Yesterday we were really uplifted to see Pope Francis’ response of love and care to the LGBT community.
While locally in London we were less uplifted to read an article trying to destroy our ministry and Monsignor Keith Barltrop’s reputation.
It’s a reminder of the terrible division that exists in the church and how what the pope or a priest does can be super for one person and terrible for another!
Regardless of whether we agree or disagree with a priest or the pope we must be very careful how we react because it can become a terrible trap for us to offend God ourselves through the sin of pride and judging.
Jesus spoke to me about this delicate matter last night:
My children, my priests are men too and they have their own faults and failings some of which are plain to see and damaging for the souls that they care for.
Yet in these cases I call you not to judge, you should pray for them and speak to them and if you are still not at peace then you should write to the Bishop and explain the situation.
Under no circumstances should you take matters into your own hands and overwrite the Bishop’s authority, even if you think you are right and even if you are right!
Even I don’t force my priests to change when they are not living holy lives. I send messengers to them, I implore them and beg them to change and warn them of the eternal consequences but I do not force them.
If you are unsatisfied after all your efforts then you must be humble enough to leave that priest alone and move onto another parish while continuing to pray for that priest even when the priest may be in the wrong.
You cannot inforce your opinion or truths on anyone and doing so is a sign of pride.
Pray continuously for your priests and look on them with mercy as I do and you will be able to handle even the most rebellious and unholy of priests without judging or sinning yourselves.
Remember that the priest still feeds you with the eucharist no matter who or what he believes and I will hold him accountable for his priesthood myself on judgement day.“
Incidentally today is the feast of Fr Damien Molokai who famously went to minister to lepers on an island and eventually caught the disease and died. When I think of him I think of our wonderful Monsignor Keith Barltrop who is unafraid to minister to the LGBT community of London (lepers of another kind even when by doing so he suffers all sorts of horrible criticisms and judgements by people who should know better.
Very sound advice from Jesus and also a reminder to us that we are not to judge and take the law into our own hands.
So today let us pray for our priests and let us be especially careful when it comes to the ones we don’t like or don’t agree with!
God bless Pope Francis and Monsignor Keith for their brave shepherd-like hearts for the LGBT community.