Priestly Obedience

What is the problem with some of my brother priests?  I just can’t understand their reasoning!  In the past few days alone, I have read about two disobedient priests and one Archbishop.  All three are causing division in the Church.  One priest is leading a Catholic parish in St. Louis that is in open rebellion against the bishop.  A few years ago, Archbishop Burke tried to bring one of his parishes in his jurisdiction into conformity with diocesan and universal Church law.  When the parish refused the bishop’s pleas, a priest with a shady past decided that he was going to be a hero and jump in the scene.  Since then, Marek Bozek has been excommunicated and laicized.

When Bishop Richard Lennon decided to close a parish, Fr .Robert Marrone, formed a worship center and was joined by 325 parishioners of his former parish.  They have formed the community of St. Peter.  I’m sure St .Peter would have a word or two with Fr. Marrone.

And finally, the former Archbishop of Zambia, Emmanuel Milingo, who was excommunicated and is now laicized is being made patriarch of Africa by some sect.

Is there something I’m missing?  We were vowed to obedience, yet we can pick and choose what and who we want to obey, and if we don’t like it, we don’t have to obey it.  This is a major problem among “liberals” and “conservatives” who choose what they will accept and not accept.  Get real guys and live your vow of obedience, reconcile with the chief shepherd and stop causing fractions in the Church!

There is a common thread in the three above mentioned men and that is the same that was embraced by Lucifer at the fall, “I will not serve”.  Before the bishop layed his hands on out heads, in the sacred rite of ordination, we placed our hands in his and were asked: “Do you promise respect and obedience to me and my lawfully elected successors?”  to which we responded: “I do”.

Am I missing something?  Do these men know what they did on the day they were raised to Holy Orders?  I promised that I would give respect and obedience to my ordaining bishop and to his lawfully chosen successor.  There is no way that I can do the contrary in good conscience.  St. Paul wrote that there are some who have had our consciences “seared”.  The reality is, we know what is right and wrong, because the law “is written in our hearts”.

2 thoughts on “Priestly Obedience

  1. This is a very timely topic. We’re hearing a lot of dissenting talk in our parish lately, in the bulletin and in the homilies, because of the upcoming changes in the missal. It is so heartbreaking! I would think that obedience would be much easier than dissent, but, unfortunately, there are many who think otherwise. I recently read a quote from Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan that gets right to the point…The Church needs intelligent minds to carry the love of God to every part of the world. Yet the Church also suffers and is disturbed by the division and confusion caused by those whose intelligence is accompanied by arrogance and conceit. The fallen angels behaved in just this way.

  2. I believe that 90% of our priests, if not more, are good and faithful, but there are about 10% out there who are disobedient, even criminal, and they tend to get the attention of the media and give the good & faithful servants a bad name, and that is unfortunate. Keep up the good work, Father, we appreciate you!

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