I believe that the current Catholic priesthood is in deep crisis because in recent decades seminarians have not been introduced to, and bonded with, a deep spirituality.
Primarily, the priesthood is neither a profession or a job.
It is a vocation.
I define vocation as “a divine call to God’s service”.
Of course the call to priesthood or religious life is by no means the only Divine call.
We Christians believe that marriage is a vocation.
I have met doctors, nurses, vets, tradesmen, public servants who had a great sense of vocation. They dod what they did out of a sense of duty and calling and did it for the joy of what they did and not just for wages or salaries.
I started saying I wanted to be a priest when I was three or four and have never wanted to be anything else.
As a priest, I believe I am called to have a relationship with God, a prayer life. And the other side of that coin is the call to practical service if my brothers and sisters, 24/7.
A HOLY MAN?
When I was growing up there were priests and then there were priests we thought of as special – holy.
I knew many priests and I also knew a few very holy and spiritual priests.
I didnt just want to be a priest. I wabted to be a holy priest.
But when I began to experience the priesthood at 24, I was shocked.
I began to see that many priests became disillusioned and cynical and very quickly.
The real priesthood was not at all like we were told it was in seminary.
I quickly met bully priests, alcoholic priests, gambling priests, womanising priests, actively gay priests, thieving priests, insane priests etc.
I told myself: “Don’t let yourself become like them. Don’t stop praying. Don’t stop believing. Don’t become cynical”.
This year I will be 45 years ordained.
I have kept my faith in God.
I still try and pray.
I am not disillusioned and cynical.
But I have seen through the Roman Catholic institution and organisation that I once believed in and gave my heart to.
I just thank God that I do not have to start all over again – for I do not know even where I would begin.
I retain much of my idealism.
And I agree with the words from Macbeth I first learned 50 years ago:
“We are so far steeped in, that if we were to wade no more; returning would be as tedious as go o’er”
84 replies on “A PRIESTHOOD NOT BASED ON A DEEP SPIRITUALITY WILL ALWAYS FAIL.”
Spirituality is often conflated with sentimentality. The emphasis on purely an emotional experience usually has no depth and is, I think, more prone to devolving into the cynical behavior that +Pat describes and many of us have experienced. Emotions are an important element of human growth but as Christians the concrete expression of our relationship with God is vital. Things like the Divine Office, the sacraments, devotions etc. It is significant that these are things which can be neglected or even scoffed at by clerics today in favor of something more vague and remote.
De Integro, I respect your comments and I have no doubt, for yourself and for others, that your perceptions of ‘God’ and ‘faith’ are just as strong as is my own faith in Christ and love for all, is, to myself. Including countless others…
However, if it were not for my relationship with Christ I am most certain I would never never have made it through the “trials” and “tribulations” surrounding the clerical abuses and subsequent cover-up attempts which I have been forced to endure over these past 4-or-more-years, De Integro x
Peter, you are not alone in struggling against clerical cover up.
” I can do all things through Christ Jesus who gives me His strength”.Philippians 4:13
De Integro, that first sentence is very appropriate. It set me wondering too, about some religious behavioural traits of repetitive actions being seen as holy or spiritual. Freud discussed its extreme manifestation as obsessive compulsive neurosis.
MMM, there is a distinction between spirituality and religion.
Matthew Fox, theologian, says “spirituality is our experience of the divine.
Religion, is defined primarily today as a sociological category, a matter of buildings, and numbers and money and hierarchy and institutional one-upmanship. And, yes, the divine can be experienced.”
Taken from: The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom For Hard Times.
How does this blog fit it with your priestly ministry?
5:02 am Do you feel victimized ?
Not at all. It’s just that the blog is very much of this world and not of the spiritual.
“a divine call to God’s service”.
Glenstal Abbey have facilitated many good talks for the general public on spirituality in recent years.
Bishop Pat and the monks of Glenstal have some common ground on this topic.
Peace be with you and enjoy a lovely day! Happy Friday!
Is mise le meas,
Glenstal has facilitated many things over the years
Hi Bishop Pat,
I was shocked to hear about the two seminarians. The diocese has spoken a lot about increasing vocations. One would want future men of the cloth to be in a safe spiritual environment. The two seminarians being ordained would have given renewed impetus to encourage more men to answer a vocational call.
Is mise le meas,
There’s an interesting comment from is mise le meas. Are you a member of the Glenstal community by any chance?
I think I know who Seamus is. I think he is a member of a religious order but not Glenstal.
What two seminarians? What happened?
A safe physical environment takes primacy in any context.
This blog exposes abuse corruption and criminality (which is very much of this world)
in the Catholic Church in Ireland and Internationally.
The new Mass turns the priest into a performer and makes the sanctuary a stage. Anyone who has witnessed the sickening spectacle of Darcy saying Mass would agree.
The new Mass has not turned the priest into a performer you have that wrong.
Some priests have turned themselves into performers and weak Bishops has allowed this.
You should not really be there to see the priests performance as it should be about your personal devotion to the Blessed sacrament.
The World changes and does not stand still so therefore the Liturgy had to change to make use of the musical talents of the people and you will find these musical talents in the psalms.
So instead of thinking about the Darcy’s and the singing priests think of the Eucharist that you are suppose to be there fore.
It is in the media that the new guy for the CDFDS has to enhance Vatican two teaching more.
It is the people’s Mass and I am sorry you think it is Darcy’s all I can do is recommend you to the Latin Mass brigade who are still pre Vatican two.
But we who is living in Vatican two know the way forward and it maybe Divine Renovation.
Is English your first language? “We who is living in Vatican two”. The last thing you could call it is a renovation and certainly not divine, more like Diabolic.
I agree D’arcy turns everything into a performance, I think he’s looking for an Oscar.
U are a disgusting person.
Pat, you struggle the rest of us. You are humourless. You place your template of living as a priest as the perfect one. Sadly, you are too full of laws, like most of us but you slaughter the rest of us. To live here below is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often…I follow these wise words of St. Cardinal Newman. The majority of us, you also, strive each day to change accordingly with God’s grace. Let’s give encouragement and affirmation, not a constant judgment.
The title Saint trumps Cardinal. You don’t refer to Saint Cardinal Charles Borromeo…
There’s no law against having both or no implication of rivalry between two such titles. We refer to Pope Saint Pius V for example.
Aside from Popes who have been canonized convention is that titles are dropped. I have never heard of reference made to St. Mr. Dominic Savio or St. Sr. Bernadette of Lourdes.
Cardinals have been known to bugger boys whereas saints (one would hope) do not.
Pope Paul II is worth researching.
@ 9:13 am
I can’t imagine exposing corruption, abuse and criminality in the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland and internationally or ministering to abuse victims/survivors is a barrel of laughs.
Patsy can’t imagine who that eejit is, I usually never agree with you on anything. The last thing I would call you is humorless in fact sometimes you’re Gas.
Bella, this will give you a great laugh. Enjoy.
@11:25, I have no further detail than the information provided on this blog.
Is mise le meas,
Auld Gossip alert@:22pm
No thanks Mother, I never watch that crowd they remind me of you, sorry to disappoint you I’d rather PMSL at your illiterate comments, sadly we can spot you a mile off. Can I suggest you try an Adult Literacy Class there must be one near you.
Bella, do you wish to continue living in blissful ignorance? The traddies are as bad as the
Fr.. Tom Dick and Harry’s. Give yourself a laugh. Watch the vids.
You pierce Our Lord every time with your nasty comments and Our Blessed Lady weeps.
4:22: And on one of the planet’s beyond Andromeda a super silicon samosa sighs!
“What are these Earthlings like?”
Archbishop Keenan to be announced on Monday
You are a laugh and I do not what frill you are getting out of this.
Glasgow will not be announced on Monday what is your aim to make Clergy fearful and employee’s terrified.
Clergy will be well protected by the Council of priests and employee’s will be protected by Civil Law and + Keenan would be foolish if he came in like a bull in a china shop.
+ Keenan has been asked by the Papal nuncio his thoughts on Glasgow like others have and he has said to be like a fatherly figure.
You can run this Keenan for Glasgow for Months yet.
I’m afraid She weeps more when she reads your false piety, She knows who and what you really are.
🙂 🙂 🙂
Father Wall looks forward to seeing you one Sunday alongside Martina
Spirituality doesn’t seem to be a priority in contemporary priesthood.
Does it indicate widespread failure? Are priests mere functionaries?
A blog on bonking, shagging, grindr, remuneration for clerics or those
in the running for pointy hats always elicit a response from the brotherhood.
Deep spirituality and priesthood – duh!!
Is mise, Seán Bán Mícheál Milis.
The Holy Spirit is often the most ignored person of the Trinity.
12.21: Sean Ban An Phlainkear: Yes, priests try to create a spirituality and a prayer life, many of us belonging to prayer support groups for priests or we seek out spiritual direction apart from availing of retreats a ciupke of times a year. Sadly, you, Pat and the cohort of cynics and haters aren’t interested in these truths. Sexual stories are prioritised by Pat.. and many of you seem to “get off” on these stories.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Priests try to create a spirituality and prayer life…! Is that so. Do you feel victimized calling posters who challenge priests ‘cynics and haters’. Another truth – reports into Church abuse corruption and criminality throughout the World to date, all mention the reputation of the Church i.e. the institutional Church i.e. bishops, priests and religious- came first and last.
Those who benefited from cover up were the clergy! And, guess what;
most reports are due to sex crimes of so called celibates!
Get off the nonsense by facing reality. All Christians are called to a deep life of prayer.
“If a blind man leads a blind man both will fall into a pit.”. Now, where did i hear that one…
A lot of people will not understand the ongoing formation and constant training that goes on in parishes.
They have the brains that a chef turns up in the morning and hey presto there is is the soup forgets about the hard labour of preparation of the vegetables.
12.21 a lot of Clergy do not have the commitment that you have and form fan clubs a change the Liturgy to be popular.
@1:03 Is it a reflection of Bishop Pat or the reader? Bishop Pat writes about some scandal or some thing that is a nothing story results in many responses. Bishop Pat writes about spirituality and there are not so many responses.
Seamus @ 2.29. Does Pat print all the comments he receives?
Auld Gossip Alert@7:38pm
I’m sure Canon Poland isn’t looking forward to seeing you, but he wont he hasn’t seen you in years for which he thanks God.
Anyone know what is happining at Prinknash Abbey and Farnborough Abbey? Abbot Martin McLaughlin at Prinknash has been replaced by Abbot Cuthbert Brogan of Farnbrough, acting as Abbot Administrator. Links from Google with this announcement are broken.
The monks of Farnborough must be very relieved indeed…
12.57pm Darcy and an Oscar. Which Oscar? Oscar Wilde did go to school in Enniskillen, just around the corner from the Grann
Interesting comments re cardinals known to bugger boys. Is that a fact? 🤔
Uncle Ted, Groër, are two Cardinals in living memory with claims against them…
Thanks 👆. Didnt know about cardinal Groer.
From wiki: Hubertus Czernin, author of a book about the case, believes that Groër abused more than 2,000 young men. Groër continued to deny the allegations until his death.
Bishops Accused of Sexual Abuse and Misconduct
A Global Accounting.
Many priests are v proud to say, because they think they are so sophisticated and hold jobs or roles with a self-aggrandising title, that they don’t ‘do religion’ any more – they mistakenly think that because they hold these titles that would be big earners if they weren’t priests – they talk in pseudo management speak and see the church as an NGG not the Body of Christ.
They love the high life, expensive holidays, expensive restaurants, the whiff of Chanel No 5 and being the centre of attention. Every diocese has them and they are a curse making merry as the church becomes utterly irrelevant and unable to speak to everyday folk about God, prayer, Christ.
They mock prayer and reading the Bible – they are truly a den ov vipers, wolves in sheep clothing.
Vocation- vacation more like
2:10 That reminds me of a ridiculous sermon by Fr Ben Hilton in Leeds, saying ‘Liberal society is a wolf in sheep’s clothing’. Another member of the Latin and lace brigade!
@2.05pm Yes true about Wilde. Speaking of the Grann, Fr Charlie the Superior there now has been doing an excellent job. A strong County Down man and I’m glad all the D’arcy fan club have all now evaporated since he left. I hear the community house is more united now.
Nigel Dodd’s Mother was cared for and died recently in the Catholic Grann nursing home next door to the Grann Monastery.
The PP of Derrygonnelly near the Grann is a total control freak tyrant with issues. Bishop Larry Duffy has been informed and done nothing.
Many dioceses now actively recruit atheists to hold positions of power – CEOs, Human Resources etc. Of course, their atheism, rather like clerical homosexuality is on the down low, acceptable and tolerated if they aren’t militant and loud about it.
Nuns are similar – social workers etc they are down with the kids too on the we don’t believe in God either ting.
Personally I don’t give a shite but their hypocrisy and double life stinks and they milk up all the cash and privilege whilst masquerading as religious.
One day the truth will out and their games will be exposed – imagine an atheist priest, nun or bishop – the Catholic Church is full of them!!
Don’t believe me? Hard to believe but not hard to see if you open your eyes.
They take the piss all day long out of lay people who pray, pay and obey.
A priest mentioned to me fairly recently most of his friends are atheists and most of them are priests. I don’t doubt you.
Says a lot about your priest friend however they will not think twice about their double stands and their salaries.
You are bang out of order many of the Church Employees are devoted Roman Catholics and no matter the challenges that are faced we will be true to our faith.
And I can assure you the days of pray, pay and obey are well gone that is how amalgamation of dioceses is happening, parish amalgamations and the obey bit is also well gone the lay faithful are not slow to speak out now as they see the wrongs and want it corrected.
3:07, are you those friends?
2 24: H8w laughable!! 😁😁..I don’t believe you. You’d have made a reasonable argument if you truly open your eyes. Your fanciful world doesn’t exist. Your hate invective stinks. Obviously you don’t move beyond your bedroom prison because if you did you’ll find that some of the greatest works of charity and compassionate outreach are carried out by religious women and men. In our Parish we have a Visitation Group headed up by 2 religious (retired teachers) who visit the sick, elderly and lonely and help with shopping. They have 20 committed members on the group. I admire the exemplary service of these religious who are representative of hundreds of good, Christ inspired religious in our communities. The assertion that you ignorantly make about the church being full of atheists is, to readapt your words “pulling the piss”..😁😁🤣😁…you philistine – and I’m suspecting you longer ‘pray, pay and obey’ Good riddance..😁🤣😎😆..liar
This barely literate invective @ 3:53 is a good example of how cathbots seem to rely solely on their own personal experience and take that as objectively applicable everywhere.
Yet, despite such dismissive hostility, this poster probably thinks of him/her self as exemplifying Christian virtues. The absolutism found in religion is but one of its least attractive factors.
I suspect there a a number of non believers within the RC priesthood. After all how can you go to the boiler house on a Saturday night and offer Mass the next day? If they really believed that they were turning bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ then they would be overcome with guilt and shame. Mind you I knew a priest in a Nothern diocese who would get his action on Canal Street and then put on a really pious Mass the next day, even sighing at the name of the blessed mother. The auld ladies really enjoyed the performance ensuring crispy £10 handshakes which would be used to fund his next session. He is now bloated and a Vicar Forane so I guess he won’t get as much fun now.
Whoever 3:53 is, that he/she is barely literate does not cut any ice. Barely objective is a worse fault. And that’s you. You didn’t address any of the substantive issues therein.
No Annie. The priest was not a friend of mine. Read my post at 3:07pm carefully, unlike 3:51pm.
4.45: Killyleagh Kieran, you don’t do irony or self awareness very well! Your own absolutism expressed here frequently is not very commendable since you narrate othe one repetitive lie – that all clerics are crazy and out of touch. Your own hostile dismissiveness of others who differ from you is not commendable either. Despite your own anti clerical rhetoric, sorry to disappoint you, but I try to exemplify gospel virtues but I won’t accept the nastyism you promote.
4.45: As in many of your posts recently, this is no different – variations on a theme – anti Catholic invective but your effort to present as intelligent is risible. So easy to be kind – try it!
The Bishops Conference of England & Wales met last Wednesday via zoom. Roche is in Westrminster at present.
It’s ok imposing a time limit on Curial appointments but what do you do with bishops once their term has expired? If they are under the age of 75 then I suppose you are obliged to appoint them to a diocese? I guess they could appoint Roche to East Anglia but a bit of a backwater for an Archbishop…
Archbishop Roche must be going back to Rome quite soon as he is ordaining Four Deacons next Saturday.
Remember he is 71so highly unlikely to go to Westminster
Although his job at the CDFDS is up next year so who knows what will happen.
Guido Marini is to replace him and to be made an archbishop like his previous namesake. Francis wants the Liturgical Celebration Office and the CDW to merge. An Italian diocesan ordinary, Vittorio Viola OFM is the pope’s favourite to succeed Robert Sarah. There have been several newspaper articles on this. As a result, Roche may be either without a job or sent to Westminster on a fixed term basis as Cathal Daly was to Armagh based on advanced age.
I sure + Hope will leave his Stannah stairlift at Bishop’s House installed for Roche.
5.29: Thank you. Some supposedly clever clogs are very often blind to their limitations and absence of logical reasoning and argument, as demonstrated by 4.45.
Doctors and solicitors can not accept legacies in wills from patients or clients unless very strict guidelines are followed. Should there be a similar provision for clergy receiving legacies from parishioners?
6.44: There are protocols which priests must follow. Also, all donations or bequests left in wills for priests must be made known to Revenue. Mostly, in my long years of experiences, legacies are primarily left to the Parish and not to any individual priest. If a money gift is made individually to a priest, there’s nothing wrong with that once it is made known to Revenue. It is absolutely vital that no priest ever seek to elicit money from any person, particularly the elderly, those who are vulnerable and those with no relatives. I will only ever visit elderly housebound parishioners if a home help, neighbour or family member is present. It is best practice. I know of situations where distant relatives came out of the woodwork and contested legacies left to priest and churches!! Best practice: only call when others are present you
4:45 you have scored a bullseye, indicated by the furious reaction from the cathbots and the reaction of insulting you.
Thank you@ 6 44.
I was going to reply to them just to say “It’s really got you rattled. Hasn’t it?”
But your comment is better so I’ll leave it at that.
God preserve us from a soul-less priesthood, or we’ll lose it as our Jewish brethren lost theirs.
What does God care more about – the next Bishop appointment or Rachel weeping for her children for they are no more?
They say big Mick Lomasney was very spiritual
The problem with the England & Wales set up is Vincent. Before him was Worlock. Two central figures who went unchallenged. Both Liverpool.