You might not want all the bad boys in the same place

Priests who moonlight as bar tenders, post naked photos of themselves on gay websites and run off with the church coffers: welcome to the diocese of Albenga-Imperia on the Italian Riviera.

When the bishop in charge decided that the hand of forgiveness, and a second chance, should be offered to “black sheep” priests from across Italy, it must have seemed the charitable thing to do.

The consequences, though, suggest that recidivism is as much a feature of clerical as prison life.

Pope Francis last week ordered an investigation into a diocese run for 24 years by Bishop Mario Oliveri, 70, who has earned a reputation of welcoming in aspiring priests, even those expelled from seminaries for misconduct.


Some of the
cases are rather eye openers. And I can think of more than one case in the English Church where such behaviour has led only to a move of parish rather than anything else. But a whole diocese full of them is more than we have…..

Weirdly it can be the traditionalists who are worse at the blind eye bit. The thought being (no, not all of them are simply hypocritical toads) that a priest is ordained, is touched by divine favour in some manner, and while they may then do things they shouldn’t (running a bar with the live in girlfriend in the next village over say, then turning up on the Sunday to say Mass) they are still ordained and touched by that favour.

Odd, but there it is.

7 thoughts on “You might not want all the bad boys in the same place”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    Weirdly it can be the traditionalists who are worse at the blind eye bit. The thought being (no, not all of them are simply hypocritical toads) that a priest is ordained, is touched by divine favour in some manner

    The correct word is not “traditionalist”. The correct word is “Catholic”. Either you believe in ordination or you don’t. If you don’t, you are not Catholic. If you do then it is a holy gift – regardless of what the individual may do.

    The Church split with the Donatists over this issue some 1700 years ago.

  2. Born and raised a Catholic, now not sure what I believe, but I do know that if it’s all kosher and satan exists he’d probably be recruiting lots of fifth columnists.

  3. No I don’t think “traditionalists” are “Catholic” in any true sense. Take this ‘ordained ‘ thing. The Traditionalist would have it that you can’t touch and ordained man; he is ordained and that’s that. Yet the Bishop who did the ordaining might see it differently, y’know, being a Catholic bishop n ‘ all. At this point the Traditionalist screams blue murder. Just who is the Bishop to remove licence from an ordained priest?

  4. I think we should distinguish Roman Catholics, followers of the regional church that flounced out from most of the rest of Christendom in 1054, from Catholics proper – in the old sense of Catholics and Arians – whom we usually refer to as Orthodox. I suppose the clue is in the word “orthodox”.

  5. A priest after the order of Melchizedek. Forever. Nowt you can do.

    that flounced out from most of the rest of Christendom in 1054

    “Filioque”. Non-trivial.

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