Action Alert!

fully renewed priestly ministry

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 03, 2006

The androgyne among androgynes? Since you asked, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has responded to the diminishing number of clergy by "Preparing for a Future With Fewer Priests." In a word, the process of process is process:

At issue were subcommittee reports from the Future Implementation Team, explaining their interpretation and plan of action for each of 11 recommendations approved by the priests last year -- all of which are designed to help the archdiocese and the archbishop plan for a future with fewer priests.

As each implementation plan was outlined, presented in sequence on color-coded and numbered pages in a binder of materials, corresponding to the 11 recommendations approved by priests at previous convocations, an overwhelming majority of priests raised their hands in support of the work of committees and teams.

Yes, that's one way of going about it.

Another approach is to put to young men the questions St. Ignatius Loyola asked himself:

What have I done for Christ?
What am I doing for Christ?
What ought I to do for Christ?"
(Binders and color-coding not necessary.)

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  • Posted by: - Dec. 04, 2006 1:56 PM ET USA

    Consider the state of the Priesthood, fewer is a good thing.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 04, 2006 12:31 PM ET USA

    I suspect many bishops and priests are not too invested in encouraging boys and young men to enter the priesthood because they WANT priestesses. If the vocations crisis were to go away tomorrow, the most common-sense reason for opening the priesthood to women would disappear--thus we have subcommittees studying how to proceed with few priests intsead of coming up with a "pastoral" way to tell girls that they do not belong on the altar. Getting the toothpaste back in the tube is never easy!

  • Posted by: - Dec. 04, 2006 12:18 PM ET USA

    Why, oh why, would God bless most of our bishops with fruitful vocations? They cannot be trusted with them! I prefer to call the problem "priest shortages" because the Church is overflowing with vocations in some sectors. Where? Where bishops are obedient to Rome! If our priests were so very concerned about interesting boys in the priesthood, they would end the use of altar girls and become personally involved in promoting, teaching, and praying with altar BOYS!

  • Posted by: - Dec. 04, 2006 9:53 AM ET USA

    What is missing in this article is that vocations in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati are on the rise. Every year Archbishop Pilarczyk ordains more new priests than the last but he is too humble to brag about it in public so I'll do it for him.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 04, 2006 7:06 AM ET USA

    Amen to "Special Ops Sacerdos". In Quebec City, we have the same kind of crap. See "The Diocesan Demolition Derby" at

  • Posted by: Sterling - Dec. 03, 2006 7:06 PM ET USA

    But suppose we put those questions on posters everywhere. Suppose we pose them to young men, including our sons. And suppose we don't get a real boost in vocations. (By the way, I've been asked to encourage vocations among my sons by my priest in a novus ordo parish.) Are you saying it's wrong to make plans for what we will do if we have far fewer priests?

  • Posted by: JARay - Dec. 03, 2006 5:51 PM ET USA

    Special Ops Sacerdos has it exactly right. Those dioceses who prepare for a shortage of priests are exactly those dioceses who will have fewer and fewer priests.

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Dec. 03, 2006 1:46 PM ET USA

    Thank you, Diogenes, for the Saint Ignatius reminder. Vocations flourish when they're promoted & encouraged. Dioceses/religious that have vocations (in some cases, so many they're building buildings!) have: Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; Prayer for vocations; Direct/active participation by the bishop, priests & laity to promote/encourage vocations, literally inviting men/women to respond; full-time vocations director. When these things are not done, vocations wither or go elsewhere.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 03, 2006 1:38 PM ET USA

    This morning at Mass Father asked parents to pray for vocations among their own children. (mine is a Tridentine parish).

  • Posted by: - Dec. 03, 2006 12:34 PM ET USA

    For my money a far more effective way of dealing with the priest shortage is to thank God for the priests we have- in the hopes that God seeing our gratitude will continue to provide us with the sacraments. A layman's thanksgiving after Mass: "Lord, thank you for Father Ed and the Mass he just offered, thank you for his upbringing, his vocation, his ordination, his priestly service all these years. Please continue to give us good priests...."

  • Posted by: - Dec. 03, 2006 9:32 AM ET USA

    PS -- The really sad thing is the willingness of these clowns to accept the sad reality of a priestless church. Perhaps that is what they really want after all.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 03, 2006 9:31 AM ET USA

    Perhaps a "training" should be planned to prepare for the upcoming dearth of priests. First, we should hire a facilitator who will preside over our general session before breaking us into buzz groups. Next, the facilitator will hop from group to group with a white board and magic markers --- prepared to write down our "input" as it flows forth. Then we will go back into the general session where all the input will be summarized, the conclusions to be published . . . blah, blah, blah