Watch Out for Father Wonderful

Mark Shea has a good post here spring boarding on the now invisible Father Corapi.

I’ve written before about the temptation to turn priests into superheroes. By all means love your priest, support your priest, but don’t turn him into a plaster saint or you’ll be disappointed. Furthermore, you won’t be doing him any favors. Live with him and love him as a man and a friend. Respect him and honor his priesthood, but don’t idolize him. If you idolize him you’ll feed his ego and he’ll soon start believing the myth.

What happens is this: everybody needs to be loved. Priests too. Very often because of celibacy (and other complex reasons) they feel lonely and unloved. They love they get from the parish becomes important. If they’re not careful they’ll eliminate their critics and surround themselves with groupies. The people collude in this process because they want a priest like that. They long for the perfect priest to give them the love they need and to be the role model and ideal they are longing for.

It’s all like a sick, immature love affair in which the girl “falls in love” with a guy who will love her and the guy “falls in love” with the girls who will look after him. It’s a kind of sick contract in which both parties scratch each other’s back.

The way of true friendship is a way of unconditional love and acceptance. Taking people for exactly who they are and taking ourselves for exactly who we are. No whitewash. No phoney-ness. No false piety. No hero worship.

Love needs true grit, not starry eyed wishful thinking.

Read More: On Priests and Pedestals; Fr Jekyll and Mr Hyde;

 

 

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