WHY WE ARE LOSING MEN AND VOCATIONS
by Fr Richard Heilman
“The Church becomes very feminized. Women are wonderful, of course. They respond very naturally to the invitation to be active in the Church. Apart from the priest, the sanctuary has become full of women. The activities in the parish and even the liturgy have been influenced by women and have become so feminine in many places that men do not want to get involved. Men are often reluctant to become active in the Church. The feminized environment and the lack of the Church’s effort to engage men has led many men to simply opt out.” -Raymond Cardinal Burke
In an article by Anthony Esolen, “How to Kill Vocations,” over at Crisis Magazine, Esolen takes an in depth look at this feminization phenomenon within our Church. (You can read the whole thing over there) …
I sometimes wonder whether we Catholics actually want vocations to the priesthood. It’s reasonable to judge people’s intentions by their habitual actions … In fact, if my actions not only continue to fail me, but begin to hurt many others also, and I still persist, that reasonable observer may attribute to me more than incompetence or indifference. He may conclude that I really want the bad result; I am glad of it.
Our summer diocese, serving more than one hundred thousand Catholics, has no seminarians. I mean that literally: not one. They have ordained two men in the last ten years, one of whom has left the priesthood to get married. Churches are closing everywhere. The stalwart priest who is our pastor has had to say Mass for five churches scattered over twenty miles. The farther-flung diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, serving not quite one hundred thousand Catholics, has forty eight seminarians, at least two priests in every parish, no churches being shut down, and plenty of schools. The obvious question is, “Why doesn’t everyone try at least a few of the things they do in Lincoln?” Or, more properly put, “Why doesn’t everyone stop doing nine or ten of the things they never have done in Lincoln?”
Professional envy explains some of the resistance. Stubbornness explains some more. Timidity and worldly political commitments might also play a part. But I have begun to wonder whether some of our leaders are animated by a death-wish for a Church in which they no longer really believe. Here, then, from what I have observed in the failing diocese—and we are in an excellent position to observe—are the things you should do if you want to kill vocations to the priesthood.
I will enumerate them in several categories:
- DILUTE THE FAITH
- TURN THE SACRAMENT INTO SNACK TIME
- STRIP THE ALTARS
- BE EFFEMINATE