Many days have passed since a priest of the Diocese of Livorno committed suicide. He was not the first priest to kill himself. These dramas will never be understood if we do not analyze them.
As a matter of fact, there is a clear detachment between the life of a clergyman and society. The priests, for the most part, live completely alone with no one next door and are often left to themselves. People hardly understand their pastor, his state of mind; instead, you can them often criticize him, not mincing words. Towards religious people society has become hyper intransigent, sometimes ruthless.
The crisis of values, then, turned upside down the role of the priest, reducing it from a point of reference to a porter of faith, useful to attend to the tasks necessary to call oneself a Christian.
The legitimate expectations to a consecrated have become intolerant and absurd claims on his way of being, as if he had to be forcedly a superhero. Actually, the category of the priests is unknown to many, beginning with the Catholics. People ignore the enormous difficulties that a priest has to face in leading a serene life keeping the “grace of God”, always trying to mediate with great zeal and affection, but respecting the right distance so that his attention may be turned to everyone and not just to someone .
And when he falls or is mistaken, everyone is ready to pillory him; without mercy, starting from his followers, and perhaps even his colleagues. These are sad and reprehensible examples that show how people keep saying to believe in the Gospel, but then the reality is something else.
No one prays for the priests anymore. No more esteem, nor respect. Many ecclesiastical institutions use the priest only for the liturgies, as something designed to be disposed of after use, and when he finishes his functions, he is no longer needed.
Also some bishops have forgotten the difficulties of living as a priest, becoming intransigent, and there are many who “do not feel the smell of their sheep”, a phrase often repeated by Pope Francis. But the priest is a person just like any other, he needs to be loved and appreciated especially by his mentors. When this does not happen he can easily fall prey to the devil and his followers. The greatest victory of Satan is in fact destroying a consecrated and priestly soul, because a single disciple of Jesus can recover many lost sheep and work for the salvation of great part of humanity.
The believers, at least those who declare themselves Catholics, should pray and support their pastors beyond their human flaws. You must remember that there is the sacramental presence in the priest alter Christus. In a secularized world the presence of the priest is a precious heritage, because he is the guardian of God, of the sacred history and he is the indicator of the infinite. By now, it seems a dreamer speech … Some say that the big power lobbies want to cancel all the religions, starting from the monotheistic ones. The first step is to separate the people from their pastors.
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo