Unsung Priests – A Call for Testimonies

Are Priests Salesmen or Consultants?

Each time I visit Indonesia I can’t help smiling at their immigration card. In the section where I shall specify my profession is a check box saying “sales/clerical“. After having been amused a few times about the idea that priests are thought to sell God and heaven, I had second thoughts.

I don’t think that priests are sales agents, they are consultants. Let me explain: having been in sales more or less my whole career, I cherish a secret envy for consultants. Why? Because they are being paid to join a company temporarily, analyze the situation, give some good advice and then, they can walk away. They neither have to implement what they recommended nor can they be held responsible for what goes wrong afterwards.

By the way, I never decided to become a consultant, because I would miss out on the sweet feeling of success.

Back to the subject: Why is a priest a consultant? Because he actually doesn’t sell God or heaven. People have already subscribed before they show up in the church. Priests consult how to get into heaven. And, as any other consultant, he won’t be held accountable. The dead cannot complain that they didn’t go to heaven, can they? Well, maybe the can and do, but who can hear them? 😉

And how about other responsibilities: for example, consulting people as a – how can I say this? … religious psychiatrist? Who would ever think of pointing a finger at a priest for not succeeding in giving people a peaceful state of mind?

Let’s look at an example too, shall we? How about …the  abortion controversy? The church is making a great, solemn spectacle to convince women not to abort. They point out that it’s a grave sin: “You shall not kill!” But what happens after that? Women will have to stare at the backs of priests walking away. Which priest says to a fourteen-year-old pregnant girl: “Don’t kill that child inside you. If you can’t handle it, I find somebody who can. And if I don’t manage, I will look after it myself.”

Of course, I’m generalizing, and I do so to make a point. But I also want to stir some adrenaline to get people out of the box. I’m sure, there are many unsung hero priests out there who make a measurable difference in people’s lives. I haven’t met anyone personally though, but I watched the movie the Machine Gun Priest with mixed feelings. Ah … yes, there’s Mother Teresa, of course.

Who else is out there? Why don’t you add a testimony if you know someone! Let’s includes monks and nuns as well.

Photo credit: mortsan via photopin cc

5 comments on “Unsung Priests – A Call for Testimonies

  1. Father Alec Reid reveals how he tried to save two British soldiers killed in one of the most shocking episodes of the Trouble. http://ind.pn/1tt8MXT.

  2. Thích Quảng Đức (1897 – 11 June 1963, born Lâm Văn Túc), was a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection on 11 June 1963. Quang Duc was protesting the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government led by Ngô Đình Diệm. Photographs of his self-immolation were circulated widely across the world and brought attention to the policies of the Diệm government. John F. Kennedy said in reference to a photograph of Duc on fire, “No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one.” Malcolm Browne won a Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of the monk’s death. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Th%C3%ADch_Quảng_Đức.

  3. The Thamkrabok Monastery, Thailand, is a specialist agency offering alternative detoxification programs based on Buddhist precepts and principles as motivators for change; and promoting the Thamkrabok Monastery’s concept and practice of Sajja as a tool for relapse prevention. The program does not embrace any western model of addiction and so may be considered as unorthodox by some. http://www.tara-detox.org/html/about_us.html

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