Becoming a Priest Amidst Controversy


“Faith Steels His Resolve,” by Phil Gianficaro, Columnist, PhillyBurbs.com

“The widespread cover-up of predatory priests rumbled beneath Friel’s feet. He needed something to hold on to so he wouldn’t fall. It wasn’t necessary for him to look far. He held onto that which has never allowed him to fall.

His faith in God.”

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10 Responses to “Becoming a Priest Amidst Controversy”

  1. Friel’s faith in God is admirable. Once he is ordained a priest and after he has been a priest for at least twenty years I’d say, it will be interesting to see how he responds -with full faith in God – to the injustices and clericalism that is sadly endemic to the Catholic priesthood. Once one becomes a cog in the churning system it is hard to get oneself out of it or to establish justice in the system for the good of the church and for all. God bless Friel and all priests of deep faith.

    • God Bless Fr.Friel. I am praying he is one of the priests that helps RENEW the church like our logo states. That Jesus keeps him close to his heart in this difficult and sad time in the catholic church and that he becomes a source of healing too the many of us that are wounded.Amen

  2. After several minutes contemplating this pitiful story and comments made on it, I can only submit that my bible has taught me that God loves the sinner, and desires that the sinner turn from his way and believe the gospel [1 Cor. 15:3]. And it also teaches me that the man who hears the gospel and rejects it to go in “the way that seems right to him” will reap the wrath of God. If a man has heard the gospel of grace and continues to embrace “another gospel” [Gal. 1:6-8]I pray for that man to change his mind (repent.)

  3. I honestly and sincerely hope and pray that this young man has the calling from God to be celibate. Please keep him and many others in our prayers.

    For me, it was going to be impossible to go through life without an intimate relationship with a women and to raise a family.

    This is why I am very supportive of a married clergy and pray the church recognizes this reality soon.

  4. 1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;1 Corinthians 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;1 Corinthians 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

    Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;)Galatians 1:2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia:Galatians 1:3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ,Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:Galatians 1:5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:Galatians 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.Galatians 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

    In verse 6 Paul “marveled” or was surprised that his church there had so soon begun to apostatize from his gospel and turn to a early form of “replacement theology” — such as much of professing Christianity has done today.Paul knew it was coming [see his letters to Timothy] but he was astounded that it came so quickly among the Galatians.RT basically is what Paul called “boasting against the branches” in Romans 11. The false notion that the Jews were permanently abandoned by God, that their “fall” was forever. This is foundationally the error and falsity of the Roman religion.

    • Common sense 1:1 – Don’t rape children
      Common sense 1:2 – Don’t move pedophiles
      Common sense 1:3 – Don’t lie
      Common sense 1:4 – Don’t hide the truth
      Common sense 1:5 – Don’t ignore victims

      • I LOVE YOU PATRICK O’MALLEY!! I laughed because you so “get it.” You just NAIL IT!I cannot put into words how your words comfort me and how your words are truly inspired by the one true God. These priests could take lessions from you about what truly is morality, compassion and truth. Keep writing Patrick as I too am proud to call you friend. THANK YOU

      • I am very happy you said that, Vicky, and I am so proud to call you a friend. You are so tough, and I am going to do what I can to help show this congregation and the world how lucky we are to still have Vicky and other survivors like you.

        Someday it will all turn, and these evil and cowardly bishops and priests will be scorned by society for what they did. They’ve somehow turned the world upside down, and gotten people to go along with it. I’m still trying to figure out why.

        Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

        She forgot to say that with a touch of brains, a touch of anger, a touch of righteousness, a touch of social media and a kick in the ass instead of a touch on the shoulder, it can happen faster.

        You and I are going to join some of the people on this blog and we’re going to do this, and someday, God is going to have a big smile on His face when He rolls out the red carpet for you. Put in a good word for me.

      • Patrick, Your humility and goodness touches me deeply. If I can say one thing that I am blessed with is my ability now, to look inside myself and find God. I am humbled by the intimacy I have been able to have with God. Believe me, it wasn’t always there. I had at one point a lot of anger and rage at God. Due to excellent therapy I am now able to put the blame not on God and not on me but squarely on the 3 priests that raped me. It has taken quite a number of years to work at this and to even trust my therapist after 15 years. I would transfer all of my rage at the therapist and not have the same level of rage at the priests. What helped me tremendously was being able to hunt one of my perpatraitors, and comfront him. This gave me strength in a truth no one can take from me. Most everyone that comments on this website gives me enormous hope, for so long I felt so alone that no one was getting what was happening to us as survivors because of the treatment we were receiving from these “men of God” at the archdiocese. Msgr. Lynn told me I was an empty well. How can a church that preaches the impermissibilty of so many forms of consensual adult sex simultaneously tolerate, ignore or cover up the sexual abuse of children by its own priests? Pedophilia is not a failing; it is not some imperfect but victimless expression of sexuality among consenting adults. IT IS A CRIME! It is the violation of a child’s innocence, the betrayal of a priestly trust, the rape of a minor’s very body rovide about as good a definition of EVIL as one can find. Yet a church that regularly condemns and judges so many of its congregants for comparatively minor sexual variations on married heterosexual norm permits and covers up far worse offenses among its own!

  5. You’re even mroe amazing in the way you’ve managed to recover. God will sile big on you. You’ll get one of the good seats in heaven.

    Msgr Lynn is going to prison, then to hell. If he as much as peeps into heaven, I have God’s permission to hit him with one of those “whack-a-mole” hammers from the arcades.

    You are 100% right in what you said, and God would agree. Its amazing that a whole church and most of its cogregation don’t understand that. The thing that makes this whole process so difficult is that the bishops, priests and congregation have so little basic intelligence and so little heart.

    We’re fighting child rapists, and they are fighting back. Dont’ worry, we’ll win.

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