Mediator Dei 100

An interesting “pastoral” approach: emphasize other people’s sinfulness. The root of the sex abuse cover-up? Not attending to one’s own plank? You discern:

100. This we are also taught by those exhortations which the Bishop, in the Church’s name, addresses to priests on the day of their ordination, “Understand what you do, imitate what you handle, and since you celebrate the mystery of the Lord’s death, take good care to mortify your members with their vices and concupiscences.”[Roman Pontifical, Ordination of a priest] In almost the same manner the sacred books of the liturgy advise Christians who come to Mass to participate in the sacrifice: “At this . . . altar let innocence be in honor, let pride be sacrificed, anger slain, impurity and every evil desire laid low, let the sacrifice of chastity be offered in place of doves and instead of the young pigeons the sacrifice of innocence.”[Roman Pontifical, Consecration of an altar, Preface] While we stand before the altar, then, it is our duty so to transform our hearts, that every trace of sin may be completely blotted out, while whatever promotes supernatural life through Christ may be zealously fostered and strengthened even to the extent that, in union with the immaculate Victim, we become a victim acceptable to the eternal Father.

First, let’s be clear about my opinion of sin. It is indeed something which should be blotted out. It is the task of every conscience to examine one’s life carefully, closely, and fearlessly.

Second, this is not necessarily, or even primarily a task of sacrifice. It might be. But examination, contrition, and confession is a task to embrace in poverty or in wealth.

Clergy do well, perhaps do best, to set an example to follow. And set it humbly. That may be a significant sacrifice.

Mediator Dei on the Vatican web site.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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One Response to Mediator Dei 100

  1. FrMichael says:

    I had to do a double take here. It seems as if your point about pointing out other people’s sins (aka the laity) is encouraged at the beginning of this paragraph, but then the long last sentence is about the clergy (“we”) having their sins blotted out. That’s how I read it.

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