According to St John Eudes God permits bad priests as a sign that He is thoroughly angry with the sin of His people

In his book ‘The Priest: His Dignity and Obligations’ St John Eudes wrote that God permits bad priests as a sign that He is  thoroughly angry with His people. In Chapter 11, Qualities of a Priest St John Eudes writes:

Bad priests are a sign of God’s anger

‘THE MOST EVIDENT MARK of God’s anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clerics’ who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds.

Instead of nourishing those committed to their care, they rend and devour them brutally. Instead of leading their people to God, they drag Christian souls into hell in their train. Instead of being the salt of the earth and the light of the world, they are its innocuous poison and its murky darkness.

St. Gregory the Great says that priests and pastors will stand condemned before God as the murderers of any souls lost through neglect or silence. Tot occidimus, quot ad mortem ire tepidi et tacentes videmus. Elsewhere St. Gregory asserts that nothing more angers God than to see those whom He set aside for the correction of others, give bad example by a wicked and depraved life.’

Instead of preventing offenses against His Majesty, such priests become themselves the first to persecute Him, they lose their zeal for the salvation of souls and think only of following their own inclinations. Their affections go no farther than earthly things, they eagerly bask in the empty praises of men, using their sacred ministry to serve their ambitions, they abandon the things of God to devote themselves to the things of the world, and in their saintly calling of holiness, they spend their time in profane and worldly pursuits.

When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people, and is visiting His most dreadful anger upon them. That is why He cries unceasingly to Christians, “Return, 0 ye revolting children . . . and I will give you pastors according to my own heart” (Jer. 3, 14-15). Thus, irregularities in the lives of priests constitute a scourge visited upon the people in consequence of sin.’

Good priests are a sign of God’s mercy

St John Eudes then goes on to examine the signs of good priests, and their value in God’s sight. Here is a selection of some of the qualities of God priests that are particularly needed in these times, which are a sign of divine grace:

On the other hand, the greatest effect of God’s mercy, the most precious grace He bestows upon mankind, is to send worthy priests, men after His own heart, seeking only His glory and the salvation of souls. The greatest blessing that God bestows upon a church, the most signal manifestation of divine grace, is to have a saintly shepherd, be he bishop or priest. This is indeed the grace of graces and the most priceless of all gifts for it includes within itself every other blessing and grace. What is a priest after God’s heart? He is an inestimable treasure containing an immensity of good things.

‘He is an ever burning and shining light set in the candelabra of Mother Church, burning before God and shining before men: burning in his own love for God, shining by his charity for his fellow man; burning with the perfection of his inner life, shining by the perfection of his exterior deportment; burning in fervent prayer for his people, shining by his preaching of the word of God.

The priest is a sun cheering the world by his presence and bearing. He brings heavenly blessings into every heart. He dispels the ignorance and darkness of error and radiates on every side bright beams of celestial light. He extinguishes sin and gives life and grace to the multitudes. He imparts new life to the weak, inflames the lukewarm, fires more ardently those who are aglow with the sacred flame of divine love.

He is an angel purifying, illuminating and perfecting the souls that God has entrusted to him. He is a seraph sent by God to teach men the science of salvation which is concerned only with knowing and loving Almighty God and His Divine Son, Jesus Christ. The priest is an archangel and a prince of the heavenly militia, waging constant war against the devil who strives to drag countless souls into the depths of hell.

He is a captain in the mighty army of God, always ready to battle for the glory of God and the defense of Holy Mother Church. He is ever prepared to lay siege to the world, the flesh and the devil. For him the conquest of kingdoms means only the salvation of souls for each soul is a kingdom more precious than all the empires of the world.


13 comments to According to St John Eudes God permits bad priests as a sign that He is thoroughly angry with the sin of His people

  • Bosco

    And what might God intend to convey to the Faithful at any given moment in salvation history, His consummate anger or His overwhelming mercy, through the particular exercise of supreme pastoral and doctrinal ministry by any given Pope?

  • Lynda

    If there are not many holy Catholic families, there will not be many holy priests. And many of those who would be good holy priests are not entertained as regards entry to the seminaries, where dissenters are in control. And others are thrown out for being orthodox.

  • Michael B Rooke

    St John Eudes is much praised by Holy Mother Church for his instigation of devotion to The Sacred Heart.

    It is difficult to reconcile the views as expressed in the article attributed to St John Eudes with the teaching of the Catholic Church.

    God loves us infinitely.

    Pope Blessed John Paul II
    “God has loved you with an infinite and tender love, and you must repay love with love.”

    Pope BenedictXVI
    “Consequently, the more we imitate Jesus and remain united to him the more we enter into the mystery of his divine holiness. We discover that he loves us infinitely, and this prompts us in turn to love our brethren.”

    The notion that God would use bad priests as a punishment is contrary to the nature of God.

    Radio Replies (Excerpts)
    Q If God is loving, just, and all-powerful, why does He permit moral evil, or sin?

    “…..Even God, if He wants men to be free, cannot take from them the power to choose evil. If He enforces goodness, He takes away freedom. If He leaves freedom, He must permit evil, even though He forbids it. It is man’s dignity that he is master of his own destiny instead of having to develop just like a tree which necessarily obeys natural law. Men, as a matter of fact, misused their freedom, and sin and brutality resulted. But it was impossible to give man the gift of freedom and the dignity of being master of his own destiny without risking the permission of such failures.”

    St John Eudes


    • Michael B Rooke

      In relation to devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus comment on both St John Eudes 1601- 1680 and St Margaret Mary Alacoque 1647- 1690 was made by Pope Pius XII in his encyclical HAURIETIS AQUAS – ON DEVOTION TO THE SACRED HEART
      May 15, 1956

      94. But for those who wish to touch on the more significant stages of this devotion through the centuries, if we consider outward practice, there immediately occur the names of certain individuals who have won particular renown in this matter as being the advance guard of a form of piety which, privately and very gradually, has gained more and more strength in religious congregations. To cite some examples in establishing this devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and continuously promoting it, great service was rendered by St. Bonaventure, St. Albert the Great, St. Gertrude, St. Catherine of Siena, Blessed Henry Suso, St. Peter Canisius, St. Francis de Sales. St. John Eudes was responsible for the first liturgical office celebrated in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus whose solemn feast, with the approval of many Bishops in France, was observed for the first time on October 20th, 1672.

      95. But surely the most distinguished place among those who have fostered this most excellent type of devotion is held by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque who, under the spiritual direction of Blessed Claude de la Colombiere who assisted her work, was on fire with an unusual zeal to see to it that the real meaning of the devotion which had had such extensive developments to the great edification of the faithful should be established and be distinguished from other forms of Christian piety by the special qualities of love and reparation.(98)

  • BJC

    Surely it has to be the case, with honourable exceptions, that this is the worst group of priests and Bishops we’ve ever had. There are some brilliant priests and Bishops out there who’ve kept the show on the road so I won’t bring them into it, but as for the rest – what on earth do they think they have been doing?!! It’s probably too much to ask because they are so corrupt by now, but it might be a good idea if they had an Alec Guinness moment.

    • Lynda

      Well, for one, the dissenters got control of most of the seminaries by the mid 20th century. The good could not even get a foot in the door. Even today, most of the seminaries are not open to the orthodox. Michael Voris did a great interview with two young men who are brothers, Cathal and Niall Bergin, when he was in Ireland a couple of weeks ago. It illustrates very well how bad things are – the men like majority of baptised Catholics hadn’t a clue about the Faith – they had not been taught it in their parish, so-called Catholic schools, or home (the parents hadnt got it to give). And as they said, and everyone knows, they were typical. When they mentioned looking at the priesthood to a priest (perhaps priests) they were told they were too zealous, and their being against abortion wasn’t acceptable. This is a great interview and Id especially recommend it to be shown to young men and women who were taught a wholly distorted idea of the Faith, who never got the true Faith given to them. Its on YouTube and Church Militant’s website.

      • Lynda – You are so right.

        We have touched on some of these these themes – the Bergin brothers and the seminary situation – in some recent reflections on the Traditional Latin Mass.

        The Bergin brothers are a great witness for their generation and the fact that they have been denied their birthright of the Catholic Faith. We keep meeting young people (in their 20′s – 30′s) with similar stories to tell. They constitute a remnant who are finding the Truth by God’s grace.

        I (Alan) was at Ushaw Seminary in the 1990′s and can testify to the truth of your statements here.

        The same people who have strangled vocations to the priesthood can be found today arguing for a ‘lay-led church’ due to the ‘vocations crisis’. And indeed, the same people who have failed to evangelize and give faithful catechesis on human sexuality are now to be found wondering why no-one goes to Confession and why marriages are breaking apart. Pastoral approaches to divorce are being called for by the very people whose dissent from and/or ignorance towards Humanae Vitae has contributed to the collapse of married life in the West. Most worrying is the fact that some of these are now reaching the highest places.

        The Rosary Crusade continues.

        Our Lady of Fatima – Pray for us!

        In Christ
        Alan and Angeline

      • Bridget


        I have done some prolife work with those two boys outside churches, on the streets, etc. Their knowledge of the true faith is astounding, but they are also the brothers who told me about Fr. Luigi Villa and his writings, in which he proved that Pope Paul VI was a Free Mason, (among other things), and because of this proof put a stop to the beatification of Paul VI. Those boys say nothing unless they are absolutely sure of their facts and I was pulled up by someone on this site for believing in Fr. Villa, though his writings seem very believable to me and he has never said anything that he was unable to prove.

  • laudator temporis acti

    “According to St John Eudes God permits bad priests as a sign that He is thoroughly angry with the sin of His people”?! Just think what this implies about God. Being a great saint clearly does not stop you believing barely sane bunkum. No wonder someone once prayed God to save him from God.

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