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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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Calumny about Jewels & Shepherds

Herb wanted to share his calumny with us:

What would Jesus’ or Peter’s reaction be today to bishops, cardinals and the popes parading around in excessive jewel-bedecked outfits?

Father Joe has this response to make:

What jewels are these?  Do you know anything about the simplicity of Pope Francis?  The take home pay for most priests and bishops is around 12 to 15 thousand dollars a year.  Those in religious orders do not even own the clothes on their back.  The marks of faith are passed on from one shepherd to the next.  The cross a bishop wears signifies Christ and his redemptive work.  The ring a bishop puts on is a sign of his apostolic authority.  He wears it just as married couples wear a ring.  At a time when certain millionaire Protestant clergy proclaim a prosperity gospel, you attack poor men who do more for charity and human dignity than you ever will. 

Look to your plank before trying to reach for the splinters in the eyes of your brothers!


3 Responses

  1. Why don’t they sell the wealth of the Vatican? Christ didn’t live like that? Why does the Pope need to, especially when people are starving in the world? Even with Pope Francis’s so-called simplicity he still lives better than the suffering Catholics in Iraq.

    FATHER JOE: The wealth of the Vatican is not his to sell. It belongs to God. The artifacts of beauty and value are entrusted to us for the glory of God and as a faith inheritance for the world and generations to come. Even Jesus relied upon the purses of the holy women who followed the apostles. One of his best friends was Lazarus, a rich man that he raised from the dead. Joseph of Arimathea loaned his tomb for Jesus’ body. Our Lord does not demand that the Church should be devoid of resources. If we did so, we would be of no help to anyone in the long run. The man fed today is still hungry tomorrow. Remember the story of Jesus, Judas and the woman with the expensive oil in the alabaster jar. Jesus said the poor you will always have with you. Do you practice what you preach? How many starving people have you helped? I suspect that the Pope in his lifetime has done more for the poor than you ever will. I do not know you but hypocrites often have some nerve when it comes to these sort of questions. Those with little or no association with the Church propose that the Church should deconstruct herself. My church today took up a collection for the suffering Christians of the Middle East. What have you done to make a difference?

  2. Dear Blogger Priest, you wear your heart on your sleeve and perhaps a mea culpa may be in order for not turning the other cheek. Whatever is going on in your life that produces this defensiveness and anger will need some work. I will pray for you. God bless.


    There is no anger. But I am defensive about the Church and her shepherds. It upsets me when I hear good men maligned or their motives questioned. The comment placed here was not geared toward discussion, but to smear.

    I am always curious about the people who come here. When I backtracked to your blog I was surprised that you called yourself a Catholic conservative and yet you were soft on homosexuality and questioned the historicity of the Gospels. That (in turn) calls into question what we know about Christ. What the Church might allow for certain sections of the Old Testament cannot be permitted for the New. Jesus is the very heart of the faith. While the Bible is not a history book, it does teach truth and salvation history. It seemed that you also questioned the existence of angels and the devil. They are among the saints in the Church’s liturgical calendar. They play a part in our redemption. Sorry, but I do not see your faith as conservative at all. Indeed, your dissent makes it less and less Catholic. No matter how much we are educated, our response to the kerygma must always consist of assent to the Magisterium and a profound humility. That goes for you and me. I appreciate your prayers. You have mine. Peace!

  3. What jewels, indeed? I have to say though, Fr. Joe, it would be nice to hear and see the Bishops at the diocesan level. I think people are really, really confused today and get lost in the politics and popular social standards. Sometimes I wish the USCCB would disband.

    I know a priest from the diocese who works in the annulment office. He lives with the retired priests, gets up at 2/3am every morning takes care of his prayers and Mass, cooks for the retired priests, then goes off to work. Not many people know.

    FATHER JOE: Bishops frequently speak out in the Catholic newspapers and on the internet. But the truth be said, secular media does not give Catholic churchmen a forum to communicate. Letters are passed on by pastors at Mass. Between administering dioceses and doing Confirmations, they are also very busy.

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