This is going to be my nerdiest blog-post to-date, but it gets to the priesthood and the current Church crisis.
Despite the abysmal acting, I have to admit that I really like the Star Wars prequels (released 1999-2005.) In the third of those three, Revenge of the Sith, Chancellor Palpatine orders “Clone Protocol 66” or “Order 66” (see above picture) and Wookieepedia describes it: “Order 66, also known as Clone Protocol 66, was a top-secret order identifying all Jedi as traitors to the Galactic Republic and, therefore, subject to summary execution by the Grand Army of the Republic. The order was programmed into the Grand Army clone troopers through behavioral modification biochips implanted in their brains, making it almost impossible for the clones to disobey the command to turn against their Jedi Generals.”
Everybody knows that the Jedi resemble the old-school priest missionaries: Celibate, homeless warriors who fight evil and rescue the innocent. Just like the old school Jesuits, their powers were dependent on celibacy and obedience. (The fall of Anakin Skywalker in these Star Wars prequels demonstrates the old Latin proverb, corruptio optimi pessima.)
Now fast forward to today’s Church Crisis. Here’s what I find amazing about “Chancellor Palpatine’s” attack on good-Catholics today: It disproportionately targets the priests (ie Jedi.) I know many holy lay Catholics, but for some reason, the internal enemies of Holy Mother Church are executing a disproportionate attack on priests.
Disproportionately is the key word here. I constantly wonder: Why were the Jedi so important to eliminate in Order 66 when there were so many good rebels in the Galaxy who opposed the Republic? The Star Wars website reads: “As the Clone Wars draw to a fiery close, Chancellor Palpatine begins his endgame and brands the Jedi Knights enemies of the Republic.” Yes, Chancellor Palpatine must brand the traditional warriors as “enemies” to succeed with his meek plan. Palpatine knows that there might be other powerful rebel humans and wookies that oppose him in the Galaxy, but he must first blunt the end of the spear’s tip: He must disproportionately target the Jedi.
So also, in the current Church crisis. Just the past month I have noticed a new batch of canceled priests: One priest in the Midwest was caught doing the Novus Ordo the right way and he was sent on a struggle-session retreat of his own. Another priest in New England is currently told he may have mental issues for not taking an experimental government injection and is threatened not only with suspension but also excommunication. I understand that bad things are happening to lay Catholics, too—perhaps to people much holier than us priests—but that’s just the thing: Priests are getting canceled at a disproportionate rate.
The understanding of Order 66 is that the Jedi and its traditional powers must be eliminated before attacking the other “rebels” who stand against the take over of the Galaxy. Whether you are priest or lay, just remember these two things from Star Wars 3: 1) Rebels against a rebellion are the obedient ones. and 2) Chancellor Palpatine is not who you think he is.