Faith/Spirituality Forum: Priest Shortage
Priest Shortage QUESTION from Doug on February 6, 2003 My parish (like many other parishes) prays for an increase in the priesthood and religious vocation. However, I read your response (please refer below). You indicated that the shortage is caused by the lack of leadership of bishops and vocation directors who turn away good men because they are too orthodox.
I surfed the internet for anything dealing with Priest Shortage and found an article written by Seattle Catholic http://www.seattlecatholic.com/article_20020111_A_Manufactured_Priest_Shortage.html. This article supports your response.
In the article, according to one former seminarian If he (seminarian) indicates in any way that he's loyal to the Magisterium of the Church, or to the Holy Father as the Vicar of Christ, that he doesn't have any problem with defending the moral teachings of the Church, that would definitely make him suspect. He wouldn't even make it past the starting gate.
Also in the article, Archbishop Elden Curtiss a former seminary rector and vocation director commented: ...I am personally aware of certain vocations directors, vocations teams and evaluation boards who turn away candidates who do not support the possibility of ordaining women or who defend the Church's teaching about artificial birth control, or who exhibit a strong piety toward certain devotions, such as the rosary.
I hope you have the opportunity to read this article.
After reading this article, I became scarred and confused. You and the article use the term too orthodox. Can you explain this term? What advice would you give to a someone that is thinking of becoming a priest, but is too orthodox? It sounds like the seminary will reject such a candidate. I am not a sexist, I support a woman's right in the workplace. However, I do not believe woman should be priest. Are you aware of any diocese seriously considering ordaining women or having married priest?
Thank you in advance for your response.
******* John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on July 5, 2000
I do know that, in general, those diocese that are orthodox and loyal to the Pope and Magisterium, who have the least amount of liberal politics tolerated by its bishop, have vocations coming out of their ears.
I might add that in reality there is NOT a shortage of vocations -- that is, there are not a shortage of men wanting to be priests. The contrived shortage is caused by the lack of leadership of bishops and vocations directors who turn away good men because they are too orthodox. *******
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on February 13, 2003 Dear Doug:
Be not afriad. Jesus said: Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matt 5:11-12
The phrase too orthodox is a phrase that refers to how the liberals think of us -- the loyal Catholics. Catholics who are orthodox (loyal and obedient to the teachings of the Catholic Church) are seen as threats to the liberals. The liberals have an agenda to change the Church in their own image. Thus one way to do that is to screen out loyal Catholics from seminary, get liberals in positions of teaching in seminaries, CCD classes, DRE's, Parochial schools, etc.
I say liberals, but actually, there is only one kind of Catholic -- a loyal, obedient, respectful, and submissive Christian to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. All others, including those who we might call liberal are actually heterodox, proximate to heresy, or are formal heretics.
If one is seeking to be a priest, the person should ask the bishop to send them to a seminary that is orthodox and loyal. There are a a small handful in the United States that qualify.
If that is not possible, then, if one can hack it, play the game in seminary -- write papers that are heretical if needed to get an A grade -- then when ordained the person can live as an orthodox priest. This advice is often given to candidates.
If one cannot do that, and I don't think I could do it, then perhaps move to a diocese where the bishop is orthodox and sends candidates to a good seminary.
As for bishops who have ordained women, that has actually happened already.
Bottom line. Pray for the bishops to remember they are the Vicar of Christ in their diocese and are charged with protecting the faith. Pray for priests who are orthodox and are under persecution from their own bishops and/or fellow priests. Pray for those men seeking the priesthood to have the resolve to stand up for the faith in the face of vocation directors who may disparage them for their love of the Church.
Back to Index Page