Monday, September 18, 2017

The high flying celebrity priest is often a bad priest

Catholic University is affiliated with the Theological College seminary which gets seminarians from all over the United States, China and some African countries. The seminary probably dumped Fr. James Martin from speaking at its upcoming alumni days program because enough laity reminded them that the annual nationwide collection for Catholic University is this week and said that they were not going to be giving this year. I'm happy that Fr. Martin won't be speaking at the seminary but that doesn't solve the larger problem. Fr. Martin is a celebrity priest and that rarely works out. Celebrity is not the same as famous. St. John Vianney, Fr. Solanus Casey, St. Padre Pio and St. Andre Bessette were famous. Their fame served Christ.  Celebrity serves itself.

Celebrity priests are not a new phenomenon. History is littered with them. Around one hundred years ago Fr. Thomas Macgrady was a nine day wonder who caused scandal, got laicized and died in his 40s.  We now know that Fr. Thomas Merton was a rather large pain the posterior to his superiors and his brother monks but they put up with it because his books made so much money. Fr. Teilhard de Chardin  has been dead since 1955, and his books are still causing trouble. Fr. Williams and Fr. Cutie both gave the Church's enemies a chuckle. The list could go on and on.  It's almost always the same sad story....a priest forgets what he is and Whom he serves. His superiors are either so rotten bad themselves that they can't say anything or they are lax and just don't bother to do so. The priest falls into scandal and ruins himself and leads people away from the Church. 

Divine Savior Jesus Christ, Thou are the Good Shepherd who gives His life for His sheep. Oh, be in a very special way the Good Shepherd of those poor lost priests who are also appointed by Thee to be leaders of Thy people, but who have broken the oath of their holy ordination and have become unfaithful to their exalted calling. Bestow upon these poorest of the poor the very fullness of that pastoral solicitude with which Thou dost so faithfully seek the sheep that are lost! Touch their hearts with the irresistible ray of grace which emanates from Thine all-merciful love! Enlighten their minds and strengthen their wills, that they may turn away from all sin and error and come back to Thy holy altar and to Thy people. O most compassionate Savior! Remember that Thou didst once redeem the souls of Thine erring priests with Thy Precious Blood and in infinite preferential love didst impress upon them the indelible character of the priesthood. Put wholly to shame those miserable helpers of Satan who lay snares for the virtue of priests and endanger the holy ideal of the priesthood. Most graciously accept our prayers and sacrifices for poor priests who have gone astray and hear our earnest petition.
Imprimatur - Bishop John F. Null (April 18, 1948)

St. Anthony of Padua, defender of the Holy Eucharist, obtain for us holy priests
St. John-Mary Vianney, model of sacerdotal holiness, obtain for us holy priests

St. Francis Xavier, patron of missionary priests, obtain for us holy priests

St. Therese of the Child-Jesus and of the Holy Face, victim offered for the sanctification of priests, obtain for us holy priests

Saints and Servants of God, obtain for us holy priests.