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The Good Shepherd (II)

About the confusion introduced into the Church
When the Devil deceived the laity
Into believing that to perform as such
They should be half-lay people and half-priests.
That is: neither one nor the other.

Continuing the topic of the mischievous lies spread within the Church  by the Great Deceiver, it must be noted that Modernism introduced into Catholicism an even a greater hoax which caused more confusion and worse damage than that which was brought about by the previous deception. This new and absurd falsehood was spread by the modernist heresy in ecclesiastical circles with unprecedented success and was totally unopposed; so much so that even today it is impossible to understand how it was accepted so unanimously by the lay establishment.

The modernist heresy claimed that the laity had been oppressed for twenty centuries by the clergy; it was time, therefore, for those so far vexed to rise up and demand their rights, using whatever means necessary. According to the modernists, the laity should regain the level of autonomy and freedom it deserves in its own right; this being the only way in which the laity, finally freed from the yoke with which the clergy had subjugated them for so long, could fulfill its charism and the demands proper to its state within the Church.

And as it happens with the spirit of innovation that always accompanies any invention, the assertion was so new and so unheard of among the Christian people that its innovative character would have sufficed to disregard it had it not been for the fact that public opinion was already a breeding ground for accepting any sort of lies; which, as we know, the greater the magnitude of the deception the more unanimous and steadfast is the adherence to it, as dictated by the famous and well-known rule of Lenin.

Truth be told, never before, throughout the entire history of the Church, have the faithful held the slightest notion of ​​feeling themselves oppressed by the clergy. Therefore, one cannot say that this modernist approach could be accepted as the coming-forth of repressed and never expressed sentiments; rather it was something as new and surprising as the discovery of the law of gravity or the invention of the printing press. Despite this, the lie was accepted unanimously by the faithful as if it had always been latent in the minds of all.

Thus two realities become evident which, like many others, often go unnoticed. The first refers to the pitiful state to which human nature, despite its restoration by Redemption, has been reduced after the fall: a nature always willing to accept anything, no matter how false and harmful it may be, insofar as it satisfies the desires of human nature’s lower appetites. The second reality is another example of the progressive state of degradation affecting the Christian world before the Second Vatican Council and which would definitively emerge in its aftermath, leading eventually to the present situation of general apostasy that had already been looming over the Church.

The doctrine of Revelation, along with the constant teaching of the Fathers and the Magisterium throughout the entire history of the Church, has been unanimous in affirming just the opposite to what the modernist deception propagated. The New Testament points out that the priest is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.[1] He is, therefore, ordained for men and to offer sacrifices for sins, not only for the sins of the Christian people but also for his own as one among his brothers, because he himself also is compassed with infirmity.[2] Moreover, Jesus Christ had already well established that the true shepherd is he whogives his life for his sheep.[3] These doctrines in no way seem compatible with the accusation of oppressor as leveled by Modernism against the priest.

Nevertheless, once again the Great Embroiler achieved his purposes. The sheep rushed like crazy to become shepherds, forgetting that the status of sheep within the Church does not imply any humiliation since the Shepherds are also sheep in the one Flock of Christ, the only Supreme Shepherd[4] of all the sheep.

Thus the Father of all Lies succeeded in making many laymen absurdly believe, as many priests before them believed, that the best way of fully growing as a lay person was to become a priest; or, at least, half-priest or almost-a-priest, another hybrid and a worse product.

From this moment on there appeared an innumerable crowd of ministers, Eucharistic ministers, ministers of other pastoral activities, pastoral agents, preachers, lay teachers, avant-garde laity willing to monitor any ecclesiastical activity … and a large army of lay people who felt suddenly animated by a spirit of command within the Church. The unfortunate mass of the faithful followers of Jesus Christ were compelled to suffer, perhaps more or less unconsciously, the evangelizing outrages carried out by an army of troopers who had suddenly turned into officers. Euphoria spread and diocesan bookstores were filled with volumes about this topic, The Hour of the Laity, The Laity on Its Way,and the like; most of the books were written by Jesuits and were as filled with theology as a jar on its way to the fountain can be full of water; as if the laity had never been seen nor had its hour, nor had it ever amounted to anything since the beginning of Christianity, or had it perhaps remained in a state of drowsiness while the clergy continued arranging everything at will and steamrolling the unfortunate clerical establishment.

As said Segismundo referring to kings in Calderón’s Life is a Dream, using an expression that in this case, extrapolated from the sacramental act, may refer to an imaginary situation of oppression on the part of the clergy which, according to the modernist of the New Church, had to be completely uprooted:

 

With this deceit commanding,
                               Disposing, and governing,

The first, but not the least serious, devastating effect of all this mischievous lie involved the loss of identity on the part of the laity and the neglect of the significance of their own charism, with the resultant abandonment of the important functions of their own state and vocation to which they had been called.

Lay Christians, as baptized members of the Church, share in the priesthood of Jesus Christ –the common priesthood of the Faithful—, in the first place. Moreover, by the sacrament of confirmation they have been constituted as soldiers of the Militia of Jesus Christ –milites Christi—with the unique and essential task of bearing witness to Him in the midst of the world sanctifying its structures in their secular condition. Whereby theirs are the tasks that have to do with the functioning of Society:  government and international relationships, law enforcement, administration of justice, education, health, charity, retirement, trade, finance, industry, scientific research, cultural world, entertainment, etc. All these are occupations that belong exclusively to the laity and in no way correspond to the clergy.

And yet, the most important role assigned by God to lay people is that which corresponds to the creation and functioning of the family which is the basic cell of the organization and maintenance of society. It is within the family that the most important task entrusted by God to the laity, as its specific mission, has to be accomplished: the formation and education of children as men and as Christians; a function that is primarily the responsibility of the parents and not of the priests, who, in this particular matter, have a secondary role.

We must emphasize here that in this particular area the Great Deceiver caused devastating damage. With the occasion of the new winds blowing within the Church, many lay people felt encouraged to become semi-clergy, willing to perform functions of worship and evangelizing; the outcome being a harrowing effect which has surely led souls to perdition, their number known to God alone.

Eucharistic ministers in particular are the ones who, most probably unintentionally, have caused a serious damage to the Faith of the Faithful, though this affirmation may shock the ears of many who are not willing to calmly examine the facts.

Because the shortage of priest was a real problem, the opinion of many priests, overwhelmed when it came to distributing Communion, seemed reasonable. They reached the conclusion that Eucharistic ministers had to be established; which was accomplished by appointing to this ministry many thousands of individuals of all classes and conditions; in a restricted way at first, but with flood gates wide open afterwards. In the beginning, the lists of candidates were strictly made up by selecting people eligible to receive this ministry. But it was not long before the number of persons considered suitable to distribute this Sacrament increased and became too numerous, to the point that it was much easier to make a list of the people not authorized to receive this ministry. Thus the show was served: women wearing no stockings or in socks, young women with short skirts, people without faith or questionable conduct distributed the Eucharist, while priests remained seated in their chairs.  Consequently and with the occasion of these abuses, in many places, especially at important International Eucharistic Congresses, numerous sacrileges took place.

Before listing the real causes of the occurrence of this phenomenon in the Church, it should be noted that in this case the problem was overestimated. Acknowledging the indisputable reality of the enormous shortage of priests, it is also reasonable to remember that fatigue and exhaustion are conditions ascribed to the ministry of the priesthood, whose hands are the only ones consecrated to touch and distribute the Eucharist: Unless a grain of wheat falling into the ground die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.[5] Exhaustion has always been the instrument with which true priests accomplished the work of evangelization in the Church. In the same vein, long ago, the famous Carthaginian general, Hamilcar Barca, said that battles are won only by tired soldiers.

As for the causes mentioned to justify the existence of Eucharistic ministers, the first thing that hits one’s eye is the usual attitude, already widespread in the Church, of excising the source of problems or, in any case, of attributing the existence of those problems to reasons that have nothing to do with reality. Regarding the specific issue under discussion, several and very serious were the reasons that gave rise to it.

The identity crisis of the priesthood: an idea born from the interpretations following the so-called spirit of the Council and promoted by all subsequent modernist theology. General freedom granted by Paul VI for priest to be secularized played no small part in this crisis. This pope soon repented upon seeing the ensuing general defection. Both reasons fed each other.

The loss of prestige and authority of the hierarchy, together with the idea of the democratization of the Church, also introduced by the Council, contributed greatly to diminishing the importance of the role of the priest among the faithful.

The lack of care and attention to clergy in general by the Hierarchy of the Church. In fact, attention and vigilance was abandoned in Seminaries, Theological Faculties, and Training Centers, completely neglecting the education imparted in them. In addition to this, for many years and with total impunity they allowed the infiltration, especially in Seminaries, of Marxist doctrines, theories in favor of homosexuality, and even practicing homosexuals. This grave problem reached its most serious point when the unfortunate and sad phenomenon of pederasty became public; which was used by the ecclesiastical authority to attack the lower clergy by attributing to them the whole burden of guilt.

And to bring this topic to a close, it only remains to mention the main and most serious effect of the appearance in the Church of the Eucharistic ministers. In the first place, they have contributed , as one of the main causes, to the present lack of respect for the Eucharist displayed by the vast majority of the faithful; but, above all and foremost, tothe loss of faith in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist suffered by nearly the entirety of Christian People.

Final explanatory note:

Eucharistic ministers have no basis in the divine Constitution of the Church or the Doctrine of the Faith; this institution is based, at most, in teaching and disciplinary provisions of the Church, devoid of any claim to infallibility. Therefore it is a matter which can be subject to sound analysis, always with due respect and presuming good faith towards those exercising such ministries, taking also into account that good faith not always justifies naivety and that it is also the duty of every Christian to sincerely seek the truth. 

(To Be Continued)

Fr. Alfonso Gálvez


[1] Heb 5:1.

[2] Heb 5:2.

[3] Jn 10:11.

[4] 1 Pet 5:4.

[5] Jn 12:24.




Padre Alfonso Gálvez
Padre Alfonso Gálvezhttp://www.alfonsogalvez.org/
Nació en 1932. Licenciado en Derecho. Se ordenó de sacerdote en Murcia en 1956. Entre otros destinos ha estado en Cuenca (Ecuador), Barquisimeto (Venezuela) y Murcia. Es Fundador de la Sociedad de Jesucristo Sacerdote, aprobada en 1980. Desde 1982 reside en El Pedregal (Mazarrón-Murcia). A lo largo de su vida ha alternado las labores pastorales con un importante trabajo redaccional. Ha publicado Comentarios al Cantar de los Cantares (dos volúmenes), La Fiesta del hombre y la Fiesta de Dios, La oración, El Amigo Inoportuno, Apuntes sobre la espiritualidad de la Sociedad de Jesucristo Sacerdote, Esperando a Don Quijote, Homilías, Siete Cartas a Siete Obispos, El Invierno Eclesial, Los Cantos Perdidos y El Misterio de la Oración. Para información adicional visite su web http://www.alfonsogalvez.com

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