On the Brown Scapular--A Retraction


On the Brown Scapular--A Retraction

In a post below I was unforgivably vague in how I phrased things, and I believe that I may have hurt many of my regular readers. I post here for all to read my apology to Mr. Jeff Culbreath, who quite rightly upbraided me about my apparent position on the matter.

Dear Jeff,

First, I owe you and everyone an apology for the apparent lack of clarity of this post. I will post something this morning that clarifies.

I think it profoundly admirable that he [Jeff's Son] is so devoted to the scapular. I don't think it particularly superstitious, and I'm certain that you are bringing him up a good Catholic. I agree with you that one should not cast aside sacramentals. But neither should one commit mortal sin thinking that wearing the scapular is going to keep you from Hell. I know that you do not teach this but it is part of the "guarantee" some rely upon in wearing the scapular. I think that what I'm saying is the teaching needs clarification for modern ears. In previous the language says that wearing the Brown Scapular would keep you from Hell. I think this could be misinterpreted as a license to sin. All would grant that this is an absurd notion. However, if one were to wear the Brown Scapular worthily, then one would be kept from the fires of Hell by the grace of God and the intercession of Our Lady. There is no supersition in this, and the language is clearer. Some would understand the original wording to mean this, but when I quizzed a person on the issue, they replied quite frankly to my question, "If you committed a mortal sin, did not confess or repent of it, and died wearing the scapular, you would go to Heaven." Their answer was, "Yes, that is what Our Lady told us." I seriously doubt that Our Lady told us that the Brown scapular was a "get out of jail free" card, or a license to commit mortal sin.

What I think needs to be done is not to abandon our Lady's Garment, but to respect it for what it is and to live the life that is required by what it is. That is all that I meant to say--not that it should be cast aside. In fact, I believe that every believing Catholic would do well to become part of the Brown Scapular Confraternity and wear the scapular worthily.

I am truly sorry if I gave the misimpression that I stood against this great and valuable gift of the church. Please forgiven me if I have caused you any pain or harm by this, it was not my intention. And while I cannot speak for him, I do not believe it is Mr. O'Rama's point either.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 6, 2003 8:01 AM.

On the Episcopalian Problem was the previous entry in this blog.

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