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By Rod Bennett, Catholic Exchange, September 20, 2019

This article is a preview of the book Bad Shepherds.

When I was young and a Baptist, my mother worked as a secretary and librarian to a group of Evangelical clergy­men around Atlanta. One day she amused and shocked me by declaring that of these five or so distinguished ministers of the gospel, there had been only one who didn’t end up being a challenge to her faith.

The first had shown himself crass and flirty with the ladies. Another locked the door of his comfortable office every after­noon for a “sweet hour of prayer” — which was actually a sweet hour (or three) of loud, comical snoring. The last had recently become famous on TV and thus acquired a towering ego.

The was one happy exception had been one of the TV minister’s lowly lieutenants. This meek fellow spent most of his time visiting the sick and shut-ins, doing the grunt work his boss was now too good for, drawing scandalously little praise, and seeking none. He served his Master well.

Looking back, my mom’s memorable story gave me a mental category that really has helped through the years: “the shepherd who ends up being a challenge to your faith.” ….

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