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“ I. Ut sanctum Poenitentiæ Sacramentum ad eos qui post baptis. mum lapsi sunt, in gratiam Dei restituendos a Christo Domino insti. tutum, rite administretur ; imprimis meminerit Confessarius se judicis paritur et medici personam sustinere, atque adeo, ut recte ju licare queat, discernens inter lepram et lepram, et tanquam peritus medicus animarum morbos prudentur curare, et apta cuique remedia applicare sciat quantam potest maximam ad id scientiam atque prudentiam, tum assiduis ad Deum precibus tum ex probatis auctoribus, studeat sibi comparare.
“II. Ad audiendam confessionem vocatus, promptum facilemque se præbeat : ac priusquam ad audiendum accedat si tempus suppetat, ad hoc ministerium recte sancteque obeundum Divinum Auxilium piis precibus implorabit.
“III. In ecclesiis non autem in privatis ædibus confessiones audiat, nisi ex causa rationabili quæ cum inciderit studeat tamen id decenti ex patenti loco præstare.
"IV. Si pænitens ignotus sit, de illius statu inquirat ; et quampridem sit confessus ; et an impositam poenitentiam adimpleverit. Item num rite atque integre alias confessus fuerit ; num in doctrina Christiana bene sit institutus ; num conscientiam suam, ut debit, prius diligenter discusserit ? Sed hæc et similia, in fine potius confessionis, quam in initio, plerumque interrogare expediet.
“V. Si deprehenderit pænitentem ignorare Christianæ fidei rudimenta ; si tempus suppeiat eum breviter instruat de articulis fidei et aliis ad salutem cognitu necessariis, et ignorantiam ejus corripiat, illumque admoneat ut ea postmodum diligentius addiscat.
“VI. Audeat patienter, confitentem, et adjuvet quotiescumque opus fuerit, nec unquam interpellet, nisi opus fuerit aliquid melius iniel. ligere. Sed fiduciam ei præbeat et humaniter suggerat, ut omnia peccata sua rite et integre confiteatur, remota stulta illa quorundam vericundia, quæ præpediti suadente diabolo, peccata sua confiteri non audent.
" VII. Si pænitens 'numerum et species et circumstantias pec. catorum explicatu necessarias non expresserit eum sacerdos prudentur interroget. * Et si attentis personæ circumstantiis, rationabiliter metuat aut dubitet, ne forte non sit integra ejus confessio, de illis prudenter examinet, quæ a pænitente suspicatur reticeri ; præsertim de peccatis sui status ; maxime si de illis nulla tenus se accuset.
“ VIII. Sed caveat ne curiosis aut inutilibus interrogationibus quemquam detineat, præsertim juniores utriusque sexus, aut de iis quæ ignorant imprudentur interroget, ne scandalum patiantur indeque peccare discant.
“ IX. Demum audita confessione, pro peccatorum gravitate et qualitate, ac pænitentes conditione, opportunas correptiones, ac monitiones, prout opus esse viderit, paterna charitate adhibebit, et ad dolorem ac contritionem efficacibus verbis adducere conabitur, atque ad vitam emendandam, ac melius instituendam inducet remediaque peccatorum tradet.
6. X. Postremo salutarem et convenientem satisfactionem quantum
spiritus et prudentia suggesserit, injungat habita ratione status conditionis, sexus, ætatis et etiam dispositionis pænitentum. Videatque ne pro peccatis gravibus levissimas pænitentias imponat, ne si forté peccațis conviveat, alienorum peccatorum particeps efficiatur. Id vero ante oculos habeat ut satisfactio non sit tantum ad novæ vitæ custodiam et infirmitatis medicamentum sed etiam ad præteritorum peccatorum castigationem.
“XI. Curet autem quantum fieri potest ut contrarias peccatis poenitentias injungat ; veluti avaris eleemosynas, libidinosis jejunia, et alias carnis afflictiones, superbis humilitatis officia, desidiosis devotionis studia. Ea denique singulis præscribat, quibus eos sperat a peccatis suis efficaciter retrahendos ; præsertim vero orationis, præcipue mentalis, et lectionis sacræ quotidianum exercitum et sacramentorum dignam frequentationein. Cæterum pro peccatis occultis quantumvis gravibus manifestam poenitentiam numquam imponat.
“XII. Videat autem diligenter Sacerdos, quando et quibus conferenda vel neganda vel differenda sit absolutio ; ut rite dispositis regulariter conferat; deneget indispositis; quales censendi sunt qui nulla dant signa doloris, qui odia et inimicitias deponere, aut aliena si possunt, restituere, aut proximam peccandi occasionem deserere, aut alio modo peccata derelinquere et vitam in melius emendare, nolunt : aut qui publicum scandalum dederunt, nisi publice satisfaciant, et scandalum tollant.
“XIII. Inter dubie dispositos etiam consuetudinarii communiter numerandi sunt; quibus proinde extra casum necessitatis absque notabili emendatione, absolutio communiter impendenda non est : præsertim si fidem antea datam non semel fefellerint.
“XIV. Meminerit porro sacerdos ægris non esse injungendam gravem aut laboriosam poenitentiam sed indicendam tantum illam, quam, si convaluerint, opportuno tempore peragant. Interim juxta gravitatem morbi aliqua oratione aut levi satisfactione imposita et acceptata absolvantur prout opus fuerit.
“XV. Denique præter bonitatem scientiam atque prudentiam in confessione requisitam necessarium quoque est ut sigillum secretæ confessionis sub exacto perpetuoque silentio inviolatum conservet ; atque adeo nihil unquam dicat vel faciat, quod vel directe vel indirecte tendat ad revelationem alicujus peccati, vel defectus ex sola confessione cogniti. Sed neque scientia et confessione acquisita unquam uti præsu. mat, cum gravamine pænitentis vel ejus periculo : necque de peccatis in confessione auditis, ne generaliter, quidem loquatur, nisi postulet necessitas ; et tunc discrete et cum magna prudentia ut nulla de personis vel levis oriri possit suspicio; nec unquam coram laicis ne forte scandalum patiantur.”
Spiritual Direction, and the Influence of the Ritualist
Priest on his Spiritual Children and Penitents, and especially the effects of the Ritualistic Doctrine on our Children.
As a preface to this chapter, let it be understood (as shown by the following) that there is no important difference between Confession and Spiritual Direction. In both priestly supremacy is the object aimed at; in both an inquisitorial prying into one's affairs is followed, the only difference that the writer has ever found is, that in the latter there is no formula to be gone through, and it may be conducted by letter, while, of course, the essence of the former is auricular.
“ Direction and Confession should not be considered as separate things. The confessor hears your sins and absolves them, he prescribes the course by which you can avoid falling anew, and he leads you on towards holiness by the help of a ghostly counsel and advice. Surely this is direction." -Hidden Life of the Soul, p. 216.
Here is another instance anent the divinity of the spiritual director :
“And he ought always to be an angel to you : that is to say, when you have found him, do not consider him simply as a man, and do not confide in him or in his human knowledge, but in God, who will help you and speak to you by means of this man, putting into his heart and his mouth whatsoever shall be requisite for your happiness ; so you ought to listen to him as to an angel descended from heaven to conduct you thither. Deal with hin with an open heart, in all sincerity and fidelity; manifesting clearly to him your good and your evil without pretence or dissimulation : etc. Place in him an entire confidence, mixed with a holy reverence, in such sort that the reverence may not diminish the confidence, nor the confidence
destroy the reverence due to him. Confide in him with the respect of a daughter towards her father, etc. In a word, this friendship ought to be firm and sweet, altogether holy, sanctified, divine and spiritual.' -Devout Life, pp. 9, 1o.
“The thing is to make a good choice in seeking a director. Ask God to help you in so important a matter, and be sure He will not fail you. Earthly motives and likings are almost sure to mislead you, but God often makes the way plain by an indescribable drawing which leads us to put full confidence in some one of His servants; he seems to have a special gift for calming the soul, clearing away its doubts and scruples, and setting us at rest—his words stir us greatly, and stimulate our ardour in holy things, and a general sense of REVERENCE, love and submission, fills our hearts in his presence. These are indications that we have found a suitable director.
Conceal nothing from your director UNDER ANY PRETEXT, even if you should feel doubtful or suspicious of him.* Satan is always trying to undermine your confidence in your spiritual guide as his best means of keeping you from God. What you shrink most from telling is generally that which it is most necessary to tell. Obey simply and heartily, WITHOUT ARGUING and discussing your director's opinions.”—Hidden Life, pp. 218, 219.
This work, which is published by Rivington, and advertised as the English Catholics' Library, was written by Père Grou, a Jesuit. This is, therefore, a pretty clear indication and a proof of the assertion that the Roman Catholics are Jesuits, and that the latter are introducing through the Ritualists all the forms and doctrines of their especial creed ; but then “the end justifies the means," and their end, as history shows, is not only religious power, but civil power likewise.
After reading the above and following quotations (which are only a few out of a multitude), will any one doubt that the penitent or spiritual child when once under sacerdotal power, and mentally too benumbed to cast off the yoke by herself, should gradually bind and debase herself till all power of freedom is gone? The more so when it is frequently reiterated : “Never rebel against the will of superiors, but obey readily, doing promptly all that they bid you, and the more readily obey those who humble you and who are most opposed to your natural will and temperament” (Ibid., p. 59), and moreover looking upon the priest as God's representative, indeed, as Christ Him
* As well we might, after the samples of the priesthood given on p. 69 of this work.
self (p. 67),* and therefore, incapable of wrong. And it is here, having (though comparatively rather mildly) felt this sacerdotal subjugation in my own person, I do most earnestly implore all English people who love their country and freedom to arouse themselves to the fact that Ritualism, Romanism, and Jesuitism are one and the same thing, and that, before long, we shall see again the torture administered, and persons suffering for religion's sake.
Awake, then, before the followers of the meek, kind, loving, and tender pitying Jesus shall have brought their infernal Inquisition, their human bonfires, autos-da-fé, and compulsory Confessionals into our land! Let us make a stand now before it is too late, and ere we must shed our blood to save our freedom.†
What has now to be shown (if it be necessary) is the influence of the priest with regard to the private life of his spiritual children. But the writer claims to have amply proved this and the necessary fomentation of discord in families, to all reasonable minds; because if the penitent is to "obey without arguing," and the priestly advice differs from that of the father or husband, the priest, of course, being Christ-like, is to be preferred, and hence the state of affairs will be as so ably expressed by Desanctis in his Confessional :
“Ye heads of families, use your utmost efforts to maintain your young daughters in their beautiful innocence, only suffer them to frequent the Confessional, and they will become proficients in every kind of wickedness. How many imprudent marriages, contracted against the will of the parents, have there not been hatched in the Confessionals? How many daughters suddenly abandon the paternal roof to throw themselves into the arms of a husband of their own caprice, or to bury themselves in a nunnery at the instigation of their confessors? | From the Confessional proceed the most serious discords in families; the priest is determined to rule at all costs ; hence you must either fall into his ideas, and thus make yourself his slave, or
* This is Selon, the Jesuit, as will be shown in Chapter V.
† For the Romanist Church teaches that the wife may commit adultery with the priest, get absolved and go back to her husband ; that Priests can kill the husbands who discover the crime; that lies for the Church are good and holy; that one's faith may be concealed to gain proselytes ; and that they may conscientiously swear falsely! All this in St. LIGUORI! Of what use, then, is an oath ?
| This is equally applicable to sisterhoods; the one end and aim of every Ritualist book is what they call the “religious life!!”