Could as many possible write back to this as possible?
For around two years now, I’ve been taking my friend to Mass with me, we visit the churches together and we pray the rosary together. He is a great friend but he recently said something that shook me to the ground. Out of the blue one day after Mass he said “I think I’m going to become a priest, what do you think?”. I didn’t know what to say to him; although he is coming to Mass and is very devout when he prays he suffers from that most regrettable quality of my nation in that when he drinks, he really drinks, to state of absolute stupor. Now, this is really the only thing that he does wrong in recent years but before we became friends he was a typical modern European, he didn’t care what he did or how he did it and he slept around, was drunk and partying all the time and he occasionally took drugs as well as dressing up as a bishop for Halloween one year. The thing is that he is known to have done all this and there are photographs all over social media sites of him at his worst.
Whilst I know that many of the great saints of the Church have been terrible sinners before their conversion, I worry that if he goes into the priesthood, his past may come back to haunt him and he will be a great scandal to the faithful should his previous life come to light. I don’t want to discourage what may be a very genuine vocation though, so I’m lost for what to do. Could you give me advice, particularly if you are a priest. Thanks.