Predator Priests, Part 3

Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, former Archbishop of Boston who resigned in response to the Catholic Church sex scandal, Author City of Boston Archives, Source https://www.flickr.com/photos/cityofbostonarchives/9519694234/ (CC Attribution 2.0 Generic)

Whether in the Roman Catholic Church or evangelical church, clergy abuse is a fundamental betrayal of Christian belief.

The Good Shepherd

Christ the Good Shepherd, the Suffering Servant, sacrificed Himself for our sake.  The sinless Savior took on our sins, and went to the cross in our place.  Predator priests do the opposite.  They prey on the innocent, targeting the weak and vulnerable under their care, for the sake of perverse self-gratification.

This is perhaps the lowest, most despicable form of abuse.  Not only does it destroy a child’s confidence and self-esteem, but a child’s very faith in God.

The Priest/Penitent Relationship

The relationship between a priest and penitent is intended to be sacred, on a par with the relationship between a father and child.  It is meant to mirror the relationship between God and man, and is or should be based on trust.  When that trust is violated, the wound is deep and lasting.

Qualifications for Christian Leadership

And a servant of the Lord must…be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth…” (2 Tim. 2: 24-25).

“A bishop…must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior…not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle…one who rules his own house well…not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.  Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (1 Tim. 3: 2-7).

“For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but…a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1: 7-9).

Scripture lays out the necessary characteristics for Christian leadership.  These include self-control, gentleness, humility, fidelity, and genuine holiness (as distinguished from the mere appearance of piety) .

Predator priests lack every one of these.

Perilous Times

 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  For men will be lovers of themselves…proud, blasphemers…unholy, unloving…without self-control, brutal, despisers of good…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.   And from such people turn away!” (2 Tim. 3: 5).

Scripture warns us that there will be those who profess God with their mouths, yet deny Him with their lifestyles.  Those whose lives and relationships do not manifest integrity and love of Christ are not qualified to serve in His church.

Judgment

The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them” (Ezek. 34: 4).

The bishops, archbishops, cardinals and others in authority who have covered up the offenses of predator priests have not only participated in a criminal conspiracy.  They have forgotten that the abuse of power is, also, a sin and will be judged accordingly.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com

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9 Comments

Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Rape, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault

9 responses to “Predator Priests, Part 3

  1. Great post! Very gripping and haunting.

    The greatest evil of all is the evil done to an innocent child. I believe that Christ supported the death penalty for those who do such evil: Matthew 18:6

    Minor edits — “priests do [the] opposite. They prey on the innocent [and] target

  2. Sadly, “having a form of godliness” has become for many the only qualification needed in order to attract a following. The resulting carnage brought on by those scripturally unqualified to serve in ministry is what we are now seeing all too frequently in the media.
    There is a reason the Bible includes the standards you listed Anna. If used correctly, they will (hopefully) at least offer some protection to our children against these monsters masquerading as men of God.

  3. Hi everyone ! I just want to add my insight on this subject. There’s no doubt that I condemn the acts of those among the priests who abuse children or even grown ups. But what I want to say is that, yes they are men of God, so they should be exemplary, but they are still human beings, made of flesh and they are exposed to the same illnesses as the rest of the population. Every time someone says that they rape children because they are priests it makes me angry because it has nothing to do with their occupation. If you are a sick person, it doesn’t matter that you are a priest or whatever. Maybe they knew they had these issues, expected priesthood to tame them and realized they were still there. They need psychiatric help, and the Church needs our prayers so that the carnage as you put it, stops for good.

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