Monday, September 09, 2013

Cardinal Timothy Dolan: Sinful clergy behavior one of the main reasons for defections from the Church

In an article published in The Christian Post, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan is quoted as having said that, said that "sinful" clergy behavior is one of the main reasons people are leaving Roman Catholicism and called on believers to hold on to the Church despite its flaws, during a speaking engagement in Milwaukee, Wis., on Thursday.

The Cardinal said that, "It's not a bad idea to fess up to the sinful side of the church...In her human side, the church can be imperfect, sloppy and corrupt. We admit her flaws, but we love her all the more because she is Christ on the cross."  See here:

In these times of scandal it is critical to remember that the Church remains spotless even when Her members sin. There is absolutely no doubt that the human history of the Church, like all of human history, has its dark pages. But if anyone cares to take an objective look at this history, one must quickly acknowledge that the doctrine of the Church has always implicitly condemned abuses introduced by Her members.

In the words of Dr. Dietrich Von Hildebrand, "There were sinners in the Church yesterday and there are sinners in the Church today. But the Church Herself, in her divine teaching, emerges gloriously unspotted in a history stained by human weaknesses, errors, imperfections, and sins." In the words of the great Cardinal Journet:

"All contradictions are eliminated as soon as we understand that the members of the Church do indeed sin, but they do so by their betraying the Church. The Church is thus not without sinners, but She is without sin. The Church as person is responsible for penance. She is not responsible for sins....The members of the Church themselves - laity, clerics, priests, Bishops, and Popes - who disobey the Church are responsible for their sins, but the Church as person is not responsible...It is forgotten that the Church as person is the Bride of Christ, 'Whom He has purchased with His own blood.'" (Acts 20:28).

There are those priests who wish to assign the blame elsewhere.  During a recent 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.

This does not square with the words of Our Lady to Father Stefano Gobbi.  The humble Italian priest, who received interior locutions from the Mother of God, was told 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...."

Which is why some priests dismiss the messages of Our Lady to Father Gobbi.  The message is not one they want to hear.
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 while another gave a homily, broadcast over Gardner, Massachusetts radio, actually denigrating Our Lady.

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.


OrangeCatholic said...

Fr. Chris apparently no longer believes in Purgatory, Heaven and Hell. One never hears him talking about these realities.

Doesn't sin exist anymore?

Unknown said...


"COEXIST" the latest command
of the "New World Order" band
live and let live
no need to forgive
for there ain't no sin
each living their own spin

Coexistence a cold and loveless word
in a cold and loveless earth
for they have declared God dead
and worship themselves instead
mankind in his selfish pride
orchestrates the worldwide divide

but LOVE will return as LOVE
He begs us to throw in the glove
to run away from the dragon
to escape the devil's paddy wagon
to turn to the Eternal Light
be our heart broken but contrite

He will cleanse us thoroughly
from all sin and iniquity
we will live as brothers and sisters
no need to send us any twisters
no more armies, no more wars
no more enemies at our doors.

be watchful, children, be on guard
keep Me constant in your heart
My return date you don't know
but Myself suddenly I will show
in a new and peaceful Jerusalem
a new birth in a new Bethlehem

Rita Biesemans November 18 2012

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