Reply To: Father Robert Altier to be Assistant Chaplain of Nursing Hom

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Anonymous
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I wish this was something new. Our Lord warned us about tares (weeds) being found in among the wheat. It is proof that even with the Sacrament of Orders the bishop still has to cooperate with God’s grace.

Unlike the accusations made against the Church by rabid anti-Catholics, we do not believe that the Sacraments are magical rites, nor that we have no control of ouselves and our behavior when we live a Catholic life. Just as Saphora and Ananias lied to the Apostles and the Holy Ghost, so too can Catholics fail when they do not cooperate with God’s grace. Throughout history there have been those who have been ordained or in the secular world risen to positions of power and have been seduced by the world, turning the position into one which serves not God or the people. From the first the devil has tried to attack our Lord and the Church. We only need to look to the twelve men that our Lord himself called personally. Judas was tempted to the most horrible of crimes, Peter is another example but his example unlike Judas is one where even though he fell, he was restored to grace and went on to overcome his past. None of the Apostles was filled with courage after the crucifixion, but rather hid in the upper room, and where frightened when our Lord appeared. Thomas who was not with them doubted our Lord so much that he had to put his fingers into the wounds in the hands and side of our Lord. But all of those who doubted after the crucifixion went on to preach Christ Crucified, and Risen from the Dead. It should be an example to us that we are all capable of turning away from sin and unbelief, and returning to grace when we fall. The Catholic faith is one of Hope, hope in Jesus, hope in, as the Scriptures tell us, “work out our salvation.” We do so by knowing that even if we fall and are truly repentant,we can renew our promises we made at baptism, repent of our sins and be by the power of God, be restored to grace.

As for this bishop, not only complaints to his superiors, direct calling of him to task, but prayers for God’s grace to work on his soul so that he too can become an example like Peter and the other ten who in the end did not abandon Christ, but rather show the power of grace. I’m not so much worried about the enemies of the Church internal or external, as we do have our Lord’s promise that He would remain with us, but we too must hold up to our promise as Milens Christi, (Soldiers of Christ) to be people of prayer and faith, and defend the truth.

As for the priests effected, let’s not forget that Padre Pio was barred from offering mass in public, preaching and hearing confessions for many years because his superiors where not at first sure of the veracity of his stigmata. St. John Marie Vianney was sent to the farthest outpost of his diocese, thought of as a dullard, but his sermons and sanctity, as well as his physical battles with the devil and his great zeal for souls in the confessional won more back to Christ than had he been placed in a large Urban parish. God can use this to make saints, as he does seem to do best in times of adversity.