As a traditionalist, I've heard my fair share of criticisms of the hierarchy, and am well aware of the clergy's shortcomings with regard to changes in the Mass, the liturgy, music, etc. I tend to agree with much of the criticism. But I've always been very hesitant to take part myself, because I always remember the words of the saints with regard to the dignity of the priesthood and the danger of setting oneself up in judgment over its ministers. I keep foremost in mind the account I'll have to give to God one day when I stand alone before Him, and He asks me to give an account for every statement I've ever uttered. Others may no doubt accuse me of being overly timid or fearful in publicly rebuking wayward clergy, but in this case, I fear God more than man, and would rather stand before Him with a clear conscience on judgment day than give way to the pressures of fellow Catholics to take part in badmouthing priests.
Our Lord told St. Catherine of Siena:
You ought to despise and hate the ministers’ sins and try to dress them in the clothes of charity and holy prayer and wash away their filth with your tears.
Indeed, I have appointed them and given them to you to be angels on earth and suns, as I have told you. When they are less than that you ought to pray for them. But you are not to judge them. Leave the judging to me, and I, because of your prayers and my own desire, will be merciful to them.
Fr. Thomas Morrow wrote an insightful article
on this very subject, one worth reading and pondering. He notes, "[I]t is not wrong to acknowledge the errors of priests or bishops, or gently point them out. But, when it becomes a zealous sport to pontificate about such errors, and to verbally attack these clerics personally, it goes too far."
The usual suspects are yammering on about Fr. Corapi's resignation
from priestly ministry, and much of it is, to be expected, imbalanced, uncharitable, judgmental, and self-righteous. I'm not talking about comments in the comments boxes, but rather the Catholic bloggers themselves, some of them very well known, with a fan base of their own. In my opinion, they should know better, but it's clear from their lack of charity they do not. Perhaps these Catholic bloggers believe they are doing a service to the Body of Christ by angrily denouncing, in the most vivid terms, Fr. Corapi's behavior, but they deceive themselves, and lead their own "followers" astray by their self-righteous and uncharitable behavior.
I should add that I do not in any way condone Fr. Corapi's course of action--but instead of wasting precious time pontificating on how very wrong he is, I'll save myself the trouble and offer up sincere prayers for him instead, with the hopes that God in His great mercy will help him, who has helped so many in his twenty years of priestly ministry.