Saturday, October 11, 2014

Good priest, bad priest: what's the difference, and who says?

Fr. Dwight Longenecker offers an illuminating practical example of the difference based on his experience of pre-marital counseling, entitled "On Making Girls Cry" (Patheos, October 11, 2014):
“I see that you have put the same address on the registration form. Does that mean you are already living together?”

... “I’m a Catholic priest. You have presented me with the fact that you are already living together. Now, do you think I would approve or disapprove?”

Ken finally speaks up, “Disapprove.”

I say, “That is the correct answer.”

Barbie demurs, “I thought because you are a married priest you would be more welcoming.”

... I reply, “Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m giving you a complete and unconditional welcome, but it is also my job to help you build a Catholic marriage not just a church wedding. I explain the difference

... why has Barbie started to cry?

Is it compunction for sin? Has she been given the gift of tears? Is she repentant? Does she wish to turn from her sin and seek God?

I see no sign of that.

Barbie is crying because someone has challenged her just a little–even in a very gentle way.
What's a good priest to do? How is he to navigate between what the Lord demands of a good priest and what the world sees as a good priest? Read more >>

[Hat tip to Fr. D.B.]


BenYachov said...

That is a tough call.

OTOH I might invite them to follow me to the Church and sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament and tell Who is in the Tabernacle.

From there I would tell them what Jesus has done by giving us his own flesh to eat and how that because he is here that i what makes this Church holy.

I would not be gloomy or accusing about it but I would tell them with joy.

Then I would gently tell them to think about the real implications of a Church wedding.

It's not about a pretty white dress and pageantry.

It's about inviting God to their wedding.

In time I think I could pull off getting them to move out or at least for the man to sleep on the couch.

You don't have to condone or overlook immorality but you don't have to be a scary scold either.

DArk Horse said...

You wuld stil make the girl cry.