Don Camillo comes pretty close to the ideal in my book
Unfortunately, the ravages of liberalism have brought a lower calibre to many who have received the sacrament of Holy Orders.
There is now a free for all in terms of clerical dress (or non clerical dress), liturgical ad libbing, improvised practices on the sanctuary, disregard for home visits and a definite no-no on all blessings of the home, the sacrament of Penance reduced to a cosy chat in a sacristy ante room under the banner of Reconciliation (was there ever a more PC word?) and.......a suspected lack of belief in the Real Presence.
I say suspected because, I cannot prove anything in this respect, other then a long litany of examples of disrespect and even sacrilege towards the Blessed Sacrament - I do have a hazy recollection of some research carried out c. 1985 ish where parish priests were asked to fill in an anonymous questionnaire with their views on this and other topics.
I do distinctly recall the main statistic as being 48% of priests actually not believing that the bread and wine becomes the Body and Blood of Christ.
But, we are blessed today with a resurgence (albeit limited) of the faith amongst the priesthood - so, without naming any and causing embarrassment I thought it would be interesting to draw up a 'hit list' of the most desired qualities that you would wish to find in a priest.
I am leaving aside the reverence factor per se, as, presumably, we would all wish for our PP to be deeply spiritual and holy in all respects.
Here is my attempt at defining the desired qualities; I have included what the dating agencies call a GSOH. The advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi used to place humour at the top of their employee specification list and I like that. You need humour in this life, especially if you are called to be a servant of God.
The list is not exhaustive, feel free to add any facets that you see as being vital:-
1. Orthodox - meaning a knowledge of and love of all things regarding Church doctrine and moral and social
2. Ability to communicate clearly and simply - using all of the technologies available.
3. Power of oratory - no referring to notes, ability to project the voice, hold a thread and complete in less
than 6 minutes
4. Love of God by which I mean, among many things, the desire to spend at least one hour each day
kneeling before a crucifix.
5. A strong sense of humour - I learnt long ago that you can say what you like to people but, for your
message to have impact, you need to smile, even when on the phone.
6. Gravitas. A priest needs to know when to call a halt to a conversation or when a meeting takes the wrong
route. He must tread the line that cuts between teacher and friend.
7. An overwhelming desire to save souls. That should be the prime goal of all priests.
8. A lack of fear with regard to giving evidence to the external aspects of the Faith (wearing black and white
clerical garb, saying grace before meals in public and speaking out at public meetings where moral issues
9. Obedience to the Holy Father first, and the bishop second.
10. An awareness and love of tradition in terms of liturgy, vestments and procedures - no guitar Masses, no
Frank Sinatra songs at funerals, no call me "Jim" tacks and definitely no standing to receive the Eucharist
And, if I was looking for a number eleven, I might choose aversion to a certain magazine as fitting the bill.