See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Friday, July 08, 2011

Continually making excuses for priests.



I don't know about you...
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But I'm getting tired of hearing everyone repeat: pray for priests! pray for priests! pray for priests! every time one of them takes off with the collection plate or runs off with his personal trainer.  And if anyone dares discuss the guy's misbehavior, or tries to figure out how the jerk got away with what he did for so long,  they are condemned as if they committed a crime.
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Hey - does anyone remember what Corapi said during the peak of the priest scandal?  I can't remember the exact words, but he said something like, "Catholics" (presumably CINO ones - not his paying audience) "get the priests they deserve."  I heard it on EWTN.  But of course he always urged people to "Pray for priests."  It makes you look good when you say that.  I can say "Fr. So and So is a big fat manipulative lay-about, so we need to pray very much for him and pray for all priests."  It works.  It's a 'little bit of hypocrisy repeating'.
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But isn't 'pray for priests' covered by the 'pray for the conversion of sinners' intention? 
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I'm probably wrong, huh?  Although I'm pretty sure they - like ourselves - will be held accountable for their actions in the end - right? 
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Okay fine.  I'll keep praying for priests then.
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PRAY FOR PRIESTS! 
PRAY FOR PRIESTS!
PRAY FOR PRIESTS!

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There.

25 comments:

  1. Anonymous3:00 AM

    pray for priests, terry. ;-)

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  2. I don't pray for priests, or urge others to do so, because it looks good (and I know that you know that I know that you know that - LOL). I do it because they're held way more accountable than we are as lay people and I wouldn't sit back and watch any soul drop into hell. Here's another thought I've been wrestling with, and that's maybe that we treat some priests with a little too much respect in that we see things that make us question and we're willing to look the other way or assume everything is on the up and up because, after all, they're priests. How DARE any of us question a priest? Bull hockey. No, Father, it's not ok that you're living on a compound in Montana with a collection of motorcycles and cars. No, Father, it's not ok that you're head of a corporation that turns a profit from which you personally benefit. To paraphrase, silence equals death, in this case, possible death of a soul. There are areas of my life in which Father Corapi was very helpful. Too bad I didn't return the favor when I could have. Anyway, I'm going to keep praying for priests. And everyone else that needs it.

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  3. I'm so bored with the Corapi-crap, never-criticize-a-priest-crap, but good call on the Propellerheads video. I'd forgotten about them. Wish they'd get back together.

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  4. holy priest, holy families, holy families, holy priest
    holy society.

    pray for priests and families ...

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  5. Anonymous8:31 AM

    Pray for priests but also stop infantalizing priests. Stop treating them like children and start treating them like responsible adults - responsible for their own actions.

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  6. Maybe we put more emphasis on praying for them because of the position they hold. We regard priests as having this huge responsibility and with that comes a lot of tests, temptations, and decisions. We'd have to start praying for our society and Catholics in general to fully understand what is really going on with the Church.

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  7. may we all become spiritual adults8:53 AM

    " ... start treating them like responsible adults - responsible for their own actions."

    absolutely

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  8. I think Our Lady wants us to pray for priests. (Although there are a few of them I'd rather slap upside the head.)

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  9. I think a lot of hesitancy to criticize priests comes from the admonition in that Pieta prayer book by some unknown "Mutter Vogel".

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  10. @ ck

    Many people base their never wanting to speak ill of priests, on the fact that the Little Flower specifically chose a priest as her confessor, who had been accused of engaging in witchcraft, in order to spare his reputation and not give further scandal. (That even though most likely true, it was better to not allow anyone to think a priest could do such a thing.)

    However, weighing the situation...accusations of witchcraft to serious and dangerous criminal activity, including, rape, molestation, slavery, embezzlement, drug trafficking...not so sure St Therese's idea holds up in these cases.

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  11. Perhaps we shouldn't always try to imitate the saints in the details of their virtue.

    I am severely haunted by the fact that St. Aloysius' "exemplary" chastity involved never, ever even looking at women, and not even touching his own mother. I am afraid that I am doing something impure every time I find a woman attractive, or give a female friend or family member a hug.

    I hope to God that He doesn't want me to follow St. Luigi in the details! Otherwise, any married man sinned when he met his wife and desired to marry her.

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  12. Father Joe3:46 PM

    We will be held MORE accountable! That's why I ALWAYS say "pray for priests." It's not like "oh, those poor priests, we should pray for them" (though sometimes it's like that) . . . it's more like "we priests need all the prayers we can get." I'm WILLING to live a celibate and chaste life; I'm WILLING to not make the kind of money my friends make and like what I made before ordination; I'm WILLING to work with and live with whatever community the bishop decides -- I don't think we deserve anything else -- but for the love of God, don't hold back your prayers for us! And discourage anyone else from praying for us.

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  13. Thanks Fr. Joe - we'll keep praying.

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  14. I fixed the post Father.

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  15. Father Joe6:14 PM

    Thanks for the prayers -- and for getting more people to pray for us! God bless you, Terry!

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  16. Fr. Richard6:57 PM

    Clark,

    I think you may be mistaken- St. Teresa of Avila dealt with a priest who was possibly involved in witchcraft and later had a big conversion- this experience was one of the reasons she set up the discalced Carmelite sisters to specifically pray for priests as one of their main prayer apostolates. I could be wrong, but I don't think St. Therese of Lisieux had any dealings with a priest who was involved in witchcraft, but she did help a struggling seminarian named Maurice with her prayers and letters of encouragement and I think he later died as a martyr as a White Father in Africa (see the book Therese and Maurice- I think it is still in print- I read it a few years back it is very good), and she always spent much time praying for priests, especially fallen away ones since she was worried they would lose their souls. She of course was a good Discalced Carmelite sister in that regard. God bless all of you who pray for us frail priests, esp. those of us who are on the front-lines in the parishes of the world. Thanks.

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  17. It is especially the priests on the front lines in parishes and dioceses that I pray for every day. Believe me.

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  18. Dear Fr Richard,

    Thank you for the correction. Seems I got Therese and Theresa confused. It has been quite a while since I read the story.

    What a beautiful tie in to this blog post today, regarding St Theresa of Avila's founding of the OCDs. I don't think I knew that that was one of their main apostolates.

    Please know that I do pray for priests (and religious) throughout the day, particularly that they may be faithful to their vows and be given the grace to overcome their temptations, etc...etc...etc...

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  19. Fr. Richard, I read the book Maurice and Therese; I thought it was very good, too. Fr. Maurice died of encephalitis contracted while a missionary in Africa, kind of a white martyrdom. He basically struggled his whole priestly life.

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  20. "Perhaps we shouldn't always try to imitate the saints in the details of their virtue." Yeah, Mercury, I think you're right. You don't have to be like St. Luigi, you just have to be the best Mercury you can be. As a woman I think some of the saints' ways of relating to us were bizarre, as if we were temptations rather than persons. In the gospel accounts Jesus did not treat women like that.

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  21. Radioactive sin uranium :)

    And I do have a real name, though St. Mercury of Baton Rouge would be a name that later candidates for conformation might find a pretty cool saint name.

    But yes, Melody, you are right. But, some of the holiest men of the 20th century - Fulton Sheen, John Paul II, John Hardon, and even guys like Gerlad Kelly and John Ford - they make it very clear that we're not called to treat women that way, and that the attraction is willed by God and not simple concupiscence.

    Though I have read some Catholics online who think physical attraction should play little or no part in choosing a marriage partner. *sigh*

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  22. Merc - just remember there are a lot of nutcases and fanatics and prudes online.

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  23. Haha true - but it always bothers me 'cause they can always quote saints to justify their nutcasery (e.g. St. Alphonsus thought a couple only needed to meet once or twice before getting married - that should be sufficient and anything else is a needless occasion of sin).

    I wish it were more obvious from tradition how crazy people were. But it seems they always have tradition on their side :(

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  24. And to be sure - some of the saints are the finest examples of extreme prudery I have ever heard of. This is why the crazy ones online seem like they are "right".

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  25. Fr. Richard9:08 AM

    Mercury,

    A caution: Don't always assume that the people who quote the saints are quoting them accurately. Also remember the saints are saints because they overall practiced heroic virtue in their lives- it doesn't mean all their thoughts or writings were perfect. I think the point of most of those thoughts on purity, marriage, etc. was to be careful to root all those things in God since lust can so easily crop into human attreaction as we all well know if we are honest with ourselves. I hope this makes sense. God bless.

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