Does McBrien believe in the Devil and in the reality of possession?

National Catholic Fishwrap‘s darling McBrien (the one who ridicules Eucharistic Adoration and those who participate in it) now makes fun of exorcism and demonic possession. 

McBrien think that the only type of exorcism that matters is the pre-baptismal exorcism in the baptismal rite.

Therefore, as a propaedeutic, we can first read this, extracted from the Rite of Baptism in the older, traditional Rituale Romanum, with which McBrien was presumably baptized:

Let us pray.

Almighty, everlasting God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, look with favor on your servant, N., whom it has pleased you to call to this first step in the faith. Rid him of all inward blindness. Sever all snares of Satan which heretofore bound him. Open wide for him, Lord, the door to your fatherly love. May the seal of your wisdom so penetrate him as to cast out all tainted and foul inclinations, and let in the fragrance of your lofty teachings. Thus shall he serve you gladly in your Church and grow daily more perfect; through Christ our Lord.

And now the post-baptismal mumblings of McBrien with my emphases and comments.

Conference on exorcism will make your head spin

by Richard McBrien on Jul. 12, 2010

Many years ago, when the National Catholic Reporter was a young newspaper, it ran a feature in the left-hand column of Page 1 that highlighted embarrassingly dumb items that had recently appeared in parish bulletins and other ecclesiastical documents.

If that feature were still active, I would have an entry to submit. [So. Would. We.]

In a letter dated May 18 of this year and addressed to "Eminences" and "Excellencies" of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, self-described as "Bishop Designate of Springfield in Illinois," [Why make an issue of their titles?  This is merely rudeness.] announced that the bishops’ Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, of which Paprocki is chairman, is sponsoring a special Conference on the Liturgical and Pastoral Practice of Exorcism, to be held in Baltimore in early November, just before the bishops’ semiannual meeting.

[And now the wheels come off McBrien’s walker.]

Those with a deep interest in Catholic issues will recognize immediately how pertinent and even urgent this conference will be, given the present state of the church and the world, what with the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the tragic oil spill and loss of 11 lives in the Gulf of Mexico. [Huh?]

For those less engaged in religious matters, an exorcism is an act by which an evil spirit is expelled from a person who is demonically possessed. The act also has a less dramatic function in the baptism of adults: when candidates are enrolled in the order of catechumens, during the period of the catechumenate itself, and during the three "scrutinies" that take place on the third, fourth and fifth Sundays of Lent, prior to the catechumens’ baptism at the Easter Vigil. [Not if you are using the older Roman Ritual, in which the exorcism section is actually serious.]

The letter from Paprocki advises, "The conference is open to bishops and those priests or officials whom a bishop wishes to designate to attend," including those whom bishops have authorized to perform exorcisms, evidently apart from the sacrament of baptism. [Yes… evidently.]

However, there is one session open only to bishops. One can only speculate what sort of topics will be addressed in this closed session. [I suspect some of it will be spent convincing bishops of the reality of demonic possession.]

"The conference will address not only the theological and scriptural foundations of the rite of exorcism," the letter continues, "but it will also provide the necessary, practical insights into the many liturgical, canonical and pastoral issues associated with exorcisms and the church’s battle against the demonic presence in the world and the lives of the Christian faithful."

[This next part suggests to me that McBrien does not believe in post-baptismal demonic possession.] The fact that the conference will be less concerned with the baptismal aspects of exorcism than its more "Hollywood" dimensions is made clear by the schedule of events.

The first afternoon session will focus on "the phenomenon of evil in contemporary culture; [I believe there may be a breakout session on the National Catholic Reporter and the Notre Dame theology department.] and responses and resources available to address the presence of evil, particularly through the use of exorcism." No mention of baptism here.  [McBrien is still struggling after the fundamental point: the workshop is on – wait for it – exorcism, not baptism.]

In the evening there will be a discussion of cases and responses "from a practical standpoint." As opposed to a theoretical standpoint? [McBrien probably thinks that exorcism is never necessary.  He also ridicules Eucharistic Adoration.]

On the second morning, there will be a "detailed presentation of the practice and use of the rites associated with exorcism [and these rites, again, will apparently have nothing to do with the sacrament of baptism], [Apparently McBrien still hasn’t figured out that this workshop is not in fact about the rite of baptism.  Rather, it is about exorcism, which is why it is billed as a workshop on exorcism.] strategies for pastoral care [how to deal with those possessed by the Devil?], [In a word, yes.  Keep in mind that McBrien and his crowd generally don’t believe in the Devil.  They reduce "the Devil" to a sort of metaphor for evil.  Are they in for a surprise!] and an examination of other phenomena related to the presence of evil" (what these "other phenomena" might be is evidently left to the imaginations of the conference attendees). [I imagine it has something to do with, say, plagiarism and its roots.]

The session designated for bishops only (in italics), on the second afternoon of the two-day conference, will present and discuss "matters of special interest to bishops related to the phenomenon of evil and the use of the rite of exorcism."

One wonders if this session will address the scandal of sexual abuse of children and other young people by priests and the subsequent cover-up of such crimes by bishops themselves, their intimidation of victims and their families, their hiding behind lawyers, and their irresponsible movement of predatory priests from assignment to assignment, without any warning to potential victims or even to pastors[Wasn’t there some dust up in the theology department at Notre Dame when McBrien was in charge?  I don’t remember the details, but I am sure some of you readers do.  And, just to stay on target, the workshop is about – wait for it – exorcism, and not about clerical sexual abuse of children.  Is McBrien suggesting that bishops and priests involved in these things needed an exorcism?]

Bishops will undoubtedly be relieved to learn that there is no registration fee for those who wish to attend only this second afternoon session.

Paprocki hopes that many bishops and their designated officials will participate in this "important" conference. Those who need further assistance can contact a lay employee in the committee office or another staff person, a relatively young monsignor. He may be a fine person who will eventually be appointed a bishop himself. [What is that last bit… envy?]

The priest who sent me a copy of this letter wrote across the top, in capital letters, "CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS? IN 2010."

His question was rhetorical, of course.

Can you believe your are reading this garbage in 2010?

Perhaps what frightens McBrien so much about the Rite of Exorcism is that it includes the Athanasian Creed.

As a closer, among the mighty prayers of the older rite of exorcism:

I exorcise you, most unclean spirit, every incursion of the enemy, every phantasm, every legion, in the name of Our Lord Jesus + Christ to eradicate and put you to flight from this creature of God.  + He commands you, who ordered you to go down from the heights of the heavens into the depths of the earth.  He Himself commands you, who commanded the sea, wind and storms.  Listen, therefore, and be afraid, Satan, foe of faith, enemy of the human race, bringer of death, snatcher of life, bender of justice, root of evils, spark of vices, seducer of men, betrayer of peoples, inciter of envy, origin of avarice, cause of discord, stirrer of sorrows: why do you stay, and resist, since as you know, the Lord Christ is undoing your paths?  Fear Him, who was immolated in Isaac, given for a price in Joseph, slain in the lamb, crucified in man, and finally was the vanquisher of hell.  [Tracing Crosses on the forehead of the obsessed.]  Recede therefore in the name of the Father + and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit +: give place to the Holy Spirit, through this sign of the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ our Lord: who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, for all ages of ages.

 

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72 Responses to Does McBrien believe in the Devil and in the reality of possession?

  1. The Egyptian says:

    “Is McBrien suggesting that bishops and priests involved in these things needed an exorcism?”

    Actually I believe one or two may, however to McBrien I say, you first :>)

  2. Fr. Andrew says:

    The Michael Voris video makes more sense than ever after this silliness. I wonder if McBrien understands that he is completely outside of the Church’s teaching on this subject? The tired tactic of trotting out the sexual abuse scandal is, without a doubt, the diversionary tactic used in order to crush authentic theological discussion and discovery. I have no doubt that the devil enjoys the fact that so-called theologians use the sexual abuse scandal as much as humanly possible to ridicule bishops doing their jobs. Enough already.

  3. wanda says:

    Father Z.! Kapowee! This is an out-of-park home run! Wow, I am thrilled that this conference is slated for my home turf, boy is this needed!

    How is it that McBrien’s bishop hasn’t gone over there and kicked him right in the seat of the pants? Maybe his own brother priests will do it. How rude and arrogant he is.

    This ranks among your all-time greatest hits, Fr. Z. The picture is FAB-ulous, green spew and all!

  4. M Heller says:

    In spite of Fr. McBrien’s ramblings, this is very good news. There was an interesting book published a couple of years ago called “The Rite”. It concerned the training of exorcists and Rome. It was written by a secular reporter who was at first very skeptical, but seemed convinced of the need by the end of his research.

  5. james says:

    Why hasn’t, indeed, why doesn’t the Vatican do something about priests like
    Fr. McBrien?

  6. Andy Milam says:

    Fr. Z,

    When I was living in the rectory, Monsignor used to say regarding exorcisms, “Stay as far away from the topic as you can. Priests have to fight this every day. If you’re ever ordained, you’ll fight this fight.”

    Apparently Fr. McBrien needs to take the second part of that little nugget of truth a little more seriously. Either that or he needs to spend a day with Fr. Amorth. I’m pretty sure that he won’t be whistling the same tune…by the way, that tune ain’t Dixie neither…LOL!!!!

  7. Jack Hughes says:

    I wish I’d be exorcised pre -baptism; why did they take that part out of the ritual? its almost as if they want the baptized to have problems.

  8. shadowlands says:

    “He also ridicules Eucharistic Adoration”

    So does the devil, did anyone tell him that? It’s one of old nick’s fruits.

    Father,your moving picture nearly freaked me out!! I thought maybe only I could see the head moving!!

  9. Leonius says:

    McBrien doesn’t really believe in the supernatural at all is the impression I get from his various ramblings he is far to proud of his intellect to believe in things he cannot see with his own eyes which is why he spends all his time pursuing the goals of secular humanism rather than performing his mission as a priest to sanctify souls.

    Yet another priest ruined by been educated beyond his intelligence.

  10. If this were a new inculturation thing, apparently McBrien would be all for it. For example: He supported Chinese Catholic use of ancestor-veneration rites in “Matteo Ricci After 400 Years”.

    He supports a constant Christian imitation of Christ and the saints in “In Imitating Saints, We Imitate Christ Himself”; and Christ not only exorcised demons, but taught the Apostles to do it.

    He even supports safety first for children over structures in most of his child abuse columns; so obviously, the chance of exorcism doing some good ought to trump any merely institutional misgivings that McBrien might have.

    There’s nothing really wrong with him that a little logic class wouldn’t help. He’s a terrible conformist, but deep down he has good principles.

  11. Athelstan says:

    “If that feature were still active, I would have an entry to submit.” [So. Would. We.]

    There’s coffee all over my keyboard now.

  12. Sam Schmitt says:

    Even more disturbing than McBrien’s piece are the commenters loading scorn on the bishops for believing in the existence of the devil (which can’t be since “God is love”) and even thinking of attending such a conference – instead of “fixing the scandal!!!”

    The commenters are truly clueless – “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist.”

  13. Onesimus2 says:

    James….giving him as little press as possible is doing something…yankees can’t take the HINTS though…A Burke-McBride chat WOULD give him GREATER publicity. ANYTHING from email to a phone call would do the same. A prayer to St. Joseph, that works.

    The exorcisms are not ESSENTIAL to Sacramental Baptism. One is included in the new rite for infant baptism. They are de rigeur in the RCIA where Catecheumens (and Candidates) have experienced the Power of such prayer in palpable ways. They tell me these things.

    I recall chatting with the diocesan bishop at the onset of the Sexual Abuse scandals in the ’80’s and being quite clear that the “good priest” (who DID MANY good things) engaged in such vile acts was a diabolical figure — a conundrum for the faithful who had lost their anchor in Christ and their wariness of Satan’s Powerful Presence — which our culture was unready for. What should have been the safest refuge turned out to be a serpant’s nest of sexual perversion AND in brilliant diabolical style — corruptio optimi pessima. Not ALL but only some and of the SOME the best. We are left with a clerical Gideon’s Army in many places.

  14. Nathan says:

    Saints of God, pray for Fr McBrien. This is mighty dangerous stuff in which to engage in mockery.

    In Christ,

  15. Henry Edwards says:

    I am looking forward to witnessing an EF baptism in my local parish church this weekend, in four parts:

    Part I: In the Narthex of the Church:
    The Questioning, the Exsufflation, The Sign of the Cross, The Imposition of Hands, The Imposition of Salt

    Part II: Admission into the Church Building:
    Exorcism, The Sign of the Cross, The Imposition of Hands, The Admission into the Church, The Credo and Pater

    Part III: In the Nave:
    The Solemn Exorcism, The Ephphetha, The Renunciation of Satan, The Annointing

    Part IV: At the Font:
    The Profession of Faith, Baptism, The Annointing with Chrism, The White Linen Cloth, The Lighted Candle, The Last Words of Good Will

    The exorcism in Part II reads as follows (though in Latin, of course):

    Priest: I exorcise thee, unclean spirit, in the name of the Father + and of the Son, + and of the Holy + Spirit, that thou goest out and depart from this servant of God, N. For He commands Thee, accursed one, Who walked upon the sea, and stretched out His right hand to Peter about to sink. Therefore, accursed devil, acknowledge thy sentence, and give honor to the living and true God: give honor to Jesus Christ His Son, and to the Holy Spirit; and depart from this servant of God, N. because God and our Lord Jesus Christ hath vouchsafed to call him (her) to His holy grace and benediction and to the font of Baptism.

    The solemn exorcism in Part III:

    Priest: I exorcise thee, every unclean spirit, in the name of God the Father + Almighty, in the name of Jesus + Christ, His Son, our Lord and Judge, and in the power of the Holy + Spirit, that thou be depart from this creature of God N, which our Lord hath deigned to call unto His holy temple, that it may be made the temple of the living God, and that the Holy Spirit may dwell therein. Through the same Christ our Lord, who shall come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire.

    (Full details at http://www.fisheaters.com/baptism2.html)

  16. Titus says:

    One can’t vouch for what the ND theology department used to be like, or offer an adequate explanation for why some excuse hasn’t been found to send Fr. McBrien packing, but the current chairman, Dr. Cavadini, is actually quite orthodox and has made a lot of improvements.

    Now, the administration and campus ministry? Those are horses of a different color (and shades much closer in hue to McBrien).

  17. irishgirl says:

    That ‘spinning’ McBrien head is a winner, Fr. Z! Don’t see any green slime, however….

    He’s such a deluded man-I’m sorry, I can’t call him a priest.

    He needs a good kick in the pants, either from his Bishop [South Bend or wherever he’s ordained in] or from the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome.

  18. robtbrown says:

    McBrien doesn’t really believe in the supernatural at all is the impression I get from his various ramblings he is far to proud of his intellect to believe in things he cannot see with his own eyes which is why he spends all his time pursuing the goals of secular humanism rather than performing his mission as a priest to sanctify souls.

    Actually, it is the highest act of the intellect to reason to things that are not material. Thus the importance of metaphysics.

    Fr McBrien’s problem is not that he is intellectual but rather that he is not.

    Yet another priest ruined by having been educated beyond his intelligence.
    Comment by Leonius

    Fr McBrien is the Irish Pub version of Karl Rahner.

  19. Philangelus says:

    So all those times Jesus explicitly gave his disciples the authority to expel demons…He was mistaken? Or deluded? Or only meant the one time through the rite of baptism?

    BTW, the perseveration on a mistaken notion is a common tactic when someone is trying to make someone else look ridiculous. He keeps going back to the rite of baptism because he’s trying to reinforce his point that exorcism should only take place as part of baptism and not because he’s stupid or misunderstood. The idea is that the more often he pushes the mistaken notion, the more people are likely not to look back at the beginning of the article and realize HE is the one who is mistaken because they’ll absorb it through repetition.

    I read a book recently called An Exorcist Tells His Story by Gabriel Amorth (Ignatius Press) that deals with McBrein’s attitude, which is sadly prevalent among bishops too, and he says specifically that bishops must be specially educated as to the need for exorcism and that they need to appoint exorcists within their diocese.

  20. robtbrown says:

    There’s nothing really wrong with him that a little logic class wouldn’t help. He’s a terrible conformist, but deep down he has good principles.
    Comment by Suburbanbanshee

    Disagree. If you ever read his assessment of the SSPX schismatic ordinations, you would know that garden variety Donatism is why he thinks they’re invalid.

    His Sacramental theology is a joke and is an a priori denial of ex opere operato.

    He is little else than a theological Sophist.

  21. Cath says:

    It is sad to see him lash out like this. I read this earlier and it just wasn’t as good without the red comments.

    “And now the wheels come off McBrien’s walker”

    Still laughing at that one.

  22. Athelstan says:

    Buried down in the combox at NCR is one post by one of the more frequent posters and more enthusiastic McBrien fans: “In order to drive out the Prince of this World, we must lead antiwar marches.”

    No, he wasn’t being sarcastic.

  23. Warren says:

    Here’s a guy who doesn’t need to wear a mask at a clown mass. If McBrien wasn’t doing so much damage I’d find his antics laughable. One would think that an aged man such as he would be a little more sober in thought. Just goes to show – age and wisdom don’t always go together.

  24. Mrs. O says:

    Actually, after reading Fr. E’s recent book on Exorcism, a person can be obsessed or be under oppression from demons and spirits that attach themselves to wounds, especially childhood wound – abuse, eg sexual abuse. He says these are the hardest to heal because they intertwine with the persons personality. Maybe at one of those “for Bishops only” it will be discussed – maybe more helped offered for those abused?
    God speed them.

  25. Athelstan says:

    By the way, Fr. Z, Fr. McBrien makes a cameo appearance at another remarkable target-rich piece of fiskability at the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine this last weekend, “What I Believe” by Charles Pierce, who avers that he is “an anti-Catholic Catholic.” [Link: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/articles/2010/07/11/what_i_believe/?page=2 ]

    And so goes the cameo: “The hierarchy,” says Richard McBrien, a professor at the University of Notre Dame and an outspoken critic of the institutional church, “is largely irrelevant to any intelligent, educated Catholic.” Which is not half as rich as what follows: In the church of my youth, with the priests reciting incomprehensible Latin, their backs to the people, walled off by an altar rail and two millenniums’ worth of imperial design, the purple always came out at Advent and at Lent. It was the color of penance, we were told.

    I suppose reading McBrien columns can be a kind of penance for me.

  26. AnAmericanMother says:

    This is a very peculiar piece.

    Fr. McBrien sounds like he’s desperately trying to convince himself that it’s all a joke. He doesn’t sound like he’s succeeding, even to himself.

    How sad. I think he needs our prayers.

  27. LaudemGloriae says:

    Thank you for posting this, Father. I can’t help but feel that the effective supression of exorcism was one of the more damaging blows to the priesthood. Relief from possession and demonic harassment, as mentioned, was instituted by Christ himself and is as important as Baptism, the Eucharist, and forgiveness of sins. And yet this aspect of the spiritual life has been largely forced underground and a great many suffer from the lack of availability. The exorcists I know have more cases than they can possibly handle. Meanwhile in my area of the world the shortage has given rise to kooky lay people (Catholic and evangelical) who now purport to provide these services themselves in a sad case of the blind leading the blind.

    We badly need a sane restoration of exorcism. I firmly believe it would renew priestly vocations. Sad and troubling to see priests like McBrien sneer at the greatest powers of the pristhood. Satan smiles.

  28. St. Louis IX says:

    I think Fr. McBrien is a good example of that slippery slope one finds himself on the minute they start surrendering, or denying articles of the Faith. The more you doubt or deny TIMELESS Church teachings the bigger the ball of s#%$ and the faster it rolls down the hill. Pretty soon you no longer see with the eyes of Faith, but only with the eyes of the world.

    Ps.robtbrown Please lets leave the poor Irish out of this one.

  29. JonM says:

    It is tragic to see this priest so reject and loath his vocation. I know that avoiding schism is a very serious priority – I do and appreciate this more as I grow in the Church.

    Some characters really test patience

  30. What is even scarier than one person believing this, is that there is a whole slew of commentors (commentators?) that post their glowing approval of his ideas.

    Why are people so willing to believe that the Devil doesn’t exist?

    We flew 4000 miles, just to have our first child baptised in the older form, mainly BECAUSE of the exorcism rites.

    The problem is that we are dealing with idealogues and not folks that have a firm philosophical base rooted in the Truth of the Faith.

  31. dans0622 says:

    Well, the excommunication article was certainly “dumb” but this is even “dumber.” If having a conference on this topic is such a waste of time, it would seem that commenting on it would be an even bigger waste of time. Why isn’t Fr. McBrien writing about the oil spill every day, all day? Every single word of the article is oozing with pompous, elitist arrogance.

    Fr. Z., you need to provide some warning before we unsuspecting folk scroll down to animations like the one above, to make sure all the liquids in the mouth are swallowed.

    Dan

  32. chonak says:

    Yes, there was a dustup at ND about a morals case: the priest repented, abandoned moral liberalism and went on to pro-life work. He didn’t fit in at ND any more, so somebody used his past failings to get rid of him. God bless him.

  33. Henry Edwards says:

    One wonders if this session will address the scandal of sexual abuse of children and other young people by priests and the subsequent cover-up of such crimes by bishops themselves

    Hmm … I wonder whether Fr. McBrien is implying some connection between Satanism and homosexual abuse. The scheduled session being about exorcism (of Satan, presumably) and he (McBrien) seems to link this with the homosexual abuse scandal.

  34. ghp95134 says:

    I suppose Fr. McBrien is only hanging on to “the Auld Religion” until he gets his pension.

  35. robtbrown says:

    He has sold so many books I doubt that he needs a pension.

  36. robtbrown says:

    I think Fr. McBrien is a good example of that slippery slope one finds himself on the minute they start surrendering, or denying articles of the Faith. The more you doubt or deny TIMELESS Church teachings the bigger the ball of s#%$ and the faster it rolls down the hill. Pretty soon you no longer see with the eyes of Faith, but only with the eyes of the world.

    I doubt that he would let himself be pinned down to deny articles of the faith. His approach (Hello, Karl Rahner!), which is very subjective, simply makes direct confrontation with the faith irrelevant.

    Ps.robtbrown Please lets leave the poor Irish out of this one.
    Comment by St. Louis IX

    The Irish aren’t the only ones who frequent Irish pubs. There’s one in Rome. But Irish pubs are famously chummy, and their patrons like a pint or two. And that is about as profound as McBrien’s theology.

  37. doanli says:

    Can we get a mass exorcism at Notre Dame University?

    Too bad so many so called “intellectuals” have fallen for Satan’s Biggest Lie. One only has to read the headlines everyday to come to some sort of realization that Evil does indeed exist.

  38. Geoffrey says:

    “He has sold so many books I doubt that he needs a pension.”

    You mean people actually buy them?! Actually, I have the Encyclopedia of Catholicism he edited. I purchased it long ago, while preparing for confirmation, and before I knew who he was!

    Someone should send him a copy of Fr. Euteneuer’s new book: http://www.spiritdaily.com/exorcismbook2.htm

  39. Henry Edwards says:

    For the first time that I can recall, I clicked over to the NCR site to see what kind of people were commenting there. I would assume that the NCR readership consists largely of CTA-type pseudo-Catholics. However, most of the comments seem more like they’re from POAU-type anti-Catholics, or even the types who slink around distributing those odious comic books. (Hmm … Why don’t they just leave copies of the National Catholic Reporter instead? Makes Catholics look even worse.)

  40. ckdexterhaven says:

    Does McBrien read the newspaper? Good grief, just in my state alone in the last 6 months, a mother prostituted her 5 y/o daughter out, the perp killed the daughter; a mother of an infant tried to sell her baby last week. I’m not saying all crime is b/c of demonic possession, but come on, McBrien.

    I only went to a state school, not an exalted University like Notre Dame, so take this for what it’s worth…

  41. Del says:

    Something inside of McBrien is very afraid of an exorcism.

  42. Andrew says:

    Not much surprise here: most catholics these days don’t believe in Hell (many of them are probably reading this).

  43. Andreas says:

    After reading this story and, recalling a number of reports of similar incidents by other priests and nuns that I have read, I find myself having to join the chorus of those many who have so oft asked the question, “How is it that such individuals are able to carry on in this way and still remain ordained religious?”.

  44. TJerome says:

    I think all of the rich food and drink he consumes at all of the best restaurants in South Bend have softened his “intellectual” powers. By the way, he’s considered a buffoon and has-been by serious scholars at Notre Dame. He suffers from a real bad case of “Ego amo me.”

  45. JosephMary says:

    [I believe there may be a breakout session on the National Catholic Reporter and the Notre Dame theology department.]

    I laughed out loud at that comment. (although reallly it is not funny)

    Why doesn’t Fr. McBrien just come out and say he accepts NOTHING that the Catholic teaches or holds sacred???

  46. Thomas S says:

    Athelstan,

    I agree Fr. Z would do a great job fisking that painfully stupid article by Charlie Pierce from the Boston Globe Magazine.

  47. Chris W says:

    Since yesterday, and all of a sudden, I can’t go onto the NCRonline website because my antivirus programmes report it as an unsafe website and detects a Trojan virus.

    Anyone else having that problem?

  48. Vincenzo says:

    IrishGirl: “That ‘spinning’ McBrien head is a winner, Fr. Z! Don’t see any green slime, however….”

    Look closer he sprays green stuff.

  49. M.D. says:

    “At the outset of the Second Vatican Council, it is evident, as always, that the truth of the Lord will remain forever. We see, in fact, as one age succeeds another, that the opinions of men follow one another and exclude each other. And often errors vanish as quickly as they arise, like fog before the sun. The Church has always opposed these errors. Frequently she has condemned them with the greatest severity. Nowadays however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity. She consider that she meets the needs of the present day by demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by condemnations. ”
    POPE JOHN XXIII
    OCTOBER 11, 1962

    —-

    This “fog before the sun” sure is lasting a while! (taps foot)

  50. momravet says:

    Read the linked article about Fr. McBrien’s disdain of Perpetual Adoration and his insistance that a Catholic need do nothing else than attend the NO Mass, presumably to be entertained by the mewlings of himself and other New Age priests. Meh.

    Not only does he sound like he doesn’t believe in evil and it’s master but he also sounds like he doesn’t believe in God either. At least he seems to be afraid to be alone in the church before Him.

    Please Blessed Mother intercede on behalf of your lost son, Fr. McBrien.

  51. KevinSymonds says:

    Fr. McBrien openly admitted that he does not believe in the devil. He did this on 20/20 if memory serves back in 1990 when a video of an exorcism was aired. Fr. James LeBar (RIP) was the exorcist.

  52. ipadre says:

    He and many of his kind are probably obsessed if not possessed! For a priest to viscously attack the faith he “professes”, tells me there is something wrong in his house! Maybe we could give him a free trip to Rome to meet with Fr. Amorth.

  53. It just goes to show how much afraid the devil and his minions, e.g. O’Brien, are afraid of exorcism.

  54. spock says:

    That is the ugliest looking baby I have ever seen.

    Like when I looked at the Medusan diplomat and almost went insane.

    spock

  55. Ralph says:

    Father McBrien might want to remember the following passage:

    “Woe to those who (A)call evil good, and good evil;
    Who (B)substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
    Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20 NAB

    The magesteriom he dispises can help him, if he were to humble himself, to discern the good from evil correctly. As others have written, to deny exorcism is the give aid and comfort to the enemy.

    As a side note, isn’t this scandle? To have a priest publicly deny authentic catholic teaching over and over again without so much as a correction from our bishops makes me angry. We need our shepherds. Where are they? The wolves in sheep’s clothing are among the flock. With smooth talk and false teachings they are working to divide the flock and make us easy prey. Shepherds awake! We need you! I know the abuse scandle has hurt you, but now is not the time to lick your wounds and ignore your flocks! The enemy is making strides!

  56. btdn says:

    Such a beautiful prayer for such a foul matter—I am partial to litanies. Why make an issue of titles, indeed.

  57. Trad Tom says:

    Is McBrien really a priest — or is he really STILL a priest? Does he consider himself a priest in good standing? Does he care if he’s in good standing as a priest?

    If you ask me, he is someone in need of an exorcism: the devil took him over long ago and has kept him in his grip for years.

    There is another blog/website that uses that same picture of McBrien, and they’ve added their own caption under it. “Don’t be a —-!” They’re nothing if not succinct.

  58. Luke says:

    The denial of the supernatural by so many is one of the saddest and most harmful things in our day. . . And personally, I believe that the crazy expression Father McBrien gives from behind the Call to Action podium would better suit the possessed McBrien. But then again, maybe the reality of his brand of evil cannot be duplicated by any cut and paste artist.

  59. chironomo says:

    Perhaps Fr. McBrien will be dealt with under the new guidelines for addressing “Heresy, Apostasy and Schism” released by the CDW today. I think he waould make a good test subject.

  60. chironomo says:

    “As a side note, isn’t this scandle? To have a priest publicly deny authentic catholic teaching over and over again without so much as a correction from our bishops makes me angry. We need our shepherds. Where are they?”

    I think for a Bishop to publicly engage a fool like McBrien would be to give him credibility rather than do any good. It’s better to just let McBrien make a fool of himself since he does it so well. I think that there may be a startegy formulating…consider the MP just released today dealing with serious crimes against the faith. I think it may be a first step to address such things by putting it in the context of something that individuals like McBrien hold so dear… the sex-abuse scandal. I am getting ready to sit down and read the complete document now.

  61. GregH says:

    The real question is:

    After all these years, why does Fr McBrien remain a priest? He should have left the priesthood decades ago if he doesn’t believe what the church teaches (which he clearly doesn’t in numerous areas). I have never understood priests like him. He should have gone away to Wall Street 20 years ago and made a lot of money. Don’t waste your time in the Church if you don’t believe it.

  62. Legisperitus says:

    Del said it best: “Something inside of McBrien…”

  63. robtbrown says:

    Del said it best: “Something inside of McBrien…”
    Comment by Legisperitus

    Actually, I wonder whether there’s anything inside of McBrien.

  64. ttucker says:

    I know a Paulist priest who also denies the reality of Satan.
    It never ceases to amaze me that someone who denies Church teaching would become, or remain a priest.
    Perhaps each priest should sign an annual oath of fidelity, and be subject to removal if caught denying an article of faith.

  65. Luke says:

    It’s interesting to me that St. Paul tells us to warn a heretic once or twice and then have nothing to do with him (or her). In our day we have a vast university system that is pimping out self-important intellectuals whose wisdom is not that of the Cross of Christ. The faithful are forced in a sense to call these apostates “teachers” of the faith in order to earn a degree. I suggest that our Catholic universities should be under much closer control of the diocese and that those who choose to leap into these intellectual pitfalls do so with the understanding that they will not be allowed to corrupt young minds with their faithless denial of the supernatural. After all: Jesus himself tells us that it would be better for them to have a millstone hung around their neck and be thrown into the sea–how much does that responsibility weigh on those who keep these people in their professorships?

    I disagree that the pride of those men who happen to be Priests and professors both should disqualify them from the priesthood: after all there is the hope that they will change their stinkin’ thinkin’. I am in favor of Catholic professors taking an oath to the Magisterium and signing a contract stating that any teaching by them outside of the realm of orthodoxy will bring their job up for reviewal. These people are teaching at Catholic Universities and Colleges and not at the local Burger King Community College. Isn’t the idea of Tradition to “hand on” what we have received from Christ? (All illuminism aside, of course)

  66. Ismael says:

    Errata: I mean McBrien and not McBian…
    Also I meant to write ‘was accused TWICE’

    @ ttucker
    “I know a Paulist priest who also denies the reality of Satan.
    It never ceases to amaze me that someone who denies Church teaching would become, or remain a priest.
    Perhaps each priest should sign an annual oath of fidelity, and be subject to removal if caught denying an article of faith.”

    Unfortunately several priests and even bishops around the world dismiss ‘demonic possession’, the existence of the devil.
    There people dismiss Satan as a ‘mere simbol of evil’.

    No wonder it’s so hard to find an exorcist around.

  67. FWguy says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with chironomo regarding the danger in even engaging Fr. McBrien – either personally or by way of publicizing things he writes. He really is a non-issue at what is becoming more and more a very solid Theology department at Our Lady’s University. In terms of credibility, he saw that boat sail awhile ago.

    Regarding ND: One ought not forget that our Holy Father appointed former Theology chair, Dr. John Cavadini, to the International Theological Commission. Very good things are happening at ND. But as the university administration goes…eeek.

  68. Supertradmum says:

    The typical liberal priest denies Satan and demonic activity. McBrien falls into this category. Sadly, he has diminished his own power as a priest by silly juxtapositions of social justice and exorcism.

    What does he think of Father Gabriele Amorth and Fr. Thomas Euteneuer? As to the RCIA scrutinies, I have always felt these were watered-down attempts at deliverance and exorcism, which should be done privately, per person, as needed, by the diocesan exorcist, if possession, and by the priest with a team if not.

    Satan loves it when he and his minions are denied. Such damage this priest does to the universal Catholic Church is incalculable.

  69. Scrutinies are practically as ancient as Baptism. They’re not watered down anythings; they’re scrutinies.

  70. Here’s a fairly typical Church history book describing the Scrutinies in the 400’s, 500’s, etc.:

    By fasting, by prayer, by continency, and by a confession of their past sins, they prepared themselves to receive Baptism. Now, also began the scrutinies or assemblies, for the purifying and probation of the [catechumens]… In these scrutinies, it was customary to perform the exorcism on the catechumen, by prayer, by the invocation of the name of Christ, by signing with the cross, and by insufflations. At Rome, the chief scrutiny took place at the Mass, on the Wednesdays of the four Ember Weeks: the catechumens were signed with the cross by their sponsors, and by the clergy; blessed salt was put into their mouths… they were exorcised, their ears were opened, that is, touched, and the introduction to the four Gospels was read to them….

  71. Seumas says:

    “Since yesterday, and all of a sudden, I can’t go onto the NCRonline website because my antivirus programmes report it as an unsafe website and detects a Trojan virus.”

    God works in mysterious ways.