Priest Shortage Prompts Desperate
and Dangerous Policy
Some decisions are like infections that require a period of incubation before full-blown manifestation. This has proven true of many of the “reforms” that have ravaged the Catholic Church in recent decades and that can be traced to language in the decrees of Vatican II or the policy statements of officials in Rome.
This is why language is so important. The loss of Thomistic precision in favor of a supposedly more pastoral idiom, such as appears in conciliar and post-conciliar Church documents, has produced verbal vagueness, which in turn has contributed to confusion and instability in doctrine and discipline.
A circumambient caution should attend every public utterance from the Holy See and its Roman congregations, for the effects of official and semi-official pronouncements can work for good or ill in the Church Universal. A statement that has come to light in the Catholic Herald in the United Kingdom is a worrisome case in point.
The letter, in response to an entreaty by a mission in Australia, revises in one fell swoop the standing policy that prohibits laicized priests from performing a range of activities. It also relocates authority in the matter of relaxing restrictions on such priests from the Holy See to the local bishop.
Priests who have been granted what is called a “rescript of the Holy See” are permitted to dispense with their vow of celibacy at the expense of forfeiting their sacerdotal role. (See: “Laicization” in New Advent's Catholic Encyclopedia.) They may marry within the Church, but they are no longer permitted to say Mass, administer the sacraments or occupy certain teaching positions, among other things.
According to Cardinal Dias' letter, the local bishop may now allow laicized priests to administer Holy Communion and to teach theology and religion at Catholic institutions. It also permits such priests to engage in these roles at parishes where they have served prior to their laicization.
These changes are troubling on several counts, some of which should be quite obvious.
There are rare cases in which a man may belatedly discover that his vocation was not genuine but the result of a failure in proper discernment, whether culpable or not, and his laicization is judged by his superiors to be the best option.
A priest who, by his own desire or that of his superiors, is relieved of his priestly duties and returned to lay life is, quite simply, a failed priest. This is not to judge his soul, but to state what is plainly the case in the objective order: he made promises he did not, will not, or cannot, keep. And these promises were sacred vows to God.
This is no light matter, and any action that would appear to portray it as such should be avoided. To allow a laicized priest to return in any sacerdotal role, especially at a parish where he formerly served, cannot help but to make his laicization seem something of a mere formality. It can also have a divisive effect.
When Father Jones becomes Mr. Jones, then returns to distribute the Eucharist and teach catechism, some parishioners may object; others may be more accepting. But certainly, Mr. Jones — with Mrs. Jones in tow, or worse, a significant other of either sex — will be an illustration of the breakdown of Church discipline and, in some cases, a continuing source of scandal.
Disorientation Continues in Rome
Meanwhile, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, head of the Congregation for the Clergy, granted an interview with Catholic News Agency in which he addresses the Holy Father's called-for reform of the priesthood.
Cardinal Piacenza says some admirable things. He points out that celibacy is not a rejection of marriage, and as such a “no” to a big part of life, but rather an affirmation of a greater love, such as shown by Our Lady. Celibacy is a “yes” to God, not a “no” to marriage.
His Eminence also points out that viewing ordination to the priesthood in terms of power is not the proper perspective. Those who see the ineligibility of women for Holy Orders as a bar to power fail to grasp the essence of the Christian life, which is loving service in whatever condition God has placed us.
Cardinal Piacenza ultimately says that any reform of the priesthood must be spiritual, not structural, and resides in a greater love of the Eucharist and a deep respect for the dignity of priestly life.
These are all considerations worth pondering, but one wonders why one Roman congregation appears to be undermining another? The reform based on greater fidelity to priestly vows called for by Cardinal Piacenza is difficult to reconcile with the expanded role for laicized and married priests called for by Cardinal Dias.
One approaches the priesthood with reverence and talks of the need for greater holiness; the other tends, in effect, to minimize the gravity of Holy Orders, re-admitting those who have cast off their vows to limited roles in parish life.
The diabolical disorientation Sister Lucy spoke of is evident on every level both within the Church and without. No Roman Congregation, no policy or pronouncement can correct this disorientation. We have been given one prescription, simply and exclusively: Consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In Issue #99 of The Fatima Crusader, read excerpts of the addresses given by three bishops at the “Consecration Now?” conference (Rome, May 2011) in which they pled and counseled for rejection of the false solutions to peace of a one-world government (ruled by money and power-hungry men) and a one-world false religion and to embrace instead Heaven's plan, given to us by Our Lady of Fatima. At this same conference, Father Gruner showed that the Fatima apparitions were a direct response to an appeal by Pope Benedict XV, asking that Our Lady show the world the way to peace — which She did — and that there is no genuine obstacle to excuse for not obeying Our Lady. Also read a brief excerpt from Father Kramer's new book in which he shows that the Consecration of Russia is the one and only way that mankind can be delivered from the terrible chastisements about to befall the world; and an analysis of a book that supports the false argument that the Fatima prophecies are fulfilled, the Third Secret entirely revealed, Russia consecrated, and the Message of Fatima remains only a general call to prayer and penance.
Latest Fatima Perspectives
A Stunning Endorsement — In September I was stunned to learn of a most unexpected endorsement from high places of my book The Secret Still Hidden. The book is an extensive and systematic presentation of the massive evidence of a cover-up — by the Vatican Secretary of State — of a text pertaining to the Third Secret, a text that would provide the soundtrack, as it were, to the ambiguous vision of a “Bishop dressed in White,” which has been subjected to a host of conflicting interpretations.
Putin Becomes President for Life — As the Moscow Times reported on October 10, 2011, in a story comically headlined “Putin Joins Elite Club of Presidents-for-Life-istan” (a snide reference to Islamic dictatorships), puppet President Medvedev will step down as President to allow Putin to “run for election” — whose outcome is a foregone conclusion — in 2012. Medvedev having conveniently extended the term of the Russian President from four years to six years, this means Putin will be the President of Russia until 2024. In other words, forever ...
Crossing the Threshold of Tolerance — Father Donat Gionet is not allowed to say Mass or administer the sacraments. The bishop of Bathurst has suspended him. His offense, according to a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) report, is that he preached sermons condemning homosexuality and abortion. Father Gionet is surprised, as he does not believe he did anything wrong. The CBC report cites unnamed “representatives” of the Bathurst Diocese who said Father Gionet's sermons made some of his parishioners “uncomfortable.”
The Pope in the Docket — We are told that the International Criminal Court at The Hague was created to investigate and prosecute war crimes. In effect, this has meant those nations who lose wars may find their military and political leaders charged and tried before the tribunal. Those who win wars are immune from such prosecution. The Vatican is losing its war against secularism in the West. The implementation of Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Liberty has led to the elimination of the few remaining Catholic confessional states. The Church no longer enjoys a privileged position in the civil statutes of any nation outside the small plot of land ruled by the Pope in Rome.
HELP KEEP OUR LADY OF FATIMA ONLINE
Keeping Our Lady's websites online and updated costs many thousands of dollars each year. We rely totally on the
prayers and freewill offerings of people of faith like you. Won't you please help us send Our Lady's Fatima Message
to millions of souls through the power of the Internet? Click
here to help keep Our Lady online. Please do it now!
You can also make your donation by calling us toll-free at
Please forward this newsletter to all your family and friends! The Fatima Network
The Fatima Center
IN U.S.A. - 17000 State Route 30, Constable, NY 12926
IN CANADA - 452 Kraft Road, Fort Erie, ON L2A 4M7
Call us toll-free at 1-800-263-8160 or at 1-905-871-8041
or fax us at 1-905-994-7054 • www.fatima.org • E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This newsletter is intended for subscribers and others interested in the Message of Our Lady of Fatima and the work of Our Lady's Apostolate.
If you wish to be removed from our e-mailing list, please let us know. Just send your reply to our e-mail address with “unsubscribe” in the
subject line, and we will respect your wishes.