The Visibility of a Priest

How often would someone stop a Jewish Rabbi, Muslim Imam, or Sikh Guru in a mall and complain about something some other member of their religion did and tell them all the evil their religion is responsible for? I doubt it’s often.

However, when we walk around as Catholic priests, it can happen. A few days ago, I was waiting for an oil change and walking around the mall the mechanic shop was in when a guy yells out “Catholic Priest.” I stop, turn around, and walk over to him. He’s buying a soda and cigs. He says that all we priests are responsible for so much evil in the world. His girlfriend (or wife) chimes in “The whole Catholic religion is a sham.” He tells me the evil he personally suffered from priests (I don’t think he would like me to share).

Even though I agreed that the priests who hurt his family should be held responsible, he didn’t seem like he had any interest in changing his mind. He just wanted to vent his pain.

Why do I relate this? Not because I’m looking for pity. Instead I think it is a grace to be able to suffer just a little bit of what Christ did on the cross – being accused of something I know in my heart I’m not responsible for. Since a priest is another Christ, I have to take advantage of such opportunities. So often in confession we becoming the reciprocal of another’s pain; there’s no reason we shouldn’t do the same outside it.



About Fr Matthew P. Schneider, LC

In 2001, I traveled from Calgary, Canada to join the Legion. Since then I’ve been all over North America and spent some time in Rome. I currently reside in Washington doing a bunch of writing and taking care of the community while studying my Licentiate in Theology (between Masters and Doctorate). I’m most well-known on Instagram and Twitter where I have about 6,500 and 40,000 followers respectively.
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