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The Devil Hates Priests. This is why.

St. John Chrysostom, I am told, said that the floor of hell is carpeted with the skulls of priests. I have never located the source. Nonetheless, when we hear our Lord’s words about millstones and those who deserve them, and we hear his words about “to whom much is given" et cetera, it seems that some—no, a great deal—of trembling is in order. Priests, especially, should be terrified by these admonitions. The opportunities for either spectacular glory (not the world’s kind) or spectacular peril (also not the world’s kind) confront, each and every day, every single ordained man of the Catholic Church. A good sign that a priest grasps the reality of his responsibility and the price of failure is that he makes a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament each day.

And the Catholic laity must, must, must pray for priests every single day. The devil hates priests. He wants nothing more than to hand them over simultaneously to the disdain of the world and to the eternal pains of hell. Satan does not tire. Reports of the moral failings of clergy, from parish priests to princes of the Church, continue to embarrass the Church and discourage the faithful, and they remind us of our obligation to pray for priests, for their sake, and for the sake of those whose lives they touch for better or for ill, the seen and the unseen.

In all the chaos of disgraced cardinals on both sides of the Atlantic, you may have missed the unhappy news that a well respected and very well placed member of the clergy of an important East Coast diocese was accused a month or so ago of running a nationwide operation that peddled illegal methamphetamines. Also, he has been accused of laundering the money from said sales in a shop that vends devices designed to facilitate the practice of deviance. Alas, the charges continue: This priest is alleged to have indulged in these selfsame deviances in the company of other men in his rectory.

(I do not provide a link to the story for the very reason that even by mentioning it I risk provoking the fallen appetite for prurience that St. Augustine called “lust of the eyes" that has been exponentially exacerbated by the Internet.)

Should the sordid tale prove not to be a giant misunderstanding, it will be another terrible scandal the Church will have to bear and one that will shake the faith of who can say how many Catholics.

When I hear stories like this one, my go-to line is usually Belloc’s observation that the proof that the Catholic Church is a divine institution is that since the Crucifixion she has been thriving in spite ofthe shortcomings of those to whom our Lord entrusted her care. Nonetheless, this particular priest’s alleged behavior is disheartening. The debauchery of Pope Alexander VI, for example, who kept a few mistresses and arranged for positions for the children he sired, seems mild alongside our own age’s deviance.

Making matters more discouraging is that, in a very real sense, clerical deviance and its immediate victims are really the tip of the iceberg. In the case of the meth-dealing priest, his position, influence, and stature in his diocese cannot help but mean that the harm he caused is greater than we know. He was secretary to two bishops, and rector of the cathedral. It is anybody’s guess how much unseen damage this man did from these positions of diocesan authority. How many good priests did he prevent from becoming pastors? How many heretics did he see appointed to the diocesan schools? How much irreverent liturgy did he cause or permit, and how much good liturgy did he hinder? How many good vocations did he discourage?

How many souls did not get sound Catholic teaching or solid spiritual direction because of this priest? We really have no idea of the spiritualwreckage in the wake of this man’s career.

Pray for the victims of clerical sexual abuse. Pray for the priests whose transgressions have caused so much harm. Pray for the ordinaries who either deliberately concealed or turned a blind eye to the sins of their clergy.

And pray for the Catholics, whose number is known only to God, who suffered—some in ignorance, some in painfully acute awareness—the deception, scheming, irreverence, and heresy of clergy whose intellects and wills, intended for the service of God, were disfigured by their horrifying sins.

By Christopher Check

 









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6 comments

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    “I do not provide a link to the story for the very reason that even by mentioning it I risk provoking the fallen appetite for prurience that St. Augustine called “lust of the eyes" that has been exponentially exacerbated by the Internet.”
    |
    Google “Monsignor Kevin Wallin,” who bought the “Land of Oz & Dorothy’s Place” adult video and sex toy shop to launder his ill-gotten gains.
    |
    Note that he remains as a priest. He’s not bad enough for them to remove him, which gives you a pretty good idea of how much evil – including child rape – the RCC is willing to tolerate in their ranks. Of course the author here tries to absolve him by blaming the devil! Yeah, the devil made him do it. That’s the ticket. Blame the devil. Does that excuse keep you out of hell?

  2. Gallibus Reply

    Pray also for those priests wrongly accused and jailed – their lives turned into one of spiritual and physical suffering. Priests are sitting ducks when it comes to false accusations especially of the hidden crimes of sexual abuse and this particularly in a puritanical culture, not to mention one that hates Catholics based on a false understanding of the religion.

    Pray that the Lord enlightens us all. False accusation is one of satan’s favorite tools – if he can’t successfully tempt them, he can nail them with false accusations. Either way, he scores. and then he scores by the sins of those who vilify others. Jesus said in a modern day message: ‘Do not let the sin of another lead to your own condemnation’. Wise words from the Just Judge whose judgement no-one will escape.

    1. Patrick Gannon Reply

      If we have a Puritanical society, (and we do to a slowly but ever lessening extent), then this is because of Christianity and in particular the Catholic Church’s manic obsession with sex.

      How many false accusations are there, compared with the thousands of cases of clerical sexual abuse and rape? There is no devil. These men are disordered. There is something about them that makes them different from other men. They didn’t fit in with the rest of society, so they found sanctuary within a disordered organization that protected their sexual deviancy.

      To the best of my knowledge only lions have males that live together as celibate virgins when they are unable to obtain a mate. At least the lions don’t play dress-up in robes, in an attempt to escalate their pathetic status. The Church scorns LGBTs, but if that activity is disordered, as the Church insists, then it is even more disordered to live as celibate virgins, given that this is not the norm in the natural world. The good news, is like those lions that can’t get mates, these clergymen do not (or at least are not supposed to) contribute to the gene pool, and for that we should be grateful.

      If a few priests are wrongly accused, that would just be a tiny, insignificant step in giving the Church a taste of the karma it so very much deserves. You speak of a false understanding of the religion – what false understanding do you speak of? Most Catholics have never read the bible or the catechism. Most Catholics don’t understand their own religion. Most Catholics don’t even know that the default position of the Church is that aborted, miscarried and stillborns who are not baptized are sent to HELL. If the Catholic god sends complete innocents to Hell, that god is incorrigibly evil, and deserves contempt, not worship.

      As for praying, all the prayer studies carried out, that I am aware of, have failed miserably. Show me an amputee who prays back a lost limb, and then we can talk about the efficacy of prayer.

      1. Gallibus Reply

        Re: ‘If we have a Puritanical society, (and we do to a slowly but ever lessening extent), then this is because of Christianity and in particular the Catholic Church’s manic obsession with sex’.
        Reply:
        If one has sex (conjugal love) the way the Creator intended it then there is no need for puritanical guilt; sex was designed for pleasure and the procreation of children. However, if one engages in illicit hedonistic relationships then there is every basis for shame and guilt as is generally found in these relationships that are so deceitfully promoted by popular culture.

        The Catholic Church advocates beautiful, loving sex in licit relationships as designed by the Creator; if that is redefined as ‘manic obsession with sex’ then one of us is not speaking plainly. What I would describe as a ‘manic obsession with sex’ is the acceptance of unbridled sexual intimacy whenever and with whoever. This is using the partner as a sexual prop to satisfy one’s selfish passions; this is not loving or caring – it is abuse, plain and simple. In all the talk of the right to abortion, there is scant mention of the fact that a woman has a right to have her body respected rather than being treated as a punchbag for passion and thereafter savaged in her most intimate parts to remove the fruits of inappropriate intercourse.

        There has been sexual abuse by clerics who, as part of the fallen human race, are just as susceptible to sexual abuse and sin as anybody else. Yes, we do consider that they should be above this sort of sin since they have supposedly chosen to devote their lives to a higher calling and we hate hypocrisy in others. Jesus, in His modern Messages, has said that He is cleaning up His Church, starting at the sanctuary and that these sort of things will not be hidden or tolerated.

        The Messages (True Life in God and those to Debra of Australia) also note that some clerics will be falsely accused. Nevertheless, two evils do not make a good in my humble opinion. Falsely accusing a person and destroying their character and livelihood is a second only to murder; in fact, I think it is worse. If one follows your argument, then all of us are should be held liable for the evil done by others. If there is no such thing as evil, what are you complaining about? If you think that there is no devil, then you can keep on sleeping until you meet him. He probably won’t bother you much now since he has fooled you already and you are unlikely to put up much resistance; he has already defeated you.

        As to celibate lion males who are virgins, I have no knowledge of them; I leave that to you. It sounds to me like a contradiction in terms but I daresay you have studied it as a justification for your own view. Animal behavior is not a model for humans who have a higher calling but I grant you that in many ways their behavior puts many humans to shame.

        Your logic is deficient; exceptions prove the rule and it is ridiculous to taint the whole priesthood with the sins of few, just as one cannot claim holiness for all based on the holiness of some. In any population, if one can determine the norm then, by definition, there are those on either side of the norm. As to dressing up, don’t we all dress up? These days ugliness is in fashion, the uglier, the better and we hate those who don’t dress the way we do just as we hate those who behave differently. Satan, in his spite, hates all of the Lord’s creation and mankind, as His highest creation, is Satan’s target; the more he can debase humans by making them ugly in mind and matter, the more successful he is in exercising his hatred of the Lord God. So, defile your natural beauty with tattoos and ugly, indecent clothing and defile your spiritual beauty and you are all his to torment forever.

        Re: ‘These men are disordered. There is something about them that makes them different from other men. They didn’t fit in with the rest of society, so they found sanctuary within a disordered organization that protected their sexual deviancy.’
        Reply: Yes, their behavior is disordered and they don’t fit into decent society any more than the deviants in the general public. But, as long as there is life, there is the chance for abandoning evil and embracing goodness. By the way, the legal system is protecting sexual deviancy these days – does that make your argument ridiculous or simply politically incorrect?

        Re: ‘You speak of a false understanding of the religion – what false understanding do you speak of? Most Catholics have never read the bible or the catechism. Most Catholics don’t understand their own religion. Most Catholics don’t even know that the default position of the Church is that aborted, miscarried and stillborns who are not baptized are sent to HELL. If the Catholic god sends complete innocents to Hell, that god is incorrigibly evil, and deserves contempt, not worship.’
        Reply: You are right that many who claim to be Catholics do not know their religion much less practice it. Many have not read the Bible in its entirety nor even understood it. This is due to poor catechesis for one or more reasons but there is a lifetime to redress this for each individual – life is an on-going process of spiritual growth and people are all in different stages so one can expect ignorant, half-baked and unwise opinions and beliefs in the interim. It is up to the wise to teach the ignorant.

        The Catholic Church teaches that these unbaptized babies do not generally enter heaven but they do not experience the eternal damnation and associated suffering of hell, just as the just did not suffer eternal suffering in hell before the Resurrection of Christ. You can check out the catechism of the Catholic Church. I would go further than you and state that most Christians do not understand either their own religion or the Catholic religion or they would become Catholic. God did not suddenly change His mind about His teachings to accommodate Luther’s views.

        Regarding miracles, the Church investigates these claims very rigorously, you will be pleased to discover. Miracles happen even today. Study the evidence, e.g. the basis for canonizations, and opinions of experts and do not rely so heavily on your own preconceived ideas.

        1. Patrick Gannon Reply

          Gallibus, you speak of having sex as the Creator intended. Let’s see that would include:

          1) a man with a woman (Gen 2:24), 2) a man with his brother’s widow (Gen 38:6-10), 3) a man with his wives and concubines (Abraham, Nohor, Jacob, Eliphaz, etc. not to mention Solomon’s 300 concubines, 4) a rapist and his victim (Deut 22:28-29), 5) a man, a woman and a woman’s slaves (Gen 16), 6) a soldier and a prisoner of war (Numbers 31:1-18), 7) a man and many women (polygamy – many references), and finally 8) a male and female slave. Indeed sex in these relationships was for procreation and the man’s pleasure. Women were chattel.

          However before we even get there, we have to confirm that this Creator exists, and of course we all know there’s no objective evidence for that, or we wouldn’t still be debating it. The foundation of the Creator you worship has washed away.. There was no six day creation, no two-person DNA bottleneck, no global flood, no mass Exodus from Egypt and no conquest of Canaan. We know these things beyond reasonable doubt, and without these things, what foundation remains to support Yahweh-Jesus?

          Sex is personal and intimate and thus a powerful tool to use to manipulate frightened people – an evil art that Christianity mastered. Nobody is arguing here that it’s OK to abuse women for sexual pleasure – you’re trying to demonize me by associating this non sequitur. What I define as manic obsession is the fact that the Church can’t let anything having to do with sex pass by without the commenting on it. This forum is full of articles that discuss sex and reaffirms the rules the Vatican has laid down with respect to what we can and can’t do with our genitalia – and they don’t even use theirs in the way evolution intended that they should! (Or so we are led to believe. I suspect there’s a lot more hanky-panky going on and probably most of it gay).

          Jesus in his “modern messages" is cleaning up his Church? What the heck are you talking about? What modern messages? Can I find them on YouTube? By the way, please note your admission that the Church needs to be cleaned up. These things you say that will not be hidden or tolerated went on for centuries, and are surely still going on, given that fresh new stories surface rather frequently.

          You are also misstating my argument when I mentioned that perhaps a little karma was due to the Church as an organization. That does not imply that I think innocent priests should be wrongly accused – again you attempt to unfairly demonize me. And drop the straw man arguments. Did I say there is no such thing as evil? Please provide the quote where I said that. What we disagree with is not that there is no evil, but whether it is evil for an organization to leverage shame, guilt and fear to control people for its own selfish purposes. Do you have any idea how rich the Church is? Their tens of billions could solve poverty in a big part of the world, if they put their money where their mouth is. If they just embraced contraception, they could improve the life of millions, but the Church would rather watch children whose mothers can’t afford them, starve and die of diseases, just as they would prefer to see the spread of AIDs rather than allow condoms. This is sick, vicious, cruel, and heartless – but very Christian!

          Of course, like most Christians, you don’t try to tempt me with the joys of heaven, but instead turn quickly to the threat of torments in Hell. Christians always do this. It’s like heaven doesn’t exist – it’s not really something to aspire to. All that matters is avoiding Hell – but which one? There are four of them (Sheol, Gahanna, Hades, Tartarus) – all words translated to the pagan word “Hell" and none of them meaning “Hell" as we were indoctrinated to think of it. After you prove that the Creator exists – please prove that the devil exists, and then explain why Yahweh-Jesus created the devil in the first place, if being all-knowing, he knew what was going to happen in advance. I mean how stupid was that? Hmm. I think I’ll create a protagonist today… spice things up…. Dumb move big guy.

          You suggest my logic is deficient without providing any examples of how this is so. Clearly when I’m speaking of the disordered, celibate virgins dressed in robes, I am referring to the entire organization, not individual persons, some of whom are surely good people. It is the Church itself that is evil, and of course a fair number of the clergy helped make it and keep it, that way. Christianity is a religion of separation and dressing up in robes, along with insisting that they be referred to as “father,” is one way the clergy separates themselves from their sheep, attempting to stand aside and above the common people in order to command an undeserved respect. Apparently, unlike you, I don’t hate people who dress differently from me. Those people are exercising their individuality. The Church is exercising its authority and (perceived) superiority. If you hate people who dress different then you do, we have even less in common. Your lack of acceptance for your fellow man, is very Christian indeed. I’m fine with tattoos, piercing, short skirts, and even pants that hang down too far – though I find this unpractical – but it’s just a personal expression, and that’s cool.

          You suggest that the legal system is protecting sexual deviancy but of course we’re talking about close-minded, bigoted views of LGBTs, right? This is all part of that manic obsession with sex and the Church telling people what they can and can’t do with their genitals. As long as the Church refers to gays as “disordered," I will continue to refer to the clergy using that term. If LGBTs are disordered, then so too are the clergy. If we define “normal" as heterosexuals, then logic dictates that everyone else including celibate virgins dressed in robes must be disordered, right?. I applaud the legal system for putting human rights ahead of imaginary invisible gods that live in the sky, and the disordered organization, Catholic and evangelical, that attempt to take away these civil rights.

          “The Catholic Church teaches that these unbaptized babies do not generally enter heaven but they do not experience the eternal damnation and associated suffering of hell, just as the just did not suffer eternal suffering in hell before the Resurrection of Christ." This is not entirely accurate. You are referring to Limbo, and that is not official doctrine. The Church allows you to believe in Limbo, (they don’t care about truth – they care about believing), but the catechism is pretty clear that the default is Hell, and it is eternal damnation. They are denied salvation (though I fail to see the allure of heaven). Why would Augustine have needed to invent Limbo if not for acknowledging how evil it would be to send unbaptized infants to hellfire? Limbo is not biblical. I have studied the catechism on this in some detail. It says the Church knows of no way to salvation outside of baptism, and only leaves us with “hope” for those who die without being baptized – including infants. There is another Vatican document that specifically addresses the issue of unbaptized infants who die, and all it offers is hope. Not faith, just hope that Yahweh-Jesus isn’t a complete monster. Also, please note that you first need to prove heaven exists. As to the second part of your statement, prior to the “good news" of Jesus, everyone good and bad alike went to Sheol, which was not a place of punishment. It was a place of permanent unconsciousness. Many Jews believed that at the end of time those in Sheol would be wakened and judged. The good would get a renewed paradise, and the bad would be destroyed – fair enough. However with the “good news" of Jesus, now we are judged instantly when we die, and if found wanting, instead of simply being destroyed, we are to be tortured in hellfire for billions and trillions of eternal years. I fail to see how our condition has improved with the “good news" of Jesus. To destroy a mere human for not measuring up is one thing. To send one to eternal torment is the most evil concept mankind has ever come up with. You worship a god who you apparently believe does this. I cannot respect that. It would be like respecting someone who worships Hitler, only worse.

          There was a notice from the Vatican recently stating that they were going to ramp up reviews of miracle claims – but historically we all know this has not happened, and the only reason it’s happening now is that science is debunking one so called miracle after another, when provided the opportunity to do a proper investigation. Miracles do not happen every day. A miracle by definition is something that seldom or never happens. The real question though is how would such things occur? A miracle means affecting particles in our natural world with something immaterial. How does something immaterial affect the particles in our neurons or in our bodies or anything else? We know all the characteristics of particles. We know all that they can and can’t do. We know of no unexplained actions by particles that could only be explained by some as yet undiscovered force like a soul or consciousness. If you want to cure a cancer, you have to move particles around. How does something immaterial that has never been observed in countless experiments do this? This problem goes back at least as far as Descartes, and the answer has not changed – material things are not affected by immaterial things. If they were, we’d have to completely rewrite physics. Quantum field theory tells us with an exceptionally high degree of probability, that if there were forces that affected particles in our natural world, we would know about them by now. Believing miracles happen, doesn’t mean they do – and if they do, why are they so limited? Why can’t Yahweh-Jesus grow back an amputated limb? Does he hate amputees? He never, ever cures them, but he can put a microbe on a host dropped to the ground, turn it red with bacteria, and then call it the blood of Jesus and proclaim a miracle. Utter nonsense.

          My ideas are not preconceived. I was indoctrinated into Catholicism and practiced the religion into early adulthood. Then I committed the grievous sin of learning how to think. In religion, ignorance is blessed, but I walked away from that blessing. Reading the bible was what actually sent me down the path to agnosticism. The Church does not go out of its way to recommend that Catholics read the entire bible, because they know it creates more atheists and agnostics, than reinforcing the believer. Once one realizes how evil Yahweh-Jesus is, it’s hard to worship this god any longer. Kill every man, woman, child and beast, but keep the virgin girls for yourself? Kill 70,000 innocents because Dave took a census? Punish innocent Egyptians with pestilence, and murder their firstborn because their leader was played like puppet (Yahweh hardened his heart). I can go on and on… I can’t worship such an evil god, even if it exists, and even if it results in some sort of Hell. Better to burn in moral superiority.

          1. Gallibus

            You’re kidding! Right?

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