I have been quoting 1 Peter 5: 8-9 these days, and I believe for good reason. Repetita iuvant:
“Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.”
From The Catholic Herald, diocesan paper of the Diocese of Arlington comes this by Mary Beth Bonacci with my emphases and comments.
Reflections on Catholic ‘celebrity’
Mary Beth Bonacci
In the past month, two rather high-profile priests have been in the news over allegations of misconduct. [Two? I can think of Corapi…] That follows a year in which at least three others have left active ministry in the midst of scandal. And going back another year, I can think of several more.
Is it just me, or does anyone else get the impression that Satan is picking off priests like clay pigeons at target practice?
Each case is unique, of course. Some have admitted to wrongdoing, while others have steadfastly maintained their innocence. Some have cooperated with investigations, and others have not. Some have been exonerated and resumed active ministry, while others “resigned” from their ministry and even the priesthood.
What they all have in common is that these “high profile” priests have a lot of followers. (A “fan base,” as one such priest’s media company referred to them.) And thus their situations — whether they are rightly or wrongly accused — “scandalize” the faithful and risk driving them away from the Church. That is exactly what would motivate the Evil One to incite it all in the first place. [And The Enemy has had a lot of help, it seems, from human agents.]
Some men brought woes on themselves. I am still sad and sick to heart about Corapi. I confess that I am now also not a little angry at him. May God have mercy on him.
On the other hand, there are some who have been dreadfully attacked and falsely accused of all manner of things. I know a few.
In all these cases – self-inflicted or enemy-inflicted – I remember the the fate of the soldier who claimed to have struck down Saul and then ran vaunting to David.
No matter what the circumstances of the fall, the the fate of those who strike at the Lord’s anointed will not be pretty.
The anointed of the Lord may be flawed but they are the Lord’s anointed.
But I digress.
Bonacci follows in her article with some comments about being well-known and keeping the focus on Christ, Christ and his Church.
Perhaps as a counterbalance to 1 Peter 5: 8-9 there is one of my favorites found in John 3:30:
“Illum oportet crescere, me autem minui. He must increase, but I must decrease.”