My Parish Priest removed our picture of Mary and the votive candles that were in place for prayer and veneration. I recently asked if he had ever considered giving a Primer in Marian Theology to our parish. He seemed almost insulted. he actually said that Mary was only an incubator!!! He firmly said that he was a “Priest of the Trinity ONLY” and that Jesus was the ONLY mediator. Period. End of discussion. I was shocked, especially since our Parish is in the heart of the California Missions! I don’t understand how a Catholic priest can be ordained that has this view of the Mother of God! His position seems Protestant to me! Is his position heretical or is this a pastoral problem or both.
If he truly believes what he says…it’s a serious problem and I think you need to talk to your bishop. It’s definatley heretical talk for a priest to say and mean such a thing. It goes against common sense, the early church fathers and the churches position on mary.
It’s also a pastoral problem by denying the truths the church teaches of Mary and possibly hindering the laity at your parish a relationship with their Mother.
That little bit that you shared is not heresy, but it’s walking a very fine line. One would have to ask what dogmas about Mary he accepts. One does not have to accept that which is not dogmatic. But the dogma has to be accepted and taught.
Even more important that his statement about Mary is his statement about the ministerial priesthood. That one is very incomplete.
Are sure that you heard him correctly or that he’s not going through something?
Speak to him again - make an appointment to speak in person, not right after Mass. Ask him to explain what he said about Mary because you are confused and shocked by it. Then after that conversation, if he says the same things again, document it for the bishop. Ask him to clear up the confusion for you.
YoungTradCatholic is right to say use facts, not feelings. State only what you asked and what his responses are. It doesn’t matter if you are in CA or anywhere else. And it isn’t helpful to say that he is being protestant.
The impression he is giving is wrong and should be corrected, but the best way of doing that is by being straightforward and charitable and not cloud the issue with extraneous opinions.
If you call his own mother an incubator, will he not feel offended? To call Mary an incubator is an insult to Mary and to Jesus Christ, her son. Elizabeth, guided by the Holy Spirit, recognized her as “the mother of the Lord”. That much is proclaimed very clearly in the Gospel (Lk 1:43).
Jesus Christ is the only mediator. That is true. But you should remember that he entrusted to his disciples his ministry and his mission. He is King, and we are kings with him. He his prophet, and we share in that. He is the High Priest, and we have a stake in that priesthood. If that applies to us, it does much more so to the mother of the Lord. If we pray for each other and expect God to listen to our prayers, much more so can Mary, the mother of the Lord, pray for us. If Jesus was ready to grant her request for wine, he will be even more ready to grant us grace, life and salvation, when his mother asks for them.
I agree with this approach very much! I am not one to hold devotion to Mary. But this language (incubator) is not how we should reduce His faithfull mother. It seems less than a temple of the HS.
But give your priest the respect to let him explain himself. It may have come out this way because of frustration from something that caused temporary irrational reaction.
If he believes what he says, and said it, he’s better off preaching in the local Fundamentalists United for the Bible Against Romanism (FUBAR) church, and is by no means an orthodox Catholic. Not to put too fine a point on it, but he’s a heretic. He doesn’t have to have a devotion to the Blessed Virgin, but he must recognize the Church’s Marian dogmata and recognize the right of others to have said devotion: disparaging the Virgin Mother in such offensive terms is heresy.
This is one of the situations I would recommend immediate contact of his bishop.
I tend to agree with Mrs Sally about asking for an appointment and in a non-threatening way requesting to clear up the confusion. It also came to my mind that there is a passage in the Bible about talking to someone first in private, then together with one or two witnesses and only then go to the Church authority, so you may want to follow these steps before writing to the bishop.
Chiming in with the rest. Do go to his superiors or the bishop.
It’s a hundredfold harmful that it should come from a priest.
I feel certain that there are others in you parish who are just as well offended (shocked perhaps is more like it). While we not a democracy, we are a community.
Hope the matter changes for better, sooner than later.
What a HORRIBLE insult! I would be upset if a *non-Catholic *talked to me like that! Or at least REPULSED or DEEPLY saddened. NO ONE should be talked about that way. NO ONE is “only an incubater,” but the fact that he’s a Catholic priest talking about OUR HOLY MOTHER makes it all the more disturbing.:mad:
Certainly Blessed Mary is not to be idolized, but really? “A human incubater…?”
On the other hand, he may have become scrupulous after reading a bunch of Protestant material or something…
DEFINATELY tell your Bishop **as soon as possible. **
Kind of along the same lines as I was thinking . . . :hmmm: . . . I know I always tried to get my own , um, incubator some beautiful flowers when Mother’s Day came around.
That one word just seems to carry a natural abrasion and coldness when used that way. Try substituting it for the word “Mother” in the Gospel of John [19:25-27] and look at what we get (all text except substitution in italics taken from the DRV):
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his* incubator*, and his incubator’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.
When Jesus therefore had seen his incubator and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his incubator: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy incubator. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.
As Br. JR points out, he might be going through something. There is certainly a large selection of things one might be going through and there can be any number of factors involved.
Sometimes it is even we the parishoners, who in our zeal, can inavertently exert pressure which might cause such a reaction or contribute to forming a particular attitude in the long run. Some priests are happy to speak with someone about anything directly before or after Mass. Others I’ve known , make it a point of vacating the sacristy as soon as possible after Mass . . . because some people’s behaviour can make them end up feeling trapped .
We need to continue to to pray for all our priests.
Yet I am still left wondering about those actual words which were spoken , because what they convey doesn’t even appear to be totally congruent from a medical or scientific perspective. Here are several medical definitions of an incubator:
An apparatus in which environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity, can be controlled, often used for growing bacterial cultures, hatching eggs artificially, or providing suitable conditions for a chemical or biological reaction.
An apparatus for maintaining an infant, especially a premature infant, in an environment of controlled temperature, humidity, and oxygen concentration.
an apparatus used to provide a controlled environment, especially temperature. Other environmental components, such as darkness, light, oxygen, moisture, and dryness, may also be controlled, as in an incubator for the cultivation of eggs or microorganisms in a laboratory or an incubator for premature infants.
The definition - as it applies to human beings, is almost always associated with a child who is premature. We know that with Jesus, this connotation isn’t plausible ; since in Galatians 4:4, St. Paul tells us that
In the fullness of time, God sent His Son, born of a woman .
=srdxfit;10291102]My Parish Priest removed our picture of Mary and the votive candles that were in place for prayer and veneration. I recently asked if he had ever considered giving a Primer in Marian Theology to our parish. He seemed almost insulted. he actually said that Mary was only an incubator!!! He firmly said that he was a “Priest of the Trinity ONLY” and that Jesus was the ONLY mediator. Period. End of discussion. I was shocked, especially since our Parish is in the heart of the California Missions! I don’t understand how a Catholic priest can be ordained that has this view of the Mother of God! His position seems Protestant to me! Is his position heretical or is this a pastoral problem or both.
Concerned in California!
In ADDITION to much prayer for this priest; I would send this idential information to your Bishop. Obviously there is a urgent ned for Catechesis and Instruction here that was lacking in his Priestly Formation.
This REALLY is something you should do. And it’s not something that should be discussed with others for fear of sining through Gossip and ruinging his good name.
I too live in the “land of the California missions” and unfortunately, this sort of thing happens a lot out here - one of the reasons I turned to the Eastern Catholic churches. You would not see a priest getting away with something like that for more than about 5 SECONDS in our church!