We must pray for our church leaders. I fear many of their souls may be in peril.
God is a merciful father, but he is also just and expects us to live our faith. Those responsible for teaching the faith and guiding his church are held to an even higher standard. Over the last 50 years, the church has lost its way, internally fighting over what is truly Catholic. What used to be unified is now split apart. One church may be orthodox, the other the “church of nice,” and others, barely recognizable as Catholic.
So many of the leaders have been fighting against the hard teachings of Jesus and his church, pressuring the one true faith to embrace sins such as sodomy, abortion, birth control, divorce and fornication.
These leaders will have to face Jesus one day and answer for their actions. From his treatment of the scribes in Pharisees in the Gospel of Matthew, it will not go well for them. Jesus openly called them hypocrites and, if you look at many of our priests, bishops and cardinals today, it seems not much has changed.
The Catholic Church today embraces tolerance of sin, while criticizing orthodox believers. They speak heresies from the pulpit and say that the services the church provides is more important than teaching against intrinsically evil acts.
As I read Jesus’ angered rant against those in charge, I was saddened to find the same corruption openly visible in the church today. I’ll paraphrase and replace scribes or Pharisees with the word Priests and see if these harsh sayings fit in our world today.
You hypocritical priests. You welcome converts into the church and corrupt them with false teaching, making them twice as fit for hell as your are. (23:15)
Blind guides! You are more interested in those who give the church money than those that honor the faith. What is of greater worth, the offering or the alter that makes the offering sacred? (23:16-19)
You hypocrite priests, worried about little things while neglecting the important matters of the Law… justice, mercy, and good faith! (23:23)
You are corrupt inside. You present yourself as holy while committing mortal sins in private. You are like a spotless tomb, beautiful on the outside, but inside, nothing more than dead men’s bones. (23:24-28)
You have led my people astray for decades with your own wants, offending God with your secret acts and sinful desires, watering down my teachings and oppressing those who stand up on my behalf. You brood of vipers, how can you escape being condemned to hell? (23:29-33)
Jesus exists outside of time and his condemnation of sinful leaders of the faith will not change because of our current social mores.
We must pray for the conversion of our priests, to bring them back into the church they claim to represent before it is too late for them and they stand before their savior and answer for their moral crimes.