Can a preist be trusted?


#1

I am sure that question sounded just awful! Sorry about that.

What I am trying to get oppinions on is if a catholic is told something by their preist, can they just believe it?
I mean, from my understanding, a preist is a preist because he is ordained, he recieves the laying on of hands from a Bishop. Correct?
Does that bless him in such a way that he is going to be able to teach scripturte correctly?
Give reliable advice?
I have read a couple of times on this forum where someone is questioning advice or teaching from their preist and I was surprised. I know I just don’t know enought about it so I am asking all of you.


#2

Dear allisonP,

Nowadays, it pays to keep yourself informed about what the Pope teaches, so that you can keep yourself from being misled.

Right after the deaths of Terri Schiavo and Pope John Paul II, and before the election of Pope Benedict XVI, the priest at my parish said something in a homily which led me to point out after Mass what the Church actually teaches.

The priest started out by commenting on how bad it makes us feel if we run over a squirrel by accident. From there, he made an astonishing leap to the statement that “Terri Schiavo’s situation leaves us in a quandary about what to do in such cases.”

On hearing this, I felt that in good conscience I could not leave the church premises without stating, calmly and quietly but very much in public, what the Catholic Church’s stand actually is.

So as the priest stood shaking hands just outside the church door after Mass, I uttered three simple sentences to him: “The Vatican being pro-life has taken the position of defending Terri Schiavo’s right to life. Pope John Paul II clearly stated that Terri should continue to be provided with nutrition and hydration through a feeding tube. There is no quandary.”

It was all the priest could do to smile and nod nervously while saying shortly, "Yes … yes … yes … " to acknowledge the truth of my … er, the Catholic Church’s … statements.

~~ the phoenix


#3

[quote=allisonP]I am sure that question sounded just awful! Sorry about that.

What I am trying to get oppinions on is if a catholic is told something by their preist, can they just believe it?
I mean, from my understanding, a preist is a preist because he is ordained, he recieves the laying on of hands from a Bishop. Correct?
Does that bless him in such a way that he is going to be able to teach scripturte correctly?
Give reliable advice?
I have read a couple of times on this forum where someone is questioning advice or teaching from their preist and I was surprised. I know I just don’t know enought about it so I am asking all of you.
[/quote]

I think that something to keep in mind is that a priest is human. So yes he can be misinformed or yes he might even be trying to led one astray. I think I will echo the phoenix in saying that as a Catholic it is our duty to seek out the truth by educating ourselves with the Popes writings and learning what it is the Church is teaching us.


#4

[quote=allisonP]I am sure that question sounded just awful! Sorry about that.

What I am trying to get oppinions on is if a catholic is told something by their preist, can they just believe it?
[/quote]

That’s a good question, Allison.

I forget the verse, oh yeah, it’s Malachi 2:7, “For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.

That’s in reference to Levi and the Levitical priesthood, and in the context of how awful and sinful the priests were in Malachi’s day. In other words, that’s a best case scenario of what ought to be. Not necessarily what we observe in reality.

The priest, just like a Bishop, a Cardinal, even the Pope, can be wrong on any number of things. However, the Pope has a chrism, a real grace, that is given at his being made Bishop of Rome, that acts as a guard against his erring when both the “keys of power” and the “keys of knowledge” are used. In other words, in exercise of the extraordinary magesterium of his Papal Infallibility. This is a real grace, not the same, but comparable to how real grace is given at Baptism and at Confirmation.

The Priest, however great the things he is given power to do is, does not share in that limited chrism of the Roman Pontiff. It’s still his duty, just as it is every Catholic’s duty, to learn what the Church teaches, and why, and how to explain and defend it. It’s wrong to assume that he’s got it all right just because he went to seminary for many years, even if he went to seminary in Rome. But he does share in “passive infallibility” as do all Christians when we speak something that has been defined with “active infallibility.”

I hope that helps, along with what others have said.

Catholic Apoligists, - please correct anything that is wrong in my post. Hopefully you’ll agree though.

In addition to Papal writings, the documents of the Ecumenical Councils of the Church are awesome sources.


#5

There are so many corrupted views of Catholicism, even among the ranks of the clergy. What I mean by corrupted views are those who support everything from gay activity and culture to those who will actually defend abortion, and then there is everything inbetween, such as questioning the divinity of Christ, elimination of the Blessed Mother from any discussion or devotion, etc. This says nothing of how people have gotten to the point that so many now do not understand the Real Presence. It didn’t happen because priests and religious were teaching people. It happened because those responsible for catechetical and catechist development kind of left those things out of the bigger picture.

That is only the tip of the ice berg and most of us who grew up in the 60’s and beyond were subject to very dilluted catechism. That includes many of the priests of the same generation. Some priests were further conditioned during their seminary years to steer clear of controversial issues (I know many priests who have attested to this first hand - including well-known Fr. John Corapi, and my own pastor).

It is very, very important that Catholics today do all they can to learn on their own. By all means engage the priest in discussion, but spend some time studying alone and taking advantage of the many multi-media resources available.

Fr. John Corapi is very solid and has many programs on EWTN.

You can not go wrong with Fr. John A. Hardon’s works and many of his writings are available online at therealpresence.org/

Here are some of his catechetical books. I highly recommend even the Q&A or Pocket Catechism. But the big gold book makes an outstanding reference at it provides more background.

therealpresence.org/edu.htm

Then there is the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the new Compendium, which will be an easier read. The latter will be out in January. It is issued by the Vatican.

Once you begin reading a methodical and very solid approach to the details left out in most catechisms of the last 40 years, our beautiful Catholic faith will bloom before your eyes.

Your classroom can be these forums. Read a little from the beginning of any book and as you get stuck on something, come talk about it. When in doubt, use “Ask an Apologist” especially if there is much disagreement on a particular issue.

You will find that some priests will contradict what is in those books. That is a good time to consider shifting to another parish where you will get preaching and advice that is in full communion with Rome. Some of these people mean well and are victims themselves, so we must pray for them.

More good resources:

http://www.newadvent.org/

And, of course EWTN is solid in what you will learn and the audio library is great. I highly recommend “Does the Church Still Teach That?”, and anything with Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Fr. John Corapi, Fr. Mitch Pacwa among the many that are solid in what they preach and teach.

http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/series_index.asp

Bottom line is that you only need to follow what your priest tells you or teaches you, if what he tells or teaches you is in communion with Rome. The only way you will know that is to learn on your own.


#6

I can’t see why you would not exercise some discernment first. What’f a priest asserted that the “historical” Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, and was probably eaten by dogs, as the PhD’s of the infamous “Jesus Seminar” assert? Arius was a priest, who taught Jesus was a mere creature and not divine. Religious submission does not connote acceptance without discernment.

Lumen Gentium states,

[size=2]By reason of the knowledge, competence, or pre-eminence which they have, the laity are empowered—indeed sometimes obliged—to manifest their opinion on those things which pertain to the good of the Church. If the occasion should arise, this should be done through the institutions established by the Church for that purpose, and always with truth, courage, and prudence, and with reverence and charity toward those who, by reason of their office, represent the person of Christ.

The laity should, as all Christians, promptly accept in Christian obedience decisions of their spiritual shepherds, since they are representatives of Christ as well as teachers and rulers in the Church. Let them follow the example of Christ, who by His obedience even unto death, opened to all men the blessed way of the liberty of the children of God. Nor should they omit to pray for those placed over them, for they keep watch as having to render an account of their souls, so that they may do this with joy and not with grief. (Heb 13:17)(no. 37)

[/size]

I mean, from my understanding, a preist is a preist because he is ordained, he recieves the laying on of hands from a Bishop. Correct?

Correct.

Does that bless him in such a way that he is going to be able to teach scripturte correctly?

No.

Give reliable advice?

No.

There are many schismatic and heretical priests. Although they too were validly ordained, we do not owe them our obedience.

Your “chain of command” ecclesially speaking is: your pastor, who must submit to his bishop, who must submit to his pope, who submits to God.

We are to obey our leaders (Heb 13:17), in all thing lawful, however, not when they teach or demand of us something contrary to their scope of authority.

Canon 752 states,

a religious submission of intellect and will is to be given to any doctrine which either the Supreme Pontiff or the College of Bishops, exercising their ***authentic ***Magisterium, declare upon a matter of faith and morals, even though they do not intend to proclaim that doctrine by definitive act. Christ’s faithful are therefore to ensure that they avoid whatever does not accord with that doctrine.


#7

Hello:

First and formost priests are human first, thus prone to mistakes just like all humans. I can atest first hand that almost allriests are good and kind people. However, they can and do give poor advice and sometimes skewed teachings without malise. The problem is in my case the very bad advice has had a long lasting effect and has ended with me leaving the church. We suffer the results of their poor judgement.

scared


#8

Amen, Scared, we need to remember priests are human, we can always check into the subject to see if they are teaching orthodox teaching. The good thing is we have solutions to bad teaching and can address it.

Pray for our priests.

Reformed Bob, you have a great name it makes me smile when I see your posts.

God Bless
Scylla


#9

[quote=allisonP]…
I mean, from my understanding, a preist is a preist because he is ordained, he recieves the laying on of hands from a Bishop. Correct?
Does that bless him in such a way that he is going to be able to teach scripturte correctly?..
[/quote]

Well this isn’t black magic. Holy Orders doesn’t give guarantees BUT it does mean that he has spent years of in-depth study so he should at least be given the benefit of the doubt when he is challenged by backseat preachers.


#10

I would definitely trust a traditional rite priest. Our priests are always talking about the fact that they are not allowed to teach their own personal opinions. They pass on that which they have received. They are always quoting St Thomas Aquinas and the church fathers. They never teach their personal view points.

Our priest used to talk about “The Catholic Nose”. This catholic nose is used when you can see that the priest is teaching something other than what he has received by tradition. Something smells fishy…then ask about it.

As I do not attend the english mass, I would not have confidence in asking the modernists.


#11

[quote=tradcatmel]I would definitely trust a traditional rite priest. Our priests are always talking about the fact that they are not allowed to teach their own personal opinions. They pass on that which they have received. They are always quoting St Thomas Aquinas and the church fathers. They never teach their personal view points.

Our priest used to talk about “The Catholic Nose”. This catholic nose is used when you can see that the priest is teaching something other than what he has received by tradition. Something smells fishy…then ask about it.

As I do not attend the english mass, I would not have confidence in asking the modernists.
[/quote]

Particularly if you could find one, as that was an issue of about 100 years ago.


#12

As Ronald Reagan once said, “Trust but verify” - only because they are human.

Acts 20 says it well: “ Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son.  I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;  and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert%between%…”

The Catholic Church also suggests all of us to work at learning our faith personally - read the Scripture, etc.

Sounds like “trust but verify” to me :smiley:


#13

Part 2:

The grace of the Holy Spirit

1585 The grace of the Holy Spirit proper to this sacrament is configuration to Christ as Priest, Teacher, and Pastor, of whom the ordained is made a minister.

1586 For the bishop, this is first of all a grace of strength (“the governing spirit”: Prayer of Episcopal Consecration in the Latin rite): the grace to guide and defend his Church with strength and prudence as a father and pastor, with gratuitous love for all and a preferential love for the poor, the sick, and the needy. This grace impels him to proclaim the Gospel to all, to be the model for his flock, to go before it on the way of sanctification by identifying himself in the Eucharist with Christ the priest and victim, not fearing to give his life for his sheep:

Father, you know all hearts.
You have chosen your servant for the office of bishop.
May he be a shepherd to your holy flock,
and a high priest blameless in your sight,
ministering to you night and day;
may he always gain the blessing of your favor
and offer the gifts of your holy Church.
Through the Spirit who gives the grace of high priesthood
grant him the power
to forgive sins as you have commanded,
to assign ministries as you have decreed,
and to loose from every bond by the authority which you gave to your apostles.
May he be pleasing to you by his gentleness and purity of heart,
presenting a fragrant offering to you,
through Jesus Christ, your Son. . . .

1587 The spiritual gift conferred by presbyteral ordination is expressed by this prayer of the Byzantine Rite. The bishop, while laying on his hand, says among other things:

Lord, fill with the gift of the Holy Spirit
him whom you have deigned to raise to the rank of the priesthood,
that he may be worthy to stand without reproach before your altar,
to proclaim the Gospel of your kingdom,
to fulfill the ministry of your word of truth,
to offer you spiritual gifts and sacrifices,
to renew your people by the bath of rebirth;
so that he may go out to meet
our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, your only Son,
on the day of his second coming,
and may receive from your vast goodness
the recompense for a faithful administration of his order.

1588 With regard to deacons, "strengthened by sacramental grace they are dedicated to the People of God, in conjunction with the bishop and his body of priests, in the service (diakonia) of the liturgy, of the Gospel, and of works of charity."81

1589 Before the grandeur of the priestly grace and office, the holy doctors felt an urgent call to conversion in order to conform their whole lives to him whose sacrament had made them ministers. Thus St. Gregory of Nazianzus, as a very young priest, exclaimed:

We must begin by purifying ourselves before purifying others; we must be instructed to be able to instruct, become light to illuminate, draw close to God to bring him close to others, be sanctified to sanctify, lead by the hand and counsel prudently. I know whose ministers we are, where we find ourselves and to where we strive. I know God’s greatness and man’s weakness, but also his potential. [Who then is the priest? He is] the defender of truth, who stands with angels, gives glory with archangels, causes sacrifices to rise to the altar on high, shares Christ’s priesthood, refashions creation, restores it in God’s image, recreates it for the world on high and, even greater, is divinized and divinizes.

And the holy Curé of Ars: “The priest continues the work of redemption on earth. . . . If we really understood the priest on earth, we would die not of fright but of love. . . . The Priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus.”


#14

[quote=steveandersen]Well this isn’t black magic. Holy Orders doesn’t give guarantees BUT it does mean that he has spent years of in-depth study so he should at least be given the benefit of the doubt when he is challenged by backseat preachers.
[/quote]

It is so much more than just a good, sound education. It is a reflection of our trust in Jesus Christ and His Bride- the Roman Catholic Church.

From the Catechism:

VII. The Effects of the Sacrament of Holy Orders

The indelible character

1581 This sacrament configures the recipient to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit, so that he may serve as Christ’s instrument for his Church. By ordination one is enabled to act as a representative of Christ, Head of the Church, in his triple office of priest, prophet, and king.

1582 As in the case of Baptism and Confirmation this share in Christ’s office is granted once for all. The sacrament of Holy Orders, like the other two, confers an **indelible spiritual character ** and cannot be repeated or conferred temporarily.

1583 It is true that someone validly ordained can, for grave reasons, be discharged from the obligations and functions linked to ordination, or can be forbidden to exercise them; but he cannot become a layman again in the strict sense, because the character imprinted by ordination is for ever.

The vocation and mission received on the day of his ordination mark him permanently.

1584 Since it is ultimately Christ who acts and effects salvation through the ordained minister, the unworthiness of the latter does not prevent Christ from acting. St. Augustine states this forcefully:

As for the proud minister, he is to be ranked with the devil. Christ’s gift is not thereby profaned: what flows through him keeps its purity, and what passes through him remains clear and reaches the fertile earth. . . . The spiritual power of the sacrament is indeed comparable to light: those to be enlightened receive it in its purity, and if it should pass through defiled beings, it is not itself defiled.

See Part 2 below:


#15

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