A Decade of Undermining the Faith of the
Faithful in the Diocesan Newspaper
The Judas Kiss,
The only honest part of your promotion of that non-visionary Vision, that myopic plan to finish off what is left of the Diocese of Portland, Maine, is that you admit it was meant to be outrageous, just like most of your columns on most any topic, but usually on homosexuality, homosexuality as in "being gay," although you do not admit to it in those cases; but we know now just as we suspected all along!
We thought things could never be worse than when you admitted that you thought pre-marital relations for a particular couple you were advising was justified because "they were in love." That is until ...
We thought things could never be worse than when you brashly and with no apparent sense of shame promoted the "Gay Nineties" as a decade of dialogue and what not! That is, until ...
We thought things could never be worse than when you imprudently and impudently discussed your homosexual fantasies, using a Father Greeley novel as a pretext! That is, until ...
We thought things could never be as infantile and supercilious as your "If I were Pope ________" column!
We thought all this and much more, unprintable in a decent column, but we were just being naive. Of course we realized that Bishop Gerry is said to have told one of his spokesmen that he agreed with Richard McBrien's column in which he blasphemed Christ as having sexual urges, etc., and that he probably lacked the stomach to censor that blaspheming heretic, rather than actually be a heretic himself as well [we hoped and prayed]. But we figured he would at least discipline as in [silence] one of his own priests who uttered anything so scurrilous as the above. Words almost fail!
Father Columnist, you are positively pathological if you seriously think your suggestion is not sacrilegious and contemptuous of the Blessed Sacrament and just plain sick, rather than merely outrageous! The Sacred Body and Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the accidents [appearances] of bread and wine, cannot be shipped UPS. If you do not understand why, then this diocese is already dead, not just dying from a terminal lack of vision, properly understood in the Catholic sense. Hosts, consecrated Hosts are more than wafers of bread, even if over half the Catholic laity no longer believe in the REAL PRESENCE!
Now for the rest of your rotten, rotten column:
1. "Would parishioners be open to lay leadership and Communion Services only?" Well, let's see now. First, we already have all kinds of "lay leadership," if one can accurately call it leadership, that is, but we do have it, up to our eyeballs, and most of this so-called leadership is female, and acutely so, AS IN AGGRESSIVELY PUSHING THE ANTI-CLERICAL AGENDA. Our once male, sacrificial, Sacramental orientation no more exists and hasn't for some time. So what is all this hooey-gooey about being "open"? "Being open" is Modernese for acceptance of dissent without any discriminatory commentary or thought.
Second, are we ever open! We have to be, because the minute any one of us laity gets any ideaa about Tradition, about defending the Faith, we are labeled by you and your cohorts in "today's ministry" as being "fearful." Hence your perjorative sentence, "Many Catholics see this Vision 2000 with fear." The only thing missing from your carefully coded-labeling a priori speech was your omission of the term "rigid" as in dogma. An unintended oversight I am sure. The real fear is your phobia of anything that resembles Tradition.
In re "Communion Services":
For a few years now we keep hearing from the altar, the phrase, this "Service" and that one. Priests who think as you do substitute "Service" for Mass, not just on Good Friday, when there is no Mass, but regularly so. Of course the employment of the noun, "Service," fits in with the ever present "Presider," since Mass means a Priest, not a presider. Anyone can preside at a gathering if properly predisposed, but only the Priest can offer Holy Mass. He can also preside, but not while he is saying Mass. Thus, we are being "trained" rather well for the American C[c]hurch, as in "we are church." The next step logically, is "Communion" added to "Service." Howver, we already have that in some parishes. So what is all this speculation about it now? This is phony, intellectually dishonest.
What you really mean to suggest, more than likely, is that when this reality, if it does become a full-fledged one, that is an every Sunday event, will the laity come in the same numbers consistently as they do now for Mass? Will they put their coins in the coffers to support the prepared for and hoped for professional elite corps of lay overseers, euphemistically titled "ministers," in contradiction to Tradition to preserve the title, "minister," for the ordained only? Will your sinecures be safe?
Why, Father? Why should they be? By the time the "lay-centered church" is a fait accompli, belief in the REAL PRESENCE will be so dim that it will no longer matter about Communion, since it will be "symbolic" as it is in some Protestant sects. These, too, have a "Communion Service" listed in their bulletins. No one feels obliged under pain of mortal sin to attend. So when the kids have sore throats, the weather is awful, they often sleep in. Under Church law, "Services" are not mandatory either, and human nature being what it is ... Well ... Afterall, only 25% of Catholics attend Mass every Sunday, now, even with the pain of mortal sin binding: Statistically there are between 50-65 million Catholics [depending on one how defines "Catholic"] in the United States and about 15 million are at Mass every week.
At one of the Vision 2000 meetings I attended some of the laity were already there attitude-wise, Father, openly admitting in front of their pastor, that our Communion was "the same as Protestants." I kid you not! Others reported the same at their parishes. At a meeting of the Knights of Columbus, one of the parishioners at the parish just referred to, a participating Knight, boasted of his ability "to consecrate the Host." He felt he was empowered and that the priest was unnecessary. Empowerment is another of those buzzwords that signals the "lay-centered church" exists in all but official name.
Only the persevering and fervent will be faithful, but you see, Father, these diehards, who truly believe in the Real Presence and ADORE the Sacred Species as the BODY, BLOOD, SOUL and DIVINITY of JESUS CHRIST, a DIVINE PERSON, will have long fled to where they can be assured of a valid Consecration [Feminist/and or/lesbians who do not see any need for a priest to confect will in all likelihood not bother to secure a priest for Consecration, but merely distrubute wafers as if they had been.]
Where will these stalwart faithful be found? On their knees, not standing [as at your parish], attending Mass said by a Traditional priest, such as the FSSP with the full blessing of the Holy Father, or if need be, with the permission of Canon Law in a case of necessity, without the Indult Mass, at an Independent Chapel or if fortunate enough, given no other option, a Society of St. Pius X church. Their numbers are growing. At one of the Traditional seminaries, the enrollment doubled this year alone! This seminary is one where Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger participates in ordinations. Just think of it, Father, that is, if you dare!
2. It is not the Pope who won't "allow" women priests, it is Christ Who has willed that this can never be so. The Pontiff cannot ever permit this because Christ has so chosen and the Pope has no authority to contramand Christ: the Church has no power to undo the Divine Will, because the Church cannot fail Christ in matters of Faith and Morals because He has promised to not fail Her, even when a particular Pope misuses his authority, he cannot bind the Church to heresy: that women can be consecrated as priests is heresy itself, not just a disciplinary matter. I do not know if you still believe in Christ as a Divine Person with a human nature [not a human person with a Divine nature] or not, but even if you do, it is patently evident that you do not believe Him.
3. You further wrote: "Instructions and Religious Education could also be televised from Rome, presented by a corps of approved teachers, each in their native tongue. The New Catechism could be used as a textbook. This would avoid confusion and verify that only the true Faith was being taught, there would be no deviation."
If the problem of doctinal "deviation" were not so serious in the diocese, this paragraph would be hysterically funny! "There would be no deviation." Father, you defend deviation, you define it in its very essence, as you openly teach it in your heretical Christology course: "Christ did not know Who He was until near the end of His mission;" "We cannot impose our pro-life views on a pluralistic society;" "The Church is rethinking its views on infant Baptism-----the Sacrament is not of value unless the person makes a conscious choice to be Baptized;" "Dogma is rigid" [spoken in the context of a negative]. And "My resources for this course include McBrien's Catholicism and Hans Küng's On Being a Christian." And on and on. If you care about not "deviating" from dogma, you do not need the New Catechism to do so, you would simply stop using McBrien and other heretics as sources. This loaded paragraph of yours is nothing but a ruse, a Trojan Horse.
4. You go on to state, rather nonchalantly,
Talk of rendering onself obsolete! Yes, Father, a lay person with the right intention, form and matter, is permiited to Baptize, in danger of death and where no priest can come, but not as a general rule. If that became the standard practice, how does the Church ensure the Baptisms are validly done, when everyone is his own priest, so to speak? Anarchy will set in if the present crisis is any indication. Look what happened with that ill-fated [thanks be to God] RENEW program! Since our Bishop claims that "I can't tell my priests what to do," and there are less than two hundred active among them [now down to 66 or so], how will he maintain discipline with thousands and thousands of laity?
Father, the Sacramental system instituted by Christ as placed irrevocably in the hands of the Apostles and their successors, an ordained hierarchy, was neither acidental nor optional and is for all time. Any exceptions permitted are temporary and not designed as the norm that establishes the exception as the rule, scarificing the normal for the abnormal. This cheapens grace, making it seem like a game of Red Rover, Red Rover, Come Over. Those of us old enough to recall this children's game know that it is designed for pushing the bounderies as far as one can without getting caught. But God sees and He honors His Word; any Sacrament executed in violation of His Will is null and void no matter how many priests or self-appointed "priests" do so. He will not be mocked.
Now, let us examine "General Absolution" and your impatience with the Holy See. Since when has a little thing like a Church law or regulation in Canon law ever stopped the dissenters in this diocese? The Vatican and the American Bishops say kneel for the Consecration, but you disobey anyway.You neglected to inform your readers that in the case of of General Absolution, it is a temporary indult that must be followed by private, indivual Confession at the earliest opportunity for those in mortal sin at the time of the indult. General Absolution is not intended to be the norm, period. It is curious that you are so concerned about hospital "ministry." I say this because the Sacrament of Penance is integral to the Sacrament of the Sick: "Preparing people for their eternal reward" as you go on to say, is based on the Sacrament of Penance when someone is in danger of death, is still able to confess, and either wants the Sacrament for more grace or requires it for absolution for sufficiently repented and confessed mortal sin. Then, too, there is the not unsubstantial matter of the known admission by a number of diocesan priests that they do not have a marked preference for visiting the sick. "Relegating them to asceptic hospitals" as the chief function of priests, will not encourage them to spend more time at priestly tasks, but rather less as demoralizations sets in deeper.
Your apparent ignorance of the demoralization------partly self-induced------of your brother priests is appalling. And your explanation of the Sacraments is confusing; you appear especially confused about the priesthood and its sublime dignity and irreplacable necessity.