A controversy erupted in 2021 when Bp. Richard Pates (Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Crookston, MN) told a small group from the Crookston Diocese that Abp. Bernard Hebda, head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, sent him to attend an assembly of the notoriously dissident Association of US Catholic Priests (AUSCP). The small group of faithful Catholics asked him not to attend the assembly, to which he responded that Abp. Hebda “wanted to welcome them [the AUSCP] into the archdiocese” but his schedule did not permit him to attend. Before the AUSCP’s assembly, the Lepanto Institute sent Abp. Hebda a letter asking him condemn the AUSCP and to forbid his priests from participating in the AUSCP on any level. Despite the fact that 11 of his priests are members of the AUSCP, he responded by saying:
“I will not be participating in the assembly. Given that the priests of this Archdiocese are required to attend with me our Archdiocesan Presbyteral Assembly, scheduled in Winona, Minnesota, for the same dates as the AUSCP, I felt that there was no need to issue any statement to the priests of this Archdiocese.”
At least two of his priests were confirmed as participants in the AUSCP meeting.
Abp. Hebda is once again at the center of controversy due to his personal recommendation of Cynthia Bailey Manns as one of six non-bishop voting delegates from the United States for the Synod on Synodality. Following this announcement, Complicit Clergy produced a 16-and-a-half-minute video giving some deep insight into who Cynthia Bailey Manns is, illustrating her connection to pro-abortion, pro-LGBTQ, synchretist organizations. What the video points out is that Manns’ resume ties her intimately to at least four highly problematic organizations.
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