This article is in response to news reports about Catholic Priests using Grindr. Grindr is a hook-up tool for casual sexual encounters between men. This news has saddened Catholics who are still reeling from the sex abuse scandals. For journalists, there are ethical concerns including the way that this information was obtained.
- Do Not Leave Jesus Because of Judas
Judas spent three years with Jesus but still chose to betray him and have him killed. Peter too betrayed Jesus but unlike Judas, Peter repented. So two disciples out of twelve betrayed Jesus publicly in a major way. Today, that would be about ten percent of nearly five hundred thousand Priests worldwide. Do the math. That is a lot of public sins of betrayals from the Priesthood. Therefore do not be scandalized. If it happened to Christ, it would happen to us too. Pray for Priests. Always. Pray for yourself too.
- Celibacy Is Endorsed by Christ
Celibacy is not imposed. Candidates of the Priesthood enter the Priesthood knowing fully well that the Catholic Priesthood (Roman Rite) calls for celibacy. Celibacy [Eunuch for God] is possible because Christ who made us, told us so. (Mt 19:12). Good examples include, Jesus himself, St. Paul, Saint Maximillian Kolbe and Pope St. John Paul II among many others.
Celibacy is not the reason to break one’s vows. We cannot make sin a lifestyle. When we fall, we should go to Confession after which we must consciously choose, with prayer, to not fall into sin again. Psychological and health issues can sometimes make this journey difficult. Bring these to God, to your Confession, your Spiritual Director, if you have one, and to health professionals.
- The Sacraments are Not Affected
All Sacraments are valid, irrespective of the state of the Soul of a Priest. Even if he is actively in sin. It is the Lord and not the Priest who turns the bread into his body at Mass (Read more). It is God who forgives sins in the confession through the Priest. Continue to frequent the Sacraments because God is waiting for you there.
- The Church is at War
Scandalous sins are a piece of an ongoing battle against evil. The Church is embroiled in this battle constantly (Eph 6: 12). The forces of evil are from both outside and within the Church. Choose what is right always – with your mind and with your body. This way, your body becomes a living sacrifice unto the Lord (Rom 12:1).
- Remain in the Church and Fight
Our reaction to scandal should be guided by Christ. Christ comes to us at Mass, every single day. He chooses to reside in us physically, despite our sins and constant unworthiness. If God can do this for us, who are we to walk out of the Church in the face of the sins we happen to see.
- Priests Need Your Prayers
Priests are human. That is why the functioning of their Priesthood relies on the Priesthood of Christ (Hebrews 7: 11-28). This implies that they are naturally weak, like you and I. When Priests fall into sin, our first instinct should be to pray for them and to ask our Lord for mercy. That said, Priests – like all of us – have an obligation to remain in the state of Grace (Read more) . Keep in mind the good news, that there are many good and faithful Priests everywhere. Unfortunately good news often does not make it into the news. Ask for the intercession of mother Mary and St. Theresa of Lisieux, who spent a lot of her vocation praying for Priests.