St. Francis on the clergy
Quote:Francis inculcated reverence to the clergy not only on account of their dignity, but also because of the apostolic mission entrusted to himself and to his brothers.  Hence he would say:  "We are sent to aid the clergy for the salvation of souls, and to supply in ourselves what is wanting  in them.  Each one receives his reward not according to his authority, but on according to his work.  Know, brothers, that the gaining of souls to salvation is most acceptable to God, and this we can do better by living in peace and not in discord with the clergy.  If these should place an obstacle in the way of the people's salvation, God will be their judge, and will repay them, but be ye subject to the prelates and see that it be not your fault if any jealousy arise.  If you are the children of peace, you will gain over both the clergy and the people, and this will be more acceptable to God than if the people only were gained and the clergy scandalized.  Conceal their faults and supply their defects, and when you have done all this, be all the more humble yourselves." 

"He never tired of inculcating the duty of reverence, of love, of loyalty and of submission to the clergy.  This duty he left to his brothers as a legacy, so to speak, in his Testament, and one of the final admonitions which he gave on his death-bed was this:  "Be ever devoted and submissive to the prelates and the clergy.
(from The Ideals of St. Francis by Hilarin Felder)
St. Francis' respect and love for the office of the priest caused even priests in moral sin to repent.

Any Franciscan who is a dissenter or not in line with the Holy Father and the Magisterium is no true Franciscan.
As a layman who feels a strong vocation to being a plain, workaday layman, I know the peace that St. Francis talks of, whenever I defer to father or show him the respect due to him. My fiancee is particularly good at showing respect to priests when they do not seem to live up to our expectations. I pray to be better at that, as I should.

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