BFP: Are We Living the Deadly Future Vincent Micelli SJ Predicted at our 1977 Wanderer Forum?

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Show Notes

It can be difficult today, in our times, to remember the entire purpose of the Passion and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus in this Easter octave… Today, the several attacks on the priesthood have put even well meaning Catholics half-asleep as to what an ordained priest actually is!

This episode is a sermon delivered at our 1977 Thirteenth National Wanderer Forum on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, June 17, 1977 by Rev. Vincent Micelli S.J.

Discover the dangers of modernism and its subversion of the priesthood in this thought-provoking sermon by Father Micelli.​ Learn how modernism attacks the high priesthood of Jesus Christ and undermines the teachings of the Catholic Church. ​ Gain insights into the false concepts of moral permissiveness, uncritical dialogue, and irrational ecumenism that are plaguing the Church today.

Fr. identifies three activities used by modernism to destroy the faith as: ​

  1. Moral permissiveness: Under the guise of responsible liberty, modernism introduced moral permissiveness, which reduced religious discipline and allowed for a worldly laxity. ​ This led to a decline in religious observance and a disregard for traditional moral teachings.
  2. Uncritical dialogue: Modernism promoted the idea of dialogue, but instead of using it to share the truth of Christ, it was used to incorporate heretical teachings into the Catholic religion. ​ This led to a blurring of the line between truth and error, and a watering down of Catholic doctrine.
  3. Irrational ecumenism: Modernism propagated the belief that all truth is relative and that there is no absolute truth. ​ This led to a false concept of ecumenism, where all religions were seen as equally valid and interchangeable. It undermined the uniqueness and exclusivity of the Catholic faith, and weakened the Church’s mission to proclaim the truth of Christ to the world.

General Outline of the Sermon:

I. Introduction / Sermon delivered by Father Vincent Micelli, S.J. ​ at the memorial Mass for the deceased members of the Wanderer Forum ​

II. The High Priesthood of Jesus Christ ​ A. The priest as a bridge builder between God and man ​ B. Jesus Christ as the High Priest par excellence ​ C. Jesus Christ as the bridge itself that unites God and man ​ D. Adoration of the sacred humanity of Jesus Christ ​

III. Jesus Christ as a Priest by Nature ​ A. The hypostatic union of human and divine nature in Jesus Christ ​ B. Jesus Christ’s anointing process by the heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit ​ C. Jesus Christ as a priest by nature, unique in the whole of creation ​ D. Other Catholic priests as priests by participation, ordination, and delegation ​

IV. The Catholic Priesthood ​ A. All Catholics called to be priests by the grace of a vocation ​ B. Catholic priests ordained by bishops, becoming priests forever according to the order of Melchizedek ​ C. The essence and purposes of the ordained priesthood of Jesus Christ ​

“Christ himself is not only a bridge builder, he is the bridge itself, the very bridge itself which unites God and man in the temple of his sacred humanity.” ​

Fr. Vincent Micelli SJ

V. The Ordained Priesthood as a Bridge to God and Revealed Truth ​ A. The priesthood as a means for man’s attainment of revealed truth through the gift of the holy faith ​ B. The importance of faith and its connection to revelation ​ C. The role of the Church in faithfully transmitting the truth ​ D. The deposit of faith and the development of dogmas

VI. The Attack of Modernism on the Priesthood and the Faith ​ A. Modernism as a heresy that dissolves the coherency of the faith ​ B. Modernism’s attack on the nature of truth and revelation ​ C. The undermining of church authority and the hierarchical structure ​ D. The splitting of the person of Jesus Christ and denial of His divinity

VII. The Tactics of Modernism A. Moral permissiveness and laxity ​ B. Uncritical dialogue and incorporation of heresy ​ C. Irrational ecumenism and relativism ​ D. The harm caused by modernism in seminaries and the Church ​

VIII. The Call for a Firm and Alert Hierarchy and Priesthood ​ A. The need for bishops, priests, and Catholic teachers who understand their office and fight against modernism ​ B. The danger of compromising the faith and giving scandal C. The importance of loyalty to the teachings and guidance of the Pope and the Magisterium D. The rejection of modernism and the preservation of the deposit of faith ​

IX. Conclusion A. The destruction of modernism through loyalty to Jesus Christ and His priesthood ​ B. The role of all priests, including the priesthood of the faithful, in combating modernism ​ C. The call to remain faithful to the bridge of holiness, Jesus Christ, and His successors


  1. Did Fr. Micelli accurately predict the problems today?
  2. Do priests today talk like Fr. Micelli?
  3. Do Catholics today understand the ordained priesthood as Fr. described it to be?

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