- The fans of Mary co-redemptrix, a gross contradiction in theological terms - 6 February 2024
- A good priest is such if he waits for the end of his mandate to praise his Bishop: Andrea Turazzi, from today Bishop emeritus of the Diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro - 3 February 2024
- Charity washes and makes even dirty money clean, The great Saints of Charity teach us this in the history of the Church - 23 January 2024
- Theological – Meditation for Holy Thursday -
Venerable Brother Priests, THE CHURCH IS EXPERIENCING AN UNPRECEDENTED CRISIS AND WE ARE EXPERIENCING THE DIFFICULT OF TRIALS: THE GREAT TEST OF FAITH
Today, if the disease is caught in time, many forms of cancer can be cured, but clericalism, especially that of the fakes and slimy hypocrites, it is a disease that risks being incurable, in addition to always being the worst metastasis that can spread in the body of the Church, compromising any research into a journey of faith in priests and the faithful.
The severity I often use, combined where necessary with a completely casual but deliberate and above all scientific irony, leads me to speculate that maybe we don't have time to think about priests. It is probable that soon we will be able to post the notice «end of season sales» on the doors of our churches, or "bankruptcy sale". In Northern Europe it has been happening for some time, when in 2010 I went to carry out in-depth studies in Germany and was able to see buildings of ancient churches, until a few decades earlier parish communities, sold and converted into elegant shops, restaurants, hairdressing salons, some even in night club. In my book And Satan became triune published at the end 2010 I wrote: «[…] a swollen river is coming down from Northern Europe and will soon overwhelm us too».
The situation in many Italian dioceses is dramatic, the increasingly high shortage of clergy and the average age of certain presbyters has exceeded in many i 70 year old. The statistics of the large dioceses seem war bulletins, the mean is now equal to 10 deceased presbyters versus one or two newly ordained ones. In some dioceses priests have not been ordained for years while several have died over the same years. It is inevitable that within twenty years, but also before, the current ones 225 Italian dioceses will be reduced to 70 O 80 and that in the territories of those dioceses that ended up suppressed, composed today by 50 O 60 presbyters advanced in age, there will be only three or four priests to serve around the whole territory.
Under the pontificate of Benedict XVI, between 2005 and the 2013 there was a slight recovery in vocations, under that of the Supreme Pontiff Francis, between 2014 and the 2022 there has been a dramatic drop in admissions to seminaries and religious novitiates. The year 2022 has registered 1.045 deceased presbyters of the secular and regular clergy e 392 new ordinations of priests of the secular and regular clergy. Deceased presbyters exceed by 65% that of the newly ordained.
In Rome itself many ecclesiastical buildings of various religious orders and congregations have been sold and many others are in a state of agony. Pharaonic buildings now inhabited by four or five elderly men and women religious who will soon meet the same fate. And if this happens in Rome, I let you imagine what a great sale of ecclesiastical heritage is now underway throughout Italy.
In the face of this inexorable and irreversible decline, perhaps we are seriously thinking about an adequate formation of priests, to rethink the seminars structured today in an inadequate and in some ways anachronistic way, or to stake everything on a careful pastoral care of vocations which would involve first of all presenting true priests of Christ as models of life, not secularized priests similar to religious professionals or social workers, often reduced to compulsive celebrators of Holy Masses running from one parish to another, without any bishop wondering when they pray, when they study, when they take care of their priestly life? If there are no more priests to cover the parishes in the district, in this case one should proceed with the canonical suppression leaving only one parish and clearly saying to the faithful that they must stop demanding the church next door and travel four or five kilometers to go to Holy Mass, just like they do 40 O 50, seniors ahead of all, when it comes to going to the big shopping malls instead. If the families that make up the Christian community are no longer able to express vocations, it will be good that i believers of Christ they too assume their responsibilities, instead of trying to squeeze the priests until they are exhausted. However, as we know we live in the Church of the lack of assumption of responsibility, by the clergy on the one hand, of the faithful who are often selfish and lazy on the other hand.
To solve these now irreversible problems, instead of resorting to those unfortunately necessary radical choices, instead we tend to devise the worst expedients avoiding to deal with our failures that often cry out to heaven. There would be many examples, let's take just one: several bishops, with lots of solemn ceremonies, have already done so around Italy to entrust parish communities to some “acolyte” set up, or at best to permanent deacons through whom the ancient law was resurrected Dry mass, very popular between the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, until after the liturgical reform of the Holy Pontiff Pius V it disappeared. But, as happens when you think of taking big steps forward, one does nothing but go back to give tragic repetition to past history, especially to the most bankruptcy one. Because usually history always repeats itself twice: first as a tragedy and then as a grotesque farce.
THE PRIEST IS SUPERIOR THAN THE ANGELS OF GOD BUT REMAINS A FRAGILE SINNER
If the Word of God made man had wanted a Church formed by angelic entities would not have founded it on earth, but in that Celestial Jerusalem of which the Blessed Apostle John speaks to us in chapter XXI of the Apocalypse. Instead, he founded it on earth, using men corrupted by original sin (cf.. GN 2,17) and exposed to the corruption of sin.
During the Last Supper, by instituting the Most Holy Eucharist as a living mystery of his presence and by consecrating the Apostles as priests of the New Covenant, made them sharers in the ministerial priesthood of Christ the High Priest (cf.. EB 2,17; 4,14). By consecrating them priests he thus elevated them in dignity above the very Angels of God. This dignity does not prevent the man-priest from falling into sin or from being a real spreader of sin on certain occasions, in the most serious and rare cases it can even happen that the priest turns into a corruptor capable of creating structures of sin within the Church. Just think what Judas Iscariot was capable of doing, he too had received, like all the chosen Apostles, the first Eucharist and priestly consecration.
There are various passages of the Holy Gospel which highlight all the human frailties of the Apostles, starting with Peter chosen by Christ as Head of the Apostolic College, that shortly after receiving his investiture (cf.. Mt 16, 30-20) he fled first in the face of danger, denying the Divine Master three times, as reported by the stories of the three Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John. In the account of the Evangelists Mark and Matthew it is specified that Peter, the third time he was asked if he knew the man, "he began to curse and swear: "I do not know the man!”». In the Jewish culture of the time, swearing falsely or bringing up the name of God with an oath was considered a very serious crime that could even be punished with death. Yet Peter, the first Head of the College of the Apostles, he did this: he cursed and swore falsely that he did not know the Christ.
In the period following the resurrection of Christ and after receiving the grace gifts of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (cf.. At 2, 1-41), Peter was harshly rebuked in Antioch by the Apostle Paul who accused him of ambiguity and hypocrisy (cf.. Gal 2, 11-14). Incidentally: I don't know that anyone has ever accused the Blessed Apostle of being arrogant or more simply inappropriate in his critical expressions, on the contrary, I understand that great credit must still be paid to him today, because if it had been for Peter's "hypocrisy" and "ambiguity" or for a certain "integralism" of James the Greater, today we would not be what we are, but only a Judeo-Christian sect. As such we would not have survived, how Judaism did not survive as a religion after the 70 D.C.. with the fall of the Temple. Indeed, today's Judaism, it is only a pantomime of what was the ancient Jewish religion, suffice it to say that the priestly castes and consecration rituals that were all closely linked to the Temple have disappeared. These elements of which I wrote in my substantial essay of 2006: bitter herbs, the century of Zionism.
There is a dramatic passage from the Gospel of the Passion of Christ where the arrest of the Lord is narrated, before whom these words resound: "Then all the disciples left him and fled" (Mt 26, 56). If we think about it, that was the only council of the Church where all the Fathers were unanimous in the decision. To build your own church, visible image of the body of which He is the head and we are members as illustrated by the Blessed Apostle Paul (cf.. With the 1, 18), Christ chose men burdened with all their limitations, weaknesses and inadequacies, who fled before the arrest of the Divine Master.
The Catholic faithful, but also people distant from the Church or even non-believers, they often expect the priest to have that purity of life which they do not have and which, if anything, they do not even want to have. Sometimes the Catholic faithful tend to have a surreal idea of the priest completely separated from the reality of the sacred ministry, refusing to understand that exercising it today is much more difficult than it used to be 100 Years ago, but also and only 50 Years ago.
The priest, for the sacrament of grace with which he was marked and for the sacred ministry to which he is called, he can end up being subject much more than others to the temptations of the devil, because he is the dispenser of grace through the sacred mysteries, for this reason he will be furious with the consecrated in a particular way. And this was one of the first lessons I learned when I did the training courses for exorcists.
WITHOUT THE USE OF THE HISTORICAL ELEMENT IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO DO THEOLOGY NOR IS IT POSSIBLE TO FULLY UNDERSTAND CERTAIN SITUATIONS ROOTED IN THE CLERGY, BUT IF YOU DO NOTICE, READY THE ANSWER OF THE CLERICAL MANIPULATING THE HOLY GOSPEL: "WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE?»
One of my main trainers it was the Jesuit Peter Gumpel (1923-2022), eminent historian of dogma, which transmitted to me the fundamental importance of history in the study of dogmatics, still a subject of my interest and research. A dogmatic theologian lacking solid foundations given by adequate historical knowledge, can seriously risk not having a real perception of the foundations of faith ending up getting lost in the hyperuranium of dream metaphysics. Behind the great dogmatic councils, starting from the First Nicene to follow with the First Constantinopolitan who define the fundamental truths and who elaborate our Symbol of Faith, there is a complex and articulated history intertwined with articulated political events and difficult relationships that already existed at the time between the Church of the East and that of the West.
Clerics have always experienced cyclical moments of decline serious doctrinal and moral issues. If anyone doesn't know the story, it is useless if you take it out on me that in writings or interventions I often highlight certain current ecclesial and ecclesiastical tendencies. I can only smile at certain "delicate souls" who judge my words as a sort of attack on clerical treason, given that the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ (cf.. With the 1, 18), not a closed circle transformed into a "structure of sin" full of "filth", to be covered and protected in every way with destructive attitudes towards anyone who dares to exercise the precious critical gift given by the freedom of the children of God. Those who act with clerical conspiratorial attitudes demonstrate first of all in a disturbing way that they do not know the works of many Holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church who used forms of severity and harshness of language far superior to mine. However, it may be that they have never read the writings in which San Pier Damiani condemns with fiery tones the practice of sodomy widespread among the clergy, or the text addressed by St. Bernard of Chiaravalle to the Supreme Pontiff Eugene III in which he illustrates how he is surrounded by pimping and simoniac prelates who only looked to their dirty interests, or Saint Catherine of Siena who, invited to Avignon, replied to the Supreme Pontiff that she did not need to visit her court because the stench she emanated was felt right from her city, up to the most recent criticisms of the mediocrity and immorality of the episcopate and clergy of Sant'Alfonso Maria de' Liguori or to the critical analyzes of Blessed Antonio Rosmini who complained of the ignorance of the clergy. All in all, the same things I complain to those who clinging to stylistic forms or to the fateful «who are you to judge?» - with which they would like to shut up any critical thought - they show that they do not know what is much worse and in a much more severe tone many Holy Fathers and doctors of the Church have said and written. Then it would be enough to know the disciplinary canons of certain councils, for example the IV Lateranense del 1215, where one by one the bad habits of the clergy are indicated, arranging their correction with recourse to severe penalties. And why, the Council of Trent, about clergymen, bishops and priests, established certain precise and rigid rules? To understand it, it would be enough to know what happened in the clergy during the Renaissance and the answer would soon be given.. Then, if we want to touch the state of degradation in which our clergy fell in the thirties of the twentieth century, in that case it would be enough to read the Encyclical Back to the Catholic Priesthood written in 1935 by Pope Pius XI, through the lines of which the picture is soon made and supplied. Request: it's just those subjects who tear their clothes accusing me of using harsh and severe tones, or clinging to the expressive form, unable to deny the substance, they are simply and clearly ignorant obtuses on a historical and ecclesiological level who claim to treat and manage the Church as if it were a mafia clan governed by principles of silence?
Also in this case the answer of the clerical dull is soon given: «Perhaps you want to compare yourself to certain Holy Fathers and doctors of the Church? Ah, what arrogance, what arrogance!». This typical accusation of those who react by distorting and manipulating both reality and what you said, since I have never compared myself to certain saints, I just tried to take an example from them, for the simple fact that I too am called to holiness like all the baptized, given that holiness is by no means an unattainable goal, but a goal that we are all called to reach. Even Jesus Christ was slapped in the Sanhedrin and rebuked «How dare you answer the High Priest like this?» (GV 18, 22). Obviously the manipulative clerical has the answer ready: “Perhaps you want to compare yourself to Jesus Christ?». Of course not, but they are in all respects one old christ and as such I must imitate him and conform to him, at least that was what the Bishop told me when he consecrated me a priest. For this I answer as Jesus Christ: "If I spoke badly, show me where the evil is; but if I have spoken well, why do you strike me?» (GV 18, 23). The reply of the clerical manipulator is ready: «The problem is not the substance but the form, the way you say things". This is because for the obtuse and manipulative clerical to set us free is not the truth at all (cf.. GV 8,32), but the form in which the truth is spoken, because the form is always and far superior to the substance of truth. Perhaps this was not what Saint Anselm of Aosta taught, St. Thomas Aquinas and the other Fathers of classical scholasticism, that is, that accidents are superior to substances? But how arrogant he was Tommaso da Kempis who wrote the famous work Imitation of Christ. How can you think you are proud to the point of assuming you can imitate Christ? That is why I affirm and I never tire of reiterating that clericalism is worse than atheism. Because the atheist denies God, the obtuse clerical manipulates and falsifies God and his Word to impose his own worst human miseries as the supreme law.
All this is called the mystery of iniquity, the Blessed Apostle Paul clearly speaks of it, saying that "the mystery of iniquity is already taking place" (2 Ts 2, 1). Very precise theological element before which, the worst that can be done, it is to get irritated before those who face this mystery, analyzes it and, if necessary, highlights it to shake even the increasingly narcotized consciences of certain clergymen, always quick to get annoyed if anyone dares to point out evil for what it is: male.
Twenty years ago the Holy Pontiff John Paul II he raised yet another alarm speaking of a «silent apostasy» and writing in this regard that «European culture gives the impression of a "silent apostasy" on the part of the satiated man who lives as if God did not exist».
In this decadence and in this rejection of the sacred and we priests too have immersed ourselves in the transcendental, there is little to cry out to the scandal if I say that today, the worst form of atheism is that of clerical atheism. It is enough just to observe how certain priests celebrate the Holy Mass, to then ask themselves in a reasonable way to say the least if they really believe in what they do, or if they have completely forgotten when the Bishop told them: "Understand what you do, imitate what you celebrate, conform your life to the mystery of the cross of Christ the Lord ".
YESTERDAY'S PRIEST WAS PROTECTED INSIDE AND OUT, TODAY IT IS FREE OF BOTH EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL PROTECTION
Up to half a century ago the priest lived in social contexts in which he was protected as a man and as a sacred figure by society and its own structures. Unworthy priests and sinners who have broken the rules have always existed, but until a few decades ago they lived in socio-cultural contexts in which they were protected. Therefore, the priest who had behaviors that were not appropriate to his own status priest violated the rules and committed his sins in a climate of total concealment, avoiding giving public scandal, because he had very clear in himself what was good and what was evil. This is because even to members of society who are lukewarm towards the faith or even to non-believers themselves it was clear what was good and what was evil. So if the priest was wrong, or if he committed sins, he was aware of making mistakes and of sinning and did everything possible to ensure that his sin did not cause public scandal. Add to this that in past eras, also recent, there weren't the means of communication and control that there are today, where in the era of the social we all live prominently displayed in a public square, while news travels from one part of the world to another in seconds. Today the priest lives inserted within a society which, in addition to not protecting him, tries to convince him that evil is good and good is evil, inducing the weak to fall into the worst vices and perversions.
Once the priest was socially considered a moral authority even by those who rejected Catholic doctrine and morals, but that although they were hostile to Catholicism, they recognized in the priest a precise figure. Today the Catholic Church, the Roman Pontiff, bishops and priests are used to make non-comic or satire, something that has always existed since the times of the great Giovanni Boccaccio and Pietro l'Aretino. With the excuse of comedy and satire which in reality are not however such, an attempt is made to deprive the Church and its clergy of any authority, authority and spiritual and supernatural foundation, often in a subtle way, violent and destructive. Added to this are those priests who demean the sacred mysteries by transforming the Eucharistic Sacrifice which is renewed during the celebration of Holy Mass into show extravagant almost always the result of the self-centered narcissism of the priest and his almost absent sense of the sacred.
For this and various other reasons I often say to the confreres of which I am confessor and spiritual director that the Devil is a concentrate of pure intelligence who over the centuries has understood that persecutions and the blood of martyrs have always purified and strengthened the Church, giving it strength and lifeblood. The new technique he has adopted today is terrible: make us die in ridicule. And priests can also be prepared to die as martyrs for their faith, knowing full well that it could be an entirely possible possibility, written in its own way in our indelible and eternal priestly character. While no one was prepared to die submerged in ridicule. Unfortunately, this is the death that attempts are made to reserve for the Church and its clergy: the ridiculous. And in the face of social rejection and total indifference that often frustrates any attempt at pastoral activity, not a few are the priests who end up going into crisis. Some seriously, especially those with thirty or forty years of sacred ministry who often end up wondering what their usefulness is, whether they are useful for anything and what? Those who ask themselves these questions are almost always painful and dramatic, however much they live in a state of crisis, they are good priests who have always believed and who believe in their mission. Then there are the others, who go hand in hand with the world and who do everything to please the world and to please it. These seconds are almost always bad priests who are difficult to help and recover, also because they are totally withdrawn into the worst forms of secularization and they really don't think about being helped or recovered.
THE CRISIS OF THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH AND MORALITY, IN ADDITION TO THE PROBLEM OF IGNORANCE OF MALFORMED AND DEFORMED PRIESTS
In several of my books and articles written in the last few 15 years I have explained - and I believe also demonstrated - how, animated by naive good intentions, from the mid-1960s onwards we tried to meet the world and to please contemporary society at all costs, which had set out towards the decadence of human and moral values. In doing this we have forgotten that the purpose of the Church is not to please the world but to combat its serious illnesses. And this too we were told:
"If the world hates you, know that it hated me before. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you from the world, that's why the world hates you " (GV 15, 18-19).
A misunderstood spirit of the Council fomented by those who have never studied the documents of Vatican Council II well or thoroughly and who have created a personal council of their own for this, ever written by the Fathers of the Church, ended up generating a crisis of doctrine which in turn gave rise to a crisis of faith which finally resulted in a devastating moral crisis of the clergy, much of which, especially in certain corners of the world, it is living in conditions of secularization that have long passed all levels of danger.
The Holy Pope Paul VI, that of the Second Vatican Council convened by the Holy Pontiff John XXIII was the ferryman, besides the one who carried his cross, before the undeniable evidence of certain drifts both doctrinal and secularist he said:
«It was believed that after the Council a sunny day would come for the history of the Church. Instead, a cloudy day came, of storm, of dark, of research, of uncertainty».
In those years, one of the masters of the Roman School, Antonio Piolanti, who perished at the council, faced with certain extravaganzas that began to spread in the early seventies of the twentieth century he used to repeat from his chair at the Lateran:
«This is not the Council, none of this was written by the Council, May! This is just the para-council of eccentric priests and theologians, which has nothing in common with the Second Vatican Council and its documents!»
Every day I touch situations of grave immorality firsthand spread among the clergy, but in science and conscience I can say and just as easily demonstrate that it is often not the fault of the priests but of the inadequate and superficial way in which they were formed and brought to the priesthood. Often, blame, it belongs to the bishops who have even forgotten the etymological meaning of the word bishop and that they have gravely failed to watch over and look after their clergy, avoiding consecrating priests who are immature subjects without human qualifications, moral and spiritual.
In many ecclesiastical universities and theological institutes teach more sociology and political science instead of the foundations of solid doctrine and basic Catholic theology which are the only ones capable of giving priests a foundation and above all strong pastoral motivations which are not based on ephemeral emotions, but on transcendence. At that point the damage is quickly done: many priests today no longer even know the meaning of certain words and for this reason they misunderstand them in a gravely wrong way. For example, I have often heard priests say, even during homilies: "Enough with these absolutisms ... today we are no longer the Church of the absolute that thinks it has the only truth in its pocket" (!?). However, this is not what we find written in the document of the Second Vatican Council The joy and hope which addresses the delicate issue of the relationship between the Church and the contemporary world. To follow up with priests who use terms such as "dogmatic" or "Tridentine" in a negative or even offensive sense, thus manifesting a frightening ignorance which, combined with arrogance, is pleased with itself. Dear Bishops, but to these subjects who trained them, above all: who made them priests? And I say ignorance because even the humblest of priests become such only after a simple but good basic training, should know that thanks to the Council of Trent the Church was first of all purified from many corruptions and above all it opened the doors to the great evangelization, ceasing in the following ones 100 years of being a mainly European phenomenon to spread to all the continents of the world. The Council of Trent also marked a glorious season of great male and female saints of charity, of the great pedagogues and doctors who created extraordinary institutes and training structures, assistance, education of poor childhood and evangelization. This was the Council of Trent used today in a negative sense by certain ignorant people who take pleasure in their own ignorance by ruling: "Ah, these old dogmatisms that reek of mothballs … Ah, what a Tridentine spirit!». That of Trent was a grandiose council that the Fathers of the future Vatican Council II appreciated and wisely referred to in all their fundamental documents, starting with the Constitutions The light e God's word.
Statements like that are utter nonsense, but let's see why some pronounce them with casual conviction. First of all because they confuse the term "absolute" - which in all Judeo-Christian religions, in metaphysical philosophy, in dogmatic theology and fundamental theology it has a precise meaning linked to the absoluteness of the revealed faith ― with what is instead "absolutism" of a political nature. The Holy Gospel is full of categorical and absolute expressions uttered by Jesus Christ, for instance: «I am the way, the truth and the life " (GV 14,6). Christ provides no other options, but it offers only one and absolute, because he, the Incarnate Word of God is the Absolute generated not created by the Absolute, in the same way that the Holy Spirit is the Absolute who proceeds from God the Father and God the Son, being in turn God the Holy Spirit. And when in the Symbol of Faith we profess to believe in the one Church, santa, catholic and apostolic, we state an absolute, as in various other parts of the I believe we mention others, given that Christ on Earth founded only one Church, not a multiplicity of churches.
If the formation of the priest it is done in a superficial way without being provided with very solid foundations, as soon as he finds himself inserted as a priest in the world, it risks ending up like a reed broken by the wind, if not worse: become a real corrupter of the People of God.
THOSE WHO ARE NOT ABLE TO HANDLE SOLITUDE SHOULD NOT BECOME A PRIEST
Loneliness is that unwelcome companion which often follows the priest throughout his life, unless one changes into Christological solitude, for this you will not regret having chosen it. Christ too, in the most tragic hours of his life, remained alone, abandoned by those same people whom he had chosen as witnesses and companions of his existence and whom he had loved to the end (cf.. GV 13, 1), but he declared: "I'm not alone, because the Father is with me" (GV 16, 32). If some priests, instead of inventing an egocentric council never celebrated by the Fathers of the Church, really studied the documents of the Second Vatican Council and certain documents of the subsequent magisterium of the Holy Pontiff Paul VI, many of our dramatic problems would be solved by reading the Encyclical alone Priestly Celibacy published 24 June 1967.
Hence the moments of solitude they are always precious spaces of life, that it is better indeed to carve out and live, because they favor deep prayer, reflection and spiritual meditation on the mystery of life and death. Often, during spiritual directions, I happen to ask the priests: ... you, you never meditate on death? If the priest replies jokingly to this question by saying «Ah, but to think about death there is time!», or if worse, I am told «I am so busy in so many activities that I really don't think about death» … that's it, in that case I immediately understand that there is a lot to work on the spirituality of the priest, or perhaps on his weak or sometimes even absent spirituality. There are too many priests who unfortunately do not distinguish themselves at all from those who may be free volunteers of non-governmental associations, too many and more and more. With some it is possible to work, also getting good results, unfortunately not with others, because the basic formation of the priest was lacking.
But there is also another kind of loneliness, that which arises from forms of abandonment or isolation. There are not a few priests left to their own devices by their bishops engaged in completely different matters which they always say are more important, to be able to take care of their own priests. At that point, first of all, the disaffection between the priest and his own bishop arises. Serious and dangerous thing, because the priesthood of the priest is intimately and inseparably linked to the fullness of the apostolic priesthood of the bishop. As soon as the priest begins to feel abandoned by the bishop and his brothers, they too busy themselves in many things always and strictly more important than the priestly fraternity, little by little he begins to isolate himself. And from these two dangerous elements that are "isolation" and "loneliness" can truly be born of anything and more.
I would like to avoid going into certain details, so I will try to delicately give at least an idea of my ministry with priests, explaining what that loneliness that generates abandonment and consequent sense of isolation can lead to. Here then are cases of priests who fall into more or less serious forms of depression, who fall into alcoholism, some in drug use, others in the very harmful addiction to the internet with all that this tool can entail and offer, or in acquaintances with people and environments so to speak ... very disreputable. Priests who feel useless because they would like to give but who believe they are paying or have been placed in the condition and impossibility of being able to give…
PRIESTS ARE THE MOST DELICATE WITH WHICH A PRIESTS CAN HAVE TO DEAL WITH
I have stopped discussing with certain bishops ever since I understood that if you haven't received the gift of fatherhood, or more simply you never substantially acquired and developed it, it certainly isn't infused into you the moment they put a ring on your hand, a mitre on the head and they begin to call you "Reverend Excellency".
How they solved certain problems some very farsighted bishops? Soon said: by making psychologists available to priests, preferably women, some of which even come from the Freudian and Lacanian school. At that point why not directly give the chair to philosophical courses in the theological studies where our future priests are trained to Marxist ideologues? Let's clarify: that a priest may need a good specialist in psychiatry is quite possible. I myself am in close contact with two good and expert Catholic psychiatrists to whom I have referred several times my confreres who clearly needed clinical-psychiatric support, or because they were in depressive states, or because they suffer from obsessional neuroses, or because you suffer from various other ailments. But a spiritual director cannot, nor can it ever be replaced with a "diocesan psychologist", because to help a priest and heal the wounds of his soul, another priest is always needed, no one else can. And on this all-German modern mania of distributing "women's quotas" within the Church in a purely political and ideological way, I really prefer to hold off, I am so annoyed by certain intrusive committed and militant Catholics who, if they could, would throw us out to celebrate Holy Mass in our place..
For priests, find a good confessor It's getting harder, also because confessing a priest is a very delicate thing. Finding a good spiritual director is more difficult than finding a good confessor. If in fact the confessor is the one who absolves you from your sins, the spiritual director is the one who directs your steps on the path of faith and priestly life, which helps you in your ongoing formation for the priesthood and to rekindle the gift that is within you. The one who if necessary, with that prudence and foresight fruit of the gifts of grace of the Holy Spirit, tells you what to do or, in case of necessity, it dictates to you precisely what is appropriate to do or not to do.
Between one sociology and another we came up with a new term that some have found more appealing than “spiritual direction”, that of … “spiritual accompaniment” (!?). Again it is necessary to clarify: direct e accompany they are two totally different things. Unfortunately some clergymen have learned nothing from the clamorous social and educational failures that took place a few decades ago, when in the inglorious 1970s wild psychology launched the fad of "parent friends", in a flourishing of little thoughts and school subjects in which the children explained: “… my dad is my best friend”, while the girls wrote that "my mom is my best friend". And once they became teenagers they found themselves with uneducative mothers who claimed to do the teenager going to dance with the daughters, if not worse by stealing the boyfriends from the daughters.
The parent, father and mother, they are quite another thing. They are not bosom friends who accompany, it is the educators who direct the children, the firm and fundamental point of their growth, those who, if necessary, raise their voices and say no, or that if necessary they prohibit doing a wrong and harmful thing.
Healing the soul of a priest it is as difficult as it is for one doctor to treat another doctor, or as for a surgeon to bring another surgeon into the operating room.
NEITHER I CONDEMN YOU. AND NOW GO AND SIN NO MORE!
When finally many priests took courage and spilled the beans telling me the worst things and their worst deeds, sometimes one head is enough, often crying, they asked me: "But you, don't feel disgust for me?». With much affection I reminded them of the passage from the Holy Gospel of the Blessed Evangelist John which tells of the prostitute who was about to be stoned. But first, i farisei, they put a provocative question to Jesus «Master, this woman was caught in adultery. now Moses, in the Law, He commanded us to stone such women. What do you think?». He answered them: "Which one of you is without sin, be the first to throw the stone at her ". Then he said to the woman: "Neither do I condemn; will’ and from now on sin no more " (GV 7, 53-8,11).
That public sinner is a real person, but at the same time a paradigm, because we are all prostitutes and none of us could throw the first stone and boast that we have not sinned. This is why I have always answered the question of certain sufferers by saying that I did not feel disgust but a sense of loving kindness for the repentant sinner whom I could only say in a priestly conscience ... neither do I condemn you, now go in peace with God and from now on sin no more.
That a sinner can absolve another sinner of sin, or that one sinner can lead another sinner to the right path, it is not illogical, but it has always been one of the main ones ratio of the great mystery of faith. The Blessed Apostle Paul writes «Where sin abounded, abounded grace » (RM 5, 20) and on Easter night, when blessing the candle symbol of the light of the risen Christ, on the words of Aquinas is sung in the Preconium: “O happy guilt, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!».
The worst thing you can do with an afflicted sufferer, humbled and repented of his sin, is to invest it with reproaches and moral judgments. In practice as if the doctor of an emergency room, instead of closing an open bleeding wound, put salt on it.
TO BE A SCHOLAR IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO BECOME A PRIESTS
Theology cannot be mere speculation intellectual end in itself, but a prayerful and incessant search for the truth, this thing that is achieved only by praying and studying, but above all, always keeping the warning fixed on the horizon: "You will know the truth and the truth will make you free" (GV 8, 31), that is to say that truth of which we are servants and certainly not masters. Or as St. Thomas Aquinas said: "You're not you who possess the truth, but the truth that owns you". I consider it unacceptable, indeed aberrant that priests-theologians who have no concrete relationship with real pastoral life are still tolerated today, who have not entered a confessional for years, who teach academic lectures but who do not preach in churches or who would not even know where to begin in giving the Sacrament of Anointing the Sick. It is unacceptable that the activity of these subjects is limited to the celebration of Holy Mass in the morning in a chapel of elderly nuns and then devote themselves to completely different matters. This kind of priests are not theologians, but real monsters. Personally I have never been able to conceive theology separated from concrete ecclesial life, pastoral and sacramental. The priest, the one who carries out the ministry of parish priest in a particular way, has precise responsibilities towards the People of God, based on the principle of priority. Example: pious women are not sent to bring Holy Communion to the sick because, according to them, they are engaged in imperative … pastoral activities (!?) If I were the bishop of certain priests, I would not hesitate to severely call them back, specifying that if on the one hand there is the parish council or an evening with young people and on the other a sick person to visit, the priest leaves the council and the young people and goes to the infirm, instead of sending the pious woman there. Let us then pass over those parish priests who give everyone the key to the tabernacle but would never give anyone the key to the box where they keep their money or to their personal car. We fly over, given that we are the custodians of the Most Holy Eucharist and certainly not of the money, in addition to the fact that if the bishops have to recall the priests, often they do it for such laughable and ridiculous things that they bring to mind the filtered gnat and the swallowed camel (cf.. Mt 23, 24).
THEY ARE NOT INTERESTING YOUR WORKS, COUNT THE SHAPE. THAT VULGAR AND INDEPENDENT SUBJECT OF JESUS CHRIST WHO SERIOUSLY DEFECTED IN FORM
It is necessary to resort to a personal example which I would avoid if I could, but unfortunately it is useful to make the idea clear. One of the various priests I have assisted who after a few years came out of a bad depression, to various of his intimates and confreres he said: “If that evening, after a long telephone conversation, Ariel had not left at 17 of the afternoon from where he was, to make 500 kilometers and reach me just before midnight, perhaps, in the morning, they would have found me dangling with a rope attached to my neck". Even despite, in the face of my pastoral work, it happened that letters were addressed to me several times solely to raise reproaches based on the «… they told me that… some have complained about some of your writings… about the tones you use…». My writings perhaps contain elements or expressions in contrast with the doctrine of the faith and Catholic morality? Obviously not, I defend and spread the doctrine of the faith and Catholic morality. So? Soon said: the shape. Evidently, who sticks to the form, he never read Jesus Christ's invectives against the scribes and Pharisees, you are already waiting, perhaps he has not quite grasped both the form and the substance (cf.. Mt 23, 1-39). To understand the scope and the offensive gravity, it would be enough to set aside the surreal Gospel made up of dances to the rhythm of the bongos of certain Neocatechumenals, or that of the little stars and the beating hearts and the emotional fainting of certain charismatics and focolarini to learn a bit of new testamentary exegesis. For instance, let us see what it meant to address high notables and members of the priestly caste in these tones:
"Whited sepulchres: outside they are beautiful to look, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness ".
Let's clarify: the law, namely the Gone and the Talmud they considered the corpse to be the quintessence of impurity. Ai Priests members of the priestly caste in particular were forbidden not only to have contact with corpses, but they could not even come close to the burial places, because they would fall into a state of impurity (Impurity). To come back pure (Purity) they would have had to undergo long and meticulous purification rituals for the duration of 30 days. Soon said: if Jesus Christ had addressed them saying And it's total shit (you are pieces of shit), for the Jewish culture of the time and before the Law it would have been much less offensive. Not to mention the epithet «race of vipers», an offense of unprecedented gravity, not only because the snake was the most impure animal (Impurity), but because it was the quintessential biblical symbol of evil. Not only does Jesus Christ compare these “clergymen” to serpents, because it does much worse: calls them "race". Terrible thing, because it not only offends them, but even the entire ancestry of their ancestors. Soon said: the well-known Roman expression «them your mortacci» in comparison it is really nothing. there, I would have liked those who only one they sent me the usual letter to inform me "they told me that ... they protested because ...", had invited certain susceptible clericals to study the true meaning of certain New Testament expressions, because of the two things one excludes the other: or are they ignorant, or we read and preach just two different Gospels. The Gospel that was placed in my hand and delivered first when I was ordained a deacon and then when I was consecrated a priest is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not the one produced by the Perugina industry which puts papers with tender poignant thoughts inside its chocolate kisses. To me the Bishop said "conform yourself to the cross of Christ", in accordance with the command of the Divine Master who invites us to take up our cross and follow him (LC 9, 23). No one ever told me to conform to Perugina and throw handfuls of chocolate kisses at the believers of Christ, or to announce a Gospel watered down just enough not to irritate and offend any emotional little heart. And the cross is very "ugly" both in form and in substance, it is such an infamous instrument of torture that Roman citizens could not be condemned to it execution in the manner of the ancestors, not even the worst criminals. For this Peter, Jew, was sentenced to crucifixion, Paul, a Roman citizen, instead he was beheaded, because as a Roman citizen he could not be crucified.
Of course, I laugh at certain protests, because I don't think they deserve tears, if in fact one has to suffer, it's good to do it for serious things, not for gods clerical permals that humiliate those who express them and certainly not those who are subjected to them, always based on the principle of how some are partly good and partly irrational when they decide to avoid the gnat and then swallow a whole camel (cf.. Mt 23, 24).
«YOU CRITICIZED THE SUPREME PONTIFF»
I wish to clarify this false accusation which has been addressed to me several times: who extrapolates a sentence from my writings or books, he manipulates her and then accuses me of having criticized the Supreme Pontiff, lie and tell lies. In my priestly life I have always applied the principle of the Holy Father and Doctor of the Church Ambrogio Bishop of Milan who said:
“Tell the Pope that after Jesus Christ only he comes for us and that we love and venerate him, but also tell him that the head that God gave us we do not intend to just use it to put a hat on».
It is true that over the years I have criticized certain speeches and pastoral choices of the Supreme Pontiff Francis; it is true that I felt deeply hurt seeing the Supreme Pontiff wash my feet at the Mass of the Lord's Supper to prisoners and prostitutes on the day in which the institution of the Most Holy Eucharist and of the Priesthood is celebrated; it is true that I was embarrassed to see him in Lund next to an openly lesbian "archbishop" and cohabiting with his partner clad in episcopal insignia; it is true that I published a book in which I express my perplexities about the sociological expressive style and the lack of clarity that winds through some pages of love joy, but I have never criticized its magisterial contents. There are dozens of my articles that testify with what fidelity, if necessary, with what harshness I have called certain priests and faithful to the obedience that we are bound to pay to the Roman Pontiff, which may be subject to criticism, indeed it must be, for his own good and for his Petrine ministry. Always clarifying that it is one thing to criticize off-the-cuff conversations, or during the study phases of certain problems, when everything can and must be disputed, But, if the Supreme Pontiff publishes an act of magisterium or gives a disposition in the form of motu proprio, in that case it is obeyed, it is performed and certain faithful are reminded that they are capable of placing themselves as judges above the Chair of Peter, that if the Successor of the Blessed Apostle Peter establishes and disposes, every conversation is closed, one must only pay him homage in the obedience of faith.
Maybe someone wants to deny that over the years I have raised questions and proposed solutions which later became acts of the magisterium given in the form of motu proprio? I mention one among many: Keepers of Tradition. Two years before the release of this document, I published a critical article where I explained that it would have been appropriate to revoke it, or at least correct the motu proprio of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, than in 2007 granted the use of the Missal of Saint Pius V, soon transformed into a pretext by many circles of so-called "traditionalists" who used it as a mace to attack the Second Vatican Council and the liturgical reform of the Holy Pontiff Paul VI. Different opinions can exist and coexist in the Church, which are always an important and precious stimulus, however, not two parties fighting over a delicate matter such as the sacred liturgy, because the Eucharist is the heart of the unity of the Church and no one can use it to create ideological divisions.
I have always said and affirmed that the Supreme Pontiff Francis he is a man burdened like all of us by his own limitations and defects, but I always added and repeated: the Blessed Apostle Peter denied the Divine Master three times, imprecations, swearing falsely and fleeing. The Holy Father Francis, elected by a conclave of cardinals, has never done anything like this, unlike Peter who was instead chosen by Christ himself, maybe, perhaps precisely because he embodied all our human frailties?
Still let me smile to the idea that these criticisms are addressed to me by certain poisonous clericals, those who do not hesitate to reject - to name just one - the new version of Our father. To those who asked me if I liked the new version, I didn't hesitate to say no, but I quickly clarified: whether I like it or not is irrelevant, because the Church tells me how to pray and teach the People of God to pray, my obligation and duty is to follow the teachings of the Church Mater et Magistra. And how many times, during conversations and spiritual directions I repeated to many priests: «Better to do the wrong thing in obedience to the Supreme Pontiff and to one's Bishop, rather than doing the right thing in disobedience to what the Supreme Pontiff or the Bishop has established and requested".
Having said that, I'll reiterate: today, if the disease is caught in time, many forms of cancer can be cured, but clericalism, especially that of the fakes and slimy hypocrites, it is a disease that risks being incurable, in addition to always being the worst metastasis that can spread in the body of the Church.
THOSE BISHOPS WHO DO NOT HESITATE TO SACRIFICE THEIR OWN PRIESTS IN ORDER TO PLEASE AT ALL COSTS AN ARMY OF INSOLENT AND ARROGANT LAITY
Those bishops who live quietly for them they would not hesitate to sacrifice their priests they are unworthy and dangerous pastors. Priests must be the primary interest of the bishop, because it is thanks to them that he can exercise the fullness of his apostolic priesthood, in the same way that priests exercise their priesthood by virtue of the apostolic priesthood of the bishop. The good bishop is not the one who, faced with an afflicted and bewildered priest, immediately puts him on guard by saying "I don't want problems!», but the one who welcomes him tells him the exact opposite: «My primary task as a father and pastor is to help you solve your problems and restore your serenity». The good bishop is not the one who overlooks everything, starting from the worst whims of the faithful, in an attempt to please everyone and not displease anyone, but the one who when necessary tries really not to like, because whoever pleases everyone runs the risk of not pleasing God in the end.
Two figures of the Apostles that I particularly venerate, which inspire me and with which in a certain sense I identify myself in character: John and Paul. I often wonder: in those who truly know the Blessed Apostle Paul? If we analyze in depth the Apostolic Letters and the Acts of the Apostles, no easy character emerges, but a subject who did not let one pass. His disagreements with the Blessed Evangelist Mark prove this (cf.. At 13,13; At 15,37-38), to which he later calms down (cf.. With the 4,10). He had heated disagreements with his disciple Barnabas (At 15,39-40; Gal 2,13). Not to mention the heated dispute with the Blessed Apostle Peter (Gal 2,11-16), with the Blessed Apostle James who headed the Judeo-Christian current (cf.. At 15; Gal 2). When it is stated that at Paul's departure «the Church was at peace throughout Judea, in Galilee and in Samaria" (cf.. At 9,30-31) I am afraid that many fail to grasp how ironic this sentence sounds, because translated in other terms it is equivalent to saying … «Thank goodness he got out of the way!». But as already mentioned above, these nuances escape the creators and diffusers of the surreal and sentimental Gospel of the little thoughts imprinted on the Baci Perugina papers.
The Blessed Apostle Paul writes to his disciple Timothy: "If a man desire the episcopate, He desires a noble task " (The Tm 3,1). I have never aspired to the episcopate and I do not intend to aspire to it, but in Pauline terms and in an analogous historical context I too would aspire to it. But let's see what the Blessed Apostle means with this sentence written in an era in which bishops and priests seriously risked their lives, because during the first great persecutions they were considered the main troublemakers of a group of outlaws known as Christians or as followers of the Nazarene. Not by chance the Apostles, first bishops created by Christ the Lord, they ended up like this: James killed by sword by order of Herod Agrippa in Judea. Peter crucified in Rome during the persecutions of Nero. Matteo killed with an axe. Bartholomew known as Nathanael killed in Armenia with the whip. Andrew crucified in Greece on an "X" shaped cross. Mattia, who replaced Judas in the Apostolic College, he is presumed to have died as a martyr. Thomas killed by arrows in what is now Kerala. Luke hanged from a tree by Greek priests. Judas Thaddeus killed in Odessa. Simon the Zealot crucified in Britain. James the Less stoned in Judea. Philip died in Phrygia nailed to a tree. Giovanni, died according to tradition almost a centenary, he was the only one of the apostles not to be martyred. This was what the episcopate indicated as a worthy aspiration by the Apostle Paul entailed at the time, also martyred at the Acque Salvie in Rome. The day we will return to different situation, but still similar, you will see well with what haste we will instantly free ourselves from the scourge of careerists!
The Holy Gospel which has always left an indelible mark in history it is not so much what is predicated, but the one practiced, however true it is that we are called to be living witnesses of the incarnate Christ the Word of God, died, resurrected and ascended to heaven (cf.. LC 24,48). As indeed it is written: “Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith " (GC 2, 18). And today, our faith, that of us priests ahead of everyone, is seriously tested, because we are no longer protected and protected from the outside by society, but above all within the Church, reduced today to a structure that is falling apart in a state of advanced decay. We just have to try to pass through the narrow door, Why, as it is written: «[…] a lot of, I tell you, they will try to enter it, but they won't succeed " (LC 13, 24). And succeeding today is less easy than it was yesterday. there, our great test to overcome: the test of faith.
the Island of Patmos, 7 April 2023
Holy thursday – Establishment of the SS. Eucharist and Ministerial Priesthood
 See. Guillaume Durand, Rationale, IV, i, 23.
Date cd. Dry Mass it was usually celebrated in the afternoon, at funerals or weddings, after the priest had already celebrated during the morning and could not celebrate other Holy Masses after hours 12. It consisted of the celebration of a Holy Mass in which the offertory rites were omitted, the Eucharistic Prayer (consecration of the sacred species) and Holy Communion.
 See. John Bona, Of liturgical matters, book. duo, I, xv.
 See. Karl Marx nell’opera The 18 brumaio of Louis Bonaparte, published in 1869. The full sentence is: «Hegel points out that all the great characters and great facts of history tend to repeat themselves twice. He just forgot to specify: the first time as a tragedy the second as a farce».
 See. Sant'Ambrogio, Of the dignity of the Priest; St. Augustine, in Ps. 37; St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Word to pasta. In Syn; Saint Gregory Nazanzieno, The word is 26 Sanct. Petr.; San Girolamo, Discourse on the Body of Christ; San Pier Damiani, The word is 28; S.S. Innocent III, A new kind of Pocn. Rem.; San Bernardino of Siena, about. I, The word is 20, art. 2, c.7; San Bernardino of Siena, Tom.I, The word is 20, art. 2, (c). 7.
 See. Joseph Ratzinger, meditation at the IX station of the Way of the cross of Good Friday 2005: «How many times we celebrate only ourselves without even realizing him! How many times his Word is distorted and abused! How little faith there is in so many theories, how many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and precisely also among those who, in the priesthood, they should belong completely to him! How much pride, how much self-sufficiency! How little we respect the sacrament of reconciliation, in which he awaits us, to pick us up from our falls! All of this is present in his passion. The betrayal of the disciples, the unworthy reception of his Body and Blood is certainly the Redeemer's greatest pain, what pierces his heart".
 See. San Pier Damiani, Free Gomorrhianus.
 See. Bernard of Clairvaux, Treaty good for every Pope, adapted to Eugene III, year 1145.
 See. Catherine Benincasa, Letter to the Supreme Pontiff Urban VI in Avignon (1378-1389).
 See. Alphonsus Maria de 'Liguori, Apostolic man, year 1759.
 See. Antonio Rosmini, On the Five Wounds of the Church, treatise dedicated to the Catholic clergy, year 1848.
 S.S. John Paul II, Ecclesia in Europa, 2003.
 See. Roman Missal, Sacred rite of ordination of priests.
 See. S.S. Paul VI, homily delivered on 29 June 1972 for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
 Declaration Lord Jesus, about the uniqueness and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and of the Church, 6 August 2000.
 S.S. Paul VI, Decree on the ministry and life of priests Priesthood, 7 December 1965.
 S.S. John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation I will give you shepherds, about the formation of priests under the current circumstances, 25 March 1992.
 San Tommaso Aquino, QUESTION, III, q. 1, a. 3, ad 3.
 Royal laws, the greatest punishment, in pars An execution in the manner of the ancestors: crucifixio.
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