I wrote this to the priests I know in this diocese back at the start of the new millenium
This letter is not intended to hurt or offend any of you. I want you to understand my experience in the Church today. You will find me intolerant of some of your teachings from the pulpit. Some of your homilies are unsound, and are not well prepared. I have heard priests claim the Holy Spirit inspires me. A case could be made this is not so. It is painfully obvious to the older listeners in the pew, those well grounded in the Catechism and dogmatic teachings of grace this claim is often invalid. I say, oftentimes your homilies contain protestant teachings, due to what must be seen as a direct result of ecumenism, that false evangelism that comes through indifferentism, thus devaluing Catholic Teachings. Teachings I add you are bound to defend. These teachings are quietly and insidiously spreading throughout the Church, due to the laxness of the RCIA/ and strange catechetical programs. You priests form us, who are the Catholic Laity, this is why you are appointed as our spiritual guides for our parishes. I would suggest that some of you must make more effort to protect the dogma, contained in the Magisterium and thus the souls of your parishioners. If what I write is true and I am convinced by events I am, then it is obvious unless we start an evangelization movement inside the Church to re-teach True Catholic Dogma, the Laity and therefore Church are lost. Before you go into denial or try to hide your agitation concerning my beliefs, claiming I am traditional conservative or perhaps a liberal progressive modernist, remember many of you do not know me enough to critique my faith. I answer to Orthodox Catholic and follow the Truth as the True Church teaches. I refuse to be touched by formalism, indifferentism, quietism, false irenicism, modernism or the mysterious religion cult. Ideologies some of you unfortunately embrace, especially the mystery religion cult, that St. Paul was so worried about in Corinth.
I have like others listened to what is undoubtedly schism, that approaches heresy and definitely protestant theology taught from the Pulpits of various parishes. I have watched liturgies that have no unity with Rome and the Papal teachings. How valid , therefore are they? I write because of my concern for the sheer horror and subjective personal witness of the many homilies that I have heard given. Do not take offense at my criticism, look upon it as tears for the Church which is no longer the Church Militant on earth and quickly withdrawing from the Communion of Saints. What else can we expect with the slow disappearance of Sacramental Confession? What many priests are, is a product of how they are formed and if you check your consciences each day you will discover if I am correct? Look upon this letter as an expression of my pity for your position. To be caught in the middle between silly parishioners, plugged toilets, leaky roofs and your vow of obedience to your superiors and the true teachings of Christ must be an awful predicament. I do ask you to be careful of wanting peace and comfort at any cost, the sin of false irenicism. I know your parishioners harass many of you after they perceive errant teachings in your homilies, teachings that do not support their lifestyle or they ask for outlandish rites and changes to the Liturgy feeling them appropriate. Rest assured, in the Church today, it is more likely you are both wrong and more than likely what you hear are errors based on feelings or passions. This kind of sensuality, according to the writings of the Church Fathers, is an error.
I find today in the Church, so many of the priests and Laity are not formed in a Catholic Sense. You may wish to disagree but I have a point? Let me give you a catholic idiom no longer taught, it is still both powerful and true. I use it at this time to pose this question to you. Have any of you at any time in your memory even taught this in your parish? It is, "Free Will, an informed conscience and the burden of choice". Have any of you mentioned or even heard the last phrase in that sentence? Have any of you taught, of the Blessed Trinity, of God's attributes, of evil; of angels and demons, of the fall, of grace, and sin; of the Incarnation, the Redemption, the virtues, of the eight beatitudes, of the sacraments in general, the seven sacraments in particular, especially the benefits of Confession, and finally the four last things, death, judgment heaven and hell. Did you explain the use of indulgences during November and how efficacious they are for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. I do not think so, some of you perhaps, the majority no. What about the errors we are drifting back into and adopting. I mean the errors of the mysterious cults, indifferentism, and false irenicism mentioned before. Have you ever taught the seven reasons why Paul wrote First Corinthians? Have you ever taught what the word `rock' meant to twelve Hebrew men? The Jewish faithful at that time knew the Torah taught the `Rock' is the `Power of God'.
Perhaps you might consider what follows as an aid to start a series of homilies yourself. It is for you to decide, but I can assure you a large number of your parishioners do not have a clue about confession, sacramental or spiritual, temporal punishment or why there are Poor Souls in Purgatory, and even as Mary has revealed in Medjugorie `forgotten' souls and tried to wonder why they are forgotten? Many parishioners have not one clue about what constitutes sin. It is indeed possible you might want to use what follows as a starting point for a series of Homilies or articles in your Church Bulletin. I can assure you that 70% of your parishes do not know the Catholic Teaching that follows, especially anyone who entered the Church through the RCIA.
PUNISHMENT, like a shadow, follows all sin, whether mortal or venial, and it is not usually remitted to the full when forgiveness is obtained. Eternal punishment, incurred by mortal sin, is always remitted with the guilt, but some temporary punishment generally remains due to the justice of GOD. GOD inflicts this temporal punishment either in this life or in Purgatory, but a man may anticipate the divine justice by works of penance, or by means of Indulgences.
The guilt, then, of sin is one thing, the punishment another. The guilt is remitted when a man truly repents, either with or without the Sacrament of Penance; but though the punishment, or a portion of it, may be remitted with the guilt, some usually remains, as a debt of satisfaction to be paid in this world or the next. This truth is clearly indicated in the sacramental penances which always accompany Absolution. These penances have, in the course of time, under pressure
of external circumstances, lost much of the severity, which characterized them in the early ages, but they still testify to the principle that after forgiveness, satisfaction remains due. The comparative lightness of modern sacramental penances ought to suggest they alone are not sufficient to satisfy the justice of God and that the faithful should supplement them, either by penances, self-inflicted or patiently accepted at the hand of GOD, or by some equivalent. And in the case of sins forgiven either directly in the Sacrament, or by means of contrition alone, the satisfaction remaining due is left altogether to the individual's patience under chastisement from GOD, or to his personal activity in applying himself either to works of penance, or to some equivalent. That equivalent is to be found in Indulgences.
What, then, is an Indulgence? An Indulgence is the remission by the Church, on specified conditions, of the whole or a part of the debt of satisfaction remaining due for sin. The Church has power to absolve from guilt; she has also power to remit the punishment. The one, she exercises in the Sacrament of Penance; the other she exercises when she grants an Indulgence. And it is clear from what has been said that an Indulgence is supplemental to Absolution, and presupposes the forgiveness of the guilt of sin.
Theologically considered, an Indulgence is not a mere exercise of spiritual power and authority on the part of the Church; it is truly a payment of the debt, paid out of her Treasury of satisfactory merit; for in this treasury are stored up the superabundant merits of Jesus Christ and the accumulated merits of our Lady and all the Saints. With this inexhaustible fund at her command, she has the means of satisfying the debts due from her children to the Justice of God. Though the Church has no direct jurisdiction over the souls in Purgatory, she authorizes and encourages, as a work of supreme charity, the application of indulgences to the needs of those afflicted souls.
These are the words of Fr Ambrose St. John, Oratory of St. Phillip Neri, Birmingham.
Let me say that any Catholic, who does not try to be perfect as Christ told us, is probably guilty of a serious fault, and I mean wanting and accepting Purgatory instead of Heaven. I add Christ said that 3 days of fasting would cast out a devil. If we are in a state of grave sin then as a penance, why not fast for three days? A mortal sin by our Church's stand is the presence of evil and a loss of God's love. Why Father am I asking you to teach this? It is certain if you read carefully that I do not demand anything, for you have free will. But you certainly have to inform your conscience on the matters written in this letter and then you will be faced with the burden of choice. I must also mention spiritual confession. Most of the Laity today say, "I confess my sins to God". This can only be legitimate by an act of perfect contrition and it must still be accompanied by a firm purpose of amendment. That is to make, to mean, to live and fulfill a promise to God not to do it again as far as one can. Can you think of how many really mean to stop sinning, or really put all they have into keeping that promise? Have you ever told your pupils that? For me the act of spiritual confession is to make an act of contrition when I realize I have erred mortally. It must be followed, and I do, as soon as possible, with a Sacramental Confession as commanded by the Church in her six commandments.
I mention what follows as an opinion formed by the reasons heard for not doing or following an action for what may be the greater good of your parish. One can claim obedience to parts of canon Law, very often at the expense of one's immortal soul, especially to a vow taken with an honest intention. This is not perfect obedience. I do ask you to be very careful of sinning against one's conscience or as priests, you find it is easier to obey rules and regulations, especially fobbing of decisions you should make by quoting Canon Law. Keeping the Peace at any cost, especially at the expense of one's immortal soul is wrong. Is there truth in that statement? Again that is your choice. One you must make after, thinking, informing and ensuring that whatever you may do is not a slight act of rebellion, a small compromise against what is the good you are meant to do and spread. Perhaps this will better illustrate what I mean. Vatican 2 says your homilies must be on the Epistles and Gospels of the day. Some of the Homilies I hear are so far from what Catholic Commentaries say about those scriptures and are so in line with protestant humbug they would have been better not given. Some examples might illustrate my meanings. I heard a priest say, "Once you have been baptized, Jesus Christ lives in you forever." Is that not Faith Alone? Why then do we have the Sacrament of Confession if by this man's teachings God's love never leaves us? Can I ask you this. Is God not providential and would have a way for recalcitrant children who err after Baptism? Were David and Samuel wrong? One of these men had it straight from God, "I have rejected Saul" David pleads with God in the `Miserere', "Turn not Your Face from me O Lord, take not Your Holy Spirit away." Wisdom states, "Wisdom will not enter a deceitful soul, or dwell in a body enslaved to sin. For a holy and disciplined spirit will flee from deceit, and will leave foolish thoughts behind, and will be ashamed at the approach of unrighteousness. Habbakuk prayed, " Your eyes are too pure to behold evil, and you cannot look on wrongdoing." What can these quotes mean? Compare these words with the teachings of so many of you on the Holy Spirit. Do you ever teach the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and how it is achieved? Have you ever discussed the phrase "the state of grace"?
I heard a priest make accusations against Catholic Teachings of Grace and merits by calling them formalism. This was against our teachings that we can earn sanctifying grace and merits. Formalism is the protestant accusation against the discipline of the sacramental life of the Church, the Liturgy and the discipline of prayer. It is usually heard in the statement, "I dislike the organized church". Another homily I heard recently said Baptism and Confirmation empowers us to evangelize; yet the Church teaches it is an obligation. The priest's answer was, “I could not use obligated as it would cause a fuss”. This is a form of false irenicism which is expressly forbidden in Scriptures. Finding Peace where there is none, Seeking Christ's presense where it does not exist. It is a seeking of comfort rather than telling a truth, and is prevalent in the Church today as peace at any cost. The price we will pay for that is expensive, the loss of our soul and eternal life. What you have not realized is, we the Laity want to hear the truth, especially the young people. John Paul 2 has shown them what it is to be truly Catholic and they want more. Many of you without exception are good men and that is the basis to be a good priest. It will take fortitude and prayer on your part to succeed. This might help, once during meditation, I knew that priests should dedicate, consecrate themselves to Mary, their mother's, Perpetual Virginity. I mean Her total virginity from sin.
Having written this, I point to the most important fact of your priestly, sacramental life and I hope you are able to accept it? We, the laity are your sacrifice, given to you to make perfect. It does not matter to your salvation if we are not, as long as you make every sincere effort to form us. What is the punishment for anyone who offers an impure sacrifice? That is spelt out strongly in the Old Testament. For us not to listen to your guidance, providing it is a verifiable teaching of the Church is on our part, a personal act of abomination in God's eyes. I pity you, if you offer us daily as a Parish and do not correct us. You see as Jesus said you have to account for every soul you loose. I will not stand by and let you go astray, your soul is precious to me, for through Confession I can reach Heaven and an Eternal Life and only you, as the Sacrificial Priesthood, can forgive sins and all temporal punishments due them through the Sacrament of Penance. This is providing your penances are not straight from the Readers Digest. I mean the foolishness of doing a random act of charity a penance that I, as a practicing catholic, have been given. Charity to the catholic laity cannot be a random act and we are, by Christ's precepts, to practice this virtue through the Spiritual and Corporal works of Mercy.
Now you want to know the seven reasons St. Paul wrote the First Letter to the Corinthians. The first thing is to establish why he wrote it. He wrote in 1st. Cor 4:14, I am not writing this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. What are the lessons he finds it necessary to give to his children at Corinth? He tells them (1) that they ought to be ashamed of being divided up into parties, as holding by Apollo, or Paul, or Peter (chs.1.4). (2). That when a member of their congregation contracts an incestuous alliance, they ought to excommunicate him instead of manifesting pride over what has happened. (ch. 5). (3) That they must live uncontaminated by the heathen society around them, instead of having quarrels which they fight out at law, and relapsing into habits of fornication (ch.6.) (4) That virginity is not a precept, but a counsel of perfection, with other advice about marriage and widowhood (ch.7). (5) That, for fear of scandal and of relapse into heathenism, it is wrong to join in the sacrificial feasts of their heathen neighbors (chs.8.9). (7) That women should have their heads veiled in church; that the love-feast which precedes the celebration of the Divine Mysteries ought to be a real manifestation of unity (ch.11). (7) That the use of preternatural spiritual gifts ought to be regulated and rationed, and that charity is the greatest gift of all (chs.12-14). The fifteenth chapter, which deals with a denial, by some converts, of the Resurrection, and the concluding chapter, which reminds his readers of the collection to be made for the church at Jerusalem, and adds a series of personal messages, do not belong to our subject. This is from, "The Corinthian's letter to St. Paul", by Msgr. Ronald Knox.
We can also read in, "A handbook of heresies," by M.L. Cozens, imprimatur Can. E. Surmount, his commentary on the mysterious religions that came out of Phrygia and were found in Corinth. "Among the Gentiles it would be precisely those drawn to the Mystery Cults who would be most attracted to the Church; and let us repeat once more-they, not less than the converts from Judaism, came to the Church not with empty minds but with minds full of their own conceptions and misconceptions, which the Truth had to judge, to sift, cast out, correct, or complete. So we find that while Paul had so often, among the Jews, to fight the notion of Salvation by legal good works, in writing to his Gentile converts he had to be equally insistent upon the necessity for good works in the regenerate. Many of the converts were prone to imagine that to be Reborn was enough--to them, as to later heretics, emotion, ecstasy, or "spiritual experience," was all that mattered, and they despised the commandments as savoring of that "old law" or "old man" from which their baptism had freed them. So that we find Paul writing to his beloved converts, exhorting them to find in the remembrance of their baptism the motive for a life of good works and the meet fruit of the new life principle within them. In writing to the Corinthians he corrects the abuse in their celebrations of the Eucharist and in that we seem to catch a hint of fear lest the sexual abuses familiar to the worshipers of Asiatic deities should creep into the Sanctuary and pollute the Mysteries of their Redemption. Once more the issue was determined by the attitude of each mind to the Faith. Those who made the Act of Faith more sincerely gave up every thought not in accordance therewith, whilst those who sought in the Church their own highest ideals, apart from God's revelation, fell away into one or other of those bewildering nightmarish heresies which haunted the outskirts of Christianity during the end of the first and the whole of the second century".
Can you not see this emotion, ecstasy or spiritual experience in a section of our Church today? Even Cardinal Ratzinger with the support of the Pope, warned about their hysteria last year, when he wrote. "No more healing masses, no more hysteria before the Blessed Sacrament" Complementing exactly the instructions of Paul to Timothy in his first letter to Tim. Does it not also remind you of the total failure of the RCIA program in that many who enter the Church, have not given up the basic tenets of the beliefs they left? This is indifferentism in the worst way, and nothing is done. Here is one final comment on St. Paul's first correction. Can any of you not see the statements, I'm for the Focolare, I'm for the Neocatecumenate, I'm for the Charismatic Renewal as a modern equivalent for Apollo, Paul, Cephas.
I ask, who is for the Mystical Body of Christ these days? I do truly recommend you check with your Parish Priest his opinions on what you have read. Print it out and ask him what he thinks. Who does he think is responsible for the mess we see in the Church today.
Per Crucem ad Lucem et Veritas
Labels: priest confession conscience heresies