Thursday, June 15, 2006

Domenico Bettinelli Jr. Comments on Persecuted Priests

No photographs today. I was having internet issues and ran out of time. However, not before I could bring this to you.

Domenico Bettinelli Jr. comments on persecuted priests upon reading an article written by Mary Ann Kreitzer of the Catholic Media Coalition .

The three-step advice given by Mr. Bettinelli, who is the editor of Catholic World Report, is sound, especially because it first goes to prayer, in which all of our efforts should be rooted.

So what do we do?

First, we pray for our priests and bishops. We ask the Holy Spirit to send us holy, faithful, and courageous clergy.

Second, we wait. Eventually, it will become widely known which bishops abuse their priests and those bishops will get no new vocations. This is a good sign to the Vatican that Bishop So-and-So may need quick replacement upon reaching 75 (or a coadjutor before 75).

Third, we can recognize the good priests in our midst and recommend them to the nuncio in Washington, DC, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, as episcopal material. Letters to the Congregation for Bishops in Rome wouldn’t hurt either. And we remain faithful. Whatever happens, the Church will survive. There’s no guarantee that the Church in any particular diocese or even any particular country (recall what has happened to Hippo, St. Augustine’s diocese), but the Church is much bigger than any group of Catholics and in the end it is the Lord who sees all, knows all, and remembers those who remain faithful to Him.

With regards to his second point, I only wish the Vatican did not wait until such bishops turn 75. Perhaps there is a diocese of 1 that can be created somewhere in the South Pacific, the North Pole, or in the Sahara for bishops who "lord over" their priests in such ways.

As long as more and more young orthodox men continue to quietly "play along" in order to get through the seminary, soon there will be too many to send into the kinds of exile we hear in some corners of the kingdom of God. But I predict that many will suffer in order to pave the way. We lay people need to do our part and pray, not only for these men, but for the bishops over them. The higher one goes in the hierarchy, the greater the temptations.

Through prayer, anything is possible. If there is a priest suffering persecution, by all means, pray for him. However, consider taking on the bishop in your prayers. Take it to the next level and spiritually adopt this bishop, offering your prayers and sacrifices for his "conversion". My understanding is that if you give a name - bishop, priest, seminarian - to the sisters in this link, they will give him to you formally on a card, with other materials. I just take the one they give me, but will be adding a priest and seminarian this year to the new one I get on Sacred Heart.