May a new convert admonish clergy in error?

Greetings in Christ to all my friends here on the forums,:angel1:

I was on a website of a well - known member of the Catholic clergy who supports some radical views that I believe are strongly against Church teaching. As some of you here know, I’m an adult convert (since 2004.) I just felt I had to write something in reply. Further, I was shocked to see this person’s public statements, books, articles, and his support of others who are clearly going against the Church’s tenets.

I did my best to state politely but firmly that he is ignoring the CCC. He basically posted a most unwelcome reply. I was surprised at how many Catholics were actually siding with his radical viewpoints. There were others though, who strongly disagreed with him. These are not matters of personal opinion. That is what concerns me. This person is coming out against the Church teachings on homosexual acts, purity, abortion, ordination of women, etc. How can such a person be considered Catholic who opposes the teachings of the Magisterium?

I am learning so much on these forums about Church teachings that I cringe seeing someone in authority go against Church Traditions. Am I too new to the faith to admonish someone in authority? Or is that only the job of the Magisterium?

Are we all called as Catholics to be watchful of these heresies and to speak out, or are we to let others higher up in the Church deal with them? I want to pray that people come back to the teachings of the Church because they are doing great harm spreading these false beliefs. I do feel that people in positions of authority are held to a higher accountability.

I just don’t know my exact role in all this and if it is proper to admonish such a person. I don’t have their advanced degrees, and am only a new convert to the Faith, but can I not come out to speak in support of Church teachings?:heaven:

My guess would be to find his diocese and report him to his bishop. Everyone has a boss.

But I would think that if you don’t obey the Church’s teachings you aren’t Catholic, but correct me if I’m wrong.

Peace and God bless you.

Good advice

But I would think that if you don’t obey the Church’s teachings you aren’t Catholic, but correct me if I’m wrong.

Actually, my understanding is that you are still Catholic but would be an apostate and definitely in a state of sin…

Peace and God bless you.

And to you.


You are well within your right to seek answers, to clarify and, if necessary to try to correct. I would suggest a quick reading of Mt 18:15-18. Then compare that to what you have done so far…It sounds as though you have completed steps one and two - you mentioned the error, to which he responded negatively. Others were brought in to verify the facts, and he (and his supports) still will not budge. The next step would be to “Tell it to The Church” - in this case, the bishop of his diocese if he is a diocesan priest - or if he is a “religious” priest, it might be the head of his order…


I heard someone give this advice on Catholic Radio the other day. Write the letter to the Bishop, but don’t send it. Wait a while (a good while) and read the letter later and decide then if you think it will achieve what you hope that it will achieve.

Why the advice to “go nuclear” and write to the bishop before discussing the matter with the priest in question and seek clarification directly, and be on firmer ground should later action become necessary?

Around here, it’s called “going CAF.” :stuck_out_tongue:

While I agree that you should wait a while before telling the Bishop, I DO however believe James should tell the clergy his concerns and if he doesn’t change his views, it is imperative that he absolutely speak to the Bishop as soon as possible! Why do you say it won’t achieve the right results? This is a Shepherd of the Church, representing Christ. If he doesn’t give these souls absolute TRUTH, then his soul is in danger as well as the multitude of souls in his parish…

James, do not delay. I knew a priest that led hundreds of souls away from the Catholic church invariably before he was stopped. I agree with the comment that it should be gently done, and of course the only reason you’re saying anything is out of love for Truth and love for the Church. You are not out of line…personally, I congratulate you for having the gall to stand up for our beautiful faith! I have many friends who are adult converts and they continue to inspire me with their zeal and love. God Bless!!! Praying for you…

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