Catholic Priests Quotes

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I have observed, indeed, generally, that while in protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in catholic countries they are to Atheism. Diderot, D'Alembert, D’Holbach, Condorcet, are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God. [Letter to Thomas Law, 13 June 1814]
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
If you were Catholic, you'd singe the ears of the priest you confessed to.
Jeaniene Frost
The Vatican won't prosecute pedophile priests but I decide I'm not ready for motherhood and it's condemnation for me? These are the same people that won't support national condom distribution that PREVENTS teenage pregnancy.
Sonya Renee Taylor
And there is my payment the rubies in your cheeks. Are you properly scandalized by your wicked behavior? If you were Catholic, you'd singe the ears of the priest you confessed to. Do you remember making me swear to repeat all those naughty actions agian, no matter what you said this morning?" Now that he brought it up, I did recall saying that. Great Betrayed by my own immorality. "God, Bones...some of that was depraved." "I'll take that as a compliment." He closed the distance between us."I love you. Don't be ashamed of anything we did, even if your prudery is on life support.
Jeaniene Frost (One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2))
The wish to pray is a prayer in itself.
Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
Every day He humbles Himself just as He did when from from His heavenly throne into the Virgin's womb; every day He comes to us and lets us see Him in lowliness, when He descends from the bosom of the Father into the hands of the priest at the altar.
Francis of Assisi
We said I was Catholic. I lied to a Catholic priest. But I was wearing this gorgeous ivory off-the-shoulder cotton lace dress with huge bell sleeves. I regret that marriage, but I do not regret that dress.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood. . . . nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years.
Frank McCourt
What good is all this free-thinking, modernity, and turncoat flexibility if at some gut level you are still a Christian, a Catholic, and even a priest!
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols, and Other Writings)
You’re a Catholic priest. Aren’t you all drunks?” “If I wasn’t before, being back in your life might drive me to drink. Between you and Eleanor it’s a miracle I’m even lucid.” Kingsley pointed at him. “I take that as a compliment.” “You would.
Tiffany Reisz (The King (The Original Sinners, #6))
They like to use those fancy words. They don't like to say “raped,'” he said. “They say “misdeed,' “inappropriate touching,' “mistake.' That's insulting. I'm not a mistake.
Charles L. Bailey Jr. (In the Shadow of the Cross: The True Account of My Childhood Sexual and Ritual Abuse at the Hands of a Roman Catholic Priest)
On his deathbed he asked for a priest and became a Catholic. That was his wife's religion. It was his own business and none of mine. If you had sentenced one hundred and sixty men to death and seen around eighty of them swing, then maybe at the last minute you would feel the need for some stronger medicine than the Methodists could make.
Charles Portis (True Grit)
He loved the darkness and the mystery of the Catholic service--the tall priest strutting like a carrion crow and pronouncing magic in a dead language, the immediate magic of the Eucharist bringing the dead back to life so that the faithful could devour Him and become of Him, the smell of incense and the mystical chanting.
Dan Simmons (The Terror)
I have these secret pangs of shame about being single, like I wasn't good enough to get a husband. Rita reminded me of something I'd told her once, about the five rules of the world as arrived at by this Catholic priest named Tom Weston. The first rule, he says, is that you must not have anything wrong with you or anything different. The second one is that if you do have something wrong with you, you must get over it as soon as possible. The third rule is that if you can't get over it, you must pretend that you have. The fourth rule is that if you can't even pretend that you have, you shouldn't show up. You should stay home, because it's hard for everyone else to have you around. And the fifth rule is that if you are going to insist on showing up, you should at least have the decency to feel ashamed. So Rita and I decided that the most subversive, revolutionary thing I could do was to show up for my life and not be ashamed.
Anne Lamott (Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year)
Once a priest told us that no one gets up in the pulpit without promulgating a heresy. He was joking, of course, but what I suppose he meant was the truth was so pure, so holy, that it was hard to emphasize one aspect of the truth without underestimating another, that we did not see things as a whole, but through a glass darkly, as St. Paul said.
Dorothy Day (The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of the Legendary Catholic Social Activist)
I often went to Catholic mass or Eucharist at the Episcopal church, nourished by the symbol and power of this profound feeding ritual. It never occurred to me how odd it was that women, who have presided over the domain of food and feeding for thousands of years, were historically and routinely barred from presiding over it in a spiritual context. And when the priest held out the host and said, "This is my body, given for you," not once did I recognize that it is women in the act of breastfeeding who most truly embody those words and who are also most excluded from ritually saying them.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine)
You know what I think? Ten percent of any group of human beings are shitheads. Catholics, Jews. Germans, Italians. Pilots, priests. Teachers, doctors, shopkeepers. Ten percent are shitheads. Another ten percent -- salt of the earth! Saints! Give you the shirts off their backs. Most people are in the middle, just trying to get by.
Mary Doria Russell (A Thread of Grace)
Gift better than Himself God doth not know, Gift better than God no man can see; This gift doth here the giver given bestow Gift to this gift let each receiver be; God is my gift, Himself He freely gave me, God's gift am I, and none but God shall have me.
Robert Southwell (Collected Poems: Robert Southwell SJ)
Religious freedom doesn't include the freedom to disregard the law and restrict another's freedom to believe and act differently. No one's forcing Catholic nuns to practice birth control, or priests to wear condoms (good idea tho). If you really feel your religious beliefs conflict with the mandates of running a business, the solution is simple: Get your ass out of the boardroom and back to the pulpit (where it belongs).
Quentin R. Bufogle
Catholics form a majority in Chile, although there are more and more Evangelicals and Pentacostals who irritate everyone because they have a direct understanding with God while everyone else must pass through the priestly bureaucracy.
Isabel Allende (Mi país inventado: Un paseo nostálgico por Chile)
Thomas Merton said it was actually dangerous to put the Scriptures in the hands of people whose inner self is not yet sufficiently awakened to encounter the Spirit, because they will try to use God for their own egocentric purposes. (This is why religion is so subject to corruption!) Now, if we are going to talk about conversion and penance, let me apply that to the two major groups that have occupied Western Christianity—Catholics and Protestants. Neither one has really let the Word of God guide their lives. Catholics need to be converted to giving the Scriptures some actual authority in their lives. Luther wasn’t wrong when he said that most Catholics did not read the Bible. Most Catholics are still not that interested in the Bible. (Historically they did not have the printing press, nor could most people read, so you can’t blame them entirely.) I have been a priest for 42 years now, and I would sadly say that most Catholics would rather hear quotes from saints, Popes, and bishops, the current news, or funny stories, if they are to pay attention. If I quote strongly from the Sermon on the Mount, they are almost throwaway lines. I can see Catholics glaze over because they have never read the New Testament, much less studied it, or been guided by it. I am very sad to have to admit this. It is the Achilles heel of much of the Catholic world, priests included. (The only good thing about it is that they never fight you like Protestants do about Scripture. They are easily duped, and the hierarchy has been able to take advantage of this.) If Catholics need to be converted, Protestants need to do penance. Their shout of “sola Scriptura” (only Scripture) has left them at the mercy of their own cultures, their own limited education, their own prejudices, and their own selective reading of some texts while avoiding others. Partly as a result, slavery, racism, sexism, classism, xenophobia, and homophobia have lasted authoritatively into our time—by people who claim to love Jesus! I think they need to do penance for what they have often done with the Bible! They largely interpreted the Bible in a very individualistic and otherworldly way. It was “an evacuation plan for the next world” to use Brian McLaren’s phrase—and just for their group. Most of Evangelical Protestantism has no cosmic message, no social message, and little sense of social justice or care for the outsider. Both Catholics and Protestants (Orthodox too!) found a way to do our own thing while posturing friendship with Jesus.
Richard Rohr
The only other person attending who was close to her age was Father St. Laurent, a devastatingly good-looking Roman Catholic priest who made the RC's vows of celibacy seem like a crime against the human gene pool.
Julia Spencer-Fleming (I Shall Not Want (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #6))
Was Archbishop Lefebvre justified in contemplating illicit consecrations? ... At the time I believed he was wrong. Twenty years after his death, I believe he was right. Without his action, the traditionalists would now be an ineffective handful of priests at the mercy of the Modernist Church.
H.J.A. Sire (Phoenix from the Ashes: The Making, Unmaking, and Restoration of Catholic Tradition)
There was a Catholic priest and the Seventh Day Adventist minister sitting together on one flight. The priest ordered a Scotch and water. The minister said, "I'd rather commit adultery than drink." The priest looked up at me and said, "I didn't know I had a choice today." That was a fun trip.
Trudy Baker (Coffee, Tea or Me?)
The drag queen walks into a Catholic church as the priest is coming down the aisle swinging the incense pot. And he says to the priest, “Oh, honey, I love your dress, but did you know your handbag’s on fire?
Garrison Keillor (A Prairie Home Companion Pretty Good Joke Book)
The Catholic Church wasn't just a part of his parents' live, and his grandparents', it ruled their lives. The priests told them what to eat, what to do, who to vote for, what to think. What to believe. Told them to have more and more babies. Kept them pregnant and poor and ignorant. They'd been beaten in school, scolded in church, abused in the back rooms. And when, after generations of this, they'd finally walked away, the Church had accused them of being unfaithful. And threatened them with eternal damnation.
Louise Penny (The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #8))
Pedophiles the world over. If you want to do that insufferable thing you do without care, concern, and/or worry; become a Catholic priest. Birds of a feather.
A.K. Kuykendall (The Confessional)
Cool. I could live vicariously through a Catholic priest. A thought that rarely occurred to me, for obvious reasons. I
Darynda Jones (Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson, #7))
The church may update its techniques and methods, but it is always in service of the institutional organism. This is one of the reasons why the pedophile priest issue is and will remain an endemic disease in the Catholic Church.
Darrel Ray (Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality)
When Benedict dies, he will have the pleasure of standing before whatever furious God he believes in, to answer for how it was that he knew for undeniable fact that one -- if not dozens -- of his priests repeatedly molested, abused and/or raped young children for decades, and he did nothing to stop it. How much does God believe the pope's argument that Vatican PR trumps pedophilia? Joe Ratzinger, 82, will soon find out.
Mark Morford
Satan is too hard a master. He would never command as did the Other with divine simplicity: 'Do likewise.' The devil will have no victims resemble him. He permits only a rough caricature, impotent, abject, which has to serve as food for eternal irony, the mordant irony of the depths.
Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
He had been instructed only in that innocent and ineffectual way in which the Catholic priests teach the aborigines, by which the pupil is never educated to the degree of consciousness, but only to the degree of trust and reverence, and a child is not made a man, but kept a child. When
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
She had once been a Catholic, but discovering that priests were infinitely more attentive when she was in process of losing or regaining faith in Mother Church, she maintained an enchantingly wavering attitude.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
This is why I persist, and if you wish to know the real reason for my persistence, it is this. At the hour of my death, when Our Lord asks me: "What have you done with your episcopate, what have you done with your episcopal and priestly grace?" I do not want to hear from his lips the terrible words "You have helped to destroy the Church along with the rest of them." (p. 163)
Marcel Lefebvre (Open Letter to Confused Catholics)
A Rock, A River, A Tree Hosts to species long since departed, Mark the mastodon. The dinosaur, who left dry tokens Of their sojourn here On our planet floor, Any broad alarm of their of their hastening doom Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages. But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully, Come, you may stand upon my Back and face your distant destiny, But seek no haven in my shadow. I will give you no hiding place down here. You, created only a little lower than The angels, have crouched too long in The bruising darkness, Have lain too long Face down in ignorance. Your mouths spelling words Armed for slaughter. The rock cries out today, you may stand on me, But do not hide your face. Across the wall of the world, A river sings a beautiful song, Come rest here by my side. Each of you a bordered country, Delicate and strangely made proud, Yet thrusting perpetually under siege. Your armed struggles for profit Have left collars of waste upon My shore, currents of debris upon my breast. Yet, today I call you to my riverside, If you will study war no more. Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs The Creator gave to me when I And the tree and stone were one. Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow And when you yet knew you still knew nothing. The river sings and sings on. There is a true yearning to respond to The singing river and the wise rock. So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew, The African and Native American, the Sioux, The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek, The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh, The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher, The privileged, the homeless, the teacher. They hear. They all hear The speaking of the tree. Today, the first and last of every tree Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the river. Plant yourself beside me, here beside the river. Each of you, descendant of some passed on Traveller, has been paid for. You, who gave me my first name, You Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, You Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, Then forced on bloody feet, Left me to the employment of other seekers-- Desperate for gain, starving for gold. You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot... You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, Bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare Praying for a dream. Here, root yourselves beside me. I am the tree planted by the river, Which will not be moved. I, the rock, I the river, I the tree I am yours--your passages have been paid. Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need For this bright morning dawning for you. History, despite its wrenching pain, Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage, Need not be lived again. Lift up your eyes upon The day breaking for you. Give birth again To the dream. Women, children, men, Take it into the palms of your hands. Mold it into the shape of your most Private need. Sculpt it into The image of your most public self. Lift up your hearts. Each new hour holds new chances For new beginnings. Do not be wedded forever To fear, yoked eternally To brutishness. The horizon leans forward, Offering you space to place new steps of change. Here, on the pulse of this fine day You may have the courage To look up and out upon me, The rock, the river, the tree, your country. No less to Midas than the mendicant. No less to you now than the mastodon then. Here on the pulse of this new day You may have the grace to look up and out And into your sister's eyes, Into your brother's face, your country And say simply Very simply With hope Good morning.
Maya Angelou
I strongly encourage you to find a place to think and to discipline yourself to pause and use it, because it has the potential to change your life. It can help you to figure out what’s really important and what isn’t. As writer and Catholic priest Henri J. M. Nouwen observed, “When you are able to create a lonely place in the middle of your actions and concerns, your successes and failures slowly can lose some of their power over you.
John C. Maxwell (The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential)
But simple as the Sign of the Cross is, it carries a brave weight: it names the Trinity, celebrates the Creator, and brings home all the power of faith to the brush of fingers on skin and bone and belly. So do we, sometimes well and sometimes ill, labor to bring home our belief in God's love to the stuff of our daily lives, the skin and bone of this world — and the Sign of the Cross helps us to remember that we have a Companion on the road.
Brian Doyle (Credo: Essays on Grace, Altar Boys, Bees, Kneeling, Saints, the Mass, Priests, Strong Women, Epiphanies, a Wake, and the Haun)
Was it truly so terrible for a man of God to have sex? The Protestants had been doing it for half a millennium and they seemed no more hell-bound than the Catholics for it. And was it so wrong to want both? I wanted to lead this church, I wanted to help people find God. But dammit, I wanted Poppy too, and I didn’t think it was fair that I had to choose.
Sierra Simone (Priest (Priest, #1))
Was it truly so terrible for a man of God to have sex? The Protestants had been doing it for half a millennium and they seemed no more hell-bound than the Catholics for it.
Sierra Simone (Priest (Priest, #1))
O miracle—thus to be able to give [peace] we ourselves do not possess, sweet miracle of our empty hands!
Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
Never do anything that your heart tells you is displeasing to Mary; and in addition, never deny her anything that you know she would welcome and desire from you.
Joseph Cafasso
In almost nine cases out of ten, those who have once had the Faith but now reject it, or claim that it does not make sense, are driven not by reasoning but by the way they are living
Fulton J. Sheen (The Priest Is Not His Own)
Everything in my head was secondhand, too: Catholicism; Ireland's sad history, a litany of suffering and martyrdom drummed into me by priests, schoolmasters and parents who knew no better.
Frank McCourt (Teacher Man (Frank McCourt, #3))
In medieval times, contrary to popular belief, most knights were bandits, mercenaries, lawless brigands, skinners, highwaymen, and thieves. The supposed chivalry of Charlemagne and Roland had as much to do with the majority of medieval knights as the historical Jesus with the temporal riches and hypocrisy of the Catholic Church, or any church for that matter. Generally accompanied by their immoral entourage or servants, priests, and whores, they went from tourney to tourney like a touring rock and roll band, sports team, or gang of South Sea pirates. Court to court, skirmish to skirmish, rape to rape. Fighting as the noble's substitution for work.
Tod Wodicka (All Shall Be Well; And All Shall Be Well; And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well)
We pay a heavy, very heavy price for the superhuman dignity of our calling. The ridiculous is always so near to the sublime. And the world, usually so indulgent to foibles, hates ours instinctively.
Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
I’m surprised you holy people talk to me,” Wolfie said suddenly, “after what I done.” He swayed there a moment, frowning. “As a Catholic priest, I must accept men’s frailty. And as a European I am too old and tired to expend emotion upon matters I can do nothing about.
Peter Matthiessen (At Play in the Fields of the Lord)
One day, when I thought I was alone, I prayed in church. While making this offering before the cross, a parishioner came up to me, put her arm around my shoulder and prayed, ‘Dear God, please heal Father Jim. And give me his cancer.’ I was incredulous. I looked at her, and then back to the Lord and quietly prayed, ‘If she insists, Lord, hear our prayer!’ Later I was able to pray, ‘Lord, rather than give my cancer to her, give her heart of love to me – the love that prompted her to deny her very self and pray in such a loving way.
Jim Willig (Lessons From the School of Suffering: A Young Priest With Cancer Teaches Us How to Live)
I reflected on other victims I had met and how they were raped right on the altars of their own churches. Some of them were altar boys, and they were abused before or after mass. An altar boy walked right in front of us as we sat there. I began to shake, sweat, and become very uneasy. I felt frozen in my seat.
Charles L. Bailey Jr. (In the Shadow of the Cross: The True Account of My Childhood Sexual and Ritual Abuse at the Hands of a Roman Catholic Priest)
The woman had gone down on her knees and was shuffling slowly across the cruel ground towards the group of crosses: the dead baby rocked on her back. When she reached the tallest cross she unhooked the child and held the face against the wood and afterwards the loins: then she crossed herself, not as ordinary Catholics do, but in a curious and complicated pattern which included the nose and ears. Did she expect a miracle? And if she did, why should it not be granted her? the priest wondered. Faith, one was told, could move mountains, and here was faith--faith in the spittle that healed the blind man and the voice that raised the dead. The evening star was out: it hung low down over the edge of the plateau: it looked as if it was within reach: and a small hot wind stirred. The priest found himself watching the child for some movement. When none came, it was as if God had missed an opportunity. The woman sat down, and taking a lump of sugar from her bundle, began to eat, and the child lay quiet at the foot of the cross. Why, after all, should we expect God to punish the innocent with more life?
Graham Greene (The Power and the Glory)
I didn't play practical jokes at home. I had a strict upbringing, which is part of my rebellion. I was raised Catholic and went to parochial school, which is why priests and nuns appear in my movies a lot, and I don't have very much nice to say about them.
George A. Romero
no matter what my small sufferings are, I have a choice. I can either let them make me bitter, or I can meet them with the confidence that God will not abandon me.
Walter J. Ciszek (With God in Russia: The Inspiring Classic Account of a Catholic Priest's Twenty-three Years in Soviet Prisons and Labor Camps)
It was Francisco de Vitoria, a Catholic priest and professor, who earned the title of father of international law.
Thomas E. Woods Jr.
She was in love with a Catholic priest who acted liked he owned her. Weird was her new normal.
one can in fact trust a four hundred pound male gorilla, before one can ever trust a Roman Catholic priest
Peter B. Lockhart (The Naked Emperor: Why Religion is Bollocks)
What’s a catholic priest’s favorite cocktail? Bloody Mary!
Stephan Attia (Walk On By II)
Snark is what people on the inside call any attempt at protest from people on the outside. I hate it on principle, as do all Columbia professors, Catholic priests, and Mississippi Klansmen.
David Denby (Snark: A Polemic in Seven Fits (It's Mean, It's Personal, and It's Ruining Our Conversation))
My dad was a shooter, or submission wrestler, and he loved to stretch anyone who dared to show up at his door. I remember him stretching the daylights out of Father Roberts, the Catholic priest who baptized all the Hart kids. Father Roberts got closer to God in my father’s basement dungeon than he felt comfortable with. But Stu was non-denominational; he stretched a rabbi once too.
Bret Hart (Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling)
To this end it furnishes them an abundance of Catholic priests to teach them to be docile and obedient, and to be diligent in acquiring ignorance about things here below, and knowledge about the kingdom of heaven,
Mark Twain (The Complete Works of Mark Twain: The Novels, Short Stories, Essays and Satires, Travel Writing, Non-Fiction, the Complete Letters, the Complete Speeches, and the Autobiography of Mark Twain)
When criminals are hanged, priests always officiate, annoying the malefactors by their presence. In Prussia a pastor conducts the poor wretch to the block ; in Austria a Catholic priest escorts him to the gallows ; in France to the guillotine ; in America a clergyman accompanies him to the electric chair ; in Spain to the ingenious appliance by which he is strangled, etc. Everywhere they have to carry a crucifix about on these occasions, as if to say: "You're only having your head chopped off, you're only being hanged, you're only being strangled, you're only having 15,000 volts shoved into you, but don't forget what He had to go through.
Jaroslav Hašek (The Good Soldier Schweik)
Each 'RED BUTTON' is representative of a thousand children raped. Don't like that word? Well, children, I assume, don't like being raped either. And by Catholic priests sworn to protect those God ordains strength (?)
A.K. Kuykendall (The Confessional)
In many chapels, reddened by the setting sun, the saints rest silently, waiting for someone to love them." These words, penned by an unknown priest, long dead,were the inspiration for my new series on the lives of saints who have fallen deep into the shadows of obscurity. My hope is that, in reading their heroic stories, you will make the acquaintance of some of God's Forgotten Friends. (From the Preface of "Saint Magnus The Last Viking")
Susan Peek (Saint Magnus The Last Viking)
He turns to me, serious, grabs my wrist tight. “What am I now? A Catholic priest you got to confess all of your sins to? If you start down that road, I got to reciprocate, and I ain’t so sure you can handle that. You want to know where this conversation will lead, my friend? A dead end, that’s where. “Listen to me good, Barry. I have known you since 1947 when we was nippers. That’s sixty-four years, yuh hear? You and me has finally got a future to look forward to together, so let we not go digging up our past misdemeanors, right? Just sit back comfy and easy and listen to the one and only Miss Shirley Bassey and let we just enjoy the vibes, man, enjoy the vibes.
Bernardine Evaristo (Mr Loverman)
I become a transparent eyeball,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in “Nature.” “I am nothing; I see all.” Lord Byron called it “the feeling infinite”; Jack Kerouac, in Desolation Angels, “the one mind of infinity.” The French Catholic priest Charles de Foucauld, who spent fifteen years living in the Sahara Desert, said that in solitude “one empties completely the small house of one’s soul.” Merton wrote that “the true solitary does not seek himself, but loses himself.” This
Michael Finkel (The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit)
For a moment this day, for many moments this May, let us gape in awe at the strength of women, and look upon their sinewy courage with respect and humility, as the Lord looked on His Mother, and still does. Like Him we are of women born, and to women must pay our first respect, and owe our first love, for they are as strong as the very ribs of the earth.
Brian Doyle (Credo: Essays on Grace, Altar Boys, Bees, Kneeling, Saints, the Mass, Priests, Strong Women, Epiphanies, a Wake, and the Haun)
The Catholic Church tries to shut down the discussion of women priests by saying that Jesus chose men as his apostles at the Last Supper, and therefore only men are allowed to be priests. But we could as easily say that the Risen Christ appeared first to a woman and told her to go tell the men, and therefore only women are allowed to bring the Good News to the men.
Melinda French Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
Simple, powerful, poignant, the Sign of the Cross is a mnemonic device like the Mass, in which we sit down to table with one another and remember the Last Supper, or a baptism, where we remember John the Baptist's brawny arm pouring some of the Jordan River over Christ. So we remember the central miracle and paradox of the faith that binds us each to each: that we believe, against all evidence and sense, in life and love and light, in the victory of those things over death and evil and darkness.
Brian Doyle (Credo: Essays on Grace, Altar Boys, Bees, Kneeling, Saints, the Mass, Priests, Strong Women, Epiphanies, a Wake, and the Haun)
The intellectual climate of the 1970s, for which the 1950s had already paved the way, contributed to this. A theory was even finally developed at that time that pedophilia should be viewed as something positive. Above all, however, the thesis was advocated-and this even infiltrated Catholic moral theology-that there was no such thing as something that is bad in itself. There were only things that were "relatively" bad. What was good or bad depended on the consequences. In such a context, where everything is relative and nothing intrinsically evil exists, but only relative good and relative evil, people who have an inclination to such behavior are left without no solid footing. Of course pedophilia is first rather a sickness of individuals, but the fact that it could become so active and so widespread was linked also to an intellectual climate through which the foundations of moral theology, good and evil, became open to question in the Church. Good and evil became interchangeable; they were no longer absolutely clear opposites.
Pope Benedict XVI (Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times - A Conversation with Peter Seewald)
You’re a priest. A Jesuit priest. And I left the house for one hour and come back, and I’ve got a girl with afterglow on my couch eating strawberries claiming my ex-lover who is not a Catholic priest gave her the best pain of her life. I can’t ever leave my house again.
Tiffany Reisz (The King (The Original Sinners, #6))
I wasn’t ready for the guilt of being a parent. I was raised Catholic, so guilt is a familiar friend. Guilt is as much a part of the Catholic culture as is rooting for Notre Dame. I grew up with a “God is watching you, so you better not make him mad” mentality. I felt guilty for feeling good, for feeling bad, and for feeling nothing. Attending Confession was supposed to alleviate some of the guilt, but I always ended up feeling guilty for not telling the priest everything I felt guilty about, so I stopped going to Confession. Then I felt guilty that I stopped going to Confession. That’s a lot of guilt. Just when I thought that nothing could top “Catholic Guilt,” I became acquainted with “Parental Guilt,” which totally puts “Catholic Guilt” to shame. Sorry, Catholic Guilt. Now I feel guilty for shaming you.
Jim Gaffigan (Dad Is Fat)
Do we talk about feeling neglected and rejected by the Church? Yes. Do we bash a bishop or two, talk a little trash about the Vatican, moan about a priest who said something dumb about women or gays or both? Sure. But mostly we talk about what faith does for us, how it moves us through life with an awareness of other people's suffering, and drives us to do something about that suffering. It reminds me of a conversation I had with Father Mellow, way back on the first night I spoke to him. "The Church is both sinner and holy," he said. "So are all of us.
Kaya Oakes (Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church)
Lust is a mysterious wound in the side of humanity; or rather, at the very source of its life! To confound this lust in man with that desire which unites the sexes is like confusing a tumor with the very organ which it devours, a tumor whose very deformity horribly reproduces the shape.
Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
Many fervent Christians who are moved by the Passion and death of Christ on the Cross no longer have the strength to weep or to utter a cry of pain to the priests and bishops who make their appearance as entertainers and set themselves up as the main protagonists of the Eucharist. These believers tell us nevertheless: "We do not want to gather with men around a man! We want to see Jesus! Show him to us in the silence and humility of your prayer!
Robert Sarah (The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise)
Father Gabriele Amorth, a Roman Catholic priest, and a skilled and experienced exorcist of the Diocese of Rome, is personally convinced that the Nazis were “all possessed.” He adds: “All you have to do is think about what Hitler—and Stalin—did. Almost certainly they were possessed by the Devil” (Pisa, 2006).
Nick Redfern (The Pyramids and the Pentagon: The Government's Top Secret Pursuit of Mystical Relics, Ancient Astronauts, and Lost Civilizations)
This won't come easy to us Catholics. In a way, it's easier to dwell on sin and guilt than it is to dwell on love and forgiveness- especially love and forgiveness for yourself. But that's what's been promised to us, and I for one, will not refuse God's promise of a full, love-filled life. Will you? - Tyler Bell
Sierra Simone (Priest (Priest, #1))
Christians best thrive as a minority, a counterculture. Historically, when they reach a majority they too have yielded to the temptations of power in ways that are clearly anti-gospel. Charlemagne ordered a death penalty for all Saxons who would not convert, and in 1492 Spain decreed that all Jews convert to Christianity or be expelled. British Protestants in Ireland once imposed a stiff fine on anyone who did not attend church and deputies forcibly dragged Catholics into Protestant churches. Priests in the American West sometimes chained Indians to church pews to enforce church attendance. After many such episodes in Christendom it became clear that religion allied too closely to the state leads to the abuse of power. Much of the current hostility against Christians evokes the memory of such examples. The blending of church and state may work for a time but it inevitably provokes a backlash, such as that seen in secular Europe today.
Philip Yancey (Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?)
The Big Bang model seems like a fairly natural picture, once you believe in an approximately uniform universe that is expanding in time. Just wind the clock backward, and you get a hot, dense beginning. Indeed, the basic framework was put together in the late 1920s by Georges Lemaître, a Catholic priest from Belgium
Sean Carroll (From Eternity to Here)
I had already noted that the libraries of Roman Catholic priests and professors often contained more commentaries written by Protestants than by Roman Catholics, and their scholars were generally better informed about Protestant beliefs than are Protestant scholars informed about beliefs held by Roman Catholic theologians.
David W. Daniels (Why They Changed The Bible: One World Bible For One World Religion)
Lay Catholics and priests alike expected that Vatican II and the deliberations of a fifty-eight-member commission appointed to study the birth control issue would result in an end to the ban on artificial contraception. Instead, Pope Paul VI, negating the majority report of his own commission, issued the 1968 Humanae Vitae, which reaffirmed the Church's birth control prohibitions. Garry Wills asserts that Humanae Vitae was based on a minority report from the commission that emphasized the need for continuity in Church teachings. The teachings could not change because it had been the teaching for so long, and, if it changed, the Church would have to acknowledge that it had been in error about the teaching, and how would they explain what had happened to all the souls supposedly in hell for using artificial birth control?
Mary Gail Frawley-ODea (Perversion of Power: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church)
The rules about communion at Friday mass, for example, made absolutely no sense. We’d be in there for an hour of kneeling, standing, sitting, kneeling, standing, sitting, kneeling, standing, sitting, and by the end of it I’d be starving, but I was never allowed to take communion, because I wasn’t Catholic. The other kids could eat Jesus’s body and drink Jesus’s blood, but I couldn’t. And Jesus’s blood was grape juice. I loved grape juice. Grape juice and crackers—what more could a kid want? And they wouldn’t let me have any. I’d argue with the nuns and the priest all the time. “Only Catholics can eat Jesus’s body and drink Jesus’s blood, right?” “Yes.” “But Jesus wasn’t Catholic.” “No.” “Jesus was Jewish.” “Well, yes.” “So you’re telling me that if Jesus walked into your church right now, Jesus would not be allowed to have the body and blood of Jesus?” “Well…uh…um…” They never had a satisfactory reply. One morning before mass I decided, I’m going to get me some Jesus blood and Jesus body. I snuck behind the altar and I drank the entire bottle of grape juice and I ate the entire bag of Eucharist to make up for all the other times that I couldn’t. In
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood)
The parishioners looked dazed, but happy. The only thing good Catholics love more than God is a short service. Keep your organ music, your choir, keep your incense and processionals. Give us a priest with one eye on the Bible and the other on the clock, and we’ll pack the place like it’s a turkey raffle the week before Thanksgiving.
Dennis Lehane (Prayers for Rain (Kenzie & Gennaro #5))
If I was willing to serve Mass, it was in memory of my ancestors standing around a rock, in a lonely glen, for fear of the landlords and their yeomen, or sneaking through a back-lane in Dublin, and giving the pass-word, to hear Mass in a slum public-house, when a priest’s head was worth five pounds and an Irish Catholic had no existence in law.
Brendan Behan (Borstal Boy)
The nub at the center of the notorious Roman Catholic sexual predation is an idolatry of the priest and of the priestly status that goes by the name of "clericalism." It is a malignity marked by a cult of secrecy; a high-flown theological misogyny that demeans all women and fosters an unbridled male supremacy; suppression of normal erotic desire; a hierarchical domination of priest over laypeople; and a basing of that power on threats of the doom-laden afterlife, drawn from a misreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
James Carroll (The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul)
...Robin felt a strange thrill of glory at the thought that he bore with him, in virtue of his priesthood only, so much consolation. He faces for the the first time that tremendous call of which he had heard so much in Rheims- that desolate cry of souls that longed and longed in vain for those gifts of which a priest of Christ could alone bestow...
Robert Hugh Benson (Come Rack! Come Rope!)
The story of salvation is the story of a family of vocations—lay, priestly, and religious—each needing and supporting the other on the pilgrim way to heaven.
Paul Scalia (That Nothing May Be Lost: Reflections on Catholic Doctrine and Devotion)
Would you blame me if I called your faith a hoax? If I called Catholicism a sham? If I told you that you’re enabling the patriarchal oppression of women every single time you walk through a Catholic church’s doors? Would you blame me if I reminded you that only men are allowed to become priests in your faith because they do not deem women worthy of holding holy office?
Tiffany Reisz (The Priest (The Original Sinners, #9))
What the gods are supposed to be, what the priests are commissioned to say, is not a sensational secret like what those running messengers of the Gospel had to say. Nobody else except those messengers has any Gospel; nobody else has any good news; for the simple reason that nobody else has any news. Those runners gather impetus as they run. Ages afterwards they still speak as if something had just happened. They have not lost the speed and momentum of messengers; they have hardly lost, as it were, the wild eyes of witnesses. In the Catholic Church, which is the cohort of the message, there are still those headlong acts of holiness that speak of something rapid and recent; a self-sacrifice that startles the world like a suicide. But it is not a suicide; it is not pessimistic; it is still as optimistic as St. Francis of the flowers and birds. It is newer in spirit than the newest schools of thought; and it is almost certainly on the eve of new triumphs. For these men serve a mother who seems to grow more beautiful as new generations rise up and call her blessed. We might sometimes fancy that the Church grows younger as the world grows old.
G.K. Chesterton (The Everlasting Man)
On his deathbed he asked for a priest and became a Catholic. That was his wife’s religion. It was his own business and none of mine. If you had sentenced one hundred and sixty men to death and seen around eighty of them swing, then maybe at the last minute you would feel the need of some stronger medicine than the Methodists could make. It is something to think about. Toward the last, he said he didn’t hang all those men, that the law had done it. When he died of dropsy in 1896 all the prisoners down there in that dark jail had a “jubilee” and the jailers had to put it down.
Charles Portis (True Grit)
We thought in particular about the priests. Our priestly hearts wished to strengthen them, to encourage them. With all priests, we pray: Save us, Lord, for we are perishing! The Lord is asleep while the storm is unleashed. He seems to abandon us to the waves of doubt and error. We are tempted to lose confidence. On every side, the waves of relativism are submerging the barque of the Church.
Pope Benedict XVI (From the Depths of Our Hearts: Priesthood, Celibacy and the Crisis of the Catholic Church)
How often do we hear from the local diocesan people—the bishop, the communications director, the victim assistance coordinator, and others—that this abuse is not restricted to clergy, but, rather, it is a societal problem? It does occur outside in the public realm. When was the last time you heard of a sex offender not being held accountable for his actions once caught? The Church treated the abuse as a sin only and nothing more. Out in society, sex offenders are not moved to another community quietly. “But protest that priests are 'no worse' than other groups or than men in general is a dire indictment of the profession. It is surprising that this attitude is championed by the Church authorities. Although the extent of the problem will continue to be debated, sexual abuse by Catholic priests is a fact. The reason why priests, publicly dedicated to celibate service, abuse is a question that cries out for explanation. Sexual activity of any adult with a minor is a criminal offense. By virtue of the requirement of celibacy, sexual activity with anyone is proscribed for priests. These factors have been constant and well-known by all Church authorities” (Sipe 227−228).
Charles L. Bailey Jr. (In the Shadow of the Cross: The True Account of My Childhood Sexual and Ritual Abuse at the Hands of a Roman Catholic Priest)
You will all be assailed, my dear friends, by the very real temptation to believe that you have been forsaken by God – that your priesthood is in vain, and that the weight of mortal grief and sin is more than you can bear. In the midst of your anguish you will ask of Him a sign, some visible ray of His unchanging light in a world of hideous darkness. I am sorry to say that this visible sign will rarely be given. The burning bush of Moses, the jewel-encrusted dove of Theresa, the Tolle lege of Augustine – these are no longer the style, as in the simpler days of saint and prophet. The light will be interior; you must look for it within
Henry Morton Robinson (The Cardinal)
Well, if you say you’re Catholic and it looks like you’re getting close to the end, they send a priest around. If you’re Jewish, they send a rabbi around.” “And if you’re atheist?” “They send Christopher Hitchens around.
Lisa Halliday (Asymmetry)
A Christian people doesn't mean a lot of goody-goodies. The Church has plenty of stamina, and isn't afraid of sin. On the contrary, she can look it in the face calmly and even take it upon herself, assume it at times, as Our Lord did. When a good workman's been at it for a whole week, surely he's due for a booze on Saturday night. Look: I'll define you a Christian people by the opposite. The opposite of a Christian people is a people grown sad and old. You'll be saying that isn't a very theological definition. I agree... Why does our earliest childhood always seem so soft and full of light? A kid's got plenty of troubles, like everybody else, and he's really so very helpless, quite unarmed against pain and illness. Childhood and old age should be the two greatest trials of mankind. But that very sense of powerlessness is the mainspring of a child's joy. He just leaves it all to his mother, you see. Present, past, future -- his whole life is caught up in one look, and that look is a smile. Well, lad, if only they'd let us have our way, the Church might have given men that supreme comfort. Of course they'd each have their own worries to grapple with, just the same. Hunger, thirst, poverty, jealousy -- we'd never be able to pocket the devil once and for all, you may be sure. But man would have known he was the son of God; and therein lies your miracle. He'd have lived, he'd have died with that idea in his noddle -- and not just a notion picked up in books either -- oh, no! Because we'd have made that idea the basis of everything: habits and customs, relaxation and pleasure, down to the very simplest needs. That wouldn't have stopped the labourer ploughing, or the scientist swotting at his logarithms, or even the engineer making his playthings for grown-up people. What we would have got rid of, what we would have torn from the very heart of Adam, is that sense of his own loneliness... God has entrusted the Church to keep [the soul of childhood] alive, to safeguard our candour and freshness... Joy is the gift of the Church, whatever joy is possible for this sad world to share... What would it profit you even to create life itself, when you have lost all sense of what life really is?
Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
The sexual abuse of children is an ancient and pervasive crime, one that is committed wherever adults have power over the young. Schoolteachers, scoutmasters, other clergy, family members, even fathers and mothers are known to physically exploit their vulnerable charges. The home can be the cockpit of abuse. Defenders of the clerical status quo insist on this broader context, as if predation in the sacristy is no big deal. Alas, as I noted earlier, Pope Francis himself displayed this impulse to relativize the priestly crime. But the exploitation of children by Catholic priests stands apart — in its worldwide range, in the enabling complicity of church authorities, and in its deeper meaning a sacrilege — because of how God is so often invoked to seduce and coerce victims. The crime of sexual exploitation, especially of children, has shown itself to be endemic to the priesthood.
James Carroll (The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul)
We Catholics have not only to do our best to keep down our own warring passions and live decent lives, which will often be hard enough in this odd world we have been born into. We have to bear witness to moral principles which the world owned yesterday and has begun to turn its back on today. We have to disapprove of some of the things our neighbors do, without being stuffy about it; we have to be charitable towards our neighbors and make great allowances for them, without falling into the mistake of condoning their low standards and so encouraging them to sin. Two of the most difficult and delicate tasks a man can undertake; and it happens, nowadays, not only to priests, to whom it comes as part of their professional duty, but to ordinary lay people...So we must know what are the unalterable principles we hold, and why we hold them; we must see straight in a world that is full of moral fog.
Ronald Knox (In Soft Garments: A Collection of Oxford Conferences)
the proscription against married Roman Catholic priests is not doctrinal and could be changed if a pope were so inclined. “I have no problems with celibacy withering away,” said Archbishop Keith O’Brien, president of the Scottish Bishops’ Conference. “There is no theological problem with it ending. The loss of celibacy would give liberty to priests to exercise their God-given gift of love and sex rather than feeling they must be celibate all their lives.
The Boston Globe (Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church)
There is a wonderful simple human reality to Christ's hunger. The man is famished. He's missed meals for three days, He has a lot on his mind, He's on His way back to heaven, but before He goes He is itching for a nice piece of broiled fish and a little bread on the side with the men and women He loves. Do we not like Him the more for His prandial persistance? And think for a moment about the holiness of our own food, and the ways that cooking and sharing a meal can be forms of love and prayer. And realize again that the Eucharist at the heart of stubborn Catholicism is the breakfast that Christ prepares for Catholics, every morning, as we return from fishing in vast dreamy seas?
Brian Doyle (Credo: Essays on Grace, Altar Boys, Bees, Kneeling, Saints, the Mass, Priests, Strong Women, Epiphanies, a Wake, and the Haun)
The ceilings had set off a ghostly echo, giving all the desperate hilarity the quality of a memory even as I sat listening to it, memories of things I'd never known. Charlestons on the wings of airborne biplanes. Parties on sinking ships, the icy water bubbling around the waists of the orchestra as they sawed out a last brave chorus of "Auld Lang Syne." Actually, it wasn't "Auld Lang Syne" they'd sung, the night the Titanic went down but hymns, lots of hymns, and the Catholic priest saying Hail Marys, and the first-class salon which had really looked a lot like this: dark wood, potted palms, rose silk lampshades with their swaying fringe. I really had had too much to drink. I was sitting sideways in my chair, holding tight to the arms (Holy Mary, Mother of God), and even the floors were listing, like the decks of a foundering ship; like we might all slide to the other end with a hysterical wheeee! piano and all.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
Clericalism is the pyramid, a structure of domination that must be protected at all costs by everyone occupying a niche in it — which is why bishops and most priests so routinely shield the clerical abusers instead of their victims.
James Carroll (The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul)
The expression 'to lose one's faith', as one might a purse or a ring of keys, has always seemed to me rather foolish. It must be one of those sayings of bourgeois piety, a legacy of those wretched priests of the eighteenth century who talked so much. Faith is not a thing which one 'loses', we merely cease to shape our lives by it. That is why old-fashioned confessors are not far wrong in showing a certain amount of scepticism when dealing with 'intellectual crises', doubtless far more rare than people imagine. An educated man may come by degrees to tuck away his faith in some back corner of his brain, where he can find it again on reflection, by an effort of memory: yet even if he feels a tender regret for what no longer exists and might have been, the term 'faith' would nevertheless be inapplicable to such an abstraction, no more like real faith, to use a very well-worn simile, than the constellation of Cygne is like a swan.
Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
In early Judaism, the priesthood was maintained within various families and passed down from father to son, thus necessitating marriage. But this is the old covenant, and even within this model priests were required to abstain from having sex with their wives during the time they served in the Temple. Catholics believe that priests fulfill this Temple relationship ever day - the Mass and the Eucharist mean they are serving in the Temple every day of their ordained lives.
Michael Coren (Why Catholics are Right)
There is one hour in his life when we see a flash of utter physical action on Christ's part, an hour when this most curious of men must have experienced the sheer joyous exuberance of a young mammal in full flight: when he lets himself go and flings over the first money changer's table in the Temple at Jerusalem, coins flying, doves thrashing into the air, oxen bellowing, sheep yowling, the money changer going head-over-teakettle, all heads turning, what the...? You don't think Christ got a shot of utter childlike physical glee at that moment? Too late to stop now, his rage rushing to his head, his veiny carpenter's-son wiry arms and hard feet milling as he whizzes through the Temple overturning tables, smashing birdcages, probably popping a furious money-changer here and there with a quick left jab or a well-placed Divine Right Elbow to the money-lending teeth, whipping his scourge of cords against the billboard-size flank of an ox, men scrambling to get out of the way, to grab some of the flying coins, to get a punch in on this nutty rube causing all the ruckus... In all this holy rage and chaos, don't you think there was a little absolute boyish mindless physical jittery joy in the guy?
Brian Doyle (Credo: Essays on Grace, Altar Boys, Bees, Kneeling, Saints, the Mass, Priests, Strong Women, Epiphanies, a Wake, and the Haun)
Actually, what we really need to remember about Galileo is that most of the people who use his name in argument could barely spell it, let alone tell us what actually happened to the man. His case is used over and over again because critics can't think of any other scientists who were mistreated by the Church. And in this instance they're right. There may have been some people in the scientific world who did not enjoy Church support and were even challenged by Catholicism but, sorry to disappoint, there weren't very many of them. The Church has been the handmaiden of science and scientific discovery, and those who refer to Galileo tend to forget that Louis Pasteur, the inventor of pasteurization, was a devout Catholic, as was Alexander Fleming, who gave us penicillin. Or Father Nicolaus Copernicus, who first proposed the theory of the earth revolving around the sun - this was precisely what Galileo stated, but Copernicus taught it as theory and not fact. Or Monsignor Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître, a Belgian Roman Catholic priest and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Leuven, who proposed what became known as the Big Bang theory of the origin of the Universe. In the field of acceleration, Fr. Giambattista Riccioli changed the way we understand that particular science; the father of modern Egyptology was Fr. Athanasius Kircher, and the Yugoslavian Fr. Roger Boscovich was the founder of modern atomic theory.
Michael Coren (Why Catholics are Right)
Most of what's known about religious practices in pre-Hispanic Mexico has come to us through a Catholic parish priest named Hernando Ruiz de Alarcón, one of the few who ever became fluent in the Nahuatl language. He spent the 1620s writing his "Treatise on the Superstitions and Heathen Customs that Today Live Among the Indians Native to This New Spain". He'd originally meant it to be something of a "field guide to the heathens" to help priests recognize and exterminate indigenous religious rites and their practitioners. In the process of his documentation, though, it's clear from his writings that Father Ruiz de Alarcón grew sympathetic. He was particularly fascinated with how Nahuatl people celebrated the sacred in ordinary objects, and encouraged living and spirit realities to meet up in the here and now. He noted that the concept of "death" as an ending did not exactly exist for them. When Aztec people left their bodies, they were presumed to be on an exciting trip through the ether. It wasn't something to cry about, except that the living still wanted to visit with them. People's sadness was not for the departed, but for themselves, and could be addressed through ritual visiting called Xantolo, an ordinary communion between the dead and the living. Mexican tradition still holds that Xantolo is always present in certain places and activities, including marigold fields, the cultivation of corn, the preparation of tamales and pan de muerto. Interestingly, farmers' markets are said to be loaded with Xantolo.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
If Father Dominic died, I would have lost the best mentor I'd ever had, and, absurdly enough, one of the best friends I'd ever had, as well. If someone had told me that the first day I'd walked into his office so many years ago, I'd never have believed it. What could an agnostic girl from Brooklyn and an elderly Catholic priest from California possibly have in common? The ability to help wayward spirits find their way home, it turned out ... even if, as Father Dom had pointed out, we hadn't always agreed on our methodology.
Meg Cabot (Remembrance (The Mediator, #7))
The debasement of Catholic morality when it comes to women, power, and sex is perfectly captured in the fact that the Church’s Canon law provides for the ex post facto excommunication of a woman who attempts to say mass. There is no such penalty for a pedophile priest.
James Carroll (The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul)
Of the allegations leveled at hundreds of living priests across the country, only a handful were liable for prosecution because the statute of limitations had expired in so many cases. But the inability of prosecutors to bring charges was hardly a vindication of the Church. Norfolk
The Boston Globe (Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church)
Vatican’s secretly composed message to all of Germany’s Catholics. On Palm Sunday, 1937, the letter had been read by every priest, bishop, and cardinal across Germany to their congregations and three hundred thousand copies had been disseminated. Drafted by Munich’s Cardinal von Faulhaber and Pope Pius XI, it told German Catholics in carefully veiled terms that National Socialism was an evil religion based on racism that stood contrary to the church’s teachings and every man’s right to equality. It made reference to “an insane and arrogant prophet” without naming Hitler.
Adam Makos (A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II)
Now, celebrations become tiring because they unfold in noisy chattering. The liturgy is sick. The most striking symptom of this sickness is perhaps the omnipresence of the microphone. It has become so indispensable that one wonders how priests were able to celebrate before it was invented.
Robert Sarah (The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise)
As became clear to me and many others during his tone-deaf visit to Ireland in 2018 and during the 2019 aftershocks of scandal that culminated in the failed ‘Protection of Minors’ meeting in Rome, the pope from Argentina remains blind to what much of the world sees quite clearly. If, owing to his own limits as a Catholic priest, he is unable, finally, to begin a radical transformation of the anti-female, anti sex clerical culture that is brought ruin to thousands, the precious and prophetic world invitation of Pope Francis will be firmly met by history’s No! His tiny opening will be slammed shut.
James Carroll (The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul)
the groundbreakers in many sciences were devout believers. Witness the accomplishments of Nicolaus Copernicus (a priest) in astronomy, Blaise Pascal (a lay apologist) in mathematics, Gregor Mendel (a monk) in genetics, Louis Pasteur in biology, Antoine Lavoisier in chemistry, John von Neumann in computer science, and Enrico Fermi and Erwin Schrodinger in physics. That’s a short list, and it includes only Roman Catholics; a long list could continue for pages. A roster that included other believers—Protestants, Jews, and unconventional theists like Albert Einstein, Fred Hoyle, and Paul Davies—could fill a book.
Scott Hahn (Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith)
I was amazed, shocked, and sickened by what I heard throughout the day, over and over, by many victims' stories. I can think of no one with whom I didn't recognize a common thread. These monsters, these evil priests, used the same words and methods on all of us. With each session, I would find something that sent a cold chill down my spine. It amazed and frightened me that the actual words used on me, to rape me, to rape me, were the same as the words used on so many others from all over the United States. You would think that all these priests either were educated in how to concur and rape us, or they met privately with each other to compare notes and develop their plan of attack on us. The pattern was so much the same, with the same words, that you would swear it was scripted and disbursed to these priests. Do they secretly have closed-door meetings on how to abuse us? A chilling thought. Neary's routine of saying the “Our Father” during the rape and making me say it with him, repeating the “thy will be done” over and over, the absolution given me after he “finished,” the threats of having God take my parents away, the lectures about offering my suffering up to God, etc., etc., etc. My experience was identical, word-for-word, to that of many others. The exact words during the abuse were not just close, but exactly the same, as if it were some kind of abuse ritual. Ritual abuse is not limited to the religious definition and can include compulsive, abusive behavior performed in an exact series of steps with little variation. How could these similarities occur without the priests taking the same “abuse seminar” together some place, somehow? Was it taught in the seminary? In some dark corner? It goes beyond coincidence—the similarities in deeds and verbiage that these predators use on us. It truly chilled me to the very marrow of my bones.
Charles L. Bailey Jr. (In the Shadow of the Cross: The True Account of My Childhood Sexual and Ritual Abuse at the Hands of a Roman Catholic Priest)
Once, during my Catholic days, I was complaining with a Catholic friend about how terrible the teaching was in parish life. A priest listening to us said that everything we griped about was true, but we didn't have to resign ourselves and our children to this fate. 'You could go online to tonight and have sent to you within a week a theological library that Aquinas would have envied,' he said. 'My parents raised me in the seventies, which was the beginning of the catechesis nightmare. They knew that if they were going to raise Catholic kids, they would have to do a lot of it themselves, and they did. So do you.
Rod Dreher (The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation)
It was when Francis repeatedly failed in his response to the unchecked current of accusation and revelation — not just regarding priests as predators, but especially with bishops as enablers, and with bishops and Cardinals as predators, too — that I was forced to undertake a deeper and more comprehensive reckoning.
James Carroll (The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul)
Next time you pull a knife on me," Inga growled, "this is vhat I do to you." She hammered a scruffy bush with the violent and athletic kick of a Chinaman in a kung fu movie. "Extreme Unction!" the bush howled. "Call de priest! Me need Extreme Unction!" "Inga!" Aloysius cried. "De bush no trouble you! Him is a Catholic bush!
Anthony C. Winkler (The Lunatic)
What is a priest doing being a doctor geology?" said Du Pre. Father Van Den Heuvel turned back from his diggings. "The Catholic Church," he said, "favors education as the only way to fight off good ideas. They have gotten good at it, having been fighting off good ideas for the last millenium and a half, and they don't learn.
Peter Bowen, Nails
But — and here is the crucial point — it was difficult to rebut that anti-gay slur [i.e., that the abuse crisis in the Catholic church is about pedophilia by gay priests] for the scapegoating it was, precisely because of that cloak of denial around the Church’s broader sexual dishonesty. Gay priests, too, were forced to live a lie.
James Carroll (The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul)
Manifest in this trade (commercial sale of indulgences via bankers) at the same time was a pernicious tendency in the Roman Catholic system, for the trade in indulgences was not an excess or an abuse but the direct consequence of the nomistic degradation of the gospel. That the Reformation started with Luther’s protest against this traffic in indulgences proves its religious origin and evangelical character. At issue here was nothing less than the essential character of the gospel, the core of Christianity, the nature of true piety. And Luther was the man who, guided by experience in the life of his own soul, again made people understand the original and true meaning of the gospel of Christ. Like the “righteousness of God,” so the term “penitence” had been for him one of the most bitter words of Holy Scripture. But when from Romans 1:17 he learned to know a “righteousness by faith,” he also learned “the true manner of penitence.” He then understood that the repentance demanded in Matthew 4:17 had nothing to do with the works of satisfaction required in the Roman institution of confession, but consisted in “a change of mind in true interior contrition” and with all its benefits was itself a fruit of grace. In the first seven of his ninety-five theses and further in his sermon on “Indulgences and Grace” (February 1518), the sermon on “Penitence” (March 1518), and the sermon on the “Sacrament of Penance” (1519), he set forth this meaning of repentance or conversion and developed the glorious thought that the most important part of penitence consists not in private confession (which cannot be found in Scripture) nor in satisfaction (for God forgives sins freely) but in true sorrow over sin, in a solemn resolve to bear the cross of Christ, in a new life, and in the word of absolution, that is, the word of the grace of God in Christ. The penitent arrives at forgiveness of sins, not by making amends (satisfaction) and priestly absolution, but by trusting the word of God, by believing in God’s grace. It is not the sacrament but faith that justifies. In that way Luther came to again put sin and grace in the center of the Christian doctrine of salvation. The forgiveness of sins, that is, justification, does not depend on repentance, which always remains incomplete, but rests in God’s promise and becomes ours by faith alone.
Herman Bavinck
Sipe called the priesthood a “homosocial culture. All the values within the culture are male, and the reason there has been such a tolerance across the board of sexual activity by priests or bishops is that there is a boys-will-be-boys atmosphere. It’s kind of a spiritual fraternity—like a college fraternity, but with a spiritual aura around it.
The Boston Globe (Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church)
A future priest, I faced her as before an altar: one of her cheeks was the Epistle and the other the Gospel. Her mouth might have been the chalice, her lips the paten. All I needed to do was to say a new mass, according to a Latin that no one learns at school, and is the catholic language of mankind. Don’t think me sacrilegious, devout lady reader; the purity of the intention cleanses anything unorthodox in the style. We stood there with heaven within us. Our hands, their nerve ends touching, made two creatures one: a single, seraphic being. Our eyes went on saying infinite things, and the words did not even try to pass our lips: they went back to the heart as silently as they had come…
Machado de Assis (Dom Casmurro)
Once converted, the former Anglicans are welcomed into the Roman Church as priests, even if they are married. So in that way, the rule of mandatory celibacy has indeed been lifted, if only for these self-acknowledged misogynists. That leaves the inferiority of women as the absolutely overriding Catholic moral principle. It is the keystone of clericalism.
James Carroll (The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul)
There was a short railway official travelling up to the terminus, three fairly short market-gardeners picked up two stations afterwards, one very short widow lady going up from a small Essex town, and a very short Roman Catholic priest going up from a small Essex village. When it came to the last case, Valentin gave it up and almost laughed. The little priest was so much the essence of those Eastern flats; he had a face as round and dull as a Norfolk dumpling; he had eyes as empty as the North Sea; he had several brown-paper parcels, which he was quite incapable of collecting. The Eucharistic Congress had doubtless sucked out of their local stagnation many such creatures, blind and helpless, like moles disinterred. Valentin was a skeptic in the severe style of France, and could have no love for priests. But he could have pity for them, and this one might have provoked pity in anybody. He had a large, shabby umbrella, which constantly fell on the floor. He did not seem to know which was the right end of his return ticket. He explained with a moon-calf simplicity to everybody in the carriage that he had to be careful, because he had something made of real silver "with blue stones" in one of his brown-paper parcels. His quaint blending of Essex flatness with saintly simplicity continuously amused the Frenchman till the priest arrived (somehow) at Tottenham with all his parcels, and came back for his umbrella.
G.K. Chesterton (The Innocence of Father Brown (Father Brown, #1))
Look, I'm here because we need to stop this killer. I'm somewhat on board with the craziness. But we've now got a priest stealing the Shroud of Turin from the Catholic Church so we can use the blood of Jesus to defeat the anti-Christ, who, by the way, is Newsweek's (sic) poster boy of the year, all at the urgings of an alcoholic priest. Do I have it right?
David W. Moore III (The Shroud)
You will go far in the Church." "I have no desire to go far. My only ambition is to be a good priest." "You will be that, of course. Nevertheless, you will go higher. And do you know why?” “Why?” “Because,” said Orselli, “you are not afraid of worldliness. I do not mean that you are worldly. Far from it. But you have a talent for being all things to all men.
Henry Morton Robinson (The Cardinal)
The great question posed by the Catholic sexual abuse scandal is not How could priests and bishops have done this? Rather, given the global scale of the clerical crimes against children and the all-but-universal habit of Church denial that enabled those crimes, the great question is What in Catholic culture gives rise to this grotesquely massive dysfunction?.
James Carroll (The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul)
The people who carried the Catholic faith forward in history, who made the culture of beauty, music, art, and architecture rooted in the Christian understanding of God and humanity—these generations were taught, spiritually fed, and shaped by priests exactly like the men who minister to us in our local Church, men not so different from the one who wrote this book.
Paul Scalia (That Nothing May Be Lost: Reflections on Catholic Doctrine and Devotion)
Father Egan continues to write about everything from the injustice of current wars to the past and future of Catholic mysticism. In the Catholic Reporter, he publishes an article titled "Celibacy, a Vague Old Cross on Priestly Backs", and explains that it started "only in 1139 when the church no longer wanted to be financially responsible for the children of priests.
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
A plain, brown paper-wrapped package came in the mail recently. Upon opening it, I saw that it was a patchwork quilt about four feet by five feet. Many little scraps of cloth, carefully joined by loving hands. Two squares have suggestions of a black cassock and Roman white collar. The maker of the quilt states, “In its variety, I feel it denotes confusion and the world “mixed” up. There are dark spots for the dark times and bright squares, so, hopefully, some good and brightness will come in the future. The other pieces of cloth were of happy times, mothers and children, peaceful settings, happy things.” A note inside stated that she felt we were “scraps,”—the “scraps” that the abusive priests treated us like. They would use us as a scrap is used and then simply toss us aside. I was moved to tears. Holding it in my hands, I could almost feel others' pain and suffering, as I touched each panel. It is a magnificent work, worthy of a prize. I was deeply humbled by the receipt of the quilt. This woman got it; she really got it. This woman got it; she really got it. She has a deeper understanding of what we have gone through. It is rare.
Charles L. Bailey Jr. (In the Shadow of the Cross: The True Account of My Childhood Sexual and Ritual Abuse at the Hands of a Roman Catholic Priest)
Many pointed out that celibacy, although valued from the earliest days of Christianity and first mandated in the fourth century, was widely enforced only starting in the twelfth century. Defenders of celibacy have described it as a gift, a charism, a witness to sanctity. But critics have noted that celibacy was legislated to avoid the problem of Church property being passed along from a priest to his children.
The Boston Globe (Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church)
Father Alfonso and Father Octavio could make Pepe feel as if he were a betrayer of the Catholic faith—as if he were a raving secular humanist, or worse. (Could there be anyone worse, from a Jesuitical perspective?) Father Alfonso and Father Octavio knew their Catholic dogma by rote; while the two priests talked circles around Brother Pepe, and they made Pepe feel inadequate in his belief, they were irreparably doctrinaire.
John Irving (Avenue of Mysteries)
He was not even a Catholic, yet that was the only ghost of a code that he had, the gaudy, ritualistic, paradoxical Catholicism whose prophet was Chesterton, whose claqueurs were such reformed rakes of literature as Huysmans and Bourget, whose American sponsor was Ralph Adams Cram, with his adulation of thirteenth-century cathedrals--a Catholicism which Amory found convenient and ready-made, without priest or sacraments or sacrifice.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (This Side of Paradise)
If this most holy Sacrament were celebrated in only one place and consecrated by only one priest in the whole world, with what great desire, do you think, would men be attracted to that place, to that priest of God, in order to witness the celebration of the divine Mysteries! But now there are many priests and Mass is offered in many places, that God's grace and love for men may appear the more clearly as the Sacred Communion is spread more widely through the world.
Thomas à Kempis (The Imitation of Christ)
As a child I had been taken to see Dr Bradshaw on countless occasions; it was in his surgery that Billy had first discovered Lego. As I was growing up, I also saw Dr Robinson, the marathon runner. Now that I was living back at home, he was again my GP. When Mother bravely told him I was undergoing treatment for MPD/DID as a result of childhood sexual abuse, he buried his head in hands and wept. Child abuse will always re-emerge, no matter how many years go by. We read of cases of people who have come forward after thirty or forty years to say they were abused as children in care homes by wardens, schoolteachers, neighbours, fathers, priests. The Catholic Church in the United States in the last decade has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for 'acts of sodomy and depravity towards children', to quote one information-exchange web-site. Why do these ageing people make the abuse public so late in their lives? To seek attention? No, it's because deep down there is a wound they need to bring out into the clean air before it can heal. Many clinicians miss signs of abuse in children because they, as decent people, do not want to find evidence of what Dr Ross suggests is 'a sick society that has grown sicker, and the abuse of children more bizarre'. (Note: this was written in the UK many years before the revelations of Jimmy Savile's widespread abuse, which included some ritual abuse)
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
I hear what they're saying about faith, about the priests at our church and how they relate to women, about the bishops and cardinals above the priests and how they ignore women, about the things they are reading and thinking about. And I realize several things in rapid succession: you can be Catholic and feminist. You can be Catholic and lesbian. You can be Catholic and a straight female and not have kids. You can be Catholic and have children but wonder if they should be Catholic. You can be Catholic and believe in better access to birth control, especially in impoverished and AIDS-ravaged communities. You can be Catholic and female and not be a nun and still be a leader in the church. Women, as it turns out, are part of the priestly class. It's just that they aren't allowed to minister publicly. They do it in places like here, and in hospitals, classrooms, homeless shelters, and in any room, really, where there is someone who needs healing.
Kaya Oakes (Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church)
In the beginning was the World, but it was, therefore the past existed before the World. He bowed before the supremacy of the past. The Catholic Church would have much to be said for it, but it allowed too little past. Two thousand years, a part of it only recorded, what does that matter compared to traditions of double or treble that space of years? A Catholic priest is surpassed by any Egyptian mummy. Because the mummy is dead, he may think himself superior. But the pyramids are no more dead than St. Peter's, on the contrary, they are much more alive, for they are older. These Romans think that they have all time in the pockets. They refuse to revere their ancestors. That is a blasphemy. God is the past... A time will come when all men will beat their senses into recollections, and all time into the past. A time will come when a single past will embrace all men when there will be nothing except the past, when everyone will have one faith– the past.
Elias Canetti (Auto-da-Fé)
When there is abuse by itself it's scary enough. When there is abuse within a religious setting it is so terrifying to people. Look how long its taken the Ryan report of 2009 took till then to talk about ritualistic kinds of abuse children in Ireland went through at the hands of nuns and priests, so nobody can bear it when its linked to religion, but when it's linked to religion that is not mainstream it seems to frighten people more. As if yes, abuse exists, Satanism exists, but you can't have Satanist abuse.
Valerie Sinason
Presidents of the United States tend to speak in God's name, although none of them has let on if He communicates by letter, fax, telephone, or telepathy. With or without His approval, in 2006 God was proclaimed chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. That said, the All Powerful, who is even on the dollar bill, was a shining absence at the time of independence. The constitution did not mention Him. At the Constitutional Convention, when a prayer was suggested, Alexander Hamilton responded: 'We don't need foreign aid.' On his deathbed, George Washington wanted no prayers or priest or minister or anything. Benjamin Franklin said divine revelation was nothing but poppy-cock. 'My mind is my own church,' affirmed Thomas Paine, and President John Adams believed that 'this world be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it.' According to Thomas Jefferson, Catholic priests and Protestant minsters were 'soothsayers and necromancers' who divided humanity, making 'one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.
Eduardo Galeano (Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone)
Ireland has in it a quality which caused it (in the most ascetic age of Christianity) to be called the “Land of Saints”; and which still might give it a claim to be called the Land of Virgins. An Irish Catholic priest once said to me, “There is in our people a fear of the passions which is older even than Christianity.” Everyone who has read Shaw’s play upon Ireland will remember the thing in the horror of the Irish girl at being kissed in the public streets. But anyone who knows Shaw’s work will recognize it in Shaw himself. There exists by accident an early and beardless portrait of him which really suggests in the severity and purity of its lines some of the early ascetic pictures of the beardless Christ. However he may shout profanities or seek to shatter the shrines, there is always something about him which suggests that in a sweeter and more solid civilisation he would have been a great saint. He would have been a saint of a sternly ascetic, perhaps of a sternly negative type. But he has this strange note of the saint in him: that he is literally unworldly.
George Bernard Shaw (George Bernard Shaw: Collected Articles, Lectures, Essays and Letters: Thoughts and Studies from the Renowned Dramaturge and Author of Mrs. Warren's Profession, ... and Cleopatra, Androcles And The Lion)
How widespread do you believe Catholics sexual abuse by Priests actually is?” Mark questioned. “Enough that girls in Catholic uniforms are synonymous with pornography and sexual promiscuity,” I stated. “If sexual abuse of children by Priests isn’t common knowledge, it should be.” “It will be,” Mark firmly stated. “Gordon Thomas and Sinaid O’Connor are among a growing number of people speaking out. Even Aquino is proving to be a significant downfall to the Catholic church rather than a recruiter for the Jesuits, CIA, and DIA6 as intended.
Cathy O'Brien (ACCESS DENIED For Reasons Of National Security: Documented Journey From CIA Mind Control Slave To U.S. Government Whistleblower)
On Good Friday last year the SS found some pretext to punish 60 priests with an hour on "the tree." That is the mildest camp punishment. They tie a man's hands together behind his back, palms facing out and fingers pointing backward. Then they turn his hands inwards, tie a chain around his wrists and hoist him up by it. His own wight twists his joints and pulls them apart...Several of the priest who were hung up last year never recovered and died. If you don't have a strong heart, you don't survive it. Many have a permanently crippled hand.
Jean Bernard (Priestblock 25487: a Memoir of Dachau)
For American Catholics, a millennium that John Paul II had hailed as a “new springtime” for Christianity began instead with a wave of revelations about priestly sex abuse. There had been intimations of this crisis in the 1980s, when several high-profile instances of priestly pedophilia had surfaced in the media. But nothing prepared Catholic America for the flood of 2003, which began in New England but ultimately left no diocese or community untouched, reaching even to the doors of the Vatican itself. Horror upon horror, cover-up upon cover-up, and sacrilege piled on sacrilege—it was like an anti-Catholic polemic from the nineteenth century, except that it was all too terribly true. No atheist or anticlericalist, no Voltaire or Ingersoll or Twain could have invented a story so perfectly calculated to discredit the message of the Gospel as the depredations of Thomas Geoghan and the legalistic indifference of Bernard Cardinal Law. No external enemy of the faith, no Attila or Barbarossa or Hitler, could have sown so much confusion and dismay among the faithful as Catholicism’s own bishops managed to do.
Ross Douthat (Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics)
Come on, I want to take you around to the back, to see St. Anthony's Garden," he said. Delicate bell clangs marked the half hour, and a mockingbird called through the still air as the group entered the garden. The green space was dominated by the tall white statue of a man with arms raised in welcome. "St. Anthony is known as the protector of childless women and finder of lost things," explained Falkner. "This area has had many functions over the years. It was a place for gatherings, markets, meals---even a dueling ground. Père Antoine, one of the cathedral's popular pastors, used the space as a kitchen garden to feed his monks. He also worked with voodoo priestess Marie Laveau to assist the large slave population, especially women and children." "A Roman Catholic priest collaborating with a voodoo priestess?" asked one of the tourists, mopping his brow with a handkerchief. Falkner nodded. "They had more in common than you may think. They both had a desire to heal, sooth, and do good works. They were both very spiritual people. Marie Laveau blended voodoo with Catholicism, especially regarding the saints.
Mary Jane Clark (That Old Black Magic (Wedding Cake Mystery, #4))
I’ll never forget when I was a vocation director, and a college student asked me, ‘What do you do when you get an urge?’ as if no one else would control it but a priest,” Burns said. “Everyone is called to holiness, particularly in their sexual life. How do we manage our sexual desires? By being people of integrity, with respect for other people’s sexuality, and for our own sexuality. Celibacy is a gift we give, in order to live out a service of life for others. It is a call from God. We are meant to be celibate men, working to build a Kingdom, here and now.
The Boston Globe (Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church)
The category of validity allows for ecclesiastical lines to be crossed, even if there is no communion between ecclesial bodies. It allows Rome to recognize “valid” sacraments even outside its own self-understanding of the Church (i.e., the Church is only the Roman Catholic Church): Eastern Christians who are in fact separated in good faith from the Catholic Church, if they ask of their own accord and have the right dispositions, may be admitted to the sacraments of Penance, the Eucharist and the Anointing of the Sick. Further, Catholics may ask for these same sacraments from those non-Catholic ministers whose churches possess valid sacraments, as often as necessity or a genuine spiritual benefit recommends such a course and access to a Catholic priest is physically or morally impossible. (Vatican II, Orientalium Ecclesiarium, 1964) For the Orthodox, communion and all the sacraments exist only within one ecclesiastical communion. That is, Orthodox Christians may only receive the sacraments from Orthodox clergy. Likewise, Orthodox clergy may only give the sacraments to Orthodox Christians. (In cases of emergency, non-Orthodox are welcome to convert in order to receive the sacraments.)
Andrew Stephen Damick (Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy: Exploring Belief Systems through the Lens of the Ancient Christian Faith)
The first days of January 1942 brought enormous amounts of snow. The reader already knows what snow meant for the clergy. But this time the torture surpassed the bounds of the endurable. At the same time the thermometer hovered between 5 and 15 degrees below zero. From morning till night we scraped, shoveled, and pushed wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of snow to the brook. The work detail consisted of more than 1,000 clergymen, forced to keep moving by SS men and Capos who kicked us and beat us with truncheons. We had to make rounds with the wheelbarrows from the assembly square to the brook and back. Not a moment of rest was allowed, and much of the time we were forced to run. At one point I tripped over my barrow and fell, and it took me a while to get up again. An SS man dashed over and ordered me to turn with the full load. He ran beside me, beating me constantly with a leather strap. When I got to the brook I was not allowed to dump out the heavy snow, but had to make a second complete round with it instead. When the guard finally went off and I tried to let go of the wheelbarrow, I found that one of my hands was frozen fast to it. I had to blow on it with warm breath to get it free.
Jean Bernard (Priestblock 25487: a Memoir of Dachau)
You can become a saint! The good news is that God wants us all to go to Heaven! There is no greater proof than the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. We, the baptized, have been entrusted with all the grace necessary to become a saint through the Holy Eucharist. Bus as if that was not enough, He gives us the ability to be Jesus' hands and feet on the Earth through the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the example of how to live those out through the lives of the saints, and the tremendous graces available through devotions approved by the Magisterium of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Don't miss the opportunity!
John T. Stobb (Let's Celebrate the Saints! God's Priests, Prophets and Kings: ... How they lived out the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit and how YOU CAN TOO!)
Let priests take care not to accept from the liberal any ideas which, under the mask of good, pretend to reconcile justice with iniquity. Liberal Catholics are wolves in sheep’s clothing. The priest must unveil to the people their perfidious plot, their iniquitous design. You will be called papist, clerical, RETROGRADE, intolerant. But pay no heed to the derision and mockery of the wicked. Have courage. You must never yield, nor is there any need to yield. You must go into the attack whole-heartedly, not in secret but in public, not behind barred doors, but in the open, in view of all.” —Bishop Sarto (later Pope Pius X).
Timothy J. Gordon (Rules for Retrogrades: Forty Tactics to Defeat the Radical Left)
priestly requirement for celibacy—a life without sexual activity of any kind, including masturbation—is not an ancillary part of the job. “The message pretty much is that celibacy is an absolute requirement,” said King. “Everyone has urges. Married people have the same struggles fundamentally. They get to have sex, but they don’t get to have sex with everybody else and still be faithful to their commitment. There isn’t a person alive who isn’t a sexual human being. But we have to manage it in healthy ways. In many ways, married people struggle with this as much as we do. Celibacy is a gift, but it’s not something that most people are cut out for.
The Boston Globe (Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church)
The second story tells of how the malignity of that clericalism has been laid bare in recent years by the scandal of priests sexually abusing children, while bishops have protected the predators instead of their victims—a deviance so deeply driven into the Catholic culture that not even the brave and charismatic Pope Francis has been able or willing to uproot it. And the third story is my own—how Jimmy, how I, became a priest; then a writer, and an op-ed columnist for The Boston Globe, even as that paper’s Spotlight team broke the Church’s sexual abuse scandal; and, finally, a shattered believer forced to confront the corruption at the heart of my faith.
James Carroll (The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul)
Ancient Rome, who through the edicts of her Emperors Theodosius in the 4th century A.D. and Justinian in the 6th century A.D. abolished the Mysteries of the African Continent; that is the ancient culture system of the world. The higher metaphysical doctrines of those Mysteries could not be comprehended; the spiritual powers of the priests were unsurpassed; the magic of the rites and ceremonies filled the people with awe; Egypt was the holy land of the ancient world and the Mysteries were the one, ancient and holy Catholic religion, whose power was supreme. This lofty culture system of the Black people filled Rome with envy, and consequently she legalized Christianity which she had persecuted for five long centuries, and set it up as a state religion and as a rival of Mysteries, its own mother. This is why the Mysteries have been despised; this is why other ancient religions of the Black people are despised; because they are all offspring of the African Mysteries, which have never been clearly understood by Europeans, and consequently have provoked their prejudice and condemnation. In keeping with the plan of Emperors Theodosius and Justinian to exterminate and forever suppress the culture system of the African continents the Christian church established its missionary enterprise to fight against what it has called paganism.
George G.M. James (Stolen Legacy)
The Rochester group [of VOTF], however, was met with some concern as they found it hard to believe my account as it unfolded before them. I feel that some people have a hard time with the truths around us, not only the sexual abuse by priests, but all bad things. I call it chosen ignorance. This modified form of ignorance is found in people who, if confronted with certain truths realize that they have to accept them and thereby acknowledge evil, and that scares them. Opening up and letting the truth in might knock them off their perceived center. It is too hard, period." (VOTF - Voice of the Faithful - a Catholic group that wants to change the Church, keep the faith.)
Charles L. Bailey Jr. (In the Shadow of the Cross: The True Account of My Childhood Sexual and Ritual Abuse at the Hands of a Roman Catholic Priest)
I was mildly curious but clueless, and my husband—to—be and his friends were too hung—over to be of much help. They were mostly “lapsed” Catholics like my husband, the products of parochial schools in the 1950s and Jesuit colleges in the 1960s. They seemed vastly bored by the proceedings and had not gone forward to receive communion. But I watched the ceremony intently from far back in the big stone church. And at one point, I gasped. “Look,” I said, tugging on David’s sleeve. “Look at that! The priest is cleaning up! He’s doing the dishes!” My husband shrugged; others in the pew looked at me and then at him, as if to say—Dave, your girlfriend has gone soft in the head.
Kathleen Norris (The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and "Women's Work")
When Italians and then Poles and other Eastern Europeans followed the Irish, they became part of an American Catholic Church that was, in essence, an Irish church. As Boston Globe reporter Maureen Dezell noted in her book Irish America: Coming into Clover, 90 percent of men enrolled in American seminaries in the latter half of the nineteenth century had Irish names, while by 1900 three quarters of the American Catholic hierarchy was Irish. (Even by the 1990s, when Hispanics emerged as the biggest ethnic group in the American Catholic Church, and the Irish made up only 15 percent of the laity, a third of the priests and half of the American bishops were of Irish descent.)
The Boston Globe (Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church)
For Mercier, it was the ceremony of the mass that eased his soul: the sweetish smoke trailing from the censer, the ringing of the bell, the Latin incantations of the priest. In Warsaw, he attended early mass, at a small church near the apartment, once or twice a month, confessing to his vocational sins – duplicity, for example – in the oblique forms provided by Catholic protocol. He’d grown up an untroubled believer, but the war had put an end to that. What God could permit such misery and slaughter? But, in time, he had found consolation in a God beyond understanding and prayed for those he’d lost, for those he loved, and for an end to evil in the world.” ― Alan Furst, The Spies of Warsaw
Alan Furst (The Spies of Warsaw (Night Soldiers, #10))
Islam has nothing to do with the acts, actions, and ethics of human beings. We must not blend the actions of Muslims with Islam. Those people misunderstood or misinterpret Islamic religion, or they are subjected to abnormal circumstances in their countries and cultures. So they stigmatize Islam with things that are not relevant or even exist in the religion. Your upbringing and manners represent you, NOT your religion. You are the sum of what you have learned from your parents. For example, sexual jihad or marriage jihad is a phenomenon was created by Syrian culture where they allowed the soldiers in Syria to have sex under the banner of marriage. But this type of marriage doesn’t exist in Islam. Those individuals represent themselves, not their religion. For example, in Catholicism When religious people abused their power and molested young boys, what is important is not the police investigations, but what damage has been done to the young children at the church when catholic priests molested them and then their actions were covered up by the Catholic Church. We should not accuse Catholicism for these crimes, it is the people who committed these actions who are at fault. The police could not prosecute them because of religious protection. So the church allowed them to move to a smaller town where they would not be noticed. Leaving those criminals free, allowed them to molest more boys and to commit more crimes against children.
Amany Al-Hallaq
Ignatius de Loyola came to the conclusion that the only way his "church" could survive was by enforcing the canons and doctrines on the temporal power of the pope and the Roman Catholic institution; not by just destroying the physical life of the people alone as the Dominican priests were doing through the Inquisition, but by infiltration and penetration into every sector of life. Protestantism must be conquered and used for the benefit of the popes. That was Ignatius de Loyola's personal proposal, among others, to Pope Paul III. Jesuits immediately went to work secretly infiltrating ALL the Protestant groups including their families, places of work, hospitals, schools, colleges, etc. Today, the Jesuits have almost completed that mission.
Edmund Paris (The Secret History of the Jesuits)
But there was more than dullness in the confessional; it was not that by itself that had sickened him or propelled him toward that always widening club, Associated Catholic Priests of the Bottle and Knights of the Cutty Sark. It was the steady, dead, onrushing engine of the church, bearing down all petty sins on its endless shuttle to heaven. It was the ritualistic acknowledgment of evil by a church now more concerned with social evils; atonement told in beads for elderly ladies whose parents had spoken European tongues. It was the actual presence of evil in the confessional, as real as the smell of old velvet. But it was a mindless, moronic evil from which there was no mercy or reprieve. The fist crashing into the baby’s face, the tire cut open with a jackknife, the barroom brawl, the insertion of razor blades into Halloween apples, the constant, vapid qualifiers which the human mind, in all its labyrinthine twists and turns, is able to spew forth. Gentlemen, better prisons will cure this. Better cops. Better social services agencies. Better birth control. Better sterilization techniques. Better abortions. Gentlemen, if we rip this fetus from the womb in a bloody tangle of unformed arms and legs, it will never grow up to beat an old lady to death with a hammer. Ladies, if we strap this man into a specially wired chair and fry him like a pork chop in a microwave oven, he will never have an opportunity to torture any more boys to death. Countrymen, if this eugenics bill is passed, I can guarantee you that never again— Shit
Stephen King ('Salem's Lot)
But there was more than dullness in the confessional; it was not that by itself that had sickened him or propelled him toward that always widening club, Associated Catholic Priests of the Bottle and Knights of the Cutty Sark. It was the steady, dead, onrushing engine of the church, bearing down all petty sins on its endless shuttle to heaven. It was the ritualistic acknowledgment of evil by a church now more concerned with social evils; atonement told in beads for elderly ladies whose parents had spoken European tongues. It was the actual presence of evil in the confessional, as real as the smell of old velvet. But it was a mindless, moronic evil from which there was no mercy or reprieve. The fist crashing into the baby’s face, the tire cut open with a jackknife, the barroom brawl, the insertion of razor blades into Halloween apples, the constant, vapid qualifiers which the human mind, in all its labyrinthine twists and turns, is able to spew forth. Gentlemen, better prisons will cure this. Better cops. Better social services agencies. Better birth control. Better sterilization techniques. Better abortions. Gentlemen, if we rip this fetus from the womb in a bloody tangle of unformed arms and legs, it will never grow up to beat an old lady to death with a hammer. Ladies, if we strap this man into a specially wired chair and fry him like a pork chop in a microwave oven, he will never have an opportunity to torture any more boys to death. Countrymen, if this eugenics bill is passed, I can guarantee you that never again— Shit
Stephen King ('Salem's Lot)
Uncle Avi. He said he’d heard that upward of thirty thousand Jewish men had been arrested by the Gestapo and the SS. Jacob blanched when he heard the number. But his father seemed to believe neither the number nor the source. “Arrested? Arrested for what?” “For being Jews—what else?” Avi said. “Thirty thousand? That’s ridiculous.” “It’s a fact, Reuben.” “Says who?” “I heard it from one of my suppliers, a goy from Wiesbaden,” Avi replied. “His son is high up in the Gestapo. Tells him everything. The man was practically bragging about it.” “Why would he tell you?” Dr. Weisz asked. “He doesn’t know I’m a Jew,” Avi said. “How’s that possible?” “He thinks I’m Catholic. Remember the crucifix I asked you to get me a few years back from your priest friend in Berlin?” “Of course.” “It’s hanging in my office in Cologne,
Joel C. Rosenberg (The Auschwitz Escape)
In 1846 Easter fell on the same date in the Latin and Greek Orthodox calendars, so the holy shrines were much more crowded than usual, and the mood was very tense. The two religious communities had long been arguing about who should have first right to carry out their Good Friday rituals on the altar of Calvary inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the spot where the cross of Jesus was supposed to have been inserted in the rock. During recent years the rivalry between the Latins and the Greeks had reached such fever pitch that Mehmet Pasha, the Ottoman governor of Jerusalem, had been forced to position soldiers inside and outside the church to preserve order. But even this had not prevented fights from breaking out. On this Good Friday the Latin priests arrived with their white linen altar-cloth to find that the Greeks had got there first with their silk embroidered cloth. The Catholics demanded to see the Greeks’ firman, their decree from the Sultan in Constantinople, empowering them to place their silk cloth on the altar first. The Greeks demanded to see the Latins’ firman allowing them to remove it. A fight broke out between the priests, who were quickly joined by monks and pilgrims on either side. Soon the whole church was a battlefield. The rival groups of worshippers fought not only with their fists, but with crucifixes, candlesticks, chalices, lamps and incense-burners, and even bits of wood which they tore from the sacred shrines. The fighting continued with knives and pistols smuggled into the Holy Sepulchre by worshippers of either side. By the time the church was cleared by Mehmet Pasha’s guards, more than forty people lay dead on the floor.1
Orlando Figes (The Crimean War: A Hisory)
Years ago, when I was a young priest speaking at a Catholic men’s prayer breakfast in Cincinnati, I said, ‘What if the Gospel is actually offering us a win-win scenario?’ A well-dressed businessman came up to me at the break, and said in a very patronizing tone while drumming his fingers on the podium, “Father, Father! Win-win? That would not even be interesting!’ Perhaps he was just being consistent, as one whose entire worldview has been formed by sports, business deals, and American politics, instead of the Gospel. But over the years, I have come to see that he is the norm. The systems of this world are inherently argumentative, competitive, dualistic, based on a scarcity model of God, mercy, and grace. They confuse retribution-what is often little more than crass vengeance-with the biblically evolved notions of healing, forgiveness, and divine mercy.
Richard Rohr (The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For and Believe)
Antichrist Types and Their False Prophet Types In the 1940s Billy Graham publically stated that the three biggest enemies to the Gospel of Christ are Marxism, Mohammedanism (Islam), and Romanism (Roman Catholicism). Billy Graham tragically changed his position. In his 1989 crusade in London, Billy Graham had a Roman Catholic Cardinal (later implicated in the protection of pedophile priests) on his platform at Earl’s Court. The front page of the Chicago newspapers disclosed a declassified secret White House recording of Billy Graham in conversation with Richard Nixon denouncing Jews and showing plainly that both men were vehement anti-Semites. Graham actually said if his Jewish friends only knew what he really thought of them, what would they think as Nixon and Graham discussed the need to stop the influence of the Jews in Hollywood, etc. (In fact, Hollywood has as many left-wing non-Jews as it does Jews.
James Jacob Prasch (Shadows of the Beast)
Mr Kingsley begins then by exclaiming- 'O the chicanery, the wholesale fraud, the vile hypocrisy, the conscience-killing tyranny of Rome! We have not far to seek for an evidence of it. There's Father Newman to wit: one living specimen is worth a hundred dead ones. He, a Priest writing of Priests, tells us that lying is never any harm.' I interpose: 'You are taking a most extraordinary liberty with my name. If I have said this, tell me when and where.' Mr Kingsley replies: 'You said it, Reverend Sir, in a Sermon which you preached, when a Protestant, as Vicar of St Mary's, and published in 1844; and I could read you a very salutary lecture on the effects which that Sermon had at the time on my own opinion of you.' I make answer: 'Oh...NOT, it seems, as a Priest speaking of Priests-but let us have the passage.' Mr Kingsley relaxes: 'Do you know, I like your TONE. From your TONE I rejoice, greatly rejoice, to be able to believe that you did not mean what you said.' I rejoin: 'MEAN it! I maintain I never SAID it, whether as a Protestant or as a Catholic.' Mr Kingsley replies: 'I waive that point.' I object: 'Is it possible! What? waive the main question! I either said it or I didn't. You have made a monstrous charge against me; direct, distinct, public. You are bound to prove it as directly, as distinctly, as publicly-or to own you can't.' 'Well,' says Mr Kingsley, 'if you are quite sure you did not say it, I'll take your word for it; I really will.' My WORD! I am dumb. Somehow I thought that it was my WORD that happened to be on trial. The WORD of a Professor of lying, that he does not lie! But Mr Kingsley reassures me: 'We are both gentlemen,' he says: 'I have done as much as one English gentleman can expect from another.' I begin to see: he thought me a gentleman at the very time he said I taught lying on system...
John Henry Newman (Apologia Pro Vita Sua (A Defense of One's Life))
There are so many priests who enter triumphantly and walk up toward the altar, greeting people left and right, so as to appear sympathetic. Just look at the sad spectacle of some Eucharistic celebrations. ... Why so much frivolousness and worldliness at the moment of the Holy Sacrifice? Why so much profanation and superficiality, given the extraordinary priestly grace that renders us able to make the Body and Blood of Christ substantially present by the invocation of the Spirit? Why do some think that they are obliged to improvise or invent Eucharistic Prayers that conceal the sacred prayers in a wash of petty, human fervor? Are Christ's words insufficient, making it necessary to multiply merely human words? In such a unique and essential sacrifice, is there any need for such a display of imagination and subjective creativity? "In praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words", Jesus warns us (Mt 6:7).
Robert Sarah (The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise)
In trying to find out what Bruno thought of his priesthood, we now have a serious problem which we did not have before. In Venice, he told his fellow-prisoners that he was an enemy of the mass, and thought transubstantiation a ridiculous idea and the Catholic ritual bestial and blasphemous. He compared the elevation of the host to hanging somebody on a gallows, or perhaps to lifting him up on a pitchfork. He told somebody who had dreamt of going to mass that that was a terrible omen; and he performed a mock mass with Ovid's Art of Love instead of a missal. He joked about hungry priests going off from mass to a good breakfast. He spoke particularly ill of the mass as a sacrifice, and said that Abel, the archetype of the sacrificing priest, was a criminal butcher who was rightly killed by the vegetarian Cain. A phrase he used elsewhere, apparently about Christ's passion and not directly about the mass itself, seems nevertheless to express rather exactly his attitude to is: he called it 'some kind of a cabbalistic tragedy'.
John Bossy (Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair)
Some raised a more practical concern, arguing that if Rome really wanted to empty seminaries of gay men—a proposal under consideration at the Vatican—it would face more empty rectories and more barren altars. Some Church experts estimate that from 30 percent to fully one half of the forty-five thousand U.S. priests are gay. “If they were to eliminate all those who were homosexually oriented, the number would be so staggering that it would be like an atomic bomb. It would do the same damage to the Church’s operation,” Sipe said. “And it’s very much against the tradition of the Church. Many saints had a gay orientation. And many popes had gay orientations. Discriminating against orientation is not going to solve the problem.” But the issue was now on the table. At the Vatican meeting, Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville, Illinois, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told reporters that he was concerned about the increasing number of gays in the priesthood. “One of the difficulties we do face in seminary life or recruitment is when there does exist a homosexual atmosphere or dynamic that makes heterosexual men think twice” about joining the priesthood for fear that they’ll be harassed. “It is an ongoing struggle. It is most importantly a struggle to make sure that the Catholic priesthood is not dominated by homosexual men [and] that the candidates that we receive are healthy in every possible way—psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually.” And Cardinal Adam J. Maida of Detroit argued that clergy sexual abuse is “not truly a pedophilia-type problem but a homosexual-type problem.… We have to look at this homosexual element as it exists, to what extent it is operative in our seminaries and our priesthood and how to address it.” Bishops need to “cope with and address” the extent of a homosexual presence in Catholic seminaries, he said. Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua of Philadelphia said he wouldn’t let gay men become priests. “We feel that a person who is homosexually oriented is not a suitable candidate for the priesthood even if he has never committed any homosexual act,” he said.
The Boston Globe (Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church)
The cathedral in Conakry had an elegant, ornate choir, with a beautiful replica of the Bernini baldachin, surrounded by very beautiful angels. At the time of the first discussions about liturgical reform, Archbishop Tchidimbo returned to Conakry and ordered the destruction of the baldachin and the main altar. We were angry, incredulous at this hasty decision. Rather violently, we passed without any preparation from one liturgy to another. I can attest to the fact that the botched preparation for the liturgical reform had devastating effects on the Catholic population, particularly on the simpler people, who scarcely understood the swiftness of these changes or even the reason for them. No doubt it is regrettable that some priests allowed themselves to be so carried away by personal ideologies. They claimed to be democratizing the liturgy, and the people were the first victims of their actions. The liturgy is not a political object that we can make more egalitarian according to social demands. How could such a strange movement produce in the life of the Church anything but great confusion among the people? Nevertheless,
Robert Sarah (God or Nothing: A Conversation on Faith)
Historian Robert Merton, in his study of the growth of science in 17C England, says yes, arguing for a direct link between Protestant characteristics of methodical, persistent action, empirical utilitarianism, and anti-traditionalism and the development of the scientific method in England.30 An indirect link is also possible. As a matter of theology, Aquinas’s Catholicism is more enthusiastic about the human exercise of autonomy and intellect than Lutheranism or Calvinism. As a matter of psychology, however, Protestantism pervasively affected the day-to-day practice of Christianity in ways that cut its adherents loose from a powerful institution and its attendant rituals. While good Catholics confessed to the priest, did penance under the priest’s instruction, and turned to the Church to tell them what the Bible meant, good Protestants read the Bible for themselves, confessed directly to God, received absolution directly from God, and didn’t do penance at all. In this practical sense, Protestants were more on their own than Catholics were, and it is plausible to see this as an extension of individualism and of a sense of autonomy.
Charles Murray (Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950)
The Mass is a mystery," said Lady Mary slowly. "That means that the more you look into it the more you can find in it, and what you find in it is always love, the love of God. When Christ died for all mankind on the Cross of Calvary all men were not present; they were far away, some in space and some in time, some dead long since, some not yet born, and yet the sacrifice was made for all. When He rose again He drew all men up into the life of God, and yet all men were not there with Him at that time. So He gave us Himself again, in a way that could reach all men everywhere. At the beginning of His Passion, on the night of His betrayal, He offered His own flesh and blood to God the Father under the form of bread and wine. And after His resurrection He gave power to His apostles to present Him in this way to God and to each other. Priests receive the power of the apostles to consecrate this sacrifice so that the bread and wine become the most glorious Body and Blood of Our Lord, and we poor sinners, separated from Him though we seem to be, may be made one Body with Him, and live with His eternal life, which is the love in the very being of the most blessed Trinity.
Meriol Trevor (Sun Slower, Sun Faster)
William Palmer, a distinguished member of the Anglican Church and of the University of Oxford, wished to join the Orthodox Church. He went to Russia and Turkey to study the contemporary situation in the Christian East and to find out on what conditions he would be admitted to the communion of the Eastern Orthodox. At St. Petersburg and at Moscow he was told that he had only to abjure the errors of Protestantism before a priest, who would thereupon administer to him the sacrament of Holy Chrism or Confirmation. But at Constantinople he found that he must be baptized afresh. As he knew himself to be a Christian and saw no reason to suspect the validity of his baptism (which incidentally was admitted without question by the Orthodox Russian Church), he considered that a second baptism would be a sacrilege. On the other hand, he could not bring himself to accept Orthodoxy according to the local rules of the Russian Church, since he would then become Orthodox only in Russia while remaining a heathen in the eyes of the Greeks; and he had no wish to join a national Church but to join the universal Orthodox Church. No one could solve his dilemma, and so he became a Roman Catholic.
Vladimir Sergeyevich Solovyov
to express my differences with the Church. Contraceptives save the lives of millions of women and children. That’s a medical fact. And that’s why I believe all women everywhere, and of any faith, should have information on the healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies, and access to contraceptives if they want them. But there is a big difference between believing in family planning and taking a lead advocacy role for a cause that goes against a teaching of my church. That is not something I was eager to do. When I was trying to decide if I should go ahead, I talked it over with my parents, with priests and nuns I’ve known since childhood, with some Catholic scholars, and with Bill and the kids. One of my questions was “Can you take actions in conflict with a teaching of the Church and still be part of the Church?” That depends, I was told, on whether you are true to your conscience, and whether your conscience is informed by the Church. In my case, the teachings of the Catholic Church helped form my conscience and led me into this work in the first place. Faith in action to me means going to the margins of society, seeking out those who are isolated, and bringing them back in. I was putting my faith into action when I went into the field and met the women who asked me about contraceptives. So, yes, there is a Church teaching against contraceptives—but there is another Church teaching, which is love of neighbor.
Melinda French Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
In exchange for some wide-ranging modifications demanded by the socialist government to the church’s 1929 concordat, Italy agreed to underwrite the remainder of the $406 million settlement.53 The changes to the concordat would have once been unthinkable. The church dropped its insistence that Roman Catholicism be the state religion. Moving forward, the state had to confirm church-annulled marriages. Parents were given the right to opt their children out of formerly mandatory religious education classes. And Rome was no longer considered a “sacred city,” a classification that had allowed the Vatican to keep out strip clubs and the porn industry. Italy even managed to get the church to relinquish control of the Jewish catacombs. “The new concordat is another example of the diminishing hold of the Roman Catholic church in civil life in Italy,” noted The New York Times.54 In return, Italy instituted an“eight-per-thousand” tax, in which 0.8 percent of the income tax paid by ordinary Italians was distributed to one of twelve religious organizations recognized by the state. During its early years, nearly 90 percent of the tax went to the Catholic Church (by 2010, the church received less than 50 percent as the tax was more equitably distributed). Not only did the tax relieve Italy of its responsibility for the $135 million annual subsidy it paid for the country’s 35,000 priests, it meant the church had a steady and reliable source of much needed income.55
Gerald Posner (God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican)
The priest instantly replied without any sign of fear: “I will answer in the words of the holy Apostles, who said, when it was inquired of them before the Jewish Council whether they had violated the law by preaching in the name of Christ, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’ (Acts 5:29). For this reason, therefore, in spite of your unjust prohibition, I said Mass to the honor of God and of His blessed Mother.” The judges, greatly infuriated by this bold reply, condemned the pious priest to have his tongue torn out in the presence of all the people. The priest suffered this cruel sentence with the utmost patience; he went straight to the church, his mouth yet bleeding, and kneeling humbly before the altar at which he had said Mass, poured out his complaint to the Mother of God. Being unable any longer to speak with his tongue, he raised his heart to her with all the more fervor, entreating her that his tongue might be restored to him. So urgent was his supplication that the Blessed Mother of God appeared to him and with her own hand replaced his tongue in his mouth, saying that it was given back to him for the sake of the honor he had paid to God the Lord and to her by saying Mass, and exhorting him diligently to make use of it in that manner for the future. After returning heartfelt thanks to his benefactress, the priest returned to the assembled people and showed them that his tongue had been given back to him, thus putting to confusion the obstinate heretics and all who had displayed hostility to the Holy Mass.
Martin Von Cochem (The Incredible Catholic Mass: An Explanation of the Catholic Mass)
As the scandal spread and gained momentum, Cardinal Law found himself on the cover of Newsweek, and the Church in crisis became grist for the echo chamber of talk radio and all-news cable stations. The image of TV reporters doing live shots from outside klieg-lit churches and rectories became a staple of the eleven o’clock news. Confidentiality deals, designed to contain the Church’s scandal and maintain privacy for embarrassed victims, began to evaporate as those who had been attacked learned that the priests who had assaulted them had been put in positions where they could attack others too. There were stories about clergy sex abuse in virtually every state in the Union. The scandal reached Ireland, Mexico, Austria, France, Chile, Australia, and Poland, the homeland of the Pope. A poll done for the Washington Post, ABC News, and showed that a growing majority of Catholics were critical of the way their Church was handling the crisis. Seven in ten called it a major problem that demanded immediate attention. Hidden for so long, the financial price of the Church’s negligence was astonishing. At least two dioceses said they had been pushed to the brink of bankruptcy after being abandoned by their insurance companies. In the past twenty years, according to some estimates, the cost to pay legal settlements to those victimized by the clergy was as much as $1.3 billion. Now the meter was running faster. Hundreds of people with fresh charges of abuse began to contact lawyers. By April 2002, Cardinal Law was under siege and in seclusion in his mansion in Boston, where he was heckled by protesters, satirized by cartoonists, lampooned by late-night comics, and marginalized by a wide majority of his congregation that simply wanted him out. In mid-April, Law secretly flew to Rome, where he discussed resigning with the Pope.
The Investigative Globe (Betrayal: The Crisis In the Catholic Church: The Findings of the Investigation That Inspired the Major Motion Picture Spotlight)
This Padre Antonio doubted, probably after his training in modern theology or as a practitioner of Catholicism. He argued that those practices were spurious; they did not derive from a true belief in earth-beings. “They do it for money, it’s not real,” he repeated stubbornly. But for Nazario, beliefs are a requirement with Jesus and the Virgin. They are part of faith, or iñi, a Quechua word (and a sixteenth-century neologism).6 Faith, he explained, is not necessary with earth-beings; they require despachos, coca leaves, and words and are present when respectfully invited to participate in runakuna lives—always. They are different, always there and acting with plants, water, animals. Their being does not need to be mediated by faith, but Jesus’s does. And just as Padre Antonio and I talked about Nazario, Nazario and I commented about how our dear Padre thought practices with earth-beings were like religion, like belief or kriyihina—another combination of a Spanish verb (kriyi is the Quechua form of the Spanish creer, to believe) and a Quechua suffix (hina, or like) used to express a condition that Quechua alone cannot convey. Nazario thought earth-beings and Jesus were different, but he was not sure that Antonio was wrong: could they be the same? And finally, neither Nazario nor I were sure that Padre Antonio’s relationship with earth-beings was only like his relationship with Jesus. We speculated that having been in the region for so long, and having been a close friend of Mariano, Padre Antonio must have learned from Mariano’s relations with earth-beings. I still think so; Padre Antonio is a complex religious man, and so are the other Jesuits who live in the region. Some of their Catholic practices may have become partially connected with despachos, and thus less than many and still different. I liked, and still do like, having these priests as friends.
Marisol de la Cadena (Earth Beings: Ecologies of Practice across Andean Worlds (The Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures Book 2011))
You were taught that even when the charism of celibacy and chastity is present and embraced, the attractions, the impulses, the desires will still be present. So the first thing you need to do is be aware that you are a human being, and no matter how saintly or holy you are, you will never remove yourself from those passions. But the idea was making prudent choices. You just walk away. Celibacy is a radical call, and you’ve made a decision not to act on your desire.” Today, seminaries say they screen applicants rigorously. In Boston, for example, a young man must begin conversations with the vocations director a year before applying for admissions, and then the application process takes at least four months. Most seminaries require that applicants be celibate for as long as five years before starting the program, just to test out the practice, and students are expected to remain celibate throughout seminary as they continue to discern whether they are cut out to lead the sexless life of an ordained priest. Some seminaries screen out applicants who say they are sexually attracted to other men, but most do not, arguing that there is no evidence linking sexual orientation to one’s ability to lead a celibate life. The seminaries attempt to weed out potential child abusers, running federal and local criminal background checks, but there is currently no psychological test that can accurately predict whether a man who has never sexually abused a child is likely to do so in the future. So seminary officials say that in the screening process, and throughout seminary training, they are alert to any sign that a man is not forming normal relationships with adults, or seems abnormally interested in children. Many potential applicants are turned away from seminaries, and every year some students are forced out. “Just because there’s a shortage doesn’t mean we should lessen our standards,” said Rev. Edward J. Burns,
The Boston Globe (Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church)
Bless me, readers, for I have published. It's been five years since my last book. Greetings, fellow sinners! If you picked up a copy of this book, it means you are either: 1) wracked with guilt and are looking for penance, or 2) need to spend over $10.00 at the airport newsstand so you can use your credit card. Either way, welcome to Stephen Colbert's Midnight Confessions. As America's foremost TV Catholic, it was natural for me to do a segment inspired by the church. After all, the Catholic Church and late night TV actually have a lot in common: our shows last about an hour, we're obsessed with reaching younger demographics, and the hosts are almost always men. This religious-adjacent tome contains all my favorite confessions from The Late Show. These are things that aren't necessarily sins, but I do feel guilty about them. For instance, repackaging material from the show and selling it in a book. I've always been a big fan of confession. The confessional is a great place to go to relieve yourself of your sins. Unless you're claustrophobic, in which case it's a suffocating death trap of despair! And while most confession books just give you run-of-the-mill mortal sins, I go one step further and provide you with mortal sins, venial sins, deadly sins, and even sins of omission (Notice that the previous sentence didn't have a period!) This book is a throwback to a simpler life when people would go to a priest to confess their sins. As opposed to how it's done now - getting drunk and weeping to Andy Cohen on Bravo. Confessing your sins is a great way to get things off your chest. Second only to waxing. The only downside is that you get introduced to it as a kid, before you have any juicy sins to confess. Oh, you stole a cookie? That's adorable, Becky. Come back when you total your dad's Chevy. Now you might be asking yourself, "What if I'm not Catholic - can I still enjoy this book?" Of course. After all, no matter what religion you are - be it Jewish, Muslim, Lutheran, Pagan, or SoulCycle - we all have things to feel guilty about. For example, not being Catholic.
Stephen Colbert (Stephen Colbert's Midnight Confessions)
What you did to us—and to me specifically—was wrong, and you had no right to do that.’” The priest stared unblinkingly into Blanchette’s eyes, waiting but unprepared for what came next. “‘Having said that, it brings me to the real reason I’ve come here. The real reason I’ve come here is to ask you to forgive me for the hatred and resentment that I have felt toward you for the last twenty-five years.’ When I said that, he stood up, and in what I would describe as a demonic voice, he said, ‘Why are you asking me to forgive you?’ And through tears I said, ‘Because the Bible tells me to love my enemies and to pray for those who persecute me.’” Blanchette said Birmingham collapsed as if he’d been punched in the chest. The priest dissolved into tears, and soon Blanchette too was crying. Blanchette began to take his leave but asked Birmingham if he could visit again. The priest explained that he was under tight restrictions at the rectory. He said he had been to a residential treatment center in Connecticut, and he returned there once a month. He was not allowed to leave the grounds except in the company of an adult. Blanchette would not see the priest again until Tuesday, April 18, 1989, just hours before his death. Blanchette found his molester at Symmes Hospital in Arlington and discovered the priest—once robust and 215 pounds—was now an eighty-pound skeleton with skin. Morphine dripped into an IV in his arm. Oxygen was fed by a tube into his nostrils. His hair had been claimed by chemotherapy. The priest sat in a padded chair by his bed. His breathing was labored. “I knelt down next to him and held his hand and began to pray. And as I did, he opened his eyes. I said, ‘Father Birmingham, it’s Tommy Blanchette from Sudbury.’” He greeted Blanchette with a raspy and barely audible, “Hi. How are ya?” “I said, ‘Is it all right if I pray for you?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ And I began to pray, ‘Dear Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, I ask you to heal Father Birmingham’s body, mind, and soul.’ I put my hand over his heart and said, ‘Father, forgive him all his sins.’” Blanchette helped Birmingham into bed. It was about 10 P.M. He died the next morning.
The Boston Globe (Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church)
The usual notion of prayer is so absurd. How can those who know nothing about it, who pray little or not at all, dare speak so frivolously of prayer? A Carthusian, a Trappist will work for years to make of himself a man of prayer, and then any fool who comes along sets himself up as judge of this lifelong effort. If it were really what they suppose, a kind of chatter, the dialogue of a madman with his shadow, or even less—a vain and superstitious sort of petition to be given the good things of this world, how could innumerable people find until their dying day, I won't even say such great 'comfort'—since they put no faith in the solace of the senses—but sheer, robust, vigorous, abundant joy in prayer? Oh, of course—suggestion, say the scientists. Certainly they can never have known old monks, wise, shrewd, unerring in judgement, and yet aglow with passionate insight, so very tender in their humanity. What miracle enables these semi-lunatics, these prisoners of their own dreams, these sleepwalkers, apparently to enter more deeply each day into the pain of others? An odd sort of dream, an unusual opiate which, far from turning him back into himself and isolating him from his fellows, unites the individual with mankind in the spirit of universal charity! This seems a very daring comparison. I apologise for having advanced it, yet perhaps it might satisfy many people who find it hard to think for themselves, unless the thought has first been jolted by some unexpected, surprising image. Could a sane man set himself up as a judge of music because he has sometimes touched a keyboard with the tips of his fingers? And surely if a Bach fugue, a Beethoven symphony leave him cold, if he has to content himself with watching on the face of another listener the reflected pleasure of supreme, inaccessible delight, such a man has only himself to blame. But alas! We take the psychiatrists' word for it. The unanimous testimony of saints is held as of little or no account. They may all affirm that this kind of deepening of the spirit is unlike any other experience, that instead of showing us more and more of our own complexity it ends in sudden total illumination, opening out upon azure light—they can be dismissed with a few shrugs. Yet when has any man of prayer told us that prayer had failed him?
Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
As the days mounted he grew convinced that Kitty's basic difficulty was her lack of a full and proper concept of God. It was nothing new in his experience, and it was this that made it all the sadder for him to see. Many people fail to recognize God's sovereign rights over them; fail dismally to see themselves as creatures - with all the raptures that word connotes. Failing to recognize God as Creator; they can never come to a full realization of their own very nature; for they have already missed the discovery of the origin and the end of their being. Consequently, no matter how active they may be, nor how orderly in their activities, they are like a mariner on an horizonless sea minus a compass. They go on and on; but they really have no ultimate destination. He had discussed with his fellow priests, telling how he had found souls more naked to his sight in sickness than even in the sacrament of penance. He claimed that, for many, God was too "distant"; for others, merely "hypothetical" and even "purely imaginary". He saw how these good and earnest people had conceived the notion that their true greatness lay in serving their fellowman, in loving them, helping them, and even forgetting themselves in the process. This was putting man in the place of God; substituting social service for the service of God. "It is extremely attractive to many noble souls," he said, "truly seductive." Then he would add with a sad shake of his head, "But it is truly destructive, also. What is more, these people not only run the danger of losing eternal life, they are missing out in true temporal living; for there is no real living that is not worship of God. And these people are not worshipping Him." He admitted that such people found some satisfaction in their dedication, but insisted it was not full satisfaction, nor could it ever be; for it was a distortion of the way God wants us to serve our fellowman. "They are serving man as man, and not as images of God and members of Christ," was his conclusion.
M. Raymond (Your Hour)
their own presence much more visible. From a sociological point of view, the core “products” of religion include doctrine, prayer and devotion, worship, supernatural experience, and personal morality. Aside from the sacraments, there’s no reason why lay Catholic ministers can’t deliver these spiritual goods just as well as Pentecostals, indigenous shamans, or anyone else. One reason they often don’t is because no one has encouraged them to do so, but another factor is that even when they try, many people won’t feel satisfied with the exchange unless there’s a priest involved. To put the point simply, many people won’t feel that the Catholic Church really cares about them until they see a priest.
John L. Allen Jr. (The Future Church: How Ten Trends are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church)
Let everyone at this time forget the priest. It is not the priest, who in form and name is like ourselves, but it is the Supreme, Eternal High Priest Himself Who has accomplished this sacrifice, which He accomplishes eternally through His priests. On the holy table there lies not the symbol, not the appearance of the Body, but the actual Body of the Lord Who suffered on earth, endured blows, was spat on, was crucified, and buried, rose and ascended to heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father. We can no longer see anything but the appearance of bread, which serves as nourishment for men, according to what the Lord himself said: “I am the bread” (John 6:35).75
Athanasius Schneider (The Catholic Mass: Steps to Restore the Centrality of God in the Liturgy)
These professional differences don’t necessarily mean that Democrats and Republicans have no professional contact with each other, of course. Sometimes left- and right-leaning professions will bring people together in the same work space; for example, pilots are mostly Republicans while flight attendants are usually Democrats. In other cases, the kind of work that people on opposites sides of the political divide perform is sufficiently similar that they should be able to find common ground easily; for example, Episcopal priests tend to be Democrats whereas Catholic priests tend to be Republicans. But such examples are the exception, not the rule.
Marc Hetherington (Prius Or Pickup?: How the Answers to Four Simple Questions Explain America's Great Divide)
But what about the popes? Did they not steer the Church away from slavery? The answer is: they did not. They too believed and taught that slavery was part of Catholic doctrine. Understandably perhaps, popes consider themselves first and foremost guardians of tradition. And tradition is judged by what has been done in the Church throughout the centuries, without examining the credentials of the practice... In AD 362 a diocesan council at Gangra in present-day Turkey ex-communicated whoever dared to encourage a slave to despise his master or escape from his service. Although this was a purely local event, it was a dangerous precedent. In AD 650, acting on this precedent, Pope Martin I condemned people who taught slaves about freedom or helped them escape. A number of Church Councils imposed slavery as a form of punishment. It was used with a twisted sense of justice against priests who transgressed the new law of priestly celibacy. The ninth council of Toledo (AD 655) imposed permanent slavery on the children of priests — yet how could these poor boys and girls be held responsible for their father's violating a rule of Church discipline? The Synod of Melfi under Pope Urban II (AD 1089) inflicted unredeemable slavery on the wives of priests — again, a cruel form of misguided justice that betrayed every human right under the sun. But in terms of ecclesiastical bonding, it added weight to presumed tradition. The Church itself imposed slavery. So it can be done. Therefore it must be right!
John Wijngaards (Ordination of Women in the Catholic Church: Unmasking a Cuckoo's Egg Tradition 1st edition by Wijngaards, John published by Continuum [ Paperback ])
Some of my friends tell me that the ordination of women is an issue that can wait. 'Rome has decisively turned against it,' they say. 'Change may come, but only in the future — under another Pope, when the heat has died down.' They point to a vast majority of bishops and theologians who have decided to keep their mouths shut, even though they realise Rome is wrong. Tact is needed, they argue. There is a time for speaking and a time for silence... I disagree. Yes, for years I too thought that wisdom would slowly prevail in the Church and that the issue of women priests would ripen in the course of time. That is why, until three years ago, I too had adopted a strategy of wait-and-see. But now I have changed my mind. For the Roman authorities force us to take sides. They impose their own view so strongly as the truth, that by keeping silent now, we would compromise our own consciences.
John Wijngaards (Ordination of Women in the Catholic Church: Unmasking a Cuckoo's Egg Tradition 1st edition by Wijngaards, John published by Continuum [ Paperback ])
This Roman view is, moreover, imposed on bishops, theologians and parish priests by its incorporation in routine oaths of loyalty. It causes great anxiety to theologians who cannot admit the validity of Rome's arguments. 'I use mental restriction', one lecturer at a theological faculty told me. But are we allowed to compromise with truth? What if we know Rome is wrong? Does complicity with non-truth not undermine everything we are trying to do, as the community of Christ, as priests, as theologians? I believe it does.
John Wijngaards (Ordination of Women in the Catholic Church: Unmasking a Cuckoo's Egg Tradition 1st edition by Wijngaards, John published by Continuum [ Paperback ])
As for Rome, it did not bend one bit. When in Romania the liberal priest Andrea Agotha convened a “Congress” of some forty Catholic clergy in the town of Targu Mures on April 27, 1950 to discuss creating a “democratic” (pro-Communist Party) Church, Pope Pius XII immediately excommunicated them once he received the news in Rome.513
Paul Kengor (The Devil and Karl Marx: Communism's Long March of Death, Deception, and Infiltration)
Adhering to the fifth commandment, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church (“From its conception, the child has the right to life. Direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, is a ‘criminal' practice (GS 27 #3), gravely contrary to the moral law, the Church imposes the canonical penalty of excommunication for this crime against human life.” n. 2322), I have always spoken out in my ministry as a Catholic priest and bishop against abortion. (Letter to Stefanno Gennarini)
Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo
The Cristo Rey Columbus High School is part of what is now a twenty-eight-school network that was founded in Chicago by Jesuit priest John P. Foley in 1995. The schools are strategically located in cities with a needy urban population, a supportive local Catholic diocese, and cooperative, deep-pocketed businesses. Columbus, as an energetic, creative, and generous city, fit the bill perfectly.
James M. Fallows (Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America)
The Catholic Church had murdered more people during the past two thousand years than any other institution devised. my man. It systematically suppressed knowledge and fought scientific progress. Across time, at one point or another, it actively supported slavery, racism, fascism and sexism. It published the Hammer of Witches, detailing how to torture and murder innocent women. It jailed and burned scientists at the stake in a futile attempt to keep the masses ignorant. It terrorized Jews and Muslims for centuries, torturing and murdering during the Inquisition and crusades, all in the name of a supposedly loving God. It ignored eyewitness accounts that Jews were being slaughtered by Nazis. It systematically covered up tens of thousands of cases involving sexual misconduct by priests. It even had the audacity to absolve fault that had not yet been committed, thanks to indulgences bought with wealth.
Steve Berry (The Omega Factor)
When she’d left, Alice asked, “Why do they ask that?” “Well, if you say you’re Catholic and it looks like you’re getting close to the end, they send a priest around. If you’re Jewish, they send a rabbi around.” “And if you’re atheist?” “They send Christopher Hitchens around.
Lisa Halliday (Asymmetry)
It recommended that priests (apart from Jesuits) should be allowed to remain in England, provided they registered with a secretary of state. Some of the more draconian penalties for absence from church and refusal of the oath of allegiance should be abolished, as should the prohibition on sending children to the English Catholic colleges on the continent. Catholics were to take ‘an oath of allegiance’, which implied that the existing oath (unacceptable to most Catholics, as it described certain powers claimed by the pope as ‘impious, damnable and heretical’) was to be amended.
John Miller (Charles II)
Of his enemies in the Church, the insurgent priest said they were Catholic “only to benefit themselves: their God is money. Under the veil of religion and of friendship they want to make you the victims of their insatiable greed.
Isabel Cañas (The Hacienda)
In high school the priests had cautioned us against the danger of books. “The wrong ones will warp your mind more than it already is, Marzek”. I tried to find out what the wrong ones were so that I could read them. I had already developed my basic principle of Catholic education-The Double Reverse: (1) suspect what they teach you, (2) study what they condemn
Stuart Dybek (Childhood and Other Neighborhoods: Stories)
He was Father Richard Freeman, Order of Preachers, a first order Dominican priest. Of course he was a Dominican, when you want a truly educated Catholic, you don’t go to the Pseudo-intellectuals in the Jesuits.
Declan Finn (Hell Spawn (Saint Tommy, NYPD #1))
Desirous of placing those who aspire to sanctity - and especially to priestly sanctity - in the best conditions for arriving there, it seemed to me indispensable to evoke the particular action which the Virgin Mary has by the will of God in this effort to attain holiness, and this even before considering the elements and essential steps towards sanctity. If the Word Incarnate who had absolutely no need of a mother to come among us to accomplish the Redemption, wished that His divine person should receive a body and a soul in the bosom of Mary and that, during thirty out of thirty-three years, He should remain subject to His Mother and be, in a certain way, formed by Mary, how can we imagine that we, poor sinful creatures, have no need of the effective aid of Mary to form us into Christians, and priests?
Marcel Lefebvre (Spiritual Journey)
Catholic missionaries labored earnestly to convert indians. They fervently believed that God expected them to save the Indians' souls by convincing them to abandon their old sinful beliefs and to embrace the one true Christian faith. But after baptizing tens of thousands of Indians, the missionaries learned that many Indians continued to worship their own gods. Most priests came to believe that the Indians were lesser beings inherently incapable of fully understanding Christianity.
James L. Roark (The American Promise: A History of the United States, to 1877)
Finally, what the history of this period proves is that, during a time of general apostacy, Christians who remain faithful to their traditional faith may have to worship outside the official churches, the churches of priests in communion with their lawfully appointed diocesan bishop, in order not to compromise that traditional Faith; and that such Christians may have to look for truly Catholic teaching, leadership, and inspiration not to their diocesan bishop, not to the bishops of their country as a body, not to the bishops of the world, not even to the Roman Pontiff, but to one heroic confessor when the other bishops and the Roman Pontiff might have repudiated or even excommunicated. And how would they recognize that this solitary confessor was right and the Roman Pontiff and body of the episcopate (not teaching infallibly) were wrong? The answer is that they would recognize in the teaching of the confessor what the faithful of the fourth century recognized in the teaching of Athanasius: the one true Faith into which they had been baptized, in which they had been catechized, and which their Confirmation gave them the obligation of upholding. In no sense whatsoever can such fidelity to tradition be compared to the Protestant practice of private judgment. The fourth century Catholic traditionalists upheld Athanasius in his defense of the Faith that had been handed down, the Protestant uses his private judgment to justify a breach with the traditional Faith.
Michael Treharne Davies (The True Voice of Tradition: Saint Athanasius)
Enjoyment requires discernment. It can be a gift to wrap up in a blanket and lose myself in a TV show but we can also amuse ourselves to death. My pleasure in wine or tea or exercise is good in itself but it can become disordered. As we learn to practice enjoyment we need to learn the craft of discernment: How to enjoy rightly, to have, to read pleasure well. There is a symbiotic relationship, cross-training, if you will, between the pleasures we find in gathered worship and those in my tea cup, or in a warm blanket, or the smell of bread baking. Lewis reminds us that one must walk before one can run. We will not be able to adore God on the highest occasions if we have learned no habit of doing so on the lowest. At best our faith and reason will tell us that He is adorable but we shall not have found Him so. These tiny moments of beauty in our day train us in the habits of adoration and discernment, and the pleasure and sensuousness of our gathered worship teach us to look for and receive these small moments in our days, together they train us in the art of noticing and reveling in our God’s goodness and artistry. A few weeks ago I was walking to work, standing on the corner of tire and auto parts store, waiting to cross the street when I suddenly heard church bells begin to ring, loud and long. I froze, riveted. They were beautiful. A moment of transcendence right in the middle of the grimy street, glory next to the discount tire and auto parts. Liturgical worship has been referred to sometimes derisively as smells and bells because of the sensuous ways Christians have historically worshipped: Smells, the sweet and pungent smell of incense, and bells, like the one I heard in neighborhood which rang out from a catholic church. At my church we ring bells during the practice of our eucharist. The acolyte, the person often a child, assisting the priest, rings chimes when our pastor prepares the communion meal. There is nothing magic about these chimes, nothing superstitious, they’re just bells. We ring them in the eucharist liturgy as a way of saying, “pay attention.” They’re an alarm to rouse the congregation to jostle us to attention, telling us to take note, sit up, and lean forward, and notice Christ in our midst. We need this kind of embodied beauty, smells and bells, in our gathered worship, and we need it in our ordinary day to remind us to take notice of Christ right where we are. Dostoevsky wrote that “beauty will save the world.” This might strike us as mere hyperbole but as our culture increasingly rejects the idea and language of truth, the churches role as the harbinger of beauty is a powerful witness to the God of all beauty. Czeslaw Milosz wrote in his poem, “One more day,” “Though the good is weak, beauty is very strong.” And when people cease to believe there is good and evil, only beauty will call to them and save them so that they still know how to say, “this is true and that is false.” Being curators of beauty, pleasure, and delight is therefore and intrinsic part of our mission, a mission that recognizes the reality that truth is beautiful. These moments of loveliness, good tea, bare trees, and soft shadows, or church bells, in my dimness, they jolt me to attention and remind me that Christ is in our midst. His song of truth, sung by His people all over the world, echos down my ordinary street, spilling even into my living room.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Now on account of this collective attitude and the utter ignorance of what the self might be-the self meaning the reality of the psyche-people have a very strong collective conscience which makes them quite ill if they try to follow their own way, to be with themselves and to work on themselves. That may amount to a real affliction, an ailment, a neurosis. But if the case is already a neurosis, then any doctor who really understands about these matters would be forced to say, "If the patient wants to be cured he must follow the way of his neurosis"-just the thing everybody is speaking against. People say; "If you have a neurosis keep away from it, travel to India or anywhere else where there is no neurosis, leave your neurosis in Europe, bury it there." But I should say, "Follow the way of your neurosis; it is the best thing you ever produced, your real value." And that is very much what Nietzsche means here. But he questions whether one has the right to choose that way or not, and that is of course one of the major problems. It is by no means sure that one has either the power or the right to go to one's self, because this is a very great and difficult enterprise. As, for instance, the Catholic church may be in doubt whether somebody has the power, the right, or the faculty to be a priest, to live like a priest or a nun. And the way to one's self, the way to one's own affliction, is the hardest, the most difficult way. We really can question, "Has one really the power, the energy, the patience to do it? And also, has one the right to do it?" For you might do it from a wrong motive; you might be really selfish-for example, if you are going to yourself in order to indulge in yourself and not to work. Jung, C. G.. Nietzsche's Zarathustra: Notes of the Seminar given in 1934-1939. Two Volumes: 1-2, unabridged (Jung Seminars) (p. 707)
C.G. Jung (Nietzsche's Zarathustra: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1934-1939 C.G. Jung)
Why did Christ teach from Peter's ship? By this He showed that the true doctrine is preached only from that Church of which Peter is the head (Jn 21:15), which is here represented by his ship. Amid storms of persecution Jesus has preserved and will preserve this ship, His Church, until the end of time (Mt 16:18). Peter still guides the bark in the unbroken line of his successors, and Jesus still teaches from this ship the same doctrine through the bishops and priests, as His co-operators, with whom He has promised to remain to the end of the world (Mt 28:20). (Fourth Sunday After Pentecost)
Leonard Goffiné (The Church's Year)