Skip to content Skip to footer

Can a bishop or priest depart from the faith?

Can a Bishop or Priest Depart from the Faith?

St. Augustine, Eminent Father and Doctor of the Church, “What I am for you terrifies me; what I am with you consoles me. For you I am a bishop; but with you I am a Christian. The former is a duty; the latter a grace.
The former is a danger; the latter salvation.”

St Pius X when congratulated by his mother upon his appointment as Bishop of Mantua, he replied: “Mother, you do not realize what it means to be a bishop. I shall lose my soul if I neglect my duty.”

St John Chrysostom (Doctor of the Church) in his commentary on Acts of the Apostles he writes, “The soul of a bishop is for all the world like a vessel in a storm: lashed from every side, by friends, by foes, by one’s own people, by strangers . . . I do not think there are many among bishops that will be saved, but many more that perish.”

In his letter to Timothy, St. Paul wrote, “If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task.” He then gave Timothy a litany of requirements for anyone who would hold this office and warned against ordaining those who were recent converts or couldn’t manage their own households. Paul feared that if one of these men were ordained, “he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil” or “he may fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (1 Tim. 3:6-7).

St John Vianney “A priest goes to Heaven or a priest goes to Hell with a thousand people behind.”

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich – June 1, 1821 “Among the strangest things that I saw, were long processions of bishops. Their thoughts and utterances were made known to me through images issuing from their mouths. Their faults towards religion were shown by external deformities. A few had only a body, with a dark cloud of fog instead of a head. Others had only a head, their bodies and hearts were like thick vapors. Some were lame; others were paralytics; others were asleep or staggering. I saw what I believe to be nearly all the bishops of the world, but only a small number were perfectly sound –

Blessed Anne Catherine Emerich – July, 1820 “I saw the Holy Father surrounded by traitors and in great distress about the Church. He had visions and apparitions in his hour of greatest need. I saw many good pious Bishops; but they were weak and wavering, their cowardice often got the upper hand…Then I saw darkness spreading around and people no longer seeking the true Church.”

Pope Pius XI in a private audience: “The Church’s worst persecutors have been her own unfaithful bishops, priests and religious.” He went on: “Opposition from the outside is terrible; it gives us many martyrs. But the Church’s worst enemy is her own traitors”


Leave a comment