Prayer for the Dead...at Blanco
I have gotten some questions about my post echoing Fr. James Deschene's plea that God have mercy on the deceased Samuel "Fr. Benedict" Greene of Christ of the Hills "Monastery" in Blanco, Texas. Greene was a shyster who exploited people's religious faith to bilk them of their money and molest children. Authorities now say he tried to commit suicide in the recent past, and according to an eyewitness, this week he succeeded.
Some have said they have understandable reservations about praying for him. The Apostle John wrote, in I John 5:16: " If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it." The Fathers tied this to Christ's warning against "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit," which is a continual turning against God at every moment. To all human indications, it's difficult to see hope for Greene, but "with God all things are possible." Being repulsed by Greene's behavior is only a sign of basic human decency; however, now that he's gone, I think we should to hope, for his sake, that he made it to Heaven through God's "great and rich mercy." But I understand why people have difficulty with this case.
Since it seems appropriate here, I'll also post the recent SCOBA "Pastoral Letter on Suicide."