I read this to my wife, and she said, with emphasis: “Yup.”
Because this pretty much sums up our experience. Those most dedicated to authentic pastoral care are also those most often slurred by those who want to be patted on the head for their goodness and eased in their consciences as they fit in with the world’s disregard for heaven, hell, and salvation.
But I cannot say fairer than this, so I won’t:
As one of the many cassock-wearing, Communion-on-the-tongue-receiving, Latin-loving, Extraordinary-Form-Mass-saying young priests that have passed through the halls of Theological College, allow me to say plainly to anyone who would agree with the tone and sentiment of this article that you have deliberately and painfully pigeon-holed men who love the Church and cast us to be pompous little monsters simply because we have a different theological/liturgical outlook than you.
You condescend towards us as if we were not thinking, opining, and sincere men.
You gossip about us, ensuring that we are “put in our places” and “taught a thing or two” by your confreres.
You confuse our strong convictions with arrogance and accuse us of being staunch when we are trying more than anything else to be faithful, helpful, and loving.
But let’s be quite honest…you don’t really know us because you never took the time to get to know us. You saw us when we were in the seminary chapel or over breakfast…but that’s about it.
Have you seen us at 2:00 AM in the hospital?
Have you seen us working late into the night on a funeral homily?
Have you seen us giving up our one day off a week to visit with a lonely elderly parishioner?
Have you seen us on our knees at night before the tabernacle weeping because we just buried a child earlier that day?
Have you seen us celebrate four Masses on a weekend, hear hours of confessions, and still show up to Sunday evening Youth Ministry?
Have you seen us wear the same pair of socks two days in a row because we simply ran out of time to do laundry?
Have you seen us muster a smile even when we’re exhausted, or miss Christmas with our families because we’re assigned 300 miles away, or forget to eat dinner because there’s another meeting to go to?
The answer is no. What you see are the cassocks and birettas and fiddleback chasubles and accuse us of being “out of touch.” Well the reality is, you are guilty of the very thing you accuse us of. You ignore our humanity, our struggle, our sincerity, and you fixate on external things to make your judgments.
As difficult as it is at times, I love being a priest with my whole heart. Not because it offers me an exalted status or any privileges, but because it offers me, and the people I serve, the means by which to attain salvation. I love the people I serve to death, and I would do anything within my means to help them. If you look at my cassock and presume otherwise, I can only feel sorry for you.
(source: A Young Priest Sets the Record Straight for the Catholic Left)