You may not be aware, but Novalis is offering marriage preparation courses for Catholic couples as part of their “Services to Parishes”. I learned about it by seeing an ad on the back of their French daily missalette Prions en Église.
This raises the specter that some parishes may choose to “outsource” their marriage prep to Novalis. I’m not an expert in this field, but I presume that a diocese would prefer that parishes maintain control and accountability for marriage preparation courses rather than have them outsourced to a private company with a sketchy record on faithfulness to the Magisterium. Read a couple of samples of Novalis’ flakiness here and here. While I haven’t seen the content of the marriage prep curriculum, I don’t trust them.
My mom is currently involved in an email exchange with Novalis’s Director of religious publications, Jacques Lison, after she nearly puked when reading one of his commentaries in the missalette this past weekend. There she was, sitting quietly in her pew, preparing for Mass to begin, when suddenly she’s assaulted by this dissenting editorial right in the missalette. Lison adheres to the “Spirit of Vatican II” approach. I’ll spare you the gruesome details of his commentary, but I’ll just provide one quote (my translation from the French):
“[the Word of God] grants to the conscience of each believer to be the sanctuary where the voice of God is heard, a sacred place where neither the clergy, nor the Code of Canon Law, nor any exterior rule, not even the dogmas which are at its service can replace”.
That’s the recipe for ecclesiastical anarchy that we’ve experienced for nearly 50 years, with each person making up their beliefs subjectively and arbitrarily.
I must confess that I subscribe to Novalis’ Living With Christ to facilitate participation in daily Mass. I pinch my nose with every payment. However, when each month is over, rather than throw the old missalette into the recycling bin, I’m storing them in a box. Once I have copies for the three years of the entire liturgical cycle, I’ll deep-six the subscription. I’m about half way there.
That’s what my mom did. She sent a strongly worded email along with her cancellation last week, which prompted a reply from Lison in the same business day pleading with her to reconsider. Wow, are the finances so tight at Novalis that they can’t afford to lose even a single subscriber, prompting the boss to write a reply? Maybe it’s time to tighten the screws on them.