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August 11, 2006

Comments

Some Day

Did he recieve the letter of excommunication?
Is it an act of defiance to pray for an excommunicated person? A suicidal?
I think not, but I know in more reasonable times no Mass would be offered right? But whatever...
I don't want to sound uncaring. It is just I find it repulsive.

Ed Peters

MA: fiding the most repulsive aspect of this case was not easy, there were sooo many choices.
Some Day: one may pray for any one.

Gene Branaman

Isn't it more reasonable to offer Mass & pray for such folks? Honestly, we simply can't know the disposition of this man's heart at the very end. Only God can. So I think it's best that we pray for him & entrust him to the abundant mercy of God.

Repulsive? Sure. But then I find my own sins repulsive. So I pray for God to have mercy on me, as well.

Some Day

Its just sooooo many things.
Apsostasy, excommunication, suicide and he is proud of it. You don't need God to tell you that fire burns. Pray ok. Mass, not ok. My own cousin killed himself. I prayed. There was a Mass. I served on the Altar. But I still think we need to show the severity of sins, esspecially for public sins. I mean he "left"the Priesthood. And he'll get his "wish"to remain a priest because Judas is still a Bishop in Hell, and a Priest is a Priest forever.

Ed Peters

Careful, Gene. No one pretended to know the state of his soul. But in our subtly-egalitarian culture, we tend to jump from "we are all sinners" to "we are all sinners to the same degree." That is wrong, just as wrong as saying we are all holy to the same degree, or that God loves each of us to the same degree. As long as one does make the error you rightly warn about, there is nothing wrong in saying that some sins, and their agents, are worse than others. Sometimes, way way worse.

Ed Peters

Some Day: Take a look at 1983 CIC 901 (I'll save you looking it up: "A priest is free to apply the Mass for anyone, living or dead." The ONLY restriction of any sort on offering Masses for the dead lies in 1983 CIC 1185, which is not involved in this case.

Philip Howard

"But I do wish to remain a priest." Wow. This is a testament to the living Church. The body and blood are so powerful, so integral to the human experience, that despite Mr. Duryea's defiance and apostasy he still wants to partake.

My prayers are with him.

- PH

J.R. Stoodley

It is true that not all people are equally sinners, but we can not judge for ourselves who is better and who is worse. This man may be better than anyone who posts here. He could be a great saint for all we know (as he is in heaven that is, he could never be cannoized by the way he lived on earth). The evidence is heavily and disgustingly to the contrary, but who cares, since the evidence is insufficient to make a judgement on the state of his soul.

I am repulsed by the idea of refusing to say a mass for a man because he sinned publicly. That is all the more reason to say a mass for him.

Les

Sounds to me like there was a hint of the reincarnation in his thoughts. Without being at all facetious, it also sounds to me as though he would have been a lot more comfortable as Druid, or as some similar kind of priest. When it comes to moral issues and the discipline of the Church, it is clearly a much easier path to blur the lines between the creator and the creation. In order to live with his own decisions he may have glided into a comfortable New Age mysticism. It is not uncommon with the laity and so an occasional priest is not surprising.

Only God knows for sure.

distasteful

momof6

I thought that a funeral Mass was precisely to pray for that person's soul, even now those who commit suicide, since we don't know the state of their souls, especially at the moment of their deaths. The problem, of course, is that a lot of these Masses now eulogize the deceased to the point of sanctity. Quite dangerous.

J.R. Stoodley

mom

I'll agree with the danger of eulogizing the man. On the one hand you don't want to canonize someone who lived such a despicable life, on the other hand I woulnd't want to hurt his family emotionally at this time and drive them farther from the Church.

In fact, while I fully support masses given for the repose of his soul, I would think a Catholic funeral or burial in a Catholic cemetery would be inappropriate for an excommunicated person.

Tony

I don't believe a "self directed death" is suicide. He was suffering from a rare form of cancer. Are we required to get treatment for diseases? If you could point me to the CCC or Canon entry, I'd appreciate it.

Maybe he figured God was calling him home and didn't want to delay it.

BTW, when we pray for the "soul most forsaken" I always think of Judas Iscariot and offer up a prayer for him.

Brother Cadfael

I think the "which should be legal" modifier suggests that the "self-directed death" in question was a suicide.

CCC 2276-79 deals with euthanasia, suicide immediately follows.

Ryan Herr

Ed Peters wrote, "No one pretended to know the state of his soul. But in our subtly-egalitarian culture, we tend to jump from "we are all sinners" to "we are all sinners to the same degree." That is wrong, just as wrong as saying we are all holy to the same degree, or that God loves each of us to the same degree."

I understand and agree when you say that we are not all sinners to the same degree, and that we are not all holy to the same degree. Could you please clarify and defend your statement that God does not love each of us to the same degree?

Michelle Arnold

"I understand and agree when you say that we are not all sinners to the same degree, and that we are not all holy to the same degree. Could you please clarify and defend your statement that God does not love each of us to the same degree?"

Ryan, click here for an explanation.

Ed Peters

Yes, Ryan, I could, but St. Therese Lisieux has done it much better. Short-hand: Who is holier? you, or the Blessed Mother? ok? best, edp.

Ed Peters

Ah, I didn't see MA's post, but it's right on. Also, up above, I left out a rather important NOT.

MissJean

"Self-directed death" is just another way of saying "suicide". I believe the Hemlock Society used that one.

In other words, he kevorked.

Ryan Herr

Ed Peters wrote, "Yes, Ryan, I could, but St. Therese Lisieux has done it much better. Short-hand: Who is holier? you, or the Blessed Mother? ok?"

In response to Ryan, who wrote: "I understand and agree when you say that we are not all sinners to the same degree, and that we are not all holy to the same degree. Could you please clarify and defend your statement that God does not love each of us to the same degree?"

Ed, I've read Story of a Soul, Last Conversations, and Story of a Love each one time, but I can't claim to be any great Therese scholar, but I don't remember where she writes that God does not love each of us to the same degree. I do remember where she writes that we will have different levels of glory in heaven, or as Michelle put it, "individuals will enjoy heaven in greater or lesser degrees dependent upon their ability to love that was developed during this life." I hadn't thought about that before reading Therese, but it makes sense to me. Still, this doesn't seem the same to me as being loved less or more by God. I am sincerely seeking understanding and don't come to the discussion with a conscious agenda or unwillingness to reconsider any erroneous beliefs that I might hold. So please, if you have the time and inclination, point me more specifically in the right direction.

J.R. Stoodley

In what Michelle quoted Therese only seems to be talking about the individual's love and their ability therefore to respond to God's love.

My own speculation: Due to finite human nature, none of us, not even the Blessed Mother, will ever be able to fully grasp how much God loves us. To the extent that we love God we are able to receive his love. That love for us exists no matter what and is equal for all human beings, but the experiance of that love, which is the primary joy of heaven, depends on the level of our own love.

Les

J.R. Stoodley,
Interesting comment. I have to agree. From a personal conversion experience of my own, I can attest that many of us will welcome purgatory, will desire purgatory, will insist upon purgatory when even a small part of God's love illuminates us after we die and we want to hide ourselves in shame because of the dirt of this life that is still upon us.
God's love is totally overwhelming. I believe that we will see and totally love God's justice and reward for ourselves in the end because we will truly know ourselves and know how perfectly suited is our place and allotment from God.

Ed Peters

Ryan and others, this is a JimmyQ, I'm just a poor canon lawyer, but here goes: God creates each person with a unique capacity to accept His love; no one (leave Mary out of this part) accepts all the love He offers. Ok? St.TL's analogy of a thimble and a pitcher both being "full", while having unequal amounts of water, works for me. Just add to it, that we thimbles and pitchers by our own free will impact how muhc water we hold, too. Is it possible that creates an pitcher who rejects almost all of His grace, and thimble who accepts almost all of it, so the "lesser" ends up with more in the end? Sure. But in loving, God acts with utter freedom, and is not bound to love according to our notions of equality.

BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

I would never hope for the damnation of ANY human being & certainly not this fellow. I certainly wish the mercy of God on this man & hope for his salvation.

That having been said it goes without saying (& would never say this to any of his relatives) that I wouldn't risk betting any money on him going to Heaven. A Priest should know better than to kill himself.

I pray to God this guy was insane.

Ed Peters

BYJC4, yes, insanity is the best plea here....sorry for typos above, but we're getting the kids ready for an outing to Lake Huron today. Gotta run.

Ryan Herr

Ed, I accept everything that you wrote in your last comment, including of course that "in loving, God acts with utter freedom, and is not bound to love according to our notions of equality." But from all this discussion, it's still quite a jump to assert that it's certainly wrong to say that "God loves each of us to the same degree." And, I object to putting those words in the mouth of Saint Therese. (Unless an actual quote is produced.)

Ed Peters

Like I said, folks, this has become a JimmyQ. He is clearer than I am to begin with, plus he is more patient than I am in correcting people's misunderstandings of what he said, before he gets about correcting their misunderstandings of what they (not-unreasonably) think. Do continue to look into this, though, Ryan. It is a startling concept for each of us when we first come to grips with it. Kindest regards, edp.

Susan Peterson

Mr. Peters, What is that one exception which doesn't apply here?

Someone told me that a priest could not say a public mass for an unbaptized person...but could do so in private. I wanted to know because my father who died recently was unbaptized and I wanted to know if it were right to have masses said for him.

Thanks,
Susan Peterson

J.R. Stoodley

Ed Peters,

It seems clear to me that in St. Therese's analogy it is not that God creates some of us as pitchers and some as shot glasses and then all of us but Mary prevent Him from filling us to capacity. God, in heaven (which is what she is talking about) fills each of us to the brim. What we decide in life, by the extent of our love (which is fixed upon death) is the size of the container. Some of us, by the acceptance of God's grace, make themselves pitchers, others reject more of Gods grace and love Him less at the time of their death, and so have made themselves shot glasses. God fills all with his love and life and joy to the extent that they are able, to the brim. I would say the analogy would be even better if God's love were a waterfall pouring into the glass, offering it more love than it could ever hold. "My cup overflows."

Ryan Herr

Ed, I emailed Jimmy, hopefully he will have the time and inclination to help me out.

Helene Wood

What a shock to see John Duryea. I knew him when he was still a priest in good standing. He was at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Palo Alto, California. His brother was also a priest and also got married (but his was secret until his wife miscarried their child while he was on a camping trip).

Years later when my family and I were far from the Catholic Church, he married my mom and step-father, and then he married me and my husband. I shudder to think about it now. My marriage ended and I received a Nullity of Marriage due to Lack of Form.

May God have mercy on his soul.

Brother Cadfael

I believe that St. Alphonsus Liguori has a similar concept. In the book titled (I believe) The Glories of Mary, the second homily on the Assumption talks about how we are all blissfully happy and perfectly content with our place in heaven, but we are not all happy to the degree that we would have been if we had sinned less.

The bottom line, we know much of what we know about God by analogies, and most analogies are more untrue than they are true with respect to the Infinite Creator. But they are nonetheless useful tools to help us know things about God and characteristics of God.

In that vein, it can be useful to speak of someone in heaven being happier in heaven than someone else, of having more glory in heaven than someone else, or being more loved by God than someone else. Those are useful concepts to a point and are true in some sense. If we try to get too much out of them, however, we begin to go down the wrong path and get the wrong ideas.


Ryan Herr

Brother Cadfael wrote: ... it can be useful to speak of someone in heaven being happier in heaven than someone else, of having more glory in heaven than someone else, or being more loved by God than someone else. Those are useful concepts to a point and are true in some sense. If we try to get too much out of them, however, we begin to go down the wrong path and get the wrong ideas.

Brother, my question right now isn't "On what paths do these concepts lead us?" My objection comes earlier, is more fundamental - My question is, "Why is being loved more or less by God seen by anyone as the same path as, or a parallel path to, being more or less happy in heaven or having more or less glory in heaven?"

Some Day

In the end, you just can't accept that God loves some others more than yourself. You know that God loves St. Theresa more than me or anyone writing here because she was faithful and lived a saintly life. It is a communist and egalitarian tendency to say God loves everyone, rewards everyone and calls everyone to a vocation of equal degree.
It simply is not true. God rewards the faithful.

Brother Cadfael

Ryan,

The Blessed Mother has a far greater capacity to receive love than any other creature. That means that she receives more of God's love than any other creature, therefore has more glory in heaven, and therefore is happier in heaven. Another way of saying that is simply that God loves her more than anyone else. The same, to a lesser degree, is true with the saints.

I don't know if that answers your question or not, but let me know.

Ryan Herr

Brother: There is a difference between our capacity for receiving and God's capacity for giving. That's my difficulty.

Jesus may love his mother more than He loves anyone else. That certainly wouldn't be an offensive thought to me: she's His mother, for goodness sake! Among the Apostles, John is called "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Does Jesus love some more than others? Maybe.

It's not the general concept that I have so much objection to, it's the defense. No, I don't agree when you write that "Another way of saying [she receives more of God's love than any other creature] is simply that God loves her more than anyone else." Because, "she received more x" is not another way of saying "she was offered more x." It's not an issue of theology, it's an issue of semantics and logic.

And I wouldn't be so bothered by it if I hadn't been handled so flippantly and dismissively. I'm not as cool and detached as I'd like to be. Please pray for me.

Ryan Herr

PS: Brother, thank you for taking the time to try to help me.

Some Day

Ryan,
I'm sorry but, the way I read you is that if I recieve $100 from my parents, and it is described as more, than someone, my sister probably recieved less, ergo I have more. Unless my sister was offered $1000 and refused them, I was OFFERED more and GOT more, but not to you. That is not logical. But whatever, I maybe am explaining wrong but I know God loves, but not the same to everyone. He would be in Greenpeace if he did(I just picked some random hippyish org.)

Erin

This is so wrong..your father would have never aproved of this or wanted you to do this! Muppets was probaly always meant for kids only!! Not adults to use in the wrong, gross way..the world is already bad enough..your just making it worse! how dare you?

Some Day

ERIN,
I think you posted in the wrong place.
This is the EX-COM priest who killed himself thread.

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