Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Fr. Charles Forget: A True Priest of Jesus Christ

Christians often do not even know the central core of their own Catholic faith, the Creed, so that they leave room for a certain syncretism and religious relativism... the risk of fabricating, as it were, a “do-it-yourself” religion is not so far off today. 
(Pope Benedict, October 17, 2012)

Many readers will have by now become familiar with Fr. Charles Forget. For background information and further details, please see Vox Cantoris. The Vox is to be congratulated for his rigorous pursuit of this matter.

A few reflections: this persecution of Fr. Forget would seem to reflect the general crisis of faith and accompanying moral relativism that Pope Benedict spoke and taught about on innumerable occasions. It also brings to mind Pope Francis' reflection (paraphrasing the great French convert, Leon Bloy) that to preach without Jesus Christ is to preach the devil. Precisely. A Church without Christ is a counter-church, an anti-church; the synagogue of satan. 

Simply, the case of Fr. Forget involves a priest preaching the Gospel through the distribution of a standard Examination of Conscience. The story, in saner times, would end here; if not for a vitriolic attack upon the priest by a parent from the local Catholic school who rejects Catholic Faith and Morals, if not for an anti-Catholic press, if not for a slow off the mark Chancery official (a layman at that!) to rigorously defend a Catholic priest. This incident reflects all the tragic ingredients at the local level, of what affects the Church across the country: confused Catholics, undermined priests, local church bureaucracy. 

Several points arise from this case that I wish to touch upon:

1. The on-going false belief, that one can claim to be Catholic, all the while dissenting on matters of faith and Morals. One cannot. Paul VI, in his introduction to Humanae Vitae outlined the authority of the Magisterium:

No member of the faithful could possibly deny that the Church is competent in her magisterium to interpret the natural moral law. It is in fact indisputable, as Our predecessors have many times declared, that Jesus Christ, when He communicated His divine power to Peter and the other Apostles and sent them to teach all nations His commandments, constituted them as the authentic guardians and interpreters of the whole moral law, not only, that is, of the law of the Gospel but also of the natural law. For the natural law, too, declares the will of God, and its faithful observance is necessary for men's eternal salvation. (Humanae Vitae, Nr.4)

2. A growing sexual nihilism amongst people who have been baptized Catholic, yet have rejected even rejected their Faith due to dissent in matters of morality (in truth, to reject morality, implies a rejection of faith (c.f. Humane Vitae, Nr. 4, above). Rampant divorce, fornication, adultery and sexual perversions (including the perversion of the martial act through contraception) - all grave sins - have come to be accepted by innumerable persons still claiming to be Catholic. Yet they are in grave error:

“What is taught by the Church on contraception is not one of the matters that may be freely disputed by theologians. To teach the contrary is the equivalent to leading the conscience of spouses into error”. (Pope John Paul II)

3. An complete ignorance of the Catholic Faith and lack of catechesis. This is exemplified in the attacks upon Fr. Forget. Let us ask ourselves: will the Archdiocese of Toronto take this as a wake-up call that catechesis is in crisis? Perhaps that Pastoral Plan could be re-written and consist of one simple but profound word: CATECHESIS.

"As we know, in vast areas of the earth faith risks being extinguished, like a flame that is no longer fed. We are facing a profound crisis of faith, a loss of the religious sense that constitutes the greatest challenge to the Church today.... we must also recognize that the risk of a false irenism and of indifferentism — totally foreign to the thinking of the Second Vatican Council — demands our vigilance. (Pope Benedict)

When drawn together one sees how a false, gnostic subjective view of religion involving syncretism and moral relativism has replaced the objective reality of the Catholic Faith. Indeed, this new manifestation is nothing but a re-emergence (perhaps in a more virulent form) of Modernism condemned by Pius X over a century ago. 

The holy Pope wrote: 

...the Modernist theologian avails himself of exactly the same principles which we have seen employed by the Modernist philosopher, and applies them to the believer: the principles of immanence and symbolism. The process is an extremely simple one. The philosopher has declared: The principle of faith is immanent; the believer has added: This principle is God; and the theologian draws the conclusion: God is immanent in man. Thus we have theological immanence. So too, the philosopher regards as certain that the representations of the object of faith are merely symbolical; the believer has affirmed that the object of faith is God in Himself; and the theologian proceeds to affirm that: The representations of the divine reality are symbolical. And thus we have theological symbolism. Truly enormous errors both... (Pascendi, Nr.19).

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