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Friends, a good brother of mine is going through seminary now. He may learn some wacky stuff, but he is orthodox for the most part, and can survive. I have not known him since childhood, so it's impossible to say how his faith was formed, but his home parish in Germany looks like a typical 1970's swimming pool church. A few things are red flags to me, like his "strong support" for the Neo-Catechumenical Way. He once said that Mass is primarily the meal of the Last Supper, not the sacrifice of the Cross. He can hardly be blamed, I suppose, after growing up entirely in what looks to have been a 70% female, 80% "whitehead" parish. I want to admonish him charitably here, via letter, but how...? Something like:

"Whatever you learn, I hope you will be very careful in this time of chaos. You once said that the Mass is primarily the Last Supper, not the Cross. This has bothered me ever since I started reading the Council of Trent, specifically Session 22, Canon 1: "If any one says that in the Mass a true and proper sacriflce is not offered to God; or, that the offering is nothing else but that Christ is given us to eat; let him be anathema." If you are going to be a priest, you have to take this seriously, my friend. I am solicitous for truth and for your wellbeing; if you are not going to offer the Mass with the right intention, I will be there to fight you with charity, just as you fought me when I started sounding like a Jansenist **. The idea of any priest offering Mass without the intention of re-presenting the Final Sacrifice, as well as of consecrating the matter, chills me. Our friendship means everything to me, but God means more than creatures - I don't wish to sound hostile, but we're talking about the holy Eucharist here. If I've misinterpreted what you meant back then, forgive me... I am anxious that you become a saint, and if it is through the holy priesthood that you become a saint, then I beg you to be cautious."

Is this acceptable? Should I be more forceful? It seems to me that Trent is mostly ignored today for Vatican II, even though Vatican II did not declare any anathemas with regard to the Eucharist. I am now pretty much convinced that the Church can declare the Novus Ordo Eucharist, and it be valid, especially now that "for all" is becoming "for many"; he would use valid matter, and he would be a valid priest, but his intention is the trickiest...

He's used to long letters, so don't worry about verbosity.  ;D

** not anymore :laughing:
Tell him to read Faith of the Early Fathers, Vols. 1 through 3 if he's thinking about adopting a novel idea that plays off as "ancient".
I'd send the way you've written it, Laetare.  I think it's charitable but firm enough without being polemical.  Always room for polemics later on if your friend tells you to MYOB...
(10-08-2011, 04:50 PM)Laetare Wrote: [ -> ]he is orthodox for the most part, and can survive....

In truth he's already dead. One can't be orthodox "for the most part." It's all or nothing.

"He who denies one of the truths of the faith, even in a single point, in reality loses the whole of the faith, for he refuses to respect God as supreme Truth and formal grounds of the faith."

-Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum

"Hence, if anyone shall dare - which God forbid! - to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church."

-Pope Pius IX, Bull Ineffabilis Deus, on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception
That's right, Jackson, just send the guy a letter that says, "Dear X. You are dead. I was going to talk to you as a friend and brother in Christ, but you are already dead, so you don't matter anymore. Enjoy hell."

Anyway, Laetare, why not ask questions. I mean, a man who has lost the sense of the sacrifice of the Mass is not likely going to feel impelled by the Council of Trent to do anything. I would ask questions. I say erode the house fo cards with questions. Ask a few questions about Our Lord, His Divinity, His Church, what they all mean, etc., and you will see that either the house falls down or your friend will adopt a position of denying that Our Lord is God. But even the Neocats do not deny His Divinity. Anyway, I think that friendly conversation about a profound topic by two mature, well-intentioned men has a high likelihood of tending toward God's grace, especially given His grace already in you. So I vote you change the letter and ignore Jackson!
(10-08-2011, 10:20 PM)maldon Wrote: [ -> ]That's right, Jackson, just send the guy a letter that says, "Dear X. You are dead. I was going to talk to you as a friend and brother in Christ, but you are already dead, so you don't matter anymore. Enjoy hell."

Anyway, Laetare, why not ask questions. I mean, a man who has lost the sense of the sacrifice of the Mass is not likely going to feel impelled by the Council of Trent to do anything. I would ask questions. I say erode the house fo cards with questions. Ask a few questions about Our Lord, His Divinity, His Church, what they all mean, etc., and you will see that either the house falls down or your friend will adopt a position of denying that Our Lord is God. But even the Neocats do not deny His Divinity. Anyway, I think that friendly conversation about a profound topic by two mature, well-intentioned men has a high likelihood of tending toward God's grace, especially given His grace already in you. So I vote you change the letter and ignore Jackson!

I agree that, because his soul is in peril, he should talk to him. But I disagree that charity demands sugar-coating the truth, which is precisely that his friend has lost the faith. On the contrary, charity demands that he make this very clear. He doesn't have to be a jerk about it, but it must be made clear that he's entirely lost the faith. Total shipwreck.
(10-08-2011, 07:59 PM)AdOrientem Wrote: [ -> ]I'd send the way you've written it, Laetare.  I think it's charitable but firm enough without being polemical.  Always room for polemics later on if your friend tells you to MYOB...

Peace be with you on the day of victory. I don't think my friend would get uppity and MYOB on me, because he loves theology. He'll talk about it with anyone, and we get very excited when going on about it. Sadly, I remember him saying I should read modern theologians, back when I was converting. It's so ironic that he calls Protestants heretics and seems strong in the faith (being a fully-professed friar, whose suffix is "of the Cross"...), yet is very unclear in this.

Mr. Eskew, I appreciate your zeal... it is a hard thing to say to so dear a man as he is to me, but... truth and justice and the Catholic way must be served. I doubt he will learn anything specially-Orthodox at the Dominican College in Ottawa. Hopefully he'll at least learn to say "I absolve you" in confession, rather than "I forgive you", hehe. To think that the chaos in the Church is now so strong that my sorrow and doubt over teaching should extend to my best friend... it's tragically stupid and unneeded. I wish Vatican II had never happened...
(10-09-2011, 03:54 AM)Cooler King Wrote:Sound like an ideal candidate (If he ever wants to turn to tradition) for the FSSP.

Indeed, he seemed happily surprised one day last year when I turned up with my brand-new 1962 Missal. His enthusiasm shocked me given his previous statements. He's not going to be FSSP though, because the Franciscans he joined are typical average NO know-nothings.