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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why We Must Always Pray For Priests

In this Year for Priests, it's important to constantly lift up in prayer those holy priests that suffer for the sake of Christ - by remaining faithful to Church teachings despite the derision and threats to their life (I'm thinking of those in dangerous places like China, the Middle East, the Diocese of Rochester). Priests like Fr Corapi, who boldly proclaim Christ's gospel. Priests like Fr Groeschel, who despite his injuries, soldiers on. I personally know several holy humble priests who serve tirelessly, seeking not their own glory, but the glory of God.

It's equally important - and possibly more important - to pray for the priests that struggle to remain faithful, and especially for those who have completely lost their way and cause scandal to the Church. Satan has it out for all priests, and the ones who have fallen away, who have succumbed to sin, who have accepted his lies, need our prayers and sacrifices more than ever.

Here's a recent, and very serious, example:

From the Edmonton Sun.com: Gay Catholic Priest Getting Married by Bryn Weese (emphases mine)

TORONTO -- Canada's first openly gay Catholic priest is to mark another milestone.

Father Karl Clemens is getting married Saturday to his partner Nick.

He says he'll be the first man of the Catholic cloth to enter into a same-sex marriage in Canada, and maybe even in North America.

"I'm not doing it to start a revolution, but if people want to exercise their right, and so forth, that's terrific," Clemens told Sun Media yesterday.

"I feel very strongly about it.

"I'm leading the way, or pioneering, as it were, in something that I think is very important," Clemens said. "It's a human right."

Clemens, who is approaching 70 and who retired from the Kingston, Ont. diocese after serving there for 33 years, moved to Toronto more than a decade ago to work in, and advocate for, the city's gay village.

Regarding his same-sex marriage, he's prepared for a backlash from the church and some of its followers, as he was when he came out of the closet in 2005.

"There will be Catholics who feel, because of their lack of understanding, that this is a very wrong thing and therefore will not be pleased," Clemens said.

"But those are consequences we have to be willing to deal with because we feel strongly about the issue at hand, which is the right to be able to enter into same-sex marriages."

Clemens and his partner will be married Saturday afternoon in the couple's home.

I'm tempted to be snarky about this, but won't. The level of scandal and depth of sin that this priest is engaged in is much too deadly. This is what happens when anyone idolizes their feelings and assumes their individual infallibility. He has taken the easy path that could lead to eternal destruction rather than bear his cross that will lead to everlasting life. He may be a "pioneer", but the only place he's leading people to, is Hell. The consequences of making "the Catholics who feel this is wrong" (we don't 'feel' it, we 'KNOW' it) displeased will be nothing compared to the consequences of displeasing God. Provided he does not change his ways. And the only way he will change, the only way he will have a true conversion of heart, is by the power of the Holy Spirit - prayed for by "the Catholics who feel this is wrong". Catholics like you and me.

Mary, Holy Mother of God, implore your Son for the soul of your priest. St John Vianney, pray for Fr Clemens.