Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Sick and suffering priests

I was just talking to someone about how many priests around my age and below (late 50s early 60's) are falling ill with quite serious conditions. When I looked at some of the new blog messages on the sites I have linked with I found another, younger, priest who has become unconscious with what seems to be a brain tumor. These priests are all good men. I am beginning to think there is "something going on" as we say. Many have not faced up to the suggestion - a strong one, I think - that the recent terrible scandals have been at least partly engineered by Satan.

At the same time, it may be that the enemy is not content with attacking priests at the level of some dangerous immaturity but is also, in some way, causing them to fall ill, whether mentally or physically. Can Satan do this? Many will say not - even some exorcists will deny it, but it is well-known for physical illnesses to be tied up with infestations, obsessions and maybe other manifestations of evil. I know of one case - a young layman - who was definitely incapacitated by evil spirits. After a dramatic deliverance he improved enormously. In case anyone is wondering, I can personally testify - because I know the case - that there was no serious mental illness present and, therefore, his problems could not technically be described as "psychosomatic". Is it possible that good priests are now being more viciously attacked? It may come about through deception, the activity of a third party or through some other, apparently normal, event. Perhaps some priests are becoming over-stretched and overtired or are not looking after themselves. These things can certainly be encouraged by the enemy. I just ask the question.


  1. I believe you are right Father. St Jean Vianney, pray for us and all of our priests (and, tomorrow, St Michael the Archangel!)

  2. Father, I hope you don't mind me asking but I have been reading the book Why I am I Catholic--It is a recent book but I can't remember the author, but it is about all the scandals etc. It made me wonder what the situation is if a priest has done something bad, as in the abuse situation, and then goes on to serve mass in a state of sin if he has not been to Confession beforehand--if the priest is still in sin how does it affect the Mass or any other sacrament he performs? It occured to me to wonder when reading the book, and I don't know who else to ask. It has a kind of bearing on your post, so I thought I would ask you about this.

    Many thanks


  3. The teaching of the Church - for a long time - has been that the Mass is valid as long as the priest has the most basic intention of wanting to "do what the Church does". This is so basic that it does not necessarily include understanding what the Church does. As long as the priest can exercise some choice in cooperating with the Church - at the basic level of not interfering with it - the Mass is valid. This teaching is based on the Mercy of God who does not leave His children without the Food of Life just because the vehicle that brings it to them is defective. The only thing that can make the Mass invalid - as far as the priest's part is concerned at least, is his deliberate refusal to cooperate with the Church. It is not even down to a lack of faith, but if the priest openly declares (as some have done) - this is NOT the Body of Christ, then the Mass is certainly invalid. Sadly, such a defective priest does not have to declare that - he can think it in the sense of not wanting to consecrate the elements or, he can change the wording of the Consecration so dramatically that it is no longer recognizable as the approved words of the sacrament (thereby interfering with the basic FORM of the Mass).
    The sins of a priest - however bad - do not in themselves invalidate the Mass.

  4. Thank you father. That is certainly food for thought.

    Your other point on the strnage illnesses is also very peculiar. It is however, difficult to know for certain whether this is just a "patch" of illnesses, or truly something that is happening everywhere, it would take a lot of fact collecting to check all the numbers out--it is very sad however, and certainly worrying if there is something weird going on,


  5. I think that perhaps the climate we are in as a church does not help the priestly situation. Even if we put the matter of clerical abuse against children aside for a moment, there are a great deal of pressures on todays priesthood.

    Parish life is not easy. The laity expect more and more, and if a priest does not do as they wish - not enough Traditional masses, too many services of Word and Communion then suddenly a good hard working man becomes a bad priest.
    Priests can become isolated, it is a lonely life. As they get older they need more support. This may not be forthcoming from either the laity or their local Ordinary. Many struggle afraid to broach the subject as it might seem like a failing.

    More than once retired priests have remarked to me that once retired, they feel forgotten about, it can happen. We may all remember with affection an elderly priest who served in our parish but how many times do we wonder what happened to him, send him an e-mail or a card a christmas, small things they can mean so much.
    Yes, prayers for our priest's always.
    I don't think there will ever be a single answer Father. Satan well, it's possible, as we know the devil is everywhere always looking for the opportunity to create discord and mayhem in our church.
    Blessings and prayers,

  6. The hunchback woman whom Jesus healed, was bound by Satan for 18 years said Jesus, so there is definitely such a thing as a Spirit of infirmity.
    Let us ask St Therese who loved priests, to interecede for them, as we approach her Feast Day.
    With regard to the person who was worried about Priest's sinning, read what St Catherine of Sienaa says about judging them; she tells us that whenever we see someone in sin, give glory to God because it is only by His grace that we are righteous at any given time. She tells us to consider also, that sometimes, even when people are in mortal sin, they genuinely feel there is some justification for it.
    St Faustine also was rebuked for paying too much attention to the vessel of God's grace i.e. the priest, rather than to the sacrament as the source of grace.