Some Of My Favorite Things

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Thomas Mirror

I just had a long conversation with a good friend about the new revelations coming out of Rome. Apparently, Pope Benedict XVI received a fully documented report on one or more homosexual rings of bishops and/or cardinals operating within the Vatican. These homosexual rings were affecting Vatican policy and praxis. According to the reports, Benedict resigned, in part, because he was overwhelmed by the extraordinary evil these homosexual rings represented.

My friend was concerned.

"Which priest," asked my friend, "can we trust anymore? How can a sodomite priest in a state of mortal sin actually pretend to give me a sacrament? How can I take the Body and Blood of Christ from a pervert?"

Good questions.
There are many aspects to the answer.

To the first question, the answer is "None of them. You can't trust any priest not to be a pervert, you can't trust any man to be as holy as he is held out to be. Ordination does NOT guarantee holiness, it does not protect a man against sinning. In fact, it makes him open to MORE temptations, more opportunity for sin, precisely because he becomes satan's special target by the fact of his ordination."

"But, to answer the second question, we have to realize that our trust is in the sacrament, not in the priest. I am saved by the sacraments, not by the priest. The sins of the priest are not communicated to the Body of Christ nor to me. He cannot sin for me, he cannot give me his sin or take away my grace, and he certainly can do nothing to God, present in every one of the sacraments. His sin is his own, to clutch to his breast as he descends into the horrors of hell. An active sodomite commits the most grievous sin of sacrilege when he consecrates the Eucharist or gives absolution. But his sin of sacrilege does not change the holiness of my encounter with Christ."

And as I spoke with my friend, it occured to me that we are all the Apostle Thomas now.

Remember Thomas?
He had lived for years with his friends, the apostles, all following Christ around Galilee, listening to Him, watching Him. He knew the kind of men his friends were. Jesus called His apostles many things, and almost never did He call them nice things.

When these men told Thomas, "We have seen the risen Christ!", Thomas recalled all of this.
He knew these men.
He had lived with them.
He knew the kind of men they were.

So when they told him this, Thomas responded in a reasonable way.
"Yeah, I don't believe you festering idiots, you cowards."

And how did Christ respond?

"Thomas, come and put your fingers in my side. See? It really is me.
Yes, I know the people who told you I was risen are cowards and idiots. I don't disagree with you. You should have believed them anyway. Not because THEY are trustworthy. They aren't. But because you knew ME."

"Thomas, you walked with Me.
You knew I could do it.
You knew I had the power to do it.
Yeah, they are idiots, but you should have trusted them because you trusted ME."

I don't trust that the priest is holy.
In fact, there have been occasions when, given a choice of priests, I have deliberately chosen to go to confession to the priest who had been unjust to me, because I knew I had to trust Christ, not the priest.

We encounter Christ in the sacraments, not the priest.
And insofar as we encounter the priest in the sacrament, the priest has injected himself into a relationship he has no business in. The priest is superfluous, unimportant, essential only in the sense that God chooses to deliver Himself to me through the priest.

The sacraments matter.
The priest, and whatever sins he commited, do not.

Oh, yes, he shouldn't have committed those sins.
Absolutely the Church should be cleansed of the sodomites - you'll get no disagreement from me on that. It is a sin for a bishop to ordain even a non-active homosexual.

But, ultimately, the Church is about my relationship with Christ via the sacraments. The priest is the janitor in the house of God. His service is important, but the house doesn't exist to keep the janitor employed. The house exists for me to meet and live with my Spouse, the living Christ.

We are not meant to look through a mirror, darkly.
We must look past the idiots, even the idiots in our morning mirrors, so that we can gaze upon the face of God.

16 comments:

TH2 said...

To paraphrase Bishop Sheen: just because the light shines through a dirty window does not mean that the light as such is corrupt.

This is an important post because it correctly demonstrates that things are not dependent on immanent "man" as such, with all his sinful behaviours, but directly correlate with God, omnipotent, omniscient, true and faithful.

Ron Van Wegen said...

If you met ten police and you knew personally that each one of them was corrupt it would be difficult to believe that the next one you met was honest. However, we are required to believe that he *is* honest unless we have direct information that he isn't. Difficult? Absolutely. Impossible? No. Required by charity? Yes.

S said...

"It is a sin for a bishop to ordain even a non-active homosexual."

So when will the post Vatican 2 Church begin to discuss the validity of the sacraments? Seminarians are given ample time to confess mortal sin prior to ordination. If they 'hold back' illicit sexual behavior there ordination is invalid and illicit. No? Even a confession in these matters needs a firm purpose of amendment to be valid.

Also: The phrase "non-active homosexual" is uncharitable. Would we label somebody a non-active thief or a non-active prostitute?

Reality Check: I own a first edition of the latest catechism. The second is the universally accepted version, however in the 1st - it essentially states that God made homosexuals that way. Follow the trail and you will see the Cardinals responsible for the publication of the 1st edition are some of the 'ring leaders'.

And Finally: Priests who present as effeminate perhaps may not be culpable for any sin, they may simply be victims of poor formation. Laymen have an obligation to take these men aside in charity and the spirit if fraternal correction show them their error - Be a man, like our Savior.

JAK said...

Steve,

Your statement that the sacraments matter, but the priest does not is incorrect. Without the priest, we do not have access to the Holy Eucharist. That is why they matter. It's too easy to dismiss them and go the protestant route of no mediation. And it's wrong. It's laicism, pure and simple.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

"If they 'hold back' illicit sexual behavior there ordination is invalid and illicit. No?"

No. The ordination is still valid, although illicit.

My statements concerning the importance of the priest are accurate. Ordained men have three duties: to teach, to govern, to sanctify. A priest is necessary only insofar as those three things are delivered and unnecessary beyond that.

To say otherwise is to adhere to the sin of clericalism.

Insofar as his teaching and governance goes, we are required to pay attention to him only insofar as he adheres to the Church. Beyond that, we are required to ignore him.

S said...

I am not an expert, however.
If a sacrament is received under a
false pretense how can it possibly be valid? It doesn't seem to make sense.
Logically - If the Bishops knows the priest to be ordained is an active unrepentant sodomite and performs the rite - it would be illicit. If the seminarian is an active sodomite and does not confess and repent of this sin - it (the ordination) would be invalid.

I wish this were a hypothetical case. I personally know several instances of this occurring. I have been called a heretic for raising the issue.

I suppose due to modernist dominated thought there may be diminished culpability at this point...up until now.

V2 has come home to roost indeed.

Can we get definitive dogmatic references in the Valid/illicit question?

Steve Kellmeyer said...

S, what you are saying CANNOT be true.

If the ordination of a homosexual were actually invalid, instead of just being illicit, then NONE of the sacraments he attempts would be valid either.

He would not validly consecrate the Eucharist, give absolution, witness to a marriage or confer anointing of the sick. No homosexual bishop (and we know Gumbleton, for one, was an actively homosexual bishop) would have conferred valid orders on any man, which means even the straight men he ordained aren't really priests.

We would have thousands of people walking around THINKING they were attending valid Masses, receiving valid absolutions, etc., but not ACTUALLY receiving them.

If any of this were the case, Rome would tearing up the floorboards to root these people out as quickly as possible (as is seen with women's ordination).

She's clearly not doing that.
Therefore, it can only be illicit, not invalid.

carolyn said...

Thanks for the reply.
Again I am not an expert.
And I agree the implications are catastrophic. That being said:
"what you are saying CANNOT be true"
is not a very compelling argument.

If invalid/illicit situation occurs which it clearly does. Then the Faithful are participating in a spiritual communion at the service and not actually receiving Christ truly present in the Eucharist at Mass. Hopefully, they would be participating in a protestant church service, and not a sacrilege.

There are several fascinating and earth shattering intellectual roads to go down if this in fact the case.

If it were true, Baptisms with proper form, matter and intent would still be valid. Perfect contrition of the faithful would allow for cleansing of mortal sin. In other words: the gates of Hell still would not prevail.

And finally, "Rome would tearing up the floorboards to root these people out as quickly as possible."
Given that we all will be officially sedavacatists as of 8pm today, and Pope Benedict's unprecedented move, I'd say we are in the midst of a profound house cleaning indeed.

I believe the sodomite invalid/illicit question needs to be considered by the Church Militant.
When faced with the profound weirdness in some Homo-Novo circles the conclusion we fear may actually offer a rather simple comforting answer. - I need to attend Mass elsewhere.

Pray for Holy priests. You'll likely find them facing the alter.

Thoughts?

S said...

8:41 am posting above by S not Carolyn

Steve Kellmeyer said...

No, carolyn, you don't understand.

If homosexual ordination were invalid, then it would be IDENTICAL in every respect to female ordination, which is DEFINITELY invalid.

Now, Rome instantly attacks every attempt at female ordination, publishes far and wide that female ordination is futile, instantly publishes excommunication of all involved.

If homosexual ordination were invalid, She would be REQUIRED to do the same. If what you say is true, then when Gumbleton came out as an active homosexual, Rome would have had to have declared all of Gumbleton's ordinations null and void.

But She didn't.
She didn't even HINT that this was the case.

Therefore your position has to be false. Unless you want to argue that you understand canon law and sacramental theology better than the Pope and the Curia. And you've already said you are no expert in these areas.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

"Pray for Holy priests. You'll likely find them facing the alter. "

And I take exception to that as well.

Martin Luther was a priest of the Church. He faced the altar his whole life.

In fact, EVERY major heretic the Church has ever faced celebrated facing the altar. Strictly speaking, the liturgy is no test for which priests are holy and which are not.

S said...

Oh for crying OUT LOUD relax.

FYI Carolyn is not posting - just me
named S.

Its your blog, OK?
I am simply asking some questions about the faith.

I think ordination of active, notorious, or for the fellas who are 'as gay as a sleigh ride' is wrong.
I think it is certainly as bad as so-called female ordination.
I don't hate these people - I just think they aren't qualified.

The pussy footing around the dam issue is the problem. I'm from Boston and know the troubles brought about by priests in the lost boys club. Have we learned nothing?

"Rome instantly attacks"?
You can't be serious.
The Vatican is Prudent for sure,
I've been to Rome, I know my Church and it is anything but 'fast acting'. In fact its 'slowness' and transcendent quality is one of my favorite things about it. 'This too shall pass' is their admirable approach. In fact many inside likely thought this approach would work with sissies with in - little did they know they network better than a free mason handshake.

I wouldn't know Gumbleton if I ran into him at a gay bar, but if what I suggest is true - is there a better instant attack than prayer and say;
a discrete Moto Proprio on the Latin Mass? I certainly could claim it to be a hint, for sure.

If you take exception to my subtle reference to the Latin Mass you are a dope.

I am not a lunatic fringe traditionalist looney, but find me one priest that currently offers what Benedict XVI labeled "The Extraordinary Form" who you do not consider a holy man, and I'll eat Bishop Gumbleton's Mitre. Just one.

Are there solid priests who do not offer the Latin Mass? I will go out on a limb and say yes. In 20 years? No. Are you paying attention?

The layman's test for holiness is a bit imprecise. Discernment however is a gift from God.


In all seriousness, thanks for your efforts and this blog.




Steve Kellmeyer said...

Well, I won't name the priest, but I am currently attending an FSSP parish, and I don't consider one of the priests there to be a holy man.

In fact, half the time I think he's a raving lunatic. He's an absolutely lousy confessor, one of the worst homilists it has ever been my privilege to listen to, and regularly given to pronouncing absolutely false statements from the ambo without any prior warning. You can read an earlier post of mine on Catholic Homiletic Porn for an example of his homilies. So there's the "one man" you wanted.

If you don't know about Bishop Gumbleton, go look him up. It will be instructive.

As for your primary claim - asserting a priest's ordination invalid is a pretty serious claim. What you say cannot be true. Period. I've never heard anyone but you make the claim, there's no basis for it in canon law, there's no basis for laying such a claim in the way Rome treats known homosexual priests. There is simply no evidence that what you claim can be true. None.

S said...

Fair enough,
send me the Mitre, bon appetit.

Mine is a subjective experience of a Boston Catholic. I can tell you first hand accounts of the prowling of some priests that would make your guy look like St. John of the Cross.

I'm skipping the fact finding on Gumbleton. I trust you.

My claim, in some ways in the gravest of accusations that a Catholic could bring forth.

If there is a secret society of sodomites within the Church (which there is) it is truly diabolical in nature. Being diabolical in nature one of the primary targets would likely be The Source and Summit of the Faith.

S said...

Upon further consideration.

"What you say cannot be true. Period."

A paradigm is defined by the strength of it's hold on the accepted model or perception.
Vatican 2 was such a shift, we may be at a cross roads of a similar event.

If any ordination is deemed dogmatically valid then an ordination that lacks the qualities required for validity would be invalid.

A psychotic or drugged Bishop would be 2 pretty clear examples.

If a candidate presents himself for ordination under false pretense then that ordination also would be deemed to be invalid and illicit if the Bishop is aware of the impediment.

A female disguised as a male or a 'spy' planted to destroy the church from within would be 2 examples.I know these examples sound goofy, but remember we are a Church that holds Fatima as worthy of belief.

I am obviously not a canon lawyer just trying to think with the church.

The turn of events in Rome these days are nothing if not unprecedented. It is to be expected that they push us out of our comfort zone and excepted paradigm.

Regardless of what the press seems to imply - you don't just have a retirement party for a Pope. The Holy Ghost is moving profoundly.

The issues surrounding the 'lost boys' in positions of authority are real. It has already cost the faithful over 1$ billion. (That is 1000 million $.) Would these clowns loose any sleep if the integrity of the sacraments were compromised?

The Bishops staff has a hook on one end to bring the sheep back into the fold. The other end has a sharp point to stab the wolf. Thank God for both ends.

Tony said...

S. Said:

"If a candidate presents himself for ordination under false pretense then that ordination also would be deemed to be invalid and illicit if the Bishop is aware of the impediment."

And if the Bishop is unaware? Does that render him valid and licit, or valid and illicit?

The efficacy of the sacraments does not rely on the sanctity of the celebrating priest.

As someone in formal inquiry into the premanent diaconate, I am eternally grateful for that (knowing the sinner I am).