Sydney
29 June 2003

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‘Unethical’ to kill an embryo

Roll on, Cologne

And they’re racing ... to help Vinnies

‘Renewal of my faith’

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Bishop Peter Ingham’s message
Reflections on a schism - a false claim to legitimacy

Schism is a split or breach of communion with the Church caused by a real repudiation (not just an act of disobedience) of the authority of the Pope.

The prerogative to appoint a bishop belongs to the Pope alone.

To violate that brings an automatic excommunication reserved to the Holy See, for both the consecrating bishop and for the one consecrated.

A group in the Wollongong Diocese, the so called ‘Order of St Charbel’ (of which Mr William Kamm is the founder and moderator, and Fr Malcolm Broussard, the purported ‘prelate’ for the order) has been the subject of pastoral warnings by my predecessors, Bishop William Murray and Archbishop Philip Wilson, in order to protect the faithful from being led astray from authentic Catholicism.

As a result of a canonical investigation by Archbishop Wilson and with the specific and direct instruction by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I was able to issue a decree on June 16, 2002 that stated:

“The Holy See has declared that there is nothing supernatural about the alleged visions of Mr William Kamm.

“Mr William Kamm has chosen to spread false teachings, to make false claims to authority, and to establish himself and his activities in clear contradiction to the teachings, discipline and authority of the Catholic Church.

“Mr William Kamm’s assertions, teachings and actions are dangerous and harmful to Christ’s faithful.”

On that occasion I called on Mr Kamm, Fr Broussard (a suspended American priest who has associated with Mr Kamm) and the so-called Order of St Charbel in all its communities (in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia) to cease all activities contrary to the teachings, authority and discipline of the Catholic Church and to renounce all their manifestly false claims to legitimacy within the Catholic Church.

In March this year Fr Broussard was ordained as a bishop by an excommunicated bishop and without a mandate from the Pope, and without the normal scrutiny the Church would conduct to discern the suitability of a candidate for the Episcopacy.

On the website of the so-called Order of St Charbel (April 26, 2003), Fr Broussard claims God has chosen him … to be a successor of the apostles to shepherd the flock under his care … as a bishop of the Catholic Church.

He claims to remain firm in loyalty and obedience to Pope John Paul II and the Magisterium.
He says: “I also remain firm in my loyalty and obedience to the Little Pebble, who is to be my future Vicar of Christ. I truly believe in the mission and messages given by God to him and which have chosen him as the last Pope of our times.”

I did not excommunicate Fr Broussard on June 10, 2003. I simply declared the excommunication that he incurred under Canon 1382 by receiving purported ‘episcopal’ ordination without a Pontifical Mandate.

Where is Fr Broussard’s Bull of Appointment by Pope John Paul II?

If he does not have that, he may not be ordained a bishop.

Therefore Fr Broussard’s excommunication is not about whether his purported ordination is valid; rather it is about his placing himself and those who formally adhere to him in schism. 

He has broken communion with the Catholic Church.

He has gravely breached the law of the Church and committed a very serious offence.

He has incurred an automatic excommunication that is reserved to the Apostolic See.

The Pope’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith directed me to issue the formal decree that I have issued for the good of people’s salvation.

Canon 360 states: “The Supreme Pontiff usually conducts the business of the universal Church through the Roman Curia, which acts in his name and with his authority for the good and for the services of the Churches.

“The Curia is composed of the Secretariat of State or Papal Secretariat, the Council for the public affairs of the Church, the congregations, the tribunals and other institutes. The constitution and competence of all these is defined by special law.”

So this decree has the Pope’s authority - people should make no mistake about that!

By publicly declaring that Fr Broussard has excommunicated himself, I - as the Bishop of Wollongong - am acting very pastorally and making a fresh attempt to call him, William Kamm and their followers, back into communion with the Catholic Church.

I want Fr Broussard to heal the breach of communion that he has committed. I want him to see the error of his ways and be reconciled with the Church. 

I also have a pastoral concern to protect people of good faith from being caught up in a schismatic
movement that Fr Broussard has now endorsed by his unlawful purported ordination. I am concerned for his salvation and the salvation of people who have been drawn into his schismatic movement. I want to help them all back into communion with the Catholic Church.

Fr Broussard’s appeal should be to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith expressing repentance for gravely breaching the communion of the Church by going into schism.

He should ask for the lifting of the automatic excommunication he has incurred; he should fulfil the requirements the Church will put on him, and be reconciled to the Church.

As the local bishop I would be happy to forward Fr Broussard’s appeal for a lifting of the excommunication, provided he was willing to come to terms with being part of the real communion of the Church and submitting to lawful ecclesiastical authority. 

I sincerely pray Fr Broussard and his followers will open their hearts to this call back to real communion with the Church.

A special help line has been established so that people can seek support or help. Bishop Peter urges people to take advantage of the pastoral care and
counselling that the Church has to offer.
1800 225 922