At ordination, the soul of the priest is so configured to Christ that we should be accustomed to saying, "there is another Christ" whenever we see a priest. St. Denis calls the priest a divine man since he takes care of God's concerns on earth, for the life of the priest is at the service of the Bride of Christ, immolating himself as he gives his life to feed the flock of Christ and to seek out the lost sheep.
As the priest continually dies to self, his human nature fades away, and Christ is made "more present" in his life. While a person is alive, it is common to fear the death of our bodily life, but the priest must die at every moment of each day as he places himself as an obstacle over the mouth of hell so that none of the souls entrusted to him will get past him.
Lets pause here. How many priests do you know of who truly care for their parish in this manner?
Fr. Flood goes on to say,
Because of his dignity, we are then called to reverence, respect, and give honor to all priests. We may know of their shortcomings, and we may not get along with their personality, but St. John Chrysostom says that the person who honors a priest, honors Christ, but the person who insults a priest, insults Christ. Even if their example is not that of Christ, the saints say to refrain from showing contempt for them, speaking ill of them, or taking them to secular courts.
.......we must show respect and honor to each priest and bishop. We leave it to God to deal with priests as He knows best, for the priest will have to make an account of the gift bestowed upon him at ordination.
As we continue this Year for Priests, we should frequently pray for all priests, as St. John Vianney says we receive the priest we pray for. In particular, we should pray for the priest who is in charge of our soul, and at each Mass this year, implore God to shower that priest with a multitude of graces.
Fr. Eric Flood
That being said, it is still up to us to call our priests and bishops to account when they stray from the teachings of the magisterium of the church. I believe that faithful Catholics who defend their faith are under attack right now, and we really need our priests and bishops to be strong leaders for us, and not to fall prey to the manipulations of secular society. And I believe we need the help of our Blessed Mother more than ever.