May 13, 2002
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The Catholic Priest is the Catholic Church


Watching these priests being paraded before the cameras are a pretty pathetic thing. Honestly, most of them are frail, anemic looking types that would seem more at home being someone's grandpa.

I've known lots of really good priests and right off the top of my head, can't remember a single experience of knowing one that was an abuser. A couple of priests throughout my military career, we thought might possibly be sampling the heterosexual world. And, I've known a few who have left the priesthood to marry. One of them was a guy I was in Vietnam with who got VD when he was on R and R in Thailand. And, I do remember this older Priest who traveled with his housekeeper and her children. Amazingly, the kids looked suspiciously like him.

One of the difficult things about the Catholic Church that many Catholics do not get and Protestants definitely don't; the power of the Church resides in the Priest himself. Based on the theology of the Church, the Priest is Jesus on earth. The Priest can forgive sins--he hears the confession and says, "your sins are forgiven." And, he is involved in the great mystery of the Eucharist, which mysteriously, if you believe this, makes the wine and bread into the literal blood and body of Christ. And, the Mass, which can only be done by a Priest and is tied to the afterlife-in Catholic belief.


This is amazing to Protestants, unbelievers, the non-religious, and the culturally uninitiated. And, of course, the Church's theological view of the Priesthood makes the crimes they committed all the more egregious. I mean, if you think about it, some of these youngsters were abused, according to reports, in the Confessional. Help!

Regardless, these are sad individuals and I'm thinking that possibly what we are talking about here is sickness. These men were sick and somehow we need to be concerned with treatment. Does it make the crimes less terrible? No, not really but it does give us a hook! The same as we see those under the influence of drugs or alcohol committing a crime--it is still a crime-let us display a little pity and make sure that these men get help.

. The Church has to ultimately deal with how this all came to be and all kinds of other issues and they need to get with it posthaste. My personal believe is that the idea of starting youngsters in seminary toward the Priesthood at age 14, cloistering them away-- their hormones are raging, they haven't figured anything out. Please!

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