Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Farewell to a Modernist in Minneapolis-St Paul

Ever wonder how St. Joan of Arc parish in Minneapolis became what it is today?

It all began with Fr. Harvey Egan, who passed away on Saturday, May 20th. St. Joan of Arc has a video documentary on their website which includes excerpts from a 2003 interview with Egan by Anna Vagle, a parishioner who has been with the parish, apparently, since the days of the first Gym Masses at St. Joan's.

For those unfamilar with this parish, it might be described as one of the most un-Catholic "Catholic" parishes around...Even worse than St Cronan's in St Louis...

There are seven video clips and The Weight of Glory Blog has posted some of the highlights (or lowlights) of these clips here.

The Star-Tribune carried a story here recently about the "priest":

To his parishioners at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, Egan the rebel provided the nourishment that helped transform the south Minneapolis church throughout his 18 years as its pastor.

Egan was installed as St. Joan of Arc pastor in 1967 and under the liberalizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council, he created a contemporary mass that was conducted in the church's gymnasium.

"That was the time to make up your mind, whether you were going to go with old church or new," Egan said in a 2003 interview posted on the church's website.

"I knew what Vatican II said and I knew this was the right way to go," he said.

The "infallible" words of Pope Harvey...

It was also a time to make bold moves. Egan invited feminist Gloria Steinem to speak from the church pulpit in 1978.
"St. Joan of Arc believes in women and their participation in the liturgy and believes in contemporary themes and their position in the liturgy," Egan said in 2003.
The spirit of rebellion has not subsided...

"Where Jesus was doesn't interest me. It's where he is now that I want to find," he told the Star Tribune in 1986 when he retired. "I want to see the action now. The message of the resurrection is that the love of Christ is alive and in operation here and now."
Interestingly, in segment 5 of the video he speaks of the last things:
"There won't be a heaven and hell at the end -- it's all glory, it's all heaven. That's the way it is, even though most parishes don't see it that way..."

I wonder if he thinks any differently today?

And let's not forget this tidbit on eliminating abortion:
"Minneapolis pastor Father Harvey Egan wrote a Minneapolis Star guest editorial opposing amendments outlawing abortion for moral or religious belief. Egan, who recently invited Gloria Steinem to St. Joan of Arc Church to give the homily wrote, 'Sixty years ago, prohibitionists, largely inspired by religious groups believing that strong drink is evil, obtained ratification of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and imposed their restrictive moral conviction on all U.S. citizens. . . Prohibition was a disaster. I suggest caution in pushing for another constitutional amendment based on a moral conviction'."

National Catholic Reporter
February 9, 1979

Has Archbishop Flynn done anything to deal with this parish other than getting the last pastor, George Wertin, to retire last year? I'm not certain, but he doesn't seem to hesitate punishing those priests who are faithful and obedient (Fr. Altier)...

I hope people will pray the repose of the soul of Harvey Egan.

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