Open Letter To All Catholic Priests

Dear Fathers,

As we find ourselves in Lent and then Eastertide thereafter, I plead to the priests of our nation as a son to a father. And I come to you not only as a sinner but as a man who once lived as dissolute a life as the worst Roman pagan.

I am grateful to God for every priest who has ever heard my confession and for every priest, since the Last Supper to the end of time, who has or who will offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Please demand excellence in the spiritual life. For the love of God, please demand excellence in the spiritual life. You are priests. You are not like other men. You have the power of the pulpit; you have the power to absolve sin and the power to confect God in the flesh.

And you have the power to teach—and to teach not only that we must be holy but how to be holy.

Sweet, sentimental sermons do no good. It does no good to preach the mercy of God if that preaching does not include the clear and unequivocal message that the mercy of God means deliverance from sin, and that is the reason Our Lord became incarnate, then suffered, and then died. He is the only man whose entire purpose in being born was to die.

What is more, scheduling increased confessions during Lent, and encouraging penitential practices, as important as they are, do not increase the quantum of holiness or decrease the quantum of sin among Catholics or the world when the larger Catholic culture simply does not know the Faith.

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