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PRIESTHOOD - CRITICISM OF PRIESTS
Our Lord's revelations to Mutter Vogel

"One should NEVER attack a priest, even when he's
in error, rather one should pray and do penance that
I'll grant him My grace again. He alone fully
represents Me, even when he doesn't live after my
example!
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When a Priest falls we should extend him a helping hand THROUGH PRAYER AND NOT
judgment over a priest has voiced it over me; child, never let a priest be attacked, take up
his defense." "Child Never judge your confessor, rather pray much for him and offer every
Thursday, through the hands of My Blessed Mother, Holy Communion (for Him)" Never
again accept an out of the way word about a Priest, and speak no unkind word (about
them) EVEN IF IT WERE TRUE!Every Priest is My Vicar and My Heart will be sickened and
insulted because of it! If you hear a judgment (against a Priest) pray a Hail Mary."

"If you see a Priest who celebrates the Holy Mass unworthily then say nothing about him,
rather tell it to Me alone! I stand beside him on the altar!" "Oh pray much for my priests,
that they'll love purity above all, that they'll celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with
pure hands and heart. Certainly the Holy Sacrifice is one and the same even when it's
celebrated by an unworthy priest, but the graces called down upon the people is not the
same!"

Mary, Queen of Clergy, pray for them.

The preceding is taken out of the back of the Pieta Prayer book.  

Many a devout Catholic would be familiar with these words.
Should we follow these admonitions or not?
Do we fully understand what is being stated here?
Does this statement mean that no one can judge a priest that has committed a crime?
I hope to answer these questions through the following presentation.

When speaking of
"Private Revelation" we need to remember that although the
information can edify we are under no obligation to follow it.
From New Advent [When the Church approves private revelations, she declares only that
there is nothing in them contrary to faith or good morals, and that they may be read
without danger or even with profit; no obligation is thereby imposed on the faithful to
believe them.]

I was unable to find much in an 'Internet search' on Mutter Vogel. I do not think that her
statement was 'approved' by The Catholic Church because part of it is false.
But whether her revelations are 'approved by The Catholic Church' or not, there is no
obligation to follow.

On the other hand, we do need to remember that a priest stands in 'for the person of
Christ' as St. Paul says, in 2 Corinthians 2:10  "And to whom you have pardoned any
thing, I also. For, what I have pardoned, if I have pardoned any thing, for your sakes have
I done it in the person of Christ (in persona Christi):" [Douay Rheims]
"priests receive the mission and faculty ("the sacred power") to act in persona Christi
Capitis;"
CCC 875 -  
Now, not judging a priest does not in any way mean that a priest can not be brought to a
court of law. The idea has vast implications, but a lengthy treatment would go beyond the
scope of the present discussion.

Someone might mention, in the Bible it says, that we shouldn't judge. Be careful here. We
can not take one verse out of the Bible and use it by itself or rather, misuse it. Is it true
that we can't judge? Yes. But, what does that mean?
When Jesus said; "Do not judge." Matthew 7:1  "Stop judging, that you may not be judged."
He wasn't saying that we could not ascertain a situation or that we could not form an
opinion because that would invalidate other verses in the Bible, such as, (John 7:24  Do
not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."), or Zachariah 7:9  "Thus says
the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy each to his
brother,".
Rather, He was saying that we may not say one person or another is going to hell.
We have a duty to judge the sin but not the sinner.

What we need to remember is to pray for and sacrifice for our priests. We need to always
treat them with a special respect. If you are in The Catholic Church long enough you will
certainly observe priests do or say things that are less than perfect, but we need to give
them the extra respect that God would expect of us.
Actually I rather like the idea; "pray much for him and offer every Thursday, through the
hands of My Blessed Mother, Holy Communion (for Him)".

We have a further example in St Catherine of Sienna of someone correcting a Pope.
"She implored the pope, Gregory XI, to leave Avignon,"
New Advent

One last point. At the end of the Statement:
"If you see a Priest who celebrates the Holy Mass unworthily then say nothing about him,
rather tell it to Me alone! I stand beside him on the altar!" "Oh pray much for my priests,
that they'll love purity above all, that they'll celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with
pure hands and heart. Certainly the Holy Sacrifice is one and the same even when it's
celebrated by an unworthy priest, but the graces called down upon the people is not the
same!"

"Certainly the Holy Sacrifice is one and the same even when it's celebrated by an
unworthy priest, but the graces called down upon the people is not the same!"



[THIS IS UNTRUE!]
[CCC 1128 This is the meaning of the Church's affirmation 49 that the sacraments act ex
opere operato (literally: "by the very fact of the action's being performed"), i.e., by virtue
of the saving work of Christ, accomplished once for all. It follows that "the sacrament is not
wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of
God."50 From the moment that a sacrament is celebrated in accordance with the intention
of the Church, the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through it, independently of
the personal holiness of the minister. Nevertheless, the fruits of the sacraments also
depend on the disposition of the one who receives them.]

BOTTOM LINE: WE CAN CRITICIZE A PRIEST WHEN "CRITICIZE" MEANS "SHARING THE
TRUTH IN LOVE" [EPH. 4:15] WITH "GENTLENESS AND REVERENCE" [1 PETER 3:15].
I am speaking of a situation where you are sharing with the priest himself, not in a case
where you are sharing information with someone else, unless refraining from sharing
would cause scandal or harm.