What People Are Commenting
Holy Oils, Charlemagne & Newman
Can a Layman Use Holy Oils?
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I have a question. How may a person use Blessed Olive Oil as a lay person? I am not speaking of a lay person attempting to use it like a priest would in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, and Holy Orders. I am speaking not of Holy Chrism.
I was raised a Catholic, but I have to tell you, Vatican Council II didn't clarify things for me. The priests that have come out of the seminaries are a lost crowd - at least some of them.
The bad ones laughed at the older priests, especially those who were devoted to Our Blessed Mother Mary. And here I have heard them denying the Gospels in sermons and things like the Presence of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion. They speak these things as the congregation sleeps with open eyes; their minds are sleeping.
I really believe that the Church has been infiltrated. It is very scary.
I would like to know about the Blessed Oil. I know this. Blessed Olive Oil - if one makes a cross with it over a door or window while saying the Trinitarian Blessing - is powerful against evil. An evil person, even if the cross has long disappeared, will be affected and reveal themselves.
Should it be used for the Blessing of a house? I am a bit confused on this matter.
Thank you for your consideration in asking this question.
Besides the use of Holy Oils in the Sacraments you mentioned, there are many other uses of blessed oils in the Church.
As far as we know, the Holy Oils used in the Sacraments can also be used by the faithful as a Sacramental, both for internal and external benefits. One of the faithful can either ask a Bishop or a priest for permission to use the Holy Oils, or he may ask the priest to bless olive oil for him. Then he may drink it or apply it on his body for some benefit. He may also make the Sign of the Cross with it, as he does with Holy Water blessed by a priest.
In this case, it is clear that the supernatural power of this oil comes from the blessing given by the priest, and not from the faithful. When the latter makes a Sign of the Cross with that oil over a door, as you suggested, the blessing over the house does not come by the faithful's own power; he is just invoking God to bless the dwelling through the use of a blessed oil. There is nothing wrong with this usage.
The Church also allows other oils from different devotions to be used by the faithful. The oil in a lamp that burns in front of the sepulcher of a saint is often used by the faithful in memory of that saint. Also, when a relic of the saint is infused in that oil, the oil becomes an indirect relic, and has or may have an analogous supernatural power as the saint's relic.
St. Augustine tells us about the curative powers of the oil of St. Stephen (The City of God, 22, 8). St. Gregory of Tours speaks of similar powers of oils coming from the graves of St. Martin, St. Marcellinus, and St. Nicet. Physical and spiritual benefits are reported to come from more than 60 different oils emanating from the graves of the martyrs (Dictionnaire de Theologie Catholique, Tables, column 2138-2139).
To this day, devotion to holy oils exists in the Church. For example, the holy oil of St. Philomena is oil from the lamp that burns perpetually before the altar of St. Philomena in Mugnano, which is blessed each year in January. Also very popular is the oil that flows from the sepulcher of St. Walburga, which has curative powers.
Thus, as a lay faithful, you may securely maintain your use of holy oils, even if some progressivist priests mock them and you.
TIA correspondent desk
The 'Sins of Charlemagne
I am a university professor of German and of course take an interest in Charlemagne (Karl der Grosse). I wonder whether, in spite of Dom Gueranger's effusive comments, you could indicate when he repented of all his sins against the sixth commandment? He had over 20 illegitimate children.
One of the reasons why his pedigree as a saint is questionable is because he was instrumentalised by those merely trying to ensure their own power base after his death. For sure we do not doubt his significance, politically and culturally, for Christian Europe, but in order to be a validly canonised saint of the Church, either regional to Aachen or in the universal church, there have to be signs of repentance when the gap between faith and morals was as gaping as it was in this case.
The Editor responds:
Dear Dr. H.M.,
As an academic, you must know that accusations without proof are considered rumors. To me, given the lack of evidence, you appear quite biased in your opinions. It is surprising that based on this subjective statement, you expect someone to give you a serious answer.
Besides, you enter a very private arena when you pretend to know Charlemagne's 'sins against the sixth commandment' and question his personal repentance. Who could know these things but God, Charlemagne himself and his confessor? If you are referring to public sins, we return to the need for solid evidence.
So, the ball is your court. Prove what you say, and I will answer you.
Atila S. Guimarães
Was Newman Really a Liberal?
Since reading various articles on TIA exposing Cardinal Newman as a possible liberal, I have become involved in a discussion with a fellow traditional Catholic acquaintance (of some repute I would add) who cannot accept that Newman was a liberal.
She contends that it is liberals themselves who wrongly claim him as one of theirs and also that because some of his beliefs were not black and white, like Manning's or Faber's but rather shades of grey, some misguided trads also view him, quite wrongly, as a liberal. She has the support for this claim off of a very knowledgeable, traditional priest whom she highly respects.
She has challenged me to quote one heresy contained in his writings before giving the TIA articles any consideration, because she is not aware that he ever preached heresy.
Can TIA help me with this challenge please?
Thanking you in anticipation
Dear Mr. J.D.,
We thank you for your inquiry. TIA can only answer your question after the necessary study of Card. Newman's work. One thing is to say that he was a liberal, which is known by his public opposition to papal infalibillity and the Syllabus, another is to present you 'a written document proving a heresy' to convince you and your friend, so that she can persuade her spiritual adviser.
To find a written document with all the characteristics of a heresy may take a while for us, even though Card. Manning most probably knew what he was talking about when he affirmed that Newman defended many heresies.
If you are well-intentioned, perhaps after reading this work by Richard Sartino, you will have some good arguments to present to your friend.
At this moment, our website editor has more than 350 questions by readers to answer. So please, be a little patient.
As an indirect response, however, last Saturday TIA started posting written documents that show liberal aspects of Newman's positions - and we will continue to do so for some Saturdays to come. Perhaps they will help you and your friend to understand why it is so important for Progressivism to promote Newman.
TIA correspondent desk
Posted January 28, 2010
The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting -
do not necessarily express those of TIA
Related Topics of Interest
Don't Forget Sacramentals
Newman's Admiration for Acton and Dollinger
A Pulverized Newman
The Liberal Cardinal Newman Americans Don't Know
Newman, the Inspirer of Vatican II
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