“Should I go to a priest or to a psychologist?” FATHER RAPHAEL NOICA`S APPEAL TO ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN PRIESTS

7-09-2012 Sublinieri

“- If i have a problem, please, tell me, should I go to a priest or to a psychologist?

– Father Raphael: I’d say, of course, you should go to a priest. But, very sadly, I see something in our world: it’s happening more and more often that us, priests, do not find the orthodox way of receiving a man, of listening to him, of understanding him, of resurrecting him.

As one coming from The West, where The Church has not been for 1000 years and western spirituality has gone totally bankrupt – the 20th century has brought about its full bankruptcy that was already within it from long ago. And, now, those from The West who are illumined, are looking more and more towards orthodoxy, the orthodoxy that is badly misunderstood in these lands of its origin, where we are at risk of being in the same position as the Jews who lost the tradition once given to them. I am telling you this, precisely, so, it doesn’t have to happen, to ask The Lord that not only those from The West find the truth, but that He also adds to the riches of our already existing inheritance.

So, in The West, where The Church no longer exists, I have the impression that this science of psychology is also a kind of Mercy of God, in a world where God no longer exists and there is a man-made Church, a man-made priesthood, so to speak – I don’t want to use the word “pseudo”, even though, I should, perhaps. What is a psychologist? He is one to whom you go to and leave all your burdens and tell him everything, and know that he won’t judge you, and for professional reasons, he will not disclose the mystery of your confession, in principle. Fathers, priests! This is our prerogative! We must not only be able to replace the psychologist, but surpass above any expectation what he can do for a client. Why? Because we have The Mystery [Sacrament], we have God Whom we can impart to people. I am telling you this, so that we go only a little bit into God’s Mystery, and then we don’t know how far it will get! I’ve seen mass resurrection, tens of families raising from the dead in The West, as well, as here!

So, I’d say, of course, see a priest, but forgive me, brother priests, hierarchs, we must confess this and it is the truth: we are so bad, that we no longer know our vocation, and then the people are confused, and go to wherever and whomever they can. I will tell you this also: psychology, from what I know, it started with Freud and continued with Jung and it caused man many problems. But, then again, if you look at it from a historical point of view, you’ll see that even there man is searching for his true identity; and there are many psychologists who discover some truths, but, if you look at it closely, you’ll see that these truths were once already known by The Church, yet, to our shame we don’t live by these truths, we don’t apply them anymore.

I say “our shame” – you know, I believe that we are all as one person, my confession is your confession, my life is your life, we all share into the same fate, and I’d like to call all of you, as one person, to be renewed in The Spirit. I don’t mean this, so that you, laypeople, judge priests, but that you pray for us that God illumines us, so that we can illumine you. I mean this for my brother priests, so that we know we are in a terrible decline; so, we have to learn from the left and from the right, from the fathers, through psychology, from the world of the righteous, as well as from the world of sin, from all avenues. And, with God’s help, we must understand and turn around, as it is said in Revelation to one of The Churches: Repent and do your first works, or else… I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp-stand from its place — unless you repent“.

(From the conference  Fasting and forgiveness — an orthodox destiny and vocation”, April 2002, Alba-Iulia, Romania)

You can listen this answer in Romanian here:


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ORTHODOXY IN ENGLISH, Parintele Rafail Noica

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