Priest's homily today: "The Catholic Church has too many rules."


Today at Mass our priest gave a homily about how “God is love. He doesn’t care about anything except having us become the person we are meant to be. He doesn’t even care about our sin.” He went on to say:
"I believe the Catholic Church is the greatest expression of God’s love of all the other Christian denominations, but it has too many rules! Rules about homosexuality, priests needing to be male and celibate, and who is worthy to receive Him in Communion. I tell you, God is only about love not rules! "

He continued in this vein and I could see parishioners nodding their heads in agreement.

I am a fairly recent revert and find this kind of talk to be very very disturbing. Isn’t being Catholic following the teachings of the Magisterium?
Do you have any advice for me? Am I taking what the priest said wrong?

thank you


Sounds like a rogue priest.


No, you are not taking it wrong. The priest is, if what you say is true(which we have no reason to doubt), a manifest heretic, abusing his priestly authority, and causing scandal. He is lying to the souls entrusted to his care, putting them in dreadful danger of losing their salvation.

You need to talk to him about this, and your bishop. What he did is not acceptable under any circumstances.


Isn’t what he is saying more Episcopalian than Catholic?
I am worried because my children attend the parochial school.

What would you do if you were me?


If you are accurately recounting the homily, I’d say you were right to smell something rotten in Denmark.

God is love, but your priest seems to be suggesting that throughout the Old Testament, God was punishing all those people for no reason whatsoever, since sin apparantly doesn’t matter.


The priest clearly has no idea what love is. I think he’s referring to the idea known as “luv”, which is completely different.

“What’s with all these rules? God is luv, luv, luv!!! Let’s all get together and luv one another and forget about ‘truth’ and ‘justice’ and ‘morality’. It’s all about luv!”

‘Luv’ is the opposite of true love, because it confirms people in their sin and can ultimately lead them to eternal damnation. ‘Luv’ is emotionalistic, subjective, and foolish.


Well, as someone who attended an Episcopalian church for a while before becoming Catholic, the liberal Episcopalians that dominate and essentially own the Anglican church in America are heretics according to their own doctrine…but anyway…

It is, frankly, evil.

Talk to your priest, ask him what he meant, etc, if he knows that this is against Church teaching and the teaching of Christ, that it contradicts the teaching of the Holy Father and the bishops, and so on. If he doesn’t try to make amends(and it doesn’t sound like he would…if you were even close to what he said, there is no room for ‘wiggling out’ of it.), then write a letter to your bishop explaining what happened, giving the date, maybe if you can find a few others in the parish who have similar concerns to co-sign it. Hopefully your bishop would at least look in to it. Ask your kids what they are taught in school-don’t know how old they are and what they would understand, but if they are being taught as the priest preaches…I would be concerned. Is there another parish nearby?


This was a good pointed homily and I would nod along if I was there.

The Church has always had a framework of rules, it is how they are used which cause disagreement. You can easily over-emphasize rules which leads to a decrease in spirituality. Why do most people attend mass? Is it about the rules? No, it is about the spiritual parts of mass. When you get in the pews what you see are many different shades of grey based on everyone’s unique spirituality. You cannot have rules be the end all in any spiritual tradition as life is not black and white.


I am not sure I understand what you mean and I’m afraid I am even more confused!


I will try to rephrase it, people are as different as grains of sand on the beech. We all have our unique forms of spirituality. That can be looked at as one of an infinite colors of grey.

Rules by definition are black and white, a completely different paradigm.

What you get sometimes in any religion are the rules becoming the spirituality. This creates two different paradigms trying to intermix which does not work. Rules are generally there for broad framework but when reaching out to the people in your normal parish community what the people are looking for is a form of spiritual renewal via the mass (and outside the mass).

When all you have are rules, rules rules as spirituality, you loose the spiritual connection to the people you are trying to reach. This leads to some people zealously embracing it but the vast majority becoming apathic and spiritually drained. This leads to a decline in the institution, as the foundation, the people weaken.

So, you need the spiritual connection via the overall parish community to grow the Church through the people. Remember the Catholic Church has over 2000 years of accumulated legalistic rules which were implemented for whatever reason many years ago but may or may not still be relevant in our modern times in which we all live in.


True rules can be a burden. So do you consider God’s law rules? So what part of God’s law do you think doesn’t apply in modern times.

Brother you appear to be heading down the modern secular path. Like the rules on abortion or adultery (sexual behavior). These are absolute and have not changed in 2000 years. Rules are those concerning celibate priests, which can change. So this priest is obviously confused and improperly teaching his flock.

We need to be humble and obey God, but rules can be debated and opinion offered. Sounds like we are mixing apples and oranges.


I’d make an appointment to discuss his statements and seek clarity and retraction. If he refused to correct his statements publically, the diocesan office would be my next stop.


The Church’s teaching regarding homosexual activity and women’s ordination are not “rules”. They are doctrines-- they are Truths. The priest falsely classifies doctrines as “rules”.

You do the same if you attempt to defend his obviously inaccurate characterization of doctrine.


The priest is wrong. This is the way heresies start: you exalt one part of the truth at the expense of the others. Yes, God is Love. But He is also Truth. He is Justice. He is Righteousness. He is Perfect.

If God doesn’t care about sin, He delivered His Son up to death for no good reason.

Your priest doesn’t appear to believe the Scriptures (nor Tradition) of the Church. You should try to speak charitably with him (after all, love it important!) but firmly. (Although if God doesn’t care about sin, what should it matter how you treat the priest…?)

If he is not the pastor, speak to the pastor afterwards (if he does not appear to get it). Then to the Bishop.


I am not surprised.

The homily was not about turning rules into spirituality. It was about rejection of the Law of the Church as containing anything in common with the Law of God. It wasn’t about spirituality, it was about rejecting rules as unnecessary. Jesus didn’t think so.

The priest apparently thinks sin doesn’t matter to God. He is dead wrong; he is a priest threatening the salvation of his parishioners. That’s scandal, in big bold letters.


And examples you care to share?


Episcopalians are right down the street. :rolleyes:


why is this thread deleted???

Sorry, it looks like it was moved.
my apologies.


It hasn’t been (yet). Do not identify your diocese, parish, or priest. That would guarantee the deletion of this thread.


He needs to go back to seminary and relearn Catholicism.

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