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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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Priestly Celibacy – The Loss of Credibility

Given the loss of esteem given celibacy and the higher levels of education available in the West to the laity, the teachings from a priest, monk or nun on the subject of sexuality and marriage have lost a great deal of credibility.  This is a fact that we must acknowledge and seek to resolve.  In days gone by, the priest was one of the few people in a community who could read and had gone to school.  Many of the immigrant families tell me that their grandparents would seek the priest’s advice for about everything, not just on faith and morals.  The celibate priest was given incredible moral authority.  The enemies of the Church knew well that the only way to undermine Catholic teaching and values was to devalue the clergy.  The criminal abuse cases had accomplished what our enemies long desired.  The abuse scandals, the defections of priests from ministry, and publicizing their affairs in books, has also done much harm.  They might argue that such was only to force a discussion; but the actual effect has been scandal and ridicule against the so-called institutional Church.  The defectors, themselves, clamor that no institution can demand perpetual celibacy.  Little or nothing is said about personal culpability, promises freely made and then broken, and entanglements with women that were sinful.

The infamous Father Cutie scandal in Florida is a case in point:  he has an affair, gets caught, jumps to the Episcopal church without a word to his bishop, marries a divorced woman, writes a book, and is given a forum from the secular news to continue spreading his rebellious discontent.  There is almost nothing about what he did that one could judge as commendable.  He was a disgrace from beginning to end.  Now he belongs to the church of priestesses, contraception, multiple marriages, and gay unions.  If he has no ideological issues with that then good riddance…they can keep him.  I do not see how any authentically Catholic-minded priest could suffer such nonsense, and bring excommunication upon himself and judgment down on someone he claims to love.  But that is me.  God will be his judge.

Father Joe Meets Captain Kirk (William Shatner)

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I attended the 2013 Shoreleave Convention last weekend. I take three days vacation each year and do something absolutely frivolous, but cool.