priests too poor to be principled

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Jun 07, 2006

Father Eric Hodgens, a priest of the Melbourne, Australia archdiocese, has come to our attention before. He's a man on a mission, determined to prove that the Vatican is obsess about sex, by writing obsessively about sex.

Well he's at it again, and you'll never guess what he sees as the cause of declining Mass attendance in Australia.

It's not just lay Catholics-- well, at least the "strong and reflective" ones-- who are discontent with Church teaching, Father Hodgens tells us. Priests are equally unhappy, and equally disaffected.

So why do they continue to represent an institution they detest? Why not just quit? Two reasons.

Firstly, they love their parishes, are protective of their parishioners and want to keep their parish true to Vatican II.

Ah. They're motivated by pure principle and charity, then. Any other factors?

But, secondly, they cannot afford to go anywhere else. They have worked for 30 to 50 years at a payment level that made it very difficult to save. If they leave the priesthood they have to fund themselves without any significant financial backing and nothing like superannuation.

In other words, if they left the priesthood they'd have to get real jobs. Heart-rending, isn't it?

Below Leila refers to St. Peter's memorable response, when Jesus asked whether the apostles planned to leave Him: "Lord, to whom shall we go?" (Jn 6:68) St. Peter was not thinking about the tight labor market in Galilee. In fact St. Peter continued: "You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed..." Which suggests an attitude toward the teaching magisterium rather different from the one Father Hodgens espouses.

Come to think of it, maybe St. Peter was thinking about retirement benefits-- but not for retirement in this life.

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