Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Priests in Need

Only a few years ago, I never dreamt that I would posting a blog note like this one: among the homeless and hungry are priests. With the growing bandwagon of individuals bringing accusations of misconduct against priests, many fine priests are now being flasely accused by those who see the opportunity for some very fine ill-gotten gains. In fact, an investigation into the situation in California indicates that approximately half of all allegations are false. When allegations are made, most priests find themselves immediately without a job, without an income, often without a vehicle, and, sadly, often without the support of their diocese. Sometimes the trials drag on for months, if not years, before the priest is cleared, and the priest can end up both during the process and even afterward on the street, hungry and homeless.

We had two priests in our parish, both proved innocent (seems to be against the law of the land that one has to prove innocence rather than an accuser having to prove guilt) who went through this difficult period. One ended up with no food at all at one point. Our parish helped, but not all parishes are wiling or able to do so.

One organization, Opus Bono Sacerdotti, helps priests in these circumstances. Currently, though, more than 1000 priests have turned to Opus Bono for assistance, and there is not enough money to go around. I learned this weekend that a new supplicant, Fr. Francis, has just been released from the hospital and has no food or medication. This is just one example of many. If you can help Fr. Francis or any other priest or contribute even a few dollars on a monthly basis to this good cause, please visit the Opus Bono website. You will find more information there about what Opus Bono does and a mechanism for donating. Similarly, if you know of a priest in desperate straits, please refer him to Opus Bono. They turn no one away and provide help with food, shelter, and, in extreme cases, safety.


  1. Being a non-Catholic, I may not know what I am talking about, but I find the way the Roman Catholic Church has handled all of these cases abominable. For they should be able to investigate without covering up, which would provide protection for both their priests and those actually damaged by molestation.

  2. I agree with you. First, there was no action taken (one extreme); then all accused priests are considered guilty and have to prove their innocence (the other extreme). There is a reasonable alternative to these extremes: US law, which considers a person innocent until proven guilty and gives everyone accused person the right to face his/her accuser (with specified ways of handling the case of children), neither of which is the case in the case of the Catholic Church which holds itself apart from the law (in California, this is being challenged, and priests may actually gain some rights).

  3. "Modern Mysticism" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week. I hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.