Tag Archives: Priest

Welcome the Black SheepDog

The above video announcement may come to a surprise for many. I must confess it kind of did for me. With the many things that I have seen and experienced it sort of did not as well.

John Corapi’s announcement will certainly lead to many comments from armchair Canon Lawyers and Christian pundits many of which will contain judgements against and/or for one side or another. This brothers and sisters is something that I truly encourage you against.

What is evident in this message is that John Corapi is expressing pain. Pain that his public service to the Body of Christ, that is the Church, in a public capacity has seemingly been cut short, again, for one reason or another. From what has been said and what has not been said – Corapi’s statements ring true. In a world filled with pressures from all angles, the Bishop of Corpus Christi, acting in his capacity, has done what he feels is best. Corapi too, has done the same.

What is transpiring is ultimately a matter of faith for all involved including those of us who are simply watching from the nose-bleed seats. In the case of John Corapi, he is the third high-profile priest who, in recent years, has suffered accusations of impropriety: Fr. Thomas Euteneuer and Fr. Alberto Cutié being the other two.

However, there are distinctions among all three men:

  1. Fr. Alberto Cutié was accused and admitted to failing in his vows. This occurred with an adult female whom he later “married.” Cutié admitted his part but blamed it, somewhat, on celibacy (thought he could not truly pin it on that, as per an interview on Al Kresta’s show). He never officially left the priesthood.
  2. Fr. Thomas Euteneuer was accused and admitted to being unchaste though never actually engaging in the “marital” act with an adult woman. In this case, the exorcist and former head of Human Life International worked within the system and remains, officially, a priest though is now out of the spotlight. Not much has been heard from since.
  3. Fr. John Corapi was accused and never admitted to any impropriety with an (or any) adult woman. Nothing has been proven and he continues to proclaim his innocence. He now chooses to continue his “ministry” outside of the priesthood and the governance of the Church, so to speak. His departure from serving publicly as a priest was or is being done in the appropriate manner.

This is the key difference. Between all three men – Corapi is innocent (until proven guilty) and is working within Canon Law as he sees fit to continue serving Christ.

Corapi’s departure from serving publicly as a priest comes as a blow to the Church indeed, however, it does not even come close to what some have said about him. Corapi gives no sign of giving up on anything. He is simply doing what Christ asked of him and all of us: he is carrying his cross to Calvary.

May God bless him and may Mary wipe his tears with her mantle.

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CNA: Catholic leaders rip ‘ludicrous’ article that argues celibacy causes abuse

The Catholic News Agency recently posted a story on how leaders in the Church responded quickly and forcefully to a poor excuse of an article written in the National Catholic Reporter, otherwise known as the National Catholic Fish-wrap.

Here are some highlights:

.- Catholic leaders are calling a recent National Catholic Reporter article “ludicrous” after it criticized Kansas City Bishop Robert W. Finn and compared him to the scandal-plagued New York Rep. Anthony Weiner and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Writer Phyllis Zagano said in her June 8 piece for the Reporter that Bishop Finn – who recently apologized for failing to deal swiftly with a priest whom police found possessed questionable photos  – could also be compared to mogul Dominique Strauss Kahn, who was arrested for sexually assaulting a hotel maid.

“None of these four players speaking loudly on the stages of politics and finance seems to have much respect for women, or anyone else for that matter,” said Zagano, a former professor at Fordham University in New York.

Her criticism of Bishop Finn comes after he publicly expressed his remorse for neglecting to heed warnings about local priest Fr. Shawn Ratigan that were raised in a letter sent by Saint Patrick School principal Julie Hess to the diocese’s vicar general. The letter detailed parents’ concerns about the priest’s behavior around children.

However, Zagano’s remarks did not sit well with Catholic League president Bill Donohue and the internationally-known author Fr. Alfred McBride, O Praem., who both believe she went too far.

“Arnold Schwarzenegger impregnates his housekeeper, Rep. Anthony Weiner sends porn pictures of himself to strangers, and Dominque Strauss-Kahn allegedly rapes a hotel maid,” Donohue said.

“To be sure, they have something in common, but to conflate their sordid behavior with Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert W. Finn’s failure to move quickly against a problem priest is so forced as to be ludicrous,” he told CNA in a June 12 interview.

“That, however, is exactly what Phyllis Zagano has done.”

Zagano also criticized Bishop Finn’s celibate formation, saying she felt “sorry for him” that he entered seminary at age 12. She wrote that the bishop is a “product a system left over from the Council of Trent,” which directed dioceses to create minor seminaries to provide initial formation for diocesan clergy.

“An all-male environment from the age of twelve can ensure celibacy, but at what price?” Zagano said. “If the only way to get celibate clergy is to lock up twelve-year-olds until they are ordained, maybe the hierarchy should reconsider requiring priestly celibacy.”

Donohue said in response that “her lashing out at Bishop Finn, and her inane analogies comparing Finn to sexual deviants in public life, smacks of an agenda.”

Fr. Alfred McBride, a professor at St. Norbert’s College in Wisconsin who has helped form hundreds of seminarians, also took on Zagano’s criticism of priestly celibacy. He told CNA that it’s inaccurate to blame celibacy for sexual misconduct or mismanagement of cases within the Church.

“When we look at the celebrity politicians of late who broke their marital promises to their wives, did that happen because they were married?” he asked. “No. It happened because they failed to nurture their vow of fidelity which they pronounced on their wedding.”

Fr. McBride, a popular speaker who’s authored over 40 books and appeared regularly on TV networks such as EWTN, said that the “central issue of our culture is fidelity, not adultery or sex abuse.”

“Whether one is married or celibate, the virtue of fidelity is central to their lives.”

“Marriage does not cause adultery,” he added. “An evil soul causes that. So also celibacy does not cause what Pope Benedict calls the ‘filth’ of sex abuse, but the permission given by priests to let evil overtake their souls.”

Fr. McBride said that the real reason for sex abuse and sexual misconduct by priests is not celibacy but “the failure to practice the virtue of chastity when faced with temptations to abandon their vow of celibacy.”

He noted that people often make the unfortunate mistake of defining celibacy in a negative way as if it’s simply the act of giving up marriage and children.

However, “the positive view of celibacy,” he said,  “is that it is a form of loving God and people with an undivided heart.”

Celibacy did not block Blessed John Paul II from being admired as one of the most courageous priests on earth,” Fr. McBride underscored. “See how one celibate priest stood up against one of the most corrupt governments of his time.” 

Priests that abused children did not do so because of their celibacy, rather they failed because they broke their vow to be chaste,” he said.

“When four million people elbowed their way into the Vatican to pay tribute to a celibate priest, what does that tell you? It states that John Paul knew how to keep his promises,” he said, referring to Bl. John Paul II’s funeral.

via Catholic News Agency

The piece that originated in the National Catholic Reporter is poor and judgemental to say the least. However, there is not much one can expect from a consistently dissident and unfaithful publication that purports to call itself “Catholic” when it is anything but.

On the issue of priestly celibacy, Father McBride sums up the root of the problem when he said, “Priests that abused children did not do so because of their celibacy, rather they failed because they broke their vow to be chaste.”

This brings me to another issue. And that is the one that is not commonly reported on – the homosexual nature of the majority of these cases. The vast majority of reported priestly unchastity with minors occurs with teenage boys. Psych texts and professionals have a term, which escapes me know, for this type of attraction and that word is not pedophilia. A pedophile is one who has this unnatural attraction to little kids.

Many of these abusive priests do not fall in this category but rather have an attraction to boys/young men who are reproductively viable but are nonetheless minors. That means that these priests are preying on boys whose bodies are otherwise mature. This is homosexual attraction and desires.

Again the main issue is unchastity to the priest’s state in life. The same goes for accusations levied against Fr. John Corapi and the admissions of Fr. Thomas Euteneuer and the deplorable conduct of Albert Cutie. The difference between the former and many of the abusive priests is a) consenting age – of course – and b) gender.

Priestly celibacy is not the cause of this sin – falling into temptation is the cause of this sin. Let us reflect on the holy and good nature of celibacy whether one is a priest, a religious or even a consecrated single person:

I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

— Saint Paul on the unmarried and widows, 1 Corinthians 7:32-35

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Responding to “Liberalism in the Catholic Church”

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Image via Wikipedia

EMBLEM OF THE PAPACY: TRIPLE TIARA AND KEYS

First I would like to note that the following comment came from a friend on Facebook who was responding to my own endorsement of “Liberalism in the Catholic Church” a fine post on the Called to Communion website. The author of the post begins:

Catholicism is a religion of truth, not opinion. This truth is a divinely revealed truth, not simply one we make up as we go along. Be that as it may, it is no secret that the Catholic Church is beset by certain elements that reject the revealed truth of the faith. It is a spirit that seeks to overturn revealed truth in favor of modern capitulations. It is an idea that the revealed truth is ‘outdated’ and needs to be revised because modern man is, well, modern. This spirit is often called ‘Liberalism.’

He goes on to quote the famous Anglican convert and Blessed John Cardinal Henry Newman who defines liberalism in religion as:

Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining force and substance daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion, as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy. Devotion is not necessarily founded on faith. Men may go to Protestant Churches and to Catholic, may get good from both and belong to neither. They may fraternize together in spiritual thoughts and feelings, without having any views at all of doctrine in common, or seeing the need of them. (Blessed John Henry Newman’s Roman Address of 1879 as quoted in “Letters to a Young Catholic” by George Weigel)

In my posting or commenting on this article on Facebook (how it ended up there I am not exactly sure but whatever) I simply stated that the author’s observations were on point and liberalism of this sort and absolute Truth do not get on well.
My friend, whom I believe is a baptized Catholic and knew well back in the dark days of my youth stated the following:

There are some sticky issues here. Why can’t women lead? Why can’t priest marry? These are not biblically inspired rather they are tradition. The article is right– liberalism and tradition do not mix. Some of the faithful want progress while others want a return (or more entrenched) to traditionalism. The Church is about community and this ‘split’ causes conflict and division. However, by dismissing the opinions of liberals (and saying it is all their fault), the Church loses some of its essence as well.

For me none of these issues are sticky and the Church’s response, as usual, more that just Biblical it follows in the line of Sacred Tradition, which is that part of the Deposit of Faith verbally passed on from the Apostles themselves. Let me get the meat.


Why can’t women lead?
The issue here is not whether women can lead or not it is why is it that women cannot be ordained priests? To address the actual text, women have, can and do lead. Take a look at our mothers, nuns, bulk of teachers and catechists and most importantly the role of women in Salvation History – most importantly Our Lady. The manner in which our Creator designed us is to function as a complementary pair. That is to say that each gender has a role but work in unity to accomplish the goal.

Now, when thinking in terms of why women cannot be ordained, this is simpler to address. Jesus is a man – a male. And every validly ordained priest acts in the person of Christ when they are celebrating Mass, hearing confessions, etc. (Oh, and there is the fact that there is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit who is the spouse of the Blessed Virgin as a woman cannot impregnate a woman.) Add to this the fact that Jesus Himself did not select any woman (His Mother surely would have been at the top of the list) to share in His priesthood in this ministerial fashion and the case is closed. Not so for liberals.

Religious liberals in the Church wrongly identify the nature of the Church, her authority and the essence of the ministerial priesthood by somehow getting the idea that the Church can change something that is part of the Deposit of Faith. No where in the Church’s over 2,000-year history can anyone see that a woman was ordained a priest. This is a fact of life and cannot be changed but by God Himself.


Why can’t priests marry?
Back in the day I asked my dad this very question and he boiled it down to a simple point that my five-year-old mind could understand: priests are married to the Church. Again, priests act in persona Christi and both Saint Paul and Saint John speak of Church as the bride of Christ but the relationship is probably best recognized Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

Let’s do some math: L = H + W. L is for LOVE, H is for HUSBAND and W is for WIFE so if HUSBAND = CHRIST [PRIEST] and WIFE = CHURCH [CHURCH] then a priest loves the Church as a wife and is thus married to her. Oh, and then there is this passage from the Saint Paul:

This is one of the base points for the discipline of Clerical celibacy at the ordination of unmarried men. Wikipedia says this of clerical celibacy:

Clerical celibacy is the discipline by which some or all members of the clergy in certain religions are required to be unmarried. Since these religions consider sinful deliberate sexual thoughts, feelings, and behavior outside of marriage, clerical celibacy also requires abstension from these.[1] In the Latin Catholic Church, clerical celibacy is mandated for bishops and, as a general rule, for priests and for deacons who intend to become priests. In Eastern Christianity, celibacy is mandatory for all bishops and for any priest who has been ordained while unmarried or who has lost his wife.

Now, there are married priests in the Church, even in the Latin Rite. This is because there is a difference between discipline and doctrine. Disciplines can, in theory, be changes. That said, strong evidence in the Deposit of Faith (Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition) make this highly – extremely – unlikely.


The Faithful Want Progress
If you are faithful and want progress then seek to adhere to the teachings of the Church, which is the sole authorized, visible representative of Christ on Earth. “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Luke 10:16).

Any person who wants to truly progress in their faith need only follow the Word, which means accepting Jesus Christ, His Church and the Sacraments He left for us: Baptism, Reconciliation, Communion, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick. A little Eucharistic Adoration and a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother doesn’t hurt either.

Oh, on splits and divisions. John the Baptist said this of Jesus and what Our Blessed Lord will do with the wheat and the chaff:

“His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”  (Luke 3:17)

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Responding to "Liberalism in the Catholic Church"

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keysImage via Wikipedia
EMBLEM OF THE PAPACY: TRIPLE TIARA AND KEYS

First I would like to note that the following comment came from a friend on Facebook who was responding to my own endorsement of “Liberalism in the Catholic Church” a fine post on the Called to Communion website. The author of the post begins:

Catholicism is a religion of truth, not opinion. This truth is a divinely revealed truth, not simply one we make up as we go along. Be that as it may, it is no secret that the Catholic Church is beset by certain elements that reject the revealed truth of the faith. It is a spirit that seeks to overturn revealed truth in favor of modern capitulations. It is an idea that the revealed truth is ‘outdated’ and needs to be revised because modern man is, well, modern. This spirit is often called ‘Liberalism.’

He goes on to quote the famous Anglican convert and Blessed John Cardinal Henry Newman who defines liberalism in religion as:

Liberalism in religion is the doctrine that there is no positive truth in religion, but that one creed is as good as another, and this is the teaching which is gaining force and substance daily. It is inconsistent with any recognition of any religion, as true. It teaches that all are to be tolerated, for all are matters of opinion. Revealed religion is not a truth, but a sentiment and a taste; not an objective fact, not miraculous; and it is the right of each individual to make it say just what strikes his fancy. Devotion is not necessarily founded on faith. Men may go to Protestant Churches and to Catholic, may get good from both and belong to neither. They may fraternize together in spiritual thoughts and feelings, without having any views at all of doctrine in common, or seeing the need of them. (Blessed John Henry Newman’s Roman Address of 1879 as quoted in “Letters to a Young Catholic” by George Weigel)

In my posting or commenting on this article on Facebook (how it ended up there I am not exactly sure but whatever) I simply stated that the author’s observations were on point and liberalism of this sort and absolute Truth do not get on well.
My friend, whom I believe is a baptized Catholic and knew well back in the dark days of my youth stated the following:

There are some sticky issues here. Why can’t women lead? Why can’t priest marry? These are not biblically inspired rather they are tradition. The article is right— liberalism and tradition do not mix. Some of the faithful want progress while others want a return (or more entrenched) to traditionalism. The Church is about community and this ‘split’ causes conflict and division. However, by dismissing the opinions of liberals (and saying it is all their fault), the Church loses some of its essence as well.

For me none of these issues are sticky and the Church’s response, as usual, more that just Biblical it follows in the line of Sacred Tradition, which is that part of the Deposit of Faith verbally passed on from the Apostles themselves. Let me get the meat.


Why can’t women lead?
The issue here is not whether women can lead or not it is why is it that women cannot be ordained priests? To address the actual text, women have, can and do lead. Take a look at our mothers, nuns, bulk of teachers and catechists and most importantly the role of women in Salvation History – most importantly Our Lady. The manner in which our Creator designed us is to function as a complementary pair. That is to say that each gender has a role but work in unity to accomplish the goal.

Now, when thinking in terms of why women cannot be ordained, this is simpler to address. Jesus is a man – a male. And every validly ordained priest acts in the person of Christ when they are celebrating Mass, hearing confessions, etc. (Oh, and there is the fact that there is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit who is the spouse of the Blessed Virgin as a woman cannot impregnate a woman.) Add to this the fact that Jesus Himself did not select any woman (His Mother surely would have been at the top of the list) to share in His priesthood in this ministerial fashion and the case is closed. Not so for liberals.

Religious liberals in the Church wrongly identify the nature of the Church, her authority and the essence of the ministerial priesthood by somehow getting the idea that the Church can change something that is part of the Deposit of Faith. No where in the Church’s over 2,000-year history can anyone see that a woman was ordained a priest. This is a fact of life and cannot be changed but by God Himself.


Why can’t priests marry?
Back in the day I asked my dad this very question and he boiled it down to a simple point that my five-year-old mind could understand: priests are married to the Church. Again, priests act in persona Christi and both Saint Paul and Saint John speak of Church as the bride of Christ but the relationship is probably best recognized Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

Let’s do some math: L = H + W. L is for LOVE, H is for HUSBAND and W is for WIFE so if HUSBAND = CHRIST [PRIEST] and WIFE = CHURCH [CHURCH] then a priest loves the Church as a wife and is thus married to her. Oh, and then there is this passage from the Saint Paul:

This is one of the base points for the discipline of Clerical celibacy at the ordination of unmarried men. Wikipedia says this of clerical celibacy:

Clerical celibacy is the discipline by which some or all members of the clergy in certain religions are required to be unmarried. Since these religions consider sinful deliberate sexual thoughts, feelings, and behavior outside of marriage, clerical celibacy also requires abstension from these.[1] In the Latin Catholic Church, clerical celibacy is mandated for bishops and, as a general rule, for priests and for deacons who intend to become priests. In Eastern Christianity, celibacy is mandatory for all bishops and for any priest who has been ordained while unmarried or who has lost his wife.

Now, there are married priests in the Church, even in the Latin Rite. This is because there is a difference between discipline and doctrine. Disciplines can, in theory, be changes. That said, strong evidence in the Deposit of Faith (Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition) make this highly – extremely – unlikely.


The Faithful Want Progress
If you are faithful and want progress then seek to adhere to the teachings of the Church, which is the sole authorized, visible representative of Christ on Earth. “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Luke 10:16).

Any person who wants to truly progress in their faith need only follow the Word, which means accepting Jesus Christ, His Church and the Sacraments He left for us: Baptism, Reconciliation, Communion, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick. A little Eucharistic Adoration and a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother doesn’t hurt either.

Oh, on splits and divisions. John the Baptist said this of Jesus and what Our Blessed Lord will do with the wheat and the chaff:

“His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”  (Luke 3:17)

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Love 4:20? Tune In To Kresta in the Afternoon

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4:20 – Al Challenges Former Priest Alberto Cutie
Alberto Cutie, also known as “Father ‘Oprah‘” due to his frequent radio and television appearances was formerly a priest of the Archdiocese of Miami. He has now written a self-justifying book entitled Dilemma: A Priest’s Struggle With Faith and Love. The book is his attempt to justify his double life which was exposed in May of 2009 when the paparazzi photographed him on a Miami beach in the arms of his “girlfriend.” He quickly made a public showing of his departure from the priesthood, marriage, and entry into the Anglican clerical state. But the scandal is not ended. His new book makes sure of that as it attacks the Church and continues to lead the faithful astray with his outrageous claims and skewed theology. It is for this reason that Al has decided to challenge him and expose his deception, false teaching, and accommodation to the world.

Listen live at Ave Maria Radio

Listen to the podcast: Kresta in the Afternoon