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Bishops OK first new preaching document in 30 years


The U.S. bishops approved their first new document in 30 years on preaching Nov. 13, the second day of their annual fall general assembly in Baltimore.

The document, “Preaching the Mystery of Faith: The Sunday Homily,” encourages preachers to connect the Sunday homily with people’s daily lives.

The vote was 227-11, with four abstentions. Approval required two-thirds of the membership of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, or 182 votes.

The document was prepared by the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, chaired by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis, with subsequent review and comment by eight other USCCB committees.

During discussion on the document Nov. 13, the bishops accepted a plea from Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of Las Cruces, N.M., to include his amendment urging Catholics to make an extra effort to listen to the homilies of foreign-born priests for whom English or Spanish is not their first language.

Those priests’ speech “may have a heavy accent that the congregation cannot understand,” Bishop Ramirez said. “We have many foreign priests coming to work in our dioceses,” he added.

“Even though it takes an extra effort to understand what they are saying, they have wisdom. They are inspired by the Holy Spirit. … The people have to make an extra effort to understand their wisdom.”

“Preaching the Mystery of Faith” also required a suspension of the rules governing consideration of proposed documents issued in the name of the USCCB, as bishops did not receive it at least 30 days prior to debate.

In formally introducing the document Nov.12, Archbishop Carlson said it aimed for a “pastorally sensitive tone” so that it could build upon a strong theological foundation for the ministry of preaching.” He added, “It also makes a strong case for linking the homily to the Sunday liturgy.”

Preaching needs to be done “more effectively in the context of the new evangelization,” he said. “Our people hunger for better preaching, preaching that would help them rediscover their faith.”

“The homily is intended to establish a ‘dialogue’ between the sacred biblical text and the Christian life of the hearer,” the document says.

“Preachers should be aware, in an appropriate way, of what their people are watching on television, what kind of music they are listening to, which websites they find appealing, and which films they find compelling,” it adds. “References to the most popular cultural expressions — which at times can be surprisingly replete with religious motifs — can be an effective way to engage the interest of those on the edge of faith.”

The intent to write a new document first surfaced six years ago as the silver anniversary neared of the U.S. bishops’ last preaching document, “Fulfilled in Your Hearing.” [More]


Catholic News Service



  1. Old Roman Collar says:

    I think that the Bishop’s should focus on Vocation’s and forget the sermons, because I would rather they not “try” to preach because many can not in the Novus Ordor mass, and I hate when they have to read it off a paper

  2. Terik Ororke says:

    Dud? I guess Jesus never related anything to daily life—where have all the “preachers” gone?

  3. Terah James says:

    The bishops must do something and priests must preach truth from the pulpit, God’s word, so that those that attend Mass on Sunday know right from wrong. The “form your own conscience” hypothesis is NOT working. Faithful Citizenship got a few Catholics I know to support same sex marriage, and to speak openly about it, with impunity. They need to know it’s WRONG. If a priest/pastor that they trust says so from the altar, many more are likely to see the light.
    Conservative Catholics: time to speak up to your priests and bishops, and not just weigh in on a blog combox, like this one. American society (and throughout the world, for that matter) is on a downward spiral regarding our morals. Let’s wake up!

  4. Ivana says:

    It’s a little too late for these bishops to finally wake up and realize the mistake they made by desensitizing the faithful for the past 30 years with their liberal theology of Thailard De Chardin. Love, Love, love is all we heard. Many of our youths were never instructed properly or have formed a proper conscience they do not have any inkling what sin is. They seldom go to church and never go to confession, when they do attend church they’re always in line for communion. We need to hear the list of sins on every Sunday sermons, sins that offend God and the consequences of these sins: abortion, co-habitation, divorce and re-marriage, so called Catholic annulments, adultery, pre-marital sex, immodesty, greed, homosexuality, drugs. Sacrileges etc…..At this point I believe only God can straighten us out. The purification of humanity is on the way. Unfortunately the only way we will listen is when humanity is brought down on their knees. True faithful have suffered much under this abuse and maintained the faith in their hearts. How can these false shepherds after all these years of deceiving us are able to face God. They will surely be held accountable for all the lost souls. May God have mercy on us all.

    • New Observer says:

      They won’t talk about sin in fear of offending people –notably the movers & shakers of the parish –the major “givers.” Many Pastors are under enormous pressure from the diocesan Bishop to raise more and more $$$. SHAME ON THEM ALL !!! When Jesus was found in the Temple, He told Joseph & Mary He “must be about His Father’s business” –that of the Scriptures. The business of today’s church has become “business.” No wonder Catholic church attendance is in huge decline.

      • Lucylee says:

        Couldn’t agree more New Observer.And the homily should be used to TEACH people about the Catholic Faith, which many grew up with no education in. No idea of dogma or doctrine.

  5. Angelo says:

    When in my late teenage years. We had a new parish priest. He blasted us in his sermons, calling us to reform our lives or lose it to hell. His words were not empty, he told us exactly what offends God and what pleases him. He wanted no one to lose their souls or to have the opportunity to live life to the full as Christ promised. Unless priests return to leading their flocks to heaven, the confessional lines will remain short. How can one confess their sins in the confessional, if they don’t know what sin is, and that sin is the only way to lose heaven. Its time for the Church to undergo the great Reform of the false reforms. One example of this priests sermons, At the beggining of Lent in 1979 he pounded his hand on the Ambo and shouted, “You pack of hypocrites, instead of giving up candy, why don’t you give up lieing, instead of giving up sodas, why don’t you give up adultery. It is a contrite heart that God wants ect…” This opened the eyes of many and the confessional line grew from 2 or 3 to 100.

    • Sophia says:

      Wow! That’s the priest we need in every parish! I even know of Catholics who goes to communion and does not even know that co-habitation is a mortal sin and shouldn’t receive communion. I wish every priest we have is the priest you had in 1979. I think it is a disservice my generation has these kind of priests now.

      • Sophia says:

        Correction to my above comment: I mean to say: “It is a disservice that in my generation, we don’t get to hear what we needed to hear and we don’t have these kind of priests who are concerns for the eternal salvation of our souls”.

      • Lucylee says:

        I know plenty of active, practicing Catholics who do not believe in the Sacrament of Penance. So I guess they are truly Saints!?

    • Catholic Lady says:

      Sophia- most Christians and even non-christians know that co-habitation is a sin, as is adultery, murder,lying, stealing. And all Catholics know they must confess their sins and receive absolution from the priest before receiving the Eucharst…. Angelo; Instead of giving up, why do you not give to? ie: the money you save by not purchasing that chocolate, coffee and cake etc. can be given to a charity that feeds the poor.

      • Angelo says:

        Catholic Lady, How much do you sacrifice to give to the poor? Mother Teresa of Calcutta was asked, “How much should I give to the poor” Mother Teresa responded, “Give until it hurts, then give some more”. As for everyone knowing some basic sins, I don’t think so. Nor do they know what the wages of sin are. I have heard many say, “I don’t go to confession because I don’t have any sins.”. I once in charity said to a person who said this very thing, “According to St. John the Evangelist we are all sinners”. The person barked at me, and because I am obese said, “I don’t even commit the sin of gluttony” That was one of the few sins the person knew about. Catholic, if you sold your computer imagine how much it would help the poor? God would bless you abundantly, and according to scripture “Alms covers a multitude of sins”, this would be best done on a Friday, the official day of pennance for all Catholics.

      • Lucylee says:

        You live in a “dream world” Catholic lady! I know many Catholics who go to church once a year or so, and still receive the Eucharist! No sins?? I know plenty who are married outside the church, or living together who do the same thing. The lines for Confession would be MUCH LONGER if all of them went to confession. We really do need for Confession time scheduled too.

  6. Teresa says:

    Um. I think the Holy Father said several years ago to LIMIT the homilies to 5 minutes and make them relevant. Didn’t you all get the memo?
    Just do us all a favor and process the statue of Our Lady of America into the Washington Basilica and CONSECRATE the country to her purity, as she has asked. The TIME IS LATE, your excellencies…very late….

    • New Observer says:

      Correct. Homilies of 5 to 7 minutes max are nothing but an annoyance. Less work for clergy to do any real research, reflection and study. It’s pathetic. The homily has become nothing more than something to get out of the way and move on to the Eucharist. When you ask someone after Mass what they thought of the homily they say “Oh, I forgot.” Worse is when you ask the priest after Mass. He forgot as well.

      • Angelo says:

        New Observer, As for the Priest I spoke of, I asked him one day what was the secret to his very succesful sermons. People’s ears were stuck like glue to everything he had to say. I asked him how long it took him to prepare for his sermons. He replied that he never prepared for his sermons, that he spoke from the heart, that his sermons never went beyond 7 minutes, and it was all frank, brief and to the point. I myself timed his sermons, rarely did they go past 4 minutes. In that short time all he said stuck to everyones minds and hearts. You see, he lived his faith, he prayed much, did much pennance and done a great deal of spiritual reading. He sought to know his parishioners, and his sermons were perfectly cut out just for us. I still quote from his sermons after over 30 years, and his words still contain the same power today as then. By what I quote from his sermons, many have said how they wish they would have known him. Now 30 year olds, that don’t know they were slated for abortion, or that they would have never been born had it not been for this priest lashing out at the sins of abortion and artifcial contraceptives, and warning their parents about eternity in hell. This priest was and is my mentor. I keep his counsils alive.

  7. Juan Oskar says:

    Who were the eleven? JO

  8. chris says:

    Finally! Thank The Lord. Maybe we will begin to get more helpful homilies. It’s so hard to be a Catholic today that we need to have the gospels talked about this way.

  9. Sandra Bater says:

    I’ve heard some good sermons, but not on the relevant or awkward part of the Gospel, eg when it obviously talks about purgatory, hell, divorce etc

  10. ann says:

    Now the question is, will our parish priests get this message? And will they boldly preach the Gospel in a way that pertains to the sinfulness that our country has fallen into. People are begging for it. Will they listen?

    • New Observer says:

      No. They don’t listen. They are too busy tweaking the Mass with useless words like “Consubstantial” or replacing cup with “chalice.” Such a waste of time and then all parishes must waste money buying new liturgy books with the new words. No doubt all the Catholic publishing houses are ca$hing in on this needless expense mandated by the church.

  11. Tony says:

    There are a lot of canned homilies and many priests and deacons use them. They are available on the net and by subscription in the mail. I heard one sermon a a Sat nite in one Parish and then heard rhe exact sermon in a parish seventy miles away on Sunday. How bad is that?

  12. 96706 says:

    It’s about time. The Catholic church is losing her parishioners to other Christian denominations here in Hawaii to churches such as “New Hope”, “Word of Life” and part of the reason IS the homily.

    • New Observer says:

      Amen. The USCCB would literally be shocked to know the huge # of Cathlics attending Mass and then are going to Evangelical churches down the street to hear the gospel and Paul’s NT letters taught and explained. Christian Pastors have been aware of Catholics going to their churches for years.

    • dan sullivan says:

      Really the Catholic Church is losing peole to other denominations? Is that wh it has 1.4 billion members globally and is the fastest growning religion on earth?

      • New Observer says:

        Dan, –There’s a distinction. Most all mainline denominations have gone apostate with false teaching in one or more areas such as ordaining women pastors or marrying gay couples. That’s the problem with our post-modernism culture society we live in today. Baptists are one exception to the old line mainline Protestants. Christian Evangelicals are not denominational but locally independent. Still, one must be discerning regarding what you hear. I’ve heard sermons at Mass by the Priest saying practicing homosexuals are not sinning. On the other hand, not every Christian Pastor holds to a biblical view as well. On TV, for example, Joel Osteen in Houston (nice man) never speaks of sin but delivers a nice message. THAT –would be (as St. Paul says) a false gospel. Catholics and Christian alike need to compare the homily / sermon with what God’s word says to know truth. Just because some guy wears a collar (or a nice suit and tie) in the pulpit does not mean they are speaking gospel truth. God’s word is the gold standard.

    • Catholic Lady says:

      Please take the time to read the Gospel of John 6:22-71 and then refelect on these questions: Many of Jess’ disciples desert Him because of His teaching about the bread of life – it’s necessary to eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have life. Why do you think these former disciples turn their backs on Jesus? Why don’t they believe Him? How do you think that a Catholic who’s been taught about the Real Presence of Jesus in the sacrament of the Eucharist can justify leaving the Church?

  13. stephen says:

    Fr. Steven Scheier learned the hard way that sugar-coated homilies carefully crafted to avoid offending anyone and to keep Sunday collection’s high lead priests straight to hell. We should all pay attention, especially priests, and learn from his experience. http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/wake-up-call-changes-priest/

  14. Martin Nguyen says:

    I do not have have a problem with homilies about social justice. There is time and space for it. However, do not preach it at the expense of much more important issues such as sexual moralities (and here a whole range of issues regarding sexual moralities.) When the Blessed Mother appeared to the 3 young children at Fatima (2 of them were already beatified by Pope John Paul II), She gave them the vision of Hell to see how horrific it was and said to them “most people went to Hell because of the sins of the flesh.” If you truly love your neighbors, you would want the best for them even if it means to preach uncomfortable things to them because nothing in this life or the next is better than going to Heaven after you die . Preach about the dogmas, the doctrines of the Church, preach about God’s commandments (all of them), preach about the 4 last things: death, judgement, Heaven and Hell. Remind them that everything they do and fail to do have consequences. If preachers fail to do this, they put their people’s souls and their own in jeopardy because they preach not to save but to please.

    Keep in mind that very few have made it to Heaven. Don’t take my word for it. Check out the sayings of the saints about this.


    Oh yes, God is LOVE. And if you LOVE God, keep his commandments, ALL OF THEM. Do not pick and choose what is comfortable.

  15. ray metzger says:

    Cardinal Dolan, said best,everyone thinks they will have salvation,but few will enter through the narrow gate,we need this reminder every month, when I was young, an old priest used to say “as the tree is bent so will it grow”

  16. Peggy says:

    In order for homilies to have any effect, they must address people’s real needs. For example understanding the deep meaning of both Old and New Testament applied to modern life, moral theology applied to life such as marriage, abortion, social justice. So FIRST, LISTEN TO THEM. THEN compose homilies directed to thinking ADULTS. A good suggestion that has worked is to meet with the lectors the week before and discuss the Scriptures they are to read with them. They will read with better understanding and the homilist will get new insights from their lived experience.

  17. Barbara says:

    This will definitely affect people’s lives for the good. It has been sorely needed in our homilies as indicated in many of the comments.

  18. Concerned says:

    All the comments about getting rid of homilies about social justice, helping the poor, forgiveness, etc are so off base. What is the central message of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures? As I said to Aunt Raven, if those homilies make you feel uncomfortable, maybe it’s a good indication that you need those homilies. If preaching on God’s Word is not adequate for you (and yes many preachers need to do a better job of relating God’s Word to current situations) then what is?

    • Mardi says:

      Hear Hear !!! Well said ‘Concerned’. You are so very right. As much as those other issues are important – from comments all over you see it makes judges of those making such comments. If they put a fraction of the effort into helping those already here – the rest would take care of itself. But it is too much of a challenge. Means having to think, to act, to get off our butts and actually realize the Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven.

  19. Concerned says:

    For those who keep harping on preaching about doctrine – sin, contraception, abortion, etc – - – who at Mass doesn’t know the church’s position? on the other hand, how many do not know scripture? Homilies are about the Scripture readings and how the Word of God needsd to be applied in our lives. If those who want homilies about contraception need reminders about doctrine, you should make an appointment with your priest so that you might receive the strength you need not to participate in those things.

    • stephen says:

      You are in complete denial at best or willfully subversive at worst. The country is in complete moral collapse and only a fraction of “catholics” receive communion weekly and make confession on a monthly basis. Yet, you push the status quo!? Wake up!

    • Angelo says:

      Concerned, to know scripture is to know that God is a demanding God. A God who has given to us to know that their are vile actions on our part that offend him. Offend him to the point of having no choice but for God to cast us into hell. Actually we are tired of all the sugar coated words in priests sermons. Its time to get real. Those who want to have nothing but sweet nothings tickling their ears should just stay out of Christ’s Church. To say to God, we don’t want to hear about your commandments, is called blasphemy. An absolute damnable sin.

      • Catholic Lady says:

        Anngelo; to know scripture is also to know that God is a God of Love; who loved us so much that He took upon our humanity and died on a cross for all of our sins. Please do not push anyone away from the Catholic Church, which is the one place where they can take part in the Holy Mass. Perhaps you could suggest the Sacrament of Reconciliation instead. Please take the time to read the Gospel of John 6:22-71 and answer the questions posted by me yesterday. Blessings Angelo, may you continue to serve your Church.

        • Angelo says:

          Catholic, Pushing Catholics away from the Church is the reason priests stopped talking about sin. Look at their fruits. Catholics are now leaving the Church in droves, they are attracted in hearing sin being spoken against. But the sins being condemned in those other Churches are not all sins, such as the Real Presence, all the 7 Sacraments, devotion to Our Lady, obedience to the Pope ect.. Yes God is in fact a God of Love, equaly he is a God of Justice which is why he is a God of Mercy. Mercy only for those who repent from their sins. You ask me not to push people away from the Church, I likewise ask you not to turn people away from the Church by presenting a false God. God Bless you also!

          • Tony says:

            Angelo I think you have a deep seated emotional problem and concentrate too much on a God of vengeance. We are finite beings and as such can not comprehend the infinite Love and Mercy of God.
            The bible tells us that God is Love. The saints tells us that God is nuts abot us. If you believe in visions St Faustina tells us God is a God of Mercy. Don’t worry Algelo, But go to a good shrink, eat well, exercise and make sure you move your bowels.

            • Angelo says:

              Tony, You spoke of those who judge and sound like pharasees. Ironic! The reason why I am speaking on sin, is only because I am countering those who don’t like the word sin, I guess because they are too busy commiting it. “Make sure you move your bowels???” you said! I think you need a spiritual enema. Maybe you need anger management, or better yet a dose of prozac.

          • Catholic Lady says:

            The Catechism teaches: 457 The Word became flesh for us by reconciling us with God, who “loved us and sent His Son to be the expation for our sins: the Father has sent His Son as the Savior of the world, and He as revealed to take away sin.
            458 The Word became flesh so that thus we might know God’s love: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
            459 The Word became flesh to be our model of holiness: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me.”….Jesus is the model for the Beatitudes and the norm of the new law: “Love one another as I have loved you. This love implies an effective offering of oneself, after His example.
            Angelo: I am not presenting a false God, actually I am presenting the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob- the God who chose Abraham and made a covenant with him and his descendants. By the covenant God formed His people and revealed His law to them through Moses. Throgh the prophets, He prepared them to accept the salvation destined for all humanity(CCC72) and furthermore (CCC73) God has revealed Himself full by sending His own Son, in whom He has established His covenant for ever. The Son is His Father’s definitive Word; so there will be nor further Revelation after Him….Angelo, people are attracted to the Church because of the love they see the church has for one another.

            • Marty says:

              Look at the example of Jesus telling those who divorce and remarry that they are committing adultery. Yeah, I thought so.

              • Catholic Lady says:

                Yes; Marty, I like most who post here know the example you are referring to. However Jesus differred from the “Religious” of those days in that Jesus corrected those who were in error out of love for them…The reason we do not sin is because sin offends our Lord.

            • Angelo says:

              Catholic, Are you talking about the Moses who was punished by God, by not allowing him to set foot on the promised land. David whose son was killed by God for his sin. Jesus who made a whip of cords and gave the sellers and moneychanges a severe beating. The Jesus who spoke more on hell than on any other subject, also going around warning people about eternal damnation over and over again. The rich man burning in hell, while Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham. Those words of Jesus, “The unquenchable fire, where the worm never dies”, “I do not know you, off to the fires of hell prepared for the devil and his angels” ect… ect… ect… God is Love, Justice and Mercy. Quote me some of the Cathecism that deals with God’s Judgment, there is plenty of it. Lets not create God in our image. God is who he is!

      • Tony says:

        St John in Sacred Scripyur tells us, GOD IS LOVE.

        • Tony says:

          Look at the examples of God Jesus gives us in the story of the Prodigal Son.

          • Tony says:

            Look at the example that Jesus gave os of God when he told the story of the Good Shephard.

            • Angelo says:

              Tony, look at the whole Jesus, not just the part of Jesus that suits your fancy. St. John says this, “We all know this, God punishes every sin and rewards every good”, also “We are all sinners. Anyone who says he is not a sinner is a liar. He lies to himself and lies to God”. As for the prodigal son, remember he repented. As for the rich man and lazarus, the rich man did not repent. Remember Fatima, when the children saw the sea of fire with countless of men and woman burning in hell, screaming in despair!

              • Tony says:

                Angelo stop with the fatima hallucinations. The complete message of the Gospel is we have a loving, merciful father who delights in us and loves us. God loves us even when we are sinning.

                • Angelo says:

                  Tony, Fatima is my rule of life, don’t tell me to stop speaking on the important messages from Our Lady. Of course we have the Gospel, but God sends our Lady to remind us of it because we tend to forget. Several Popes have said that what Our Lady said at Fatima is a reaffirmation of the Gospels. Like Christ Our Lady warned us of the consequences of sin, and the salvation of souls. One of the main messages was this, “Stop offending God for he is too much offended”. God delights in those who do his will. At Fatima Our Lady said, “Wars are a punishment for sin, I will end this war, but if men do not stop offending God, God will punish the world with a war worse than this one in the reighn of Pius Xl”. It happened they call it WWll where millions of millions died because of sin. Like I said don’t create God in your own immage. Get to know him, because he is not the softy you want to make him out to be.

                  • Tony says:

                    Angelo, I’ll bet on the God I have come to know through prayer, Scripture and liturgy.
                    God is not the sick tyrant you project. The Gospel tells us GOD is LOVE. That’s good enough. Now go take your medicine and a good strong enema.

                    • Angelo says:

                      Tony, God is no sick tyrant. You on the other hand deny God, most probably because the men in your life give you enemas and you don’t want to change your life. Instead you invent a God according to your own image and likeness. which of course will only land you in hell.

                    • Tony says:

                      By no means do I deny God. I am his adopted son through baptisim, I share in his forgiving nature through reconciliation, I deepen our relationship in Eucharist, I share in his creative love in marriage, I am ministerd to by those in Holy Orders and I am strengthen in faith throu confirmation. If I am I’ll I am restored throug the anointing of the sick. Inall things I celebrate his love for me and my sisters and brothers. I never deny god or his infinite love.

                  • New Observer says:

                    Angelo, BIG MISTAKE RIGHT THERE –Fatima is your rule of life ?? Who is teaching you this nonsense? Jesus is to rule your life –not some apparitin be it real (or imagined) Fatima has no impact on your salvation.

    • Marty says:

      Many don’t, as proven in this recent election. What is needed is a unified teaching on the CCC each week by every priest in every parish in the country. But it won’t happen because, sadly, many priests and bishops don’t even know what’s in there

  20. agv says:

    I have been teaching homiletics to candidates for the permanent diaconate for almost 30 years. One of the biggest challenges I continue to see is getting people (preachers and those “in the pew”) to look beyond what I call “entertainment value” — deciding the value of preaching based on whether or not it meets the pre-conceived ideas and expectations of the person preaching or the person hearing. (Did I hear what I WANT to hear?) Every Catholic would benefit from reading and reflecting on “Fulfilled in Your Hearing” — I hope this revision (which I have not yet seen) will be as thoughtful, informative and compelling.

  21. Florian says:

    If preachers are to connect the Sunday homily with people’s daily lives, it might be a good idea if they had: A) an adequate (at least) understanding of the scriptures; B) experience of how their people lead their daily lives; and C) sufficient opportunities to meet and share with other preachers of the Word, and to retrain periodically, kinda sorta like airline pilots are required to do.

    If that looks like a full-time job, it should, because it is a full-time job.

  22. Linda says:

    Yes, connect the homilies to our daily lives. I don’t need the readings just restated. We need to hear Church teaching, all aspects of it. For many who attend Mass, this is a chance to teach them something.

    • Angelo says:

      Linda, What you say is true. The sad thing is that many younger priests were not taught about sin in the seminary. Good young priests had to learn how to guide souls in a sort of underground way. In the book “Good bye good men” priests tell their own horror stories of their experience in the seminaries, what they had to put up with. How they had to keep silent on matters of faith and morals in order to not be kicked out of the seminary. Once ordained they came out and led souls in the right direction by what they had to learn in the underground and keep silent about. I know one priest who gave his story in this book, after his ordination when the book came out, his Bishop was furious and made this good priest’s life as miserable as possible.

  23. TerriG says:

    Aunt Raven, all I can say to your comment is AMEN!

    • Tony says:

      Very often when people hear sermon about sin they look around and are glad the person they see is hearing the sermon, never thinking that it might apply to themselves. Lets hear the all encompassing Gospel of love of neighbor. st Theresa says, “love God and do as you please.” Implied in that is if you really love God you will not sin. That is a beautiful healthy spiritual tip from a great woman doctor of the church.

      • Angelo says:

        Tony, What you say is true, when sin is condemned by a priest, there are those who look around at others or just think, are you listening? I know, people have done that to me and I have done that to others. That is a sin the priest should condemn also. You say St. Teresa said “Love God and do as you please”, she loved sacred scripture, here she was putting Christ’s words, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all else will be given to you”. She was putting Christ’s words in another form. Another Saint said, “To be a good follower of Christ, all you need to do is nothing” which to me is another way of putting those words of Christ’s in another form. God Bless!

  24. Tony says:

    By living the Gospel message of love of neighbor and love of God and concentrating on virtue one automatically negates the negative in his or her life.
    All you need is love, after all, God is LOVE.

    • Angelo says:

      Tony, What is love? It is this, Christ said, “If you love me you will keep my COMMANDMENTS” What are Christ’s commandments? If we don’t know them, how will we confess when we break them?

      • Catholic Lady says:

        The greatest commandments are LOVE GOD, AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF, if you keep these commandments you have fulfilled the LAW..

        • Angelo says:

          Catholic, Very true, but remember Christ was not ignoring the other commandments. He made it clear that these 2 Commandments sum up the whole law. The first 3 of the 10 commandments deal with Love of God, the other 7 deal with love of neighbor. Christ was not asking us to love him and our neighbhor in a feely manner. But in a manner performed through action on our part.

  25. anon says:


    The items mentioned by Mark are not exclusive to moral theology as if it is some type of college course. They are central to the Gospel message.

    • William says:

      Mark is spot on! What kind of Kool Aid has ++Carlson been drinking? All he’s asking for is more of the same old mamby pamby, smile button Catholicism crap we now suffer through. Tony, just ask one of your fellow Catholics to name the Last Four Things: Duhh? Hey,…peace, love, justice you’re okay and I’m okay–see you in heaven, Buddy!!

  26. Mark says:

    The Church is on fire and this is the best they can come up with. Try giving homilies on Church doctrine…now there is a novel idea. When is the last time anyone has had a sermon on sin, the types of sin, grace and the types of grace, contraception, sterilization, etc.. All we seem to get is social justice sermons every Sunday and in the mean time our society is falling apart because doctrine is not taught or lived by priest and layity. Wake up before it is to late.

    • Tony says:

      Mark, the homily is supposed to be on the Gospel and living the Gospel, it’s not a course in moral theology.

    • Aunt Raven says:

      Mark said it. What good are sermons on “charity” and “giving to the poor” and encouraging “dialogue”, when they ignore the number of Catholics living in fornication, practicing contraception, and voting for politicians who advocate sodomite “marriage” abortion and euthanasia; who rarely go to Confession yet march up to Communion each Sunday? (“It’s so easy to rage against the barracuda in the bath, the drug dealer under the kitchen sink”) Forget socialist “social justice” and get back to preaching plain old “Justice” –.

      • Concerned says:

        Aunt Raven, do homilies on charity, social justice, and giving to the poor make you feel uncomfortable? Maybe this is a good indication that you need those kind of homilies. Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable!

        • RuthAnn says:

          Aunt Raven,
          Since homilies should reflect the Gospel of the day and the Scriptural readings, the focus HAS to be on charity, giving to the poor, and dialogue. That’s what Jesus preached, after all. Go read the Gospels, and you’ll see! Those priests who get off on teaching morality – antigay, antiabortion,etc. are NOT preaching the Gospel. Show me where Jesus speaks about such issues in the Gospels!

      • RuthAnn says:

        …oh, Aunt Raven, and might I add: Go read the Gospel of the person who praised God that s/he was not like the other sinners… You reflect this in your comment, judging those who go to Communion without confession. Were you sitting in the Confessional that you know for sure that these people did not or rarely go to Confession? BTW, the “Social Justice” teachings are part of Catholic teachings. That’s what the Bishops are discussing this week!

    • Lee Pope says:

      I fully agree we never hear of the conseguences of supporting abortion through our voting. People should realise that they are as guilty as the person who performs the abortion or the legislators that vote for abortion rights. I know of no right to murder children. The consequences are grave yet the priest,at least in my parish, never relate this to the congregation.Our parishoners must be all in the state of Grace at mass the entire congregation goes to Holy Communion. I just know no one would commit a sacrilege.

    • stephen says:

      Good point. Priests’ primary focus should be on saving souls from the fires of hell. If homilies are not being used to that end, what good are they?


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