BALTIMORE (ChurchMilitant.com) - In the midst of the greatest Church crisis since the Protestant revolt, a faithful Catholic priest is calling fellow clerics to courage and urging the laity to hold fast to the Faith.
In an interview with Church Militant's Christine Niles at the Silence Stops Now rally in Baltimore last week, Fr. Jeffrey Robideau of the diocese of Lansing said priests "need to be more bold, more brazen, more zealous."
While cautioning clergy to "be reasonable" in responding to the crisis — to "be careful as a priest what you say to the laity" — Fr. Robideau affirmed that "priests need to let the people know what's going on."
The laity "need the truth," he said. "The truth not only sets people free, as we would say, but it also protects them."
"It's what the Lord calls us to," he added, noting that "the priesthood is not for the light-hearted."
When asked what message he would give to Catholics demoralized by the ongoing scandals, Fr. Robideau responded: "We have no place to go other than the Catholic Church. We have the fullness of faith here; outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation."
"We have to look at the teachings of the Church," he added. "People really need to arm themselves. If you don't know the truth, you can't fight the battle."
"It's going to be our job to get holy in spite of the bishops, in spite of clergy, in spite of what's going on," he said, observing that each generation has to fight against the current of evil:
We can't throw up our hands and say, "I can't deal with this." ... That's not the way to solve the problem. If we love God, if we love the Church, we're going to want to stay in there and fight the good fight, being, as we say, soldiers for Christ. Put on that full armor and face whatever fiery darts and arrows that are going to come our way. And certainly, the bishops are going to throw them — they're showing that.
Father Robideau offered words of support for priests suffering persecution by Church leaders: "Persevere. Be strong. ... For the priests in particular who are under direct attack by their bishops, I'm praying for you. You have a heavy cross to bear."
The Lansing priest encouraged seminarians to hold fast to their vocations, but reminded them that a vocation is not worth the price of sexual compromise. Seminarians must reject homosexual advances, he said, even if it costs them their vocation.
"Certainly don't cater to their wishes — you can't do that," Fr. Robideau said. "And if that means you can't be a priest — if they're going to kick you out for that — that's better than sinning like that. ... It's perversion. You don't want that in your life. The priesthood is not worth your soul."