The Banalisation Of The Priesthood
This is the news of two priest in the same Italian parish, deciding to abandon the priesthood for the (questionable) joys of married life when you should, actually, be a priest.
Basically, it is the decision of living a lie because the truth of one’s choice was hard to bear.
Wait, have I written “too hard to bear”? No. The decision was made , and the two priests had decided to dedicate their lives to the priesthood. Sorry, “father”, but at that point, if you are a man, there is no going back. Do you have any doubt? Pray more. Are you tempted? Fast more. Whatever happens, keep your vows and stay at your post. This is what you promised, as a man, to do.
What grated me most, in the article, was not the fact, enough shameful in itself, of a parish that seems to work as an incubator for the abandonment of the priesthood. It is, once again, the failure of the bishop to offer any leadership.
A bishop who states that he “respects” the “free decision” of the two to betray their vows devalues the priesthood, makes the sacrament cheap, and makes it appear like a temporary life choice that can be discarded when the circumstances change, leaving Father Quitter with the perceived right of being “respected” for his “free choice”; and, oh, isn’t it all so ro-o-o-mantic?
I don’t know: perhaps the two priests though they were Protestant Pastors? Perhaps the Bishop has forgotten what the sacrament of Holy Orders is?
How about a comment along the lines of: “The decision of Father X and Father Y is shameful, a dereliction of duty and a betrayal of Christ. However, given the circumstances, I have chosen to defrock the two rather than having such black sheep within the fold, possibly giving scandal, and certainly unable to inspire their sheep to sanctity”, or something along those lines.
I wonder what is next: a nice little “farewell to the priesthood” party – with the priest and his future Signora and the usual accompaniment of boring, sugary speeches about lurv – so that the parishioners can wish him all the best? Will there be a gold watch, I wonder?
What is happening to us? What is happening to the Sacraments? How much has remained of the Catholicism of our forefathers? Which Bishop would, 100 years ago, have chosen the same words as Bishop Cancian now?
Food for thoughts.
Actually, food for prayer and penance, too. Today I will pray the Lord that my Catholicism never (again) becomes so dull that I feel no sense of shame (for him) and scandal (for the others) at a priest abandoning his post.
We will see whether these marriages become beds of roses. Given the circumstances, I am inclined to think, rather, of beds of thorns.