The sins of priests

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The only way to cleanse the sins of priests is through the priesthood of Jesus.

The sins of priests are a shocking surprise to us--and a great shame to the Church. They are not a surprise to God. From before all time, He made provision for the healing and reparation of the sins of priests through the priestly death and resurrection of Jesus.

Pope Benedict en route to Fatima, 11 May 2010.
The suffering of the church also comes from within the church, because sin exists in the church. This too has always been known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way. The greatest persecution of the church doesn’t come from enemies on the outside, but is born in sin within the church. The church thus has a deep need to re-learn penance, to accept purification, to learn on one hand forgiveness but also the necessity of justice. Forgiveness does not exclude justice.

A call to repentance

From the prophet Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2 (circa 400 BC):


Gird yourselves and weep, O priests!
wail, O ministers of the altar!
Come, spend the night in sackcloth,
O ministers of my God!
The house of your God is deprived
of offering and libation.
Proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the elders,
all who dwell in the land,
Into the house of the LORD, your God,
and cry to the LORD!

A prayer for healing

Father, we thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to be our Savior.

On the Cross, He offered Himself for us as the Priest, the Victim, and the Altar of Sacrifice. "Through His wounds we are healed."

We pray that through Jesus' priestly ministry, you will heal all of the sins of your people, especially the sins of priests and parents. Rescue your children from the wrongdoing of their elders. Renew in our hearts the wonders of your love. Strengthen, chasten, confirm, and preserve our priests in their vocation. In Your Mercy, send more laborers to work in Your vineyard as priests and religious. Raise up new holy families and dwell with them in Your Son and Your Spirit.

May you be pleased with the sacrifice that your priests offer you; may they serve you with humble and contrite hearts; may the Communion we receive with and through them wash away our sins, cleanse us of our iniquities, and make us white as snow.

We ask all these things with the help of the Holy Spirit in Jesus' Name. Amen.

St. John Vianney, pray for us!

Making reparation for the sins of priests (the Judas Factor)

The Judas Factor: Jesus has been betrayed in every generation by those who have been called and chosen to represent Him.

Judas was the first of many brothers.

In our day, the sins of priests and religious is a grave scandal that has injured multitudes.

  • The victims of the priests.
  • The priests themselves.
  • Others whom the priests have scandalized:
    • The faithful.
    • Unbelievers whose hearts are hardened against the gospel message because of the infidelities of the evangelists. Why should anyone believe the gospel when some of those who are charged to carry it are themselves so notoriously unconverted?

Don't leave Jesus because of Judas!

St. Francis de Sales
"While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal--who allow scandals to destroy faith--are guilty of spiritual suicide."

We need to use the Forgiveness Prayer

The religious, deacons, priests, and bishops who abused children or who tolerated the abuse of children are our enemies.

We must treat them the way Jesus commanded us to treat our enemies.

Robert Degrandis composed a beautiful "Forgiveness Prayer" that teaches us how to forgive:

  • God
  • Ourselves
  • People familiar to us
  • Strangers

How many times do we have to forgive the priests who acted as antichrists? "Not seven times. Seventy times seven times" (Mt 18:22; a favorite saying of David du Plessis).

Forgiveness identifies, condemns, and cleanses sin

We do not condone the sins of priests; we condemn them. What these antichrists did was evil.

The Hindu idea of karma is that evildoing produces evil consequences for evildoers. The evil done by priests brings evil to them and to the Church; the evil done by our nation brings evil consequences to the nation.

Christians can agree with the law of karma (doing good brings good consequences; doing evil brings evil consequences). We know God's answer to the problem of evil: the death and resurrection of Jesus provides what we need to make reparation for all sins and all evildoing. We need to join ourselves to Jesus' work on the Cross: "Father, forgive them' they know not what they do.

The Church continues to suffer from their evildoing. We have to clean up the mess that they made. Just as Jesus made vicarious satisfaction for the sins of the whole world, paying the price for sins the He did not commit, so we need to join with Jesus and make reparation for sins that we did not commit.

The same principles apply to the sins of our nation. The tens of millions of abortions undertaken in our nation with the permission of the government are a terrible evil, a great shame, and a horrible scandal. We need to make vicarious satisfaction for these sins.

Prayer of Azariah

Original prayer and adapted version.

Gay prostitution ring?

2007

"Vatican Sex Sting."
Monsignor Tommaso Stenico—who has responsibility for matters relating to the clergy—was filmed during an encounter with a youth he was reported to have met on a gay Internet chat room.
Several articles report that Stenico was ready to reveal a list of clerical pederasts, but, as far as I can tell, nothing came from that threat.

2013

"Has a gay pedophile prostitution ring been discovered at the Vatican? (8 things you need to know)."
The convicted paedophile priest who told police that other Catholic clergy used underage rent-boys was arrested for slander yesterday after prosecutors concluded he had made up the allegations.
Prosecutors said the claims by Patrizio Poggi, who served a five-year sentence for child abuse while a priest on the outskirts of Rome, were “untrue or based on mere hearsay” and motivated by personal animosity against some of the clerics named. They accused him of attempting to coach possible victims to back up his allegations.
Poggi is being investigated for the crime of aggravated slander.

Reflections

Some of the antagonists of the Church apparently want a witch-hunt:

  • We are to presume guilt, not innocence.
  • Everyone who is accused is guilty as charged.
  • The accused may not confront or cross-question their accusers.
  • The accused may not have the help of counsel (secular and canon lawyers).
  • The accused have no right to due process.
  • The penalty is death. There is no possibility of repentance and reparation for those who have committed these sins.

Those of us who love Jesus and want to serve Him have to make repairs (reparation) for the sins, crimes, and stupidity of our generation of Judases.

In striving to rebuild the Body of Christ, we need to stick to God's blueprints. Some modernists (Protestants in Catholic clothing) want to use the scandal to push their agenda for combining marriage with priesthood, women's ordination, same-sex marriage, etc.

Doctors sometimes use maggots to cleanse infected flesh because the maggots only eat what is rotten and leave the healthy tissue alone. We should be grateful to the press for playing a similar role in bringing real sins, real crimes, and real evil into the light so that we may all condemn and repudiate the wrongdoing in no uncertain terms. Shame on the priests who have done such things, and shame on those who consciously or unconsciously let their evildoing continue! No good has come or can come from such sins and crimes against God's children and the whole People of God.

Links

Church documents

Other sites

Jennifer Fulwiler, "Why the Scandals Increased My Faith in the Church."
Ironically, the more the culture tried to paint the Catholic Church as full of sinful people, the more convinced I became of its truth. I didn’t believe that ordinary people could come up with a set of teachings that contained unparalleled wisdom; maintain them consistently across all times and places, even despite tremendous pressure to recant; and then keep it all going for two thousand years. And even if the media had been right that the priesthood and episcopate were full of corrupt and immoral people, that would have only made the situation more inexplicable in purely human terms—corrupt and immoral people are always the first to sell out and preach whatever message the culture wants to hear in order to get more power for themselves.
In short, I saw something divine at work here.

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