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Sidelined priests ousted by wayward bishops is a common theme these days. But a new group in the Garden State is working to fix that. Church Militant's William Mahoney recently talked to some of the members.
In the Metuchen diocese, where disgraced homosexual pederast Theodore McCarrick launched his career, one Catholic started a group to storm Heaven for the clergy, both the wheat and the tares.
We started realizing so many good priests were being persecuted. And so we started fasting for all priests, including seminarians. And then we put forth names of specific priests that were being persecuted. And then that developed to when we started seeing bishops and cardinals not doing what they're supposed to do, not leading their flock, realizing they need our prayers and fasting as well.
The Fasting Army for Priests, as it's called, chose Thursday since it was on Holy Thursday when Our Lord instituted the priesthood.
While abstaining from food is the most common means of fasting, it's not the only way one can participate.
Give up social media. Give up media for the day. Give up television for the day ... whatever little luxury. If you do a crossword puzzle, give that up. Just offer something. The Lord is merciful. He will accept whatever you can offer cheerfully and in a hidden way — all the better. I think the benefits for our own souls, for priests we're trying to pray for and our Church at large. When have you ever seen a time like this?
Mindful of the axiom "politics is downstream of culture, and culture is downstream of religion," the group understands its spiritual work as essential for the Church and the world.
We pray for them every Thursday, we fast throughout the day, we pray for them in our Rosaries, we have Masses said for them, spiritual bouquets for them. We pray for their holiness because if they're holy, we will be holy. We'll have holy women, holy men, holy families — which are the building block, the foundation of society.
The group points to Scripture and Tradition, especially noting Our Lord fasted in the desert and taught that some evil can only be cast out by prayer and fasting.
Lynne Albanese: "I think Francis de Sales said the demons — and our enemy — he's afraid of us when we fast because if we can control our passions and we can control ourselves by way of fasting, there's pretty much nothing we can't do."
Fasting Army for Priests is open to everybody, men and women, who wish to contribute to this spiritual work.
Maria Woltornist: "Anybody who would like to join can go to FastingArmyForPriests.com or they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org."
This group understands that in fighting for embattled clergy, it is also fighting for Christian culture fostered by holy clerics.
The group accompanies its spiritual efforts with practical ones. For example, they attend Rosary rallies to shut down Seton Hall's demonic radio station under Cdl. Joseph Tobin and often reach out to Metuchen's Bp. James Checchio, asking him to end a pro-LGBT group he permits in the diocese.