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Q & A with Father Anthony



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How can I be a good loyal priest to the Church?

Ed asks:

Dear Fr Anthony,

First off, how can someone become a good loyal priest to the Church when the diocese they want to go into is liberal? My home diocese is very liberal but I want to be here because my family and friends are all here.

Dear Ed,

Your question is a thorny but very practical one.

First you have to be sure that your impressions about your diocese are true. For that you need the counsel of a prudent and knowledgeable priest. Make sure your are not extrapolating from some small incident, or from a problem in an individual parish, and then presuming that it is the policy of the whole diocese.

What you should most concerned about as regards the priesthood is the preparation you will receive in the seminary. It should be adequate spiritually and intellectually (Philosophy and Theology). Next you should know that as a priest you will be able to exercise your priesthood freely and according to the mind of the Church, with your bishop's support and in obedience to him. You should speak to the vocation director and the bishop about this.

This is a delicate point. Nobody is going to want to accept you if you are laying down conditions, because that is not what the priesthood is about, but I am sure that no-one will object to your making a mature, reasoned and humble explanation of your concerns.

If you are still not at ease in your conscience with the answers you get, you might consider becoming a priest in another diocese. No matter where you go you will have plenty to do, and who knows what the future will hold. But serve without conditions other than communion with the Church.

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