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The wildly popular message, continued

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Feb 25, 2012

Responding to my earlier piece on priests who preach about contraception, Juli* reports:

Our young priest also gave a powerful homily last weekend Saturday nite, also receiving a standing ovation.

Ah, but what’s a silver lining without a cloud? Juli continues: “But he became so distressed following it because of all the people that talked about it and thanked him.” This good priest was upset because many parishioners wanted to be sure they would come to Mass when he was preaching, and he wanted them to pay attention to the Mass, not the celebrant. That’s excellent advice, of course, but in an odd way it’s self-defeating, because it only strengthens my belief that this is an outstanding young priest. I’d be inclined to seek him out, too.

So here’s some advice for any priests who might be reading:

  • If you don’t want people to flock from all around to hear you preach…
  • If you don’t want to be stopped on the street by grateful parishioners who want to shake your hand and thank you…
  • If you don’t want parishioners to surround you after Mass and pat you on the back and tell you, with tears in their eyes, how long they’ve been waiting to hear something like that…

…then just don’t preach about contraception.

*- Ordinarily I might provide Juli’s full name and say where she lives. But in this case, if I did that it would probably be easy to identify the priest, and since he doesn’t want the extra notoriety,…


Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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