mail-box-full-colorDear Sir: 

The pope went to Portugal and prayed for priests not to “fall short of their sublime vocation or succumb to the temptations of the evil one.” Some observations:

1. If the vocation is “sublime,” it shouldn’t need prayer to save it from sin.

2. I suppose the pope would split a hair and say the “calling” is sublime, but not always the practitioners. But given that a sublime vocation is subject to such horrific scandal, if the pope’s prayers can turn this around, why have popes waited until now to pray?

3. The “evil one” seems like a “whipping boy” more than anything else.

4. If a priest is in sin and needs the prayers of the pope, is that priest still a reliable intermediary to God for his parishioners?

5. The pope is the Vicar of Christ on earth, and if his prayers don’t get through to God, and priests continue to follow the “evil one” – well, then I know that my own humble prayers, without the benefit of Latin or a papal ring, don’t have a chance and I’ll give it up.

Janice Joplin had a song that ridiculed the fundamentalism of her home town of Port Arthur, Texas that included lines like: “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz,” and “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV,” and “Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town – I’m counting on you, Lord, please don’t let me down.”

The pope’s prayer must be, “Lord, please give me celibate priests.” I wish him luck, since he thinks celibacy is part of the “sublime vocation,” but as for me, I have more faith in a Texas lottery ticket.

Fallen Protestant ministers, at least as demonstrated by Rev. Ted Haggard and now Rev. George Rekers, have the maturity to hire somebody from an outfit like Rentboy.com rather than violate the innocence of children. Not only that, but once disgraced, they resign, rather than find refuge in another parish.

Fred Mittag

Villas de San Pablo

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