Bishop of Wollongong published a Decree about Mr William Kamm also known as The Little Pebble: " ... Mr William Kamm and his associates, ... renounce all their manifestly false claims to legitimacy within the Catholic Church ..."
Most Rev Peter William Ingham DD, Bishop of Wollongong
iven at Wollongong
6 June 2002----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr William Kamm also known as The Little Pebble
Whereas on 27 September 1999, following many warnings by himself and his predecessor, Most Rev William Murray over a period of more than 15 years (with particular reference to the pastoral letter by Bishop William Murray dated 2 December 1984 and entitled On True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary), Most Rev Philip Wilson, then Bishop of Wollongong, issued a Decree against Mr William Kamm and his so-called Order of St Charbel requesting him to:
1. Refrain from making public statements that your organisation has been recognised by ecclesiastical authority.
2. Inform the members of your organisation of this fact, and of the invalidity of their vows.
3. Instruct those members who have supposedly taken vows in your institution not to wear any semblance of a religious habit in public or to claim they belong to an approved Catholic institute of consecrated life.
4. Stop this work, to give up all association with Bartholomew Schneider and to close the so-called Order of St Charbel for the good of souls.
whereas William Kamm took recourse against this decree to the Bishop of Wollongong on 30 September 1999, to the Archbishop of Sydney on 2 November 1999 and to the Holy Father on 8 December 1999, wrongly claiming that his recourse automatically suspended the execution of Bishop Philip Wilson’s decree; and
whereas on 5 May 2000, Most Rev Philip Wilson, then Bishop of Wollongong, established a Commission, consisting of two theologians and two canon lawyers, to investigate the writings and works of William Kamm; and
whereas acceding to William Kamm’s request to be interviewed, Fr Kevin Matthews, one of the Commissioners, interviewed him on 21 October 2000, during which the matter of recourse was raised as an objection; and
whereas when the acts of the interview were sent to William Kamm to be signed, Mr Kamm produced a document, dated 17 November 2000, in which he gave his own version of the interview with additional material; and
whereas on 12 January 2001 Most Rev Philip Wilson, by then Archbishop-elect of Adelaide and Diocesan Administrator of Wollongong, received from the Diocesan Commission its Report of the Wollongong Diocesan Commission Investigating the Writings and Works of William Kamm Known as "The Little Pebble" with the recommendation that:
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith should be approached as the proper recipient of our Response.
whereas on 24 January 2001 Archbishop-elect Philip Wilson wrote to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in support of his action taken against William Kamm and the so-called Order of St Charbel and in respect of Mr Kamm’s subsequent recourse, presenting the Diocese’s case subsequent to its investigation and as outlined in the Commission’s report; and
whereas on 3 February 2001 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated in a letter to Archbishop-elect Philip Wilson that:
It is quite clear that his so-called Order of St Charbel has never had any legal existence in the Catholic Church. Mr Kamm himself admits that its recognition was done by a schismatic Prelate. Hence your Decree of September 27, 1999, is perfectly valid and binding.
In relation to the diocesan investigation, it is clear that the multiple absurdities contained in the two books published by Mr Kamm and the information collected by the commission offer sufficient grounds for a decision in relation to the clearly non-supernatural origin (the classical equivalent is: constat de non-supernaturalitate) of the "apparitions" and "messages" promoted by Mr Kamm. I suggest your diocesan investigation come to a speedy close and the commission present to you a signed written report of their conclusions on this subject. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith would be pleased to receive and support your decision on this issue.
whereas on 27 February 2001 Very Rev Bryan Jones, Diocesan Administrator of Wollongong, sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith a signed copy of the Commission’s report with its recommendation that the Congregation, as the proper authority, issue a statement against the teachings and actions of Mr Kamm; and
whereas on 19 February 2002 I wrote to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith seeking a response to the Diocese’s report; and
whereas on 22 March 2002 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the signature of its Secretary, Most Rev Tarcisio Bertone, in its letter to me, stated the following:
The Congregation has followed with apprehension the serious developments taking place and has given full support to both Bishop Murray and Bishop Wilson in their dealings with the man. Both Bishops set up diocesan commissions and investigated the matter but Mr Kamm has refused to accept their results and continues to disregard and disobey the legitimate authority of the Church.
On March 27, 2001 this Dicastery wrote to the Apostolic Nuncio expressing the desire that the new Bishop of Wollongong would issue a decree – in accordance with the Bishops’ Conference – repudiating categorically the activities of Mr Kamm, his absurd pretensions and his association with schismatic elements clearly not in communion with the Catholic Church. This decree should contain a pressing invitation to all the faithful to disassociate themselves for the good of their souls from Mr Kamm and his activities. I am asking Your Excellency to undertake this task in the knowledge that you have the full and clear support of the Holy See.
having considered the findings of the legitimate canonical investigation initiated by the Diocese of Wollongong; and
having sought and subsequently received the full and clear support of the Holy See and in obedience to the specific and direct instruction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; and
having received the endorsement of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference; and
in following the consistent and long-standing position of my predecessors, Most Rev William Murray and Most Rev Philip Wilson;
I hereby state the following concerning the alleged visions, teachings and practices of Mr William Kamm and those who have chosen to associate themselves with his activities and organisations:
The Holy See has declared that there is nothing supernatural about the alleged visions of Mr William Kamm.
Mr William Kamm has chosen to spread false teachings, to make false claims to authority, and to establish himself and his activities in clear contradiction to the teachings, discipline and authority of the Catholic Church.
Mr William Kamm’s assertions, teachings and actions are dangerous and harmful to Christ’s faithful.
With the authority granted to me by the Holy See and as the Chief Pastor of the Particular Church of Wollongong, I hereby decree that:
Mr William Kamm, through his alleged visions and in his various writings, communications and personal actions, is spreading teachings contrary to the divinely revealed teachings of the Catholic Church, in both faith and morals.
Mr William Kamm, personally and through his associates and activities, is acting in contradiction to the divinely established authority and discipline of the Catholic Church.
I therefore order that:
Mr William Kamm immediately cease all his activities contrary to the teachings, authority and discipline of the Catholic Church and disband his various movements and associations;
Fr Malcolm Broussard, a priest who does not possess the faculties of this or any other Catholic Diocese, and who has freely and consciously associated himself with Mr William Kamm over a period of many years, disassociate himself from Mr Kamm and his teachings, and from all activities contrary to the teachings, authority and discipline of the Catholic Church.
The so-called Order of St Charbel, in all its various communities in Australia (including the communities of Gethsemane, Cambewarra, New South Wales; the Sacred Heart, Tyaak, Victoria; the Most Precious Blood, Meredith, Victoria; the Holy Ghost, Ormeau, Queensland; and the Most Pure Heart of St Joseph, Reeves, South Australia) and in all its communities established in other countries, immediately disband and cease all activities that are contrary to the teachings, authority and discipline of the Catholic Church.
All others associated in any way with Mr William Kamm, either as individuals or as members of associations, groups, movements, or the like, disassociate themselves from him and cease all activities that are contrary to the teachings, authority and discipline of the Catholic Church.
This decree will remain in force until such time as Mr William Kamm and his associates, for the sake of their eternal salvation, renounce all their manifestly false claims to legitimacy within the Catholic Church and until Mr Kamm and his associates permanently cease all activities contrary to the teachings, authority and discipline of the Catholic Church.
For the good of their souls, with deep pastoral concern and as Chief Pastor of the Particular Church of Wollongong, I exhort Mr William Kamm, his associates and all those who have followed him or his various movements and associations to disassociate themselves from all that is contradictory to the teachings, authority and discipline of the Catholic Church, to seek God’s forgiveness, and to re-establish their communion with the Catholic Church.
[ Diocesan Seal ]
Most Rev Peter W Ingham DD
BISHOP OF WOLLONGONG
[ signature ]
Diocese of Wollongong
PO Box 1239
Wollongong SCMC NSW
Tel: +61 2 4253 0900
Fax: +61 2 4253 0977
Read the Decree at this URL