Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Death of a Vocation?

There's so much speculation about Father Corapi these days---What really happened? Why is he leaving the priesthood?  Is he leaving the Church?  Will he ever come back?  And most importantly:  Who is at the root of his decision to leave the priesthood---God or The Evil One?

I haven't read anything that indicates it was a decision made through prayer and lead by the Holy Spirit. Everyone pretty much believes the opposite, it seems.

It's heartbreaking for our wonderful priests to be so tormented, but it shouldn't be surprising.  The most dynamic priests who are doing the most good with their preaching are in grave danger of attracting the notice of the Father of Lies.  He'll do everything in his power to stop the preaching and the conversions.   These priests are also victims of their own pride and the "cult of personality" that grows up around them.  They're like the rock stars of the Catholic Church, these charismatic priests.  And you know what it's like to be a rock star these days:  There are groupies everywhere who throw themselves at them with no regard for morality or vows (of marriage).  Temptations of all kinds are everywhere!

I think the same is true of our priests.  They must have an excellent prayer life, a true humility, and a support system within the Church to help them withstand temptations.

Praying for priests is an important aspect of our lives; we need to always pray for them.  Personally, I frequently pray for more priests of the conservative, reverent, yet dynamic variety.  Yet I'm sure it's much more urgent to pray for the final perseverance of our current priests; to pray for their strength in the face of temptations; to pray for their guidance by the Holy Spirit; to pray for their obedience to superiors.

We need to be careful that we don't become priest-groupies.  Yes, we love them, but we must avoid getting too intimate, and we have to remember that while they serve in persona Christi at Mass and in the confessional, they are not Christ.  Jennifer Fulwiler said it well in her blog post:

The truth that Fr. Corapi led me and so many others to did not originate with him, or from any man. The Catholic Church isn’t a bunch of guys who sit around and come up with brilliant insights about Jesus; its doctrines don’t come from the pope, the bishops, the priests, Fr. Corapi, or anyone else – they come from God himself. The men who make up the Magisterium are simply the tools God uses to convey his message.

I'm sad for Fr. Corapi and what he's going through, whether by his fault or not, and I'll continue to pray for him to return to his priestly ministry, but I'm more sad for those who will feel betrayed by the the Church and leave the Church or lose their faith entirely.  The Catholic Church doesn't change with the political or societal winds as people would like because  the teachings, like God himself, are eternal.  The Catholic Church is full of saints, and sinners who often fail to give good example (to say the least), and the Church stinks at public relations.

We need to keep our eyes focused on The Bread of Life as He is lifted up over the altar.  His presence there does not depend on sanctity, the charisma, or the faithfulness of the priest.  If we make idols of human beings, we will always be disappointed.  If we keep our eyes on Christ and His eternal truths, we'll be fine.


  1. You have a theme going here, Sara. Praying for no more deaths. ;-)


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