Friday, August 29, 2008

FFM Parishes: O'Donaghue on being Catholic, 2

A second extract from 'Fit for Mission? - Parishes' by Bishop O'Donaghue of Lancaster. Click on the 'label' FFM Parishes to see others. See the 'Fit for Mission?' website and download the full document. The previous title in the series, 'Fit for Mission? - Schools' is downloadable here (pdf). This generated a Facebook support group.

From section 4.5, p23
In my ministry as priest and bishop, I have come across the following attitudes that fail to understand the Catholic vision of sacramental life:
• Catholics who say they don’t need to participate at Mass on Sunday because they can just as well, or even better, pray at home.
• Catholics who protest that they don’t need to go to confession because they can gain God’s forgiveness in the privacy of their sitting room.
• Catholics who say a positive consequence of the decline in vocations to the priesthood is that soon we’ll be able to have parishes just run by lay people, at long last rid of clericalism!

Such attitudes betray a failure to grasp the Catholic understanding that sacraments – the only objective way of encountering Christ – can only be received, in ordinary circumstances, from a Catholic ordained minister, or in the case of marriage in the presence of an ordained minister.

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen