Sunday, December 11, 2011

Upset and Betrayed

"I am upset, I feel betrayed", said one of parishioners today, let's call him Peter. He would describe himself as "gay" but would say he was Catholic first. His lifelong partner, Paul, died two or three years ago, they were both converts, they shared a house, said their prayers together and lived a chaste and holy life.

What Peter was upset about was that they had both, as loyal sons of the Church, decided not to have a civil partnership because they understood the 2003 CDF document “Consideration Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons”, as condemning them. They had also taken into account the English bishops statement of 2004 that such partnerships “do not promote the common good and we therefore strongly oppose them”.

Although they had made wills that left property to one another, what Paul hadn't done was to ensure that Peter was named as his next of kin. Paul had a stroke and was unable to communicate, he eventually went into a protracted comma and died. His sister who was actually his next of kin hated Peter and excluded him from any involvement in Paul's care. "She wouldn't even let me near him when died and rather than a Catholic funeral she insisted on a humanist one, just to spite, Paul would have hated it", Peter said.

Both Peter and Paul were Catholic before anything else they reacted strongly to any suggestion that their relationship might be considered sexual. Peter found the words of Archbishop Nichols, a volte face  “Same-sex partnerships are not marriage because they have no root in a sexual relationship which marriage does,” he said, “and that’s the distinction that I think it’s important for us to understand, that marriage is built on the sexual partnership between a man and a woman which is open to children, to their nurture and education.” "If only I had known that four years ago we would have been spared the misery we both went through", Peter said.

When priests like me, or other bloggers, criticise Archbishop Nichols for changing the Bishop's Conference teaching on same-sex partnerships and bring confusion we are not being "mischievous" as he suggests, we are showing concern for men like Peter and Paul.

Now, I must get round to making a will, as things stand at the moment my brother, my next of kin, isn't a Catholic, I am not sure he will know what do with vestments or chalices or my little collection of icons or my rather Catholic books and other possessions if he ends up by inheriting everything. What I am more concerned with is what he might do with me, if I should become like Paul. I don't want to end up on the Liverpool Care Pathway or in a nursing home without the sacraments. When I get round to it I intend to leave everything to a couple of priest friends, my executors, to dispose of everything, one of them has done the same naming me as his executor.

Now being practical according to the Archbishop same sex partnerships are devoid of sexual implications therefore I wonder if I have a duty to propose a civil partnership with one of my executors, so everything surrounding my death and dying becomes his responsibility. I wonder, doesn't every priest have a duty to do this?

Yes, I am being mischievous but it sort of makes sense, and yes I know one of parishioners has already made the suggestion.

p.s. Paul was not the real name of "Peter's" friend.


Ttony said...

Prayers, Father.

charles said...

Prayers for all concerned - not least Archbishop Nichols.

motuproprio said...

How many moral theologians do we have in the Conference of Bishops? That is certainly not Vincent's background.
It might be something the Nuncio needs to take into account when putting forward episcopal candidates.

Damask Rose said...

"Now being practical according to the Archbishop same sex partnerships are devoid of sexual implications therefore I wonder if I have a duty to propose a civil partnership with one of my executors, so everything surrounding my death and dying becomes his responsibility. I wonder, doesn't every priest have a duty to do this?"

Goodness Father! And what would happen in the meantime if your priestly executor, said "partner", decided to go all Modernist? A trial separation perhaps? Have you got enough savings to fund a formal separation? You'd have to, er, find a new partner Father. Best not to check out this (warning: content is much worse than the naff music) website:

And I thought we had enough problems with Austrian priests handing in petitions to Card Schonborn about getting married among other things. A couple of priests living in a presbytery will never be seen as the same again, what with priests possibly being classed as "employees" now, and equality and rights and tribunals and, and... Anyhow, hypothetically, could a bishop ask a priest living with his "civil partner" priest in the same presbytery to move on to another parish? You know, how priests just have to pack up and leave to new pastures every few years... (I thought that was one of the joys of celibacy).

Lynda said...

Regarding the relationship you refer to: the information you have given strongly suggests that both men had homosexual tendencies, which they acknowledged, and that their interest in each other was rooted in a homosexual attraction rather than a platonic friendship. They may not have engaged in physical sexual acts but their sharing a home was not a good or prudent thing to do. It puts them in a constant situation of temptation. Indeed, there is more to sinful sexual relationships than the physical, and to be chaste involves more than abstention from the physical aspect of such relationships. To remain completely chaste while living together - well, I don't think it would be possible, if they were not simply good friends (both of whom happened to have homosexual inclinations. It seems to me, at the very least, the creation of occasions of sin. If they were just platonic friends, they would not have considered civil partnership, which does not apply to such relationships. Moreover, living together in a single home while identifying themselves as having homosexual tendencies can only cause scandal to others who acknowledge the moral law. I can see no reason why the Church did not step in and do its duty by the man who died. His parish should and could have ensured he got a Catholic funeral. There was, presumably, irrefutable evidence that he was a Catholic, and not only a Catholic, but a practising Catholic who would've wanted a Catholic funeral. If there had been the will on the part of his Catholic priest and friends, they could have sought legal custody of his remains on the grounds that his sister was maliciously planning to deny the Catholic funeral. This issue has nothing to do with civil partnerships as they exist under Scottish, English and Welsh laws. The problem would have been the same had they just been two close Catholic friends who shared a home, and one died leaving a spiteful sister in charge of the funeral arrangements. On Archbishop Nicholls: he is leading his flock astray and ought to be disciplined. As for moral theologians, there are probably more openly dissenting clerics of that discipline, than any other. And no, one doesn't need to be a moral theologian to be a good Bishop or to know that conferral of public status on a homosexual relationship is inherently, objectively evil.

Rabies Theologorum said...

Father at least there was a will written,I know of a case where the whole estate was taken - there was a will somewhere but it mysteriously vanished- the house and all - but the sister did not want the dog - the companion was left penniless and he could not look after the dog - the friend had to take it to a pound. Terrible - in alll things charity - some people will be asked at that last judgement about how they disposed of peoples wills - perhaps the church should preach more about the serious moral obligations about discharging instructions in wills. Regards Stuart

The Rev. M. Forbes said...

Moralizing is not to the point with the two gentlemen. They were what they were, as are we all, and that is sinners in need of grace.

The very real point is that every human being has the right to designate who will administer death and post death. I hate to be morbid and cynical but next- of- kin have caused as much difficulty as nation states.

I do not know British Law, but if it is anything like US law, there are instruments which can cover all of the issues stated here. The Book of Common Prayer directs all clergy to instruct people to make provision in wills and to remember charity. I think this is sound advice for all clergy. Perhapps you can engage a solicitor to give instruction on this matter with your mature members and others. Serve tea and cakes and it ill be most supportive.

As to making a fuss about the unprovided funeral, well, pointless. The time required to get relief from a modern courd, if you got it, would delay grief to an immoral extent.

Use the EF and celebrate a Funeral Mass with the catafalque. It has always been allowed when the body can only be present morally. There is certainly good reason that the body is unavailable.

God blessyou

The Rev. Michael P. Forbes
Rochester, Minnesota

Physiocrat said...

Everyone should make a will. Everyone should also make arrangements for what used to be called Enduring Power of Attorney but may now come under new legislation.

B. said...

If there are no "sexual implications" then why does the government not allow partnerships between relatives?

There have been elderly ladies who live together and wanted to enjoy the tax cuts, but they're not allowed to.

Victor said...

Lynda: You seem to know an awful lot about "Peter" and "Paul". Do you have any background knowledge, or were you just letting your fantasy have a field day? Way to go, honestly!

Aaron S-C said...

"Lynda said...
Moreover, living together in a single home while identifying themselves as having homosexual tendencies can only cause scandal to others who acknowledge the moral law."

This is absolute RUBBISH. I quote:

"For scandal to exist it is therefore essential and sufficient, with regard to the nature of the act and the circumstances under which it takes place, that it be of a nature to induce sin in another; consequently it is not necessary that the neighbour should actually fall into sin;"


"Still less can that be considered scandal, which only arouses comment, indignation, horror etc., for instance blasphemy committed in the presence of a priest or of a religious; it is true that the act arouses indignation and in common parlance it is often called scandalous, but this way of speaking is inaccurate, and in strictly theological terminology it is not the sin of scandal."

(Catholic Encyclopaedia: Scandal)

IN OTHER WORDS scandal must either lead another man to sin or create the moral conditions for another man to sin... scandal is not when GOSSIPERS think bad of somebody or something that they do not like/ have a particular prejudice against.

"Lynda said...
And no, one doesn't need to be a moral theologian to be a good Bishop or to know that conferral of public status on a homosexual relationship is inherently, objectively evil."

Well conferral of public status on homosexual unions that are ROOTED IN A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP.

I have noticed you post on similar issues before Lynda and just from the point of a casual observe you seem to have a serious problem / set of problematic preconceptions about who homosexual men are and what homosexual men do.

A Reluctant Sinner said...

It is stories like this one that need to be sent to the Archbishop of Westminster. Personal accounts like Peter's speak to the heart.

I really don't think Archbishop Nichols realises that there are men and women out there with same sex attraction who actually want to live according to the gospel and the Church's teaching. They do not want what the world has to offer, neither do they want the kind of pastoral provision that actually leads them away from the clear teachings of Christ.

Being offered the (openly pro-"gay culture") Soho Masses as an official form of pastoral care and being told (albeit implied) that there isn't anything really wrong with civil partnerships, must be quite painful for those like "Peter" who are willing to deny themselves in order to live the faith God has given them.

nickbris said...

Two men living together is not a sign that they are homosexual,some men can't be doing with yakking women orderng them about or controlling their lives.

Male friends are more likely to have the same interests.

Back in the day,s when homosexuality was virtually a hanging offence travelling salesmen were actually expected to share a bed in economical boarding houses,now it is automatically assumed that they are "At It".

Are we not allowed to have same-sex friendships?

Lynda said...

Yes, as a lawyer I am very well acquainted with "civil partnership" legislation in the UK and elsewhere. I referred to the circumstances of the relationship described in the post, nothing more. There is no good in discussing particular persons. To repeat, the Civil Partnership Act is based on civil marriage, but for the purpose of giving public status to sexual relationships between two consenting adults of the same sex, who are not within prohibited degrees of consanguinity, affinity, etc., are not married or in civil partnership with a third party etc. Obviously, there is no moral question with two platonic friends, both of whom happen to have homosexual inclinations, sharing a home. That is not in issue. God bless.

john-of-hayling said...

Nickbris - and also not so long ago in the old Christmas favourite of the Morecombe and Wise show - they were often shown as sharing a bed. Perhaps I missed the point..........

Delia said...

Heartbreaking story.

But apart from tax benefits, I don't see that civil partnerships make any difference to what happens after death. If one makes a will, surely it's the responsibility of the executors to ensure that the testator's wishes are carried out? So the thing is to ensure that one's executors are trustworthy. I don't think they have to be next of kin.

For an alternative point of view about civil partnerships, see the comment by Caroline Farrow on recent civil partnership post on Protect the Pope.

Dymphna said...

Never mind the sexual aspect, this happens all the time. Everyone should make a will and let people know the will exists. Otherwise your next of kin get to do as they please.

. said...

I’m getting very confused by this discussion over a very sad story. It’s my understanding that Peter and Paul’s sexuality and what the CDF, English bishops or Archbishop Nicholls said, does not enter into the nub of it.

Rather, it would seem that Paul was possibly badly advised by whoever drew up his Will.

When Paul gave instructions in his Will about disposing his estate to Peter, he could easily also have expressed a wish to his Executor(s) that he wanted to be buried or cremated according to the rites of the Catholic Church.

It’s my understanding that while there is no absolute legal requirement to obey such a wish, nevertheless there is a grave moral obligation to do so. So if, say, in a family row which went to Court, heaven forfend, anyone disagreeing with the wish would have to show extremely good cause as to why it should be set aside.

So Fr Ray, there’s no need for you to enter into a Civil Partnership! You can easily give your instructions or express your wishes in your Will about disposing of your chalices and so on, drawn up, I suggest, by a solicitor who specialises in writing Wills. Perhaps any lawyer on here who specialises in English & Welsh probate law could correct me if I’m wrong.

You should also have a Lasting Power of Attorney. Take legal advice on how it can deal with your concerns about the Liverpool Care Pathway and how you should anticipate making your wishes known if such a course is proposed. Can a Catholic doctor’s group advise?

I’m writing from what I’ve learnt after three, very unpleasant, family rows. Two involved poorly drafted Wills. The third was about who could or could not visit as next of kin. said...

Fr Ray Hope you are felling much better.

I have posted the position of The Law in England and Wales, on the Archbishop backs Equality page of Fr Ray's Blog.

John of Hayling's comments on Morcombe and Wise's shows indicates to us how much times have changed. Indeed, I remember well the shows and looked forward to 'Bring me sunshine in your smile'

No smiles now!

However, changes can bring new challenges. Society with the new adaptation on morals and permissable behaviour is now demanding in Law to have protection on new styled ways of living. Supporters of same sex unions, civil partnerships, same sex marriages have held frequent parliamentary lobby and as a result, now we are looking and thinking what will happen in the future of our Catholic England. Will Catholics be forced to keep further silent and accept ways of behaviour which are unacceptable to us or against our religious teaching?

We relied on our Bishops to safeguard and protect The Holy Catholic Church in England and Wales.
We relied on Catholics to be practising Catholics and not just use the RC title to get their children into good schools.
We relied on our priests so much that they are still working at the age of 80 plus.

We don't seem to be able to rely on the Leadership of Catholic England because of most unfortunate statements which have now become the subject of so many posts.

I think the time has come that we can only rely on oneself and speak out and be heard.

If you disagree with civil partnership blessings in your church - then speak out to your Bishop.

Please don't confuse the protected rights of an individual with issues of sexual behaviour between two adults. There are enough contentious issues with the protection of civil rights within a
legally binding bond between two people without dragging sex into it. Two people living under one roof does not automatically indicate that they are intimate with each other.
Each case on it's own merits please. Each case is individual.

Can we have some morals back in Catholic England?
It appears that we are losing confidence in our Catholic Leadership very quickly.
May I suggest that we get it back on the right Roman Road!

Clearly Salmon said...

Father, an inspirational and comforting post. I am touched by 'Peter and Paul's' commitment to living out their relationship as Catholics. I take my hat off to them.
I am gutted for Peter in his situations and sad that even in death Paul's wishes were not honoured as a Catholic.
Thank you for your informative blog that faces in the direction of True North without fail.
Faithful Catholics need your guidance and support through the blogging that you do.
Thank you!

Pablo the Mexican said...

When the Mass was given the boot, and women were taken from the pews and placed on the altar, and us men given our walking papers, nobody even for an instant thought of us being upset and betrayed by Church Hierarchy.

Why do people with sexual perversions think their situation needs to be considered at all?

The Church in her history, due reparation made, has always welcomed the sinner back into the treasury of her souls, but never his sin into the treasury of her wisdom.

Consider first what and who God wants you to be.

Then work hard at being that.

Don't waste a Padre's time trying to get him to empathize with your sin; his job is to hunt it down and kill it.

They wear black because they go to the place of Death, which is sin.

They bring souls back to life.

The sin is left for dead.

"Go, and sin no more"

May God our Lord in His infinite and supreme goodness be pleased to give us His abundant grace, that we may know His most holy will, and entirely fulfill it.


GOR said...

Father, I can understand your concern about where you might spend your final days, months or years (“I don’t want to end up on the Liverpool Care Pathway…without the sacraments.”). That is a concern for all of us as we age – and some of us are closer to it in years…!

But as to the disposition of your goods, why the concern? Once we are dead it won’t matter to us anymore what happens to what we have left behind – except in the case of married people who have an obligation to make provisions for spouses or children while still alive. But, once deceased, that horse has left the barn.

Dominic McCarthy said...

Solent Rambler has the most sensible advice. Make your will carefully, choose an executor you can trust, and leave precise instructions about your funeral. The story of Peter and Paul is very sad, and an object lesson in what can go wrong, if this advice is not followed. One can certainly understand how the surviving friend feels so let down by +VN, although his was just a passing comment in the course of a Press Conference. And of more than dubious magisterial value.

Bishops who are moral theologians? Archbishop Peter Smith taught morals at Wonersh for years, although his doctorate is in Canon Law.

The new Westminster auxiliary +John Sherrington has a Licence in moral theology.

I apologise if I am mistaken, but I don't think there are any other moral theologians in the hierarchy.

This brings one to a more general point. In order to become a bishop, Canon Law stipulates that a priest should be

Canon 378.5 "in possession of a doctorate or at least a licentiate in sacred scripture, theology, or canon law from an institute of higher studies approved by the Apostolic See, or at least truly expert in the same disciplines."

In terms of degrees in theology, probably half or more of our bishops are sadly underqualified, having either no degrees or only Bachelor-level degrees in theology. Whether they are "truly expert" in the same disciplines, your readers can draw their own conclusions on an individual basis, bishop by bishop.

However, in a society where more people than ever have university education of some sort, this leaves many of the bishops somewhat exposed and vulnerable in academic terms.

Perhaps that is why they tend to be unduly impressed by dissident academics, Tabletistas and wonky Protestants. Of course, they can always fall back on authoritarianism, but it doesn't work well these days.

It can't be easy for some of them, feeling that their own academic formation is weak or incomplete, yet perched in high and vulnerable positions in the Church, and unable to pass muster with their Anglican or secular equivalents.

Of course, the apostles had no English or Pontifical Catholic University degrees, but we live in a very different age. Grace builds on Nature, but the Nature side needs to be there in the first place.

Dominic MacCarthy said...

A little puzzle for your canon lawyers:

If a priest contracts a civil partnership with another man (priest or not), he is not contracting marriage in the terms of the Canons below, which concern a cleric attempting marriage. The Church (rightly) sees marriage as essentially a heterosexual union.

The old Latin tag, giving the principle for interpreting canon law, went "lex restringens restringenda, lex amplians amplianda."

i.e. Laws imposing penalties are interpreted strictly, favourable laws are interpreted widely.

It would seem therefore that a priest who enters a civil partnership with another male does not incur latae sententiae (automatic) suspension from office. Discuss!

For your convenience:

Canon 1394 §1 Without prejudice to the provisions of Canon 194, §1, n. 3, a cleric who attempts marriage, even if only civilly, incurs a latae sententiae suspension. If, after warning, he has not reformed and continues to give scandal, he can be progressively punished by deprivations, or even by dismissal from the clerical state.

Can. 194 §1 The following are removed from ecclesiastical office by virtue of the law itself:

1° one who has lost the clerical state;

2° one who has publicly defected from the catholic faith or from communion with the Church;

3° a cleric who has attempted marriage, even a civil one.

§2 The removal mentioned in nn. 2 and 3 can be insisted upon only if it is established by a declaration of the competent authority.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Dominic MacCarthy,
Abp Smith taught Law not Morals at Wonersh.

Pablo the Mexican said...

"...A little puzzle for your canon lawyers:..."

My little brother, God rest his soul, used to have a saying:

"You know, brudda, that guy is stuck on stupid"

I think it applies in these cases.


On the side of the angels said...

Absolutely fantastic post father - so much I could write but so many have already said so much - but what too of those who lost their jobs when they closed down adoption agencies on this principle; or those registrars who lost their jobs because they refused to perform the ceremonies; or those marriage guidance counsellors who lost their jobs because they wouldn't give sex-advice to same-sex couples?

That's an irrelevance compared to so many lives potentially disrupted or damaged by this 'collective dumping' of Church teaching by the paper-shufflers and policy-advisers behind +Vin's position [ask any Catholic Voice and they are so intensively well-rehearsed with their 'thought triangle' 'positive reframing' argument that it's almost Stepford-like and totalitarian.

Thoughtless, callous, disrespectful, utterly insensitive and unappreciative and so devoid from the reality of the issue on the ground for so many people...

We now know what's worse than social-worker clerics - that's social-theorist clerics with their professional lay spindoctor sidekicks injecting poison in their ears...

Damask Rose said...

This whole thing's a mess.

I don't think Archbishop Nichols has done a volte face by saying:

“Same-sex partnerships are not marriage because they have no root in a sexual relationship which marriage does,” he said, “and that’s the distinction that I think it’s important for us to understand, that marriage is built on the sexual partnership between a man and a woman which is open to children, to their nurture and education.”

I think Archbishop Nichols is right here. Homosexuals can call it endlessly what they want: civil partnership, marriage etc. It doesn't matter. In the end, the Church doesn't recognise homosexual sex. (It's supposed to be a sin.) There is only one way a Catholic "homosexual" man can live his life in the Church.

What is volte face is the bishops going against the previous 2003/4 statements, because their/Nichols new stance ("equality" etc) is now non-salvific for homosexuals. This new stance is reminiscent of the current CCC discussion of homosexuals as a 'moral disorder'* and 'accept'*. The problem is, if the Church doesn't go out and try and save homosexuals' souls and get them to live chaste lives as Peter and Paul here, go to Encourage and so on, you end up having Soho Masses with their 'accepting' homilies and Quest justifing all of this.

Jesus said we can sin in "thought, word and deed". So if someone "thinks, speaks and does" as gay, he's sinning. How many priests and bishops are going to show homosexuals the way to accept grace and have a firm purpose of amendment to help them attain heaven? How many priests would be good confessors to homosexuals? Think chastity.

*To my mind, calling homosexuality a "moral disorder" is likening it to a chronic illness. Meaning you've got to live with it all your life (even if you go into remission). Calling homosexuality a wicked sin (crying out to heaven for vengeance) is better, because through the grace of God, healing of wounds and repentance, a homosexual can go straight. Yes, there may be those who will struggle till death, but they'll be saintly. The old Penny Catechism says it all. Sin of ommission, occasion, culpability, responsibility for others' sins. Remember "offering it up".

The Catholic Church no longer converts anyone. Insider or out of it. The shepherds don't look for the sheep and we're all floundering around trying to save ourselves kind of like using self-help books you'd find in bookshops' 'popular psychology' shelves. Padre Pio eschewed the notion of 'self-esteem'. Too much ego. Pride. On YouTube, Archbishop Fulton Sheen describes how, with habitual sins, you just crowd them out with new habits of prayer and so on. And is homosexuality merely a fixation (habit) on one aspect of 'self': sexuality?

I really think that the laity and priests no longer belive that Jesus can save them/need saving. ...Yay, we're already saved...

(I think Lynda's right about the scandal.)

Pablo the Mexican said...


You and your Fratres were remembered today, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, at Tepeyac Hill.

Que Dios te bendiga, Padre.

Santa María de Guadalupe Esperanza nuestra, salva nuestra patria y conserva nuestra Fe.


George Scully said...

I am reminded of Cardinal Hume's words... 'love between two people, including those of the same sex

I am reminded of some of the comments by the saintly Cardinal Hume in A Note on the Teaching of the Catholic Church concerning Homosexual People". The Cardinal re-affirmed that the Church cannot approve of homosexual genital acts, but stresses that the particular orientation or inclination of the homosexual person is "not a moral failing " .

"Homophobia should have no place among Catholics.''

"It is a mistake to say or think that if two persons of the same or different sexes enjoy a deep and lasting friendship then they must be sexually involved".

"Love between two persons, whether of the same sex or of a different sex, is to be treasured and respected,"

"To love another is in fact to reach out to God, who shares his lovableness with the one we love. To be loved is to receive a sign or share of God's unconditional love. To love another, whether of the same sex or of a different sex, is to have entered the area of the richest human experience."

Veritas said...

One major problem is imprecise language. When people speak of love, many others interpret this to mean romantic or genital love.

Pope Benedict's first encyclical "Deus Caritas Est" clearly distinguished between romantic/physical love (eros), friendship (philia) and Christlike/self-sacrificing love (agape).

Unfortunately some people will misinterpret even something like "hate the sin - but love the sinner".

gemoftheocean said...

StMike: 'When the Mass was given the boot, and women were taken from the pews and placed on the altar, and us men given our walking papers, nobody even for an instant thought of us being upset and betrayed by Church Hierarchy.'

Boo, hoo. You really have a 'woman' problem don't you? In what church were women allowed to 'STAND ON' the altar? Or are you want of the clueless who don't know the distinction between the sanctuary and the altar? I don't know what sect you belong to [I thought it was the SSPX where women are basically barefoot and covered in sack cloth, which no doubt delights your misogynist soul[, but in the Catholic Church united under Pope Benedict XVI, women don't say the Mass. Sorry if your little outfit is different.

[Did you perhaps have an elder sister who regularly beat the tar out of you? or could beat you in a foot race? Get help.]

gemoftheocean said...

GOR: I can well see why Fr. Would want his personal effects properly disposed of. Perhaps you know of Scot Hahn? The presbyterian minister who became Catholic? When he was a teenager, he was the one in the family given his Catholic grandmother's personal religious article. Being a fervid anti-Catholic at the time, he had torn apart his grandmother's rosary beads, thinking these were an 'ignorant chain' that bound her from seeking Jesus -- he also destroyed her prayerbooks, etc.

He later confessed it hurts him now to know he did that, ignorantly then.

Father is bound to have a fair amount of personal items that he wishes to be distributed properly to one who can use or appreciate them. Not saying anything bad about his family members - but even innocently they might dispose of something that could have been used by a fellow priest or Catholic friend. Even apart from chalices and things used in the Mass, Fr. may have over the course of a life time have acquired some valuable books that someone not knowing may just toss on the rubbish heap or think they aren't worth much. Things out of print or hard to find that would be of interest to a Catholic scholar or someone else who'd appreciate them.

Pablo the Mexican said...

"...I can well see why Fr. Would want his personal effects properly disposed of..."

I purchased the chalice and candle holder of a Priest's Mass kit; it was on sale with rubbish at a thrift shop... how sad.

People, you should know your Padre so well they come to your home and are able to grab a snack from the fridge, take a nap, or carry on business privately in the den.

If there is no time or room in your family for your Padre or Nun's, there is no place for you in Heaven.

Padres know thousands of people but have no friends. Just because they know and maybe gather with other Priests does not mean they are friends.

Take care of Nuns also.

When a Priest dies, you should know him well enough that the things he has should go where he wishes.

When I am with the Priest that cares for my soul, I shine his raggedy shoes (they are always in need of polishing) and I make certain he has a clean cassock available, even if I have to buy him one.

I drive him where he needs to go, and wait while he does Padre stuff; I never stick my nose in his business.

The Padre is always telling me to get lost, but I insist on helping.

Better he tell you to get lost than to have to search for you to find out what state your soul is in.

That's how well you should know your Padre.

If God wills the Padre die, I will hand dig the hole they bury him in.

If he gets sick, I will make certain he gets what he needs to recuperate.

If the Sinner can push armed guards out of the way to wash Christ's feet with her tears, I can bully my way to help the Padre or Madre.

After all, the Sinner was just a girl.

You cannot do enough for a Padre or Madre.


Lynda said...

St. Michael Come to Our Defence - the description of devotion to one's priest is beautiful.

Pablo the Mexican said...

“…Boo, hoo. You really have a 'woman' problem don't you?...”


No, I don’t.

I married one, and impregnated her nine times.

During our marriage, we have come under assault by Anti-Mary feminists Modernists.

Most were priestetts, the ‘Eucharistic Ministers’/Lectors/Associate Pastors ad infinitum.

For the edification of your soul:

I have placed a video on my youtube account of a Traditional Roman Catholic Marriage:

Also, on my blog:

I have posted a photo of my wife and children when they we young (does it appear she is wearing sackcloth? She is wearing the treasure she will take to Heaven, her children).

In the picture, my wife was once again pregnant.

Calling someone a misogynists is not Charitable, especially if you have lost your direction as to what a woman’s vocation (place in life) is.

We should follow the example of the Holy Mother:

To be with Her is to be with Christ. ... to Her the second Resurrection, that of the Church, has been entrusted.

Standing ever faithfully at the foot of the cross She shares Christ's ostracism in death as She shared His exclusion from the inn at His birth. ...

Mary is already what the Church has yet to be in the fullness of Her being. ... She is the personal symbol of the Church…

Mary alone is eternally and completely faithful to God.

... She alone can show us how to obey God perfectly despite the most flagrant abuses of authority.

As she guided Her children through the Passion of Her Son, so now she will guide them through the Passion of His Church.

Satan’s hour will turn out to be Mary’s.

Shake off that Pride and masculinity Satan has ensnared you with; become a woman again, in the light of Mary, our Mother and our Queen.

I have fought demons from Hell in hand to hand combat for my girl, I am not a whatever liberals want to spit at me.

Which I don’t mind.

What irks me is having to deal with someone that should be sitting in the pew praying, not up on the altar playing priestette, and picking fights with the men.


gemoftheocean said...

St. Mikie: I am not threatened by men, but you seem to fear women who aren't pregnant in the kitchen. You cower because some women are lectors or EMs? Good grief, get a life Doesn't take much for you to grip yourself like some poncy soccer player defending against a penalty kick. I bet you get all worked up with knots inside if a woman were to show up unveiled in your sect. 'Brazen hussy.'

gemoftheocean said...

BTW: 'Shake off that Pride and masculinity Satan has ensnared you with; become a woman again, in the light of Mary, our Mother and our Queen.'

What arrogance.

Incidentally, are men who haven't pumped out 9 children as 'masculine' as you? You are blessed indeed to have so many children, but to confuse that with how 'masculine' you are seems strange. Odd you base your maleness on that attribute.

Men being able to be fathers and women being able to be mothers is simply mother nature. Are the men who become priests, or single men, or men who were unable to 'impregnate' some sort of eunuch in your machismo world?

I don't think the worth of a man or woman is based on their fecundity. Was Mother Teresa less of a woman because she had no children? Fr. Blake less of a man because he sired no children?

Your concern for priests is admirable, but they are men too, who may or may not need your help.

Lynda said...

Personal attacks should not be published. They are not worthy of the blog and detract from the issues which ought to be discussed with respect and with Christian love. They fuel bad feeling and debase the discussion.

JM said...


Just because you say you are a lawyer, does not mean that you should also lose your sense of humour. My lawyer friends are hilarious. Chill -it's Christmas soon.

SMCTD is very naughty because he knows that gemoftheocean cannot resist a spar. He knows how to push the buttons.
My very good advise - is stay out of it but enjoy the banter.

Don't take it too seriously - they love it.

But with nine children - I don't know how you have the time to blog?? You must be eating some highly energetic foods for your breakfast.

Pablo the Mexican said...

"...Don't take it too seriously - they love it..."

I am sadden by people that insert themselves into Holy Mother Church with Feminists/Liberal inclinations.

Many souls come to harm due their prideful behavior.

Evil needs to be called just that, whether we find it in Church, or out in the street.

There are many people doing wrong in Holy Mother Church that think they are righteous and/or doing God's work.

A rule of thumb is; stand in the shadow of the Padre and do as you are told.

If you ever utter the words "I think" to a Padre, you are wrong.

It is a lesson in humility to be all powerful in the world and then have a Padre tell you what you really are before God.

Someone mentioned I might be in actuality His Excellency Bishop Williamson.

Whoever that was needs to apologize to the good Bishop.

This is a video I made while in Sahuayo, Michoacan, Mexico.

In the video, you hear me narrating.

Please look at my other 469Fitter videos.

Miss Lynda,

Thank you for your Charity.

Don't let 'fighting' bother you.

May people do not know who or what they should be.

They kick and scream until the day comes, through patience and persistance, and admonishments, we are able to correct their ways.

It's like with children; one child acts up, all the other kids jump on him.

He wins, he is the leader.

He loses, he becomes part of the gang.

By God's grace and mercy, I haven't lost a fight yet, Madam.

God be with you.


gemoftheocean said...


'Someone mentioned I might be in actuality His Excellency Bishop Williamson.

Whoever that was needs to apologize to the good Bishop.'

I wouldn't call a holocaust denier a 'good Bishop' - but you're quite right in apologizing to Williamson on this one -- he's quite a big ass on his own without your 'help.'

Fr Ray Blake said...

Gem - Michael

CHARITY said...

Fr Ray
Wonderful posts. Keeps me smiling.
Very good exchanges and comments.

Hope you are feeling much better.

Pablo the Mexican said...


If you follow my comments there are no direct attacks on person; the attacks are on principle.

I happen to know His Excellency Bishop Williamson personally.

I understand his Roman Catholicism and admire his ability to speak clearly and plainly Truth even in a firestorm.

The World came out to lynch him, and his Fratre Bishop placed him under house arrest.

"Am I not here, your Mother, who keeps you in the fold of her mantle?"

In Bishop Williamson's case, the Holy Mother obviously made good regarding that statement.

The good Bishop has the World beating a path to his doorstep, even those of the World that hate him, seeking Truth.

His Superior Bishop is left in the dust, as we say here.

The Holy Mother sends Angels to help the Priests in whom she forges in the image of her Son.

Our Padres should not fear the World or Satan, as the Holy Mother is feared more by Satan than he fears God.

Work hard, tend your sheep, (of which I consider myself one of them) and don't forget us as you pray.

We shall continue to pray like a bunch of cats that got their tails stepped on at the front gates of Heaven on your behalf.

Muchos appreciados for being a good Padre to us all.

May God our Lord in His infinite and supreme goodness be pleased to give us His abundant grace, that we may know His most holy will, and entirely fulfill it.

Que Dios nos agarre confessados.


Physiocrat said...

Aren't the comments getting a bit off the subject? I think it is called topic drift.

FrP said...


You said 'charity, charity, charity'

I say 'medication, medication, medication'

I enjoy your posts. Thank you.

FrBT said...

Fr Ray

Remember the song?
'And so this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year over, and a new one just begun'

There is hope in this song. Like there should be peace and hope in our hearts.

When it comes to the Fourth Sunday of Advent, I tend to reflect on what I have been doing throughout the year.

I look at my flock and I see empty spaces where once sat familiar faithful faces.

I see families expanding and Mum's - to- be waiting patiently for the little one to arrive.

I see newly wed couples waiting for their first Christmas as husband and wife.

I see students come home from Uni -grown up and probably brought back a suitcase full of washing for mum to do. (and they come to Mass in my church and help out).

And I say each year to all of them;
And so this is Christmas and what have you done in the past year?

Before and after each Mass this weekend, the confessional opens. The light goes on. The faithful come in.

I put a little sign on the door

'Open all hours'

Happy Fourth Sunday of Advent


Pablo the Mexican said...

“…I say 'medication, medication, medication'…”

Hardy har, har, Padre.

I just had lunch with an Executive Director I had as an Administrator.

He deals with hard core social problems across all strata of American Society.

I reminded him the biggest problem facing everyone, rich, poor, sane, crazy, and indifferent is lack of Faith, and lack of knowledge of the Faith.

People go to the Modernist Church for meat and potatoes, and are fed cotton candy.

The ones holding the line are ‘Traditional Catholics’ as they are known now.

The Physician of souls has left us medication; since about 1960 the prescription has been diabolically disoriented.

“…I think it is called topic drift…”

“…[5] Thou hast prepared a table before me against them that afflict me. Thou hast anointed my head with oil; and my chalice which inebriateth me, how goodly is it!...”

In the Holy Name of Jesus Christ, Padre Blake has set a table before us at his blog; how wonderful it must be to attend a Mass at the Church he has made worthy of the Blessed Sacrament!

As any family, (heavy on the family part) that is seated in the Holy Name, many will have much to say, and all the cries shall be heard by our Divine Master.

He promised us this, and I without any doubt, believe Him.

God bless Padre Blake.

“…Before and after each Mass this weekend, the confessional opens. The light goes on. The faithful come in.

I put a little sign on the door

'Open all hours'…”

Not even Saint Michael Archangel or if Saint John Marie Vianney can appear and save souls by forgiving sins.

It must be a living, breathing Padre.

We will pray for you that when Satan attacks you for robbing him, the Holy Angels will give him some what for.

With the assurance of my Holy Rosary prayers for all your good work in the vineyard of the Divine Master, I remain yours truly in Jesus and Mary Immaculate.


John Fisher said...

Why don't you enter into a civil partnership with Archbishop Smith? I wonder if the bishops would object to that?
I am of the opinion is that one way to defeat this whole government involvement is for "civil partnership" to be extended to everyone. Maybe Moslem's can have multiple partnerships (up to 4). Then the goverment can abolish the sham based on an idea that it can marry anyone......except unbaptised.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Because he hasn't asked and I don't know him well enough.

Pablo the Mexican said...

"I refuse to participate in your sin"

This is what I tell people everyday when they demonstrate their sexual perversions; gay, fornicator, porno, and so on.

We need to say the same thing to people that bring stupid stuff up such as 'Civil Partnerships' and so on.

The Devil does not want us to speak 'Catholic'.

He wants us to spend time speaking drivel.

Bishops should be catechizing, not 'Going with Satan's flow'.


Terry Nelson said...

You are a wonderful priest Fr. Blake. God bless you.

eulogos said...

I don't think the issue of a person's being denied the funeral they want because the "next of kin" disagrees is a light one. I don't believe either that it is easily solved by putting the matter into a will. Wills are not usually read until after the funeral.
When the person dies, the hospital calls the person whom they have identified as next of kin and asks what to do with the body. The next of kin calls a funeral home. The funeral home director obviously asks the person who has hired him what arrangements to make, and that is the kind of funeral the person has. I am not sure what sure remedy there is for this. One can make one's own arrangements with a funeral home ahead of time. If one is conscious, one can have a statement put in one's hospital records. But if the next of kin wants to do something else, there is really nothing legal to stop him or her from doing so.

A well known example here in the United States is what Katherine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding "Bishop" of the Episcopal Church in the US, did when her mother died. Her mother had converted to Eastern Orthodoxy quite a few years ago, was very devout in that faith, and clearly expected to be buried with their ritual. Instead, Ms. Schori took control of the body and herself celebrated an Episcopal funeral for her mother. Her mother's "Spiritual Father," what we would call her confessor and spiritual advisor, heard about the funeral by accident, and showed up, only to hear his spiritual daughter's devotion to Orthodoxy ridiculed by Ms. Schori as the eccentric fantasy of a declining mind.

I had a friend who had secretly become a Catholic, who had been unable to practice her faith for some years because she was afraid to drive and somewhat agoraphobic, and couldn't ask her family, who had therefore lapsed into the Episcopal church because it was in walking distance from her house. Shortly after that church was closed, she became ill. She died during a blizzard at Christmas time when my car was in the shop, and I couldn't get there. As she lapsed into semiconsciousness, I pleaded with her family on the phone, first to call a priest, then at least to call an episcopal priest, but they simply stonewalled me, changed the subject...and she died without absolution or even a blessing and prayers. I wasn't invited to the "celebration of her life" they had said they were going to have later, if it even ever occurred.

It seems to me that there should be some legal form to take care of this issue, totally aside from the issue of civil partnerships.
Susan Peterson

eulogos said...

continued (comment was too long)
I would like to say that as a nurse I have seen homosexual men show true devotion to their dying partners, long past the time when any sex would be involved. I fought for their right to stay the same as any family member, and I usually won, so long as no blood family was involved who disapproved. Even in sinful relationships, there can be human virtues. I leave it to God to sort all that out. But when one partner has been extremely ill for some years and the other has stood by and nursed that person, well the sexual sin has ended and only the human virtue is left. Only God knows to what degree each of these people knew or did not know, that the sexual acts were sins. I refuse to believe that the human virtues sometimes shown in these situations are not pleasing to Him. I do think such people have a right to a legal framework which allows them to stay together at the end.

Since many of us need to choose who will be with us in the hospital, who will make our medical decisions, who will choose what sort of funeral we have, I think a legal framework for all of these things could be put in place without even getting into the issue of whether approving civil partnerships is tantamount to approving "gay marriage."

Finally, I will comment that yes, what Nichols said is different from the earlier statements from Rome that no such thing as a civil partnership can be approved. On the one hand, Rome is right that this is a step towards "gay marriage." The Church can't absolutely approve such partnership, since they legitimize 'sexual' acts which are sinful. At the same time, I believe Nicols is correct that such arrangements, if honored, are a better life for homosexuals than promiscuity. And I think he was saying, "They already have that, legally, so why do you have to push for the word 'marriage'? " Which in the current situation is a reasonable point. Reasonable, but sort of besides the point, since the point in the eyes of those demanding "gay marriage" is to obviate any difference. But I would cut Nichol's some slack on this one, as he was only making a political argument when he made his statement.

Susan Peterson

Gerald said...

The French have something which they call "solidarity pacts", and they are open to anyone--not just same-sex partners. Would that we all could institute something like this and then move on with political life.

I speak as an American very tired of the endless debate, rancor and especially litigation over gay partnerships.

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