Spiritual Warfare Forum: Re: Advice to Maine
Re: Advice to Maine QUESTION from Michael on February 6, 2003 Dear Mr. Meineke:
Perhaps you will not want to place this topic in the public forum, but my conscience has urged me to write this to you, nonetheless. (I would have no problem with a non-public consideration of this question, for this non-public approach seems prudent to me.)
Of course, your advice to Maine is excellent, and obedient to Scripture and Catholic Church teachings, and very wise as well. I have one emphatic problem with it, however. I agree that the situation is solely a matter of sacramental Confession, and certainly not of other kinds of confession, sharing, or gossip. Nevertheless, the Chancery has to be surely aware, or else has to be made aware, of the problems of Maine's Pastor, somehow.
This would be an extremely delicate circumstance. If the Chancery is involved in the counseling and treatment of the priest already, then nothing more needs to be done. If not--
informing the Chancery would be a thorny matter of spiritual discernment for someone wise, loving, mature, and balanced.
I do not believe that anyone else need know, but I do not believe that Maine should sit on this information without having someone to help her find the highest good -- that is, God's will -- for all involved.
Mr. Meineke, I enjoy reading your responses, which are clear and direct and experienced and orthodox.
ANSWER by Mr. Joe Meineke on February 7, 2003
Dear Michael, Thank you for your kind words and your genuine concern for the answer to the question, Spiritual Distress/Deceptions dated February 3, 2003. I have decided to go ahead and make this post public so that others who, perhaps having the same concern, may benefit from reading this. This was, as you astutely pointed out, a delicate matter. In addition to being saddened by what I read, I did, in fact, consider the question of whether or not the Bishop should be notified. I decided that this would not be a recommendation that I would put forth in the answer. Primarily, the decision was based upon the Catholic definition of detraction. Referencing Father Hardon's Pocket Catholic Dictionary (p.108), we learn that detraction is: Revealing something about another that is true but harmful to that person's reputation. It is forbidden to reveal another persons secret faults or defects, unless there is proportionate good involved. The fact that something is true does not, of itself, justify its disclosure. Detraction is a sin against justice. It robs one of what most people consider more important that riches, since a person has a strict right to his or her reputation whether it is deserved or not. So the question became, was there, in this case, proportionate good involved in taking this to the Bishop? Based solely upon what was written in the questioner's post, I was not convinced that there was. This appears to have been an isolated incident that happened in a moment of weakness. Had the priest been behaving in a predatory manner, then I believe that the proportionate good clause would have been met. The best course of action was, in my opinion, to let lessons be learned and to let the healing and reconciliation process begin. Thank you again, and God bless you. Joe Meineke Assistant to Bro. Ignatius For Assistance with Spiritual Warfare problems please go to our How We Can Help You page. For a direct link to sample Spiritual Warfare prayers see our Spiritual Warfare Prayer Catalog Back to Index Page