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Friday, 1 February 2013

Second selection from St. Catherine of Siena on bad priests

Because of the news from Los Angeles...

So, were the prelate, or any other lord having
subjects, on seeing one putrefying from the corruption of mortal sin, to apply to him
the ointment of soft words of encouragement alone, without reproof, he would
never cure him, but the putrefaction would rather spread to the other members,
who, with him, form one body under the same pastor. But if he were a physician,
good and true to those souls, as were those glorious pastors of old, he would not
give salving ointment without the fire of reproof. And, were the member still to
remain obstinate in his evil doing, he would cut him off from the congregation in
order that he corrupt not the other members with the putrefaction of mortal sin.
But they act not so today, but, in cases of evil doing, they even pretend not to see.
And do you know why? The root of self-love is alive in them, wherefore they bear
perverted and servile fear. Because they fear to lose their position or their temporal
goods, or their prelacy, they do not correct, but act like blind ones, in that they see
not the real way by which their position is to be kept. If they would only see that it is
by holy justice they would be able to maintain it; but they do not, because they are
deprived of light. But, thinking to preserve their position with injustice, they do not
reprove the faults of those under them; and they are deluded by their own sensitive
self-love, or by their desire for lordship and prelacy, and they correct not the faults
they should correct in others, because the same or greater ones are their own. They
feel themselves comprehended in the guilt, and they therefore lose all ardor and
security, and, fettered by servile fear, they make believe not to see. And, moreover, if
they do see they do not correct, but allow themselves to be bound over with
flattering words and with many presents, and they themselves find the excuse for
the guilty ones not to be punished. In such as these are fulfilled the words spoken by
My Truth, saying: 'These are blind and leaders of the blind, and if the blind lead the
blind, they both fall into the ditch.'