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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Can the Administration of a Sacrament Be Harmful to the Faith?

The other day, I heard a scenario that gave me pause...I've been thinking about it ever since and I'm going to expand upon the original idea...

Let's say one goes to Confession.  He confesses that he has been having an affair for 10 years with a co-worker and that he has been frigid with his wife.  He asks for absolution and is given it.  As he's getting up from the pew after making his penance and his thanksgiving, he runs into the priest who says, "Don't worry about what you confessed.  It really isn't all that bad, we all make mistakes and eventually your wife will forgive you."

The Sacrament of Confession was valid.  No question.  His sin was forgiven and he received absolution, but the priest did great harm to the penitent's faith because of his counsel after the administration of the Sacrament.  At that point, the priest was still acting as a counselor and the penitent had to take it as such, because the priest was engaging him about the Sacrament in which he just confected.

A Sacrament can be valid, but the administration can be harmful to the faith.

Now, let's take another example.  For 1500 years we've had a Mass which had developed over centuries.  It was codified in 1570 and for the next 400 years, it remained 99.9% unchanged.  The Faith of the Church was solidified and largely based upon this action which confected the Blessed Sacrament, with the others supporting the Eucharist. 

Fast forward 399 years, the Mass has now been changed to reflect the "changes" enacted by the Consilium on behalf of the Council Fathers.  The Mass is valid, because the intent, matter and form are still there.  But the innovations to the Mass are so great and so widespread that the faith is being harmed.  And the priest says, "Don't worry about the changes to the Mass.  They aren't all that bad.  We all need updating and we all change in the name of aggioramento."

A Sacrament can be valid, but the administration can be harmful to the faith.

This is why we must call for a return to the proper administration of the Sacraments.  Innovation and change on the scale that it took place in the Church, while valid has done irreparable harm to the faith.

  • There is a reason why people are not staying in the Church.
  • There is a reason why people are not assisting at Mass.
  • There is a reason why people are not fulfilling their vocations.
  • There is a reason why people are apathetic toward their faith.

Because the administration of the Sacraments has been put in a place where there is not one ounce of accountability for the actions of those who administer them.  Before there was.  There is a reason why the rubrics of the TLM are a sacred cow.  There is a reason why the rubrics of the NOM are not.

The harm that is being done to the faith in the administration of the Sacraments today answers the statements and gives reason to the list above.  This is more than just societal apathy and outward laziness.  This is a lack of accountability by the faithful for that which is our right.  And that right is to have the Sacraments confected properly.

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