In many settings, to say the word priest is to invite grandstanding over power, perversion and dereliction of duty. (Money, sex and kids, anyone?) Those cases are tragic and very human exceptions to the rule. We're supposed to pray for them. And prosecute where fitting.
Our little family has known about twenty of these men, which I realize is hardly a representative sampling. My data also skews hard in favor of the rareified Western Province Dominicans.
Secular tyranny has a foe in me because its heretics are branded without so much as a formal creed to violate. I do have some ideas about what it takes to be considered unclean, however.
I. don't. recycle. Anyone who goes beyond my reduce and reuse inclinations is fine by me. But this is not a moral contest. I'm not in your church.
Smug one-liners about Roman Catholic priests too often go unchallenged, and their burden grows because of it. Their burden is my burden, if I'm doing anything right. As the suffering flock looks to these men for guidance, may the title of Father be spoken with the love it merits, or kindly left alone.