I feel like I’m living in a Fr. Cheney homily. I write angry letters to the Bishop now. Maybe 12th Avenue in Bismarck is about to undergo a major construction project too.
I’ve held my tongue about the liturgical “abuses” (in regards to not going to the Bishop, but I have talked about it extensively with my peers), but after a Confession last month in which I received counsel which contradicts clear Church teaching and now finding out that at least one absolution I have received was invalid, and it’s likely that many more from the priest were, and that many in that parish may not have received absolution in a long time, I couldn’t hold it.
I received a lot of advice on how to handle it and since I’m slightly intimidated to confront a priest who has been so, I don’t know the word for it, unorthodox…, in the Confessional, I felt this would be best dealt with by his direct superior, which is the Bishop. My letter was actually less angry and more expressive of concern than anything else.
On another note, it made my do over confession a little messy because I have no idea how many invalid absolutions I’ve recieved and where that leaves the confessions between them. I mean obviously had I known I hadn’t received the sacrament I would have taken care of it right away. So after explaining what happened the priest this morning asked me to confess to my sins since my last absolution and then asked if I was sorry for all of my sins. I assume this was to cover any other invalid absolutions I may have received. Andd that’s probably the best we could have done without trying to reconfess all the sins I’ve committed since moving to town in case any were invalidly absolved.
The priest then told me that he knows of only one formula of absolution and does not know why another priest would stray from that formula. He emphasized that when he was done I would be absolved. And then he absolved me. I have never listened so intently to the words of absolution in my life. And I don’t know that I’ve ever been so relieved when I walked out of the confessional.
Can you join me in praying for our good priests this morning that make sure to dispense the graces of the Church lovingly and in praying for the priests who for one reason or another are not shepherding and healing souls the way they should be and are perhaps even placing them in harm’s way?