Friday, July 29, 2011

Sexual Thoughts

A Franciscan priest friend of mine a few years ago fell down the escalator on the tube, it was always his practice to keep his eyes lowered to avoid seeing the semi-pornographic ads, he used to say, "I am a man, I'm a bit too fragile to cope with all that naked flesh". I have tried it in Brighton but I tend to bump into things.

I had to visit one of my parishioners who lives on the edge "pink" Brighton. It was a mistake to go on a warm summer's evening, I did my best not to look at what was happening in a couple of door ways on my way there but it is a little difficult to close one's ears. I don't get shocked when I see same sex couples holding hands, I look at the pavement if they are kissing. On my way home just a few doors away from where she lives I had to go past the entrance of one of Brighton's more notorious clubs, I had heard its name, because it was a bit of a scandal a few years ago when it was revealed it was owned by an Anglican clergyman but as it it is just outside my parish I didn't know where it was. Some of the men outside were barely dressed, others were dressed in such a way that they were obviously displaying their particular fetish. I was shocked to see amongst the small throng someone I knew.

I have always thought it was a priestly virtue to be naive, shortsighted and hard of hearing, always to presume goodness, moral virtue and the love of God in others. But what when people I am called to love and be a pastor to are plainly damaging themselves and are a scandal to others within our community I am in a moral quandary.

As far as sexual morality is concerned, we clergy, me, are rather afraid to say anything. None of us want to confront from the pulpit a situation where a great number of leading parishioners are living lives out of communion with Christ nor does anyone want be known as Fr X who always speaks about sex. And perhaps at Mass with a mixed congregation it perhaps not the easiest situation to speak about sex, adultery, prostitution, fornication, masturbation, homosexuality, sexual fantasies, sexual fetishes or even contraception. Maybe it might be more easily dealt with by a bishop in a carefully crafted pastoral letter.

The problem is this not an issue bishops concern themselves with, indeed as we have seen with the Warwick Street Mass not only does the Archbishop of Westminster seem to be telling people to keep their noses out of the matter "and their tongues still" but we are told Cardinal Levada and therefore the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has given such celebrations his blessing, with the implication that not just tolerance of such lifestyles and sexual activity, but even support, is expected from other clergy. The same Archbishop when asked about the Church and gay marriage said that we don't know what was in the future! Indeeed one bishop even wrote a Pastoral Letter suggested people go to see a film about two homosexual lovers. I have no problem with brotherly love, or even sisterly love, for some that is all they will ever have. I do have a problem with those things which are directly contrary to the Church's teaching. I must say I also have a problem with people who use prayer as protest outside churches, they are almost as bad as those who do it inside them.

Confusion in teaching is not helpful! I seem to spend a lot of time with people who seem to have pornographic fantasies going through their minds most of the time. I don't know if Brighton is an exception, maybe the loneliness of many who live here make it so, but I seem to spend a great deal of time dealing with people who are addicted to sex, who seem to prefer the world in their heads or on the internet to reality. The big problem is it evolves and the addiction deepens and take on their own perversities. There are lots of casualties, the individuals, certainly but also marriages and friendship and the whole attitude to Life. Someone whose sexuality is narcisistic and is merely about personal satifaction tends to become almost incapable of responding to anyone elses needs as they age.

One of the problems many of our young people have is that parents are often openly watching the things St Paul says, "should not even be spoken of amongst you". Is this sexual abuse? Yes, but it seems to happen in many of our "families", especially where the father is semi-detached. Where a child has been sexualised from a very early age a great deal of damage is done, it tends to stunt, without Christ, it seems almost impossible to grow to maturity. Now the first generation of children from the age of downloadably porn are coming to adulthood, often seriously hurting, because their sexuality sees others as being objects to be used rather people to be loved.

What we seem incapable of doing is teaching people to control their sexuality, for so many is sexuality which controls them leaving them trapped in prison of their own -or others- making.

81 comments:

parepidemos said...

Dear Fr. Blake,

I cannot begin to imagine the struggles through which you appear to be going. However, I do believe that you have a pastoral heart and want the best for your people - and I am confident that this is apparent to your parishioners, including those who are gay. A beloved priest friend of my family has more than once said that he is to be a lion in the pulpit and a lamb in the confessional. Without doubt, you understand the significance of these words.

If I may be bold, consider the story of the adulteress in John ch.8. Here is a woman who has been dragged (probably naked) by the crowd to the Temple and placed in front of Jesus. However, unlike her accusers, Jesus does not condemn the woman; yet He does send her away before gently challenging her to change her behaviour. In other words, God accepts us where we are, but also beckons us to where we may go.

As you are well aware, one tradition has it that the adulteress was the Magdalene, she who would be honoured, not only by being the first to see the risen Christ, but also the one to share the good news with the frightened, reclusive Apostles. Jesus saw the Magdalene for who she was rather than for what she did and by lovingly revealing this to her, enabled Mary to step from the darkness into the light.

May God's peace be in your heart, Father.

Jacobi said...

"None of us want to confront from the pulpit a situation where a great number of leading parishioners are living lives out of communion with Christ"


Why Father? That is exactly what Christ and his Apostles did. That some walked away did not deter them.
There is a simple remedy after all. Confession and a firm purpose of ammendment!

If you and other priests don't do it, who will? As you implied, you can currently forget our bishops as well as most of our ill-informed catechetists.

One small point. The extensive list of sins you mentioned, any one of which should preclude people from receiving Holy Communion, includes homosexuality. Should that not have read active or participative homosexuality. The inclination as such is surely not a sin.

Richard Collins said...

Thank you Father, excellent post.

Tom Piatak said...

An excellent post.

shane said...

"None of us want to confront from the pulpit..."

Father I believe you are right in this. Is it really appropriate to address sexual issues from the pulpit anyway? Particularly when children are in the pews.

Any discussion on problems concerning the 6th commandment should necessarily be one to one.

kfca said...

You write, "I must say I also have a problem with people who use prayer as protest outside churches, they are almost as bad as those who do it inside them."

If you are referring to those who pray outside Warwick Street, they aren't protesting, they are praying in reparation for all the sacriligious Communions being conferred within that church.

shadowlands said...

There are different ways to rouse man's conscience. An atrophied conscience, sunk deep in the depths of sin needs a God who can make dead things alive again. Or maybe sleeping souls awake. Therefore, priests might want to start prayer and fasting as part of their preparation for preaching. It assists the Holy Spirit when He starts hovering over souls(Mark 9:29).

Regarding the scantily dressed,you could simply shout "OY, YOU LOT, STOP. I AM SENT HERE TO CLOTHE THE NAKED!" However, one way a priest might challenge sinful areas in his congregation's consciences could be to ask how often have they have allowed God's searching light to enter their hearts, in order to expose what is in them? Are there any areas they feel God cannot trespass? If the answer to that question is yes, ask oneself why? What don't we want Him to see? Or rather, what don't we want to admit is in there, to ourselves,that we know shouldn't be? Do we believe some things will remain hidden, not just from our consciences, but forever from the light of day and man and the light of God?

This way Father, you send people home, individually thinking about their unacknowledged areas. They can't fight with you because you haven't judged them, you've asked them to judge themselves and hopefully reminded them that they will have to answer this question to Jesus. We all will. Mention that they might sense a resistance within, suggest they note it down. People these days love to self analyse (I know I do), hence all the self help magazines/programmes.

Be wise in the use of worldly ways, for the sake of the kingdom. If the devil can tie souls up in knots with psycho-analysis, just think what the Holy Spirit wll achieve using God based/graced Wisdom that illumines the soul, let alone the mind? You possess the real treasure! Believe that, because it is true, forever, like your priesthood. God WILL honour truth, especially if you add a little mustard seed!

Maybe invest in blankets to throw over the unclad as you walk. It might set a trend.

Oh, and pray Daily Rosaries, surest route to a peaceful joy filled chastity I know of (apart from purity gained through years of suffering, the rosary works much more swiftly)!!!

Father Christensen said...

Excellent post! Thanks for your honesty.

George said...

If the Catholic Church doesn't stand for true purity and holiness, many of these sexually damaged souls will see only two choices for their future: continue slouching down the road to Gommorah or turn to Islam. Rather, the Catholic Church needs to be the answer. But it has to offer the truth - unabashedly. Yes, we have to meet people where they are; but, the lukewarm will not be converted by a lukewarm version of the faith. Remember also, and perhaps more importantly, God does the conversion of heart, not us. All we are required to do is take a deep breath and say the truth from our heart. God does the rest. Let's not play the devils game of wondering about how are words will be received. Let's trust in grace.

EditorCT said...

As Jacobi says, if priests won't condemn these immoralities from the pulpit, who will? Preaching about purity and chastity and giving examples from the lives of the saints, helps no end. There's no need to use the populist terms such as "gay". Where I attend Mass I've heard the priest say "homosexuality" in passing without dwelling on it, but it gets the message across that this is something that is gravely sinful, a mortal sin. It can't be that difficult to communicate the Church's teaching that ALL use of sex outside marriage, whether thoughts or actions, is a grave sin. Surely? Priests managed to communicate this teaching prior to 1962, when the clergy weren't up to their ears in academic degrees so it must be possible now. If they believe it. The Cure D'Ars, patron saint of priests said he was willing to suffer whatever it took "only make my people saints." I think that is the key. Fully believing, committed (to Christ - not just to "the people") priests.

parepidemos congratulates you, Father, on having "a pastoral heart" when, with respect, a truly pastoral priest will do anything, court unpopularity if need be, in order to save souls from Hell. No mention of Hell in your post. Yet that, make no mistake about it, is where the souls you describe are heading. Unless the entire revelation of Scripture and Tradition is wrong. As for Jesus "gently challenging" the woman caught in adultery, no He did not. He told her bluntly to "go and sin no more." Clear as crystal. If there was any "gentle challenging" there, I'd like someone to point it out. I can't see it.

I repeat: these sexual sins - as Our Lady revealed to Sr Lucia - are, more than any other, leading souls to Hell. Yet, in all the talk about Father's parishioners engaging in these immoral behaviours (i.e. perversions) "damaging themselves" there is no hint that this damage goes beyond this passing world.

I have to say, too, that of all the shocking material in this post - and I found quite a bit of it very shocking, because unlike Father Blake who isn't shocked when he sees same sex couples holding hands, I promised myself in 1978 when I found myself in a group of similarly "broad minded" friends, that I would never, EVER lose my Catholic sense to the point where such perverted behaviour does not shock me; but of all the shocking things in this post, the following sentence shocked me most of all:

"I must say I also have a problem with people who use prayer as protest outside churches, they are almost as bad as those who do it inside them."

Unbelievable. The Holy Rosary, offered in reparation for a most grave scandal, is "almost as bad" as the sin of sodomy and the Masses held to celebrate that sin.

Shocking beyond words. Absolutely shocking from the pen of a priest widely lauded as sound, i.e. orthdox. Truly, the hungry sheep look up and are not fed.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Katharine said...

No wonder there is such a sick problem with sex in the world, God's mouthpieces are silent!
Of course such a topic should be handled with care at the pulpit, but it must be said Father!

Ever hear the one about the kid who didn't think that masturbation was a sin? It was because Father never said so!

Speak the truth, amazing things might happen.

Charlotte said...

Excellent piece. Being posted to Facebook.

herder said...

A great piece marred by a single sentence: your words about the Soho prayer vigil are unjust. If the Archdiocese of Westminster were to have a special Mass for abortionists in which prayers were said for the success of new clinics and nary a peep uttered against infanticide, would you consider Catholics gathering outside to pray - lacking any other recourse - to be "as bad" as the celebration of sin within? Is sodomy no longer a sin that cries out to Heaven for vengeance? Are homosexual Catholics not entitled to better by way of pastoral provision than liturgies which even the BBC finds incongruous with Catholic teaching?

In one of the appendices to Arians of the Fourth Century, Newman quotes St. Basil on the situation in 372: "Religious people keep silence, but every blaspheming tongue is let loose. Sacred things are profaned; those of the laity who are sound in faith avoid the places of worship as schools of impiety, and raise their hands in solitudes, with groans and tears to the Lord in heaven." (Ep. 92). Four years later Basil would write: "Matters have come to this pass: the people have left their houses of prayer, and assemble in deserts, — a pitiable sight; women and children, old men, and men otherwise infirm, wretchedly faring in the open air, amid the most profuse rains and snow-storms and winds and frosts of winter; and again in summer under a scorching sun. To this they submit, because they will have no part in the wicked Arian leaven." (Ep. 242). Again: "Only one offence is now vigorously punished, — an accurate observance of our fathers' traditions. For this cause the pious are driven from their countries, and transported into deserts. The people are in lamentation, in continual tears at home and abroad. There is a cry in the city, a cry in the country, in the roads, in the deserts. Joy and spiritual cheerfulness are no more; our feasts are turned into mourning; our houses of prayer are shut up, our altars deprived of the spiritual worship." (Ep. 243).

May God grant us holy priests, holy bishops, and holy popes. We need more like Cardinal Sarah.

herder said...

One more thing. Priests can preach on purity without seeming weird or shocking their flocks. An excellent selection of sermons on this subject, given in parishes by priests in communion with Rome, can be heard on Audio Sancto.

George said...

EditorCT,

You come off as very sanctimonious. Praise be to God that you are such a superior Catholic. "Lord, I thank you that I am not like the rest of men..."

In light of Matthew chapter six, I think I can see Fr. Blake's point. What is the purpose of praying at the scene of a sacrilegious event? The point of praying is communication with God. The purpose of praying at a specific public location would be to combine communication with God with some sort of public statement, in this case protest?

Would a Holy Hour or a night of perpetual adoration done at some other church garner greater graces and make better reparation than a public rosary outside of the event being protested?

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

The most frightening, terrible presence in all creation is the Blessed Sacrament.

Do not bow before Sin; look into the souls of your sheep and let them see the Blessed Sacrament reflected in your eyes.

Rebuke them in thier sin; even if you have to get rough with them.

Better our Divine Master gaze upon your bruised fists than look at you in His Justice.

Satan's catechism of the Faithful leads to Death; much of it deals with sex, the one thing that causes more souls to be born for the Kingdom of Heaven and God's glory.

We need to go back to square one.

We need to catechize in Roman Catholicism.

Therefore, we Cristeros have begun to modify the Our Lady of Guadalupe blog that it become a teaching blog.

It is dedicated to the Sacred Heart in hopes souls change their hearts towards our Divine Master.

http://sanjuandiego.blogspot.com

It is our hope that Catholics foryify themselves with the teachings of Holy Mother Church using the information on this blog.

It is in progress, but currently there is some information available now.

If we learn more, our Padres can spend more time extending the Kingdom of Christ, and fulfiling the Supreme Law of Holy Mother Church:

The Salvation of Souls.

Do not fear the Davil, for he is damned.

Fear God.

*

shadowlands said...

EditorCT

You seem to be boasting about how *shock* has kept you away from sin.

For God was so *SHOCKED* with the world that He gave His only begotten Son?

No! Love for sinners motivated the Father to let His Son die.
It is this same love that you might want to replace your shock with, when dealing with sinners that you encounter.

If people, having truly encountered Christ in your meeting and speaking with them, then reject Him, perhaps then, you might be justified in being shocked.

But! As a sinner yourself, saved by God's grace, it is the love of God you should go overboard with.

Father Ray is allowing himself to think consciously about this, sharing his thoughts with us as he does, yet you attack him, using your *shock* as a sword.

You make me smile speaking about the amount of *shock* you experience when looking at sinners. You fail to see you are therefore making boastful claims about your own state of soul.
Maybe God finds you shocking? Ask Him, if He does. He might give you a Zappppppppp!

Next time you see *shocking* sinners and bemoan priests for not raging at them but instead allowing themself to be seen to be vulnerable and open up about the difficulty they face pastorally, or horror of horrors, having an opinion about the most suitable places to pray from, remember, God looked at you in your sin and sent His son to die for you. (Matthew 18:28).

Shelve the shock.

Pray for priests.

Fr Barry Tomlinson said...

Thank you for this thoughtful post. I am sure that the pulpit is not the place to speak against the wrong use of sex. What is done at mass should surely be in accordance with Phillipians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." and this should be a text for our private lives as well.
Can we not use teaching opportunities out of church, such as marriage preparation and confirmation training to get across the churches' teaching? I would agree that one should be firm in proclamation and gentle and caring in the confessional. We are all sinners, priests included, and when speaking of these things I am only too aware of my own fallen nature. As a married priest I am aware that I have a legitimate outlet for my own sexuality, I pray especially for those of you who are not blessed in this way.
Prayer is the answer, but not outside the houses of sin. That only gives them free publicity. To take an example from many years ago 'Lady Chatterly's Lover' would have sold only 5% of the copies that were sold had the churches not made a very public condemnation.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Semyon
-Yes

santoeusebio said...

If it is okay to read out Epistles and Gospels that condemn sexual sins why is it not okay to preach against such sins?

Is it because priests no longer believe in the Gospels?

Is preaching against abortion similarly not to be encouraged?

I remember many years ago a priest who had allegedly preached in a girls school about sexual misconduct. Some years later one of the girl's wrote the usual fashionable article about how awful Convent schools were in a Sunday newspaper magazine in particular making fun of him. He then wanted to sue the magazine on the grounds that he had never said anything of the kind that was alleged. I was puzzled thinking so what if he had said such things - was it not his duty to do so? Things just got worse from that time on.

If you do not uphold the doctrines of the Church people will begin to think that it is all okay to misbehave. If the clergy cover up their own misdoings or even promote them then matters get worse.

Are you surprised that we laity are all confused about these things?

"Feed my sheep" was Christ's injunction. Do it!

As regards the Soho masses why is there not a properly constituted Parish Pastoral Council adhering to the doctrines of the Church rather than allowing the Soho Masses Pastoral Council to pretend to be authorised by the Archdiocese but at the same time promoting sodomy?

My information is that the CDF has not approved the situation but that the Archdiocese does not have the courage to do anything. Not the first time that the Archdiocese has allowed something which the CDF disapproved of.

Nicolas Bellord

Evagrius Ponticus said...

George and shadowlands, you just don't understand. EditorCT is a "proper" Catholic, and therefore needs to bend the knee to no Pope, bishop, priest or deacon except those she chooses.

And being such a superior Catholic, naturally has no need of the things we lesser mortals rely on - like love, or considering if one fully understands something befor tub-thumping...

I'd recommend looking up Catholic Truth Scotland, if you want to see the sort of Catholicism EditorCT professes - net-curtain-twitching and puritanical.

Jacobi said...

Could I refer you all to Fr Z's article, also of the 19th July, on this subject, and what Cardinal Sarah has to say on it!

Kevin said...

I was very sorry to see your comment about those who pray outside churches - quite irresponsible and very unfair, I felt. Although I've never gone outside Warwick St 'gay Mass' to pray - in reparation, not in protest, as you put it - I admire the courage and tenacity of those who do. They constantly brave the jeers of the Soho Mass people and police intimidation. They could pray about this at home - as many do - but if they did, their public witness would be lost. Also, the practitioners of the 'gay lifestyle' will brook no opposition. They seek affirmation and acceptance of their sin and the people who pray outside are a reminder that they are committing sin. Perhaps the only reminder they may get. They never get any from bishops and many priests, so thank God somebody is giving witness. If you took your argument to its logical conclusion, then nobody would pray outside abortion clinics either, and think how many lives would have been lost . . . I despair at priests sometimes, I truly do.

EditorCT said...

I have just re-read the previous post I submitted after reading the personal attacks on me, to see where I've been "sanctimonious" or "superior" - trying to work out how I could have brought out such personal animosity in other bloggers.

I am regularly in the Confessional box, and I have never, at any time, thought or suggested that I am not a sinner or less of a sinner than anyone else. Quite the reverse.

All I've said is that it is a mistake for Catholics to allow themselves to be de-sensitized. It is no shame to admit being shocked at the way grave sins, like abortion and sodomy, have now been made acceptable and legal in our society. Once people, especially priests, start saying they are not shocked at same sex couples holding hands, they are on the slippery slope: giving the impression - however unintentionally - that really this sin is not that bad after all. Already, we have the tacit acceptance of cohabitation before marriage.

Yet, what is just as bad, Fr Blake says, is a group of Senior Citizen Catholics praying the rosary in reparation outside the episcopal-approved 'gay' Masses arranged for the celebration of that sin. Father seems to be saying we should not so much be shocked at the "gay" Masses as at the elderly group praying the rosary outside. That IS shocking!

By insisting that we must be shocked at the way society is being imbued with impurities, I have made no personal judgments about anyone any more than a policeman is making a a personal judgment when he arrests someone for breaking a law of the land. I've not identified any individual as going to Hell. Those (myself included) who commit mortal sins will end up in Hell if we die with that sin un-repented. It has to be said. One of the nine ways we are complicit in the sins of others, is by our silence.

Which brings me to a key point, often overlooked by the proponents of the "compassionate... let's take it slowly... to get sinners where they should be..." mentality. Such an approach is entirely opposed to the Gospel message of Christ which is to repent NOW! It is an urgent message and nobody, Fr Blake included, will convince me that the great preachers, like St Alphonsus, were wrong to do just that. Such priests preached the Faith without compromise to packed churches (packed because the people knew they would be taught the true Faith not Father X's version of it)and that is what we need now, more than ever. Except the devil has worked his magic and got priests to believe in their own ability to help "damaged" people, instead of doing what priests used to do, preach the undiluted Faith and morals and let God's grace do the rest.

As for the married priest blogger - not sure if you are an Anglican or one of the new former Anglicans of the Ordinariate, but,if the latter, without intending to cause any personal offence, I have to be honest and tell you that I find the idea of sexually active priests deeply unattractive and uninspiring. You say that, since you are married, you have an "outlet" for your sexuality as if being sexually active is mandatory if we are to be happy. Not so, as the testimony of countless saints reveals. Christ, the High Priest, model for Catholic priests, was not married and priests are supposed to be in this world, what Christ was in the first century - evidence that God alone is worth our total commitment. They are, by definition, another Christ, an alter Christus.

It wasn't me who said that sins of impurity - more than any other sins - are leading souls to Hell in our times. Our Lady said that.
Was she being "sanctimonious"?

Let us be clear; I am a very fallible, very sinful person. I've never claimed to be anything else. But, I think it was St Francis de Sales who asked the following question, in prayer: "Is it wrong to speak better than we act?"

Reply: "No, if it were, then we would all have to remain silent.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Editor CT, Patricia,
I am not shocked by men holding hands because it so much part of life here, either because of the sexual orientation of those who do so but we also have a lot of middle easterners where it says nothing of orientation, I hope.

As for the reparation/protest outside of a Church, I am of a mind that prayer is prayer, not protest. I would have thought Ambrosden Ave might have been a more effective venue for a demonstration.
P.S. You are quite right to remind me of the courage of the great saints.

George said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjbPi00k_ME

George said...

CTEditor,

One more thing.. you have good intentions. But we all have to be careful not to "throw the baby out with the bathwater," during these times of apostasy and betrayal. That will only lead to Jansensism and eventually Sedevancteism.

Our Lord spent a lot of time with sinners of all types, and much to the "shock" of many "righteous" Jews. The time He spent with sinners wasn't all full of preaching and stern condemnation either. Reread the 2nd Chapter of St. Mark.

Let's ask ourselves how many reprobates have we converted? How many sinners have sought us ought to hear the Good News?

If Fr Blake has ever saved one soul from reprobation than he's done more, in my experience, than 99.99% of most Catholics.

parepidemos said...

EditorCT,

I am very puzzled by something, so I hope you will elucidate for me as I ask it in all sincerity in my penultimate sentence.

On your 'Catholic Truth' website there is a link to an article entitled "An investigation into the private campaign of the Vatican Secretariat of State
to conceal the words of the Virgin Mary in the Third Secret of Fatima".

Surely this is in marked opposition to what has been the official statement of the Church.
(http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html)

Your website declares that ecumenism is "..leading souls away from the Church" (this would mean damnation). This is in marked contrast to the position of the Church and the present Holy Father whose statements regarding the effort towards full communion (especially with the Orthodox) are well known.

Most alarmingly, your site also has an article "62 reasons why Catholics cannot, in good conscience, attend the new Mass." This is truly scandalous. Do you perhaps doubt - or even deny - the validity of the Mass of Paul VI?

How can you dare to castigate Fr Blake when you yourself promote positions which are clearly against those of the Church? Christ's words concerning planks and splinters comes to mind.

EditorCT said...

Father and George,

When I say we should never lose our "shock" I don't mean the emotional response. I mean, IN FACT, we must never lose our sensitivity to the seriousness of sin. The great saints teach us that if we understood the abhorrence of even the slightest sin in the presence of God, we would do all in our power to avoid temptation. Look at the way little Jacinta of Fatima so readily sacrificed her lunch, did everything she could think of to make sacrifices for sinners. She understood the grave - eternal - consequences of sin, and that is something we have a duty to keep before our minds at all times. If we determined to retain our sensitivity to sin,we would also begin to realise how far removed are our bishops from the Faith. An archbishop encouraging homosexual Masses? It is truly unthinkable. Yet, already, the lack of "shock" - in other words the indifference to or lack of awareness of the abhorrence before God of this situation - is embedded in souls, including the souls of priests, at least one of whom thinks "protesting" or praying in reparation outside the venue of this abomination is worse than the abomination itself. Vatican II Catholicism is alive and well.

Thus, to answer your question, Father, no, praying outside Archbishop's House would not be better. Goodness, what would they tell the press? Which of the many crimes against the Faith might be listed, as requiring a public rosary? But this rosary is specifically for this particular grievous sin and sacrilege so where better to offer that reparation but as close to the scene of the theological crime as possible? After all, nobody would think of praying in reparation for abortions outside Archbishop's House, would they? The obvious place to make any kind of reparation - and protest - is at the scene. And by the way, what's the problem with "protesting"? Surely we have a duty to protest? To be honest, when I saw the three elderly people who were praying the rosary outside that "gay" Mass venue, on the TV news, I was appalled that there were only three Catholics in the whole of London who'd turned up for that important public witness. Apathy coupled with apostasy - a deadly mix.

When the PP of St Patrick's Church in Glasgow handed his keys over to a bunch of Buddhists so they could pack the church for a "Singing Bowls Concert" a group of us went along to pray the rosary outside AND to protest, distributing leaflets to demonstrate how serious is the desecration of a Catholic Church. Well, that soon became apparent, didn't it, when it transpired that the serial killer Peter Tobin had been given board and lodgings there by the very liberal Fr Gerry Nugent, RIP. No surprise, really, that Tobin's killing career continued and the young Polish girl, Angelika Kluk, was murdered and buried beneath the floorboards in that very church. There was much more shock, around though, at the news of the murder of the Polish student than there was at the news of the desecration of the Church and the insults hurled at the Blessed Sacrament by permitting a pagan service, with photos of the Dalai Lama where the Sacred Heart used to be. Shocking? Doesn't begin to cut it.

Our requests to Archbishop Conti to re-consecrate St Patrick's church were ignored. But then, a man who has publicly declared his doubts about the very existence of God isn't going to be too fussed about such "superstitious" practices.
As I say, apathy and apostasy - a deadly mix.

Our shock should be immeasurable that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is being abused by people who are openly flouting God's moral law, with the blatant support of the local Ordinary. Public rosary outside the "gay" Masses in London? Should be of traffic-stopping proportions.

epsilon said...

I wonder what you mean by "leading parishioners", Father?

parepidemos said...

EditorCT,

There is no need to respond regarding the question in my earlier post; it has,I believe, been answered by some further investigation of your website.

I saw a link entitled “Open Letter to Confused Catholics”. I clinked and lo and behold: up came the views of the schismatic Society of St.Pius X, many of whose members harbour grave doubts concerning the validity of the Mass of Paul VI. I once met the SSPX’s priest in Edinburgh and know that he completely rejects its validity.

Your website promotes Canisius Books. They are well known in North
America for pushing the writings of Cornelia Ferreira, who believes that the Vatican sponsored World Youth Days are “corrupting the youth and leading them into counterchurch” and that these days are “full of heresies”.(online quotes from her book) So, the Vatican is promoting heresy? Hmm, well, after all, that is what SSPX maintains.

So, are you a member/supporter, of the schismatic SSPX? If so, you should at least be honest and stop pretending to be an orthodox Catholic. If not, I wonder why your website promotes their views. Dissent is dissent, regardless of its origin.

epsilon said...

People on this thread might find this link interesting http://wherethereispeter.blogspot.com/2011/07/walking-out-on-homily.html
from a priest who isn't afraid to have people walk out on his sermons!

fidelisjoff said...

Father
Perhaps print these thoughts and attach them to the parish bulletin. I do believe that a good sermon can make us uncomfortable as it can break down barriers to God but most of all it should inspire hope founded on truth.

EditorCT said...

Parepidemos,

The link to which you refer, links to a book, not an article. The author is the well known American attorney, Christopher Ferrara. The Book is entitled The Secret Still Silenced.
http://www.secretstillhidden.com/book.html

There is no "official" Vatican position on Fatima. There was merely a press conference in 2000, attended by Cardinals Ratzinger, Sodano and Bertone. Pope Benedict has now blown that press conference out of the water. On his last trip to Fatima in 2010, he contradicted the Vatican statement pointing out that those who think Fatima belongs to the past "are deceived."

Then you express concern about the attitude of Catholic Truth to ecumenism. You are right to say that these modern popes have made ecumenism a priority - but by doing so they are contradicting every other pope in history. Either the Church has been wrong for 2000 years on this, or the Church has taken a wrong turning since 1962. Our Lady of Fatima and later, at Akita, warned of a terrible crisis in the Church to come, a "diabolical disorientation" and this is nowhere more evident that in the way the Catholic Church is now being presented as only part of the salvation package - not as the sole ark of salvation. Christ, it seems, did not need to become incarnate, suffer and die after all. Heresy. If you want an easy to read quick tour of some of the key pre-Vatican II popes who have issued statements on ecumenism, visit the Catholic Truth website and read the August newsletter, page 10. That happens to be the subject of our Education page this time.

You ask if I deny the validity of the Mass of Paul VI. No. I don't deny that the novus ordo Mass can be valid. However, two things must be said; firstly, there can be absolutely no doubt at all in any objective mind, that the new Mass has done what its authors set out to make it do - protestantise the faithful. Their stated aim was to make the new Mass pleasing to Protestants and to do that they had to remove all the prayers that were purely Catholic. The result is obvious. We have Catholics who are pro-gay, pro-abortion, pro-divorce and remarriage and utterly hostile to the Traditional Latin Mass that nourished the saints and that the maryrs died to preserve. Secondly, I agree with the great liturgist, Klaus Gamber - as did Cardinal Ratzinger who wrote the Preface to the French edition of his famous work on the Roman Liturgy - who said that while it would not be true to say that the new Mass is per se invalid, nevertheless, there can be no doubt that the number of invalid Masses is increasing. I agree with him - don't you?

Finally, I have not "castigated" Father Blake at all. I have disagreed with him on a matter of some importance, regarding the comparison he made between those who pray the rosary in reparation outside the Soho Masses and those who attend and organise these Masses. That's not to "castigate." I defended Father Blake when he was persecuted by his own bishop at the time when a certain priest columnist in the Catholic press was complaining about him.So, I wrote my comment in the sure and certain knowledge that Fr Blake would not for a second think I was making any personal attack on him.

I hold absolutely NO positions that are contrary to the traditional Catholic Faith. I do not accept innovations, such as ecumenism, and I believe that both ecumenism and the new protestantised Mass are evidence of the "diabolical disorientation" in the Church foretold by Our Lady. Perhaps you are unaware of the premonition of Pope Pius XII, where he spoke about "the suicide of altering the Faith it its liturgy, its theology and its soul"?

With respect, rather than searching for ammunition with which to attack and insult me (I don't matter) I suggest you educate yourself in order to correctly discern where the truth lies, as we suffer this, the worst ever crisis of faith to hit the Church.

God bless.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Parapedimos,
Could you identify one member of the current Curia who describes the Soc of Pius X as schismatic? "Having a tendency to ...", yes but the word itself is carefully avoided.

Richard Reeves said...

The problem why so many priests fail to preach purity is because they are not leading pure lives themselves. You only have to type the word 'priest' into the news section of google to see the tragic consequences of priests who fail to live their vows. It's a daily litany of failure.

shadowlands said...

Ed CT said:
"There was much more shock, around though, at the news of the murder of the Polish student than there was at the news of the desecration of the Church and the insults hurled at the Blessed Sacrament by permitting a pagan service, with photos of the Dalai Lama where the Sacred Heart used to be. Shocking? Doesn't begin to cut it."

The building materials for the Kingdom of God, are human beings. There is not a more precious building block in the whole universe, in God's mind.( I heard that on the radio and it blew my mind!)

This substance is so precious, that God the Father sent His only begotten Son to die in the human being's place.

If you find it so shocking, that people found this part of the events the most shocking, I mean the fact that a human being was found murdered, ask yourself: What do you think God was most upset by?

He allowed His Son to be scorned, crowned with thorns, lashed, put on trial, carry in agony The Cross, have nails hammered into His body, vinegar shoved into His parched mouth and even abandoned Him for a time, making Him call out that He was forsaken? What did that cost the Father to do? I am a parent, I can't begin to imagine.
This is the Son He loves, the Son in whom He is well pleased. This is what the Son did for the girl and the buddhists in the church you speak of.
How do you imagine God wants us to love those people? When He has allowed His Son to go through so much for them, me, you?
The 'liberal' priest as you term Fr Nugent, who gave a sinner bed and board. He was doing wrong in this?
Maybe you would have corrected the Father for letting His Son's body be crucified for such as these?

Be careful where you see the real treasure. Costly treasure, bought at the highest price. You talk of us remaining sensitive to sin. Perhaps that is good advice for us, thank you. I would ask you to become more sensitive to the Father's heart, regarding sinners, at this time of Mercy.

Perhaps when Father Ray looks at people in certain suspect embraces and isn't shocked, He is seeing them with the Father's eyes, because when God looked at sinful man, He died in their place. That's love, that's embracing in the real truest sense of the word. There is no greater expression. (John 15:13). Father did not leave it at "Aaah, bless them" he asked pertinent questions about reaching out with the gospel and what may or may not be the best way. This is a good thing to do.It benefits many, by the sharing.

Ed, If you meditate on the sorrowful mysteries, you will find your heart being changed, regarding sinners (including oneself) in general. It's really illuminating. Obviuosly, check with your catechism if your ideas start going haywire. We're all subject to meanderings, I know I am.
I am sorry if I was flippant to you, in any way, in my previous comments.


One day at a time, praise the Lord.

Felix said...

I agree that it's wrong to preach too explicitly if this would confuse or hurt innocent souls, especially children, in the congregation.

Perhaps one solution would be to preach resolutely, and continually, the need for confession. And then to ask - with appropriate delicacy - questions about Humanae Vitae, sexuality etc.

(Some priests think they shouldn't ask questions in the confessional. Pure unfounded fantasy. And sometimes ruinous to souls.)

Anonymous said...

Patricia,

I don't know why you find the idea of a married priest sleeping with his wife off-putting - although at a guess I'd say it was probably the residual influence of Irish Jansenism - since Our Lord permitted it to his married apostles.

You should, however, have a problem with the law of celibacy, since it is predicated on the uncatholic idea that the sexual act defiles. Check the relevant canon of Lateran II if you don't believe me.

Our Lord was celibate because as a person of the Blessed Trinity, he had no need of the completion by a wife that is the ordinary psychological, emotional and social condition of a man - absent, of course, the gift of celibacy or the interposition of some other extraordinary circumstance.

The problem is that God calls men to the priesthood independently of calling them to celibacy, always has and always will - and the two callings do not necessarily co-incide. There's nothing you can do about that, whether you like it or not. The "law" needs to change to reflect this reality, and will.

I could write much, much more from legal and theological perspectives on this, but space forbids it.

And yes, in case you're wondering, I'm an orthodox catholic and a traditionalist - but unlike most, I'm aware of the historical/legal and theological truth about celibacy.

+ Wolsey

P.S.: Parapidemos - you seem to engage in ultramontane exaggerations about what constitutes a "postion" of the church.

Anonymous said...

Another thing, Patricia,

Sex within marriage is a normal element
of a "total package" of marital happiness, if it can be put that way.

I'm certain countless married saints
have found it so. And legitimately, too.

+ Wolsey

santoeusebio said...

I cannot help feeling that it would be more useful to stick to the discussion in question rather than attacking someone for what they have said elsewhere on a website. Let us discuss what EditorCT has actually said in this discussion rather than having an ad hominem attack on her which only leads us to the wilder shores of certain enthusiasms.

I think she has a point about praying outside the Soho masses - but at the same time I believe the problem is really about the pastoral care coming from the Archdiocese. Of interest are the sermons preached at these masses that can be accessed on the Soho Masses Pastoral Council's website. Am I wrong in finding them just bland pap?

Nicolas Bellord

parepidemos said...

Dear Fr Blake,

You are, of course, right to say that the SSPX tends towards schism rather than is in schism proper. Such a state can only be declared by the appropriate ecclesial authorities.

However, several SSPX members to whom I have spoken - good and sincere people - are clearly schismatic (possibly even worse) as they deny the validity of the Mass of Paul VI. Sadly, I include a former school chum (now in Econe) amongst this group. I find it interesting that EditorCt has still not answered my query regarding his possible affiliation with the SSPX. I do not question his sincerity, but always like to pay attention to what questions are avoided; I guess I can credit/blame my Jesuit training for this tendency!

In hindsight, in my desire to defend you (with whom, as you know, I do not always agree) I was somewhat flippant in my use of the term 'schismatic'. However, I continue to hold that dissent is dissent, whether it comes from so-called liberals or members of SSPX.

EditorCT said...

parepidemos,

I truly wonder where you have been living, what you have been reading, throughout this crisis in the Church.

The SSPX are not - and never have been in schism. Don't take my word for it, here's the cardinal who spoke for the pope on the matter, during the period when he was conducting talks with then. As he says, anyone who thinks the SSPX are in schism, does not understand the situation. They are in an irregular position, but are not schismatics. Otherwise, people like me would not be able to attend their Masses and indeed receive ALL the sacraments from SSPX priests. But that permission stands.
http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/mershon/070410

If that's not enough for you - and it won't be, because the propagandists have excelled themselves and it is not uncommon to meet Catholics like you who are screaming "schism" at the SSPX while tolerating and even supporting the real schismatics - i.e. members of Protestant groups and "priests in good standing" who are preaching heresy in Catholic newspapers, not to mention the 300 who are openly asking for a national church in Ireland, independent of Rome (would you attend one of their Masses?) and ditto Austria - but, as I say, if that is not enough, Google Hawaii Six to read about a group whose bishop excommunciated them for attending the SSPX for ALL the sacraments; they appealed to Rome and Cardinal Ratzinger overturned the bishop's decision pronto. To be a schismatic, you must reject the authority of the Pope per se. Not just disobey him in a particular matter. Canon Law allows for a bishop consecrating bishops without papal mandate if they think there is a crisis. Note: Canon Law even spells out the fact that even if it turns out there IS no crisis, no penalties are to be incurred/applied. Well, parepideom, I think we can at least agree that Archbishop Lefebvre was right in discerning a crisis - and how!

Yet, even with heresy, dissent and true schism all around us modern Catholics focus on the one group of priests who have not changed a jot of Catholic Tradition, and attack them, all because of a mistaken notion that we have to "obey" / accept the merely pastoral council and its many errors, Vatican II. Truly, as Archbishop Lefebvre said: "it was Satan's masterstroke to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition, in the name of obedience."

Papolatry - the belief that we must obey every utterance of a pope - is a heresy. The Pope is the servant of the Faith, he cannot take us away from it. To contradict the teachings of Popes and dogmatic councils on ecumenism, and anything else, is a most serious matter, yet the majority of priests and people are subscribing to the errors of Vatican II, all in a spirit of false obedience.

WYD: the quality secular newspapers reported in some graphic detail the debauchery they witnessed at the World Youth Day in Denver (we reported it with sources at the time in our newsletter) and I don't have any reason to think things have improved. Reports of the sleeping arrangements for the young people is alone sufficient scandal. Add to that the fact that Hosts are found scattered about at these Masses, and we have major sacrilege going on. But, then, again, if everyone's having a good time, does it matter? Not, it seems, to the modern Catholic. I've yet to meet one who is bothered on jot about any of the reported scandals associated with these World Youth Days.

What about you, parepidemos? Are you bothered by all the heretical priests "in good standing" including Archbishop Vincent Nichols of "gay" Masses fame (who publicly said on TV that he "didn't know" if Catholic teaching on women's ordination a nd homosexuality would change whereas Bishop Fellay SSPX would have replied swiftly and to the point "No! These teachings will NEVER change...)

Schismatics? I could give you a very long list, restricted to the UK, and the SSPX wouldn't figure at all.

Mhairi said...

So after reading the comments I check out the link given by parepidemos. It allows you to read stuff on Fatima published by the Vatican. Cool. So then I read the website of EditorCt because I want to see where he's coming from but it's full of opinion, rumor and weird links like the one that says the America is being run by communists.

So - the Vatican website or the website of 'Catholic Truth'(sic) in Scotand. I wonder which one I'm gonna believe about the Third Secret of Fatima. As we say "It's a no brainer".

I'm also wondering why the Editor didn't answer the question about his affiliation with the the Pius X group. Time for my coffee.

rachel said...

totally agree fr,but what concerns me is Archbishop Nicholls,and others'fragrant disregard on the Vatican teaching on this issue and the fact that he has given permission for these homosexual masses to continue,despite many objections within his diocese.I don't think the Archbishop should be elevated to Cardinal.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I agree with Santoeusebio
"it would be more useful to stick to the discussion in question rather than attacking someone for what they have said elsewhere on a website. Let us discuss what EditorCT has actually said in this discussion rather than having an ad hominem attack on her which only leads us to the wilder shores of certain enthusiasms."

EditorCT said...

Excuse me, Father, but I'm not going to accept this "hit and run" business. I think I ought to be permitted right to reply.

Although it doesn't seem to be the case. In good faith, I submitted a lengthy post to reply to parepidemos and I see it has not been posted. That is unjust and it is, in fact, to suppress the truth.

I'm certainly not going to waste my time writing more lengthy posts if they are to be suppressed.

I will say however that I have not made any secret of the fact that after twenty tortured years at the new (and getting newer by the minute) Mass, I now attend the Masses of the SSPX. That is permitted. And anyone who reads Catholic Truth knows that we often publish excellent material from the SSPX. Where else would we find such solid spiritual fare? Archbishop Nichols?

However, since the people on this blog cannot even get my gender right, I don't suppose I could expect them to know that even the liberal Cardinal Cassidy said "no" at a press conference when asked if he was going to include the SSPX in his ecumenical work, "because that is an internal matter." By definition, a schismatic is OUTSIDE the Church.

I would be grateful for an answer to the following question, addressed to parepidemos and the other person who accuses the SSPX of "dissent"

What dissent? Name any Catholic doctrine from which the SSPX dissent.

I'm not going to reply to the other posts offering me spiritual advice and belittling the sacrilege of the Buddhist possession of St Patrick's Church in Glasgow etc. Nor the person who thinks the apostles continued to have sexual relations with their wives when Scripture tells us that they "left everything" to follow Christ (Pope John Paul II gave a superb sermon on this) and who accuses me of Jansenism, not recognising that Catholics have become very sensual beings, sexualised like the rest of society around us. Oh and regarding the wonderful charity extended by the Glasgow priest who gave bed and board to the waifs and stays? I forgot to mention that he didn't just give out beds, he shared them. Google the story of Angelika Kluk to read the whole sordid story.

If and when my other post responding to parepidemus on Fatima and the World Youth Days is published, I may post again. Otherwise, I'm not wasting any more time here. What is here is very clear evidence of the diabolical disorientation foretold by Our Lady of Fatima. Catholics who haven't a clue about true obedience and who - like the Catholics at the time of the medieval Protestant Reformation - are sleepwalking out of the Church.

Fr Ray Blake said...

EditorCT,
It seems to have put itself into the spam box, is it there now?


I think comments should be concise, otherwise no-one reads them, except for those who want to point score.

Petrus said...

Some of the comments on this blog thread have been unbelievable. Thank you, Fr Blake, for quickly correcting the incorrect use of the word "schismatic" to describe the SSPX. Clearly, the Vatican must be getting sick and tired of Catholics writing to them and asking if it is permissible to attend Mass at a SSPX church. The answer is always "yes".

parepidemos then goes on to claim that some of the "members" of the SSPX he has met have been schismatic. Surely he knows that only priests are members of the SSPX. If he has spoken to one or two lay Catholics who attend Mass at a chapel run by the SSPX, then he can be assured that they do not speak on behalf of the SSPX.

Incredibly, after admitting that he was wrong to label the SSPX schismatic, parepidemos then hurls another insults at them, this time he claims they are dissenting. I challenge parepidemos to name a Catholic doctrine that the SSPX reject. In an age when prelates of the Church on these shores approve of active homosexuals joining together to celebrate their lifestyles that cry out to Heaven for vengeance, it's unbelievable that anyone with an ounce of Catholic sense would label the SSPX as dissenting.

We must hate the sin and be charitable towards the sinner. It is surely false charity to turn a blind eye to, or, even more shockingly, approve any mortal sin and public scandal. This will only drag souls to Hell. Authentic charity, displayed by Our Lord in the gospels, is based on the Truth.

Seeker said...

You all seem to be losing sight of the real issue here, which to my mind is the fact that the moral behaviour of the youth of today is somewhat confused. My daughter tells me that just about every young Catholic she knows is openly having sex outside marriage. I myself recently became aware that several young parents at my church - the kind of people who seem concerned about trying to bring their children up as good Catholics - are themselves not actually married, so therefore living in sin.

We should not, of course, judge any of these people. It is only too easy to be overcome by the pressure from peers to be like everyone else and have sex from an early age. The disturbing thing though is that these young people seem to think there is nothing at all wrong with their behaviour.

There seems to be a profound lack of moral guidance. I don't think much comes from the Catholic schools - and I suspect that this could well be because many of the teachers are themselves indulging in similar behaviour!

I can understand priests being reluctant to pronounce on sexual matters from the pulpit - if they preached on the evils of homosexuality, for example, the young mums would be up in arms because of the resulting barrage of questions from their youngsters and the old people would either be disinterested or disgusted!

Thinking about this, it seems to me that the answer must be for priests to be much more involved in going into schools and taking a more active part in religious and moral education there. I also believe that much more support should be given to parents who want their children to grow up understanding that all sexual activity outside marriage is wrong. Parents so often feel they are fighting a losing battle to overcome all the overpowering modern influences.

The other day I accidentally came across a website (can't even remember where it was) which was offering parents at one particular school classes to help them carry on with the sex education given at school and talk openly to their children about sex. I don't think the school was a Catholic one, but maybe Catholic schools could benefit from a similar scheme. I think that parents certainly need much more support and guidance than they are getting at present.

Athanasius said...

Those who wish to know where the true spirit of schism is to be found today should read the following extract from a letter I had published in the Catholic Times last week:


"Dom Prosper Guéranger, founder of the Benedictine Congregation of France and first abbot of Solesmes after the French revolution.

In his Liturgical Institutions of 1840, written to restore among the clergy a deep knowledge of, and love for, the Roman Liturgy, he says: “Since the liturgical reform had for one of its principal aims the abolition of actions and formulas of mystical signification, it is a logical consequence that its authors had to vindicate the use of the vernacular in divine worship.

This is in the eyes of sectarians a most important item. Cult is no secret matter. The people, they say, must understand what they sing. Hatred for the Latin language is inborn in the hearts of all the enemies of Rome. They recognise it as the bond among Catholics throughout the universe, as the arsenal of orthodoxy against all the subtleties of the sectarian spirit. ( . . .)

. . . We must admit it is a master blow of Protestantism to have declared war on the sacred language. If it should ever succeed in destroying it, it would be well on the way to victory. Exposed to profane gaze, like a virgin who has been violated, from that moment on the Liturgy has lost much of its sacred character, and very soon people find that it is not worthwhile putting aside one’s work or pleasure in order to go and listen to what is being said in the way one speaks in the marketplace . . .”

EditorCT said...

Thank you, Father, yes my post is there now plus the subsequent post. Thanks.

I do agree that concise posts are best but it is so easy to throw out sound-bite questions and attacks, as do my critics, it is not so easy to respond adequately in a sound-bite. Apologies for the lengthy posts.

shadowlands said...

Fr Ray,

After Holy Comunion this evening, I was praying and thinking about you and the thought occurred that you would have given a witness yourself, to the people you passed on your journey to the parishoner's home the oher day, in your priestly clothes. God uses many ways to give men moments of clarity. Maybe the Holy Spirit began a work in someone after seeing you.

Pastor in Valle said...

One of your best pieces ever, mon Pére.

StevieD said...

The Soho Masses are a total disgrace. This is not just about shame and cowardice but about the precariousness of the salvation of those priests and bishops who permit/encourage this terrible abuse of the Holy Mass to confirm people in their sins. If THEY cannot see it, WE must tell them. A friend once asked an MP how many letters it took before he regarded something as an issue clearly important to a significant number of his constituents and he said anything exceeding 100 letters was potential trouble because the vast majority would not put pen to paper no matter how strongly they felt (forget e-mails, it takes many thousands of them to count, it is too easy to send them). Dust your fountains pens off and write to Westminster and your local bishop and parish as appropriate. (And if you pray outside, I would definitely join you if I lived anywhere near London)

Jamie said...

Oh, Dear Father Ray,
I have followed and been inspired by your honest and upright blog for ages- but how can you equate people who pray outside a church with people who promote sin and blasphemy and dissent within that church?
I don't know when you became a Catholic, but for us, the notion of a PUBLIC ACT OF REPARATION for public blasphemy has been absorbed from our youth.
Not a protest, dear Father, but an act of reparation/consolation to the Heart of our Saviour. Where are the priests (sacred ministers of the Lord) who should be leading the laity in this act of reparation? As for our beloved archbishop (and I do love him for he is the legitimately-appointed Pastor of the archdiocese wherein I live)I can only increase my prayers and fasting for him. For a bishop to sanction such a thing, rather than seek the salvation of each and every soul---- words fail.

Penitent said...

Father,

Thank you for your excellent post. May I if you could reflect on my situation in a future posting? A good mass going catholic, quite active from 17+, raised in the faith, confirmed. I'm not sure if the difficulty in remaining pure is understood by some in this day and age. To be blunt, I know few people who would even consider entering a relationship with a virgin, they would be considered damaged or broken. To keep to the teaching of the faith means exclusion and loneliness - and the older you become, the worse it gets. Young women do not get married at 21 anymore. To find a young person who shares the values is very hard; almost impossible. I remained pure til I was 25 and afterwards had never approached the Confessional with such a heavy heart. Please guide the young Father, the odds are heavily stacked against us.

John said...

Fr. Blake, you write

'As far as sexual morality is concerned, we clergy, me, are rather afraid to say anything. None of us want to confront from the pulpit a situation where a great number of leading parishioners are living lives out of communion with Christ nor does anyone want be known as Fr X who always speaks about sex.'

It should be acknowledged that you are speaking out and confronting the situation by this blog post, which is very good (except for the cheap shot about protestors at Soho gay masses, which I disagree with for reasons given by other posters).

Editor CT; you are of course right to say that sexual sins lead to hell and that priests must make this known. But the first step in making this known has to be to get people to understand that they are evil - otherwise the warning that they will lead to hell will be dismissed as absurd, on the grounds that there is obviously nothing wrong with them. Fr. Blake is making a good start on this first step in his post, by pointing out how destructive they are. Once you get people to accept that they are bad and destructive you can go on to show them that their eternal salvation is at risk from them.

Penitent: I sympathise with your situation - when I as going out with an unbelieving undergraduate girl in England, she put up with not having sex, but I was forbidden to tell anyone that we were not sleeping together because it would have made her seem too weird! I conformed to her demand by just not discussing the topic, something you can try yourself. It is after all no-one else's business whether or not you are having sex.

EditorCT said...

Penitent,

Your post is of the utmost importance - what you say goes right to the heart of this matter.

Young people are lost - in every sense of the word. They are immersed in a sexualised world surrounded by Catholics who, if the matter is raised at all, lecture them about not being Jansenist. This reveals a failure to grasp the beauty of the virtue of purity, seeing all such virtue as "repression". Very sad.

St Paul teaches that "Faith comes through hearing" and, however difficult it may be (and it's NOT, because the truth has its own power to move souls) the clergy must preach about the need for purity in thoughts, words and actions. To fail in any of these categories, is matter for confession. That's what priests preached prior to Vatican II and until they return to preaching it, good young people like yourself will be deprived of the truth that sinning sexually - as the entire revelation of Scripture and Tradition reveals - is deadly for their souls.

Thankfully, Penitent, there are still traditional Catholic families where the girls going up the aisle in white, have a right to do so. I'm in contact with one young teenage girl right now who wants to be "a real bride" and, hopefully, will meet someone who is likeminded and has not "played the field."

Thanks for your honest and most helpful post.I hope every priest reading it, takes serious note of the need to, not just "guide" but instruct young people. So far, they've left that to the print and broadcasting media - to, no doubt, their eternal shame. God bless you.

santoeusebio said...

I am not sure how to comment on your Cloyne Report post so I am putting it here. The thirsty gargoyle has written a follow-up piece:


http://thethirstygargoyle.blogspot.com/2011/07/cloyne-report-tackling-prevailing-myths.html

This is excellent work based on reading the sources and strikes me as very authoritative. It certainly confirms my suspicion that the Taoiseach was grandstanding about a report - the Cloyne report - which whilst important in no way gave any support to his attack on the Vatican.

Nicolas Bellord

Mark L said...

Fr. Ray,
Brilliant post, very honest and you make a lot of sense. I'm not sure I understand about ++Vincent. His remarks are concerning on this matter. The Magisterium is very clear on this matter. Have you read this:

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_homosexual-persons_en.html

Delia said...

This is a really sensitive and intelligent post, Father. I think sometimes you just have to tell it how it is, though. I'm sure you're not the type to go banging on!

But I'm a bit mystified by the allusion to Cardinal Levada and the 'Soho Masses' - I know nothing about this, very alarming if it is true.

In any case, if the diocese puts on these Masses, one can hardly blame people for attending them, scandalous as they are. It's the bishop who holds the responsibility. As for praying outside, why not pray outside one's parish church, in case anyone in the queue there is making a sacrilegious Communion? Surely this just reinforces the notion that practising homosexuals are a special case, which is part of the problem in the first place!

Diem said...

All. I am a homosexual and a Catholic, I have struggled with these two aspects of my life for a long time now.
I would never judge any of you for your comments or beliefs, as I am no better than you. I only wish that you could refrain from judging others. Do not be blinded by hatred; you can quote any part of the bible you like, but I believe only God is fit to judge.
I will continue my life as both a Catholic and a homosexual and I will no longer feel that I cannot be both, I will continue to pray for our priests, Bishops and the Holy Father and in particular to Archbishop Nichols so that he may continue his ministry to homosexuals and other groups who are pushed away from their 'Christian' brothers and sisters at times. My only hope is that other Bishops and Archbishops may one day too.

May God bless you all.

Deus solum me iudicare potest.

Sam said...

What gets me about the Catholic blogosphere (which makes very interesting reading for non-Catholics) is why the questions raised are addressed to blogging priests and not directly to the commenters own priest?

The relationship with the parish priest must be remote in some way.
Perhaps any questioning is viewed as disobedience?
My question would be:

The Holy Spirit guides the Church. Why then criticise the work of the Second Vatican Council?

Jonathan said...

I think having 'leading' parishioners who don't live the Gospel is an oxymoron. I think this is a big problem in the Church today.

santoeusebio said...

Diem:

I was about to judge you on the subject of the use of the word "solum" (at first sight I thought it should be "solus") but I find I am on a sticky wicket viz:

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090515044909AAzvcWH

However your post does intrigue me and poses a problem as to quite what you mean. But let us leave that on one side. I have not checked these comments for being judgemental but I am pretty certain no hatred has been expressed against anyone except perhaps hatred of a sin.

What intrigues me is how you Archbishop Nichol's ministry to homosexuals and other groups. Do you see it as coming through the Soho Masses Pastoral Council who say they are organising the masses? I.e. the Council is his agent. Or do you see his ministry as merely being allowing the Soho Masses Pastoral Council to do whatever it does? I would genuinely be interested in your views.

The problem for outsiders is that the Soho Masses Pastoral Council appears from its website to promote the idea that homosexual sex is a practice that is not sinful.

Nicolas Bellord

Igumen Gregory said...

Fr. Blake,
frankly i was horrified to hear that the Cardinal prefect of the Cogregation of the Doctrine of the Faith seems to wink at some of these overtly gay brotherhood services. Is that what you meant to say> And if so, why is he not replaced by His Holiness?

Igumen Gregory said...

Fr. Blake,
frankly i was horrified to hear that the Cardinal prefect of the Cogregation of the Doctrine of the Faith seems to wink at some of these overtly gay brotherhood services. Is that what you meant to say> And if so, why is he not replaced by His Holiness?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Igumen Gregory,
When Cdl. CMO'C was questioned about them he said he had asked Cdl. Levada, who approved of them.

Quite what was approved has never been revealed.

Veritas said...

SSPX going strong. 200 people have just made the pilgrimage on foot from Rochester to Canterbury in the footsteps of our forefathers holding the same faith as them and assisting at the same Mass as them. You can see pictures here -
http://z10.invisionfree.com/Ignis_Ardens/index.php?showtopic=7621&st=25

Br Brocard said...

Just to let you that SSPX is going strong in this country. 200 of its supporters have just walked in pilgrimage from Rochester to Canterbury holding the same faith as our forefathers and assisting at the same Mass as theirs. Pics can be seen here -
http://z10.invisionfree.com/Ignis_Ardens/index.php?showtopic=7621&st=25

Bohma said...

Dear Fr. Blake,

The vast majority of faithful Catholics would be delighted to hear you condemn this immorality from the pulpit. If you are worried about children then you could always put it in language that only adults would understand.

As a matter of fact, faithful Catholics would jump for joy if our Bishops could only work up the courage to do the same! Their silence is a disgrace!

santoeusebio said...

Igumen Gregory:

When the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth deleted the prohibition against referrals for abortion from its Code of Ethics they claimed that the new Code had the approval of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Cardinal Cormac O'Connor and the then Papal Nuncio. Cardinal Cormac confirmed that he welcomed the new Code. The then Papal Nuncio refused to be drawn saying that the matter was in the hands of the CDF. I was told that the CDF had not approved and subsequently I believe they were instrumental in ensuring that the prohibition was put back as has actually happened.

Thus there seems to be a certain lack of communication or misunderstanding at higher levels. Perhaps when Cormac was entertaining Levada (head of the CDF) at the Opera he explained about the Soho masses in the interval but the orchestra struck up just as Levada replied and perhaps Cormac misinterpreted a nod. Pure idle speculation on my part of course.

Nicolas Bellord

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

"...I am a homosexual and a Catholic, I have struggled with these two aspects of my life for a long time now.
I would never judge any of you for your comments or beliefs,..."

You are not being judged, the Faithful are putting homosexuals, sinners in general, and so on the behaviors not pleasing to the Lord will not be tolerated.

"We will not participate in your sin."

Celebrating any sin with Pride is a mocking of God, and He will not be mocked.

We will pray for you as well for all sinners.

One thing I will say to the critics of Padre Blake: You all have a lot of nerve; we can fight amongst ourselves, but when a Padre declares, it is not our place to counter his statements.

We are Catholic, not otherwise.

*

Athanasius said...

St. Michael come to our defense, since when did the Padre become infallible in the Catholic Church?

No one here has been criticising Fr. Blake in a disrespectful manner. People have aired their views on Fr. Blake's post, some with reservations about his approach, but no one, as far as I can see, has been particularly disrespectful.

We certainly do have a duty of respect to the office of the priest of God, but never think for one moment that Padre is always right and that the faithful must always bow to his every utterance. That's not Catholic.

Priests are called to the most sublime state anyone could hold in this life, but they remain men like the rest of us. As such, they can fall from grace in every way that we lay people can.

There are priests writing in British publications today who are heretics. Would you have the faithful bow to their errors? Your opinion is not Catholic!

Athanasius said...

Diem,

If one is to be truly Catholic then one has to accept what the Catholic Church teaches. There is no point in claiming to be Catholic while rejecting the infallibility of Sacred Scripture and the Church's moral teaching. What that amounts to, pure and simple, is Protestantism.

Now, you are certainly free to continue fooling yourself that you can remain both a good Catholic and a practicing homosexual. The truth, however, is that no one can live in mortal sin and claim to possess the grace of God in his soul. The same applies equally to heterosexuals who attend Mass and receive Holy Communion while living together in an unmarried state, or indeed any other kind of immoral state. God is merciful to the repentent sinner, but he turns His face away from those who live in wilful sin, and who even go further by trying to condone their sinfulness.

It's a very bad sign when a person seeks to justify his offences against God rather than feeling remorse for them. We have to be very careful of the sin of Lucifer, which is pride. That sin, more than any other, will blind us to repentence and amendment of life and could well end in that sin against the Holy Spirit which is called final impenitence.

I urge you to reflect on what you have stated here after having sought Our Lady's help, which we all need. She will obtain for all who ask of her the virtues of humility and purity.

Father John Boyle said...

Very touching, Father. Thanks.

I have learned that it is very important to address the very difficult areas you mention from the pulpit. You will find that you confirm those families and even those who are struggling with these issues in their faithfulness - even if faltering - to Christ.

I am sure you of all priests would come across as paternally concerned for the spiritual welfare of those caught up in these fantasies. I doubt that people would feel that you have judged them.

However, as Von Balthasar says in an excellent book entitled "Prayer" that I am currently reading, when one encounters the Word, one inevitably finds one at a judgement. The Word - Christ - questions us about our own lives. We are left to examine ourselves and see how much we still have to do to conform ourselves to Him.

May God bless your faithful ministry in Brighton and, through this blog, to so many others.

Physiocrat said...

Surely the main thing that a priest can do is to encourage frequent confession and then take things from there?

The confessional is the place where the transformation is going to happen. Especially when these are matters not easily addressed in a congregational context.

Just another mad Catholic said...

As someone who hopes to be a Priest one day and who grew up in a sexualised home without Jesus I'd like to make a few points.

1) I am very thankful to Jesus that he saved me from my own best efforts to lose my virignity and has healed me of all the disordered opinons that were taught to me by my parents.

2) Surely it is the duty of parents as the primary educators of their children to be the ones who teach them about human sexuality in a chaste and modest way? This can be done as during my brief association with the SSPX two years ago, I found good materials on how to do this at SSPX friendly websites. It is also the duty of the Priest to make sure that the parents are going to do when the subject comes up during marriage prep.


3) Perhaps Priests do need to speak on the subject in public, but NOT during Mass, perhaps talking to teens/parents outside of Mass would be a good idea.

4) It strikes my mind that praying outside of an abortion clinic and praying outside St Gregory's are two different things. One is trying to prevent women from murdering their children and praying for their conversion. One seems to be praying in public as a mark of protest which to SOME eyes may appear sanctimonious, unless said group is handing out flyers explaining the Churches teaching and WHY it is correct then perhaps in might be more prudential to pray as a group before the Blessed Sacrament for the conversion of these people.

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

"...Your opinion is not Catholic!..."

The Mother of the Priest par excellance forms Priests in the image of her Son.

How many losers have attained the position of Supreme Pontiff and been formed by our Mother into great men of God?

How many Saints were enemies of Christ, only to be transformed into repentant sinners?

If there is a problem with a Priest or a Bishop, take it to the woman in charge.

Otherwise, our demeanor should be "With my blood and with my soul, I will defend the cross."

That covers all things Catholic, including Padres.

Homosexuals should also be treated in this manner; we can complain about gay Masses, gay groups allowed to flourish in Dioceses, gay cabals in Archdioceses, but we cannot personally attack the perpetrators.


Pius XI, Ad Catholici Sacerdotii (20/12/1935) is an encyclical dealing with how a Priest should comport himself; perhaps the Holy Father can give us an encyclical on how we laity should behave.

Good Catholics are those Faithful I know and have known in my life.

I hope to be a good Catholic someday.

*

Saint Michael Come To Our Defense said...

'...As someone who hopes to be a Priest one day..."

God grant you the Priesthood.

Our prayers of the Holy Rosary will include you.

(I hope you stopped by my web site.)

*