|Archdiocese of Chicago Statement
|Archdiocese of Dubuque Statement
A Cult in our Midst
Sept. 15, 2005
For immediate release
Notice of Archbishop Jerome Hanus, O.S.B.
Archbishop of Dubuque
Regarding "Love Holy Trinity Blessed Mission".
For information contact: Msgr. James Barta, Vicar General at 563-556-2580.
1. There have been questions and concerns about the nature and activities
of a group of people which calls itself "Love Holy Trinity Blessed
Mission" (LHTBM). The organization is led by Ms. Agnes Kyo (McDonald) and
Father Len Kruzel, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
2. The group under its leaders has never requested permission or approval
from local Church authority. No approval has ever been given by me or my
predecessor as Archbishop of Dubuque. LHTBM has therefore not followed
Church law, which states that no undertaking is to claim the name Catholic
without the consent of ecclesiastical authority in the local church (cf.
3. Over the last years, many letters and telephone calls arrived at the
Chancery from persons stating their concerns about LHTBM. In particular,
members of different families have described the pain and division arising
in their families because of the involvement of some of their family
members in LHTBM. Most recently, another family has been seriously
impacted when a daughter joined the group to become a "sister."
4. In August of 2005, the Vicar General invited parish leadership to share
impressions of LHTBM. A majority of pastors and parish administrators who
responded raised the following concerns: lack of balance in the group's
spirituality, the authoritarian approach of the leader, secretiveness,
characteristics of a cult, harmful impact on families, and the
questionable quality of the understanding of the Scriptures.
5. Over the years, I have attempted to secure more information about the
nature and content of the teaching and practices of the group. In August
of 2005, tapes of several retreat conferences given during July of this
year by Ms. Kyo and other materials were submitted to me. I listened to
all of the conferences and also several CD recordings of radio programs. I
also reviewed a good amount of written material. In my judgment, the
content is generally of poor quality, the understanding of scripture is
deficient, language is often used in a very peculiar way, and methodology
at times is close to fundamentalism. There is little evidence that the
retreat speaker has had appropriate formation in sound Catholic theology.
6. At the same time, I have been told that a good number of people found
inspiration and spiritual renewal by their participation in activities of
LHTBM. Individuals claim to have grown in their prayer life and to have
reordered their priorities, giving more importance to prayer and
spirituality. Many have developed a greater love for Sacred Scripture.
They have used the Bible for prayer, meditation, and study. They believe
their Catholic faith has become more personal and less mechanical.
7. While receiving these testimonies of good fruits, I can no longer
remain silent in the face of the harm being done to individuals,
especially to persons who are vulnerable or impressionable in this local
Church. I have reached my decision after carefully considering the
communication and materials I have received from the leadership of LHTBM,
which continues to be very guarded and secretive about itself.
8. Therefore, as Archbishop of Dubuque, I use this notice to inform the
clergy, religious, and laity of the Archdiocese of Dubuque that LHTBM is
not approved by me as a Catholic organization. I do not consider it
qualified to offer acceptable Catholic programs or activities in the
Archdiocese of Dubuque.
9. Pastors and others in positions of Church leadership are not to give
permission to LHTBM, under that or any other name and purpose, to meet in
parish and other Church facilities. This also applies to other
institutions which come under my general oversight as Archbishop.
Periodicals and other materials produced by LHTBM are not to be
distributed on parish grounds or in other Catholic Church institutions.
10. All Catholic faithful are cautioned against participation in and
association with this group. Clergy and others in Church leadership are
not to support or endorse LHTBM.
11. Father Len Kruzel, Ms. Kyo, and their representatives or members are
not to present LHTBM (under its own name or any other name) as an approved
Catholic group within the Archdiocese of Dubuque.
12. Pastors are encouraged to reach out to persons who were formerly or
are currently associated with LHTBM and assure them of their pastoral
concern and solicitude. Together with their staffs, pastors are asked to
make sure that there are opportunities for prayer groups and study
sessions and Bible discussions in the parishes to respond to the spiritual
Most Rev. Jerome Hanus, O.S.B.
Archbishop of Dubuque
Sept. 14, 2005
The Archdiocese of Dubuque covers 30 counties in northeast Iowa.
FRANCIS CARDINAL GEORGE, O.M.I.
ARCHBISHOP OF CHICAGO
RE: The “Love Holy Trinity Blessed Mission”
September 22, 2005
For well over a decade, a group called the “Love Holy Trinity Blessed Mission” has called
people to prayer and conversion of life in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Its spiritual leader
is Agnes (Kyo) McDonald. While they have been functioning here for a number of years,
the “Love Holy Trinity Blessed Mission” has no official approval as a lay movement or as
a religious order in the Catholic Church. The question of what sort of recognition to give
them began a series of inquiries that have been misinterpreted by some as attacks.
Over the past several years, I have heard many stories of a deepening of the spiritual life
from Catholics who have been part of this group. I have also heard stories from those
who claim it is coercive of its members and theologically inadequate or even false. In an
effort to make an informed judgement on the group, I asked several canonists and
theologians to obtain copies of writings, programs and testimonies. I released Fr. Len
Kruzel, a priest in good standing of the Archdiocese of Chicago, who had personally
benefited spiritually from the Mission, to minister to them full time.
The studies and inquiries remain inconclusive about the theological foundations of the
Mission, even though some information has been given. I cannot come to a definitive
conclusion about the value of the Mission nor its ultimate relationship to the Church. I
find it necessary now, however, to make two practical decisions, based on pastoral
prudence in this situation.
1) The Love Holy Trinity Blessed Mission may not use the facilities of the
Archdiocese of Chicago for its meetings nor for the distribution of its publications;
2) I am calling Fr. Len Kruzel from full time ministry among them to a regular pastoral
assignment in Archdiocesan ministry. His assignment will be decided after a period of
two weeks from September 21, 2005, in order to allow time for this transition in a way
respectful of all concerned.
These decisions will cause some pain to those affected by them, but I hope they will
contribute to a fuller discernment of the place of the Love Holy Trinity Blessed Mission in
the Church and to the guidance of Catholics of the Archdiocese.
|Cardinal George announced on Dec. 16, 2005, that Len Kruzel was
suspended from the priesthood. This was excellent news for the Fight
against Agnes Kyo McDonald's cult.