Friday, August 14, 2009

The Richmond 12

On the non back-roads of SW NH, Rte's 119 and 32, I saw many signs reading "We support the Richmond 12." I'd never heard of them. I leaped to the conclusion that this was some tax or libertarian group run afoul of the authorities. I was completely wrong. The Richmond 12 are volunteer officers of the Town of Richmond who are being sued by the Saint Benedict Center, a schismatic Catholic group rejected by the Vatican. The SBC wants to put up a large building, and is not shy about its aims to "make Richmond holy." That word make bothers me a bit. There is a three-page article from the Southern Poverty Law Center that sums up the issues pretty well. The SBC are Feeneyites one of those groups that keeps trying to go back upstream in Catholic dogma, not merely to an earlier time, but up some tributaries that are part of Catholic history, but not Catholic teaching. We Protestants have our own versions of same, of course.

The above link on the Feeneyites seems to be from a local boy. Good on ya, mate.


Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Thank you Jonathan. Very interesting blog here. The SBC cult is gearing up for its 2009 conference to be held in October. Rest assured, the Jewish People will be blamed for all societal ills: a Judeo-Masonic conspiracy.

No serious Catholic will have anything to do with SBC-Richmond. The place is an exhausted project.

sbctracker said...

If you want to learn all about the SBC please go to my blog:

CBI said...

I remain a longterm fan of this blog. I have a question: for information, not in criticism, since I know nothing of the St. Benedict Center.

I do, however, know something of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which would make me take anything they published with several blocks of salt, at least. My question then, is, did you vet the SPLC article in any way before recommending it?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Agreed about the SPLC. They don't seem to be taking sides on this one, so the reporting seemed neutral.

To them, it's a right-wing cult versus people protecting their property values, so it's a wash for that type of progressive, I suppose.

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Anonymous said...

Let me start by pointing out that the Southern Poverty Law Center is America's Number One Hate Group. It tries to associate anyone with whom it disagrees with racist, anti-Semitic and radical groups and individuals.

The truth is, some people in Richmond don't seem to like traditional Catholics. Because of their prejudice, they cost the taxpayers of Richmond a lot of money.

I guess today some people would refer to traditional Catholics as a "cult". So be it.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Anon - thanks for not bothering to read the comments, or perhaps not being affected by my agreement that SPLC reporting should be taken cautiously. If you knew anything about this site, or bothered to inform yourself, you would have learned that we here would be among the most generally disposed to be sympathetic to your outlook of any folks you'd care to encounter.

That sort of not-listening attitude is entirely consistent with a group that is a cult claiming instead that they are "traditional Catholics." It's so easy to take favored names to oneself. It is often hard to justify them. The upshot is, I was indeed leaning against that group being considered traditional Catholic, as they claim, but willing to at least consider that there was more to be said on their side, which I had missed (I did read info from their POV for the original post.) But now, because of your clear unwillingness to step back and look at yourself objectively, or consider that others might disagree for at least semi-rational reasons, I am convinced that the whole group is indeed, wrong.

Well done. One more group certain that their cause is Christ's, rather than considering the very human possibility that they may be hiding behind Him. That danger is very real, with all groups at all times. It is in fact the basis for the commandment about not taking the Lord's Name in vain: don't forge God's signature under your own ideas.

Greg Butko said...

You realize of course, the Southern Poverty Law Center is America's Number One Hate Group. It receives millions from gullible Americans who believe that they are doing something to combat racist, anti-Semitic hate groups. The SPLC lists anyone they don't like with real racists and anti-Semites.

Being demonized by the SPLC has almost become a badge of distinction. Naturally, the SPLC hates traditional Catholics, or anyone who takes a stand on a moral issue. It has become "hateful" to oppose abortion, homosexuality and other actions that have always been shunned.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

And you also don't read well. I agree about the SPLC. But that wasn't my criticism, was it?

It is clear that people try to kid themselves by hiding behind the label "traditional Catholic."

Padre said...

There is a new book recently published about the SBC and what they did to the town of Richmond. It is titled "Deliver Us. . .a religious cult versus Richmond, New Hampshire." To order a copy email
The book retails for $14.95 with all proceeds benefitting the Richmond Historical Society. A well-researched, well documented expose on a modern day cult.

Susan said...

I am almost afraid to comment here after seeing how you attacked anonymous and then judged the SBC due to his comments. Why did you do that? Why did you assume he was a member of the SBC?
Well, I am. To some degree. I do not live in Richmond, but I attend Mass there and I know many parishioners very well. I wish to kindly and charitably correct your original post, for it contains many errors. The "large building" as you call it, that they wanted to build was a chapel. Yes, a humble, simple chapel. They have been attending Mass in the basement of their school for 13 years, only because certain members of the town did not want them to build their chapel, for reasons I do not know. SBC is suing the town for preventing them from building for all of those years. They lost ALOT of money on court and lawyer fees, the money they had saved in order to build that chapel. They are a poor group and are barely getting by. They are NOT schismatic and ARE in union with the Catholic Church and ARE recognized by their Bishop Libasci. You could ask him yourself
Seek the Truth, always. Do not believe everything you hear.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Susan - you are not reading carefully, and so undermine your argument. I actually started with an initial prejudice in favor of "whoever this group might be" when I first heard about it. As an evangelical Christian who used to run with some pretty intense types, I am quite familiar with both A)Secular people who are uncomfortable with anything religious and B)Protestants who have anti-catholic prejudice. As a Protestant who reads a great deal of the Chestertons and Nouwens of the world (not to mention earlier figures before the split), I have more sympathy with traditional Catholics than with their attackers, generally.

So it was not what anonymous said that turned me against them, nor what the SPLC says, or any such. I read on my own. I did not post until I had weighed quite a bit. It is you who have assumed a great deal about me, so if anyone should feel insulted and attacked it is I. You will find no evidence that I was hasty, thoughtless, or did not give their own publications sufficient weight. I read a great deal about this particular skein of Catholicism and its history over the last century, and have continued to do so.

I don't particularly feel insulted however, because I am very familiar with how people get caught up in things, and start to feel that defending their particular group is defending God, and not doing so is denying God, which we would all of course tremble before doing. I don't doubt you are a decent enough person who cares for others and wishes to be polite and kind and righteous. You have, however, not given me the courtesy of reading what I actually wrote, and of jumping to conclusions about me.

I will make a declaration: SBC and that whole line of Catholicism are not traditional Catholics or ultra-catholics. Their thinking is actually much more like cafeteria Catholics, picking and choosing what they like among the writings of earlier popes, dismissing other catholics including the hierarchy that they live under as false teachers and compromisers, and adhering to the merely cultural trappings of how Catholicsm used to look in Ye Olden Days - meaning the time of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers rather than all of 2000 years. They have adopted forms and appearances of an earlier style. Not the same thing.

They are also very like early Protestants in their refusing discipline because they insist that their reading of the Catholic Tradition is the correct one against all others. Western Europeans and especially Americans think like that, forever claiming "well it's just obvious. I can see what I can see and you other guys are denying it says what it obviously says."

I recommend you step out of such current controversies altogether and pick up such Catholic writers as I mentioned for your road back into understanding what your church actually teaches. That way you need not fear any taint of modernism, but can still stand clear of whatever emotional ties hold you to groups here.