The Papists

Apologetics and Evengelization
  • July 29, 2013 2:11 pm

    On Admitting Men with Same Sex Attraction to the Seminary

    bannerofthecross:

    Everyone outside of the Church seems to be celebrating Pope Francis’s “change in teaching” on homosexuality. This post is to show that what Pope Francis said is not anything new. 

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly says, in paragraph 2358, that people with same sex attraction must be “accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” and that “every sign of unjust discrimination should be avoided.” So Pope Francis, in not judging, is doing what Jesus and the Church tells us to do.

    In 2005, the Vatican issued the document Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders which says:

    It is necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called “gay culture”. 

    Different however would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only expression of a transitory problem…Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.

    This means that men with very strong homosexual tendencies cannot be admitted to the Priesthood. In the same way, a man with very strong pornography tendencies will not be admitted to the Priesthood. As a requirement for Priesthood, all men must show a high degree of Sexual Integration where they have overcome their temptations of lust and have developed the freedom to authentically love.

    When the Church talks about the “gay culture”, She is referring to people who promote the idea of gay marriage, which is a direct violation of Church teaching. Pope Francis referred to these type of people as “being part of the lobby.” The Church will not ordain any man who is not in Communion with the Church on any issue. Priests are representatives of the Church and must adhere to all Her teachings; as should every Catholic.

    When Pope Francis says “the problem isn’t the orientation. The problem is making a lobby,” he is repeating that the real issue is when a man openly dissents from Church teaching. That’s when a man cannot be ordained. 

    Father Brett A. Brennan put it this way in his book To Save a Thousand Souls (which was published in 2010):

    The Vatican Instruction indicates that a practicing homosexual or a man with deep-seated homosexual tendencies ought never to be ordained a priest. The Church cannot allow ordination of men who are active homosexuals or who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies.

    But a man can be accepted for study if he has a significantly lesser degree of same-sex attraction which he has completely disclosed. He should completely and enthusiastically embrace the Church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality. He should be growing in affective maturity and must have clearly overcome the transitory same-sex attraction, living chastely for at least three years before his diaconate ordination.

    Pg 245

    So yes, a man with Same Sex Attraction can become a Priest, but it’s a case by case basis. There is no solid answer.

    What Pope Francis said is far from a “reversal” of Church Teaching, or a “new sign of openness”. The Church always has and always will welcome anyone, no matter race, gender, or sexuality, who is seeking Truth and seeking to do God’s will.

  • July 27, 2013 9:12 pm

    A Call for Reform in the Catholic Church by an Austrian priest

    existenceandidentity:

    thepapists:

    existenceandidentity:

    Fr. Schüller proposes the following:

    • allowing priests to marry
    • allowing women to become priests
    • allowing lay people to have communion services without a priest present
    • giving lay people much greater control of church policy and practice and local and higher levels
    • allowing remarried Catholics to receive the Eucharist
    • honoring loving committed gay relationships

    Just a warning, it’s late, I’m tired, I should probably gather my thoughts but I feel the need to respond to this article.

    Also, this is not directed explicitly towards existenceandidentity, this is directed towards this article. 

    The need for reform of Church teaching, doctrine, dogma, traditions, and the like is not a need at all. Vatican II already made its reforms, the council is over, the Church has spoken, let’s move on. 

    The crisis in the Church does not call for a reform of the Church; it calls for a reform of the hearts of Her members.

    The reforms of the Mass, from what I’ve understood, was an attempt to re-ignite the Faith of the 20th century. The Novus Ordo was supposed to help the laity become more involved, more active, and to better understand what the Mass is about. 

    What has happened in the last 50 years?

    A decline in Church attendance, poor catechesis, decline in Priestly and Religious vocations, and Catholics are living no different than the secular world. 

    Is this the fault of the Second Vatican Council?  No. It’s because the implementing of Vatican II exploded and people took it and ran with it.

    So what’s my point? Institutional reform without proper instruction results in crisis. Priests and Bishops at times, whether knowingly or unknowingly, veered away from what the Council taught. We have the reform already, now we need the proper instruction.

    Hence the New Evangelization and the Year of Faith; these help us rediscover what it means to be Catholic. 

    We can’t solve this crisis with more reforms. In my opinion, asking for more reforms is showing a lack of faith in Christ. “We are running out of Priests, we need the laity to be able to perform communion with no Priest present, we need Priests to be married, we need women priests”. Why don’t we just ask God to give us more Priests? 

    Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

    Mt 7:7

    How much clearer can Christ be?

    By constantly seeking reform, we continue to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We give into the temptation of the serpent to become like gods, and instead of trusting in God providence, we begin to play god by saying “No, God’s church is wrong about what God thinks.”

    Are the Church’s teachings hard? Yes! Of course they are! Why? Because the Church is our Mother and She challenges us to be more than what settle for. God gives us this challenge because He knows that we’re up for it. 

    All the reforms listed here are based on a misunderstood secular definition of love; that love is tolerance, acceptance, and warm fuzzies. Love is to will the good of the other and to act on it, which often includes being harsh. Denying someone communion who is not in communion with the Church is not meant to be a punishment; it’s meant to protect them from committing a sacrilege. 

    The Role of the Church is to bring Her people to the fullness of Truth and Salvation. Changing Her teachings would be an injustice to us. It’ll be uncomfortable, but as Pope Benedict said: “We are not made for comfort, we are made for Greatness.”

    I’ve written about the lay Catholic equivocation of the clergy with the Church before on this blog, so I won’t go into. Suffice to say that I think it’s a silly view to equate a very small percentage of men with the entirety of the Church. None of the reforms this priest is calling for are really out there. And allowing more lay involvement in church policy and practice is a necessity if the Catholic Church wants to remain relevant. It doesn’t affect teachings or dogma, and it decentralizes power away from the clergy. If the Church needs an example, they can always look at the Anglicans, Presbyterians, Lutherans, or any other Protestant denomination to see how it works.

    Priestly celibacy is a historically recent practice, there’s no reason to keep it for some nostalgic tradition. That level of sexual repression isn’t healthy, and quite honestly it’s probably why the sex abuse scandal is so big among Catholic clergy.

    The prohibition of women from the priesthood is based on a shaky interpretation (of faulty logic, no less) of the fact that Jesus only had men as apostles. The fact that he only had male apostles is not a command to never ordain women. If anything, a look at the Protestant churches that allow female ministers/priests shows that women are often better pastors than men. 

    And affirming gay relationships is a matter of human dignity. On this the clergy/Church is unequivocally wrong.

    Why you see reform as a lack of faith is beyond me. Lack of faith in the clergy, perhaps, but not lack of faith in God, Jesus, or Christianity. Jesus was a reformer. Reform is the entire message of Jesus. In the Gospels, he is always saying, “repent, return to the basics, forgive your enemy, love God and love your neighbor.” In essence he says, “reform yourself”. 

    Of course, I’m not Catholic anymore, so I don’t really care what happens in the Church. But I think if it wants to continue being relevant in the world and retain members, it needs to change.

    But the thing is, some of these reforms are out there. I’ll admit I was a bit harsh on the Priestly celibacy and on Communion services with no Priest. As catholicninja pointed out to me, Celibacy is a discipline, not a dogma, so that can be changed, and Communion services already exist where it’s needed. Celibacy isn’t kept for nostalgic purposes. Practically speaking, a celibate Priest allows him to be more readily available to his parish, not to mention it is in imitation of Christ who was celibate. 

    As for the sex scandal:

    -Philip Jenkins, is a professor of history and religious studies at Penn State University, and has written a book on the topic. He estimates that 2% of priests sexually abuse youths and children.

    -Sylvia M. Demarest, a lawyer from Texas has been tracking accusations against priests since the the mid-1990s. By 1996, she had identified 1,100 priests who had been accused of molesting children. She predicts that when she updates the list, the total will exceed 1,500 names. This represents about 2.5% of the approximately 60,000 men who have been active priests in the U.S. since 1984.

    -Conservative columnist Ann Coulter claimed, without citing references, that there are only 55 “exposed abusers" in a population of 45,000 priests. This is an abuse rate of 0.12%.

    -Various news services reported that 200 Roman Catholic priests in the Philippines have been investigated for “sexual misconduct and abuses" over the past two decades. That would represent almost 3% of the total population of about 7,000 priests. However, it appears that misconduct includes many offenses, from child abuse to rape to keeping adult mistresses.

    And I found some sources, not nearly as authoritative that say less than 1%.

    -  Cynthia Stewart’s “The Catholic Church: A brief popular history.”

    -In England according to  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/may/16/catholic-church-vatican-letter-child-abuse , The percentage is less than half of one percent.

    Credit to nikosnature for the stats.

    Also this video.

    Most Priests are good holy men. I think what you said about lay Catholic equivocation of the clergy can be applied here: “it’s a silly view to equate a very small percentage of men with the entirety of the Church.”

    As for women priests, part of it is following the example of Jesus in only ordaining men, but it goes much deeper than that. As human beings we are incarnate spirits; our bodies reflect our souls. I am male both physically and spiritually. When a Priest is administering the Sacraments, he is in persona Christi; "in the place of Christ". In that moment he spiritually becomes Christ. Jesus is male, and only a male body can represent a male spirit. 

    The Catholic Church does acknowledge the dignity of people with same sex attraction.

    The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church 2358

    (emphasis mine)

    Saying no to gay marriage does not mean saying no to the person.

    I agree with you, Jesus does say “reform yourself”. He desires for us to reform ourselves to His Truth, and how do we know what His Truth is? Through the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. The Church’s goal is not to stay relevant but to bring the world the Truth and to bring Her Children to Salvation.

    I’m sorry you decided to leave the Church, but know that we’re always ready to welcome you back. I’ll be praying for you

    In Christ,
    Javi

  • July 23, 2013 12:32 am

    A Call for Reform in the Catholic Church by an Austrian priest

    existenceandidentity:

    Fr. Schüller proposes the following:

    • allowing priests to marry
    • allowing women to become priests
    • allowing lay people to have communion services without a priest present
    • giving lay people much greater control of church policy and practice and local and higher levels
    • allowing remarried Catholics to receive the Eucharist
    • honoring loving committed gay relationships

    Just a warning, it’s late, I’m tired, I should probably gather my thoughts but I feel the need to respond to this article.

    Also, this is not directed explicitly towards existenceandidentity, this is directed towards this article. 

    The need for reform of Church teaching, doctrine, dogma, traditions, and the like is not a need at all. Vatican II already made its reforms, the council is over, the Church has spoken, let’s move on. 

    The crisis in the Church does not call for a reform of the Church; it calls for a reform of the hearts of Her members.

    The reforms of the Mass, from what I’ve understood, was an attempt to re-ignite the Faith of the 20th century. The Novus Ordo was supposed to help the laity become more involved, more active, and to better understand what the Mass is about. 

    What has happened in the last 50 years?

    A decline in Church attendance, poor catechesis, decline in Priestly and Religious vocations, and Catholics are living no different than the secular world. 

    Is this the fault of the Second Vatican Council?  No. It’s because the implementing of Vatican II exploded and people took it and ran with it.

    So what’s my point? Institutional reform without proper instruction results in crisis. Priests and Bishops at times, whether knowingly or unknowingly, veered away from what the Council taught. We have the reform already, now we need the proper instruction.

    Hence the New Evangelization and the Year of Faith; these help us rediscover what it means to be Catholic. 

    We can’t solve this crisis with more reforms. In my opinion, asking for more reforms is showing a lack of faith in Christ. “We are running out of Priests, we need the laity to be able to perform communion with no Priest present, we need Priests to be married, we need women priests”. Why don’t we just ask God to give us more Priests? 

    Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

    Mt 7:7

    How much clearer can Christ be?

    By constantly seeking reform, we continue to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We give into the temptation of the serpent to become like gods, and instead of trusting in God providence, we begin to play god by saying “No, God’s church is wrong about what God thinks.”

    Are the Church’s teachings hard? Yes! Of course they are! Why? Because the Church is our Mother and She challenges us to be more than what settle for. God gives us this challenge because He knows that we’re up for it. 

    All the reforms listed here are based on a misunderstood secular definition of love; that love is tolerance, acceptance, and warm fuzzies. Love is to will the good of the other and to act on it, which often includes being harsh. Denying someone communion who is not in communion with the Church is not meant to be a punishment; it’s meant to protect them from committing a sacrilege. 

    The Role of the Church is to bring Her people to the fullness of Truth and Salvation. Changing Her teachings would be an injustice to us. It’ll be uncomfortable, but as Pope Benedict said: “We are not made for comfort, we are made for Greatness.”

  • March 26, 2013 9:33 pm
    Anonymous:  If someone had said "a girl with a dressed in - that has a - on her face confessed -" is that breaking the seal of confession?

    Yes. The priest cannot give any identifiable information about a person from a particular confession. Priests take the seal of confession extremely seriously, because it is an extremely serious matter! Breaking the seal of confession is grounds for excommunication and being stripped of one’s duties as a priest for life. 

    As a side note, I have heard that priests often have a difficult time remembering what people confess to them, likely one of the graces of the sacrament. And they hear so many confessions, there’s almost no way they would remember who said what. 

    When talking about things they hear in the confessional, the most I have ever heard a priest say are things along the lines of, “People who struggle with anger and lust usually are dealing with an underlying problem, which just manifests itself in that way,” for example.

    Thank you for your question!

  • November 17, 2012 5:59 pm
    Anonymous:  What makes a confession invalid?

    All the Sacraments must meet three criteria to be valid: they must have correct form & matter and there must be correct disposition.  If anyone of these is not present, the sacrament is deemed invalid.

    Form: The priest must say some form of absolution. It is generally accepted that the words “I absolve you from your sins” are the essential words.

    If these are not said, then the sacrament is invalid.

    Matter: The matter is contrition, confession, and satisfaction. Essentially, is the person truly sorry?  Did they confess all their mortal sins as far as they can remember and in kind and number?  Are you steadfast in desire to amend for your sins, at the very least doing the penance assigned by the confessor if the confessor assigned one?  If the answer to any of these questions is no, the confession might be invalid.

    Disposition: According to forums.catholic.com where I took a comment and adapted it for this post, this essentially means that the confessor needs to be a priest, and the person confessing must be Catholic.

    “Even if there is some question about the validity, remember that Ecclesia supplet (the Church provides): if a priest accidentally forgets some of the words of the ritual or changes them, the Church recognizes the good faith of those gathered and their right to valid sacraments. She provides sacramental validity in the case of a human error or priestly malpractice.”

    - Niko

    (Adapted from a comment on Forums.Catholic.com)

  • November 13, 2012 3:02 pm
    therainbowcatholic-deactivated2:  I'm not sure how to approach this, but when I made my first confession, and then remembered things I wanted to confess after that, was my confession made invalid?

    Not at all!

    While we should make a sincere effort to remember everything, absolution is not invalid because we legitimately forgot something. (As the last confession post shows, there’s a difference between genuinely forgetting, and deliberately concealing.)

    However, it is our duty to remember it for next time, and confess it then. (Some priests will tell you that’s unnecessary, but that is inconsistent with the teaching of the Church. If we are conscious of a sin we have never confessed, it is our duty to confess it.)

  • November 12, 2012 12:43 pm
    Anonymous:  What are the rules for receiving the Eucharist after you sin?

    Although it is encouraged to go to Confession after any type of sin, being able to receive the Eucharist depends on whether or not the sin was mortal or venial.

    If you are in a state of grace (ie: have not committed a mortal sin), then you may receive communion. The Confiteor at the beginning of Mass (like any Act of Contrition) forgives all venial sins, as does receiving the Eucharist Itself. 

    If you have committed a mortal sin, then you must not receive Holy Communion until after receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance. (Receiving the Eucharist while in a state of mortal sin is in itself a mortal sin. It is a grave offence against the Blessed Sacrament.)

    1 Corinthians 11:27-29: “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgmenton himself.” 

  • August 14, 2012 5:01 pm
    Anonymous:  How are the indulgences that Pope Benedict is encouraging different from the indulgences that caused such a scandal during the time of the reformation? What's the difference between an indulgence and penance?

    Hi Anon!

    I have two links for you. I hope they can answer your question!

    In Christ,

    -Olivier

  • July 23, 2012 10:52 pm
    Anonymous:  Are non-catholics allowed to go to reconciliation? why or why not?

    Code of Canon Law 844 §4 says:

    If the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it, Catholic ministers administer these same sacraments licitly also to other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who seek such on their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed.

    If you’re a baptised Christian (baptised with water and in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit), you may licitly receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation provided it is a grave circumstance (it’s usually the case that death is imminent) and you truly believe in the Sacrament (i.e. you must believe that the priest who is hearing your confession has the authority to forgive sins in persona Christi, and that forgiveness only comes with true guilt and a resolve to sin no more). 

    God bless.

    -Olivier

  • July 18, 2012 8:31 pm
    Anonymous:  Say intelligent aliens land on our planet. After a few years, they've decided they want to willingly become Roman Catholics. Do we put them through RCIA and sacramentally initiate them?

    Yes, we do. As long as they are cognizant (have an eternal soul) and want to be baptised, then we baptise, catechise, and minister sacraments to them!

    Brother Guy Consolmagno, from the Vatican’s astronomical observatory, says more in these articles

    (Ignore the part where it says “The discovery of aliens would raise huge theological problems for the Roman Catholic church that would make the debate over women priests, clerical abstinence and contraception pale into insignificance.” I don’t see what “theological problems” there are, and it’s funny that they didn’t point any of them out…)

    Pax vobiscum!

    -Olivier