Monday, November 17, 2008

one solitary priest

When Henry the 8th decided to discard his wife and daughter in order to marry his mistress he demanded that the Church go along with him. Most of the bishops said "sure,". One cardinal, said, "No!" He made it clear that he was ready to die to defend the indissolubility of marriage. That man was beheaded and his head was stuck on a pole. Later it was thrown into the Thames. His name is St. John Fisher. Just one very old priest against the might of the king and the world.


Last week one solitary priest spoke up in Greenville, South Carolina. His superiors have turned on him, of course.

Please pray for Fr. Newman. There really isn't a natural priest vocation crisis. There is a Catholic crisis. There aren't enough real Catholics to produce sons who'd want to be priests and there aren't enough Catholics to stand by their good priests when troubles come. What can a devout young man take from this story? That he's expected to say nice things and not the truth? That he must be lispy Fr. Skippy and give homilies as weak as water so that no one will be offended? Who would want to spend their life doing that?

5 comments:

Kit said...

The cruelest of all ironies is that St. John Fisher was the Bishop of Rochester (England). Look what his namesake/counterpart in NY has come to.

Prayers and reparation - what else can be said?

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

prayers and reparation for sure.

Robert said...

it's all about the money.......

Sanctus Belle said...

The lawful and sacramental wife of Henry VIII whom he cast aside, remained loyal to the Catholic church despite the persecution of her husband who, after "marrying" his mistress Anne Boleyn, moved her from one cold castle to the next, mistreated her and finally succeeded in bringing about her death. Despite this torment, she wrote him this letter from her deathbed:

My most dear lord, King and husband,

The hour of my death now drawing on, the tender love I owe you forceth me, my case being such, to commend myself to you, and to put you in remembrance with a few words of the health and safeguard of your soul which you ought to prefer before all worldly matters, and before the care and pampering of your body, for the which you have cast me into many calamities and yourself into many troubles. For my part, I pardon you everything, and I wish to devoutly pray God that He will pardon you also. For the rest, I commend unto you our daughter Mary, beseeching you to be a good father unto her, as I have heretofore desired. I entreat you also, on behalf of my maids, to give them marriage portions, which is not much, they being but three. For all my other servants I solicit the wages due them, and a year more, lest they be unprovided for. Lastly, I make this vow, that mine eyes desire you above all things.

Katharine the Quene.

When news arrived that Katherine was dead, Henry and Anne wore yellow in celebration and feasted. Less than 2 years later, Anne lost her head because she did not produce a son and Henry had tired of her, having fixed his eyes on a young, docile Jane Seymour. She was lucky and died in childbirth.

Oh yes...I could go on and on about Henry VIII...

Dymphna said...

That's one of the most beautiful love letters of all time, I think.