Priest too liberal?

In discussing a possible catechetical role for me in my parish with my parish priest, I was further convinced of his progressively liberal view points. We started discussing a talk given by Fr. Corapi that I had heard on EWTN where Fr. Corapi relayed a tale about sitting between two bishops once in '68 or '69; on one side was a bishop who wanted to renounce Humanae Vitae and on the other side was a bishop who didn’t believe there really was such a thing as mortal sin. Fr. Corapi went on to convey about there being two Catholic Churches - one right and one wrong; one teaching doctrine, and one teaching error; one headed toward redemption, and one headed toward the smoldering pit. My parish priest scoffed and said there is no room for this sort of mentallity in our parish! I asked, “Shouldn’t we maintain some sort of vigilance in protecting the Truth and thwarting evil?” and his response was, “Not at the expense of people’s capacity to grow.”

Should I change parishes? My family is fairly well entrenched in this parish laden with error and abuse. When I attempt to address these issues by offering to help, my help is cast aside and deemed unwanted. I am loathe to “go to the bishop” as it were since I am not sure this would solve anything. Any suggestions?

It’s a difficult situation we find ourselves in as Catholics today. I returned to the Church after 20 years as an Evangelical and what I found when I came back was unbelievable.: But, my encouragement to you is don’t despair. I listen to EWTN whenever I can, study the Catechism, Scripture and read Pope John Paul II encyclicals. You must study and pray or you’ll be swept away by exactly what Father Corapi says …those disobedient to the church.
I have found myself in similar situations where I have been asked to head up a church ministry only to find out who I’d have to answer to was off in some New Age perversion of Catholicism. It’s been a shocking wake up call. Be who you are…Stay strong and firmly rooted to the magesterium and the truth…
In a way it’s an exciting time …The Lord has given us the priviledge to stand for the truth --perhaps even to suffer for it.
Well, I say bring it on…bigger enemies than these have tried to take the church down for centuries… But we’re still here! Be Blessed!


I sympathize with you. Being conservative myself, I find these attitudes very distressing. However, some points to remember-

  1. PRAY for a priest that you believe is losing the way- resist the temptation to attack him.(Fr Corapi has emphasized this in the past in his televised messages).
  2. Remember that it is the Bishop who is the main pastor of the flock. You have every right to address concerns regarding the diocese to him.
  3. We are one body of believers, but the Church tolerates a surprising amount of diversity-in non-essential things. St Augustine said it best- "In essential things, unity; in non-essential things, diversity; in all things, charity."
    I, and I know others, will be praying for your priest and parish. Have patience- GOD’s time is not ours. May GOD richly bless you. Paul

Some Pastors believe (not rightly in my estimation) that if they influence the direction their flock is headed, that they are interfering with the work of the Holy Spirit. Hence they adopt a silent attitude of “I’ll allow it.”

I’ve experienced our pastor to be very liberal about some things (like saying jokes in mass-comparing the Eucharist to fast food…“I’ll take it to go.” and sometimes he is very conservative, reprimanding and disciplining for small infractions. Once I was called in the office and talked to for an hour an a half, and had no clue before I went in, that I did anything wrong-I was bawling went he was finished, but honestly, I still don’t see the sin.

At any rate, it’s been my experience that Pastors sometimes keep you guessing, and you never know what is coming next. It’s kind of scary.

Orthodox (small “o”) seminarians in the last couple of decades have discovered that, in order to make it through to ordination, they often have to keep their mouths shut about where they stand on certain issues, and go with the flow, in order to serve God and Truth once they finish. Things are better now in the seminaries, it appears, but in many parishes, yours at least, change for the better has still not arrived.

If you assume that your pastor wants the same things you do and offer to help, you may be rudely surprised to find that he wants something entirely different. This appears to be your experience. It is logical, then, that your offer of help is unwanted. The unfortunate thing is that now he knows where you stand, and he probably has disqualified you in his mind for any position of leadership in your parish.

That leaves you three options.

Move on to a parish where you and your ideas will be welcomed.

Or, move on to another troubled parish and stay quiet about where you stand until you are in a position to do some good.

Or, and I think this may be the best, stay where you are, make good friends, and work through those friendships to bring the Truth to individuals. Stay positive, share what you know to be true in an attractive way, and really listen to people to see what they need. This really is our call as lay people, anyway. It is a mistake to think that the only thing that counts is an official position in one’s parish. A forest fire is just as easily started by a couple of dropped matches as it would be by a visible and obvious flamethrower. That fire of love is ignited in hearts just as effectively one at a time.


i don’t know about you, but I’d change parishes and offer my talents and abilities elsewhere.

Thank you everyone for the input. The idea I like the best is to stick it out and be subversively correct - spread the truth of our faith one on one. As much as I am tempted to look for another parish, doing so might cause more harm than good! God bless.:slight_smile:

That has nothing to do with being “liberal” – that has to be with saying something very inappropriate.

There is a great deal to be said about staying as part of the “faithful remnant.” It allows you to quietly, consistently, be an example in piety and holiness. You may never know what hearts you are touching by being faithful and obedient to the Church.

True. And while we must be spiritually nourished (which could cause us to switch parishes) there is a lot to be said about the tempering we receive by hanging in there. Those that leave are far more apt to continue to parish-hop and that’s not healthy either.

Good decision! Now be sure you stay positive and draw people to the truth because it’s beautiful. Don’t pick your priest apart or complain about things - just joyfully present the truth. The Holy Spirit will do the rest.


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