Nov 14, 2020

CultNEWS101 Articles: 11/13/2020: NXIVM, Hillsong Church, Catholic Lay Movements

NXIVM, Hillsong Church, Catholic Lay Movements

"Lawyers for Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere asked a judge Tuesday to recommend that he be placed in a federal prison with a "drop-out yard" — a protective unit for inmates who could be targeted in the general population due to their crimes or celebrity status.

"In light of the media interest in this case and due to the nature of the offense conduct . . . we request that the Court recommend to the Bureau of Prisons that Mr. Raniere be housed at a facility that has a special or sensitive needs unit (sometimes called a 'drop-out yard')," wrote attorney Marc Agnifilo in a letter to US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis.

Agnifilo specifically suggested FCI Allenwood in Pennsylvania or another facility that is within an eight-hour drive of New York City, so Raniere can meet with his lawyers to hone his appeal."
"Ellen sat down with Catherine and India Oxenberg, who are at the center of the true crime docuseries "Seduced: Inside The NXIVM Cult." They talked about how they were first introduced to the cult, with India recalling her experience and recovery, and shared their reaction to the leader's 120-year prison sentence."
"I am very sad to inform you that Hillsong Church has terminated the employment of Pastor Carl Lentz," the church's founder Brian Houston said in a memo.

Carl Lentz — a mega-church pastor known for his high profile celebrity followers and friends — has reportedly been fired from his position at Hillsong in part due to past "moral failures."

The megachurch's founder Brian Houston announced Carl's termination on Wednesday.

"Today Hillsong Church East Coast advised our congregation that we have terminated the employment of Pastor Carl Lentz," Houston said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE on Wednesday. "This action was not taken lightly and was done in the best interests of everyone, including Pastor Carl."

Houston added that Carl's firing comes after "ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures."

"For decades, lay movements and communities have given countless Catholics a chance to rediscover and deepen their faith.

Yet, while many bring people closer to God, questions have been raised about the influence some lay groups exercise over their members and about how the church should determine whether the movement should be reformed or dissolved when there is abuse or corruption.

In his 1998 message for the World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities, St. John Paul II recognized their importance and said lay movements were "one of the most significant fruits of that springtime in the church which was foretold by the Second Vatican Council."

But not all the fruit was good. And several movements and communities have faced Vatican-imposed reforms and even dissolution.

Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, a professor of psychology and president of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, told Catholic News Service Nov. 4 that before deciding to dissolve a movement or community, certain criteria should be met to indicate reform is possible.

"One condition would be how much that community or that movement is really willing to revise its statutes and its way of proceeding under the guidance of someone external," such as a commissioner, Zollner told CNS."

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