Priesthood (Holy Orders) | What You Need to Know
The Catholic priesthood is under attack from all sides. This is due partly to the shortcomings of some priests, but in a broader sense the crisis of the priesthood and the attacks upon it arise from the Protestantization and secularization of our surrounding culture, which has affected even those within the Church herself.
- The Catechism on Holy Orders
- Apostolic Letter On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone (1994)
- Cardinal Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI) on the Nature of the Priesthood
A hundred priestly issues could be considered: formation, support, collaboration with the diaconate, preaching, parish administration, you name it. Two particular issues stand out for further study, however.
First, a fuller explanation of the reasons behind John Paul II's declaration against the ordination of women may be found in an earlier document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1976): Declaration on the Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood (Inter insigniores).
Second, in the wake of the sexual abuse scandals early in this millennium, the 2005 declaration of the Congregation for Catholic Education against the ordination of those with homosexual tendencies is particularly noteworthy: On Priesthood and Those With Homosexual Tendencies.