Fr Paul Nicholson, missionary priest

I’ve known of Fr. Paul Nicholson for quite some time.  He is on social media and regularly posts videos of homilies.  We know some people in common but our paths have never crossed. Yesterday, for the first time, I spoke with him on the phone, regarding a story of Mary Wagner, 40, who was arrested Dec. 23 for civil disobedience at an abortion facility, and has spent much of the past four years in prison for her peaceful protests.

Anyway, the conversation was a good one.  Not only was he interesting, but there was the joy in his voice, the quick laugh and self-deprecating humor.

Then I came across his blog and read this:

Longenecker takes examples of Our Blessed Lord from the gospels and believes that his winning way was what converted people. He offers us a picture of the loving conviviality of Jesus of Nazareth as a model for the conversion of sinners. It is the same story as Elizabeth Scalia. He tells us that Jesus did not forcefully accuse, nor demonstrate any harsh pronouncements. Thus, we should never correct, never reprove, or never contradict the sinner. This, Fr. Longenecker believes, is the model for Christian leadership.

Let us be very careful of this limited representation of Jesus. The terrible sorrow of the Passion, its degradation and all its humiliaton, is the most forceful denunciation of sin ever preached. Can anyone look at the Passion and not feel the sheer magnitude of guilt that rests on man?

Our Blessed Lord saw the helplessness of man. Since the fall of Adam and Eve, man is subject to the gale force wind of his own passions and appetites. Man does not enjoy the integrity of his first parents. Man is continually fooled by his darkened intellect. He thinks he knows something, but in fact he does not. He even takes to himself the aberration of his sin and identifies himself with the sin, and makes himself a pathetic figure, a freak of nature. He is totally unaware of how the fallen angelic minds, the devil, conspires in malice to destroy man.

As the New Moses, Our Lord could not allow man to follow this parade of slavery. He had to lead man out of darkness and his deranged appetites, his foolish thoughts, his self-identified sin. Our Lord did this, by forcefully arresting the collapse of fallen nature and diabolical oppression. Our Lord had to stand up to the cold, deliberate, determined sinfulness of man. He stood up to it by being destroyed by it. He allowed himself to be ridiculed, reduced to nothing, driven out of the city, exiled from his own people, made a mockery and a malefactor in order to rescue man from the devil, and from his fallen nature.This is Christian leadership: the leader stands up to the monstrosity of fallen nature and accepts whatever horror it throws back at it by standing up and contradicting it. Christian leadership is always painful, for it must follow the Lamb wherever He goes. Christian leadership doesn’t lead parades, it makes the Way of the Cross. A Christan leader allows himself to be seen as nothing and of no account. But the smaller he is, the more authority he has. He becomes the voice of authority percisely because he echoes the still small voice within, the voice of the burdened conscience.

And as for speeches, the Christian leader can only say what Christ himself said: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” It is in this terrifying abandoned state, lifted up, and rejected, that the Christian leader experiences the victory of Christ; “and when I am lifted up, I will draw all things to Myself.”

To which I say. Wow.

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4 Responses to Fr Paul Nicholson, missionary priest

  1. John Walter S. says:

    I remember this priest from when he called SSPX in their protest march against a Satanic Mass in Oklahoma to be “worse than Satanists” which is strange, considering how Pope Francis himself called that group “Catholics”- Read here: http://fatherpaulnicholson.blogspot.com/2014/09/there-is-something-worse-than-black-mass.html

    But that’s his opinion. I guess those politicians who support abortion while going to communion fare better than the SSPX, as well as those who want to change the Roman Catholic Church into something strange and different. They deserve charity and understanding, while SSPX is lower than Satanism, according to Fr. Nicholson.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      John,

      You wrote: I remember this priest from when he called SSPX in their protest march against a Satanic Mass in Oklahoma to be “worse than Satanists”…

      Well, the Satanists are at least honest as to their beliefs and current status. The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) pretends to be Catholic, even though it remains a state of schism with the Catholic Church and continues to propose heretical doctrinal positions.

      You continued: … considering how Pope Francis himself called that group “Catholics”…

      Not exactly. Rather, Pope Francis echoed Pope Benedict XVI in expressing hope that the SSPX will return to the full communion of the Catholic Church. Both popes also stated that resolution of the doctrinal errors of the SSPX is a necessary condition for the SSPX to return to the full communion of the Catholic Church.

      You wrote: I guess those politicians who support abortion while going to communion fare better than the SSPX, as well as those who want to change the Roman Catholic Church into something strange and different.

      Canonically, there is a significant difference. Although politicians who support abortion have fallen into heresy, and thus automatic excommunication, the fact remains that the competent ecclesial authorities have not declared those excommunications in the public forum. Thus, the obligation to abide by the canonical penalty rests solely on the individual. Catholic ministers of the sacraments cannot to refuse the sacraments to them if they come forward to receive it.

      Norm.

      • John Walter S. says:

        I seriously doubt honest Satanists have any merit in their desire to blaspheme God, much less when compared with the intentions of SSPX who have no such desires.

        Ignorant laymen like myself cannot easily see the disparity and similarities between the SSPX situation and pro-abort politicians. Still, I cannot find myself delighted to join the stone-throwing circle aimed at the SSPX. Some people enjoy putting them down too much, don’t you think?

      • Rev22:17 says:

        John,

        You wrote: I seriously doubt honest Satanists have any merit in their desire to blaspheme God, much less when compared with the intentions of SSPX who have no such desires.

        The fact that one has a God-given right to do something does not mean that it is prudent to do it. The concept of “free will” is that God has given each of us the right to choose the way of sin over the way of holiness, but those who choose sin bear its consequence — eternal damnation rather than eternal life.

        But there is no danger of Satanists misleading the faithful because Satanists state quite plainly that they are worshipping Satan. The members of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), on the other hand, are tell the faithful that they are fully Catholic even though they are not in full communion with the pope, thus potentially misleading the faithful.

        You wrote: Ignorant laymen like myself cannot easily see the disparity and similarities between the SSPX situation and pro-abort politicians.

        Yes, the differences involve subtle, but significant, nuances of canon law. I try to explain what I can to those who care.

        You continued: Still, I cannot find myself delighted to join the stone-throwing circle aimed at the SSPX. Some people enjoy putting them down too much, don’t you think?

        There are two errors in this regard. On one side of the coin, there are many who go on in denial of the schism, which is very real. On the other side of the coin, we have those who insist in throwing stones at the schismatics. The objective is to build bridges that enable those in schism to cross the chasm. One can’t do that if one denies the existence of the chasm, but one also cannot build a bridge across a chasm without cooperation from those on the other side of it.

        In the case of the SSPX, the matter is complicated by the fact that there are heresies at the root of the schism — specifically, rejection of points of doctrine articulated in a doctrinal decree (the dogmatic constitution a href=”http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html”) promulgated by an ecumenical council (the Second Vatican Council) which, by its very nature, is intrinsically infallible in its entirety. Of course, this is not a matter that you and I can resolve. Rather, this matter rests between the pontifical commission Ecclesia dei and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, acting on behalf of the pope, and the leadership of the SSPX. The rest of us can only pray.

        Norm.

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