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#4512: Responding to Greg Chamberlain from Graves

From: archim <archim@globelsud.net>

     Dear Corbetters (and especiially Greg Chamberlain),
        Greetings from Haiti, where I live and have lived for 14 
     years...and will continue to live.
        I think Greg was a bit miffed about my several-weeks-ago comment 
     regarding the priesthood of Aristide. It appears that he thought I was 
     "scolding" some reporters (I don't call them journalists!), but that 
     was surely not the case. (When I scold, no one will question it!) I 
     was merely  making a point, and that from an ecclesiastical background 
     and understanding, which, as a Priest, I have. All of the wonderful 
     little questions and tests which Greg outlines, have positively 
     nothing to do with what I said. In the understanding of the Roman 
     Catholic Church (of which I am not a member...I'm Greek Orthodox), 
     once a man is ordained a priest by a Bishop in a valid sacramental 
     action, he remains a priest forever. The understanding of the RC 
     Church...and Anglicans and many other sacramentally-oriented Christian 
     groups, is that the ordination to the priesthood is an indelible 
     action. Once a man is ordained, according to RC theology, he is a 
     priest forever and nothing can remove that indelible character. That's 
     a lot different from an elected president or a mature human who is 
     no-longer a child. Yes, I was a child once, but am no longer because I 
     have matured (hopefully) and have become a man. Caterpillars become 
     butterflies (if they are lucky and don't get stepped-on!), and remain 
     butterflies until their end. Maggots become flies and eventually fly 
     away! And many cute little calfs become hamburgers and get eaten. 
     (Ugh...I'm a vegetarian!) None of this silliness has anything to do 
     with the fact that Aristide is still a priest. Go ask him, and he will 
     tell you that he is an "inactive" priest, but nevertheless, still a 
        Check his official signature...his monogram, and you will see that 
     he stilll signs with a cross, as do most priests. (I have a photo of 
     him, signed to me only two years ago, and signed as "Father 
     Arisitide".) To  be sure, Aristide is no longer serving as a priest, 
     or functioning as a priest, but since he was never deposed, he remains 
     a priest forever according to the teachings of the church which 
     ordained him. Sorry, Greg, but you are wrong. Had special permission 
     (an indult) not been given, Bishop Willy Romulus would have been 
     deposed for having performed the wedding ceremony of Aristide. 
     Aristide remains a priest according to the RC Church, and were he to 
     "say mass" it would be considered a valid mass, even by Pope John Paul 
        Why am I on this "run"? Why do I have a hang-up about this? Well  
     it's not because I am trying to prove anything to those who don't like 
     Father Aristide, it's because I don't like "yellow journalism", and 
     that is what this "former priest" stuff is all about. In the eyes and 
     ears of the average person, to see or hear the description "former 
     priest"...over and over again in the newspapers or on the 
     radio/television will bring one to believe that "he must have been a 
     naughty priest", so he got "kicked out"! That is why it is used. 
     Whenever I see an article which refers to Aristide as a "former 
     priest", I know immediately that the writer is an opponent and has 
     probably purposely not done his or her homework. The same thing with 
     all this stuff about Arisitide trying to create a "one party 
     democracy" or much of the ilk of Blanchett's writing. Poppycock! Until 
     this country can begin to operate with one mind, nothing will ever be 
     resolved. Away with the opposition! Away with the yellow journalists! 
     Away with outside political interference! "Too many cooks spoil the 
          "Union fait la force"..."Ansanm, ansanm"...and all the rest!
                                     Father Michael Graves (+AM/FM)
     ps: A few postings ago Bob Morse said that in a recent discussion with 
     Arisitde, he said he was a politician. That surely is correct, Bob, 
     but he did not say that he was no longer a priest.
     pps: And "most people" do not think Aristide is no longer a priest; 
     that's another example of yellow journalism. Come to Haiti and you 
     will discover that things are not quite the same as one who lives in 
     Paris thinks!