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Archbishop John

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, June 27, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – The Archdiocese of Albuquerque is currently hosting a conference run by a dissident priest organization with the full support of Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester. 

The conference, put on by the Association of United States Catholic Priests (AUSCP), is in full swing until June 28. It features Archbishop Wester as its Episcopal Moderator.  

AUSCP has advocated for homosexuals to be admitted to the priesthood contrary to Church teaching, championed the ordination of married men, and pressed for the ordination of women to the diaconate. 

The AUSCP is part of  an “international coalition of heretical ‘church reform’ organizations called the International Church Reform Network,” reports Michael Hichborn, president of the Lepanto Institute, who is at the event.  Hichborn says that Wester is “playing host for heretics.”  

“AUSCP has gone to great lengths to hide their true motives by projecting the impression that they are ‘merely’ progressive while remaining loyal,” said Hichborn.  “However, new information reveals that the AUSCP has directly undermined the authority and dictates of bishops. But worse than this, the AUSCP is actively involved in a well-funded and long-standing international effort to radically change the face of the entire Catholic Church.”

“Despite this, we are still astounded to see the brazen support the AUSCP is giving to members of this coalition,” he continued.  “Organizations such as FutureChurch, DignityUSA and New Ways Ministry are currently exhibiting and freely fostering their false ideologies at the AUSCP exhibition hall.”


“Even more disturbing is Archbishop Wester’s explicit support of this conference in his own Archdiocese,” added Hichborn.  “Everything presented here is happening under his watch and with his approval.”  

Other prominent U.S. Bishops have also publicly expressed their support for the dissident priest organization.  

“The only way for Archbishop John Wester, Archbishop Wilton Gregory, Cardinal Blase Cupich, and Bp. Robert McElroy to disabuse the impression that they support AUSCP in its alliances is to immediately, definitively, and without mental reservation condemn and disassociate from the AUSCP, completely,” asserted Hichborn in a Facebook posting.  

“If these bishops do not disassociate from the AUSCP,” continued Hichborn in another Facebook entry, “then they approve of the organizations attached to AUSCP, like the Vatican-condemned New Ways Ministry, the heretical FutureChurch, and the blasphemous Dignity USA.” 

Keynote speakers at AUSCP conference include Fr. Richard Rohr, who, over the course of his priesthood has sought to normalize same-sex “marriage”; has denied natural law, insisting that binary genders (male and female) are an imposition of dualistic minds rather than the nature of reality; and has publicly minimized the Church's teaching on contraception and abortion.

Vendors at the AUSCP conference include an array of fringe organizations such as FutureChurch, Voice of the Faithful, New Ways Ministry, and Dignity USA.  

FutureChurch promotes the ordination of women to the permanent diaconate and to the priesthood, as well as same-sex “marriage,” and contraception.

New Ways Ministry is a homosexual advocacy group. It has been officially condemned organization by both the Vatican and the USCCB.

Dignity USA condones homosexual sexual activity. The organization’s mission statement states, “We believe that gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex persons can express their sexuality and gender identities and expressions in a manner that is consonant with Christ’s teaching.”

According to Lepanto Institute reporting, the AUSCP is a member of the International Church Reform Network (ICRN), an international network of priest and “reform” movements.  According to the ICRN website, members include:

  • National Council of Priests of Australia
  • Catholics for Renewal, Inc (Australia)
  • Austria Pfarrer Initiative Österreich
  • Austria Wir sind Kirche / We are Church Austria
  • Pfarrer-Initiative Deutschland
  • Wir sind Kirche / We are Church Germany
  • A Call to Action (UK)
  • International Movement we are Church
  • International Women Ordination Worldwide
  • Association of Catholic Priests (Ireland) ACP
  • We are Church Ireland
  • Noi siamo Chiesa– we are Church Italy
  • Society for open Christianity for the 21st century OK21
  • Pfarrei-Initiative Schweiz
  • American Catholic Council
  • Association of US Catholic Priests AUSCP
  • Call to Action USA
  • Dignity USA
  • New Ways Ministry
  • Voice of the Faithful
  • Women Ordination Conference

“Clearly, the AUSCP is engaged in an international effort to undermine the authority of the hierarchy and wreck the immutable teachings of Holy Mother Church,” said the Lepanto Institute head. “These are not the acts of mere “progressives,” but true enemies of Christ and His Mystical Bride, so it is inconceivable that any bishop or cardinal could invite this den of heresy into their dioceses.  In charity, we can suppose that they do so out of ignorance.”

“It is imperative that Catholics realize that the Association of United States Catholic Priests is not a fringe organization without any real influence,” said Hichborn. “The fact of the matter is that this group is growing and has a presence in nearly every diocese in the United States.  What’s worse is that the AUSCP is getting support from sitting bishops in major dioceses.”

Contact information for respectful communication:

Archbishop John Wester

The Catholic Center Office 
4000 Saint Joseph's Place NW 
Albuquerque, NM 87120-1741 
Main Switchboard: 505.831.8100

email: [email protected]