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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Q&A: About celebrity healers

A letter from one of our loyal readers that deserves an attention here at TPC but because I am sooooo mobile these days, I find hard to answer and blog.

But here it is!

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Dear Sir,

Hi The Pinoy Catholic! :)

I'm a fan of your blog! Through your blog, I have seen someone who tirelessly defends our true Catholic Faith. [THANK YOU!] At the same time, your blog is so informative. [that is what TPC is for!] For a long time, I've been against and irritated with liturgical dances and reenactments during the Gospel, [which is one of the reasons why I put up the blog.] which was one of the reasons why I stopped attending the Mass (now I do again). But I hadn't known how to refer to those until I read your blog. Now I know they are "liturgical abuses."

I'd like to ask about Faith Healing. [This is going to be interesting.]
What is the stand of our Church, and what do you personally think of Fr. Joey Faller [uhm....] and Fr. Jerry Orbos [uhm....] who are faithful priests in a way that they actively spread God's words, but call themselves as "Healing Priest" ? In addition, I've read that Fr. Orbos has been touring to various countries with Fatima Soriano. I assume you've seen her in television. Fatima herself says that she has received the "gift of healing" and is a visionary of Mama Mary.

It's also kind of creepy when the person being prayed over falls down. Fr. Orbos said to Fatima that that's what happens when Holy Spirit is taking over to heal the person. [I'll dissect this below.] It looks to me as if an evil spirit has taken over. [Oh come on.] Isn't that it should be the other way around, as in the person wakes up or becomes more alive?

I read in your blog, how the laity should never lay their hands to pray over the healing of a person, as it's an act that is reserved for the ordained priest.

Would you please share your thoughts? :)

Can they be classified as occult practitioners?  [No I wouldn't.]

I've read this article about Fatima and Fr. Orbos, with a disturbing picture.
http://www.mb.com.ph/node/315438/the-healer-who-love
[That one in the photo is not Fr. Orbos.  I do not know who he is but he looks familiar but certainly not Fr. Orbos.  Geez, Fr. Orbos gained weight that fast!  hahaha]

It is even the priest being prayed over and being laid hands on by Fatima!

Thank you so much! :)

M. K.


***
Dear M.K.

Many thanks for your continued support and trust in our Work.  It is taxing indeed but I know I am doing the right thing.

Thank you for your patience in waiting for my response to your email.

Now here is my take on what you wrote to me.

What do I think of healing priests?

I think healing priests are here to stay.  There have been documented healings of priests.  Documented in the sense that there is the proverbial before and after testimonies of those healed.  But a word of caution though.  These so-called healings have not been attested by the Church just as miracles of healings have been dealt within the process of the canonization of a candidate for sainthood.  There is a need for a verification of a medical expert to attest that the healing of a person was not through a medical intervention and that science cannot possibly explain how the healing happened.  It should also be ascertained that the healing was through the intercession of the candidate for sainthood.  Therefore, the bottom line, the Church is not that generous to declare a miracle.

Now going to the case of the so-called healing priests and healing lay people such as that of Fatima Soriano.  If you ask me if they really can heal.  I don't know.  Do I believe them?  No.

Remember that even the so-called messages and visions that Fatima Soriano receives have not received any official recognition by the Church, so I'd rather treat these pronouncements as of a personal experience level.  Call it what you want, but it is not official.

You might ask, "Why is the Church allowing this?"

Actually, a lot of people have asked that and the answer is simple:  Just as the Church is careful in declaring a miracle a miracle, so She is also careful not to condemn these priests of lay people who can heal.  People have been touched and their lives brought closer to the Lord because of the work of these men and women.

What I am apprehensive of is the claim of any charismatic leader, both in TV and radio (most especially in Radio Veritas) to claim that they have healed this person or that person, or that person has a prayer request granted due to this evangelists or prayer leader's intercession.

And sadly, this becomes a springboard for the group's request for Love Offerings.  And I know how this is handled.  But I digress.

About people getting "smitten by the Holy Spirit", yes that is the term to call those falling to the ground after they have been touched by the "healing priest".

Personally, I don't believe it.  Sorry to say this and I know a lot of people would go up in arms against this.  But I have experienced this laying on of hands of so-called healing priests and for more than a couple of times, all I felt was the hand of the priest pushing me back hard to the point that I almost fell to the ground.  But I stood my ground.  And I was left standing!  Literally.  What did the assistants of the priest told me?

"Brother, you did not let the Spirit enter you!  Soften your heart."

What the?!?!?

As far as I can recall in Catechism class, the Holy Spirit came down on me during my Baptism and Confirmation.  And they are Sacraments!

Are these laying on of hands of these priests, Sacraments?  Nooooooo.....

My point is:  I did not feel anything when I received my Confirmation.  I cannot remember what I felt when I was baptized for obvious reasons.  Duh.  But do you have to fall down to confirm that it is INDEED the Holy Spirit who came down on me?  Did the Virgin Mother feel that during the Annunciation? Did the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin experience that in the Upper Room?

No, no, no.  I cannot find that anywhere in the Bible.

In fact, the Bible teaches us that there are a number of gifts that the Holy Spirit bestows upon us.

The Catholic encyclopedia has discussed it in detail. 

In conclusion let me quote this from the Lord Himself:

Mt 7. 22-23: "Many will say to me on that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, and in your name cast out devils, and have done many marvels in your name? And then I will admit to them: I never knew you: depart from me you workers of iniquity."

And in Lumen Gentium: ". . . they are not to be rashly sought, nor should one presumptuously expect of them the fruits of the apostolic works; but the judgment as to whether or not they are genuine, and as to their ordered use pertains to those who are in charge in the Church . . . ." When these gifts are used with careful discernment of spirits and obedience, they are "fitting and useful for the needs of the Church"

I know some of these people who claim to do wondrous things in the name of the Lord only to find out that their work has strings attached to the pouch containing the 30 pieces of silver.

Indeed, you shall know them by their fruits.

The Church has not given an official recognition to their so-called "miracles". So personally, I will not believe them.

Lay people laying on of hands to heal?

St. Pio of Pietrelcina stayed locked in his cell for so many years, yet he was seen, heard and he healed a lot, physically and spiritually.

Just saying.

Pray it works.  If you want to lay hands, uhm...

You can pray without laying your hands or extending it over a person.

Just pray.  I've had a lot of answered prayers and it did not require any laying on or stretching of hands.

Just saying.

***

RANT TIME!

I recall a priest-friend (Father Z) telling me this true story oh how his brother priest asked him about his ministry. And the killer question was this:

Priest: Father, how are the donations in your ministry? Is it profitable?

Boom!

Imagine if you dangle a pouch of 30 pieces of silver in front of them.

As I have said it before and I will repeat it again.

If the business tycoons like Henry Sy, Lucio Tan, Jaime Zobel de Ayala and the other rich and powerful men and women of this county are devotees of the Traditional Latin Mass, expect the likes of:

Fr. Archie Guiriba, OFM
Fr. Mario Sobrejuanite, SSP
Fr. Anton Pascual
Fr. Gerry Orbos, SVD
Fr. Glenn Paul Gomez, SVD
Fr. Sonny Ramirez, OP

to even scrambling to the nearest SSPX chapel to learn how to celebrate the TLM, and you have the TLM weekly on national TV and you have Frs. Chupungco and Diwa giving lectures about the beauty of the TLM!

You can bet that!

Let's try this.
Fr. Sobrejuanite, don't try shielding Mrs. Sy from devotees of the TLM to talking to her. Betcha she'll be surprised to see that the Mass she grew up with and which fostered the Faith in her is still available!

3 comments:

  1. people wanted to have miracles and will only believe in miracles if something extraordinary will happen such as healing by a person.. This healers became the hope of the people and sad to say priests are using these "healers" to promote their pastoral activities.

    Come on! Why not promote the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated the right way because it is there that the True Healer becomes Truly Present for us.

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  2. Replies
    1. I notice why is Fr. Fernando Suarez not in your list Hhmmm

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