Archbishop Morlino: Priesthood Is Not For Wimps
Bishop Morlino has a very interesting article about what it is required from a priest. His intervention is the more significant, because it is clearly meant to warn potential candidates what is expected from them is exactly that kind of assertiveness and courage that has been so long absent in so many priests for so long.Following a pattern I see more and more often among American bishops, he writes with a clearness I am unable to see in most European bishops. You find the article here (kudos to Father Z).
Let us see some examples (emphases mine):
the priest has a very good motive for his concern about everyone else’s reception of God’s Grace, for Jesus Christ will hold him to account for that on Judgment Day.
No trace here for the stressing of “pastoral sensitivity”, which in turn means being a wimp. The priest will have to answer for the souls entrusted to him.Also note the “judgment seat of Christ” is “fearsome”, and tambourines were unlikely to be played there.
When we look for candidates to the priesthood and as we pray for vocations, we are looking for men who are brave in their willingness to seek holiness, to speak the truth, to lay down their lives. There is no place in the priesthood today for “wimpish-ness.” There is no place for an attitude that just wants to please people, no matter what they think and no matter what they want. Today the priest has to stand up and be brave, preaching the Truth with love. He has to be willing to be unpopular. And if it comes to it, he has to be open to martyrdom.
Bishop Morlino admirably describes in just few words a vast number, I can safely say the clear majority, of today’s priests in the West. We all know this kind of priest, because we have seen so many. “Wimp” is a fitting term to describe those among them who aren’t openly subversive. There is a minority of good ones, and here and there there are still some excellent ones. But truly, I can’t say as a category they shine much these days.
It’s time for all of us to be brave in admitting what the moral truth is about artificial contraception. It’s not a time to be shy, retiring, and politically correct. Sometimes people come up to me and say, “in my parish it’s not permitted to talk about that.” How sad. Where is the sign of the brave shepherd?
Very clear words once again: retiring wallflowers need not apply. What the bishop is demanding is a u-turn in the way priests have been selected in the last decades, with the assertive, manly priests managing to become priest notwithstanding their manliness and assertiveness, and probably doing their best to hide it.
Vocations are increasing in number every year, thank God, and thanks to your good prayers, and now is the time for you to demand bravery in the priesthood. Because nothing less than that will bring Christ’s Church through the hard times to come.
Note here Bishop Morlino demands more from a priest at the same when he says vocations are increasing. He is not afraid of being left without vocations. On the contrary, he knows a good vocation is not crushed, but encouraged by an open call to courageous behaviour.
One last thing bishop Morlino has omitted, but I would like to add: unfortunately, it is still the case in the United States that when a priest is exactly as Bishop Morlino says, he is victimised by his own bishop, as the sad case of father Guarnizo abundantly proves.
The change in our priests will only get in full swing when we have a correspondent change in our bishops.