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Breakaway 'Catholic' sect faces lawsuit from donor

Catholic World News - September 14, 2010

A New York man has filed a lawsuit against a sedevacantist sect, claiming that the group enticed him to make a substantial monetary contribution without disclosing that it was not in communion with the Catholic Church.

Eric Hoyle donated his personal wealth, amounting to about $1.6 million, to the Most Holy Family Monastery when he sought entry as a Benedictine monk. He now says that he did not realize the monks of the rural New York monastery were not members of the worldwide Benedictine order, nor of the Roman Catholic Church.

The leaders of the monastery say that Hoyle was well aware of the group’s status, and point out that the community is widely known for its stand that the Vatican has lapsed into heresy since Vatican II.

The monks argue that they have a legal right to identify themselves as Catholics and as Benedictines. The lawsuit could put a secular court in the difficult position of deciding what standards should be used to judge individuals or groups that claim to be Catholic.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Savonarola - Sep. 14, 2010 10:53 PM ET USA

    Yet another underinformed Catholic as to what's going on in the unled Church in the US?

  • Posted by: stpetric - Sep. 14, 2010 7:18 PM ET USA

    I'd like to sympathize with Mr Hoyle's buyer's regret. But it's a little hard to imagine that a man serious enough about his faith to become a monk hadn't noticed that his monastery wasn't in communion with the pope!

  • Posted by: umpynelson3459 - Sep. 14, 2010 7:12 PM ET USA

    Hmmm. It would be very interesting to know how a secular court would decide who is the real Catholic and who is the pretend Catholic...

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