Notwithstanding the belief and stance that most of the Filipinos are constituent members of the Catholic Church, that the Country has a good number of Catholic priest assigned to Parishes, Schools and other Church agencies, and that Filipino Catholics are wherefore regularly attended to and usually served by Priest particularly in conjunction with their sacramental requirements and pious needs, there are nevertheless certain ground realities in the Church that are either ignored, misunderstood or enigmatic to the catholic lay people in general. There are a hundred and one questions particularly about the Clergy and their pursuant clerical discipline that seek even though but simple and practical answers. Hopefully, the admittedly few pointers given below could be of help in the matter – although they are rather plain yet forthright.
What is the Priesthood? What are Priests for? What happens when a priest proves to be exceptionally compliant with his obligations, acts with habitual dedication, with prudence and wisdom in the exercise of his ministry? And what takes place when a Priest commits gross immorality and causes grave scandal among the people – irrespective of the latter’s race and creed? These are some of the more common and practical questions asked by Catholics and non-Catholics as well that deserve direct and truthful answers.
In simple and general terms, the Priesthood is a calling or a vocation to respond specially to the spiritual and pastoral needs of people who subscribe to and live by Catholic faith and morals, respectively. The Priest are meant to teach, to sanctify and to serve particularly the constituent members of the Catholic Church. When Priests are righteous, judicious and devoted to their commitments, they are usually given more responsible assignments, such that some of them even become Bishops in and for the Church.
But when this or that Priest however in fact lives a vicious and scandalous life – this sad phenomenon is what calls for some pointers for a better understanding of the discipline imposed by the Church on all her Priest. It is this unfortunate predicament of the Church in conjunction with the serious wrong doings of some Members of her Clergy that demand rightful attention and proper response from the Church herself. Otherwise, more than merely losing her good name and sacred standing before the people and the world in general, the Church might find herself immersed in some kind of a moral quagmire as some kind of a curse. And the truth stands that in certain Countries where the Catholic Church is firmly implanted, there are a relatively good number of Priest who constitute a detestable reality therein on account of the immoral lives they live.
07 FEBRUARY 2011