I’m really struggling to write this post because I learned about a bad priest in my diocese today. A friend of mine, who has always been disillusioned with religion had a poor experience when he was going to baptize his child. The priest told him that he needed to be tithing to the church for several months before he would baptize the baby. This is NOT Church teaching, tithes are to be done according to one’s heart, and priests cannot deny sacraments for arbitrary reasons. I was sure to confirm with my friend that it was about tithe, not about going to Mass. When one baptizes a child, they commit to raising that child Catholic. To be Catholic is to attend Mass all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. That’s not what the priest was saying, it was about the money, not the frequency at which someone frequented the Lord’s house.
Another friend of mine was married at that church last year, he also had a difficult experience. I asked him how the Pre Cana and natural family planning classes were, he had no idea what I was talk about. I asked if his wife received Reconciliation before their wedding, he didn’t have answer and wondered why that would be relevant. Him and his fiance were living together before they got married, I asked if they priest talked to them at all about refraining from sex until after the wedding. He asked me why it would be any of the priests business.
This priest has chosen not to follow the God’s prescriptions concerning sacraments as stated by the Church. I cannot tell you how furious I am. The reason I am so angry is that bad shepherds lead to lost sheep. Neither of my friends are church goers, and my one friend is not raising his son in the faith. Why? Because a servant of God did not accurately share the teachings of the Church. He denied a sacrament to a child because his father wasn’t paying tithes! He allowed a couple in a state of mortal sin to receive a sacrament! How backwards is that? I can’t blame my friends, because they don’t know any better, but it is the responsibility of the faithful, who know the truth, to stand up and be hold other members in the community responsible.
So I wrote the priest an email asking to set up a meeting. I hope he is receptive to what I have to say. I will, of course, be respectful and also prepared. We, as members of the Body of Christ, cannot allow bad shepherds to lose sheep for any reason. It is because of bad priests and the laity’s silence that many of our brothers and sisters choose not participate in the sacraments, and don’t even know what they are missing out on. This was the case during the Protestant Schism, it was the case when it was discovered priests were violating the fundamental human rights of children in the church, and it may even be happening now. We must protect the souls of our brothers and sisters, by respectfully holding Church leadership accountable.
I will meet with priest. If he chooses not to meet with me, I will go to the bishop. If he chooses not to meet with me I will meet with the cardinal. If he chooses not to listen to me, I will write a letter to Rome. I will not tolerate anymore of my brothers and sisters being lost.
This post is from the Book of Numbers bible study. Please join us as we go through God’s word together where we will learn so much about ourselves and our Lord. You can find out more information about the Bible-A-Day series here.
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I’ve written a devotional for the book of Numbers. In it, I share reflections for each chapter of the book along with a memory verse, a contemplation question, and space to journal. If you’re interested in that book, check it out below!