Have you ever prayed for your Parish Priest lately? I strongly suggest you should! They really need our prayers.
Perhaps, among the many neglected members of the Body of Christ -- the Church are our clergy and the religious. I mean in terms of spiritual nourishment, we carelessly assumed they're divinely armoured with spiritual velvet immuned from temptations and are never prone to sin. We simply forget that they too are humans like us with real feelings and emotions. They too know how it feels when it hurts.
The Pontificate of our present Servant Shepherd (Jn. 21:17) Pope Benedict XVI was devastated by reports on clerical abuses in the USA, in Europe and lately in Ireland. These sex abuses rocked the Church intensified by bad reporting from anti-Catholic reporters and journalists as observed by a Former NY Mayor Ed Koch and many good citizens who look up to the Holy Father as an upright man worthy of our support.
As the issue was intensified in the media, the Holy Father responded and issued an Apology Letter to the Church of Ireland, the victims and their families and to entire Irish people. Just as the Lord mercifully forgave the penitent Mary Magdalene, he condemned no one, passed no judgment and leave it to God alone but assured there's always a merciful God who forgives. As a Church we should sympathize with the victims and their families.
The Holy Father's response didn't satisfy his critics. They wanted the Holy Father to condemn the sinner according to the standard of the state. The enemies of the Church cried out louder "Crucify them". To their dismay, the Holy Father simply offered his sympathy and prayers to victims and their families.
"Let those who have no sin cast the very first stone" (Jn. 8:7)
In the Philippines, the politically influential Iglesia ni Cristo™, a cultic quasi-islamizized version of "Christianity" founded by a self-proclaimed "Angel" considered as their "Last Messenger of God", who incorporated his INC™ in the Republic of the Philippines in July 27, 1914 was among the many noisy anti-Catholics who joined voices in criticizing the Holy Father. They used the same issue demonizing the original Church of Christ in internet forums and in blogs.
Little they know that while rejoicing at our expense, their "Last Messenger" Felix Manalo was as guilty as those accused Catholic priests. In fact, his sexual misconduct within his cult was brought to the civil courts but his great influence paved way to his poor victims, in exchange he even lifted one of his own victims to be a "Deaconess". She's Rosita Trillanes.
A very damaging exposition of his misconduct was published by a certain blogger Emily Jordan providing readers valuable news clippings showing how Felix Manalo abused women while he was considered "God's Last Messenger". I almost want to say " G*d's LUST Messenger" (or in Filipino Ang na-Huling Sugo"). His infidelity was even complained by his own wife (read here).
The difference between two sinners, an erring Catholic Priest and Felix Manalo, the former was not a founder of a church or an angel or the "last messenger" while the latter claimed it all. "Much will be required of the person entrusted with much..." (Lk. 12:48).
Similarly, the same problem existed within in various Protestant denomination (read here). So why media is singling out Catholic clergy? It because Catholic clergy are expected to live a holy lives patterned in the life of their founder Jesus Christ. While the rest don't. "Let those who have no sin cast the very first stone" (Jn. 8:7).
In support for the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, let's join the Knights of Columbus and all Catholics of goodwill around the world to offer this Novena for him:
PRAYER FOR POPE BENEDICT XVI
Source: Knights of Columbus
Lord, source of eternal life and truth,
give to your shepherd, Benedict,a spirit
of courage and right judgment, a spirit
of knowledge and love. By governing
with fidelity those entrustedto his care,
may he, as successor to the Apostle
Peter and Vicar of Christ, build your
Church into a sacrament of unity, love
and peace for all the world. Amen.
V/ Let us pray for Benedict, the pope.
R/ May the Lord preserve him,
give him a long life,
make him blessed upon the earth,
and not hand him over
to the power of his enemies.
V/ May your hand
be upon your holy servant.
R/ And upon your son,
whom you have anointed.
Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory Be…
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
In Solidarity With Our Holy Father