Fr. Bill Peckman is the pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Boonville, MO and St. Joseph Parish in Fayette, MO.
There are times when I think about Jesus looking down on us clerics and saying:
“You know, I told you to go baptize the nations.
I told you to teach all I taught.
I told you ‘to do this memory of me.’
I told you to love one another as I love you.
I told you to forgive sins in my name.
I told you to be a light in the darkness.
I warned you about becoming worldly.
I warned you the steep price for giving scandal.
I warned you about being ambitious.
I warned you about focusing on externals while hiding filth.
I warned you that the world would not like you.
I warned you because the people in your pews are my flock and not yours.
I gave you a responsibility to care for them…to watch over them…to shepherd them.
You were supposed to find the lost…not create them.
You were supposed to point them to me…not you.
You were supposed to make disciples for me…not you.
I gave you an endless supply of grace to do so.
I gave you my Flesh and Blood.
We gave you the Holy Spirit.
I gave you a gospel…a Church…a way of life.
You were supposed to give it to my flock.”
My heart is broken from the immense damage done by the obscuring of truth, watering down of the Gospel, ripping all sense of transcendence from the sacraments, and the predatory behavior of so many of my brother clerics.
I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I try, by the grace of God, to do what He asks.
These are challenging times. They are heartbreaking times. Were there a epoch of history more in need of the Gospel than now!
The Body of Christ writhes in pain from the abuse hurled at it. It must stop. It must stop now.
We know how to turn this around. Christ has already given us what we need. We must look, sound, and be as different from the world as light is from darkness.