Why do so many bishops/priests/monks/nuns/etc. go to hell?


#1

I have a hard time understanding why so many of these go to hell. I've read quotes by the likes of St. John Cyrstodom (sp), St. Jerome, St. Catherine of Cienna, etc.

How can a person who dedicated their life to God like that and who live in a deep life of prayer seperated from the rest of the world commit an unrepented mortal sin?

Do they do it to look "holy" to everyone else? Do they do it to gain power? Do they join and then realize they are way over their head? I don't understand how someone could dedicate and study their whole life to knowing the truth about God and make an attempt to get close to them....but commit mortals sin with no remorse. It doesn't make sense

Why do so many go to hell?


#2

Dear friend, do not wrack your brain with this problem. Why do so many clergy go to Hell, according to the saints? You might as well ask why so many politicians become corrupt, according to virtuous citizens. A socialist will go in to government with all the loftiest ideals of equality, and will end up driving good women to insanity with disordered notions. One capitalist might enter the civil authority with every sense of duty to liberty, and end up making fiends of good men, obsessing them with the passing wealth of this world.

There are even people who enter the World and leave the World with angry ambitions of wealth and power. Do you remember your Renaissance history? At one point, the Papacy was almost entirely debased by the Borgia and Medici clans. We must watch out for wolves in the fold; we are not alone in these struggles, because our blessed forefathers the Apostles had Judas Iscariot. They felt the same bitter sorrow you feel.

Give yourself up to God in order to remember that we are human!


#3

How do you know “so many” go to hell?


#4

St. John Vianney once said there are no bad priests and religious, there are just those who have not been prayed for enough. Have you prayed for our priests and religious lately? Your prayer might be the one that holds back hell for a consecrated soul struggling with temptation. "Pray as though everything depended upon God. Work as though everything depended upon you," said St. Augustine.

-ACEGC


#5

I wonder if you could provide some of the passages you have seen saying this so I can see for myself what you are talking about.
If I was a priest I never would want to be a bishop, because they have great responsibility for their people. If people under them are spiritually ruined, and they have been negligent in their leadership, they could bear much guilt for their irresponsibility.
However, someone saying that a higher proportion of priests/nuns/monks etc are damned than laypeople should show that this is the case. I would think this would be difficult because neither the Bible nor the Church through the centuries specifically has identified by name or status in the Church who is a lost soul in hell (except perhaps for the rich man in story of the rich man who ignored the beggar at his door in Lk 19-31, if the rich man was a real person).
There are though priests and nuns who obviously have lost their way. I often wondered myself why so many seem to have become dissenters in doctrine and the liturgy.. I decided that this comes from pride, which is the only way I have been able to understand this.


#6

We can't know that "so many" bishops, priests, monks, nuns etc., go to hell. Not everything the saints wrote is to be taken as an infallible statement.

If the statement were correct, for arguments' sake, I would say it was because more is expected of them.


#7

Because the more that is expected of a person, the more Satan delights in their fall.

I would ask why do so many people period end up in hell? That is a more compelling question.


#8

[quote="roveau, post:6, topic:225073"]
We can't know that "so many" bishops, priests, monks, nuns etc., go to hell. Not everything the saints wrote is to be taken as an infallible statement.

[/quote]

I totally agree. You can't just blindly accept what the saints have said to be true just because they are saints. But i would definitely still like to see those quotes


#9

Why does the Polymath from the band of comprarchicos in Victor Hugo’s The Man Who Laughs remark that the heaviest burden falls on his shoulders? Knowledge translates into culpability. The signal duty of the episcopate (i.e., bishops) is to teach the faith. Teaching suggests knowing, to know is to be able to act on and live with–if the bishops who are supposed to be most intimately aware of what our faith means contradict it in act, this is indeed a precipitous fall.

That is why a certain Cardinal writing on the burdens afflicting priests places ‘consciousness of his own unworthiness’ as the hardest thing for a priest to live with.


#10

Oh man, this kind of topic scares me to no other. Sometimes I feel, even though I'm the most religious person in my immediate family, and most of my friends, that if monks and priests fail to get into heaven where does that leave me?? :frighten: The example they set surely surpasses my own.

When you say that monks or priests are unrepettant of a sin, do you mean that they refuse to repent for X wrongdoing bc they dont think it was wrong... or that they just forgot a mortal sin?
I sure hope that God doesn't nitpick through a list of all your mortal sins to see if you forgot one...


#11

Remember there are far more priests and religious among the canonised saints in heaven than laypersons.

So based on that fact you could argue the opposite of your premise. You could argue that a priest or religious is in fact much LESS likely to sin (or sin mortally at least) and therefore end up in hell than a layperson, and that you in fact have correctly identified that there are definite spiritual benefits to the priesthood and religious life.

Kinda turns your argument on its head to think about it like that.


#12

Which quotes in particular please, OP?


#13

"hell is paved with the skulls of bishops,priests,...." - St. John Crystodom

"most religous are damned because they don't keep their vows" - St. Vincent Ferrer

those are 2 I can think of


#14

refuse to repent


#15

[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:13, topic:225073"]
"hell is paved with the skulls of bishops,priests,...." - St. John Crystodom

"most religous are damned because they don't keep their vows" - St. Vincent Ferrer

those are 2 I can think of

[/quote]

The first is just showing that no one is exempt in graphic language of the times.

The second is not saying that all are or even most are damned for not keeping their vows- it is saying that of the ones that are damned this is the reason.


#16

Pope B16 recently gave a strong word against church administration structures who consider themselves a privileged caste and look down on the devotional church. (Us regular people who believe with some fervor.)

Having worked for a diocesan institution for 4 years, I'd like to say Amen and Hallelujah for calling them out. :thumbsup:


#17

Thanks for responding and providing some actual quotes. I would appreciate it though if you would give the source for these quotes in these two writers. I had looked forward to reading the whole passage so that I can fully understand what the writer has said.
The first quote certainly is like the way St. John Chrysostom spoke and he did use such graphic language in his sermons. (You did mispell his name though I noticed.)

[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:13, topic:225073"]
"hell is paved with the skulls of bishops,priests,...." - St. John Crystodom

"most religous are damned because they don't keep their vows" - St. Vincent Ferrer

those are 2 I can think of

[/quote]


#18

[quote="Ben_Sinner, post:1, topic:225073"]
I have a hard time understanding why so many of these go to hell. I've read quotes by the likes of St. John Cyrstodom (sp), St. Jerome, St. Catherine of Cienna, etc.

How can a person who dedicated their life to God like that and who live in a deep life of prayer seperated from the rest of the world commit an unrepented mortal sin?

Do they do it to look "holy" to everyone else? Do they do it to gain power? Do they join and then realize they are way over their head? I don't understand how someone could dedicate and study their whole life to knowing the truth about God and make an attempt to get close to them....but commit mortals sin with no remorse. It doesn't make sense

Why do so many go to hell?

[/quote]

Not that anyone on earth can conclusively say anyone goes to hell. But the saints point I think is what Spider-man made popular, "with great power comes great responsibility." A preist or religious is an elder in the faith. The lay would follow them, it is so easy for them to mislead laypeople. Take for example some liberal priests today who agree with the idea of ordaining women. There may be people in the pews who don't have a strong opinion on this that may be swayed by the priest's words. If I said the same thing, its not as dangerous because I don't hold the same influence on any number of people. Even a sister or brother, nun or monk, would have more influence in the theological and moral beliefs of people. So they are burdened with such responsibility. A lay person believing in women's ordination may just be poorly catechized and can be corrected by catechisis or direction from a priest or religious.


#19

Priests, bishops and others may fall because of something we all have to fight, a findamental root of sin, pride. People may consider themselves superior because they are rich, women because they are beautiful, other people because they have social status or are powerful. There are flagrant cases like the singer who once said he is more popular than Jesus. But most often it is not so flagrant for all the deadly effect it may have on a person’s soul. Priests, bishops and other religious can succomb to such pride because they are powerful in the areas of their work, because they know far more than almost all laypeople when it comes to the faith, and because many people look up to them and treat them with reverence. Some obviously believe that their knowledge is superior to that of the Church and feel free to do what they decide with the liturgy even when it violates liturgical law, and do other things I prefer not to think about now. This obviously comes from pride. They are like us in such a way, but they can have a special temptation to pride. Being like us they pray by the Our Father, lead us not into temptation. Some saints tell us to pray for priests and bishops.


#20

Only God is pirvy to this sum you speak of, how did you aquire this data of the tally of residents in Hell?


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