Vatican blames lack of priests on secularism, abuse, parents

VATICAN CITY — The sexual abuse scandal has tarnished the image of the priest and contributed to a crisis of … Continued

VATICAN CITY — The sexual abuse scandal has tarnished the image of the priest and contributed to a crisis of priestly vocations in the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican said Monday (June 25), while also faulting a widespread “secularized mentality” and parents’ ambition for their children, which leaves “little space to the possibility of a call to a special vocation.”

The “Pastoral Guidelines for Fostering Vocations to Priestly Ministry” were prepared over the last seven years by the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education.

The document says candidates to the priesthood shouldn’t be accepted if they show “signs of being profoundly fragile personalities,” and says future priests should learn the “importance” of their future commitments, “in particular with regard to celibacy.”

The guidelines acknowledge that “in many places the choice of celibacy is questioned” and say that such “erroneous opinions within the church” are responsible for a “lack of appreciation” for those who make the choice to remain celibate.

In fact, Western culture, with its “indifference to the Christian faith,” is “unable to understand the value of vocations to a special consecration.”

Data presented by the congregation’s undersecretary, the Rev. Angelo Vincenzo Zani, show that priestly vocations over the last 10 years fell sharply in Europe. They remained stable in North and South America and rose significantly in Asia and Africa, though still not enough to offset the rapid growth in Catholics’ numbers worldwide.

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  • Rongoklunk

    Excellent. So, rising secularism is recognized by the Vatican. Good. It gets clearer all the time that superstition is on the rocks, god is a failed hypothesis, and an afterlife is just wishful thinking. In poor uneducated countries religion may be growing, but in wealthy educated countries it’s dying a natural death.

    As Neil deGrasse Tyson says – religion came to us from the perimeter of ignorance; whatever our ancestors could not understand – they attributed to a God. But the more we learned about reality, the less room for a God. Now even Stephen Hawking says no God was necessary in figuring out how the universe came into existence. Nonbelief is a growing trend, especially in Europe, Canada, Australia and NZ. Only in poorer, less educated countries is Christianity still an influence. Islam, however, is not going anywhere for a while yet.


    With the current image of the RCC and it’s fixed standards keeped in line by it’s administration, why in the developed world would a young male of good health want to live a life of a celibate with people looking at him with a evil eye? A normal life has so much going for it. Many are call but few are chosen just does not hold water any more.

  • JFT1

    Well, once again the RCC is nothing if not consistent. Blame everyone else for a problem, mistake, or criminal behavior. It’s “society,” or parents…but here is the best part. The Church is blaming the sex abuse scandal and the negative perception it created of priests. Ok. Actually, the really negative perception came from the cover up…and who did the cover up, who moved monsters on to prey on innocent victims at parish after parish — well that would be the Church. Yet the Church says it is the PERCEPTION that is the problem. Actually, it is the REALITY of what the Church did that created the perception.

    None of this matters though. So long as the RCC continues to embrace medieval perceptions of women and sex, the decline into oblivion will continue. The CHurch’s inability to read the signs of the times and adapt so that God’s word can be heard, that Jesus can become a living, loving savior to humanity is problem. The Church places more stock in maintaining the status quo to maintain power, and thereby looses both power in the run and tragically, it’s ability to be the Disciple for Christ. Shame on the hierarchy for letting this happen. They are to blame…no one else.