These are the words of the Blessed Mother on this day:
What has become of the Church? And so few of the priests appear to care, so many amongst you say.
And the convenient answer to this question is that this is not a new phenomenon. Priests have lapsed in every age because, after all, priests are men like any other.
But I say that never before was the office of priesthood downgraded to inactivity by legality, granted by those in authority in the Church, who nevertheless allow the priest to practice as a lay person.
Has the Priesthood therefore, become a secondary function? Can it be that the authorities have been participants in the movement against those vows, which the Church instituted for the priesthood, in an attempt to imitate the life of the Christ?
Has the commitment to imitate the priesthood of Jesus become a matter for foolishness? Does not this attitude deprive mankind of the hope that humanity is struggling to achieve goodness by its own choice, through the witness to Christ in the priesthood?
This is how the essence of the faith in the Christ began to dissipate. I ask you, as I have before, if the king of a nation awards a special honour to a person, defining the highest of all missions, does the person throw the award into the dust as an object of little consequence?
The acceptance of the office of Priesthood requires the highest human act of freedom: that of voluntary submission to the Absolute in unconditional dedication to the will of the Father.
Blessed are those priests who keep their commitment, and pity the poor souls who do not, for heavy will be their burdens in eternity, because they have denied the essence.
Historically, many are the priests who have failed the dignity of the priesthood and sinned. In your time, however, those priests who have decided to evade the essence of their office, to assume a right to determine their own situation, have contributed to the general downgrading of the faith.
Many are their reasons, but how can their reasons be justified against their power to present to the faithful, the Body of Christ; their power to forgive sin and produce conversion in the heart of sinners, the power they propose to avoid.
How can a priest be unhappy in his priesthood when he possesses such power? Only if he is a priest without faith can he be reduced to the point of such grave divergence. In which case, he should not delude himself that he is a willing witness to the Christ, perpetuating the mission of Jesus, my son!
It is true that a priest is also a man, and in your time, he is subjected to all the temptations of a pagan society. Difficult indeed his life can be! And more difficult because those disciplines which were created to assist him to keep to his mission, have become so feeble as to be no more than words printed in a document, which is invoked only in extreme situations of sin.
I have said before that it is extremely difficult for a priest to teach words which condemn his own lifestyle from his own mouth! Yet the Church still offers opportunities to the priest who, in his ministry, can display all his God given talents in full freedom; dedicating his zeal in acts of charity and in the magisterial propagation of the teachings of Jesus; and in dedication to virtue which will fulfil his personal aspirations completely! And many will be the followers of such a priest.
And I say to you all that the Church will not fail because God, the Father, the Almighty has deposited all the virtues of the Church in me!
Pray therefore, pray for the priests for the priesthood is irreplaceable!