18 years ago I also went through the C.P.E. training here at Stanford University Hospital. I know everything about the program and what other seminarians have been put through in other hospitals.
Clinical Pastoral Education is an obligatory training for most seminarians before they are ordained. It is to help future priest to be able to minister to patients in hospitals. It teaches how to show compassion, how to listen and empower the patients. All these aspects are good. When I was there we had protestant seminarians, Jewish Rabbi students and catholics.
The directors of most C.P.E. programs are usually extremely liberal and feminist protestant ministers or nuns. When I was here I had a Lutheran woman minister and a Episcopalian lady priest and an extremely compassionate but just as much liberal catholic priest who was one of the chaplains at the hospital. Thank God he has finally retired.
Any of you priest who went through this know exactly what you are put through in this training by the feminist and liberal christians. Any of you seminarians who are in the program right now know exactly what I am going to write about.
It was a horrible spiritual abuse for me. I had finished seminary at Mt. Angel Seminary and had begun to be more liberal than when I went in. That was because I was obliged to read the magisterium teachings along with a counter opinion by some theologian like Curran. So when I was exposed to the two different views I became somewhat of a relativist. Well being subjected to what was taught, what I experience and how I was treated in the CPE training, thanks be to God, I became orthodox again. The program had an opposite effect on me.
We were told to wear clothing that we would wear in ministry. So I wore clerical clothing, black pants, shirt and white roman collar. Right off the ridicule began by the directors of the training. “Were you at a black and white party last night?” “You look like a penguin”.
Then we were instructed, I a seminarian, the Jewish Rabbi student, the protestant minister seminarians, to give the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. To get along, I was sent to do it, when the patient wanted to go to confession. I told her I was not a priest and could not hear her confession or give her the anointing of the sick. Thank God she wanted confession or I would have sinned by faking the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.
The Blessed Sacrament was kept in a drawer and all of the students were directed to take Holy Communion to the Catholics. One time a woman would not receive Holy Communion from a lady student because she wanted a priest. The student was so angry that the catholic refuse communion from her.
We were told to have compassion and that is very important. But we also were never allowed to talk about sin, hell or the devil. We became the Generic chaplain, we never ever said one religion was better than an other and we just were to be chaplains to everyone and not be the religion you were. It was the lowest common denominator chaplain. This is still how many chaplains are all over the United States today.
I got in big trouble when I was asked to visit a Stanford student who was in the psyche ward. She had tried to commit suicide. When I went in she asked me what the catholic belief was on suicide (she was catholic). I explained that the church never says for sure that someone who commits suicide is damned because we do not know if they were in their right state of mind when the did it. But I added that it was serious to take ones life. The other visitor who was in the room reported me to the chaplain at Stanford University, who reported me to my supervisor and they raked me over the coals for gently stating catholic teaching.
Now I would say that it is a very serious offense to kill oneself no matter what the circumstances. We leave the final judgement to God, but it doesn’t look too good. Otherwise why don’t we just all get to heaven killing ourselves. I do have great compassion for those who are depressed and overwhelmed, but killing one self is not the answer. Why would we want to escape a difficult situation to only end up in a much worst situation, hell. Life is such a precious gift and eternal life with God is even a greater gift.
Because the chaplaincy is “inclusive”, they now have an atheist secularist in training as a chaplains, baptizing and anointing catholics in emergencies.
One day a mother lost a set of twins and wanted them baptized. But dead babies cannot be baptized. The priest chaplain here told them to baptize them. He said: “have compassion on the mother in here grief. Don’t box God in. She wants baptism, give her baptism” And of course you do want to help this mother who is in great grief, but at the same time you are giving her false hopes.
This compassion is like this. When one of the Boston terrorist was shot by the police, his mother still had great grief that he had been violently killed. So to comfort her, we tell her that, yes he was bad to be a terrorist, but God is merciful and he is at rest with God.
This is the church we belong to today 2013. Let us not justify the reality. It is terrible what is going on all over at these C.P.E. programs all over the nation. It is horrible what good seminarians have to be subjected to. This hospital is under the bishop of San Jose. When I was here 18 years ago I never I am going to write him a letter about the sacramental abuses that are going on. See what an evil environment exist in parts of our church. Imagine these abuses have gone on here since 18 years ago and prior. Long time ago, a man in Brentwood told me that his wife died here and that a lady had given her last rites because it was an emergency.
Please pray for these programs to be stopped and write to your bishops and ask them to investigate what is going on. Also ask them to not permit the seminarians to be subjected to such terrible treatment and cause for grave sacramental abuses. If you question what you are asked to do, you are written up and have a hard time finishing the program. Most seminarians go along with the supervisors and the sacrilegious actions so that they do not get thrown out of the seminary.
We are so so fortunate to know what is true catholicism, what is sacred and sacramentally correct. Pray for the end of these programs and for all the sick people.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.