The corrupt monks of Saint John’s Abbey have long been connected with the once-Benedictine Sisters near Madison who left the religious life and left the Church (see all of my extensive coverage of HWM at this link). In fact one of them, canon lawyer Dan Ward, actually facilitated the former Benedictine sisters leaving religious life and leaving the Church and taking their ecclesial real estate with them [update: Fr Ward apparently resigned in May from the organization he ran, RCRI, due to multiple credible accusations of sexual abuse against him). Another of the longtime St John’s Abbey friends is Father Robert Koopmann, a skilled pianist. He’s scheduled to do a concert at Holy Wisdom in July which is also a fundraiser for their split-away sect that is not actually ecumenical but actually militates against true ecumenism by hosting a priestless Sunday “eucharist” service for Catholics and non-Catholics alike, and hosts activist anti-Catholic groups that favor homosexual behavior, “women priests,” etc.
Yes, he’s going to Holy Wisdom for an event again, in spite of the Diocese of Madison request this March 2013, to priests and religious to refrain from formal engagements there. This is the announcement from Holy Wisdom:
Please join us for Celebrating Benedict: A Piano Concert with Father Bob Koopmann, OSB. Pieces by Sergei Rachmaninoff, W.A. Mozart, César Franck, Johannes Brahms, Maurice Ravel, and by Father Koopmann himself will be performed. Donations will be accepted at the door or online to support the mission of the Benedictine Women of Madison at Holy Wisdom Monastery. A light reception will follow the 70 minute concert.
Here is the diocesan statement from this March:
Given their former status, there is a natural sense of confusion among some as to Holy Wisdom’s standing with regard to the Catholic Church. In order to lessen confusion as much as possible, the leadership at Holy Wisdom agreed with Bishop Morlino’s request in 2006 that the Catholic Mass not be celebrated at the new center and that the Blessed Sacrament no longer be reserved there.
Nonetheless, in recent years and months priests and religious from both inside and outside the diocese have participated openly in Holy Wisdom events, offering talks and the like. The clear presence and occasional publicity of such participation by priests and religious has leant itself to continued confusion among Catholic faithful, as to whether Holy Wisdom has regained some sort of recognition from the Catholic Church. To be clear, it has not.
The diocesan chancery has thus been in communication with outside priests and religious communities asking them to assist us with reducing further confusion and avoiding scandal, by refraining from formal engagements at Holy Wisdom. The confidential letter which was shared with the Wisconsin State Journal, was an attempt at requiring the same from the priests in the diocese, so as to avoid scandal and avert further confusion and was not intended as any public slight to Holy Wisdom.
If YOU want to object (I already did):
Fr Robert Koopmann
Phone: (320) 363-3370
Fax: (320) 363-2504
E-mail: <[email protected]>
Abbot John Klassen OSB
Saint John’s Abbey
31802 County Road 159
Collegeville, MN 56321-2015