Simplicity of diet, simplicity of life

Simplicity of diet, simplicity of life

Commenting on the escapades of Fr. Jude Michael Fay of the diocese of Bridgeport, Diogenes notes a quote from Fay’s regular caterer on the dietary habits of his many clerical clients.

Moscato said he never thought anything of Fay’s tastes, saying he has cooked for several priests in the Bridgeport Diocese and they all want nothing but the best.

“Go audit every priest in the diocese,” Moscato said. “You’d be shocked where they eat.”

Diogenes then asks that if priests of the diocese have given up on temperance, how are they doing on chastity? This is the sort of thing that Fr. Paul Shaughnessy, the Jesuit Marine Corps chaplain, was pointing out in his landmark 2000 essay in Catholic World Report in which he offered several suggestions for how priests, bishops and laity can confront the problem, among them being this tidbit:

Restore simplicity to priestly life. Physical comfort is the oxygen that feeds the fires of homosexual indulgence. Cut it off. When you enter a rectory, take a look at the liquor cabinet, the videos, the wardrobe, the slick magazines, and ask yourself, “Do I get the impression that the man who lives here is in the habit of saying no to himself?” If the answer is negative, the chances are that his life of chastity is in disorder as well. It goes without saying that reforming bishops should lead by example in this department and not simply exhort.

In the comments on Diogenes’ post, some suggested that the old practice of hiring a housekeeper could be a partial solution. There was a time when the housekeeper was usually the pastor’s maiden sister or an aunt or cousin. Of course, many priests of a certain age can tell you tales of the Stalin-esque housekeepers who ran their homes with an iron fist and even curates feared her wrath. On second thought, maybe that’s not so bad.

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