Sunday, February 06, 2011

Rev. Krzysztof Korcz of Our Lady Immaculate Parish in Athol blames parents for the exodus from today's parishes

During a homily given at the 10 AM Mass at Our Lady Immaculate Parish in Athol, Massachusetts, Fr. Krzysztof Korcz noted how churches are emptying and closing everywhere and laid the blame almost entirely on parents for not imparting Gospel values to their children.  But Our Lady has placed the responsibility elsewhere.  In an interior locution to Fr. Stefano Gobbi of the Marian Movement of Priests, Our Lady said that, "The cause of such a vast diffusion of errors and of this great apostasy rests with unfaithful pastors. They remain silent when they should speak with courage to condemn error and to defend the truth. They do not intervene when they should be unmasking the rapacious wolves who, hidden beneath the clothing of lambs, have insinuated themselves into the flock of Christ. They are mute dogs who allow their flocks to be torn to pieces...."

To whom much has been given, much will be required (Luke 12:48).  How quickly some priests forget this as they attempt to shift the blame for virtually everything that goes wrong in the Church to the laity, and especially parents.  This is not, of course, to excuse those parents who have in fact neglected to pass along the faith to their children or who have been poor examples of what it means to be Christian.  But we have had more than our share of priests who have failed miserably to sanctify others and to provide a model of holiness.

Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., whom many consider to have been one of the finest theologians of the 20th century, a Dominican who was a master of the spiritual life, explains in his book "The Priest  In Union With Christ, that "St. Thomas writes: 'They who belong to the divine ministry assume a royal dignity and ought to be perfect in virtue' (cf. IV Sent., dist. 24, q. 2); this is also repeated in the Pontifical (Cf. Suppl. Summae Theol., q. 35, a. 1,2, de Ordine).  And thus priestly Ordination is certainly superior to religious profession.  This sacramental grace of Holy Orders is a modal reality added to habitual grace, which gives the priest a right to receive all the actual graces he needs for an increasingly holier celebration of the Mass.  See the Imitation of Christ, Bk. iv, c. 5: 'Thou art made a priest and art consecrated to celebrate; see now that faithfully and devoutly, in due time, thou offer up the sacrifice to God, and that thou show thyself blameless.  Thou hast not lightened thy burden, but art now bound by a stricter bond of discipline and obliged to greater perfection of sanctity.  A priest ought to be adorned with all virtues and set the example to others of a good life.'...the priest's special obligation to tend to perfection is confirmed by his duties toward the Mystical Body of Christ.  He is called upon to sanctify others by preaching the word and by spiritual direction both inside and outside the confessional." (The Priest In Union With Christ, pp. 54-55).

But many priests today are not preaching the word.  They are not instructing the faithful.  Many have abandoned prayer.  And this has led to a satanic pride which resulted in priests abusing innocent and vulnerable children.  We read in Galatians 5: 22-23 that: "..the fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity."  But as Fr. Lagrange notes, "In contrast to the spirit of God, the spirit of the Devil at first lifts the soul to the heights of pride and then plunges it down into turmoil and despair, just as the Devil himself sinned through pride and is now condemned to an eternity of despair and hatred of God...humility is never encouraged by this spirit, for it gradually distorts the soul's vision to see itself greater than anyone else.  Almost unconsciously it makes the prayer of the Pharisee its own: 'O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of also this publican" (Luke 18: 11). (The Priest In Union With Christ, pp. 238, 239).

It is this spirit of pride which has infected much of the clergy in our time.  And it is pride which goes before a fall.  Although the priesthood "has been instituted for the good of men and the communion of the Church" and "The Lord said clearly that concern for his flock was proof of love for him" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1551), so many of the clergy have not shown any concern for Christ's flock.  They have not preached the hard truths which the People of God need to hear.  One Worcester-area priest was actually encouraging some of his parishioners to remain in a sinful lifestyle (see here), another gave a homily, broadcast over Gardner, Massachusetts radio, denigrating Our Lady (see here).

The fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity."  But corruption of dogma and the works of the flesh are the work of the evil spirit.


Athol/OrangeCatholic said...

One woman was so angry at this homily that she called something out. I think the laity are growing weary of priests who fail to live up to their vocation. It's much easier for them to assign blame elsewhere. Far more challenging for them to embrace the demands of their apostolate. A sad commentary on OLI, a parish which is in crisis.

WfromAthol said...

The North Quabbin Catholic Community has been handing out a survey asking people what they think should and could be done to improve the local churches and bring 20-40 year olds back to church. Whether they really want answers is another thing. We're in bad shape here.

Alzina said...

I think that most of our priests in the Worcester Diocese have either lost the faith or are simply going through the motions. I can't remember the last time I heard a homily on abortion or homosexuality or fornication or adultery or stem cells etc. Instead, we are offered what I call "Chicken Soup Homilies." Feel good new age nonsense. We are not being challenged to live the teachings of the Church.

Site Meter