The CAPG's Blog
Priests make a trade of religion, they do not believe what they preach.
Answer: What do you venture to assert? The priests of Jesus Christ are impostors! Pray, how do you know that? How can you read their hearts, and pronounce whether they believe or do not believe in the sacred origin of their priesthood? It is the accuser's business to prove what he advances. I defy you to prove this accusation.
You will, perhaps, cite, by way of proof, the name of some bad priest.
I must then remind you that the exception proves the rule. A wicked, unbelieving priest would not be so much the subject of comment if the great majority were not so holy, pure and venerable.
A spot of ink is seen with extraordinary distinctness on a pure white robe; it would be hardly perceptible if the robe were black or soiled.
So it is with the Catholic priesthood, to whom impiety thus pays an involuntary homage.
That there are bad priests is not a strange thing. Remember there was a Judas among the twelve Apostle! Just as the Apostles, the first priests, the first Bishops of the Church, thrust out the traitor from among them, and were not responsible for his crime, so the Church condemns, with even more energy and horror than you yourselves express, those traitorous priests who desert their sublime duties! She first endeavors to bring them back into the right way by gentleness and pardon; priests, as well as other men, have aright to mercy; but the irreclaimable, those who persevere in the bad road, she cuts off from her communion, and strikes them with her anathemas.
Priests are impostors! And what interest have they then in hearing your confessions, reproving you for your vices, preaching to you, catechizing your children, feeding the poor, giving to this one good advice; to that one, consolation; to another, bread?
Would it be possible to curtail by a farthing their slender revenues, and the still more slender nature of their occasional fees, if they kept silence about the irregularities and excess of their parishioners, if they admitted any or every person to the sacraments, without giving themselves the trouble of examining the state of their conscience, or if they were to abridge their catechizing, etc.? What worldly interest have they then in fulfilling well their ministry?
No, no; the priest is not what the impious proclaim him to be, and it is because they are aware of this that these people detest the priest so cordially. They see in him the representative of the God Who condemns their vices, the envoy of Jesus Christ, whom they blaspheme, and Who will judge them. They see in him the personification of that law of God which they unceasingly violate; and it is because they do not wish to acknowledge the Master that they do not wish to recognize His minister.
Source: Short Answer to Common Objections Against Religion, Fr. Louis Gaston Adrien de Segur