Philip F. Lawler
Phil is the editor of, which brings you daily news headlines from a Catholic perspective. He is the author of The Faithful Departed, a history of the Church in Boston and the scandal of the abuse of children by priests.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Unbelieving Priests

RE: "I'm not sure how good it is for people to to know that their shepherds lack faith, especially given how tenuous the faith of the faithful is."

If my faith depended on the faith of priests, I'd be in big trouble. Everyone's faith is their own responsibility. That's a bit patronizing. There are more priests than I care to count who leave me absolutely baffled as to why they were ordained. Whether they thought they would find faith if ordained, or if their mother pushed them after noticing they weren't very interested in girls and wanted junior to have respectability, I don't know. Thank God for the priests with true vocations who have to live in this environment. This is heroic virtue. We are in this mess because men were ordained who never should have been. I am fed up with unbelieving priests who treat the priesthood as a cozy cover for whatever their real agenda is.

See this:


Solange said...

Do priests still ask about contraception in the confessional?...

The demographic winter is coming to the US.

All is Not Ok With Canadian Church
angelqueen(dot) org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8839
Scroll down for the whole post.

Aging workforce.


Good information on the subject. Welcome for a visit.

Have a nice day.


Solange Miller

Anonymous said...

If my faith depended on the faith of priests, I'd be in big trouble. Everyone's faith is their own responsibility.

That's an individualistic and unCatholic attitude, not to mention sociologically flawed.

We are social beings in need of leadership (there was a reason Christ called us 'sheep').

Christ set up a church and told Peter (and therefore the bishops) to strengthen the faithful, which suggests the faithful will need strengthening.

John Mallon said...

Anonymous misses the point. Of course we need priests and the hierarchy for the sacraments, and so forth. But too many people base their faith on priests instead of Christ. How many people do you know have left the Church because of priests behaving badly? My point is that we must have, as Pope Benedict says, a personal friendship with Christ. This does not deny the role of the community, and that we are called to live out our faith in a community. I am not referring to a "me and Jesus" Protostentism.

Because of this ecclesiology we must not be so delicate in faith that we abandon the Church over the scandals and sins of men, especially priests. Nevertheless, our own salvation is up to ourselves, to avail ourselves of Christ's sacrifice, and to make use of the gift of the Church, including priesthood, towards that end.

And, Anonymous, ...use your name...