Saturday, May 26, 2018


Why the Catholic church is 'hemorrhaging' priests

There are many religious and sociological factors that have led to the dramatic decline, worldwide, of priestly candidates. 

Sociological factors are beyond our control, although the proper formation of Catholics is in the Church's control and let's face it, in the last 50 years, and yes, because of Vatican II, there has been a loss of Catholic lay identity and priestly identity and religious identity.

After Vatican II, there was a tremendous exodus from the priesthood and religious life and priests and nuns formed in the pre-Vatican II ecclesiology, identity and spirituality who were radicalized by the "spirit of Vatican II" which led them to dismiss their previous formation and adopt the Church of the future mentality where clergy and laity would not be separated, and a hierarchical Church would be undone.

The Liturgy also diminshed the priestly character of the Mass and identity of the priest celebrating Mass, the one place where young boys and men saw the priest in action, at the altar. The post-Vatican II Mass reduced the priest to a "presbyter", a "presider" or "president", a kind of coordiantor of all the various ministries of the Mass and certainly no different than any lay person who could replace him.

And in my 1970's seminary, the Church of the future would elect from the laity various people qualified from the congregation to lead the liturgy.

Hello! Loss of priestly identity is the culprit as well as status due to post-Vatican II ideologies but also due to scandal which has to be taken into account also. But much of the scandal, such as priests and nuns marrying each other in the late 1960's, as well as the sex abuse scandal that found its peak in 1973/74 are to blame. But isn't this all a loss of Catholic as well as priestly identity?

The solution is for the pope and bishops to look at dioceses and religious orders that are producing vocations from their midst and copy that, even if we must return to what the SSPX is doing, that is maintaining traditional Catholicism as it was prior to Vatican II.


Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Fr. McD said, "And in my 1970's seminary, the Church of the future would elect from the laity various people qualified from the congregation to lead the liturgy."

If that's the case, what's the worry? Looks like the plan is right on target and finally coming to fruition.

God bless.
P.S. You think the churches are empty now? Wait until you have lay led liturgies! I doubt they'd even need one church building per city. And can you imagine a bishop trying to manage a bunch of lay led churches? What a hootenanny!

Tony V said...

I was an altar boy in suburban Boston when they switched from the 1965 Missal (vernacular, essentially Tridentine but vernacular with the Inter Oecumenici changes) to the Novus Ordo. Suddenly we went from an important part of the mass to by-standers, in fact worse than by-standers, we were actually in the way. I think the Novus Ordo has killed more vocations than anything else.

Marc said...

“. . . even if we must return to what the SSPX is doing . . .”

Actually being Catholic would be th logical place to start when trying to generate vocations to the Catholic priesthood. The Novus Ordo has tried everything else: returning to Catholicism is just crazy enough to work!

(They won’t try it.)

Anonymous said...

You’re dreaming if you think celibacy has nothing to do with the decline in vocations.

TJM said...


LOL. But in the US the numbers of priests were rising decade after decade until Vatican Disaster II. I guess those priests didn't have the benefit of your "wisdom."

Anonymous said...

It is equally logical to say that the number of priests was increasing until Kennedy’s assassination, men in space, the Beatles’ debut on Ed Sullivan or the American League adopting the designated-hitter rule.
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
(And knowledge of grade-school Latin does not make me a priest, especially Kavanaugh.)

TJM said...


Except none of those events impacted the Catholic faith or practice. Epic Fail

Anonymous said...

TJM - Go and learn the meaning of Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc.

TJM said...


Thanks for sharing your nonsense. Is that the only Latin you learned in the seminary?