Wed 22nd Oct 2014 | Last updated: Wed 22nd Oct 2014 at 18:57pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Comment & Blogs

Debate: Should the Church give up on the old-fashioned ‘single-priest’ parish?

Or are parishes more effective with one lone priest fully immersed in the life of his flock?

By on Thursday, 18 October 2012

In years to come priests may live in communities instead of on their own (Photo: Mazur/

In years to come priests may live in communities instead of on their own (Photo: Mazur/

Vienna archdiocese, we report this week, is about to start closing more than three quarters of its parishes. Over the next decade, 660 parishes will be reduced to 150 larger parishes, each served by three to five priests.

Michael Prüller, archdiocesan spokesman, said the Church had to change its “old-fashioned structures” and that the reorganisation offered “a model for Church reforms throughout Europe”.

Mr Prüller suggested that priests were not needed “in every small town and village”. But what about elderly or ill people who are unable to leave the house? A single priest is also, surely, more immersed in the lives of his parishioners than a community of men who are able to look after each other.

On the other hand, it is easy to see that missionary energy might be easier to maintain in a parish with a community of priests rather than one lone priest. The Apostles themselves formed a close brotherhood rather than working in isolation.

So, should dioceses around Europe follow Vienna archdiocese in slashing the number of parishes and grouping priests together? Or are parishes more effective with one lone priest fully immersed in the life of his flock?

  • Peter

    The motive behind all this is a growing shortage of new priests in Europe and the ageing of existing ones.

    But there is no need.  In the developing world young men are queuing to enter seminaries, but many are told to wait because of lack of funds.

    It is a scandal that we have no priests in Europe and yet we are holding back the supply of priests from the developing world due to simple lack of funds.

    The irony is that it costs far far less to train a priest in, say, Africa than in England.

    Although many new priests will remain within their diocese, country or continent, many could also come to Europe to take over parishes.

    All in all, we need to keep up the supply of priests in the developing world by supporting them wherever and whenever we possibly can, either individually or collectively through our parish.

    Organisations which fund the training of priests in the developing world include the Society of St Peter the Apostle, Aid to the Church in Need and, or course, the Missionary Orders.

  • Rachel Arthurs

    I find Peter’s comment astonishing,I didn’t know that!!! We,in our diocese have had priests from african countries but they had to go back after a few years?? If the above charities do train and send priests over here then I will be donating to them!!!

  • Cjkeeffe

    No, there is no real vocation crisis, bishops and superiors do not select candiates who have a wish to be catholic priests.
    Further the west could easily enter into relations with bishops in teh developing world to trian priests and have their servuice for ten – 20 years post ordination or some other agreement. Westminster boast haveing lots of seminarians this year but a large proportion are neo cathecumante.
    Since the council lots of empahiis (spelling??) has been paid to the laity. But as Hans Kung said withoutthe priest their is no Eucharist, and without that their is no church. We shoudl refocuss on vocations to teh priesthood.

  • paulpriest

    Been waiting for this ‘Debate’ – and the answer is a categorical “NO!”

    There have been varying proposals over the decades for ‘superchurches’ – hubs dealing
    with vast regions
    - it’s commensurate with the Futurechurch paradigm
    aimed towards a dissociative, alienating, disenfranchising elitist
    professional laity-centric operations
    - where local communities and the
    pastoral/spiritual/sacramental/communal necessities are leased out to an
    impersonal central network
    - it’s a natural consequence of recent
    clerical training in ‘pastoral ministry’ which is both counter-intuitive
    and contrary to the clerical mission
    - no longer would a priest know
    their parishioners, go out to them, house-visiting, school chaplaincies
    - rather they become a head facilitator/enabler/co-ordinator of
    centralised pastoral provisions where the ‘professional laity’ [usually
    at an exorbitant fee] perform these functions with episcopal and
    presbyteral executive authority.

    This is a despicable paradigm
    - ostensibly appearing to be
    parishioner-directed when it is in reality nothing of the sort
    - it is
    directed towards personal clerical agrandisement, the formation of an
    elitist professional lay team executive
    - and the abandonment of any
    Catholics who are sick, housebound, unable to travel ,all those who wish
    to be daily mass-attendants etc. It should lead to the dismantling of
    all parish affairs [clubs/meetings etc]
    - and ultimately destroy every
    parish as a parish
    - turning them into mere mission churches – something
    attempted by the anglicans in the early 90s and subsequently abandoned
    as detrimental, counter-productive, extrememly costly and , I repeat –
    - IT IS ANTI-CATHOLIC and absolutely contrary to a
    Priest’s pastoral role !

  • paulpriest

     The vocations ‘crisis’ – is part of a well-planned ideological scheme
    for an elitist ‘futurechurch’ for the professional laity and
    professional ‘specialised’ clergy ; wrought in anti-clericalism and
    anti-sacramentality and lay-empowerment
    [i.e. those who are 'devoted'
    enough and interested enough to pay should be afforded all the
    privileges that school and church closures and sales can provide] – they
    want superchurches and foundations/learning centres – the destruction
    of the parish system and all the responsibilities and duties of
    maintaining and shepherding local communities – you know the concept of
    the undeserving poor ? this is extended to the ‘undeserving catholic’
    those who don’t participate other than through mass attendance and
    private devotion and prayer – they aren’t physically participating, they
    merely ‘spiritually’ mantain the faith, and raise their children into a
    Catholic lifestyle – they are surplus to requirement – a drain on

    Ever heard of vocations scrutiny committees ? where the professional
    laity are invited to interrogate potential seminarians and veto any
    unsuitable to their ‘vision of becoming eucharist’? Any idea what these entail? Any idea how much anti-catholicism is involved?What
    does a seminarian think on remarriage for divorcees? contraception ?
    gay marriage? environmental issues? ecological sustainablity and
    population control ? Yoof ishoos? What’s their political persuasion ?
    What do they think of that anachronistic defunct cruel ignorant fool
    ratzinger ?

    Any idea how many young and middle-aged men fall at this first hurdle ?By
    being an Orthodox Catholic they fall foul of the system at the first
    hurdle and are precluded from even testing their vocation !

    …and that’s before we get to seminaries with their inherent
    anti-clericalist argot; the only priests worth their salt are
    ‘specialists’ – those who don’t bother with trivialities like
    shepherding a parish and leading the faithful in their spiritual lives
    through the sacraments and preaching/consoling/advising…and therefore
    what they’re taught is a dissemination of authentic Catholicism –
    scripture is neither historical nor true – the real Christ was nothing
    like that – the early Church neither believed nor practised as the
    Church of today – the Church went awry after Constantine and only began
    to get back on the right tracks after Vatican II…morality involves
    self-determination and empowerment, the evolution of the collective
    conscience in environmental and socio-political arenas…

    So when a man is finally ordained and thrust into a parish – is he
    prepared for it ? has he a spiritual, moral, doctrinal and pastoral
    grounding and training to be a shepherd ? Not at all – so you see the
    cracks rapidly beginning to become ruptures – out go all the parish
    groups like the legion of Mary, the UCM , the SVP – well they’re either
    eliminated or ignored and left to their on devices without any priest
    participation – in come groups where the priest can show off his
    special-nature – bible study, meditation, yoof groups, RCIA etc. Sunday
    masses ? well out go any services after 11a.m. on Sunday, weekday
    masses? well one disappears because the priest must have his day off,
    another disappears because there’s a school mass, another because
    there’s a convent mass, and the saturday morning mass[and the
    confession] goes because well? there’s now a saturday evening mass….

    parish visiting ? well a new lay-ministry can ‘become eucharist’
    [they use all the nuspeak] by distrbuting the sacrament to the
    housebound; the priest might have hospital duty-call one week a month
    and there is a deanery meeting once a month and there’s perhaps a
    diocesan committee meeting once a month – so the priest can find all
    manner of excuses to basically put off visiting their parishioners.

    So what happens? basically the new priest either vanishes from
    the parish for up to three weekdays [travelling to their day off, their
    day off, coming home from their day off] and for the rest of the week
    makes himself available to a few of the ‘professional enthusiastic laity
    who want to be lay ministers’ for a few hours; and the rest of the time
    locks himself away in his ‘castle’ – only coming out on saturday
    evening and sunday morning.

    What does this isolation do ? alienates him from his flock,
    disenfranchises the parish, gives the priest more chance to become
    utterly disillusioned by the very nature of his priesthood – seeing it
    all as irrelevant and futile – and thus he might fall into depression,
    laziness, self-pity and anxiety – and thus be open to all manner of
    temptations or self-indulgences – falling back on food, drink, tv, the
    internet or sexual impropriety….all because the priest was neither
    trained nor educated into how to be a priest – to work to ensure that
    his loneliness was more a spiritual form and less a physical reality –
    lacordaire said a priest should be a member of every family yet
    belonging to none – yet the way the modern priest is trained in
    ‘pastoral ministry’ where they don’t actually reach out or go out to
    their flock – they merely wait for them to come to him [and they never
    do because they don't know him!] and even then they have to deem
    themselves more a ‘sociological expert’ rather than a paternal consoling
    friend. Why do you think ‘confession’ has been the most desecrated and eliminated sacrament over the past generation ?because
    priests are neither educated nor trained in how to understand the human
    condition, how to understand the nature of sin, how to relate to people
    and how to preach the sanctifying redemptive power of Christ [and you
    have to see it's very difficult when a seminary-professor has told them
    there's no such thing as original sin, Jesus probably didn't bodily rise
    from the dead, confession is an invention by the church, and
    confession's only necessary for 'serious' sin - and nobody really sins
    any more - they're just manifestations of faults in their psychological
    development - society or bad-parenting's to blame, not the individual]
    The priest doesn’t really believe in sin and doesn’t believe that
    they’re really forgiven… because even though they might have
    previously believed it – they’ve had years of a seminary indoctrinating
    it out of them….

    the more a priest is non-functioning and isolated ? the more a parish
    collapses ; the more readily he’s acceptable to a notionof a
    superchurch-futurechurch scenario where he can run away from his parish
    duties and become a ‘specialist’ and be adored by professional laity
    fans and students – no longer will he need to spend any time with the
    old folk smelling of wee and the brats in the middle school and the
    nagging old dears who bend his ears about special devotions to our lady
    or how they’re worried their son might be gay or becoming an alcoholic
    after a marital break-up – in one fell swoop all those pastoral duties
    and responsibilities disappear – no need to penny pinch the budgets and
    worry about leaking roofs – instead a nice cosy apartment – good food –
    adoring fans and pastoral duties they want to perform…

  • paulpriest

     The problem is two-fold and both are sourced in priestly formation –
    The priest is simply incapable and ill-equipped to perform the duties
    expected of him – because the whole notion of priesthood has been
    twisted out of all coherent shape…

    The seminary
    system deliberately propagates the ethos of ‘pastoral ministry’ whereby
    the priest is no longer a ‘fatherly shepherd’ but a pseudo social
    worker/counsellor – there is no space in this ideological perspective
    for a priest ‘living among’ his parishioners – No! Rather the Priest has
    to ‘live for’ them – it’s a rather nasty distortion and perversion of
    the notion of priestly sacrifice….the priest is virtually forbidden
    and precluded from ever considering himself belonging in a community.

    said a priest had to be a member of every family but belong to
    none…the progressive liberal ‘marxised’ view of priesthood denies this
    absolute necessity for cordial conviviality from the priest – rather
    than sharing and easing the burdens of the parish, interacting with them
    on every level and loving/understanding/LIVING WITH them – the priest
    is expected to become aloof and non-interactive – to ‘deal’ with clients
    and their difficulties/issues/social problems – almost like the way a
    counsellor/psychiatrist doesn’t socially interact with their clients.
    Like every leader with the burden of responsibility – it must be lonely
    at the top !!

    Secondly comes the intellectual
    perspective and distortion of the priesthood on a personal level – the
    crisis of identity. We’re all aware of the massive ‘intellectual’
    onslaught on the notion of presbyteral ministry – everyone is the same -
    nobody is different – we’re all just as good and capable and talented
    as each other ; and “I have a right to be treated in exactly the same
    way as others; and do exactly what everyone else does”!
    totalitarian and hegelian in outlook – difference is the enemy of
    conformity and must be dialecticised away – a priest is expected to
    spend all his time reciting the mental mantra of ‘equanimity’ – this
    takes two forms of subtle difference :
    a] ‘I’m just the same as everyone else….’
    b] ‘I’m just as good as everyone else’

    Now there are real psychological problems with this:
    a] The seminarian is usually a devout catholic – in this sensibility there are two aspects :
    [i] they are more aware of their sinful character
    [ii] they do not adhere to the sinful ideologies of secularism that the majority revel in.
    gives a massive tension and interior contradiction of the person
    feeling on the one hand much worse and on the other much better than the
    average human being]

    b] the seminarian is not treated
    in the same way as everyone else. Yet again there is the dichotomy of
    the exclusivity of the priesthood ‘having a special unique character’
    and this affords reactions from others – some of respect due to their
    position , others of abject hostility and antagonism because of their
    unusual position and in others either an avidity or a reticence to
    interact because of their role – no matter what way this comes across a
    seminarian is never treated ‘just like everyone else’.

    c] This equanimity mantra is narcissistically charged with the sin of spiritual pride in its two forms :
    presumption – I’m the same as everyone else but I’m not really – I’m
    better, I have superiority and spiritual extraordinary powers that
    others do not – I have authority and greater responsibility – I am so so
    so much better – I give up sex for this, I have to live in virtual
    poverty spending al my time on these people – I am with people when they
    are at their lowest – I comfort the mourning – I hear their secret
    inner lives in the confessional -I speak from the pulpit and people have
    to listen to me – I am superior to these people.
    [ii] Despair – I
    don’t really live a life – I don’t have to work for a living, I don’t
    have the problems/struggles of family life – I don’t have a life partner
    – how can I even be considered a real man as I’m a sexless
    inexperienced hollow shell of a man – I don’t have real responsibilities
    – when I say I’m just as good as these people I know it’s not really
    true – they have to live their lives in the outside world – I don’t.
    When I encounter the bereaved or distressed I am an outsider – a looker
    on – I never really live life – these people do – I’m less than they
    are….I envy them – I want to have what they have – kids to love and
    care for , a partner to hold and share every sexual and social intimacy,
    a job where I have to earn my living -deserve what I get , I want mates
    to eat and drink and share my life with – that’s real living – my life
    is lifeless…

    See how this psychological outlook can
    lead to all manner of problems ? I’ve repeated them in earlier postings
    but when it comes to being a capable , efficacious priest this outlook
    is deadly !
    Another side-effect of it is the way it contaminates
    every other aspect of the priest – but none moreso than within his
    prayer life – they come together in a toxic mix to infect the
    fundamental aspects of everything the priest believes in – his
    Catholicism – and his belief in/relationship with the church and all it

    It can take many forms – it could begin with
    compromises on the moral teachings – nothing wrong with a bit of rubber
    ,why shouldn’t a divorcee remarry if her first husband was a bastard ,
    why should that gay parishioner be deprived of sexual intimacy he’s
    doing nobody any harm ?

    Seminary with its specious
    educational programmes laden with heretical historicist revisionist
    versions of theology, scripture, morality etc is a hothouse for
    germinating the seeds of crisis in faith – and it teaches it all so
    badly in virtual soundbite form that it is very easy to misconstrue the
    relationships between ‘facts’ – and the biggest source of loss of faith
    is not really understanding the article of faith in the first place.
    few of the ordained seminarians from my old seminary got together a few
    years ago – during the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol a lot
    was revealed – not about their private lives of course – but what they
    really believed in [now bear in mind some of these priests are in high
    up catechetical/educational positions in their respective dioceses] –
    most didn’t believe in the assumption or immaculate conception or most
    of the gospel miracles – some of them no longer believed in the virgin
    birth or the ‘real incarnation’ or the existence of the Holy Spirit or
    the Real Presence in the eucharist or the efficacy of the sacraments or
    the Resurrection – and a couple were having severe doubts about the
    ‘actual’ interventional existence of God !!!!

    You think this is an isolated case ?
    maybe the clerics were being a little too dishonestly dismissive of
    their faith for mere shock value and it was more the alcohol talking
    than anything else ?
    Possibly ?
    We can but hope….but we
    must be aware that there are many priests out there with an identity
    crisis – they have no idea who they are, what they believe in , what
    they stand for, and what in the name of all sanity they should be doing
    about it !!!???

  • Denis

    We have all been feed a message that there is a vocations “crisis” Crisis being the media’s favourite word when they want to engender unreasoned panic. In my diocesce we have been told for at least thirty years that there is a looming disaster as the number of priests falls. We now have more priests than twenty years ago. Yet the message from diocescan HQ is the same unrelenting nonsense about the need for planning for the future, which seems to mean prepare for the worst as priests do less and less and lay people somehow fill the gap. There are sufficient priests, but not if they are allowed to take sabbaticals on a whim or are too exhausted to offer the sacrifice of the Mass more than once a week. I know of one priest allowed to practice as a psychologist and work part-time as a priest. What does that say of commitment to the faith?

  • nytor

    We have our own vocations. Many are deterred by our liberal episcopate and seminaries. We should focus on encouraging our own orthodox and in many cases traditionalist vocations rather than denuding other countries of their priests (who will in any case sometimes bring inappropriate foreign customs with them). The bishops should make more use of traditionalist orders and institutes and it is encouraging that Bishop Davies at least has given a parish to the ICKSP. More along these lines is the real way forward.

  • Benedict Carter

    Well, the modern Church has already given up on the single parish with 3-4 priests. Now we will have parishes with no priests. And then no parishes nor priests at all. And then there will be left only …

    The Old Mass and real Catholic priests. 

  • nytor

    Indeed. Whatever the vocations crisis, Europe is not yet Brazil or Africa. This nonsense of Liturgies of the Word and Holy Communion led by the laity is an abuse in Church law except under very specific circumstances, and it is highly disappointing that Schonborn is promoting this model. Mind you, with the rebellion of priests in Austria, maybe what he really doing is preparing for a purge of the dissenters.

  • Benedict Carter

    Exactly right.

    So many good candidates have been excluded by the pinko, homosexual, liberal, progressive mob, who deliberately kill vocations they don’t like.

    May God have mercy on them. I wouldn’t.

  • nytor

    Indeed, and the Neocats are extremely dodgy. People with modernist views like that and who are highly dubious on the liturgy are not the sort that the bishops should be encouraging.

  • Alexander VI

    er, got a life?

  • Benedict Carter

    Protestant views. They have a Lutheran belief on many questions of faith.

  • aearon43

    I suppose there is no real choice in many places, particularly in Europe. I am not intimately familiar with the situation in Austria, but no doubt Cardinal Schoenborn is and I’ll defer to his judgment.

    I would think the direction of Austria could certainly be effective, especially for getting new converts. When someone interested in Catholicism but not Catholic goes into a church that is mostly empty, and where everyone is over 50, they could be forgiven for getting the idea (so much “in the air” today) that the Church is a decaying and outmoded institution. A lively, energetic church would be much more attractive to them, even if they might have to travel a bit to get there.

    I am a little concerned, however, about the fate of all these churches which are to be closed. It was my understanding that they would not be permanently closed, but would have liturgies of the Word, Bible study meetings and catechism classes, concerts, etc. led by laity rather than Masses. The idea of actually selling off hundreds of churches — many no doubt of medieval provenance — is rather depressing. There are a couple of closed churches where I live, and once-lively and rather beautiful churches now padlocked, empty, and overgrown with weeds is a sad sight indeed. And selling them and allowing them to become houses, nightclubs or who knows what would be a disgraceful neglect of their ancestral heritage. So hopefully that can be avoided. 

  • awkwardcustomer

    ‘Vienna archdiocese is about to start closing more than three quarters of its parishes.’

    The fruits of Vatican II.

  • Benedict Carter

    You’ve got it.

  • Benedict Carter

    I’m sure the Moslems will be interested in taking them over. 

    What a total disgrace! 

  • Kevin

    First a fact check: is the Vienna archdiocese run by Catholics?

    Has the Herald print edition not previously run a feature by Anna Arco on the state of the Church in Austria?

    Before there can be a “debate” about the direction of the Church it is important to establish that we are actually members of the same religion.

  • Benedict Carter

    Agreed. One is sorely tempted to think that they have created a new religion.

  • Jeannine

    No!! The Church should not give up on the lone priest parish.

    In order for it to work, the lone parsh priest needs to rely more on his parishoners when it comes to the catechizing, charitable, & administrative duties. Parishoners also have responsibilities to take care the physical & spiritual attributes of their parish.

     If this is correctly accomplished the priest will have more, less pressured time to fully administer the sacraments & improve upon his prayer life. (I always hear about priests not having enough time for private prayer.) That said, that same lone parish priest should not be praying more than 3 masses for a Sunday & 1 mass for a weekday but add more time to visiting parishoners in their homes & more official time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation instead of accepting apointments for it.

  • Jeannine

    Excellent 3 posts!!! Now if we can get the bishops to read these posts of yours & get inspired.

  • Benedict Carter

    A cautionary tale for Peter, who sincerely believes (maybe rightly overall) that priests from Africa and elsewhere can help us faithless Europeans by taking over parishes here. 

    I don’t know Peter if you know Africa personally at all. Well, it’s a big Continent and the nations there vary as much as we do here, so one cannot perhaps generalise too much. Nevertheless, I did live in Kenya for some time and a couple of anecdotal observations for you are as follows:

    i.   I found a young priest at one point for Confession and I was impressed by him. None of your psychobabble or exhortations to save whales or “get involved with justice and peace”. That’s on the positive side. 

    ii.  At the SSPX Chapel I eventually attended, an English friend I made there told me a story about an eminent elderly Kenyan priest who was looking after a parish in Nairobi. He was asked by the Cardinal Archbishop to take up a Professorial position at a major seminary there (this is just 3-4 years ago). 

    His class had twenty-two seminarians. And after some time, he told my friend that not one of them, not a single one, had a real vocation. Every one of them had a wife or lover plus children back home in the village and had applied to the seminary for a roof over their heads, three square meals a day and career advancement. 

    So beware of placing all your hopes Peter on your beloved “third world”. My experience of the Church in Kenya is that most Kenyan Catholics don’t have the first clue about why they are any different to protestants. 

    Par for the course with the modern Church, no?

  • Benedict Carter

    Paul, what you are saying is that the modern Church is a train-wreck.

    I invite all Catholics to re-discover real parish life and real, true Catholic worship by refusing to attend the NO but instead assist only at the Old Mass said by a priest who knows what it is to be a CATHOLIC PRIEST. 

    The NO is the Mass of anti-Church. 

    Please, start waking up!!!!

  • Benedict Carter

    It’s the continued protestantization of the Catholic Church and of the Faith.

  • Charles

    First, restore the priest as a strong and respected  authority rather than as an effeminate social worker. Second, when any closings are done, close the parish church that looks like an office or warehouse not the one that actually is a real church. Third, exorcise the Marxist spirit out of the church and understand that to truly help the poor is to educate them on how to become middle class and not to create a cycle of welfare dependency. Fourth, end the PC takeover of the church by refusing to attend a liberal parish; drive a little further and support a traditional one.

  • Allan

    If the sacraments are to be available at the time there are needed, there must be a priest close-by.  The “missionary energy” of the Catholic Church must be spent saving souls. We save souls by starting in our own house. When Confession is needed, we hear Confessions. When solace is needed, we offer solace. When the Mass is needed, we offer Mass. These things cannot be done through experimental programs. They can only done person-to-person; Souls are won one-by-one, not by committee.

    The priest shortage is caused by a contrived effort by those who actively seek to change the structure of the Church. One must note that the Latin Mass orders have plentiful candidates to the priesthood. For example, the Fraternity of St. Peter must enlarge their seminary if they are to meet the needs of all who apply. Why do these plentiful resources of go untapped by bishops? Because they would rather see the Church fail in its salvific mission rather than be what they do not like.

  • Benedict Carter

    As Paul Priest has said, what we need is holy priests who have been formed not by effeminate homosexual Bishops and seminary directors (viz. “The Rite of Sodomy” by Randy Engel) but who have a traditional formation. St. Pio of Pietrelcina said it as well as anyone:

    “Consider your dignity, O Brothers who are priests, and be holy because Our Lord Jesus Christ is holy, and as the Lord God has honoured you above all through this mystery, even so, do you honour, love and reverence Him above all. It is a great misery and deplorable weakness when you have Him thus present, to care for anything else in the whole world. Let the entire man be seized with fear; let the whole world tremble; let Heaven exult when Christ the son of the living God is on the altar in the hands of the priest. O admirable height, and stupendous condescension! O humble sublimity! O sublime humility! The Lord of the universe… hides Himself under a morsel of bread. Consider, Brothers, the humility of God, and pour out your hearts before Him and be humbled that by Him you may be exalted. Do not therefore keep back anything of yourselves, that He may receive you entirely who gives Himself entirely for you”.

    Excerpt from address to priests, 1962

    When priests are again priests, and not the effeminate social workers churned out since Vatican II, there will be no shortage of vocations.

  • nytor

    With African priests in particular I worry about the standard of theological education they have received and I worry about whether they may manifest elements of the culture – things like liturgical dance and dodgy music and yes, the propensity to dispense with celibacy as not being of their culture.

  • aearon43

    I am quite certain that Cardinal Schoenborn is, by virtue of his office, a Catholic. If you do not recognize the authority of duly consecrated bishops, then YOU are the Protestant.

  • James

    “When priests are again priests, and not the effeminate social workers
    churned out since Vatican II, there will be no shortage of vocations.”
    Sweet sounding words but only half of the story and a fallacy at best. 
    Shortages of vocations can exist even when formation is very devout because the call to the priesthood is not one which will often attract many men.  This depends on the time and place, and the movement of the holy spirit in the particular country. 
    There are few priests being trained at present in UK and if you are suggesting they are all effeminate social workers then you are very misguided.  You are making generalisations, judgements and gross abstractions which are befitting for a so-called Christian. 

    Could it not be the way in which the Vatican II has/is being erronously interpreted and applied rather than the teachings of the council itself which are the real problem here?  Or are you one of those “Catholics” who believes Vatican II to be a load of nonsense and not a “real” church council?, in which case by claiming you are more catholic than the Pope actually turn out to be more Protestant than Luther.  (not to mention very self-deluded and stupid)

  • Benedict Carter

    Hi James!

    ” … are you one of those “Catholics” who believes Vatican II to be a load of nonsense …”


    ” … and not a “real” church council?”


    As to the rest of your post – blah blah. You have nothing to say. Catholic liberals have no arguments, therefore the personal attacks start almost immediately. My skin is more than thick enough!

  • Benedict Carter

    Hilarious. Does your imagination always run over like this?

  • aearon43

    I’m not the one accusing a cardinal of schism. While you have the right to correct your superiors in a humble spirit, you are also required as a Roman Catholic to respect their authority.

  • JabbaPapa

    I’m not the one accusing a cardinal of schism

    Nor is Ben, nor anyone else.

    He was clearly referring to the revolutionaries in the Austrian clergy who are actively seeking to destroy orthodox Church teaching.

    It is legitimate to wonder if this same brand of liberalism is only a thing of the rank and file, or if their superiors are not also involved in it.

  • Benedict Carter

    He’s been incredibly lax with these schismatics and heretical priests. Rome should stand tough and laicise every last one of them. 

  • teigitur

    The Cardinal tolerates all kinds of liturgical abuses in Austria. He is surely at least sub-opimal. This idea in Vienna is madness, pure and simple.

  • teigitur

    No is the answer.When will they( The Hierarchy) ever learn, when will they ever learn??

  • Peter

    How condescending!

  • Hudibras

     ‘- the Church went awry after Constantine and only began to get back on the right tracks after Vatican II…’

    I would agree that the Church went awry after Constantine, but began to get back on the right tracks after the Reformation; when freedom of religion and conscience started to find footing again.

  • aearon43

    The cardinal tolerates a great deal of dissent, but I am not sure that he tolerates liturgical abuses, strictly and precisely speaking. Do you have an example of an instance in which the cardinal tolerated a clear violation of canon law?

  • Benedict Carter

    Why do you say that? In these days of rampant inculturation and Church multiculturalism, Nytor is well within his rights to demand his own culture.

    How condescending of you Peter! 

    (What we need is to get rid of inculturation altogether and this fad for diversity and again have a CATHOLIC culture globally, which is Roman).  

  • aearon43

    It’s legitimate to wonder it, I suppose. Lacking actual evidence, though, I think it’s counterproductive to simply assume that Cardinal Schoenborn isn’t working to rein these forces in. You could, theoretically, assume that it was the cardinals attempts to enforce discipline that caused it in the first place.

  • Peter

    The theological teaching in African seminaries is of the highest and most orthodox standard.

  • Ælfrid the Mercian

    aearon43: “The cardinal tolerates a great deal of dissent, but I am not sure that he tolerates liturgical abuses, strictly and precisely speaking”

    Mr Carter is right about Schornborn while you are not.

    Here are a couple of links. Each one has various articles, written in English by an Italian who is a fluent German speaker. Read and digest.

    And on grave liturgical abuses under Cardinal Schornborn:

    and one with a video (about a third of the way down the page)

  • Parasum

    Clericalism is itself an evil – small wonder if anti-clericalism is the result.

  • Parasum

    And perfectly reasonable.

  • aearon43

    Any proof for that, or just post hoc ergo propter hoc type of sloppy reasoning?

  • aearon43

    I have a sort of nauseous feeling you’d actually like that…

  • Benedict Carter

    I would love the Holy Father and the rest of the Hierarchy to stop forthwith their mad experiments born out of an earlier age of spiritual and philosophical drunkeness and revert to Catholicism, pure and simple. 

    In the event that that will not happen until it is far too late, the scenario I have outlined above of course is the next best thing. 

    Be nauseous all you want. The only question is, am I right? We’ll see, won’t we?