Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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How we perpetuate bad parish priests

September 2nd, 2019, Promulgated by Diane Harris

How do bad priests continue in their ‘ministries?’

There are many reasons why bad priests continue to be so in their ministries, and get worse as time goes on. For today’s discussion, let’s pick just one:  Lazy sheep who are content to just “pay, pray and obey” and never to rock the boat, out of fear that things might get even worse!

Have you ever wondered how many penitents actually go into a confessional and say: “Bless me Father for I have sinned – I have been letting my parish priest get away with sloppy celebration of the Holy Mass, inadequate vesting (especially refusing to wear the cincture, a symbol of sexual purity), dressing disguised like laity, making silly or irrelevant jokes in his homily, arrogance, improper handling of sacred objects such as leaving a corporal on the altar with fragments of host still present, improper use of a Sacrarium, refusal to genuflect when passing through the church or to bow his head at the name of Jesus, playing favorites among parishioners, tolerating disrespectful activities in Church, politicizing his opinion as Church Teaching, warping Scriptural content or misquoting it, excessive use of Lay Ministers of Holy Communion, cutting back on his priestly duties as much as possible and then cutting some more!” One wonders if those ‘presiders’ ever listen to the heretical words in some hymns sung at Mass? Or if they ever realize there is more to preaching than redistribution of wealth and the unseemly seamless garment metaphor. And we could go on. Please do add what is missing from the list if it contributes to the discussion.

One thing which such priests seem to have in common is a desire to reduce the number of Masses they celebrate. They find excuses. They can often be recognized by their substituting Communion Services as if they were interchangeable with the Mass! Or by their changing something in the Mass. At first it might not seem serious. But taking on a “right” to change the Mass in any way is indeed serious. And arrogant. One gets the sense they experience very little joy in their priesthood. Some interfere in the spirituality of their own Church members (at least one has forbidden the practice of saying the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel after Mass, a practice especially important at this time in the life of the Church.) Or by refusing to allow access to rosaries in the church!  Others show by their silence in preaching their lack of concern for the abuses within the Church or for the souls of the laity affected. One priest who argued with an opponent of abortion pushed the host way back into her mouth, gagging her, when she next came to Communion. Others, who choose to receive on the tongue, are oppressed by the ‘tongue-touching’ routine which, except for an occasional ‘accident,’ is about misuse of clerical power by priests who don’t want to give Communion on the tongue.

Do these seem too far fetched to you? I know of examples in every single item mentioned, and many which I’ve chosen not to mention yet. The point is that the parishioners should be taking a stronger position against the indignities committed against the Lord. TELL THE PRIEST what is unacceptable. Visibly reduce donations and point out why you are doing so. Don’t contribute to CRS or CCHD – they have been identified as perpetuating support of sinful lifestyles. And if the priest reacts with hostility to the input, try to find a more holy environment in another Catholic Church, even if it means driving extra distance. If we settle for less, we will surely get that for which we’ve settled. And if you’ve been blessed with a good parish priest, don’t forget to let him know!

Thanks to The Narrow Gate for suggesting the following quote:

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One Response to “How we perpetuate bad parish priests”

  1. avatar christian says:

    There are some more examples which I have come across through the years. I will mention one where parishioners took an action:

    Years ago, at a church with a smaller congregation (now closed by the Diocese), a priest pastor announced he was not going to have Mass on Ash Wednesday. He had nothing else to do; he just didn’t want to be bothered. He planned to just stay in the rectory and take it easy, as he was known for doing. The parishioners were upset at there not being a Mass on Ash Wednesday. So he stated if anyone wanted ashes, they could come to the door of the rectory and he would come to the door and give them ashes.

    I thought of a strategy that might change his mind about not bothering to have Ash Wednesday Mass. I orchestrated a planned schedule with other parishioners whereby we all came at all different hours to the rectory door for him to administer ashes to us. He announced after that Ash Wednesday that he would be having Ash Wednesday Mass next year because he couldn’t go through that again, with all these parishioners coming at all different times to the rectory door for ashes.
    You would think a priest would deem Ash Wednesday Mass an important observance as it is the beginning of Lent. But even if the priest didn’t feel that way, he reinstated Ash Wednesday Mass due to inconvenience.

    (Eventually, that pastor was replaced).

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