The People of Hope was recently approved as private
association of the faithful
in the Archdiocese of Newark. Unfortunately, the Church failed to
even consider the concerns and proof of physical, psychological & emotion abuse
on fellow Catholics who were a part of this group before they broke away from
the abusive practices of the Shepherding & Discipleship Movement in this group.
This "new day" for the People of Hope is
a constant reminder
of others being abandoned by the Church.
warns the faithful about the group and another approves them!
Classic irony in the Church!
(Archdiocese of Newark)
Warning Letter about Koinonia Academy
To the Pastors of Union and
West Essex Counties:
As you know, for some time, we have all had some serious concerns about the Community of
the People of Hope. Even though we have striven in the past to present some guidelines to
this group, we have not been successful in developing the relationship that all of us
would hope for with a community of committed Catholic people.
Now unfortunately, a new development has surfaced which I must bring to your attention.
Some years ago the Community of the People of Hope opened up a school in the Diocese of
Metuchen. It was called Koinonia Academy. It had been presented as a school which would be
of a private nature and not involving Catholic instruction. Subsequent documentation from
the school indicates very clearly that it considers itself "A school that supports
parents, though dedicated Catholic teachers, in helping children to overcome the lie and
think deeply in all they do." Another document indicates that "The Koinonia
Academy is a private Christian school that provides a strong Catholic academic
environment." It also states "Our school is both Catholic and Charismatic. The
basis of our curriculum is Roman Catholic tradition, Holy Scripture and the Magisterium of
In light of this, I am very troubled to learn that Koinonia Academy is relocating in the
Archdiocese of Newark without any contact with the Archdiocesan School Office, or indeed,
without communication with the local Church in any way, shape or form at all. This is
contrary to the law of the Church and even to ordinary courteous communication.
It would be important for our pastors to make it clear to the Catholic people of your area
that this is not an approved Catholic school and it is not recommended for Catholic
parents as a place where their children can receive Catholic education as supervised by
the Church. I am not sure if we shall be taking any other steps with regard to this move
on the part of Koinonia Academy, but I thought it would be important to alert all of you
in the area as to the background of this new development and the potential consequences
that it might have on our own Catholic schools and the work of the Church in the area of
Plainfield, New Jersey, where they are attempting to establish the new site.
Let us pray that a spirit of unity, cooperation and obedience the laws of the Church and
the common good of the faithful will always prevail in the area that we serve.
With every good wish, I am
Fraternally yours in Christ
Most Reverend Theodore E. McCarrick
Archbishop of Newark
171 Clifton Avenue
P. O. Box 9500
Newark, NJ 07104-9500
Information on Koinonia Academy in Plainfield,
While surfing the net, I found the following
statement from a coordinator of the People of Hope. Although the cult leadership denies
presenting itself as a Catholic school, here is what one of the leaders wrote in this 1996
letter to the editor:
Editor: Dr. Robert Rice's letter in the November
issue, affirming that apologetics is "alive and well at Christendom College,"
led me back to your editorial, "A new spring for Catholic apologetics?," which I
had (regrettably) missed in the June issue. It seems to me that in these days of weakened
faith commitment among so many Catholics, the need for apologetics would be as great or
greater than it was in my freshman year at Boston College back in 1946. I can still
remember what a bolstering effect the course had on my own faith, as well as that of my
peers. It's gratifying to learn that Christendom College recognizes the value of this most
If an apologetics course at Christendom College
surprises you, you may be even more surprised to learn about a course in apologetics in a
high school. At Koinonia Academy, a small private school (K-12) in Warren, N.J., I am
currently teaching apologetics to the junior and senior classes-using Peter Kreeft &
Ronald Tacelli's Handbook of Christian Apologetics.
Our vision at Koinonia Academy is to support
parents in the formation of children who will have the heroic courage and practical
training to live full Catholic lives of holiness. We want our students to go on into the
academic or commercial fields strong in their own Catholic faith and ready to defend Holy
Mother Church. To that end, we offer courses such as Christian Character Formation, which
encourages students to acquire and grow in Christian character qualities such as peace,
diligence, joy, cooperation, honesty, respect, participation and good example. In the past
year, the addition of apologetics has been a valuable adjunct to the students' training
for the post-Christian world they face.
I join in your hope that we may be "seeing
the beginnings of a new spring for Catholic apologetics." May its blossoming result
in a bright, new crop of Catholic apologists, ready and eager to promote and defend our