In the autumn of A.D. 60, Portius Festus arrived from Italy to begin his assignment as Roman governor of Judea. He inherited a number of problems. One of them was that St. Paul was languishing in his jail.
King Herod Agrippa II came to the seaport city of Caesarea to greet the new governor. The king’s great-grandfather had built the city to curry favor with the waxing Roman empire.
Festus knew little of Judaism and nothing of Christianity. Nonetheless, in his conversation with Herod Agrippa, the new Roman governor unwittingly distilled the life of St. Paul into one single, perfect sentence.
Festus thought that he could consult with Agrippa about what to do with St. Paul. By way of summary, Festus recounted his recent hearing of St. Paul’s case:
His accusers stood around him, but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected.
Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus who had died, but who Paul claimed was alive.
…From the ‘Give Me a Break, Please’ Dept.:
Apparently, there is a cute priest in Florida, famous among Spanish speakers, who has publicly renounced his communion with the holy Church.
The Archbishop of Miami has made a wise, clear, fatherly statement.
…What could be more craven and pathetic than the Episcopal bishop standing ready like an ambulance chaser to direct “traffic on the road to Canterbury?” Yuck…
Many moons ago, about a year after I had been received into the holy Catholic Church, I was teaching school and hoping to become a priest.
I was an eligible bachelor then. Circumstances arose which led me to consider the possibility of “reverting” to Episcopalianism so that I could get married and still go to the seminary.
Then I woke up one morning and realized: You cannot serve two masters. The truth is more important than having someone to go to the movies with.
To my beloved priest readers: This Father Cutié episode is an especially painful scandal to us.
Nonetheless, the temptation to defect from our Church and become Episcopalian can bedevil us all. It can seem do dreamy: Get married and continue to wear sacred vestments! Wow, you can have two cakes, eat one, and save one for later!
So, out of love for you, dear brothers, allow me to make you this promise:
If you ever succumb to this temptation and leave the Church to become an Episcopalian “priest,” I will track you down.
I will not rest until I have found you. I will wait for you at night. I will corner you in the dark. I will beat you with my bare fists until you wish you had never been born.