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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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The Vocation of Holy Orders is a Gift

Hebrews 5:1: For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed [ordained] to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.

Hebrews 5:4: And one does not take honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was.

John 15:16: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed [ordained] you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

John 20:21: Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”

The Lord chooses us, we do not choose him. Nowhere is this more evident than in priesthood. It is not something anyone deserves. It cannot be made an item on anyone’s social justice agenda for inclusion. The people in the pews have no innate authority to commission clergy apart from Christ. Rather, a divine calling is ratified and brought to completion through the Apostles and their legitimate successors.

For more such reading, contact me about getting my book, DEFENDING THE CATHOLIC FAITH.

One Response

  1. Dear Fr Joe,

    When I was young and at a Convent junior school run by nuns I was told by them to pray that I might receive a vocation. Secretly I used to pray that I would not, and would never, receive a calling to the Priesthood as the prospect terrified me… I’m fairly sure my prayers were answered.

    At senior school, run by the Irish Christian Brothers I was told much the same but continued with my “secret” prayers. However, one of my contemporaries was “called.” I was astounded to find out, that when I had cause to Google him just out of some nostalgic curiosity, that he is serving time in prison for pedophilia. How strange, and was he ever “called” and why?

    My first Parish Church where I was Baptized some 62 years ago had 3 priests, an elderly Canon Rae who was an excellent example of a practicing alcoholic, a young Monsignor Cox who ran off to get married and another priest who was, in fact, having an affair (committing adultery) with a married member of the congregation: not notable exemplars. And as for those Irish Christian Brothers, I can affirm that everything that has come to light over the last decade is true, and very much more.

    I believe that one of the dialogues given by Our Lady at Fatima, but not widely publicized by the Church, was her warning to all priests that they should be very pure and that many members of the Church would be going to Hell. Perhaps I dreamed this up? But even if I did, it seems very pertinent.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are very many good priests and the 46 convicted ones in Ireland are out of a total of over 5,000, which is better than the average ratio of perverts to norms in society at large; but overall, it is a terrible indictment that there was even one! And worse than that— the outwardly active heterosexual priest, almost extolling the benefits of burning both ends of the candle, as it were, in your neck of the woods.

    It’s very, very, sad that, for so long, perverts have been able to hide within the Church, and only now is something being done about it. I suffered terribly for 8 years at the hands of those Brothers; sure, I received a good education, but at what personal cost.

    The amazing thing is that I’m still a Catholic, and out of all those I’ve heard of from the Convent, my primary school, and my Catholic Boarding school, I know of no others who still practice their faith. That’s very sad, and to me, a sign that something was very wrong with the Church at that time.

    With love, Paul

    FATHER JOE:

    The very fact that you prayed at all may have been an indication that from a very early age you knew that you did not have a religious vocation. Not everyone is called to be a religious brother or a priest. However, we are all called to live out our baptismal faith.

    The matter of reprobates among consecrated religious and clergy, as well as the failure of the Church leadership to protect children and the innocent, is indeed a terrible scandal. While there may be room for argument about corporal punishment; the mental, physical or sexual abuse of anyone is a heinous crime before God and men. Of course, even Judas, given a share in the priesthood of the apostles, betrayed our Lord. There is a mystery here that I, myself, find difficult to understand. The priests and religious who broke their promises and hurt others should never have been ordained or consecrated. Our Lord says that if one leads any of the “little ones” astray, it would better if he had a millstone tied around his neck and he be thrown into the sea. As for Judas, he stands convicted by the Gospel’s terrible words, “It would have been better had he never been born.” Even if such rascals as you mention escape earthly laws, they will not be able to escape the conviction of the heavenly Tribunal. Hypocrisy and contradiction reach their zenith in the bad priest; he can absolve the sins of others and offer the sacrifice of Calvary, all the while having one foot planted in hell because of mortal sin.

    Alcoholism was an addiction and sin once tolerated in certain clergy. But it made them a disgrace to the people who needed them. Those priests who ran away and got married, most often attempted marriage only. Apart from a Church sanctioned laicization, no civil license would have any weight whatsoever. Add to this the matter of adultery, as with Miami’s Father Cutie, and you have priests who are more consumed by their own selfish desires than about the moral standing of any beloved. As I tell cohabitating and fornicating couples, you are loving your partner into hell. But, of course, that is not true love, despite the romantic masquerade.

    Paul, I am sorry that you suffered at the hands of abusive brothers. It must be God’s grace that has preserved your faith in the face of so much disappointment. You remain in my prayers.

    God bless and protect you!

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