Why we pray for priests…even the worst of them

A Handmaid HPB Vocations, News, Priests

[Originally published August 22, 2018]

Too often we neglect to see Christ in His Priests, blinded as we can be with righteous anger and rage as we react to the sins of some of our priests in whom it is hardest to identify Christ. Rightfully we demand accountability and justice and strive to have it carried out but too often forget that, although temporal reparation and punishment must be dealt with, there is an eternal aspect of priesthood that also cannot be ignored.

Whether or not a priest has been justly found guilty in his lifetime, he remains a priest forever and thus must face the more permanently daunting prospect of eternal damnation. It is for Christ – for Christ in His Priest – that we are duty bound (and charity bound in our love for Christ our Spouse) to pray for even the worst of priests that they may repent and turn back to the Lord of Mercy and not be damned. When a priest is damned this gives the devil an insidious victory: a soul indelibly marked with the seal of Christ but condemned to suffer in hell eternally.

Consider that the demons and the damned will be able to identify who is a priest in hell. Then would you demand that we not pray to avoid this? It would be the worst betrayal of Christ, who gave himself totally out of love for each of us in his Passion, if we wanted a fallen priest to go to hell.