EWTN Catholic Q&A
Priest to be Dismissed for condemning birth control
Question from Nick on 01-29-2008:

Father Lewis, A priest was disciplined by his bishop for condemning birth control! And oh yes, the complaints came from a gay couple! I have to wonder why Catholics don't want to be taught the teachings of the Church. Either Christ founded the Church or he didn't. I think it's because people are embarrassed to admit their are sinners. In our self-absorbed culture reactions like this aren't surprising. The poor priest was just doing his job. But the truth hurts and sometimes love is not kind. It is simply easier to preach homilies that society already agrees with rather than say something that may cause some to feel uncomfortable. We really ought to be grateful for bishops like Chaput and Burke no?

This Priest should be commended NOT punished! Especially from WITHIN the Church! St. Basil the Great and others were banished from their churches for speaking the truth as well. A priest was dismissed from his parish in New England a few years ago for speaking so from the pulpit. Luckily, another bishop, knowing the story of what happened, quietly took him into his own discese. YOU WONDER WHY WE HAVE A SHORTAGE OF PRIESTS! Lack of reliance on God's providence. Just look at Bishop Burke's diocese and how in the last year 50 men got into the seminary over there in St. Loius! Goes to show you what happens when you put your faith in God

We've seen the following: Let's see: 1. Bishops have allowed - or encouraged - all manner of liturgical non-sense (if not sacrilege) for the last 40 years or so; 2. Bishops enabled, covered up and, in some cases, actually engaged in, sexual abuse on a widespread scale over that last 40 years or so; 3. Bishops have impotently watched while the number of priests and religious brothers and sisters has plummeted over the last 40 years or so; 4 Bishops have impotently watched as Europe and North America have become largely de-Christianized over the last 40 years or so.

Now I'm not trying to be disrespectful to this bishop at all. The fact is that our Church is made up of human beings. Whether they be priest, bishop, brother, sister, or laity; all of us need and use the confessional. "Good Catholics" know Church Teachings and Truths and should even a bishop act outside of that Truth we (the laity) will know it and question it.

Can. 212 1 Christ's faithful, conscious of their own responsibility, are bound to show Christian obedience to what the sacred Pastors, who represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith and prescribe as rulers of the Church.

2 Christ's faithful are at liberty to make known their needs, especially their spiritual needs, and their wishes to the Pastors of the Church.

3 They have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church. They have the right also to make their views known to others of Christ's faithful, but in doing so they must always respect the integrity of faith and morals, show due reverence to the Pastors and take into account both the common good and the dignity of individuals.

Being concerned about a decision is not disregarding the authority of the Church, nor denigrating the bishop, so long as it is done respectfully for the office when doing so. You mentioned in another post that are we approaching another Nazi era. If we keep going the way we are we could see worse than that, perhaps a chastisement of Apocalyptic proportions.

Nick

Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 01-29-2008:

Dear Nick, It is hard for me to think I have the whole picture, of all that undergirds this suspension. There may be something of which you are not informed. I know many incidents of trouble centering on the application of "Humanae Vitae". I surely agree with you on the tragedy of any priest being dismissed, and a real shocker for doing his duty! God bless you. Fr Bob Levis

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