Whenever I hear news reports in the secular press filled with accusations and salacious reports from unnamed sources, relating to our Church and the clergy, I cringe and think of all the good priests in the world and what they must be going through when they hear of these things. The Italian press, from what I've read is printing information without checking sources and the Church is being slandered once again. I have no idea what is factual and what isn't, all I know is that in my life, I have only met kind, intelligent, faithful priests who have listened to me when I was in mourning and prayed for me when I suffered losses that were unimaginable (having lost my parents and then my dear brother, within a few years time). I have been at meetings with leaders in the Church, leaders who work hard and strive to give their best for the good of the Church.
So I have been greatly blessed to meet and to have parish priests who were very good men, very giving and kind. Those are the only priests I have ever met, which is one reason I am so devoted to the Church. The main reason, of course, is my relationship with and love of God. The Church has enabled me to grow spiritually and religiously through the sacraments and liturgies. Most importantly, to grow closer to God.
During this difficult Lent, where there is so much written which can defame and hurt our Church, so much scandal being discussed, I hope we will all pray for the good priests we have known and who minister to us. It must be so difficult for them to read scandalous news stories, perhaps they don't read them. I probably shouldn't be reading them either as they upset me.
May God Bless our Church, especially Pope Benedict and all the clergy, religious and laypeople who care and try to bring forth the Reign of God. And may the new Pope, when he is elected be the right Pope for this historic and perilous time in history, that we are living through.
Good article on this topic: