By Fr. Jeffrey Robideau
Church Militant did a piece on a Fr. Larry Richards who has had some criticisms and accusations about Church Militant that he has made public. During one of his (psychotic?) episodes, rants and tirades about Church Militant, he said “Anyone who disagrees with me, I’m sorry, but your are wrong.” That is quite presumptuous of him, not to mention dismissive of other views and input on the matter. This is what people say when they do not care about other points of view, or when they do not want to hear real truth. And as he does this, he does it with a troublesome, arrogant and prideful authoritarianism. It is clericalism at its worst.
So, first, what is clericalism? Clericalism is where priest are either placed or demand to be placed on a pedestal above and over the people where they are not allowed to be challenged or corrected. What they do and say is absolute and beyond question. They act from a position of power and authority, and not as a shepherd who loves his sheep. And the sheep are seen as his property and not as his children. It is from this mindset that it is said of the laity that they are to simply “pray, pay and obey.”
It is this mindset of clericalism that has allowed the sodomitical crisis in the Church. These clericalist took advantage of their position and preyed (note: preyed not prayed) upon their flock. They thought, and still do, that they were above the law and that they had special rights as priest and bishops. Just listen to their constant arrogance as they continue to lie and cover up their crimes with an attitude of “how dare you question me.”
Now I do agree that priests should be shown some deference by the laity because of their education, role and special graces they receive at ordination. They are priests, anointed by God. But that set aside, they are no better than anyone else. In their role as priest, they are given a special charge by God to learn, protect, defend and to teach the truths of faith and morals to the people of God. We note that in their role as priest, they are to teach the TRUTH of faith and morals, and not their opinion or preference on faith and morals.
I am sure at this point so many of the modernist will say with Pilate, “Truth, what is that?” Well, we know what it is and that the Catholic Church contains the fullness of Truth. To teach or act contrary to this Deposit of Faith is a sin.
Any cleric who knowingly and willfully violates truth violates his office as priest. With this in mind, everyone who knows the Deposit of Faith has every right and duty to hold every priest and bishop to these truths. And further, to challenge them when they are in error. No cleric, be he deacon, priest or bishop, has the right to not be challenged to full and complete orthodoxy. On the contrary, it is the people who have the right; the right to hear and to know the truths of the Faith.
Now let us see Fr. Richards true clerical mindset. After he said that you are wrong if you disagree with him he said further, “No one in Church Militant is an official teacher in the Church; no one there is a priest.”
He is correct, there is no priest at Church Militant, but he is wrong that there is no official teacher. Every Catholic, by virtue of baptism is called to evangelize and to catechize. They are to do so under the same restrictions as a priest. They are to teach the Catholic truth and not their opinion. For this reason it is all the more important that priest teach the truth. It is from the teaching at the pulpit that most Catholics learn and live their faith. It is God’s design that truth flow in this way; from the magisterium (Scripture, tradition, doctrine) to the priest, to the people and then to the world.
Church Militant is simply exercising her right and duty to teach truth and to hold those in error accountable. In fact, I would say they are doing it better than most bishops and priests (including Fr. Richards) today.
Fr. Richards continued in his rage, “I am a priest. I am one of the shepherds. My job is to sit there and tell people what is right and what is wrong.” In this, you are 100% and exactly correct. So tell me, why aren’t you doing it? Why are you picking on Church Militant who are fulfilling their apostolate, while you fail at your ministry? Is it that they have struck a cord in your heart? If they did, I bet it sounded dissident. For you are dissident. You are the one creating division. I listen to Church Militant and know them to be only concerned about truth and bring people to the truth. They want unity and harmony in the Church. They want the Church to be of one mind and one heart with God. They do not seek their own opinion or preference, but seek to be faithful to the magisterium (official teaching of the church.) They do not make up their own faith, but present the one true faith, established by God through His Bride, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Having said all this, now we have a problem. You see, I am a priest too and it is my job “to sit there and tell people what is right and what is wrong.” Fr. Richards, you are saying one thing and I am saying another. It is both our jobs to speak the truth and yet we are saying two opposing things, so who is right? Will you persist to dismiss people with differing opinions than you and simply be clerical and say you are right? That will not work with me. I am a cleric too. Are you thinking you can be clerical with me? Because of what we are saying, we are putting people in a difficult situation. They now have to choose between two priests. Now there is division in the Church. At who’s hand though? The answer is, of course, the one who has failed to teach the truth.
Let us ever seek to be submissive and conform our mind and heart to God and His one, ever true and abiding Faith that He has so lovingly and graciously given to us for our salvation that He won for us out of His perfect and unselfish love for us.
If we do this, then there could not be any more division, lies or disgusting clericalism.