WHAT HAVE WE GOT HERE??
Please take the time to read this carefully and fully, so that you might begin to understand the nature of a person teaching heresy in Broken Bay Diocese :
" From a Reflection by Father..... published 10 th April, 2011
....." Never be deluded into thinking that if you have contrition, if you are sorry for your sins, God will come and forgive you - that he will be touched by your appeal, change his mind about you and forgive you. Not a bit of it. God never changes his mind about you.He is simply in love with you. What he does again and again is change your mind about him. That is why you are sorry. That is what your forgiveness is. You are not forgiven because you confess your sin. You confess your sins; recognize yourself for what you are, because you are forgiven.
When you come to confession, to make a ritual proclamation of your sin, to symbolize that you know what you are, you are not coming to have your sins forgiven. You don't come to confession in order to have your sins forgiven. You come to celebrate that your sins are forgiven.
Being contrite, self-aware, about your sin is the same as believing in the love of God, smashing the punitive God and having faith in the real God who is sheer unconditional love for you. You could say that it is your faith in God's undeviating love for you that lets you risk looking at your sins for what they are. It's O.K. , you can admit the truth about yourself. It doesn't matter.GOD LOVES YOU ANYWAY.
Telling your sins to the Church in the sacrament of reconciliation is just a form of the Creed ; you are saying : " I am really like this and all the same God loves me, God doesn't care about my sins, he cares about me."
God is infinite, unconditional, unalterable, eternal love - and his love is for me and all sinful people."
How do you feel? "Warm and fuzzy" ?
Or just dumbfounded?
Could you stand a little greater shock? The Author is not only a Parish Priest but also still has Faculties including the hearing of Confession in Broken Bay Diocese, whose Bishop only recently had his early resignation accepted promptly by the Holy See - can you wonder why?
LAUGHTER OR ANGER
When this piece of nonsense was first brought to my attention, I was inclined to laugh at its absurdity. But in short order the reality of the outrage it effected struck home and I became greatly concerned that such a travesty should be foisted on the faithful...
CONSIDER THE OUTLINE
The first paragraph asserts that because God loves us, we are all always automatically forgiven.And that, accordingly, confession as such is useless.
The second paragraph asserts that making our confession has no other purpose than to celebrate the " fact" that we are ALREADY forgiven.
The third paragraph is really a little self-celebration and it finishes with a gay throw away line - your recognition of your sins " doesn't matter" because " God loves you anyway".
The third paragraph seems to be a quest for a way to bring this hot -air balloon down....somehow. It presents a fanciful interpretation of the substance of sacramental confession, and then gushes about God and His love.
EXAMINING THE FEVERED IDEAS
We will inevitably come to some conclusions in this matter that will be judged by some tender souls as " harsh" , so let us carefully examine what has been said and do so in the light of Sacred Scripture and Catholic Doctrine. The author of the statement deserves no less - he is, after all, an ordained Catholic Priest apparently " in good standing" with the Bishop of Broken Bay who has accorded him Faculties.
It is stated that to have contrition and to hope for consequent forgiveness by God - is a delusion.
But what does God made Man say? Let us listen humbly to the words of Jesus Christ, after His Resurrection, in the Upper Room , to His Disciples:
"Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them. Whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." John 20 : 23.
Plainly, those whose sins the Priests of Jesus Christ do not forgive , are not forgiven.
Without a doubt this statement of God Himself shows us that when we are contrite and hope for forgiveness we are right, and the author of the statement is the one deluded.
Then the statement goes on to say that sorrow for sins committed " is what forgiveness is ". But no! Even our commonsense and life experience, and our knowledge of the Teaching of the Catholic Church tells us that this statement is rubbish. Sorrow for sins is something proper to the sinner, forgiveness is proper to God and those through whom He has chosen to operate. There is no identity between sorrow for sins and forgiveness at all.
As if truly demented, the author of the statement goes on : " You are not forgiven because you confess your sin." This statement is literally true, but in the context of the whole statement , seems to suggest not " because you confess" but rather " when you confess". And this reading is made explicit in the following sentence : " You confess your sins..........because you are forgiven." The whole idea is to deliberately deny the effect of the Sacrament of Penance. How can one get deeper into Heresy than to deny the explicit Words of Jesus Christ, deny the effect of one of the Seven Sacraments- those visible signs, instituted by Christ to give Grace, and to assert that its effect is automatically achieved by the Penitent's contrition itself.
In fact this statement is like a lunatic's conflation of many of the errors concerning the Sacrament of Penance addressed by the Council of Trent. It should be noted that under Canons I to XV of Chapter III of the Council, a person holding the specific views asserted here is automatically "Anathema"( this is defined as a major formal excommunication separating the person from the Body of Christ).
The following Paragraph , though little more than a bit of fluff thrown in out of excess, still manages to offend against the truth. " Being contrite, self-aware.......smashing the punitive God" . The suggestion is that when we know our own faults, we need no longer believe in God punishing the sinner.How very convenient. Yet nevertheless,God Himself instituted the Sacrament of Penance requiring confession so that His Priest could determine whether to " forgive"/"retain". God does not do pointless things. It is obvious that the author is yet again wrong.
The last Paragraph is marvellously erroneous.
It begins " Telling your sins to the Church in the sacrament of reconciliation...."
But we don't. We confess to an individual Priest (not " the Church") and it is an intensely personal matter. The Priest is once again acting in Persona Christi - it is as if I am speaking to Jesus Christ Himself.
" .....is just a form of the Creed" This is arrant nonsense.What is the Creed - it is a formal statement of our religious beliefs made in detail. Confessing our sins to a Priest in confession is just that - a statement of our sins. It is not in any way a formal statement of our religious beliefs in detail.
But having commenced to write rubbish, the author of the statement seems like a little child who has just learned to talk and is uncertain quite how to stop. He comes out with " .....God doesn't care about my sins.....".
This God of the Author, is certainly NOT the God of the Sacred Scriptures, Who cares very much about our sins. Indeed the very purpose of the Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ was the salvation of men from their sins. Man's sins have been noted by God since the beginning of time.Jesus Himself, who came to save man from sin, was continually aware of and condemning sin wherever He found it. " Go and sin no more!" We hear Him say. And, as we have seen, it was He who instituted the Sacrament of Penance . Like so much that preceded it, this statement by the Author is RUBBISH.
HAS THIS BEEN HEARD BEFORE?
|FROM DEATH MASK MARTIN LUTHER|
NOT QUITE CRANACH'S PROPAGANDA IMAGES
It is all a piece with the Heretical teachings of another Catholic Priest - Father Martin Luther. " Father Martin" as he sometimes referred to himself, did not believe that the Sacrament of Penance was a Sacrament.The author of our statement simply denies its instrumentality and efficacy.It might as well not exist if one believed his " teaching".
SO, WHERE ARE WE LEFT?
We have a Catholic Priest, enjoying Faculties from the Bishop of Broken Bay, without any shadow of doubt, denying the instrumentality and efficacy of the Sacrament of Penance, teaching that forgiveness comes directly through the instrumentality of contrition, teaching along the way that to hope for forgiveness in the Sacrament is a " delusion", that the Sacrament is merely to " celebrate" that the penitent's sins are already forgiven, that God does not punish sins. We can leave aside the more irrational statements about Confession being a form of the Creed.
Several of these gross errors are embraced in the condemnations of The Council of Trent - Chapter III Canons I - XV which declare persons holding such views " Anathema". That is, automatically placing the person outside the Body of Christ which the Church is.
WOULD YOU BE SURPRISED?
Given all the above, would you be surprised that the same Priest has, on several recent occasions celebrated Mass without wearing a Chasuble - appearing Lutheran style in Alb and Stole - and this without excuse or apology. Or that, at the prayers of the elevation of the gifts at the Offertory, which he says in silence, it is impossible to get more than two thirds of the way through each of the two prayers before he has put down the Bread, and then the Wine.
And of course you would not be surprised to find that at the dismissal, instead of giving the Blessing formally and properly as the rubrics prescribe, he says " May Almighty God bless us....." Nice prayer. But not the Priestly action of Blessing : " May Almighty God bless you, In the Name....."
How can it be that a Priest holding such totally false views, indeed heretical views, is allowed to retain Faculties? How can it be , that holding those totally false views on the Sacrament of Penance, he is still allowed to hear the confessions of the faithful?