Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point made in the sermon you heard for your Mass of obligation?  Let us know.

Also, please note if your priest mentioned anything about The Present Crisis and The Viganò Testimony.

For my part, I am on an island in Lake Michigan.  We had a small flock for Mass, in the Extraordinary Form of course.   I spoke about Christ’s work of mercy in the case of the Widow of Naim.   Christ could have, as God, solved the problems of all poor widows everywhere, with the blink of an eye.  He did not.  But He in mercy helped a real widow in front of Him.   Screwtape told Wormwood to keep his “patient” focused on “the poor”, nebulous and generic poor out there, rather than attending to the poor person in front of him.   Paul told the Galatians to admonish each other properly, which is a spiritual work of mercy.  We all have occasions in which we can make mercy concrete instead of leaving it a nebulous and inactive abstraction.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. TheBackPew says:

    Our priest was loud and angry. In summary, the core issues are predatory homosexuality and bishops who lie and cover up. He said that as a 1st year theologian, everyone knew about McCarrick and were warned to stay away. “If those guys back there say they didn’t know, they’re lying. They are today’s hypocrite Pharisees who defile themselves with what comes out of their mouths.”

  2. Julia_Augusta says:

    The priest talked about the current scandals and warned us that no one gets away with anything. He spoke about the Four Last Things and the urgency of amending one’s life. People think they can postpone doing penance and turning their lives away from sin, but suddenly death comes, as it did to the son of the widow in Naim. Even young people can die suddenly. It is a terrible thing to die in a state of mortal sin. The clergy who persist in their wicked deeds, who cover up evil and scandalize everyone, don’t really believe in Heaven and Hell.

  3. mikeinmo says:

    Father spoke about Labor Day, and said work is what defines us, and gives us purpose. Also, we should be grateful for the many people whose labor provides us with the things we need to survive.

    Father addressed the Present Crisis very directly last weekend.

    As a word of encouragement, please note that the TLM will be offered for the first time in years at St. Peter Church in Jefferson City, MO.,1104?

  4. Timothy says:

    Father had this line in his sermon, “If you want to live a good life, prepare for a holy death.”

  5. iprimap says:

    Father spoke briefly before the homily about the current crisis in the Church. He referenced Bishop Guglielmone’s letter to the Papal Nuncio and characterized it as the most strongly worded letter he has yet seen from the Bishop. Then he asked the congregation how these things affected us – the scandal and stain on the episcopal hierarchy. He asked if these should make any difference in how we live our Christian lives in bearing witness to the Gospel for the salvation of souls, and in helping the poor and disadvantaged. He stated that he has a low tolerance for drama, and that we must be about the business of our Master. He also stated that the Papal Nuncio has requested a personal audience with the Holy Father to address these issues, and that these things are being dealt with at the very highest levels.

    Frankly, I felt as though a wet blanket had been thrown over me. This wasn’t what I expected. Now objectively speaking, Father is correct (and maybe he himself is getting depressed and overwhelmed in dealing with all the negativity that priests are receiving from this horrific scandal). We must continue to live our Christian lives with fidelity and obedience to the Gospel regardless of the scandals in the Hierarchy. But I wanted to hear more. However, maybe that’s the message I should take away from all of this: what the Pope does or says should have nothing to do with my determination to live the Gospel message to the best of my ability. Focusing on the things I cannot change removes focus from the things that I can change, and that is an old, old lessen I was taught early on in Alcoholics Anonymous:

    God, grant me the Serenity
    To accept the things I cannot change…
    Courage to change the things I can,
    And Wisdom to know the difference.

    Living one day at a time,
    Enjoying one moment at a time,
    Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
    Not as I would have it.
    Trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His will.
    That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
    And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

  6. Adaquano says:

    Our pastor has been speaking on the crisis weekly, but a bit less so today (we are having a parish day of fasting and reparation Friday). A good point he made today was to remind us to do a daily examen before going to bed, so that we can recognize what part of ourselves is unclean.

  7. Patrick L. says:

    Father talked about the virtue of hope, and gave four ways to help increase in this virtue: prayer, Scripture, Sunday as a day of rest, and guarding our senses – especially our eyes against negativity in the news, blogs, etc. during these difficult times. I don’t recall any direct mention of the present crisis or the Vigano testimony.

  8. Lurker 59 says:

    Parish in a US Archdiocese with the parish priest giving the homily. Archdiocese is one with bishops and priests abusing young people.

    Setting the stage, the entrance hymn’s lyrics where about how the Church is filled with wheat and tares. The homily only partially touched on the recent events where the priest 1. said the Church is safe for children 2. the issue (left at “the issue” and not detailed further) is above his pay grade and for bishops and cardinals to deal with. 3. said that there are two sides to every story. 4. the best that can be done is to (as individuals) pray (not mention for what).

    LOOK Mr. McCarick et. al are not being gossiped about — they did do these things they are proven guilty in ecclesial investigations. There IS a hush up/coverup, demonstratable and proven. The question is not “did it happen?” but “how deep and high does it go?”.

  9. Elizabeth R says:

    Not a word from our parish priest, last week or this week. Nor do I expect one.

    Also, we have heard nothing from our Archbishop, except that he will have a Mass of Reparation. The Archdiocese of St. Louis has declined to say for what. According to their FB post:
    “The sins for which the Mass of Reparation will be offered, will be included in the Mass. … As was outlined above, it is a Mass being offered to expiate the sins of others. We, as a Church, must beg God for forgiveness–this is what this Mass will be offered for.
    “There are innumerable sins for which reparation must be made. This is a start.”

    I planned to go, but after reading that I will stay home.

  10. maternalView says:

    We had a homily last week that covered the issue more directly. This week a different priest but same church only referenced it as he talked about how Jesus called out hypocrisy. He said it’s appropriate for bishops and priests to be called out on their hypocrisy. He said he wants to be called out if he’s being a hypocrite. He also quoted Fulton Sheen about how the laity has a responsibility to call out priests and bishops when they are not following Jesus.

  11. JMody says:

    For the sermon, the associate pastor dwelt on the readings, and how one could promote practice to the point where it obscures the underlying theology until it is displaced, mentioning the part of the reading omitted, wherein the Pharisees are charged by Christ with making large public donations for their reputation instead of supporting their parents (and isn’t it curious to see that the Church has seen fit to remove that concrete example from the reading? Are they really trying to leave people with the idea that “tradition = bad”?). Instead, we should turn to those habits which promote virtue, and focus on care and Christian love in the home and in our lives, and drive out the list of things that defile us from within.

    Then the pastor came at the end of Mass and delayed the closing rite by ten minutes to give a second homily on what the diocese does to prevent abuse, highlighting that everyone who would get near children faces plenty of scrutiny. He mentioned that he feels any allegations of untoward behavior, since they do constitute crimes as well as sins, should be referred to the police. He made one passing reference to abusing little ones “or those in vulnerable positions regardless of age”. There was, as many commentators have said, no mention of the underlying Lavender Mafia problem, only the discussion of the post-2000 measures to prevent and police child abuse.
    But he did mention this in the first place, a most pleasant surprise.

  12. Ttony says:

    “You shouldn’t look down on people just because they are traditional. They may be ‘trads’ but nevertheless have big hearts.”

    Not in the US, so no mention of the problems of your priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals and seminaries, though you might think, bearing in mind this sermon, that we have problems enough of our own.

  13. e.e. says:

    Tiny parish in PA. The church was packed. Homily covered the Pharisees and some Jewish customs, especially the ritual purification and phylacteries (tefillin). Discussion of how the phylacteries contained the Shema, and the commandment to love God with all your heart soul and mind. So when the Pharisees ask Jesus elsewhere in the Gospels which is the greatest commandment, the answer is quite literally on their forehead. It is love of God that is most important. Not that the law (the old covenant) wasn’t important, or that the sacraments (instruments of the new covenant) aren’t important now. They are, and we need to use those instruments on our path toward holiness. But our actions must be motivated by love of God. Otherwise, we may have the outer appearance of holiness as the Pharisees did, but be rotten inside. Here Fr. mentioned briefly that even in the Church hierarchy there are those like the Pharisees with good outward appearances but much dirtier souls. (This was his only reference to the present crisis.) Then he reminded us that while man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart, and exhorted us to focus on purifying our hearts and drawing closer to Him and loving Him more.

  14. Thomas says:

    The homily was about different types of traditions in the church. Some traditions are binding but others are not can be examined and changed. He said it used to be a tradition not to criticize bishops, but that this had led to the cover up of crimes and that it was probably a good thing this tradition was being gotten rid of. He did not mention Viganò by name, but said bishops are even starting to criticize the pope. Overall he was pleased with things coming out in the open so the church can be cleaned.

  15. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    The Present Crisis? Oh yes!

    And Father finished with an anecdote about Napoleon and a papal legate who wouldn’t knuckle under. “Eminence, if you don’t sign, I will destroy the Church” “Hah! Hah! Destroy the Church? We cardinals and priests have been trying that for 1900 years and have failed. What makes you think you could do better?”

  16. Paul says:

    No mention of the crisis but based in the UK and we have our own political crisis to dominate the mainstream media!

    Father talked about relativism and said:

    “Abortion is a sin, contraception is a sin, homosexual practices are a sin (and in Leviticus punishable by death) and euthanasia is a sin.” He also said it is a battle, “a battle for life, a battle for marriage and a battle for children” and we need to join the battle through our witness.

  17. dymh says:

    I was greatly encouraged as after the homily, our priest read us both a letter from Bishop Zielinski of the Diocese of Fairbanks entitled, “Spiritual Conversion and Healing of the Church through Penance, Prayer and Fasting” and Cardinal Daniel DiNardo’s August 27 statement which had referred to and encouraged us to read. My bishop’s letter addressed the crisis head on, offered action steps and hope, the request that all parishes in the diocese (the only remaining missionary diocese in the U.S) pray to St. Michael following every Mass.

    I’ve included some long excerpts from Bishop Zielinski’s letter as I thought Father Z’s readers could benefit from them as I did.

    “. . . As more and more information surfaces in the Church, we must continue to pray for spiritual conversion and healing of the Church through penance, prayer and fasting. As we gathered in Fairbanks for Spiritual Formation Days, 21-23 Aug, we had a very successful day of prayer, fasting and penance on 21 August. . . Also, from 8am-5pm we had exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with the rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet prayed throughout the day. . . There is a longstanding tradition within the Church to invoke the intercession of St. Michael the Archangel when we feel the Church is being attacked by evil. At the end of the Mass on 21 August, I invited everyone to kneel and together we prayed the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. There were many positive comments asking us to pray this prayer throughout the Diocese of Fairbanks. I am asking the Prayer to St. Michael to be prayed at the end of every Mass and Communion Service in the Diocese of Fairbanks. We turn to St. Michael asking for his intercession to be protected from the evil one as we draw closer to Christ through the Sacraments of the Church. . . I fully realize that many of the good people of God are frustrated, exhausted with patience, angered, lacking trust with Church leadership. I put myself in this category but also have accountability to Christ the Good Shepherd as the Shepherd of the Diocese of Fairbanks. I truly believe that Jesus is confronting us with the question He presented to his own disciples in the Gospel this past Sunday, “Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” At this moment in the Church, we must turn more intensely to Jesus Christ in the Holy Mass who comes to us as the Bread of Life. As disciples of Christ, we must surrender everything to Jesus. We need to encounter Him “most intimately” in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which is the “source and summit of the Christian life (Lumen Gentium 11)”.

  18. Benedict Joseph says:

    This wasn’t at my parish today, but I was fortunate to run across this afternoon. It is an extraordinary exposition on the nature what is transpiring. At this venue a bit of preaching to the choir, but I can’t image anyone not profiting from this by Father Rober Altier of Minneapolis/St. Paul. It is quite heartening along with a very realistic lens on the situation.

  19. roma247 says:

    Apologies for the length of this post, but this gave me such solace I needed to share it in some detail, as I am sure there are many other suffering souls out there right now.

    I attended a Byzantine Liturgy this morning and the first reading was 2 Corinthians 4, about treasure in earthen vessels (I strongly advise everyone to read this entire chapter, it is as though it were written expressly for the current situation).

    When Father came out to give his homily, he was holding a coffee mug, which he pretended to sip from. He held it up and said, “This is my favorite coffee mug. It’s made from clay, as you can see.” He went on to ask whether any of us would keep our most treasured or important possessions in a mug like this…a fragile thing which could be so easily…broken. Here he dropped the mug on the floor, where it shattered.

    He picked up one of the pieces. This, he said, is us. It’s you, it’s me, it’s your priests, your bishops, your pope. Clay. Fragile. Not worthy to hold anyone’s greatest treasure. And yet God has chosen to put his greatest treasure into us. All of us. No exceptions. And why?

    So that his power and glory shine through it. So that there is no mistake–that what makes this vessel or any other vessel special is not the clay, not the shape, but the presence of God’s grace working within it.

    If our Pope and our Bishops fail us utterly, we have to remember that it’s because they are made of clay too. We revere them because of what they represent, but they are still men, and subject to corruption just like the rest of us–possibly even more, because Satan constantly has them in his crosshairs.

    But the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. Though its parts are made up of all of us, weak and fragile and full of mistakes, this Mystical Body transcends all of us individually. Only as part of this Body can our weak earthen vessels receive that Grace that allows us to be more than merely clay.

    When Christ spoke of man having no life within him unless we eat his body and drink his blood, many of His disciples left him. And no doubt in this crisis, there will be many who will do the same. But after Jesus said this, He turned to the Twelve and asked, “Will you also go away?”
    And Peter responded, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of everlasting life.”
    This is where we are now. Our leaders, the clay part of the Church, have failed us, betrayed us, disappointed us. But the Mystical Body remains, wounded though it is, and we must soldier on, each of us, individually. Popes will come and go, Cardinals and Bishops will come and go, and they may be good, and they may be evil. But Christ lives within each one of us, and it is up to us to carry Him within us, and bring Him to others, and to carry on the work of His Church, no matter what the mitred heads are doing (or not doing).

    I found this sermon to be so profoundly moving in the present circumstances that I had to leave the sanctuary for a few minutes and go have a good cry. I realized that this had been bottled up inside me all week without being able to be let out, and it had paralyzed me. I had been grieving, now I needed to let the tears flow.

    But what cemented Father’s words in my heart was the Communion Hymn that was sung later:
    “A New Commandment I give to you: That you would love each other, even as I have loved you.”
    “By this shall all people know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for one another.”

    Alas! Here we come to the true cross of Christianity! For no matter what horrible evil these men have done, and how they have dragged the Bride of Christ through the mud, God still loves them, and wants them to repent, and if we would be His disciples, we must love them also, even in their heinous sins. Even as Christ loved them: to the end. They are our fellow travelers in this vale of tears. Yes, Pope Francis, yes, Maradiaga, yes, Coccopalmerio, yes, Sodano, McCarrick, Dolan, Cupich and all the rest. Fellow travelers.

    Which brings us to Ephesians 4:
    “Let all bitterness, and anger, and indignation, and clamour, and blasphemy, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another; merciful, forgiving one another, even as God hath forgiven you in Christ.”

    Ugh. I am still angry, and hurt, and outraged. And I don’t want to forgive those horrible people for what they’ve done. All the more so, because they are the ones who should be leading us toward our Heavenly home, not down the primrose path. And I can’t trust them to lead us going forward.

    But I have to remind myself: God is going to call these men to account. “Revenge is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay.” (Romans 12:19) It may be now, and it may be later. Perhaps adding my voice to those calling out for justice will make a difference, and perhaps it won’t. I will still raise my voice, because if I were silent, the stones would cry out. I won’t settle for agreeing, even tacitly, with those who would exonerate these men. But at the same time, I must constantly ask myself: is my voice raised in charity, or in rancor?

    Because if the latter, then I sin against the Body of Christ.
    “But the servant of the Lord must not wrangle: but be mild towards all men, apt to teach, patient, with modesty admonishing them that resist the truth: if peradventure God may give them repentance to know the truth, and they may recover themselves from the snares of the devil, by whom they are held captive at his will.” (2 Tim 2:24-26)

    And what we need right now in the Church is less sin and more of God’s Grace shining through those of us who love him with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind and our whole strength…and who love our neighbor as ourselves.


    And so I snatched one of the pieces of that coffee mug out of the trash after Mass, and it sits now before me on my desk, as a reminder—to keep me from getting carried away again as all the fallout unfolds…or gets swept under the rug…these men, these horrible men…are…my…brothers…

  20. Kansan says:

    The Collect for the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost was more memorable for me this morning than the homily, which was very good.

    “Let Thy continual pity, O Lord, cleanse and defend Thy Church: and because it cannot continue in safety without Thee, may it ever be governed by Thy goodness. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who livith and reigneth with Thee in the unity . . .”

  21. clare joseph says:

    I went to a vigil Mass last night at my parish church, with the parochial vicar presiding. His sermon was outstanding, and focused, from its first words to its last, on the present crisis, specifically mentioning Archbishop Viganò’s letter, which he said he read and believes. He mentioned homosexuality and homosexual acts several times, saying they were grave sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance. That this evil must be completely uprooted from our Church, from our clergy, and from our seminaries. That it’s gone on long enough, and this is not the Church that God created, founded with the Precious Blood of Christ. That Christ created His Church to be beautiful, radiant, and holy, and we should return to the profound appreciation of what God has given us, as evidenced in the early Church. That if these homosexual clergy, from low to high, do not want to repent they should step aside … there are holy young men ready to take their places. I thought of Father Z. et. al. while listening to this marvel of a spade being called a spade, wishing it were being recorded, so I could furnish an audio clip. I wanted to stand up and stomp and fist pump, but did not, only thanked Father afterwards. In the meantime, I personally haven’t heard any word on the topic from our Archbishop.

  22. Joy65 says:

    Yes Father was making a point about the Pharisees in the Gospel and how we can be Pharisees today. He told us NOT to be Pharisees. Here in Louisiana eating seafood is a TREAT! It is NOT a sacrifice cause 99.99% of our seafood is DELICIOUS and not a sacrifice. Father has for years talked to us about not eating meat on Friday and we know most places people may substitute with seafood to follow the “law”. If it’s tuna salad or something like that it might be a good sacrifice as a substitute but in South Louisiana fried fish, crawfish whatever or shrimp poboys are NOT a sacrifice or a good substitute penance for meat on Fridays. It’s actually a TREAT! So Father told us NOT to be Pharisees. Just because we follow the “Law” by not eating meat down here and eat seafood instead is not really sacrificing.
    Sadly the highest selling day of the year here for crawfish is Good Friday. Well when we should be FASTING and abstaining from meat many Catholics here have huge crawfish boils and celebrate. NOT THE DAY FOR THAT.
    He did talk again BRIEFLY about the Church scandals but didn’t dwell on that this week like he had last week.
    We are truly blessed to have him as our pastor for the past 5 plus years because he speaks the TRUTH and cares about getting each one of u to Heaven.

  23. oldCatholigirl says:

    Our bishop has requested a novena of Tuesdays with fasting and prayer, which, of course, our pastor endorses. Last week, he said he feared that the thread that has been pulled so far is only the beginning of a great unraveling. This week he reminded us that the crises of the past have always required and brought forth saints who were willing to do reparation for the harm done by sins not their own, which we must do, too. To that end, our Knights of Columbus are leading a Rosary of reparation every Tuesday evening. (Some of us already do a Tuesday morning Rosary for Priests, which intention we have modified to apply to the current situation.) Also, there will be an opportunity for an all night vigil on Thursdays from 9:00 p. m. to 6:00 a.m. for the duration, because that was the night when Christ’s newly made priests either betrayed Him, denied Him, or abandoned Him.

  24. Unwilling says:

    These reports are very consoling and inspiring!
    Thank you to all who wrote so clearly and comprehensively.

  25. DelRayVA says:

    Father spoke of current secular traditions, including ones that tell us that we cannot change who we are, and that the highest good is to do what we feel like. These traditions, he said, nullify God’s law.
    He contrasted that with the traditions of the Church that actually work to help us fulfill God’s law. He then spoke on chastity and encouraged everyone to go to confession. (There was a lot more to his homily, BTW. That’s just some of the interesting tidbits.)

  26. Kennedy says:

    In all honesty, I didn’t really hear much of the homily. We were having power-cuts all through it. But we were delighted to see the young fellow who used to be our Deacon, come back as a Priest and say his first Mass in our country, as he’d been ordained in his home parish. Our excitement, and the power-cuts, drowned out much of his homily. It’s very sad to see the mess that is going on while the Church is growing on the peripheries, while those of us in Africa are mocked for being old-fashioned and reactionary.

  27. Spinmamma says:

    Two weeks ago our priest addressed the scandal at length. This week the points that stood out to me were that the laws that govern our societies (secular or religious) affect us mind, body and soul. We can mistake ritual and sacramentals, which can help bring us to the Word, for the essence of the Gospel. Jesus commanded us to be doers of the Word and not just hearers. Just being hearers of the Word is what brought the persons responsible for the sexual abuse and the cover-ups to such terrible acts. Being doers of the Word is what writes the new law on our hearts and gives us good hearts.

  28. lh says:

    Father spoke about the crisis/scandals and said we were the hypocrites.

  29. Ellen says:

    We did and we had a Holy Hour with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the Rosary and Benediction Sunday afternoon. Father also wrote a prayer and has urged us to say it every day and to fast. All the priests are meeting with the bishop later this week.

  30. Gregg the Obscure says:

    OF. the pastor preached against antinomianism, without using that somewhat uncommon term. “even little children won’t participate in a game that has no rules – they know it will be unfair”

    With the congregation much smaller than usual on this holiday weekend, he also thanked those of us who were there noting “it’s not an easy time to be a Catholic, but then again it never should be an easy time to take up your cross and follow.”

  31. FN says:

    Roma247, what a superb priest you have! +1 regarding praying for these broken prelates. They are our brothers.

  32. PostCatholic says:

    I spoke about good and bad aspects of belonging, drawing texts from Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” and Sebastian Junger’s “Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging,” and the Unitarian Universalist principles of “Justice, equity and compassion in human relations” and “The inherent worth and dignity of all individuals.” What do we gain by having groups to belong to? Do we ignore and embrace differences in our small communities while amplifying them in larger contexts? How do we stay open, diverse and inclusive (cf Ian Bradley) and still meet our needs for order and to belong to a “tribe?” I referenced the funerals of Sen McCain and Aretha Franklin to exemplify a few points. I excised a not-quite-a-digression about Ted McCarrick at last minute and I was glad I did. It was well-received and I have been enjoying a few continuing conversations about it by email today. Obviously, this was not preached in a Catholic church.

  33. hwriggles4 says:

    I was visiting family since we all went to a funeral the day before, so I went to Mass at my mother’s church with my brothers and their family. A permanent deacon was recently assigned there, and his homily spoke to me. He covered the Gospel of Mark reading, and tied in the commandments, fear of the Lord, and the Eucharist. The deacon mentioned that he was angry with what has been happening in the Church (and his tone showed it – the pastor seemed to back him up too), and mentioned that there are priests who embarrassed the Church, but we still believe that the Eucharist is the core of our beliefs. After Mass, I thanked him particularly for mentioning fear of the Lord, because many people today take the position that he double toothpicks doesn’t exist anymore.

    One thing I liked about Mass yesterday – at the beginning of Mass, the pastor took the time to show a five minute video on proper reception of Holy Communion. While it may have not been in the rubrics, my opinion was that it was a necessary reminder. My mother, who is an EMHC, agreed that it was needed.

  34. oakdiocesegirl2 says:

    Since I expected crickets from the pulpit of my home parish, I went to 10 AM Mass at St. Joseph the Worker, Berkeley, CA [where the Mass is already ad orientem]
    I heard an impressive heartfelt homily from Fr. John Gribowich, who is visiting us from Brooklyn, NY, in residence here while he earns his executive MBA from UC Berkeley. Fr. John began by telling us how since he is from Philadelphia, where his family still lives, the grand jury report was particularly and personally upsetting to himself and his family. He had met or known of some of the clergy mentioned in the report. He went on to develop his homily around the theme that everyone he knew who had left the church had done so because of hypocrisy.
    The hypocrisy of leading a double life will always be found out and people will be disgusted and turn away. And we all need to beware of hypocrisy in our own lives as well.
    Unfortunately, his homilies are not recorded so I cannot link to it, but he turns out to be an interesting guy.

  35. Hans says:

    After a couple historical examples showing that the Church has been in worse straits, I discussed how the current crisis resulted from clergy who exempted themselves from the moral teachings that the Church has received from God. They committed these civil and canonical crimes because they followed their own way instead of God’s.

    Closer to home, when any of us go that same way of choosing to exempt ourselves from God’s moral law, we become complicit with these crimes. We do the same thing, if to a lesser degree, and we give ‘cover’ to those who have committed the crimes. If we expect justice to be done in these cases — and we should — then we also must reform ourselves and repent of exempting ourselves from the moral law. Then we first must do penance — prayer, fasting, and almsgiving — for our own sins, then go beyond that to make reparation for the harm done by others, joining our penance to Jesus on the Cross.

  36. Hans says:

    (X)MCCLXIII, I have understood that as a conversation between Pius VII and Napoleon while Pius was Napoleon’s prisoner at Fontainebleu, though I don’t recall a reference for it.

    Pius VI had also been taken prisoner by Napoleon-led forces, and he died in a French prison at Valence (in Drôme), while (if memory serves) Bonaparte was in Egypt (anyway, in 1799).

Comments are closed.