The culturally corrosive effects of political correctness manifest themselves in many ways. Perhaps one of the more deleterious effects of this social tyranny is self-imposed silence when it comes to the truth. Many know the truth but seek to avoid confrontation in a world that abhors enlightening argument. Rather, certain opinions are deemed offensive by those who are the designated deemers of such things. End of story.
Most of us have learned to shrug off such things, we cannot single-handedly change our culture and there is life to be lived, so we move on. But the time for shrugging may be over. When political correctness does not just demand silence for the truth, but the active promotion of heresy, this is something no Christian should abide. This is never more true than for those who are charged with preaching God’s truth.
Reverend Frank Wainwright, 48, a Deacon at St Gregory’s Church in Cheltenham, Glos. UK, during a sermon on marriage, made the remark in a humorous aside that “Marriage is between Adam and Eve – not Adam and Steve.” For this the Deacon has been accused of ‘homophobia’ after five complaints by members of the congregation.
The protesting parishioners now demand heretical correctness. It seems that in our world of ever expanding ‘basic human rights’, paramount among them is the right never to be offended by the truth. While it’s one thing to expect this when asked by your wife if she looks heavy in her new dress, it is quite another to demand heresy from your church.
This is the thing about the Catholic Church, you don’t have to be a member. If it is heresy you want, there is another church right down the street that has plenty of it for the asking and wonderfully colorful vestments for Father Patricia as well. You have your choice. The heretically correct Church of the Androgynous Savior or the Catholic Church. But know, if you choose the Catholic Church, you reject your ‘basic human right’ never to be offended by the truth at the door.
Deacon Wainwright, for his part, sorta sticks by the truth if not the way he said it.
I have plenty of gay friends and I have no problem at all with them but as a Catholic minister I must preach that marriage is between a man and woman and nothing else.
I’m sure there are gay members of my congregation and I imagine it’s one of them who complained but it certainly wasn’t the thrust of my sermon.
I can see why people are upset by the comment because it was flippant. I totally accept that I have caused offence and I am apologising for that.
Don’t ever apologize for the truth.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Priests today are challenged with the task of drawing the faithful back to confession and assuring them that their true repentance will be met with mercy and compassion, Pope Benedict XVI said.
In an address to several hundred young priests, Pope Benedict said March 11 that “we must return to the confessional” not only as a place to confess sins and receive absolution, but also as a place where “the faithful can find mercy, counsel and comfort, feel loved and understood by God.”
The pope addressed some 700 priests at the conclusion of a March 8-12 course designed to develop their skills as confessors; the course was offered by the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court that handles issues related to the sacrament of penance.
Priests are called on to educate their flocks in the “radical requirements of the Gospel” and help them resist “the mentality of this world” and make choices that take courage and are sometimes unpopular, the pope told the group.
The times are difficult, he said, and marked by “a hedonistic and relativistic mentality that cancels God from peoples’ lives.” This mentality makes it difficult to “distinguish good from evil and develop a proper sense of sin.”
Priests must be particularly good examples in their lives so that Catholics will understand their own sins and find the courage and desire to seek God’s forgiveness, he said.
During the course, Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti, regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, spoke to the priests about the challenges and the complex situations that confessors are required to handle. He reminded them that the church seeks to help “even in situations that are humanly so difficult that they seem to have no solution.”
Among these situations is the plight of divorced Catholics who, if they remarry, are no longer allowed to take Communion. Archbishop Girotti said that in those cases, if the person cannot separate from the new spouse for various reasons, the confessor could suggest that refraining from sex and transforming the relationship into one of friendship might open the way to the possibility of partaking once again in Communion.
He also said confessors must be careful with the psychological states of penitents; if they find themselves with someone with serious problems they should not “try to be a psychologist,” but rather seek expert help.
Archbishop Girotti warned that in the case of repeat offenders, who don’t show even a minimal intention to change, absolution must not be granted. However, the priest must be very patient because a conversion is always possible, he said.
Showing that there is a better way to live is always the job of a priest, especially as an antidote to increasing hedonism and selfishness in contemporary society, said Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli, who heads the tribunal as major penitentiary. “It’s the duty of the confessor to open the consciences of people and make them understand the needs of others, showing them that doing so won’t take anything away from them, but will make them richer.”
Vatican City, Mar 11, 2010 / 11:03 pm (CNA).- In a new book consisting of reflections based on the 2008 Synod on the Word of God, the secretary for the Synod of Bishops, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, writes that homilies should not last more than eight minutes.
In his book, “The Word of God,” the archbishop elaborates on methods priests can use in preparing their Sunday homilies. His first suggestion – taken from Pope Benedict XVI himself – advises that clergy members begin preparing for their Sunday homilies nearly a week in advance.
Archbishop Eterovic explains that each week the Holy Father begins his Sunday homily preparations on the Monday before, so he “has sufficient time to understand the passages from the Sunday readings. The readings become the object of profound meditation, in light of specific events, at personal and community levels.”
“Improvisations must be avoided,” the archbishop continues, “since the homily is too serious of a reality to be delivered to the faithful without adequate planning.”
The preparation for Sunday homilies, Archbishop Eterovic suggests, “can also take on the form of Lectio Divina.” He adds that priests who use this method usually “see generally positive results.”
The archbishop then notes five steps for improving homilies: “Determine the main theme of the homily, inspire interest in the faithful,” and “do everything possible to transmit one’s own convictions by appealing to their hearts and intellects.
He also advises priests to help the faithful to memorize the theme of the homily … and prompt an active response in the faithful by suggesting concrete actions such as prayer, readings, activities in family, in the parish, at work or in society.”
It is “useful to remember that in general the homily should not be longer than eight minutes, the average time listeners can concentrate,” the archbishop says. “The preacher can write the homily, but at the time of delivery he should use an outline, a special guide that will allow him to follow a logical line of thought while looking at the faithful.”
Archbishop Eterovic also explains that in order to keep up-to-date, the preacher should use the Bible and a newspaper in preparing homilies.