A reader wants to know if he is bound to obey anonymous Reactionary authoritarians

He writes:

Lately, several of the members of some email circles I’ve belonged to have been forwarding around links to these homilies that are posted on the website audiosancto.org. This homilies are sometimes good, but more often the priests have a radical reactionary bent and it shows up on the context of their homilies.  Usually I just ignore them when I sense this, but there have been some that have really irked me.  I know that a lot of this has to do with my scrupulosity, but I also am fueled by my strong dislike of the radical reactionist mentality that seems to poison these otherwise great discussion groups that I’m a part of (i.e. it brings a lot of fear, anti-Vatican II thought, etc.).

The one that really got me was when one of the priests on there said that it was dangerous for Catholics to be involved in 12 step programs, like alcoholics anonymous.  Having  received a lot of help from the al-anon program due to the various alcohol abusers in my family, this one especially disturbed me.

Another time, another priest who’s voice I also recognized strongly criticized the work of the modern NFP movement, and Dr. Greg Popcak especially.

When my acquaintances promote these homilies sent to me in the groups I belong to, I often want so badly to reply: “This priest is named Fr. So-and-so, and he is part of X religious community/diocese at Y parish in Z city.  What he is teaching is questionable, and we should alert his superior.” I have this uncanny ability to recognize voices (also, the content of the homilies often makes it easy to identify the priests).

So my question to you is: am I morally obligated to obey that website’s command “You may not, under any circumstances, identify the priests preaching these sermons or the location where they are being preached” ? I can understand not identifying them on Audiosancto.org’s website in the comment section; but being forbidden in all circumstances, even if somebody sends me a link by email and I answer them?

Thanks for any insight you can give!

No.  Not at all.  Secretiveness on the part of a bunch of reactionaries who regard the rest of the Church as enemies from whom they must disguise their words and deeds does not create an obligation on your part to obey their false authoritarian attempt to shut up critics and snow their bishops and superiors.  By all means contact their superiors if you think they are out of line (and judging from what you describe, at least some of this stuff sounds like serious crap and possibly even calumny).  Secrecy in the confessional is one thing. Secrecy in the pulpit–and from their superiors and the rest of the Church–is entirely another.

So: knock yourself out.


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