April 14, 2011

On Bad Pastors

For reasons too obscure to rehearse, I was thinking yesterday of Pope Boniface VIII. Boniface usually makes it onto lists of worst popes both serious and humorous. He was said to enjoy dressing up as an emperor, and had so many statues of himself made that he was accused of idolatry. I think I once read that he even passed out statues of himself to his guests, kind of like a perpetual, papal bobblehead day. Therefore, if you ever find your pastor arrogant or full of himself, remember that it's all relative.

Thinking then of bad pastors, I was reminded of one of my favorite friar stories. Riffing on Jerry Seinfeld's accusation against his dentist Dr. Whatley, that he had converted to Judaism "just for the jokes," one of my classmates once accused me of entering religious life "just for the stories."

A friar went on a visit to a parish where he had once been pastor. He was having a pleasant and peaceful time until a lady approached him after Mass and began to talk to him about the current pastor.

"This man," she said, "is the worst pastor we've ever had."

"I'm very disappointed to hear that," began the former pastor. "When I was here, you told me that I was the worst pastor you had ever had."

"Well," she went on, not missing a beat, "up until then you were!"


K T Cat said...


JAB said...

But you have to admit, the stories are pretty good....

Brother Charles said...

Indeed they are. I have enjoyed very much telling the one about the Jerusalem house and adverse possession that we heard at our last general visitation.