I d be to kneel at the foot of the Cross ... or gaze upon Jesus in the Tabernacle and in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Alter. Statues will pass away, but the Gospel will never pass away. Heavy burdens will not be laid on shoulders but only the burden of Cheist, to love one another. All things will be known and we will "need to k no w ? only one, that God loves us very much. We will all look upon Him whom we have pierced. I have Mother bishop been told a story of a little boy (Juan Diego maybe). The blessed appeared to him and told him to do a certain thing. He went to the and told him. The bishop told him not to do it. He returned to Our Lady, all upset. and told her what the Bishop said. Our Lady told him: "Do what the Bishop tells you". May we look to the guidance of our Shepherd in the name of Christ.






l)ear Hriends,

6-10-91 6-11-91

I am beginning to feel a little like St. Law~ence who told the pe09le "frying" him: :~You can turn me over now, I think I am done on this side". I am far from being a saint, aAg'\he only physical "suffering" I have had to endure the past three weeks is two bad cases of hemmroids ••• and a drpp in weight class from 131 to 128 pounds ••. one friend asked if I had a serious sickness and my mom says watch out for T.B. Maybe it is time to get "turned over"! What has been happening this past week? With all due respect for our Jewish brothers and sisters, I think our community leadership is becoming more· "Hassadic" every day. I had thought that tere may be at least some reasonable consideration of concerns brought up in the May letter. Instead, there seems to be increased defensiveness, entrenchment, and enacting of more laws. I think we would give the Pharisees a good run for theiE money. Jesus may not be ready to get the whip out yet ..• love is patient •.• but He is not standing by idle while heavy burdens are laid on peoples shoulders. Hea~y burdens? What heavy burdens? The burdens of guilt and fear. Guilt: Myself and other members of our community have been accused of breaking the eigbh commandment by our expressing our concerns for the community outside of the pastoral system. I am said, (by making my letter public,)to have defnmed and indited our leaders .•• committed a.sin of detraction and calumny ••• gossip and slander ..• That even reading material from Ann Arbor or Steubenville, listening to tapes of people from these communities, is a serious violation of the eigth commandement. I may have broken our statues, but have I broken God's law? Are our statues God's law? Do we put them on a higher level then God's law? God said to love our mother and father. The Pahrisees said any support a parent required could be dedicated to God (rather then the parent) ••. and the parent need not be honored. Are we putting our "traditions" on a higher level then the simple, unfettered love of God and n~ighbor? Did Jesus ever mean us to get this "complicated",this involved in structure, statue, and law? Are we going to the minutest detail, covering every detail, to "protect" people from "sinning"? Why have we become "censors" of what is good and bad to read? Who directed us to become "Censors Libonums" or to levy "Imprimatures" on letters from fellow Catholics in Anne Arbor, Stuhenville, or our own community? ( To withold "Im.prmatures" I should say). Some of those letters are statements,are directives,from Bishop'Ottenwhiler~ to members of Christ the King in Steubenvillle ••• the same Christ the King to which we belong. We are "children" of the same family •.• if htere is a "divorce" of some kind occuring, shuuld all the children (who are adults) be kept in the dark? Whay are we afraid of? What is there to hide? Are we afraid that we may see something of ourselves in them, or relate to their experiences, and may be called to change some of our ways of doing things, of pastoring? Yet, we are told it is sin, gossip, slander~ calumny, detraction ••• a serious violation of the eighth commandmahh ••• and our own statues ••• to look, listen, and try to understand. Do we not have enough trust in one another, in our love for one another, to "allow" people to "freely" seek to know the truth? Why do we have to exert so much "control"? Are we trying to protect what God has made? Or what we have made? Do we really trust God to preserve ·what He wants to preserve? How much is God's grace? How much is mans "work"? Jesus said to love God and our neighbor. He left it up to us to a great extent on how to do this. The Pharisees had all the rules spelled out. Jesus went about doing good. I do not believe it is a sin to read or distribute this material, ••• it is not effort to tear down, but rather to build up •.. to build up the Body of Christ,the Cabholic Church. It is done in love, out of concern for our community as a whole nnd individual members ••• A concern to see us firmly united to Christ and the Church ••• and to be in communion with our Archbishop McCarrick aas weel as Our Holy Father. This does not mean I am ungrateful. Being "grateful" does not mean closing ones eyes to sermmus problems. Some people try to put guilt on members who question the present "pattern and order of community life", saying"stop complilining, §1§1U sgoihld be grateful". We do have much to be thankful for ••• but that cannot be an excuse to resist change.

This appeal to the eigth commandment and the imputing of guilt upon people who read, listen to, talk, write about their experiences in covenant communities seems to be an infringement upon the conscience of individual members .•. and as such a question of "morals" •.L'Let the Church decide. Have l'eople of Hope overstepped threer bounds in giving this teaching, this direction? Are there any bounds within which the People of~Hope are required to remain as Rotaan.t.Ca t ho Lf.cs Who sets these boundries? To whom do we "report" ? and seek guidance? The other "heavy burden" is Fear. People are still so afraid •.~here would we go if there was no community •.• the world is messed up ••.• the Church is messed up .•.• Bishops want to startc an "Ameriaan Church" .••• " The list of fears go on and on. Such a dependency has been created. Not so much a dependency upon our Lord and the Catholic Church •.. but a dependency upon covenant community ••• and covenant community as we know it. Some members trust in the lay leaders as much as they trust in our Archbishop. They say they will follow the bishop on matters of faith and morals when he is "judged" (by whom?) to be in communion with Rome .•• but as far as pastoral initiatives and matters outside of "strict obedience", they regard community leaders as equally or more trustwmrthy. This attitude is expressed to me over and over again. I think it is a result of members being "taught" to distrust the Church in general as well as clergy. We have been taught so much about "theological secularism", the "ememy" within the Church. Catholics have been "taught" to doubt the intentions of theer own Shepherd, or at least question his understanding of their lifm. To my mind, this is such a sad effect of covenant communities attempt to live a pure and perfect life ••. this distrust of anyone who calls them to change in significant ways. I wonder, if we are not faithful, do not trust, the bishop in "small" matters .•• who is to say we will be faithful, trust him, in"larger"matters?


To get back to fear .•• It is "understandable~ that members are afraid ••. so much time and money has been given to community life .•• so much of ones life. Family relationships and other friends have been put aside in many instances to come into and grow mn community life. There are only so many hours in a day, a week, and most of them are filled with immediate family, work, and community activity. Scimetimes·.relatioI}-ship.1with spouse and children is sacrificed to serve within oommunity. In a sense, one would "start allover" if they were told to leave or decided to leave community. A "fear" of the world, school systems, ect. not only ·inf).uences some people to remain in community but also keeps some from expressing their thoughts (disagreements). The more one becomes "dependent" on the pastoral system, the harder it also becomes to think on ones own... to make decisions... to "dicern" what is best. ;'It is good to seek out a "wise" person, to get advise .•• but an "unhealthy" dependency has been created in enough instances to war reny serios concern... and wit.h;.lthd.s. dependency a temptation by others (albiet unintentional) to control members thoughts, words, and actions ..•• Responsibilit and accountability for oneself is handed over~ ~~~«bod is given the "job" of making . everything "work for the good" since everyone loves Him. I do not know where the Mind of Christ" is in all of this? I know we are told to "put on the Mind of Christ" ••• but I wonder how much of what I hear and am told is the "Mind of Christ" and how much is simply someone else's mind. Jesus is Our Savior. His Bride is the Cabholic Church. He will never leave His Bride. I have to keep my eyes fixed on Him, even at 2a.m. thsi morning. I wonder what St. Francis thinks about all of this. He did not feel too much "at home" in his community at the end of his life. Somehow the basic gospel,began to get "lost" in the structure .... in an effert .to "preserve" the Lords work ac.compLd.s d.rt rough him, "edifices" "repalced" a simple joy he h and poverty of spirit ••• and so there has been three, fonr, of more renewals of hii order ..• to get back to the basics. Unless the Lord builds the house, in vain do the builders labe~. It is time to go to bed. You can tell by tfuis typing. It is not the typewritwr. It is me. Sorry. Better then handwriting though. Let's keep praying .•• and loving one another, IDay our blessed Lord's will be done in all of us. Mary, our Mother, please stay close to us .•• St. Joseph too ... we need all the heavenly help we can get! Alleluia. with love, Jim Flynn P.~. ThAoJiL'J"V h.'Z ~ ••lp;Nj I'?A"I",-(.tJ~Z /'y '7VJ/? IVI>'\OJ<t K,~f) /'I<.fi~J. ~~

Dear Bob,Walt, Bob, brothers and sisters in Christ, stated otherwise, Feastday As of this date, and until publically committed to you and our other brothers

7-3-91 of St. Thomas the Apostle

we remain publically

and sisters

in the People of Hope. prayer,thought, and

We do this freely and in good conscience,

after considerable

conversation with each other. We remain publically committed out of love for our Lord Jesus, the Catholic Church, you,_and all of the people in the community.We do so praying the intercession of Mary and St. Joseph, protector of the Universal Church. We recognize that we are in "exile"- that is, we are not permitted to attend any community activity. This is an "awkward" position for all of us to be in. Yet, if that is the way it must be for awhile, so be it. Our concerns for the well being of our community remain the same, as stated in letters. We believe our response to these concerns, stating them in a public manner ,·.is in pioper atcord~with the Teachings of the Cathoiic Church and Sacred Scripture ..• the Heart of Christ. The concerns are very serious in nature and affect not only us as a married couple but every person within the community and our relationship (individual and corporate) with Our Lotdand the. Catholic Church. We'Bt~ tfyirig oUr best t6 speak, and a~t ~ith charity . . ..' Bishops, coufe sso rs , .. .. p Lr Ltua]. d Lrect ors have ~r;tco~:ragecl An our. expressions f1I1.d s tlS of lov~ Christ, the Cath?l~c Church,you;:"a#? the entiie' 'co~uni~y •. ',:
.f our previous




We pray for the restoration: of Jesus Lord ov:er'all of our affairs, that no persons may lord·it over an~ther; that all of us ~ay' live. in. the peace of Christ, within His Church, trusting in His love guiding us through the voice of Archbishop McCarrick and his liason, Monsignor Hayes. Sincerely in Christ,


':Y~ ~"Y\--/
qim Flynn

On July 5th, 1991 Jim and Maureen Flynn are informed by Coordinators of the People of Hope that they must leave the Community, "for the good of the body and for themselves."



Where do we go from here? To whom does the Flynn family turn after being "turned away" by the leaders of the People of Hope? It is difficult to adjust after living in a system, that says,by words and deeds, that"there is no (or little) life outside of the People of Hope (especially if you have children)". After over 15 years of-life almost totally immersed in community relationships, meetings, courses it takes some time(and alot of grace) to get our feet back on the ground. It is like a "divorce" or a "death" (leaving the People of Hope). Plus, being told to leave by the leaders, "for the best intrest of the community", against our expressed will, creates additional anger, frustration, and saddness. Not "being wanted", not "belonging" hurts the human heart. The fact is, once "out" your "out". The community is still alive to us, but we experience being "dead" to the community. There is lonliness and rejection;-Do we have Le apo rsy i i.Have we cornm t t ed some "unforgiveable i s Iri"? Friends of our who left the People of Hope years ago told us they were "shunned" and children spoken ill of. We never wanted to believe them then. Today, we can understand them. It does happen. And it is not "their fault". The system of the community breeds this. _How does "loving your neighbor as yourself" and being a "good Samaritan" fit into all of this? Turning the cheek and loving your "enemies" ... Does the "pastoral"s¥stem" Of the People of Hope turn brothers/sisters in Christ into "enemies", members of the same "household of faith" ? In many cases it has done this. It takes alot of cooperation with the grace of God for us to practice forgiveness, to"be reconciled" at this time. The pastoral system has harmed us as individuals, our marriage, our family, our blood families, our relationship with the parish and the Catholic Church. It has even harmed our relationship with Jesus Christ. This is not to deny that we have also been helped, loved, by the People of Hope, by being members, publically committed for over 12 years. God and people have loved us and He have tried to love everyone in the community. We are grateful. But as mentioned in the past, being grateful does not mean accept ing wh a t .we have come to see as objective wrong directions imposed upon the community (and individuals Hithin the community). Especially directions that propose to be the "will of God" or the desire of the people. Especially when they go against the pastoral initiatives of the Bishop and without consultation of the members within the community. The name of Christ and "for His glory" has been a banner for many heresies in the Church throughout the ages. When individuals or a group says it knoHs better then the bishop, what is good (God's will) for them in the Church (and for the Church), there is danger. Even in Russia, what Has tolerated (communism) by people as being done for their OHn good (the State), has come to collaspe. "Powe r corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"(quote from a friend). It is so sad, that in our community people have been pitted against one another, "for the sake of Christ". What kind of a gospel is this? The pastoral system has pitted the community against the bishop, or any bishops that do not agree with it ... it has pitted bishops "against" one another, and "Rome" against our own Archbishop. Is this the intent of Canon Law? Is this the spirit of Christ? Where do we go from here? Well, Maureen and I, our children too, need Jesus desperatel: We turn to Him, try to anyway. \~e fail. Praying is hard. We need to forgive more, love more Not only "the community" but one another, and ourselves. We all are responsible for what has happened, to ourselves and the community. Confession helps, the sacrament that is. And we turn to the Catholic Church. The People of Hope is not the "Catholic Church"; the Catholic Church is "bigger" (and may we humbly say "better") then the People of Hope. It has a wonderful "pastoral system" w i.t h the Bishop as Shepherd of the local Catholic people (diocese) assigned to him by our Holy Father. The Catholic Church has good priests, sisters, people and schools. There are "trials" but there is also love and the desire to do God's will and live the gospel. The "problems" in the community are not because some "belong there and some do not". Members leaving, or "pressuring" folks out is not the answer, for them,us, or the community We love you. Please forgive us anything you hold against us, any wrong we have done you. And please, pray for us, Thank you. Jim and Maureen Flynn

+ "Coming Home"


'.On~Pente<l:ost Sunday,

1991 my mom called and asked how we were. I told her to Maureen and the community. She said: "Are you

something big was happening

leaving the Catholic Church". \.Jith new joy and excitment

I said: "No mom, just the

opposite, we are coming back into the Catholic Church, we are coming Home". My mom must have "feared " for years that we (and Hope) was on the verge of becoming another "church", lfii~the~~simplicity her Catholic faith (she is a convert) of all my Catholic education, I

she could sense something was not right ... something,with denied·d:ioryears (or was afraid to admit.).Was

the price of truth to high for me to pay? security of 15+ years of

The desire to please men, rather then God? To "sacrifice"the

relationships ."thwhere,would welg07Hopefleader:s had,drummedh;i.nto us the "evil" of the wor .Ld,. <;iT,lO the eo Log t.c L secu ar 0 the catIiolJ_ccrurc a . While11acking,~ t.heccouraae.:o'l·tesis the) "divine '.'·,authori t t ty,~of' Hbue,xleaders;:,\th'becarire"b b ecame lncreaslng~y atrald w~ cou d become another Jlm Jones Guyena. LO questlou E lS pow~ checked:by;~SOs,waEl.ungnitefun'Archbishop McCarrick spoke on December 8 with such clarity

and love, as a good shepherd, when he told us to seperate from Sword of the Spirit, come under him completely, have our leaders step down and be reformed with his guidance. so relieved, as if being rescued ... and yet with a

I returned home from that meeting

fear that I could be pulled back in ... and I was ... for almost five more years. I did not trust my own conscience, my own mind, my own guts.

I was told by. leaders : "How could you be right and 1000 others be wrong'?" and "After all we did for you in the community and you do not trust us"!"All the money we gave you"!

Well, being the kind of man who always tried ot put others first, and trusted others reasoning more then his own, I gave in. Jim, I thought,~you must be reading into

things ••. no matter how much you are demeaned and made to feel gu LLt y . by .o hersi Ln the t community ,·they .r Ly love you... and besides, you need them ... your marriage· needs eaI support, your wife needs support, your children need Kononia. Who dosen't want to love and be loved, to belongJBut again, what is the price we pay for this? ...

For me, it almost cost me my faith ... my free will ... my mind ... myemotions

I was almost stripped, but for the grace of God. A light shined in the darkness. Deep down I could not surrender whatseperates man from beast ... my reason and free will.

When push came to shove in March of 1991 I said l~o, this is enough •.. the system will not push me around any longer". As April and May progressed it became clearer and

clearer that leaders were supressing freedom of thought and speech and what is read Claiming tQdbe a "theocracy" I2Qt a "d~mocracy"" we seem~d to becomebmoreHtotalitatiaR' We not to speak,~reC1d, or Ilsten to negatlve comments a out ope or 0 er covenant communities ... to do so was detraction, Counseling was dubbed "dual pastoral" to continue in counseling.It calumny, gossip, slander(8th comm.violati

and people were forced to leave Hope if they wanted with anything outside the community

was as if involvement

would reveal how "dysfunctional" and "bad influences"

the community was behaving ... and to keep "control','


out ,people in" who went out for help, were told to "stay out". runs so deep. Much

Oh my God, what have 'webecome " d.•o happen?'. Dependency t '?

has bee.n invested. ,But Jesus is'Savior. ~e can, and will help you, me, all of us. =--He pald a great prlce to free us ~~and wlll not leave us orphans. Our , bishop and the Catholic Church wiil help too. They love us. These are dif~lcul~ days,to , put it mildly trying our souls . .My hope is that the love of Christ prevalls. w i t h love ,JlIf

Dear brothers in Christ, of the prayer of St. Francis I am thinking

right now. You know it so well: 0 Lord,

make me an insturment darkness,

of Thy Peace. Where

thereis hat red ;"inj ury, doubt, despair, faith, hope, light, joy ••• 0 Lord, let me not and to love. In giving we life. towards you over

sadness .•• let me sow love, pardon,

so much seek to be understood, recieve, in pardoning

to be loved as to understand

weare pardoned,

in dying we are born to eternal this into practicein relation

I have failed miserably the past eight months. and I have carried

in putting

Our Lord has given me such an opportunity bitterness, resentment, and grudges

to "love my ememies" towards children, you. It has and friends the Church, overwelmed


eaten away at my soul like a cancer •.• and in doing so, my wife, have suffered. You have injured me, other people, the Bishop's

reputation, and despair

(and your own integrity)

ad& I have hated you for it. Sadness resistance

me as I saw (and heard) of your continued Msgr. Hayes and our Archbishop. Frustrated

to people's

cries and the advise of with you

in my attempts

to communicate

the sun set on my anger many times. I know Jesus wants me to forgive you, even if you think you have done me or others or the Church about the good work of consoling in the community, others or Christ no wrong. Also, I could be to them

in their misery

over what has happened

rather then seeking

consolation "Father,


There is so much senseless

pain. And Jesus cries from th~ cross:


them, for they know not what they do". to your brothers and sisters in

Do you know what you have done? Have you listened the community?

The ones you have thrown out? The ones you "asked" against Bishop, and used people

to leave? Do you know Scripture,

how you have played off Bishop and seiliectChurch people slander for years, teaching

and circumstances,

to "justify"

your own ideas? Do you know how you have isolated by imposing guilt and claims of the Church, and Catholic

and their ideas,

form one another

and detraction?

Do you know how you have demeaned and in so doing created


Schools publically ordained, squlched authority diolugue

(and privately) amoungst

fear and. distrust

of legitimate and


Do you know how you have intimidated


by telling

them they are not grateful and Politboro

you have operated people severly letters because other members shunned

like a Gestapo

for thebcommunity? Do you know how mem ers co by "forbidding" reading/ speaking with did not sign their names to abuse from you? (And you and

hurt by your practic~s? they feared physical, their writing

Do you know people verbal, and mental


';'trash" •. no guts). Do you know what it Is like to be . for over 15 years ••• no calls to say "how let alone how you "died", or "why "?

by people

you have lived closely with not even knowing

are you" ••. members

you "died"

Do you know waht it is like to cry out with it is only my perception •.. or to be labeled the evil one? Do you know how you have made yourselves worship you? Do you know members depend

love and concern a tratior,

for you and to be told a destroyer, following

a detractor,

into gods, lords and how other members for salvation,

almost their

more on you and the "system" then upon Jesus Christ,


the safety of their children

our Savior? Do you know how

Do you know how you have have glorified yourselves and the community? Do you know how you have made yourselves "bishops" and "shepherds" of souls? Do you know how you have controlled people and how members have allowed themselves to be controlled by you? Do you know how you have made the "means" an end? How you have put man made laws above the people they were made to help? Do you know how you have hurt people who needed counseling by putting the undue burden upon them of having to leave Hope, people they love, if they choose to continue in counseling? Do you know how much you are still "in" Sword of the Spirit? Do you know how you have never retracted ::_any f the Training o Course policies publically that Ann Arbor now recognizes were bad and elitist? Do you know what you have done? To Christ? The Catholic Church? To brothers and sisters? To me me and my family? Do you care? Do you really want to know the truth? Seek the truth? Do you want to live in the light? To come out of the veil of secreacy, suspicion, defensiveness, mistrust? Do you want to give your lives, your positions, totally to Christ? To let Him have you, and love you, as you are? Do you want to follow our Archbishops advise? Do you "embrace his pastoral initiatives", as Christedei Laci says is a criteria of an authentic lay association? Embrace? Do you know what you have done? Do you know what you are doing, in of Christ and His will? There are some who think you have done wrong knowingly. I have many logs in my own eyes. I do not know if you have. I pray to God that your intentions were just. However, amist some good fruit, so much harm has been done by the system you operate. You cannot deny this any longer. It is no longer just Ann Arbors problem, or Jim Flynns perception. The disese goes much deeper then this. I do not know if you are a "good" Catholic ... or if I am. God alone is "good". I believe you need to take responsibility for the harm the system and yourselves as leaders have wrought ..• publically,with people who have left, been thrown out, or stay in Hope. The time is past for "passing the buck" to the pastoral leaders, members hearing or interpreting problems. Please, follow the Archbishops advise. Do not hold yourselves as knowing better, as a St. Francis or Joan of Arc. Please, let Jesus be Lord and Savior, and let His Church and the Archbishop love you and the other members. Sincerely, with love

Jim Flynn

To my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, 1-27-92 Maureen, our cchf.Ldnen , and I, love you. It has been eight (8) months since I"wrote.!you)about my concerns for our community. Since that day in late May.this letter has undergone 100 drafts in my heart,.mind, and soul. It is no easier to write then the first one. I .ask you to bear with me patiently, and to pray as you read. Please, do not throw this away as "trash". As a beautiful Glenmary missionary poster reads: "God does not make trash". You may as well throw me in the wastebasket if you dispose of this letter in such fashion. First, let me repent for being so "personal", so explicit with examples, in May's letter. I did not want to expose anyone persons wrongdoing to me or others. However, when I speak in generalities, without facts, I am told it is only my opinion. When I give examples, I am told I slander, gossip. I am "caught", sort of "damed if I do, and damned if I dont't." If the shoe fits, I guess a person may have to wear it .•• I will try to speak with kindness; I am not tryin to force a shoe on .•• shoemak'tngvas an art ••• with a little more practice maybe we willaget a bit better at it ••• and use the "shoehorn" our Lord provides. Speak the Truth with Love. The Prayer of St. Francis keeps coming to mind: " O'~LORD,::50 oI:.ord ,make me an insturment of thy peace. Where the is hatred let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where ther is aespair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. a Devine Master, grant that I may notse much seek'to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we recieve; and in pardoning, that we are pardoned; and in dying, that we are born to Eternal Life." Good St. Francis. What does he think of what is happening in the People of Hope? Some may say they are like St. Francis. I certainly have fallen far short of his example. True Peace, understanding, joy has+been Lcr-amped by bitterness and anger. Why? What have we done to one another ••• to Christ ••• and the Catholic Church? Why did I write,what has been called by leaders in the community, such a "hostile, slanderous, letter", coming close to "breaking the eigth commandment". Why? After over 15 ye ar sco f living in Hope, marrying Maureen here, publically committed since 1979, involved in every facet of community life (pastoral leader, young adults, scouts, Couples for Christ, the Training Course, young brothers, handmaid-Maureen) .•. why "hang the wash out" for everyone to see? Especially when it was not clean? And when I knew I would be "hanging myself(out)too ? A simple way of putting it may be to say the smell in laundry basket was getting so bad, the wash was getting so piled up, that I was beginning to choke to death. For six years I tried to talk it out" with leaders at all levels, but the wash never seemed to get done. I saw people get hurt by. the pas tora L system, and did not want to admit the wrongs done to me, out of "loyalty" and "gratefullness". When my will was violated, and good old "common senaa" was pushed up against the fence, I began to "understand" the pain of others ••• how they were "burned" while crying out for help .•. and how most others stood by, as if nothing was wrong •••- because the life, the "body", was "good" for them. The old "frog in the water" story seemed to be happening right in Hope. Members get so use to the life that when the heat is turned up the slow death is not noticed ••• bodies and minds become "numb" to the pain, one's own and others. The water is "comfortable" for some. The same thing has happened many times throughout the course of human history. Even in Germany during 1939 neighbors did not notice, or want to notice, what was happening around them. And in Russia, some folks were "helped" by the totalitarian regime. In the name of the people, for the people, many things are done. Sometimes folks even do things in the name of God which are not good. and done with good intentions. to "protect, and "help" people. And sometimes folks even become like "unto God", and are put on thrones by others, and"worshiped" like gods. The temptation in the garden was strong, the apple looked good. Are we "beyond" such temptations, to deify self, and others ••• to make "golden calfs" of leaders, community, pastoral systems •.• to make means the ends? To worship the creature rather then the creator? To depend more upon men then upon God? Who is our Savior? Who is our Lord?





Jesus have Mercy


I was told by leaders on May 25, 1991, that I would need to repent publically, or make some sort of public restitution, for"what I said, how I said it, and forl':going outside the pastoral system" with my letter sent May 23. I said I had to speak out, in conscience. Hope was on "fire", the house was burning down, and my friends were inside. Some were outside already, and these were "burdened" with shame, guilt,and anger over injustices done. I thought my only "fault" was not having the "guts" to speak out sooner. My concerns were deemed by leaders to be only my "perception". Six years ago I was also told that .how "could 1000 people be wrong Jim, and you see clearly" and "you should be grateful Jim, for all the money and ways we have helped you. How could you doubt, not trust us"? I was told over six years I needed to forgive the Bishop, for the ways he treated Hope; that other Bishops did not understand; that some were "out to get us" and another "got what was coming to him" •.My concerns centered not only around community talk in demeaning the Bishops •. but also in the way folks were "taught" not to trust Bishops, the Catholic Church in Ametica, Catholic..:schools, to be "afraid" of the world; also the way members were being controlled by others through use·of fear and guilt, "robbed" of freedom and responsibility at the price of having to leave the community if counseling was sought; and how spirituality was "forced", upon children and adults, a certain type of spirituality, that is. It seemed to me, that the way leaders and 'some members were acting, that basic human freedom and dignity, will and reason,was being "stifled" in the name of God, unity, and community. And as such, the very Holy Spirit, who breathed the Life of Christ, into each one of us, was being stifled. And my spirit cried out. And how were Maureen and I met? We were met with accusation of breaking the statutes, breaking the covenant, of being unfaithful; of destroying the community; of being detractors •••• My appeal to "conscience" was less importent then the law ••• then'statutes made to serve us,.not be served by us. We felt intimadated and interrogated, as many others have 'in the past who are .no :longe;rin::the community. During Ralph Martins recent visit (January 24, 1992) he spoke of a few years ago accusing membersof the Word of God for voicing similar concerns ••• accusing them of slander, detraction ••• and how now he sees what they saw, (power used inproperly, judinentalism, elitism, replacing the Lord with the Law), and how he is now accused of slander by others for speaking out. I can understand how my comments came across as hostile ••• and I understand they did not follow the pattern and order of life, keeping everything in the house, the family, the community, the pastoral system. In a sense, I had a choice to reamin like a child . in the family, speaking only when spoken to, and then· in the way I am told to speakjorJ(~J ~ stand up, quit denying the Truth, and admit, "s omet.hfng crazy is going on here, and we need help~ •• the People of Hope need a Doctor ••• and it sounds like the Doctor (and I do not mean Dr. Joe, God bless his heart) is knocking on the door,·butHe is not being let in." Frustrated and angry, hurt and seeing the hurt of others, 'I wrote, what I experienced and believed to:be happening. I was told we were to attend nothing for a month and think about what I had done, what we wanted to do. We wanted to attend meetings, gatherings, but were denied access. Why woul~ven want to attend? Why did we "hang in there" for six years ••• and even after this not put on the letter "we terminate.our public commitment"Why Probably the same reasons many people "hang in there". It involvesmore then what we are told, for "holiness", or, to "serve", or to "be served". You see, I want to trust people; to believe in leadership even when my reason told me something was wrong; to think the best of others. I also lacked confidence in my own ability to know, to see the Truth, clearly. I had also begun to believe what I was tihld about the Bishop acting for "political" reasons, and feared theological secualrism in the Church and feared the world. We had become rather isolated in the community after 15 years,.most of our friends were here. (Thank God we stayed close to our·blood family. They have alaways been by our side, eventhough we "took" more from them then gave ••• they are the ones who gave us time and money when we needed it ••• and never asked for return .•• and we gave all our time and money (little) to the community). Other reasons involved the school, Koinonia. Catholic schools were painted as bad and expensive. Our children only knew children in the community. We wanted the "best" for them ..• and we "feared" for their life in other places.All of Maureens women friends were in Hope, where would she go for support, who could she talk to ••• fear of lonliness. Also, Bishop Cordes was always said to want us to .remain as ve were, that the Church needed us. Why should we seperate from "the model for the Church"?



I also did not trust that God could/would/ wanted to love us outside, of Hope, and seriously doubted my own ability to provide for my family as a husbuncl and father. On top of all this, we loved and still love the people who make up the People of Hope. We have an affection that remains amist the frustration, bitterness, and pain. So we reamined until July 5. On that day we were told that it wasl'in the best intrests of the community and our best stis that our public commitment be broken". When we refused to break our public commitment we were told that in effect we had broken it already, and that the community was no longer committed publically to us. Done. Finished. In our own intrests and yours. I suppose this is true. It just takes a littl, while (long while) to get use to. My spirit resisted. Are we "gluttons for punishment". To remain in, seeing the wrong, would have been excruciating. Must be the Irish and Scottish fight in us ••• plus some degree of love. By now, the dependency on the community had been broken •• '~, z and we knew we could trust our Lord to provide and be ' our Savior. Our confidence in the 'Catholic Church had also been restored, and priests and parish members, old friends, "others who had left (or been thrown out) reached out to us and encouraged us. A few close friends who remained in Hope also stayed by our side ••• but for the most part there was silence from the whole community, including leadership. It was as if we were dead. After lS+-years! No wake, no funeral, no flowers ••• not even an obituary column in the community newsletter. A.;!fewweeks ago a.ipub Ll.y committed member said "I did not know they left". And noone asks "why" (This "isolation"phenomenon is very connnon for folks who leave). Strange? Why is noone told? DosfioLks have a "right to know", what happened, or why? Maybe folks do not want to know. Too painful? We try to resist the feeling that "rioone cares" However,: after eight-months of being "in the grave" you would think folks would ask "what ever happened to them" ••• especially when we are seen in the Grand Union (rose from the dead!) 'There is a mixture of-"Jesus in the temple"and"Jesus on the cross" in us ••• anger and sadness. God willing, the compassion for you will overcome the frustration ••• We need his grace to forgive .•• Since you are not "out of sight", you are not "out of mind". And sometimes, as days go by, and there is some distance, some wounds heal, and others are opened •.• events of the past, what leaders and others said, did,come to mind and to light, and we get so mad ••• Like how matters were always to kept in the family ••. how we were told what we shold read and not read ••• how we were told to avoid certain people, conversations; how secreacy was considered a virtue and loyalty, unity was to be maintained at all costs. It is sad that the r.elationshipofSword of the Spirit to Hope is not recognized by leaders and members. For years we were formed by them, tahught by them as our parent, and now claim a distance ••• when structure and people in positions of leadership reamin the same. We come from the same root. Is it any wonder that the Archbishop saw in 1986 the need to have Hope leaders step down, be retrained under him, as well as leave the Sword of the Spirit. You cannot put new wine in old wineskins. Besides the resistance to change leaders, it just seemed like folks were being kept in the dark. Keeping people from counseling, or from reading material from other communities that formed Hope and were questioning pastoral practices and attitudes, hiding this, for the"peoples sake", to protect from "dual pastoring" or gossip, slander ••• seemed to streching matters, controlling, assuming too much responsibility for others, and downright "fishy". To push things further, to say folks had to leave if continued counseling or were commiting sin if talked about/ read documents ••• just made no sense. And then to say it was never ment to be said, or was heard the wrong way, or to put blame on pastoral leaders ••• it seemed like the "buck was always being passed". I think in seeking the Tru~h it is importent to listen to others, to read, form ones conscience with prayer and competent sources of material. Not to dispose of things as "trash" if we do not agree with it ••• especially when it is from a brother or sister. And if there is no name ••• I wonder how many folks who ran the underground during the Civil War would sign their names •..;Are they,"crazy"? Some folks who sent letters around have been abused enough by people and the "system". Some could not stand any more "trials". Others actually feared for thier physical well being .•• that thye would be physically hurt by "bullies" if known. Sad ••• but true. Imagine that! What have we become? Well, the Truth hurts, but the Truth also sets us free. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. It is painful, what has been done, in the name of God. This does not discount the good. But good done cannot be an excuse to continued stubborness or wro:





Folks may say they are "good Catholoics" or are like Joan of Arc, St. Francis, St. Catherine of Sieina. Members resist the Archbishops advise (leaders too) claiming to be following these saints example. I do not know if these saints would agree. And I cannot say if I am a "good Catholic" or not. God alone is Good. Why all this attempt to justify oneself as "good", by following canon law or otherwise. God alone knows the heart of men, their intentions. We can know something, by words actions of a person, but not everything.


I can't but help think of Jesus, crucified ••• saying" "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do". Do you know what you are doing? Do I? Do you want to know? Look at Jesus crucified. This is what we are doing. Pray. Maybe we should spend more time with Mary at the foot of the cross ••• let some of Christ's blood fallon us ••• and feel the pain he felt for folks who were lost, without a Shepherd. Maybe we are some of those folks. And maybe we did/ or did not dol for the least of the breathern. Maybe. How will we know if we do not ask them how they are? Do we want to know what we are doing? Along with going to Jesus, and Mary, maybe it would be good to listen to what Ralph had to say Friday night. He did not speak against anything, or to destroy; he spoke for love of Christ, and the Church, and you, and me. Get a video or audio tape and watch it in the quiet of your home. Discuss what he has seen with people. Listen to some other tapes from Ann Arbor and Father Mike Scanlan; even read some documents ••. it may hurt (I won't say it won't hurt) yet, we have put alot of crosses on other people, without lifting a finger to help them carry them ••• and have even lorded it over some. ~hinking for oneself" may be a difficult task; it is also enjoyable. To exercise reason and free will is what seperates us from animals. Excessive control taken or given has been so damaging. To confront what has happened in the community is not a matter of personal perception or "vocation". It is not a matter of "if you do not like the way we do things, leave" ••• at least not any longer. This many people cannot have a "perceptual problem" or "no calling to Hope" as people use to say. A person should not be labeled "ungrateful" for calling into question community practices ••• or for growing less trustful. of the system. There is a reason, some good reasons, for the lack of trust present. "Big Brother" may not know best all the time. Using fear and guilt to keep folks quiet has run it's course. Time to take a break, get a cup of coffee, adjust your eyes, or_take a nap. I need to go to bed. Been at this for six hours (3:30 a.m.). Either this is very importent or I'm nuts .•• maybe a little (or alot) of both. I hope that this letter has not confused you. If it has, I must not have been healed from that course in the community. If I were to give degrees, I would give a Masters Degree in Confusion for the way leadership in Hope has handled all of these problems. From passing the buck, to saying we never said what we said, to saying folks have a hearing problem, I would also give a degree in "Usuary", i.e. using bishops, clergy, religious, laity, situations, Scripture, Church Documents to advance whatever leaders and members want advanced ..• And leaving out whatever challenged (and whoever challenged) the system. If a Bishop is for us , we are for him. If he changes his mind, he suddenly "does not understand. And then there is Christifideles Laici, page 74: Our Holy Father states criteria for dicerning and recognizing lay groups, which we never heard in teachings the past five years: Does Hope practice "a strong and authentic communion in filial relationship to the Pope ...and the-local bishop ... The communion with Pope and Bishop must be expressed-in loyal readiness to embrace the doctrinal teachings and pastoral ~iatives of both Pope and Bishop:' Can we honestly say that we have embriced the pastoral initia~s of the Archbishop? In 1985? 1986? 1991? Today? Doranly "embrace" the ones we want to? The ones that do not "cost" us too much? The ones where we do not have to lay down our lives, our positions, our own authority? And scripture, Esp. Mt. 18, has been used to keep people isolated, in the dark, seperated from one another and from seeking the Truth ... it has been used to accuse people of sin, to lay guilt on the shoulders of members, some alraedy suffering from false guilt imposed for being "ungr at e ful,",
.: 1.1

(5) + I pray that noone "speaks with forked tounge", however, to "speak the whole truth, andnothing but the truth, so help me God", while trying to keep matters "confidential" was not a hallmark of community communication. Have leaders "said .what they ment, and ment what they said", or not? All of these reflections are not based on imaginings or what I have heard in other comm~~ities. They are based upon our own experience, real experiences, over 15 years, in relationships within the community •.Having time to reflect on experiences was never a luxury in Hope. We all were kept very, very busy. Constant "teachings" left little time to "try to put teaching into practice", let alone question their value. Maureen and I just "beginning" to get to know one another, after 12+ years of marriage. Oftentime there was more of a marriage between pastoral leader and member then between husbund and wife. Membership was put on a level of a "vocation", in word and action. No wonder being thrown·out or leaving is traumatic, like a divorce, or death. Yet this is "easier" to accept then the avoidance, suspicion, and denial of other members that someting has even happened. Why did it take until December. (6 months) for the first coordinator to ask us what happened (and he was away all year). We sent every coordinator a letter. Noone called in leadership to see "how we were doing"? Noone. What kind of "pastoring" is going on? Do we have some kind of leapoursy? And then, amougst other things, to be accused by coordinators of "lobbying for position" Is that what I was doing in my letter? A "political activist"? Out to destroy the community? We love the people in the community. We never wanted to destroy anyone. Our concerns were not even addressed then, our concerns for our life and the community's' life in the Lord and in the Church. And why were the people who were thrown out as "detractors" not apologized to for being labeled as such ••• to this day? Were those who left because they choose to see a counselor, forced to leave by nature of this choice, were they ever invited to return? Were they repented to for being "put on the spot", confronted with this choice? Any were people who were hurt bad by the system asked thier opinion about the system, pastoral leadership, ect., in recent evaluations? People who were forced to leave or had such bad experiences wanted to leave ••. were they asked to comment? Do leaders still beliveve, as they have told me often since 1986, that the pastoral system will save the community .•. that if they followed the Bishops advise the community would fall apart ••. that he is out to destroy the community .•• that he only listened to the "malcontents"? Who is the community founded and built on ? The Lord or the leaders? Who "saves" the community? Who do we trust, depend upon? Ourselves? Have leaders made themselves into Bishops? Has Hope made itself a little "church", the "body" Who has the words of eternal life, men or God? Do folks depend more upon the community for a happy, stable marriage and children then upon our Lord and one another? Has the community become more then a "meanstl to an end ••• has it become "the Kingdom of God" as some have said. And "who" is the community? We recognize bhe good of community, life together, support and encouragement. No man is an island. Yet, have eyes been taken off the Lord; is glory purely given Him; is it His power and love that sustains us, with love of our friends and neighbors? Whose community is this •.. our Lord's or mans? In light of the many concerns that have been expressed over the past year, I do not vt.h Lnk a "quick answe r " is easy to give, let alone a defensive one. And no matter what is tlsaid", would everything really be turned over to Lord, is there any"sacred cow"? What has happened, I think, is not one persons doing, or "undoing". Everyone is responsible for the sickness that has spread. How can the family get "well" if the sickness is denied? er hidden? The pastoral system is "beyond" saving itself, I think from the top on down.This is not to say the people are bad, or anyone is bad, or not "goodtl• IIGod don't make junk". There is no "dishonortlin admitting weakness. In our weakness is His strength. Pride comes before the fall, and the grave before self- glory. Noone is Moses here ••• and I would not want to claim to be St. Francis, or say anyone else is doing what he did. Our Lord and His Archbishop is only reaching out with love to you. Not to disband or destroy you •.. but to build you up in charity. Msgr. Hayes remains near you out of love and compassion .•• The Bishop speaks to you with respect for your integrity and ability to know the Truth. He has alot of confidence in your love for Christ and desire to do His will ... and he has alot of faith in the love of Christ for you. He respects your free will, your ability to reason.



I want to ask you to be like Bartimeaus. To cry out to the Lord, over andover, "Lord have pity on me". Others may say, keep quiet, you are disturbing .the Master, there are more importent things to take of. But keep crying out. And ask the Lord to help you see. Do not persist in saying "I see already, I am not blind". You may stumble and fall for awahile, even get hurt ( by walking trees) • But hang onto Christ, His Light. He will lead you and take care of you. You may also want to consider giving up the front row in the Church, and sit in the bleachers, with the "Publicans", beating your brest and crying out "Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner". . The sick need a doctor. And we are all sick. I am notpointing the finger at anyone; all five are pointed at myself. I have plenty of "logs" in my own eyes. In the face of things, to say there has been no wrong, or to blame someone else, would be next to unreality. You, all of us need a Doctor .•• we cannot heal ourselves. You and us have to want to be healed ,want to see ••• or at least want to want ••• We are free to run away ••• yet the longer we resist, the deeper thedisease spreads, and the more painful the operation. Jesus, the Divine Physician, the Shepherd of souls, askes you and us to come to Him; all of us who are burdened, and He will give us rest. To take His yoke which is easy, and His burden, which is light, upon our shoulders. The "yokesl1 we have carried for many years he wants to lift from us. Read Galatians, Chapter 5. Jesus is at the door knocking ••• He wants to come in and help you, and help the community It is up to you to let Him in, the doorknob is on your side. I ask you to fogive me for blocking your way to the Door, in any way. When I have been pushy, or forced "my way" upon you ••• for holding grudges against you, anger in my heart. For not putting into practice the prayer of St. Francis. Please forgive me for the times I have put you before Christ, or failed to speak up for what/ who I believed was right and just. Being a man does not involve pink shirts, shorts, buttoned shirts, smoking cigars, staying out of the delivery room ••• we all know this. How we got caught up in this craziness is beyond me. Being a man invloves Christ, and living with charity towards neighbor. He only gave us these two commandments •.• it takes a lifetime just to get these right. and plenty of Grace. In closing. may I encourage you to seek the Truth, to get out of the boiling water.Listen to others, inside and outside the community. Read what Ralph and Fr. Mike has to say. Do not Isolate~:peopJ:e~_ :::ofi:ealte:l.t;o ')pebplecwli.Q have'~left,;asCtll:epet'sIJ~',,!EIl) acsenser;.--wenarel. a.11··lepers.j-Let:'people2kriowc:you,~cat:e'.~-Donnatrbe (afral.d';,-'of:;pebple o1:.::what:lthey~7sai;iiisten.o r t; with ccmp as sf.on.cand .s.a d esLr e to understand. Do not iabel others as detractors, or blame problems on the Devil alone; or say "it is only your perception". or "your ungrateful". Let go of defesciveness and any manipulation, or not facing "bad fruit" because there has also been "good fruit".Do not be like bullies, in word or action. It is hard to smile sometimes, and we cannot run from the pain of this, but please God give us compassion for each other. I think of Jesus again on the cross. Do you know what you have done? Do I? Jesus, show us, as we sit at your feet, and'stare into your face. "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do". Do we want to know? Mary will help us face the pain we have caused ourselves and others, the Archbishop and the Church, Christ Jesus Himself. She will bear it with us. as she bore our Lord.Maybe someday we will even be able to sing her Magnificat together. For now, it seems'we are still on Simeons Canticle"He has come to His people, and set them free; He has raised up for us a Mighty Savior; promised to show mercy to our fathers; to set us free from our enemies; free to worship Him without fear .. in the tender compassion of our God the dawn shall break upon us from on high, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace. " Amen. Blessed be His Name, forever and ever. With love for you. Jim and Maureen Flynn



Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, The following letter has been difficult to write, and taken a long time. There are many memories of joy in Hope ••• but reflection upon the past six years of our experience,uncaverssalQt~)ofefiuru andaidcons~stancy. We spoke up to many leaders over these years, but always gave in out of love and loyalty. It WaS always me who who was brought to repent for my lack of trust and gratefulness. It is unfortunate that, for now, the "bad" outweighs" the "good" in my memory. I guess that is because I denied the "bad" for so long, and it has to come out sometime and in some way. But "why this way", you may ask? ~\Why tell us? Dump your problems, grief, on us?" This is a good question. And I struggled with this before I wrote the letter in May. I did not want to sin, to gossip, or give people (or Hope) a bad reputation. I did (do) not want to destroy people or fight any work of the Holy Spirit. So why should I make my thoughts "public". You must believe that it would only be with very good reason that I would do so, and do so today with this letter. You know Maureen and I. We are not perfect, and do not write "perfect letters" or communicate perfectly; but we try.What we say makes some angry, some sad. But what is written is said out of love for you. What has happened is the responsibility of all of us in Hope, whoever has ever belonged. Passing the buck does not heal the wounds. I wish I had nothing to write but a "glory story". To do this would be to deny my own reason; to say I have not experienced what I have, heard what I have, seen what I have. And continueto see what I see. I want to deny my self to follow Christ; ·and followed men for years as Christ, denying my self. Today 1iQ seems I followed more men then Christ ..• not in all matters, but enough to make this writing necessary. But why write?"If things are that bad for you, some say, why not just leave quietly? Leave us alone. We like this way of life. Don't tell us what to do. Why take out your anger on us?" And others say: "Jim you have a problem, not us." And others say" Jim, you have a problem with your father ••• with authority .•• you caome from a dysfunctional family" All this may be true .•• and .may not be. However, that is no excuse not to listen .•. and no excuse for not speaking. But why tell others? Even folks who do not want to hear it? Why? Well, I believe the Lord hears th~ cry of the poor; and will lift up the lowly from the dungheap. The poor have been hurt ••. in mind and heart. Their spirit has been crushed. Anger and frustration over leaders unwillingness to listen, to have compassion, and seek the Truth welled up inside of me (and still does). Rather then opening up, the clamps came down harder. "If you do not like it, leave". The problem lied with the people, not the system. Get rid of the people, and you get rid of the problem. But the problem did not go away. The root of the problem is not "people". Anyway, I was angry. But I also sought the Truth, as much as possible. Examining my own conscience, praying; talking with leaders in Hope, Word of God, Christ the King, Steubenville (high up leaders); I spoke with past and present members; my confessor; Msgr. Hayes; sought spititual direction; reada little; listened to some professionals (God forbid !)and some tapes ••• I wanted to be as much in the Light, in Christ, as possible. The more I listened to leaders speak the more I realized that they did not want me to look outside of the community for wisdom, for help, for understanding, for clarity ••. to do so was even labeled detraction, sinful. What was being advised from inside was malld:n:gess l "common sense", even less "Catholic sense". And I was also getting more and more sad ••• more depressed oyer what. I saw .. nd was a d.Ift;pe t1 .~ocks could speak theY,would c~y ~~J<.C.I thOught':men-as~ing f~r help'""need" was ~u~~n.oned. Told "here for holiness" .'Marr~age"and otherA~se be~e !§y, always for the "best intrest of the members and the community". Love became legislation. Things may have changed from the "training Course" days but the change, and what needed to change, was never addressed publically. For years I still thought it unmanly to "be in the delivery room with my wife, to see my children born, to change diapers, to wear pink shirts, to wear shorts, to express feelings ..." I was "taught this, publically •.• and "pressured" to live it as a community way ... for unity in the Body. Die to myself. For who? This is only the tip of the iceberg. More comes up everday. When in the community, always being "taught", busy, there is little time, room, fo~" "come up". Thinking is stifled; we are told "what" and "how" to think~" to oppose !,:;,to speak. o lord, have mercy. I could go on and on,. But that is not the point of this introduction.

+ (Intro. 2) The point is,(the "why" tell others, write and speakJ1is that the more I used my mind, and reflected upon my experience~ , the more I saw that it was not only me who was "burning up", but you too. In fact, the whole house, the whole community was burning. I am no Savior, but I just could not walk away quietly, from people I love. I know I should leave you and matters in God's hands, to trust Him. But that does not mean no action. In Germany during WWII.some folks did not know what was going on; others did and were "comfortable". Some folks could not speak up because they were hurt so bad, or afraid. Hope is not Germany, but the point is that unless someones shout from the rooftops, the fire will consume not only those who "want" to. stay in the house (asleep), but those who do not smell the smoke yet. And people ask me: "are you at peace, Jim". Am I at peace? Would you be at "peace" if you saw your neighbors getting hurt? I do not think Jesus was always "at peace" in a certain sense. He got extremely angry at the Pharisees ••• and He loved them too. Jesus came as the light, but they preferred to live in darkness. They missed the day of salvation because they "knew God better"; Jesus just did not live up to thier expectations. It is not a matter of "Hope" or not. It is a matter of who is "lifted higher" and of charity towards our neighbor. At one time Hope exuded charity and joy; please God, may those days return. The mass in memory of Fr. Jim was wonderful last Thursday. Joe Finn sang. Ralph spoke of Fr. Jim; hisilove for people and Jesus. Fr. Ruane pointed simply to Christ. I wish all of you were there. I wish all of you came to hear Ralph speak on Friday. You can get the video tape if you want. All I can do is invite you to listen, to read. Please, ~ do not think I am "tellig you what to do, how to think". I am asking you simply to "think" and use your God given abilities to reason and seek the Truth and to love. I am also not saying "let the house burn down, it is no.good". The house (Hope) was built on Christ and joy in the Holy Spirit. People came to hear our Savior and be loved by/ and to love peple who wer in love with Him. The"fire" can be put out. Jesus and the Archbishop, Msgr. Hayes, Fr. Ruane, are all good, qualified "firefighters". They are there to help you, to help the community. There has been alot of damage done to the house. The answer is not to run around pointing fingers, looking for someone to blame, who started the fire. We do not need a "procecutor". Investigations have been done by competent authorities. Noone is being put "on trial" for arson; there is no desire for a percecution, or to send anyones to jail. Christ came to set us free. He came to heal our wounds, to forgive our sins. There has been alot of smoke damage and burns. Hope needs our S€l.viormore then ever. ·trt.lst"in,:;H:i;:m; r.:": -:. -'" AndlJ~aureen, cur children" and I need our Savior and the help of His Church more now then ever. Please pray for us. Thank you for the ways you have loved us while in Hope,and for the ways some of you have reached out to us and consoled us during this time of "mourning". Our families have been good to us (as usual); parishs and parish priests have helped, as well as the Catholic Schools. Somehow, God will provide. Thank you for reading this letter. (I should have sent you a pair of glasses with this~ ~ Sincerelywith love, Maureen, my dear wife and former schoo'lteacher, :te~u~e, to sign -- _Jim and M§.1JJ;"een Flynn her name due to poor English and speling.) 1)(..5,ffl-fe Dear friends.

~ary 3, St~ph2n 1;2 James 10, Matthew 2 John 5, Joseph 7 Anne D


.•••••• "~


As I think about forgiveness I ask myself "whe do I need to forgive; for what; and why? WHO: Myself,ameaders in Hope, other members in Hope. For WHAT do I need to forgive mys e Lf r Basically for following the leaders of Hope when I be lLeve. deep in my heart that the leaders were not following Christ and the Catholic Church. WHY did I follow the leaders? WHY did I ~ot follow my belief, my conscience? Some reasotisillhat come to mind are: 1. I wanted to believe in the leaders, to trust them (even when my conscience and concrete evidence,apersonal experience, experience of others,my reason, the Bishop said "there is serious wrong in Hope .•• it is right to leave the community). 2. My basic disposition is to trust people, to think the best of everyone, to believe everyone. 3. I cladked confidence in my own ability to know the eruth, to see clearly, and to know God's wL 4. Leaders paint the bishop as"not understanding"or But to get them". Distrust of bishops develoT 5. We were told not to speak with people who left about their difficulties with the community, sometime under pain of sin (slander). I did (do) not want to sin. Therefore, the truth of other peoples lives were not revealed. Isolation prevailed •.• and guilt for even asking. 6. Bishop Cordes was described as someone who wanted HOfleCuaLllnema:i:n intack, as it was. The leade: constantly emphesized his favor ••• to the extent that if I left Hope (or disagreed with the leaders) Ih.would be going "ag a.Lns Bishop Cordes wishes, and what was really good for the Chur c t; 7. The Catholic Church (especially in America) was painted as in a mess.Catholic schools were described by leaders (and some members) as being in terrible shape. This caused a fear of the Church,, to develop in me.''Where would you go". "what is better then Hope" was constantly preached. 8. After iliver15 years of life in Hope all my wife and childrens relationships revolved around Hope. Maureen did not see the problems in 1985-86. She did not see how the Bishops authority was being underminded and doubt was planted, or how al~igence to the Church was being supplanted by alligence to Hope. I doubted my own conscience's formation and did not want to have my wife suffer due to lack of friends, or children suffer either. 9. I BaSically did not trust that God would/could / wanted to love us outside of Hope and seriously doubted my own ability to provide as a husbund and father. 10. Intimidation by leaders of members .•• in word and by actions.
From 1985 to 1991 more and more unreasonable demands made by leaders upon me and others became apparent. The law of the community, what one wore and how one prayed, became more a focal point then Jesus Christ. Fullfilling the letter of the law, the covenant, became more importent the the person that law was ment to help. The Training Course from 1981-84 complemented this legalism, fear, righteonsness, isolationism ••• Many of us took this course. And there was never any "undoing" of th!i:s course, or its contents, in Hope. To be with ones wife while she was in labor was seen as unmanly (taught, preached);;This has never been recanted of by leaders (just one example). And the answer to any concern was always the same: go up the chain (till the question/concern was lost UE forgotten)~nd if you don't like the way we do things, you can leave Hope seemed to become more of a buisness ••• without a heart. External ritual was there, but it seemed to me "empty" •••• Catholic prac;tice and terminology became more apparent, but deep down I felt Hope was becoming less Catholic ..• it was becoming more committed to ~tself, it's own structure and ways, preserving tihemvandcpraas Lng them, then in praising our Lord (more then word and LIVING in the Catholic Church. Hope seemed to become a ehurch unto itself, with it's own bishops (coordinators), priests (pastoral leaders) and laity (members). A dependendy was created that displaced our Lord as Savior ••• Members could not see themselves (their marriage, children ••• ) surviving outside of Hope. People not only say this, but the resistance to change and the Archbishops advise is an action that reveals an unhealthy dependency upon Rope and Hope leaders. Some regaEdijleaders as Moses, a prophet, and compare them to Holy Father himself,(to St. Francis, St. Catherine of Siena ••• To demand one prays with hands uplifted. not go to counseling; to call it detraction when truth is sought With love; not to reach out for people when they are thrown out from the community (or when people choose to leave due to unbearable pressure and disagreement); to-cblamehQthen~~for,rpoor advise; not to take responsibility for what is said and the way it is said; to continue to proclirhna a higher knowledge of what is good for the Church ahd the community then the Bishop; all of this seems to me to point more to mans ways then to Our Lords. May God have mercy upon us all.i~

The following attitudes in member and myself): Blame: and behavior I see prevelent in Hope leadership

1-31-92 (and to some extent

It is always someone elses fault. l1you did not live out the teachingl1• "The pastoral leader did not communicate correctly". "It's only human to make mistakesl1•l1you are judging us". Failure to take responsibility for what is said, how it is said and done.

Shame: People are made to feel guilty and shamed into repentence. "You are a phoney for praying with your hands raised at gatherings but not at school". "How could you doubbt our credibility after all we gave you". You should be grateful". "Repent publically for having rock music at your wedding or leave the communitylf. "You will have to repent publically (or something like that), for what-how.., and who you spoke to". Control: Do it our way (leaders) or leave. "Maybe you have no vocation here any longer". Detraction- "It is a sin to speak with others about your problems in community .•. or to listen to others hurting who have left". If Benedictine does not go to A Fransciscan events". "If you go to .- you will leave the community because you are not following my direction"."You should go to a Ifcommunity priest" for confession because they understand you better". "You have to pray charismatically for at least an hour (or half hour)". "No counseling allowed. (dual -pastoral) for members (unless approved by leaders). Leave community if you need it." "Have more faith and you will be healedlf. "Be wary of professionals". "The American Church is filled with secualr humanism". If ishops do not understand USIf. "Permission needed to miss a gathering" B "Live in a household or you cannot get married". If eave your family". "tllova.." L Isolationism: The answers lie in Hope. "We are the model for the church; lor family life." "This is the Kingdom of God". Time and money given to build up "the life that serves you". "What is happening in. other communities has nothing to do with us." Noone is told iff why a member leaves (unless publically committed, months/years later). "How could 1000 be wrong, happy with the life and you be righ~. (As if other members did not have any problems with leaders policy)."It is uncomfortable for everyone so it is normal folks do not talk to you after you leavelf. "There is no shunning here". Secrecy: Using Mt.8 principal to keep folks "quiet". "It is gossip, detraction, slander to speak outside the pastoral chain about your difficulties". See attached clipping. If ou have no right to know •.• no "rreed to know". "I guess we live in America, democr acY ": so we really cannot stop you from speaking". Power: Permanent coordinators. "The bishop will destroy us if we do what he sayslf. (Who is the us?) "The Church is not a democracy"(Has Hope become a church?lBorder on idolotry.

Fear: Watch out for the world, flesh, and devil. "Catholic schools have alot of bad teaching in themlf. "Where will you go, what could be better then this". Usuary: "Other Bishops approve the statutes" "We only use Scripture and Church Teachings as the basis of our teaching, statutes". (May be true, but used "on" people to keep them in, quiet, following an "order" imposed). "The Bishop loves us (remember the GCG in Sprir "Bishop Cordes is for USIf. "Look at all the good works we are doing". (The ends justify the means). Sword of the Spirit, FIRE, Couples for Christ: "We are very different, we have PRAXIS" (Do we "Do" PRAXIS)" "We left in 1986 the SOS". Did we leave in "spirit", in reality? Who did Hope seek advise from? Who gave Mary St. retreat in Spring, 1991? Who visit Mary St. in summer? Why did no coordinators come listen to Ralph speak in Jan. 1992? Whom do we trust? Whose "mentality" is Hope rooted in? Whose structure? FIRE: Why is FIRE now If enewal Resources"in Hope? Fire was done by Hope members primaraly R for years (the daily operations, retreats, etc.). Did FIRE become Hope in essense? FIRE outreach lead many people to leave their homes and move miles to Hope. Couples for Christ! again, how much of a SOS mentality permeates this? The basic question: Who is Lord? Whom do we follow? Who has the word of Eternal Life? Savior?

A "high up" District Head to me in 1986 (with confidence and pride)"The Coordinators are the Community". He said this as a positive statement, one he agreed with. I fought him, saying "the people are the community. If the community is built on Christ, and Christ wanted the community, it would not fall apart in following the Archbishops direction". His response was simply, "the coordinators are the community". The coordinators said it would "fall apart" if they did what the Archbishop wanted. Would it? If so, why?




~-.~.:....;-',.,-,..:." -


•..: .:...,-~-.~...':


This is part of the prophesy I gave coordiantors during the General GAthering on Pentecost Sunday, 1991. I wrote it out and gave it to them as well as explained it in the center circle: "Unless the Lord builds _the house, in vain do the builders labor. , I love My house; you are part of My house, People of Hope. I love you, filled you with My Spirit, and brought. 'you together .15 years ago. The same Holy Spirit that filled-you at Baptism, Conflrmation, abd brought you thgether, is moving in your midst. That same Spirit is moving in Ann Arbor, Steubenville. Do not quench My Holy Spirit. You are not different from those communities, not at the root. You have been building your own house for many years now, your own pastoral system. It has become like an AT&T, a corporate structure, loosing heart. You have made My house into a den of thieves. I want to claen my house out, and make it a house of Prayer. This is my house. You are My house. Each one of you. You have made a false god of your pastoral system. And some of oyu worship that god. You have taken control of peoples lives and minds in a way I do not desire. Some good has come; but many people have been stripped of their freedom and dignity as My sons and daughters, My children. You have made them your children. Do not just-blame pastoral leaders. The system is bad. Throw off that yoke that has een put My -children. Take My yoke upon you, learn from Me, for I am meek and gent -f Heart.I am your Savior. Idied to set you free. You are not each others Savior's, 'not; even-in the name of pr"O"tection and love. Coordinators, lay down your crowns, your positions, your lives. before Me. Let My Peole go. They are not yours. They are Mine. Today is Independence Day; I want to set you free, to renew and reform your lives. Repent and turn back to Me. Father Jim use to caution you to get off the highway when I did. You stayed on the highway when I made a rhght turn. You never left Sword of the Spirit. You did not follow Archbishop Gerety and Archbishop McCarrick. You may have left in name, but not in heart and structure. Humble yourselves; go to the Bishop and repent. Repent for causing him pain and humiliation before the Church. Repent for following other Shepherds in Sword of the Spitrit. This is not a percecution. Your Bishop did and does understand. Bishop Ottenweiler understands too. You are no different then Servants of, Christ the King or Word of God. You come from the same root. Keep your eyes on me. This is a time of grace, a New Pentecost. Come back to Me.I loveyc •.• Go to your Bishop, and live in My CatholicChurch •.• do not set up your own church. Trust your Bishop, ask for his help. He loves you. Praise Me, cling to Me. Do not praise yourself ••• do not conform to the mind of anyone b: ,~tbe transformed by the reneweal of your mind in Me. The Spirit cries, let My peole go. You vocation is to Me, your spouse, religious life. My Cathilc Church. You have made the community a vocation and treat one another as if in Orders. It is not. Love one another as I have loved yo~ ... This was ne ve r read or given. When I asked coordiantors what they thought they said notheing. When I wrote the coordinators,only two repsonded, and visted me,to accuse me of destroying the community,"lobbying for position", slander, defemnatio~breaking the statutes (not supporting the pattern and order of life). Another called in July to express the same anger. Anotehr visited in December to ask me what was going on (he was away for a year).One told a frien he never read it (although sent). Such is the response.

Do these look familiar?







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man recently

sent me this letter:

"Secrecy is stance that reserves acess to knowledge in the service of power, control, or manipulation. It has nothing to do with transformation (se Mt.18:1S-17) on the correction of erring Christian breathern). A great deal of harm is done to llindivduals and the Church by the machinations covered by the rubrics of secrecy. You cannot have accountability and secrecy at the same time. This is a great challenge to the American Church and its erring priests. (Taken from A.W. Richard Sipe- writing on Secrecy. A psychitrist at John Hopkins Univ.) I have been review~ng these old articles of Pastorals (Pastoral Reneweal, late 1970, 1980s) I can see now how the formation of his "Covenant Cpmmunities" were established. It seems to me they are based on much Protestant theology. I believe at the timE he was influenced by the thoughts of many church leaders (pastors) of other then Catholic denominations. Our Catholic tradition was built on entirely different doctrinal foundations. The more you study these paper (Pastoral Reriewe aLs ) the more you are able to understand what; is what is happening to you and others in the Community." And then there is this:


sharing help{ul rslationsnip, vith other 9fOUP, under ra~h~r tnan The Sword of th!Spirit. ~t, ~e continuing fully, vill
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Pope u yes charlsmafcs to coo erate with ishops
VATICAN CITY (CNS) - Pope John Paul II encouraged participants in rhe ('h"r;~~".;~ ,. h t e college of ?ishops, and Cooperate ever more fruirfutlv in thp ~h ••• ~,--,_

Dear Coordinators Bishop Fulton of the People Sheen, of Hope, Chapter in his book Lift Up Your Heart, and sensitiveness is an indication of some people


20, 1992

on "The Ego and I", the violent

says" the very touchiness

about themselves,

way they react to criticism, of how little courage When the ego dominates offenses in ourselves;

of how much they protect

their own false ego,

they have in daring our lives, we blame

to let their real self stand the light of day •.. little faults in others, and excuse great

we see the mote in our neighbors

eye, and not the beam in our own. to us, and we others

We wrong others

and deny that there is any guilt; others do the same wrong

say they should have known better. We hate otehrs, because of what

and call it "zeal"; we flatter

they can do for us, and call it "love"; we lie to them, and call it "tact" ... aside,and call it "getting our just rights"; we judge others, and

we selfishly

push others

say we are "facing

the facts" •••" apply to you, and I .•. what we are all going through to the community. You threw Maureen at this of

I think his insights present time in relation saying

and I out of the People

Hope in July,

this "was in the best intrests

of the conununity and our own". You said the eigth conunandment, destroying and actions intimidated me in in

I was a"detractor, the community, many ways, disturbing


on the verge of breaking for position".



Your words


guilt and fear, saying

I was "ungrateful",

that I violated

the statutes like repent

the "pattern

and order of conununity life", and had to do something

And you still think you are being lead by the Holy Spirit in these actions, is the "will of God" ••• That it is a matter like frogs in slow boiling accept 'ArChbishop's you are doing". help. of "perception". May I suggest

that this

that you have been to


wllile fryingY-IDurself and others;refusing you, for you do not know what

All I can think is "God, forgive

For years many of you have treated Maureen

people as if you were KGB or SS troops. this from you and other leaders. of Siena. I cannot imagine have not said/done.

This is not an exaggeration.

and I have experienced

And you claim to be like St. Francis, Jesus treating us or others

Joan of Arc, St. Catherine

like you have ••• in what you have said/done;

." ,"1"v',~aL,m~sta 5!,.'::Qro.,commu.n ", ,,,. k 1'1, ", " :t C;J:lt~onpfo,':~m, bL ",?, l',s~;~t,."an .,.

We have all been blind ••• yet it seems you still say "we see". Wbere crying "Lord, have pity, I want

is Bartimeaus, Do you

to see". Jesus came to heal the sick, for sinners. on to? Who are you holding

still deny your"sickness".

Why? What are you holding

on to? have for

Even more then ever I think you have become

lords of. the people ••. and some people

made you lords and saviors ••. or at least "bishops some. Have you sought this? Allowed many times over the past six years this to happen?


The conununity has become Is your attitude,

the "church" to me

as expressed

"if we follow the bishop

the conununity will fall apart •.•

he does not understand ••• or is out to destroy

us"? If so, who is the conununity built on?

Who is Lord of the People of Hope? Whom do we worship, in Spitit and Truth? ~he Devine Phys~cian is knocking on your door. -Th-e-Prayer oI~Francis. May God help us put this into practice. With love, Jim Flynn ).S. I found this in my. <:)1-~.,_l!~'p_e notes: My 86 yr. old friend Aloyousis gave me this quote': "Secrecy is a stance that reserves lR CONFIDENTIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR CIR· ' acess to knowledge in the service of power, JLJ\TION, DISTRIBUTION OR PUBLICATION. ALL control, or manipulation. It has nothing GilTS IN THIS WORK ARE THE FROPCRTY OF THE PASTORAL to do with transformation(see Mt18:1S-17) :O::LE OF HOP'E. no COPIES OF THIS WORI< on 7/86

Draft ~------~on

'-See the similarity:



great deal of harm has been done individuals and the Church by the machinations covered t'or, the ..Prustoral Per8onrn,! 'by the rubrics of secrecy. You cannot hav , ---:-'accountability secrecy at the same and '/'"'\ time."

n=: ~'~---I(.••. R '(jI.,j ~" ' ' jiA"l.9 ,",", ' /

~~__ --~~+~

the correction of erring Christian brethe



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Word qf God.



From Bishop Fulton J. Sheen; Lift Up your Heart, c.1950. The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the story of every man born of woman, lives within for there

each one of us two selves- the ego and the I: the self one seems, and the self

he is; the man other men meet, and the man unknown to other men. The ego is what we think we are; the I is what,in petulant, personality clamorus, fact,we are. The ego is the spoiled child within the creation of our mistakes us- selfish,

and spoiled-

in living. The I is our

made to the image and likeness

of God!

The lives of two selves cannot be lived simultaneously. If we attempt to do so, we suffe remorse, anxiety, and inner dissatisfaction. If true freedom is to be found within ourselves, the ego must yeild itself to the birth of our true personality. But the seeming self is so familiar a companion to some persons that it cannot be easily dropped, nor is it of any use to tell them that this superficial self has no legitimate~~fthin them. Like a plaster cast, the false ego has to be cut away, pulled off, and this is a process that invloves detachment, pain, and some indignity. When the ego dominates our lives, we blame little faults in others, and excuse great offenses in ourselves; we see the mote in our neighbors eye, and not the beam in our own. We wrong others, and deny that there is any guilt; others do the same wrong to us, and we say that they should have known better. We hate others, and call it "zeal"; we flatter others because of what they can do for us, and call it "love"; we lie to them, and call it "tact" ... Our Lord warned us:"Do not judge others,or you yourself will be judged."(Mt.7:1). The judgement of our neighbor is a self-revelation, and thereby a judgement on ourselves. The very touchiness and sensitiveness of some people about themselves, the violent way they react to criticism, is an indication of how much they protect their own false ego, of how little courage they have in daring to let their real self stand the light of day. Because the ego and the I, or the superficial self and the real self, are related as the husk to the seed, it follows that the I is not revealed until the ego is removed. The apple does not become a tree until the outer, covering pulp is shed and the seed is free to grow ... Some egoists fight like tigers against the stripping off of their egos, but once they become convinced that there is a real self, a personality, beneath the ego, then they see the change as bringing them not loss, but gain. Our Divine Lord told us that if we wish to save our life ,we must lose it; Hewas also stating the psychological truth that if we lose the ego, we shall find the I .... In our lives too,the less good in us must give way to the best in us. The ego must decrease; the I must increase. But the I cannot increase without communion w i t h other personalities, wh i ch invloves the love of neighbor ... As the ego dies, the I is born; and as the I surrenders itself freely to God revealed in Jesus Christ, life finds a new center in Hi St. Paul expressed this experience in "I live,nm"l not I, but Christ liveth in me." ...since the will is always free, it is the one supreme gift we can make to God. Such yielding of the center of our lives to Christ is the way of supreme happiness ... The choice of the center rests with us: we must be satelites, serving some center, but we may choose our sun. We cannot remain in isolation from all centers: every person gives away his freedom. Some give it to public opinion ... to dictators, or the State, but some give their freedom to God. Only in the last sort of surrender does one become truly free, for only then is one united with Him Whose will is our content •••"If it is the Son who makes you free men, you will have freedom in earnest. (In.8:36) When the ego is strong,the I is weak; when the I is strong, God may still be weak in us if we refuseto allow the a~vine to operate. But when the I relinquishes,for love, something which Love bestowed on it, then God becomes strong in the I ... The ego-center never loves God, for it is its m"ln God; the I-center loves God in a limited way .•. But the Christ-center makes the I-will identical with the God-Will, and finds no happiness but in loving God and all creatures, even enemies, in Him .

. Peace: "Peace is a nice word- but it, too, has a true and false sense. True peace is a On gift of God; false peace is of our own making. True peace flourishes in an increasing friendship with God; false peace is spawned in forgetfulness of God and exaltation of the self. True peace deepens in sorrow; false peace is shattered by reverses. True peace has no wants; false peace is restless and covetous. True peace has a lowly estimate of self; false peace lives in fear of being found inferior. True peace has a firm trust in God despite its own past sins; false peace shrinks from the thought of God because it will not put an end to its present sins ... False peace accompanies the false conscience we have forged by our misdeeds. There are three steps in making a false conscience:The conscience is dulled. The conscience is numbed. The conscience is killed. Often ,"Jnensou s say t e""ir ccnscferice 1.S atpeace--; 1.. 1.S only becausethey have f"oelltlfl conscience with the egos intrest or the ego's libidos. Instead of their desires following the

dictates of conscience, conscience follows their desires.
But is such a man's conscience really at peace? No. If the false conscience were at ease it would not boast so much about its "peace". The healthy do not go about thumping their breasts, saying, "I am healthy": it is the sick who talk about their health. The right conscience never boasts of its righteousness, for it sees its judge in God. not self.

o Lord, make me an insturment of Thy Peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair,hope; where then is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. 0 Divine Master, grant that I may not so muc1 seek to be understood, as to understand; to be consoled, as to console; to be loved as to lov( For it is in giving that we recieve;and in pardoning, that we are pardoned;and in dying, that we are born to Eternal Life. St. Francis, please pray for us.



July 1, 1992

De ar Leaders of the People of Hope and friends, Recently Maureen I had supper with a good friend in Hope. I have seen him three times since (July 5, 1991).For the first time we discussed of discouraging what

and I were "thrown out" of Hope to people

had (is) happening relationships, former members, "system"

in Hope and ourselves.

Hope's pattern

close w Lth the



of groups, demands on members of sin for speaking

time, not associating matters outside

and accusations

about community friendships"

... has always made it difficult to breech the walls together

for "natural

to prosper.


we managed

and began to'.t aLk , with members, former members,

It becomes more and more evident to me in conversation and through my own experience a "Lord unto itself". become a

of more then 15 years living in Hope that Hope had become

Hope haS replaced

Jesus; leaders have repalced or planned,



Hope haS( Peop e are




This may not be intentional

but it,;has·. happened. members

)U1!' "

still afraid to leave Hope, afraid of the "world" and the"Church"; not to trust Bishops,
• :, (I\~'i

have been tahught and leaders

that the Church is secular.

Leaders have been called Moses,

teachings have been held up by members as "the same as what the Pope is saying" .,.. '~.",.".; r-'--:' ~ V N """r ~r 1'o....,1~y(t~.'1 5 "/),."vl,.·.<.) ~'\N"".J j'Mrf t~': i: II ) ,1,/" • -, .., .••.. '~ . ',I . \' I .••• ,j", ',." The community promotes a secure enviorment ... "from cradle to grave" as it is fond of saying. The song "We have come to Mount Zion" was sung frequently; is Lord" was heard less the simple song "Jesus "we are the

+ less. Why? Members and leaders constantly proclaimed
the Bishop (and some members

model for family life in the Church";

"whe re else could you find this life". Amist much and others) saw

good work, love for Christ and one another, this centering

in on self, a pride developing,

a "taking control" and practiced,

of who and what the conscience"

Lord had given. The"community developed. The community

mind" was preached placed

and a "community


it's trust in Hope leaders and system. was threatened,

When the system and leaders preservation
u ~

in the "name of the Lord"

and with"permission" of Canon Law, leaders proclaimed sake of the Church.

"the right to exist" ... ,'·or the f advise, in the

The Church needs Hope, as is ... Even if the Church's integral changes. reminded

person of the Bishop, recommended

("He does not understand" by leaders).

or "He only

wants to destroy us" members were constantly the Lord of course. And if mistakes whom those mistakes were made were

We know better ... in But people on

(are) made ..."it is only human".

, what about them? Those in control enhanced their control

The rich got richer,
t hr crgh

and the poor got poorer.

Laws ... the poor became more dependent,

fearful of the world,

and charged with "guilt"

if they let their thoughts

be known. "You should be grateful, of exterior

all we have given you" we heard (no shorts, no pants, regulations OK by leader, to

often. "How dare you not trust us". Enactment


no open collars, no pink shirts, no men in labor rooms) lead to interior (detraction counseling statement, statementsno speaking with others about community no outside counseling; proceedures


for who/when/how and confession;

to marry;hmv where one

pray, how much to pray; who to go to for spiritual could go for inspirationSponsored forb~dden


by lack of time or leaders direction

to attend events imagine,

by others) ... on and on and on.Each person couid write a list. For example,

unless he moved into a coordinators telling a 40+ year old man he could not date ~."., may not have been told "who" household. They forbid him to date ... ~~~ ~lo~e marry. People

to marry, but leaders certaintly "had to ~K prepared,

t he - choices,

for me n and women ... who was ready, preparation" asked inspired

who was not. Of course, out of "love". And the 1 year "engaged

by the Church was almost never abided by (us included).

Leaders were somehow divinely •.. few disobeyed.

to know best for everyone ••• to question was ana t hama , To disobey Leaders things". frequently reminded us "If you were a Franciscan

you would not attend Benedictine but expected members

Not only did leaders compare Hope with a Religious system


to have all their needs met by the community time I was expected to serve in the community
.-t.. fit<

(from cradle to grave). If I had extra ministry). Everything was

(or do a community
/'oAJ '(

suppose to be kept "in house" ... including

the dirty Lacnd ry
1I1JI••••• (-:,

(problems members
1",<. A,
.•• ,


. .,
'-'_....,....,. .j'
I~ .•..•.~



J ~l


, ")


\L •...h, tV;-Sf(v,,) a
,... . .'..•,1.

"\..~.... ), ~ ~J 11>.,,;,.,. I..,

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• 11"- /}

' ••••• /

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'. -""-''Y_


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,,1 AL u . ..J ,j-. ',.
•.... ,/"

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!,(,;"', c~ ,) ...


••. \~.


t ,

''':'j'-';,:",_J __J:,



,<» -/-,


I~ ~ ;""i

l;nv&.IIJ .

I IJ(.;.. .••••AI


I')~ /... •
_~'I••• . ,..._.



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,,,,,,,J '/~r













p" .•.. ..,





/1/)J.-/-I-.-//. 1\


Everyone-€.-Bul-d-w-r-it-e--a -list-.--Bttt many do not even want to think about it .•. or "know what is happening to others, their friends, or themselves. grounded It is too painful ... itmay in a system rather then our

mean change ... security

is threatened ..• security

Lord. It is like "good people" to the Jewish people. Their"good

in Nazi Germany who did not want to know what was happening life" was threatened if conscience allowed them to see

the light ... they may have to act. .. they choose to live in the dark. And Jim Jones allowed himself to go unchecked, and he lead "good people" to Guyena, and their death ... in whose A husbund

name? Could it happen

in Hope? It happens

in families.

The father is an alcoholic.

abuses his wife. Wife and children "home". Outside looks terrible,

are afraid ... yet secure at home. At least they know job ... Until home becomes dad/ husbund who "loves" so painful, them.

alone, no food, shelter,

they need to talk. But then they feel guilty

for betraying

Caught. Until more pain •.• they cry out ... and are thrown out of home •.. called destroyers of the family ..." Family members do not talk to them.


This is the exact same dynamic

that has been happening It happened

in the Hope community.

I did not a

read this in a book, or study psychology. long time because I wanted

to me, and other members.

I stayed

to love, to trust ••• there was security,

and I had needs

to grow

up, and desires ... People did help me. There was joy. But that joy has turned into sadness. What started vomit. in the spirit is moving (had moved) in the flesh. Thoughts Church. position of Hope now make me using the

I do not see Jesus or love for the Catholic Hopes own agenda/ 50S and Christ

I see manipulation,

Church and good woks to advance and Bishop Ottenwheiler approved

and cause. When the Word of God said we were like found

the King, our leaders

them ... we should be accepted

too. When the Word of God split, truth spoken in Steubenville, does not understand.

and Bishop Ottemvheiler our leaders

"forked tounge •.• not the "whole" like them, and Bishop Ottenwheiler many others.

said 'we are not There are

This is only one instance.

A person who lived on Mary Street was shut up by leaders

and left in 1986. I was told Is it only "perception"

not to listen to him, he spoke only his perception. any longer? I told leaders


His "perception".

would destroy wrong"?

in 1985/86 I thought we should follow the Bishop. They said he /I WllG IJ n(. }t",.,) • ..!. Lv;'r V,<oJ ? ~\lf'f''''l'l.kd b<y ? us. Who is the "us"? One said "how could you be right: Jim and 1000 members be agree with the leaders? Did the leaders agree with the leaders.

Did all 1000 members

We always thought "had a problem", leaders,

so. Those who spoke out were silenced did not "belong". And few members

or "asked" to leave. They ..• asked any questions; why! We were told by we were told in district breaking
IN"f'J .)-',)

by "guilt"

"you have no need to know". And then in 1990/91/92 that we were gossips, slanderers,


general gatherings


the 8th commandment

if we talked with "unapproved" Maureen

others about . our problems/

concerns./ )~Ll/t






"' ••••


- ;


and I were throvlIlout on,July

5, 1991 by the leaders,

for what I said in a letter


of May 23,1991 .•. the way I said it. and to who I said it. I was called a destroyer communitYraccused breaking by leaders of "lobbying for position", "breaking the stained

of the

glass window", trash;

the statutes,


disunity ••.



swore at me; called my thoughts refused

I was threatened:"you

better watch out"; good friends

to read my letter to them ...~.. or make some

I .'w~s:'·for13idden go to any gatherings; to kind of restitution; humiliated

told I would have to repent publically group, immediately.

turned away from my sharing

For two hours we were by the Gestapo or KGB.

by leade-rs in our living room. Xt ..m.-s 1ike being interrogated

We could not sleep for nights

later. Then July 5, we were told "for own own good and the good good, again~

of the People of Hope, you are out". The leaders spoke for our good and the members For whose good? MT:reason and free will, what makes me human, was pushed

to the point of the Catholj(

death by Hope. Was I willing Church, our blood family, is difficult.

to die for Hope? I tried, but my guts cried out. Jesus, some friends have helped

our parish,

us live beyond Hope. The


A prominant
pastoral system

leader told me in 1986 that "the cooydinators
saved the community". Where does Jesus and the

are the community".and
membe r s




The same group


added to, grew~in


through weekly





many years. Almost every other group changed. '~oonlinaton submit to? ~ M-<. 1I,~v.JJ (I) /;"'/,4..


else had to submit or "out". Who do


Reflecting on events over the past six years, it is amazing as if for the Lord'We

to see the sacrifice, all did it out of love

of mind, body, and soul for the Community, I suppose, for God, self. family,

friends.' Bullying was put up with for the sake of Christ, by your own brothers in the Lord!

and the secure enviorment As Maureen

of Hope. But to be "bullied"

and I sat in our living room on May 25, 1991 leaders tried to force us to the covenant, leaders broke the statutes, slandered ... including

admit guilt for two hours ••• that we violated For over six years I agonized

over the system,~y

treated me and others, in May,

our Bishop. I spoke to leaders. to speak up or not was difficult But the system had wreaked or spoken in a Community

I could have "stepped

back" quietly

1991. The choice ~eople.
fPtJ/' V'..

to make. I did not want to hurt anyone,

or destroy

havok on me. and many friends.

I may not have used all the, channels In conscience I

tone; I tried to control anger and frustration.

needed to speak. When I appealed


to my conscience

before the leaders

they said it did not me of this, heeping


I broke the statutes •.•and again, for two hours,

they reminded

on the guilt •.• sometimes used often by leaders~ And,Hope

with an anger that made us afraid. Guilt and fear ... two tactics to repent and stay, or leave with shame. by the town, by the bishop ...Hope did nothing of what was said

to get member


said it was percecuted

wrong ... But what; about this bullying, (directions given), secreacy

laying guilt and fear, denials

in the name of "need to know" ... A friend use to tell me he was physical life.

afraid of being "bumped off" by leaders or hit men; he feared for his families I thought he was exagerating. so far fetched. Some members After what I went through, I understand

his fear now. It is not

appear so deeply an t renched they could fly off the handle when a matter of survival. But where is

what they love and depend on is threatened .•• it becomes the Lord in all of this? In this "Inquisition"? (and the Church) from the Turks

Is Hope on a Crusade

to save the world

(within and without)?

In the name of God?

Over the past six years I repented

to leaders many times, for the anger I felt over time

their putting me and others down. I had to repent to them, for having a difficult forgiving them. Part of me wanted to say, "Father, forgive

them, they do not know what to take out a whip and strike for their abuse. Amazing.

they ~re doing" .•. Part of me accused myself ••• Part wanted back, like Jesus did in the temple. Yet I kept apologizing

This is not to say there is no good ••• or to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Jesus helped me through friends in 1976. I met my wife Maureen close friendships. encourage Maureen something happened Retreats, in Hope come to know and accept His love and forgiveness in Hope and developed, in spite of changing groups, some


sharing groups, people did inspire, and having children.


and I in our marriage

This is good. But then

in 1980's, with closer ties with Word of God, Sword of the Spirit, love. The heart seemed to leave as responsibility was assumed by leaders

the Training

Course, ect. Law began to replace

IJbeads" began to set norms and standards;


for members ••• again, when, who, how to marry,


to pray, to spend time, money •.. Members a frog boiling in warm water, mind~

were treated like children ... andAallowed dying gradually, individual min~became

this to happen.Like community

\.J'as the m Lnd of Chr Ls t ? Of SOS? Of Hope leaders? It ' " Hope. pro f essed ~o be "theocracy "i not 2. ~ :-.1oc~acYr elections. Just conau Lt atLon.s , JlNo , \ r;...{ fl'-K ,J e.1c."NJ.. bk- #rpt. I¢"~w ~J..r,J(,.-.J- by ~v-- -M kl<) Approval of Who was chosen already. To question a leaders choice was hard to do. Who ._



mind. But whose mind was the community


h41U It lU,..,<.) Ie;, ,,~tr!" tt!j"~ Jt~··fruJ •. .,~ JI'':'~.:J..',,.) /t,"U1I<'~') .


could judge but God? Yet, when we were thrmvn out, the leaders
" ( r-



ror the good of the community"). to follow the Archbishop.

Who is represented?

The community

was never askedjLf

it wanted

Leaders went to Rome and Ann Arbor. We followed, And memberS say, I said, I am following my conscience. have

and trusted.

Let others do our thinking.

One question, left the community

if leaders chose in 1986 to follow the Bishops direction, rather then follow? I seriously

would members

doubt it.Hope

said to leave SOS, in name,

because it had no choice. PamRhlets



of SOS were distributed continued. Catholic

until the late 1980's; SOS meetings SOS became Christ the King.eto pass

were attened by leaders,


where Bishops dissapproved of SOS). 1991 SOS minutes revel this in black and white. (f/,Jw f.fCl~1<. ••.•,A oih~ 1YJ;v/' (t11tf,wJ.r~·i? ..r0<~ 1"Y't{ c.h;»)- /L k,N.r:jl

Evangelazation to Hope was done outside the diocese throuh FIRE and Couples for but not the spirit. Canon Christ. The letter of the law was followed His request in the Bishops requests,

for leaders to step down and be retrained Hope not to follow him in this area

in 1986 was never followed.

Law permitted

(except for priests).

And most of us has come

trusted leaders rather then our Bishop. Look what has happened!


' i A.chM lS h from Wlt h In; notAt e B' h op, not a mem b er. P' d e comes 1 f rl )e'ore tea f 11 . Talk about "scandal" Church; caused, disup~ty in the community .•. has the community been a "scandal"to member~,_and the

i~ ,the Church, a~oungst

f~llow Catho~ic~,

t~e B~shop?

Mo.,x. !u.iI~
Mw!.e.. h"'I\r;;4. i·5

'::~i/"1&.t?~;'v~s fv~illlt,A~i}j'v0t-1<"

~14/'f eXrc.HeJ

-t~"""7h/S </fvJO ~"$/<-wt) oJ<'/t1'WI)'~ ~ wJ\I£N~fv.~ 'Aw

Bdi-,.flS /~tu1I,~;V~i nt<"7 J11 l),;)i) Oi~ y<..1 'N~c.-rJ /-I. ;n;;I'f'J~ IN !Iofl! Thlff ""<t:r1j)~ jj "<'(Vj~1z /<'-N.J(fJ <.7 SIM!~~ 7"'.1;/,· ..
8.,;h'-'1~'/'IU~~ljjb-ffu"~If'Jl'... f\J7(Lh •. •. . Have the "children" & ,~



this from their "parents".

One member asked a leader why we had

hear a certain


again and again .•• He said "We are like children who need to hear it over and over". Members t~M wereAchildren. And teachings, a mindset, had to sink in, over and over. Whose mindset? I admit, out of the community

for a year, maybe life inside has changed

a bit. Yet



li(; 2.







t Christ the King must be consulted before an~ change in
claim Hope is not like other communities The same foundation, leaders, teachings, by their Bishops).

statutes on elections •.• Who is in charge? Leaders (except when they are accepted

Traing Course, ect. yet we are not the same? Listening from Word of God and Steubenville

to leaders and members


over the past year, we are the same, it is so obvious.
( lIVu(?O..

If one is open to see, to hear, to see~ t,he tru~h, without



Ivl' •.7",/\



the experiences Sp.-:N,'J:

of these communities?

If ~o, why publish


Is .Hope open. Xet to I~"r'- J ~.f} flJJ}"N .• ) statement on sl~nder in in a community

1992? l..)'hy listen to people who want to discuss not

these matters

forum? What is there to hide? What are we afraid of? The Truth? Do these statements sound the same? One from Hope-one

P":1L '!.t

l.. }/'/U( ,



Lv f'r

lc.»: .

from Word of God?And we are /lot

like the!

~ ,",uvfO/l\lflrr.f\.:>. ~(. I) "'oJ 1<f,~;"1 (,/UAJN,;t. 1.-11 i .'('f"-"'-'" _..1 , 7 The "buck" has been passed too much.~Past;oral leader::;have b<.",c:~ blJlhjeJ' _ ! for not _' d . ... ::t.,..- ·flN~, 7\0.{. V.I, M•."Y c.,,"'I""M1. J- '-h·<-t il'-f.' .JJ,v",,,, b<~['v"': 'i oJ/LrO ;",1 ~ f~~""\'J (N. N.:. "'1/( rt)fJ";-' ,,,, 1 pastoring teachings properlY'AMembers have been blamed for not hearing leaders statements
N ;,v'/I\, rJ 1/

properly •.. or percieving

them wrong.

Is it simply a "communication Reached
<.v •••••.•


Have we

failej~ );.0 ,.Ff:~f,y'j;.".:;:"~~,P2Il)3~~l;il~X.J0.q. bad deci~ions?

V:H.,•...;,the truth




5;w\l '})IM...~

t1,;~ •..1lv (.;...C<?,~'t-fV\.) fvvt )1.... )~/(.,


71u. fJA.Jl :..J.,. '- ~,I<I'" out to those offended ?l!!w.tJ;'. ,... w'< 1f'r<: r'""vO n: c«: ,~~~~(d.dc! .•.r e..,/lV'J\JJ~ /''''


rather then 'let others seek it for us? Rather me for being inspired jealousy,

then rejoice, teachings

why did leaders;


and question

by other priests/ Members


of Hope?


l..)'hy much control, so



were not trusted

and respected.

Is it any wonder members

began not to trust and respect

leaders? rather then blame m~bers afraid, for not

And if leaders were not aware of what was happening, taliking

up, why not ask why people did not talk? Were members of being intimidated

tired of getting to know: it is on authority, or

no answers,

and abused? Maybe leaders did not ~t problem •.. so give a teaching

easier to say members

have an authority

blame a members ~lationship with his/her father .iu,r\"'j )l~ J. What has happened to the simple gospel of love for God and neighbor? to codify love, legislate


Did Hope tr~

love, too much? To codify and box God in? Go over the whole down; strain out the gnat;

world to.make a single convert while their own home was burning tithe and fast while forgetting Why was a member mercy and compassion?

Not tell the "whol.e truth" so help us Goe to be at home with his
~ ,'l

told he had to live in household

when he wanted

",ft ,,,.,.~

1 \) N/~ ~, u ~<. "",.ff, ....

dying father? Why are little boys told they cannot wear shorts, even does this have to do with love, and being


the summer? l..J'hat""./ . to Hope or not?


being pure, belonging

Hope is not"Mt. Zion': If anything has been learned Lord of Hope? I do not know today. Evidence, and others by the system, prior to July,

in 1991/92 this is for sure. Is Jesus to

speech and action, what was done/said ,i"'."~'".;j:) '''''{'Z,

1991, seemed to point to Hope

.',.vl) jJ.1{\.i... \.{'I.':','{,'

~then Christ and Him cricified.

I hope that this has changed.

Evangelazation to Hope was done outside the diocese throuh FIRE and Couples for Christ. The letter of the law was followed His request in the Bishops requests, but not the spirit. Canon

for leaders to step down and be retrained Hope not to follow him in this area

in 1986 was never followed.

Law permitted

(except for priests).

And most of us has come

trusted leaders rather then our Bishop. Look what has happened! from wlthln;


notA,the B1Shop, not a member.




Pride comes before the fall. been a "scandal"to members" the

Talk about "scandal" Church; caused. disunity

in the community ... has the community
t Bdh{-lS

"r: e~r('S'!'~s c1H-ff

in .the Church, amoungs

fellow Catholics,

k,~/X.,<-S O!:f:.,1~'1~_-i .•},vl'_S f'v~~l}lly,A~i),j"'~j(.

l'~V~I;';"~1 -""<'7 J'Il

and the B'i hop ? s
:..-~~-f-1 ~I'YIJ42




1"~"""7Jl/$ </f"-SO

JIu/1! Thrrf 1"1<!,.-,;1« IS /lcev).JLy


<j".J,/ , .. learne teachingS

MOfi!.. h""ort

(5J':,NJ~I)'.:J ~



n,;hv/'/'lut..:..~ljpuJ.£I!.Ht-<../)y'IJJI .•. ••,.A. Have the "children" I.J...

this from their "parents".

One member asked a leader why we had

hear a certain

again and again ... He said "We are like children who need to hear it over and over". Members werel\children. And teachings, a mindset, had to sink in, over and over. Whose mindset? a bit. Yet

I admit, out of the community
ItJ ~Fr.1~1; le/,U,

for a year, maybe life inside has changed

~lo!. ~


t.::., i~" Christ the must be consulted


before an~' ch.s nge in


on elections ... Who is in charge? Leaders by their Bishops).

claim Hope is not like other communities The same foundation, leaders, teachings,

(except when they are accepted Traing Course,
e ct ,



are not the same? Listening

to leaders and members


from Word of God and Steubenville

over the past year, we are the same, it is so obvious.

If one is open to see, to hear, to s(e~.~~,,,t.~~,,,')t~(~t;v7(~ ~~-;t;~~U'~1 .~e,~e,]:~:,:, ;!sr:.H~~~ fO_~;l~. ~et to the experiences of these communities? If ~o, why publish another statement on slander in these mat:ters in a community R f7'" J [) '.?"", .\ ~ "'?.. forum? What is there t_o_hide? What are we afraid of? The Truth? \1 j' f·\lJhr,' .~.•.~\~ d ~

1992? Why not listen to people who want to discuss



r \

Ji" '" ~ ,I,
u ••


':I ~

,L) \, ,
N<>t for All






ci'<vlotion In thi. No

WrHwtion. ",.k

or p<Jblioation.


or. the ~

of Th. Word or excorpt, ~ulon of God.. from

of God.




_. __hej?~toral_Per3o~l,J t

" IV.}

,pi •• crf Ihl'

iI m<lY b. of


without inaton

It)ot eJ<preu of 10. Word









The "buck" has been passed pastoring teachings

too much. Pas t or al leaders have ~.z-.:.,,;bl,,"'Jo1,,( - ... : for not '" ~ )r It J 1,<\,') ,(. ; 'f' ,,' ,,,·1 '\) ,~?J\/,) ·r., Ii •.. I~.,( rt)f"w-,,(, properlY'/lMembers have been blamed for not hearing leaders statements
7>.<. v J. /,/~v,/ (.".'"'I\"<'1~ I
;»: .J ',1


properly ... or "'percieving'them wrong.
r\I'\.Iy~ __ (;:}y
'\IYI('I'-":\.t'(l';~...JyoJ d.'1'I<..1J./

Is it simply a "communication

t hos e

Have we

failej,7to .Jicc"e?E"..~es'p9P?,~bi1\5~, bad decisions? f.,50





«: ..• ..., •• "

out to

I ")

off~n~ed? b ~-,j,J
J~, ••. ~,

n -I




'.. '


~~~~~the critisize

truth rather then ~et others seek it for us? Rather and question me for being inspired jealousy,

then rejoice, teachings

why did leaders

by other priests/ Members

outside of Hope? and respected.

\.Jhy so much control,



were not trusted

Is it any wonder members

began not to trust and respect

leaders? rather then blame me,bers for not afraid, tired of getting to know; it is on authority, or

And if leaders were not aware of what was happening, taliking

up, why not ask why people did not talk? Were members of being intimidated

no answers,

and abused? Maybe leaders did not ~nt problem ... so give a teaching

easier to say members

have an authority

blame a members relationship with his/her fatherjj;""J, I., I What has happened to the simple gospel of love for God and neighbor?

Did Hope tr~


codify love, legislate

love, too much? To codify and box God in? Go over the whole down; strain out the gnat;

vlOrld to make a single convert while their own home was burning tithe and fast while Why was a member forgetting mercy and compassion?

Not tell the "whole truth" so help us God to be' at home with his ,.~~)'_
~J .: ",) J I"

told he had to live in household

when he wanted



dying father? Why are little boys told they cannot wear shorts, even in the summer? What does this have to do with love, and being a.s,,~~;1, being pure, belonging Hope is not"Mt. Zion','If anything has been learned Lord of Hope? I do not know today. Evidence,


to Hope or not?

in 1991/92 this is for sure. Is Jesus to

speech and action, what was done/said

and others by the system, prior to July, 1991. seemed to point
t :'th~n Christ and Him cricified.

I hope that this has changed.


What/ who is the Pearl of great price? The People of Hope or Jesus? Many members were saying before we left "This is the Kingdom of God":' Where does that leave the rest of us now? A friend said: well, as long as we': get to heaven; get to heaven, Hope helps me, my wife, and kids


thats the main thing. It is true, our common goal is union with God. But the means? Has Hope taken the place of Jesus and the Church for members.
'vVl.•.• I)
~ \1

does the end justify



Whom do we trust, rely on? Really. A person may say Christ, but cannot envision



Hope; eM:' say "my marriage

would fall apart", "my husbund

be rotton",

my children

be swallowed

up in the world •.•" There is a real fear of life outside

of Hope. People have have been of

live "sheltered"

in Hope, having only Hope friends for many years. Plus, members the Church and Bishops.

taught to fear the world and distrust

Plus, real experiences

daily life tell us life is hard. And it is. But Hope has taken the place of Christ and the Church for many people ••. it did for me, until leaders pushed me to the breaking I'trusted the leaders more then the Archbishop and my own conscience.


"How could I possibly

be right thinking we should follow the Bishops advise" •.. the words of the coordinator


'.'. I~.



just added to my natural doubt in my abilty to see clearly.

I~wa~ the only one



People were isolated by the system, stood alone in ~heir mind •.. accused tone, words,


afraid to speak their by the community,

if they did •.. you could only speak in the language Someone


to whom; , , So much was controlled.

s wife was tempted by a man wearing gatherings.

shorts. All of a sudden a teaching It was like entering Pharisiacial

comes outlawing Judism allover

shorts for men at community again. Fear of "breaking got heavier.

the law" lead to If you could not

more laws in Hope •.. for the good of the people •.• The weight

carry it, you were accused of being disloyal, breaking commitments, causing disunity ... S--,' irv;, "'J1' IA <--A-",Z /, 1/,1 fl.'") 7 ':Iv -VJ> n.-4 c..JIW·7'...,;' "Y'" [", IS, &0 maybe "you just do not have a ca1iing to Hope any longer". This attitude resembles what; Jesus encoun~ered amoungst the scribes and Pharsisees, laying heavy loads on people, that it is being

crying out Lord, Lord; lording it over the people •••. and then denying done, or said. If I were to award degrees a Master in Manipulation and a Doctorate to leaders, in Denial. wrongdoing?

I would award an M.M. and a D.D. ;

Is pride the root of all this? Is there intentional "Father,

Would Jesus cry the

forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing?" Do the leaders, know what it has done to itself, members,


the Church? Does it really want reading and

to know? Has it asked former members thinking about what has/ is happening

to come, to speak? Does it encourage

in the mist and amoung other communities? direction

Has it


sought Ralph Martin

to speak?I\D6 leaders pass bad decisions/ Has it actively and detraction


off simply"as


being only human"?

sought out former members who sa lives were proc1aimations? People can choose to remain in

ripped by the the counseling

the dark and call it light; to put aside the Archbishops the laity in Canon Law. Did the Pharisees them to know?. What would

advise and call it the right of

know what they were doing? Did they w~t

to know? Would it cost

fa accept Jesus as the Messiah

would have cost them. Was the price to high? power, money, honors, front row seats,

they have had to give up? Position,

marks of respect,

their own ideas of who the Lord was/ how He would come;aontrol of others, -I h control of GOc1 •• Could Our Lord, and the Bishop, also be asking the leaders, and t e communlty to glve fnls up, these marks, what it hangs on to? Could Jesus be asking Hope to cling only to Him, not to


it's own ways, system, ec t . .. to abandon

itself into His arms so that He can be He is a jealous

Lover and Lord again ••. and love unconditionally. seen and experienced,

God; and from what I have

His people have been robbed from Him .•. AHe wants to give a new heart,





Not a buisness

heart, not a lawyers heart. But a poor heart, made rich only in Him, sharing the Catholic Church and with everyone who is encountered,on this heart will be restless the road.

it's "riches" within

And as hard as it may be to accept,

until it is joined with

His Sacred Heart in Heaven. Hope is not heaven, I think we all realize trusting

it cannot satisfy our thirst and hunger.

this now. Time to get back on the road, let Christ be the Shepherd, living in the Church, trying to love one another.

in Him and the Bishop,

Deal't!John, Tom Morris I have "whited
$"./Gc. />1<>



and mentioned

that some of this infornation and leaders

may be helpful in Hope.

to y~u.


out" individual Course"

names of coordinators something


1980 "Training

I sensed

fishy. Hy wife Haureen

and I were part of until 1979).

that "training", When the Fraternal

and part of the community Groups/ Training

from the very be6inning


Course was disbanded

in 1984 (?) all we were tl)ld groups. follow

(then and now) is that it did not work well When Archbishop Geraty corrected

for some of the sharing

us in 1985 my conscience

told me we should

him but I did not have the guts to. In 1986 when Archbishop words (in a slightly I remember more "quiet" manner), I again breathed


spoke the same as if being

a "sigh of relief", to retire

"rescued". The thought

the night he spoke, and Jamestown

going' home and preparing

for the night. in that

of Jim Jones


my mind ..• and fear we were heading trying to deliver

direction •.• and how the Archbishop However,

was the love of Christ

us from that.

I again fought with my own conscience ....and other meiiibers fought me. I did not to see clearly •.. and gave in out of confusion,

trust my ability St£mi£¥~

fear, guilt, and a desire


(what I thought

was love) .As a Cooltl,:old me "How could I be right and 1000 t in Hay, 1991. I had to struggle my own humanity through accusations by leaders, "why of

It was difficult slander

to "go public"

and gossiping ••• mortal

sin. However,

was threat~ned
) J,:jA"IIIJ

my free will and reasoning. ruin it for everyone Hembers leaving


told me it was just my problem~,Jt:o go quietly:

else ••• Hope may just not be for me". Was this true, I wondered? kept quiet •.. confidential. problem Noone "needed to know" and died

and "why" was always

it was sinful over time thinking,

to ask, gossip.


people) ,when discussed,simply

(and sometimes

souls, minds,


died too). A person •• or leave: people?

gets tired asking,

fighting ••• and told to be gratefuL

Is the "problem"

with the system or individual

We were always

told "folks

are not perfect •.• leaders own eye". I am the guilty

make mistake ••• what do you expect .•. take the log out of my one"for judging a person ... and now for judging a system, because built I came

by God, one that helps alot of people". to the conclusion Christ. that the system

I guess I could not "leave leads people


of pastoring to depend

into slavery

under men, not not

That the system Church;

leads people

upon men, not God; upon the community,

the Catholic actions


lay leader(s), practices,

not upon the local Bishop. of the community,

I came to see in

and words,of


that this was more then would fall apart,

"my problem,

not belonging would

here". When people

tell me their marriage I wonder

their children does Jesus

be lost, if not for the community,

who is Lord, and where


fit into the picture?

I know we need others, love in writing.

but to this degree? alot of verbal and

I admit I did not speak out of perfect abuse, spiritual meandering/by leaders

I experienced

for which

I was angry. This too colors my thoughts


Hy own unwillingness

to forgive

them, and the whole

community ..• and myself .•. one day retreat,

is a cross I have held on to for "too long". Only last week on a parish,

did I begin to accept some grace from God to let go and forgive. was so ashamed to even approach Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, Prior to that, I to look at Him on the son,

Cross, to recieve Him in Holy Communion. and a man on the reatreat unworthy,

The priest read the story of the Prodigal

gave me a rosary ring. I did not want to take it, I felt so

far from Christ. But

did, crying on the inside ••. and as the retreat went on the love of Christ. As that happens, with getting back at them. I wrote aga Lu'; I passed h,~ and inside no

began to break down, more and more, and recieve my mind and heart becomes

less full of anger, less obsessed

A member who told me that:"I better watch out if he got anything -) in the car. Rather then wanting longer felt like belting


to punch him in the nose, I just waved,

him. This is a sign of some change. Thank God. My insides were for over a year. My conscience punished for

being torn up by hate and bitterness over seven years.

Kevin,~f' read here can help, feel free to use it. not be blamed for wrongdoing.

If there is some'intentionality



only ask that individuals


some may disagree

with me, I think we are all victims. others, or seeking ones own gain, by

in wrongdoing,

or hurting

I think that is best left up to our Lord. I know an indvidual pointing out wrongs in a system •.• some identify
I do not want

may feel incriminated

so closely with it •.. some are the


of it ... However,

to point the finger at any person.

Thank you for your efforts.

We will pray for you, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide

your mind and pen in love for Christ, His Church, and your neighbor. Happy Easter, P.S. We would not have remained Sincerely, in HOPE as long as

we did if there were not "good" given and recieved. You understand this.The "system" and leadership it is hard to there is so children born,

Jim Flynn


react to criticism break through

as "percecution";

368 Mountain

Ave. NJ

the wall, maybe because



much good work, marriages evangelizing, friendships,

held together, prayer,




Whenv;E:ceommentred"hen ewahaed h

it~wasl120 (get

peopilev±n ahe coinmurd t yo t.e Lp ous !Dinish]c: ahe or help a brother get

rhe'coRstX'uet;ll(;mn our home, or help my wife with the children, o a car .•. I was told the community Yet, help was expected people. is here for spiritual

reasons, .• not to expect other help. to tithe, to move

from me to build Mary Street during my vacation,

Close friends in HOPE helped me build the shell ofAhome and I, nights

in two days. It took a to finish it ... not

60 year old man (my dad), my blood brothers,
once at any time did a coordinator, had other more importent community; Maureen

and weekends

whose houses

I help build,

show up to help. I guess they

things to do. We were suppose to invest our time and money in the to ask our blood family first.

but when we needed money or time, were suppose

and my parents were always so generous

to us •.. and we gave little to them. with my dad •.. and that is why I have a

And then I am told I have a problem with authority, "problem" with community leadership.

My dad, who gives us the shirt off his back!



6, 1992

Dear friends, Merry Christmas. I need Christ. Never in my life have I need Him more; never in my life

have I felt further away from Him. In July,

we were told we told that we no longer welcome to say "good-bye"
J' '\f

to be members to our cluster

of the People of Hope; not even permitted
v,. )',


'~ ..••. ~\'"'\

1,.,.". .......•. :"


group. After over 15 years 10~".l ~E7,in_9._ j.1?"j;rhe_f~mily, were, in a sense[ we' " "'.(\ :t-' u" ' ••) /'1 1 v- 1'rV' ~, AJ#.-;Y;_~~--..J~-;;1'---J....M )"'1--< -'"" \ .. ,~/.'l II , ~n in. .~~." •..} _ ')'! L f-, .'\'1..1. ..",,,../'1 I declared guilty of sin, aflo-p\lt-tG-death-~ ,/The silence of the-community
"'~4) ,...,......,




towards us has been devasting, abuse we endured
(_ ... / .,--,)

as bad as any spiritual, It is like "solitary


emotional at

within anger,

the system. frustration,


r'-t~~\",J -"

times; saddness,

guilt being confined

within my soul.

I need our Savior. I try not to blame you. Some of you have been "scared silent" by the syste
.,'--',-t.v. ..•..

There is a price to pay for speaking. my concerns thinking,

The price,I

am still paying

is the

guilt laid on me by leaders and the community and reading, and listening

for slander,

for expressing

in a letter of May, 1991 :lTher';; i's"'alsoa price to pay for to others who have experienced system. Harm that cannot be excused as

serious harm by the pastoral mistakes,

simply human, or the work of the devil. of violating the covenant and lobbying for position, an you. May God have mercy upon me. I would never want to

I have been accused of destroying destroy

you. I love you. You have been my frinds and friends of Maureen I cried out because I was being strangled

and our children. in the community;

by the system

my brain was being cooked slowly and the heat under the HELP! but condemncttion ...and put on death row. had become a church, leaders "saviors", I am still with power to "bind and loose". and is ministered

pot of water was being turned up ... the "frog" that was still left in me jumped out and screamed, The trouble and others waiting absolution I was not given understanding is, the community leaders "bishops"

to be "pardoned"

by the community

and leaders. Yet, I know through His priests.

lies with Christ,

I lived within

the system so long that the system had power over me and the "law of love" my spirit for not trusting leaders, for going outside to the then ion the the one to blame, Maureen

my family. As the "love of law" replaced crumbled ... yet I was always for listening the "family" community for spiritual

to friends who were hurt by the system, guidance.

was more married

then to me, and security

was found therein rather

Catholic Church. ~, fact, leaders had more real authority over us then Chri and His Church.lhad given this to them; a "community mind" became a


"community However, Church,


and being taken care of "from cradle to grave" of Christ, of the

is life insurance

~he poor do not have to pay for, with money anyway.

the system robs people of their "person", of their spouse, children, neighbors,

town, parish ••..

The poor do pay •.. and we are all poor. A friend moved off Mary street awhile ago. He said the rich got richer and the poor poorer.I was told it was only his perception; that I shoid not '

speak with him, or tell others about him. I obeyed. told what I saw (and what haopened Or cared? not exist. Is'ny it strange, And very, very few in the community

In May, 1991 I am

to me) was only my perception. would speak ... or even know?

after over 15 years, and it is as if you do no

It is sad, very sad. I no longer see the People of hope as preaching Christ and Him crucified, bercause but rather "Hope and Hope crucified". formally Iwas drewn to the People of Hope in 1975 (even before I saw love for Christ and one another, a commuity)

joy and gladdness.

At the time we were thrown out in 1991 what I saw was law and order. The heart of Christ, mercy was absent. I saw in 1995 peopple crying out to Christ the blind begger. we see, we know what is best for us, Rather model for the Chursdch". Rather then helping for sight, like Bartiemaus, then saying have puity on of God, the carry heavy loads sinners

In 1991 what I saw was peole and a system saying

us what was said is "look at us, this is the Kingdom

more burdens, laws, were placed on peoples shoulders, ~athe~,then seeking to understand, the commun-ity sought to be understood (Bishop o t t , does not understand, more acceptavble Please we are nothig like them •.. ) down, your on me, "within the I am sorry for the hurt·I have caused you. Maybe I could haeve spoken in trems. But when you see a house burning inside asleep, fire, and there arte friends it is hard not to yell.

forgive me the sins I have been accused of.Believe

I tried to use the pastoral family" family's evaluated teachings

system for years, and kept matters

for the most part.I did not want to bring discredit name". When reason, faith, morals,

to "ruin the weree

and my own experience

within my conscience, on keeping everything

I could no longer follow the community in the family, going up the cain. or even the Bishop, authority but with the sustem only from itself.

THe chain did not end with Christ, It only accounted

to itself, and recieved

Dear Coordinators(past/present)

and friends,


It is more importent to love then to be right. Yesterday while at Mass this thought came to me. It went right from my head to my heart, and soul. I am very sorry for the hostile way I have treated/ thought about you for the past 1 l/2years. I have dishonored you as persons, made and loved by God. Please forgive me. I am truely sorry. I have also dishonored myself. I harbored hatred for you, leaders and members. In an attempt to regain some self respect and dignity as a person, I cried out at (for) you, my brothers, sisters, and friends. Rather then have compassion and pity for you, over what Hope had become, I fought back with a sword. I wrote, while my heart punched, kicked, and burst with the anguish of a heart under attack. It is not for what I wrote or to whom I wrote that I repent. I had tried to understand and live, humbly, within a system of loving, that had become a system of fear,law,and guilt. I tried to trust and love, while I saw less of Christ preached/lived and saw more of Hope preached/lived (in myself and others). Ultimately, my reason and free will was violated once too many times; my conscience fought becoming the community conscience (mind).I no longer saw Jesus as Lord of the People of Hope, and I saw us becoming seperated from the Catholic Church. However, that is not the point of this letter. I repent for the hate and anger in my heart, expressed in letters. The truth, and what is right, can destroy if not done with love. It has hurt us both. I was mad at myself for letting you abuse me; exercise authority over me. My intention was not only to point out the crimes the system perpetuated(~n the name of Christ, but also to get back at you. Rather then turn my other cheek, I wanted to kick you in the cheeks. The Archbishop, on the other hand, has loved us all well. I did to you what you (and others before you) did to me. I did not do this in the name of Christ. I signed my own name. I was not like Christ, did not let you crucify me. You piled alot of straws upon my back before it broke, but when it finally did, I turned both barrells of the shotgun that blew me apart so many times right back on you. I am ashamed of this. I sinned; I bear the scars inside. May Jesus have mercy upon us, especially at Christmas.

We have all been abused, and abused others. The family is sick. Bartimeaus cried out to Jesus for pity; he wanted to see. Those in front rebuked this old blind begger,be silent. He cried out all the more, Son of David, have mercy __. P9!?-~ "u __ ... lUE:l.·~~_J_~?),l?="ask~<!~11~J:l1,,-y!??,!",;?o.~y9,,!,",~~n~1'~'~'!.'?~'K~ ..._ _ healed him. I am crying out for a miracle this Christmas. I want to see you with love, to be forgiven by you, and to forgive you. Peace+ Jim Flynn

-Archbishop Emeritus Peter L. Gerety st. John Vianney Residence 60 Horne Ave. Rutherford, NJ 07070-1726 Dear Archbishop Gerety, December 12, 1992

This letter is long overdue. you earlier.

I am sorry that I did not write

Please forgive me for following the Hope leaders rather then you back in 1985-86. In my conscience I wanted to follow your direction and I tried to persuade leaders to follow. However, they said no and I stayed in Hope (with my wife and children). We were talked out of leaving. We were encouraged by leaders not to trust you; we were made to think that it was a more perfect act of love for Christ and the Catholic Church to remain in Hope. Plus, we were "secure" in Hope, having been in the community since 1975 (the very beginning). We had no friendships outside of Hope. It was an isolated life. Life outside of Hope was painted as bad; we were afraid. When you and Archbishop McCarrick spoke I felt in my heart a freedom, like we were being ransomed from a possible "Jonestown". You both saw correctly what had (was, is) happened. The community was divorcing itself from the Church. Members were growing more dependent upon Hope leaders then upon Christ and the Bishops. Jesus was preached as Lord, but in reality men had become lords. And slowly, even relationships amongst members soured, became based more upon law then love. Guilt and fear were imposed in greater measure to keep the reigns of control tight. To oppose leaders was judged "ungrateful", unless done according to the pastoral systems way. After Archbishop McCarrick spoke in 1986 I wanted to leave. Leaders talked me out of it again, plus my wife was afraid. They said to me: "How could 1000 members be wrong and you (Jim) be right ?" I was told the Bishop did not understand and was only acting politically. I remember meeting with three leaders in a small office in 1987 and being chewed out for expressing my trust in you and Archbishop McCarrick. I said I wanted to ask your forgiveness. They insisted that you needed to ask my forgiveness, and theirs. They said I needed to forgive you to ease the pain in my conscience. They said "How can you not trust us Jim, after all the money we have given to you." After over an hour of being pounded on by these men I broke down, cried, and repented to them for my lack of trust in them. This happened a number of times the past years. I was always the guilty one.

In May, 1991 my reason and free will was violated to such a degree that I could no longer keep quiet. Leaders told community members it was a sin (slander, gossip) to speak of or seek guidance outside of Hope for personal problems we had with leaders or the system. After I wrote a letter expressing my thoughts we were forbidden to attend anything. I was told I "would have to repent publicly or do something else, that I was lobbying for position, hostile, creating disunity, on the verge of breaking the eighth commandment". On July 5th the coordinator(s)said "for the best intrests of the community and your own best interests you are out, period." After over 15 years a member! When I suggested they let the community speak for itself they said the . coordinators represent the community; that I had broken the stained glass window; now how was I going to repair it? I do not say any of this to have you think ill of the community or leaders, to add fuel to the fire, or to stir up old pain. I recognize now that somehow the Hope community, members and leaders, got sick. We need(ed) a doctor. You realized this a long time ago. Thank you for making so many "house calls". I wish we had taken the medicine you offered sooner. Adjusting to life outside Hope has been difficult for Maureen, our children, and myself. While our blood families, parish, and priests have been very understanding and helpful, many friends who remained in the community are silent. I know they must care, but they say nothing. I still carry guilt laid on me by leaders, that I have sinned against them. I have gone to confession and sought counsel from a priest. However, it is as though I need "coordinator absolution" to be a free man. The authority I let them have over my life, marriage, and family, in spiritual and temporal matters, must have been (is) tremendous. Thank you Archbishop for the care you showed to us in 1985 and since then. You were/ are a good Shepherd. I am sorry for the insult I caused you by not following your advise sooner; this must have been like a slap in the face; my following/ trusting lay leaders rather then my Archbishop. It is sad what has happened. I do not want to look at Hope leaders or members with anger or hate; I do not blame them for my staying as long as we did; God's grace was offered us earlier; I did not accept His hand, and yours. I am responsible for my actions. I am happy He keeps reaching. I need the help of Christ to see the People of Hope with compassion now, not anger or resentment. Please pray for us. Thank you. Sincerely, Jim Flynn

Thfs letter was sent to me by an:86-yr. old friend. The'info. on the rt. is from myoId notes.
" I, '

















7/86 Draft







~~ ~~

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-- ~/

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