I was hoping someone could help me out a bit. On Sunday after the Gospel our priests gave a homily describing the Feeding of the Five Thousand as a story about sharing. To me this seemed like well intentioned blasphemy, diminishing the power of Christ in the story.
This same priest also interrupted me halfway through confession and absolved me of all sins, I was not done confessing. I asked him if I was absolved from the sins that I remembered but had not yet confessed and he said ‘‘everything’’.
I am thinking of finding a new Parish. Any advice? Is this a little too extreme?
Yeh, I think you should change parishes. The sermon/homily is there for the spiritual edification of the congregation, and liberal ones like that will get you no where.
It would annoy me if the priest were to interrupt my confession to give absolution, but there may have been something that the priest had to do (vest for Mass, visit the sick/dying etc). So don’t be too harsh on the priest.
Oh, and something I forgot to add; the parish priest (different priest) has told my cousin that she doesn’t need to confess before recieving the Eucharist. The more I think about it the closer I come to the conclusion that this is a matter for the Bishop.
You don’t need to confess before you receive the Eucharist if you have no mortal sins on your soul. The priest is correct, if your cousin has not committed a mortal sin. If she has, then she needs to confess. As for the homily, you gave very little information about what was said. Just that he said it was about sharing. Did he outright deny it was a miracle? Did he explain anything else? I don’t think any poster can judge the homily by what you posted–the information is incomplete and sketchy and, to be honest, maybe you interpreted it wrongly. So to advise you to find another parish, or report him to the Bishop is jumping the gun. The Bishop, for sure, would want to know exactly what the priest said, the whole thing, not just what you said here in your post, and he would want to question the priest before he would judge it as being blasphemous. That is a serious accusation and has to be verified. Nobody has any business judging this priest without full knowledge of what happened, and advising you to leave the parish and report the priest to the Bishop. on what little you posted here.
If the priest says you are absolved of all your sins (and you did check with him about the unconfessed ones) you are absolutely absolved - he has that power… as unsatifactory as it might be to you.
I can’t see that the homily was blasphemous - that’s a harsh judgement. It may have been a bit weak though. I think a lot of priests had problems with this one. I can’t say I was entirely satisfied with the homily myself but I have to confess that I wasn’t paying full attention. Our priest said he would continue on it next Sunday.
I agree with the others who suggest that if you are not happy with your parish, find another one.
How were the people generous and sharing – that assumes that while each wanted more, they allowed another to have part of their allotment. But Scripture tells us that each person had their fill and there was still more left over. No one left unsatiated or had to deprive themselves so that others may not go hungry – Jesus provided enough for all to have their fill and then some.
It was the only time I have confessed to this particular priest. As I say, my main problem was not with the confession. I just wanted to know if I had actually recieved absolution.
Roveau it had nothing to do with satisfaction. I just needed to know if I needed to confess again. If a priest can absolve unconfessed sins that the confessor has full knowledge of and intention to confess then great, no worries there.
CB Catholic, the priest did not tell my cousin that this only applied to venial sins, he said that we don’t have to confess at all prior to recieving. Also, there was nothing to ‘‘interpret wrongly’’
The priest said plain as day that the story was about sharing and the other priest said plain as day that confession was not necessary anymore when one wanted to recieve the Eucharist.
I don’t have an axe to grind against the church or priests in question, they are good men, however my concern is whether or not this church is doing things according to the Church.
I’m just a catechumen so I don’t know a whole lot, but… my priest gave a similar homily, using the miracle of sharing idea. He didn’t say he believed it personally, but remarked that it was the point of view of some theologians. He also explained the passage in terms of the usual understanding. So… it might be a legitimate interpretation (or at least an interpretation open to discussion) of that portion of scripture. My priest is quite traditional, he says the Tridentine mass weekly, etc… so I know he personally would not be saying it in order to be heretical. Maybe you should ask your priest for clarification, to make sure he wasn’t just commenting on it, but not asserting that he believes it.
Though I didn’t hear your priest’s homily, it seems to me you are overreacting a little bit. The story of the loaves and fishes is a story about sharing and no way diminishes the power of Christ. Emphasizing the sharing aspect of the story, as opposed to the power of Jesus to multiply food for 5,000 people, is not blasphemy, and helps us relate the story more directly to our own experiences and capabilities. After all, all of us can share what little we have with others, but not all of us can multiply food.
I do not believe, however, that you are overreacting to the priest’s interruption of your confession. You have a right to be heard fully and the priest has a responsibility to listen attentively. As one person wrote, it may have been that this particular priest had a schedule he had to follow, but then he should have explained that to you and apologized for not being able to hear your full confession. Before you leave your parish, you might consider talking with the priest about your concerns. Priests are only human and, due to busy schedules, are sometimes prone to rush and make mistakes. Give him a chance before pulling the rug out from under his feet.
There is the parallel gospel in John 6.
It says there in verse 15…"Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone. "
If the miracle is only to make people share…then why would they make him king???
Sometimes, I tell people to share and they do share what they have…but they don’t make me king just because I made them share.
It was a true miracle and people who try to reduce this phenomena into mere change of emotions is giving less credit to God’s work.
You have to know that these “signs” were performed so that people may believe that the Son was sent by the Father. Jesus said that about His miracles.
If you go by the fact that the greater miracle is moving selfish and stubborn hearts to generosity…then you are also implying that the miracle itself was the “sharing” and not the multiplication of bread and fish. You are putting extra biblical data into the text…there was no mention of selfish and stubborn hearts in there, much less stubborn hearts moved to generosity.
If these kinds of occurrences keep happening then I recommend you write your Bishop with your concerns. However if it rarely happens then it probably isn’t serious enough to write your Bishop about. I didn’t hear the homily, but I just wouldn’t worry about it unless he said it would be impossible for him to multiply the loaves of bread and fish. Just wait and see if anything else happens.
IMHO I agree with those posters who have stated that there is not enough information to determine if the homily was heretical [Blasphemous or other].
Nor can we comment on the “confession” experience …
Nor the need receive Reconcilliaion before receiving Communion.
There is just not enough information int he cryptic post …
Write a letter to the Bishop? Please, letters to the Bishop should be for only the most serious offenses … How can you even write the Bishop regarding the ‘interuption’ of your confession … though you ar perfectly free to discuss all that transpires in the confessional the Priest cannot discuss any aspect of the confession due to the seal even with the Bishop …
Context is eveything, whether it occurs in the confessional, a homily or a general guestion regarding the reception of Communion …
There are those who believe [and sincerely] that one should receive Recincilliation weekly and that if you do not then you should not present yourself at Communion …
There are those who believe that you never need to make a confession before receiving our Lord … the reality lied somewhere in between and has many aspects that impact the Truth - a Truth that though nuanced is knowable … Your cousin should read the catechism and then make an appontment with the Priest, an orthodox Spitul Director or knowledgeable Catholic to discuss any questions …
If you do not care for you current parish, then feel free to find a better fit …
Thank you for this post, Yada, which expresses almost all of what I would like to say.
I would just like to add that in our church, we too had the same homily, how the miracle was the inspiring to share. The priest was a visitor missionary priest who had been working in Zimbabwe, and he tied the theme into that experience.
It seemed to me that it was a good homily. I have always been troubled as to the mechanics of this miracle. Did Our Lord keep pulling more food out of the basket, in which case why weren’t the people more amazed than they were. Or did He give this power to the Disciples as they went round the groups, in which case, why weren’t the crowds even more amazed, as they would have seen it happening close up. Imagine you were in one of those groups - wouldn’t you have been totally blown away by it?
Yes, they tried to make Him King - but they evidently weren’t impressed enough by what had happened to stay on His side and rise up in His defence in the last days of His life.
Nor did they follow Him around thereafter, demanding more free food.
The preacher pointed out that nobody in those days or even in these, would have thought of going on a long journey without some food tucked away. I see the miracle as being that the people were inspired to share - but that doesn’t preclude multiplication does it? Our Lord could very well have increased the amount available subtly, so that everyone had enough.
Calling a more nuanced interpretation of the Miracle ‘blasphemy’ is a misuse of the word, to say the least.
You miss the main points of the story. The story was to prepare the Apostles for the Eucharist. Christ feeds the multitudes with the Eucharist.The Apostles -priests will feed the multitudes with the Eucharist. The multiplying the loaves and fishes was a miracle done by Christ. Not sharing by the people. It is also about his power to do great things for us. Yes , it also is about energizing us to do his work with our hands but that does not mean he did not miraculously transform that food. The church has always taught that Christ himself multiplied those loaves and fishes. This sharing thing is modernistic nonsense.It is blasphemy to say that a miracle by Christ didn’t happen and that he just got the Apostles to go around asking for food from the people and to tell them to share.
OK, I did not know that a letter to the Bishop was that serious, I will write to the priest directly, I’m no theologian but I’m aware that the story of the feeding of the five thousand has little to do with the crowd being so moved that they shared everything they had.
To the people that say that my story is ‘‘cryptic’’ or didn’t provide enough information, I’m sorry. I wasn’t taking notes at Mass. I do not feel like spying on the priest so I doubt I will be taking notes in the future either :D.
YADA, as I have said (twice I think in this thread) I am not writing to anyone about the confession. I just needed clarification to see if I had been absolved. This is Catholic Answers, and I sought a Catholic Answer.
Also it is not that I do not care for my current parish, I love it and have served as an altar server and helped with the confirmation candidates, it is the church I have attended since I was a baby. I just wanted to see if they are doing anything incorrect. I have noticed quite a few other things on occasion but I will not post about them here as its just making me look like I’m grasping at straws for something to be angry about.
Thanks to everyone for their opinions. I will be bringing this to the priest, I think my initial reaction was a little extreme so I’ll be going for the ‘‘chat over a cup of tea’’ option.