Saturday, January 11, 2014

Who is the Pope talking about today?


"Smarmy" ones.
"We are anointed by the Spirit, and when a priest is far from Jesus Christ he can lose this unction. In his life, no: essentially he has it... but he loses it. And instead of being anointed he ends up being smarmy. And how damaging to the Church are smarmy priests! Those who put their strength in artificial things, in vanity, in an attitude... in a cutesy language... But how often do we hear it said with sorrow: ‘This is a butterfly-priest,’ because they are always vain... [This kind of priest] does not have a relationship with Jesus Christ! He has lost the unction: he is smarmy.”

Pope Francis continued: 

“We priests have so many limits. We are sinners, all. But if we go to Jesus Christ, if we seek the Lord in prayer – prayer of intercession, prayer of adoration – we are good priests, even though we are sinners. But if we are far from Jesus Christ, we necessarily compensate for this with other, worldly attitudes. And so [we see] all these figures... priest-wheeler dealers, priest-tycoons... But the priest who adores Jesus Christ, the priest who talks with Jesus Christ, the priest who seeks Jesus Christ and who is allowed to seek Jesus Christ: this is the centre of our life. If that is not there, we lose everything. And what will we give to the people?”

“Our relationship with Jesus Christ, a relationship of anointing for the people,” Pope Francis said, “grows in us priests” more and more each day: 

“But it is good to find priests who have given their lives as priests, truly, of whom the people say: “Yes, he’s difficult, he’s this or that... But he is a priest! And people know! On the other hand, when people see priest idolaters, so to speak, priests who instead of having Jesus have little idols... worshippers of the god Narcissus... When people see [priests like this] they say ‘poor guy!’ The relationship with Jesus Christ saves us from worldliness and idolatry that makes us smarmy, preserves us in the anointing [we have received]. And today, this is my hope for you who have been kind enough to come here to concelebrate with me: Even if you lose everything in life, don’t lose this relationship with Jesus Christ! This is your victory. Go forward with this!” - Chris Wells for Vatican Radio  Deacon Kandra posts Chris' video report here.
"Even if you lose everything in life, don’t lose this relationship with Jesus Christ! This is your victory." 

I love this Pope so much!

Photo: Dancing Priest:  Father Liam 'The Dancing Priest' Finnegan (1956-1996) was a priest who worked in an unknown parish somewhere in Ireland. He had an extreme addiction to dancing, and, despite doctor's warnings, danced at least twelve hours a day.  



  1. Don't worry, someone will soon enough come along and tell you what he really meant.

  2. I do love Francis. Sadly, many of us can immediately think of examples of butterfly priests. It's interesting that the Italian word translated as "smarmy" was "unctuoso," so there was actually a pun about an unctuous priest losing his unction.

    For the sake of complete disclosure, I'll point out that the clip is from the TV series "Father Ted" with Dermot Morgan. The dancing priest "Fr. Liam Finnegan" was played by actor James Benson.

    1. Yes many Catholics online are familiar with Fr. Unctious.

  3. "Even if you lose everything in life, don’t lose this relationship with Jesus Christ! This is your victory."

    And in being victorious, think of how many more victories the humble and holy priests will bring to our Lord. Flowers all, the faithful, whom they will lay at the foot of the cross!
    I pray we will be found among them.

    On a side must be a Latin thing (Latin as in Latino) but I have not had any difficulties understanding Papa Francisco at all. ^^

  4. Terry,
    Am surprised you made no mention of this beautiful and victorious priest. May his reward be heaven!

    A Priest-Victim

  5. Why are some people so touchy about what the Pope says or writes?

    When he, for instance, speaks of priests not making the confessional a torture chamber, it's too easy to claim he's created a straw man, isn't it?

    Certainly there have been people who have been treated with impatience in the confessional, or even scolded and been referred to in a condescending, rash way.

    "Torture chamber"? Ok, the Pope is often heavy-handed. How many things can realistically be "the greatest danger"?

    Still, while I don't know what smarmy means, it's hard to believe he is making it all up. We should ask questions if we are confused, seek clarification to his many vague phrases and ideas, but we shouldn't dismiss them.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.