There have been shortages of priests everywhere both before and after "the scandal" and there many reasons for it.
ps: Diocesan priests do not take a vow of chastity but rather make a promise of celibacy to their ordinary (i.e., their Bishop or Archbishop).
The Boston seminaries have some really weird dynamics going on that result in good people leaving the seminary. From what I've heard from friends who have been seminarians in the Boston archdiocese (where I'm originally from) it seems like they are looking more for a certain personality type than for holiness and that if you don't fit that personality type, your life will be hell and you will most likely either get pushed out or will leave in order to preserve your sanity. Other diocese with bishops who are defending Catholic orthodoxy have seminaries that are overflowing, so I am doubtful that the vow of celibacy is what is hindering good men from becoming priests.
Which seminaries are those, exactly?
I was under the impression Cardinal O'Malley defends orthodoxy?
that is the correct impression under which to be :)
Instead of wondering where the blame should go, I think it's better to pray for vocations all over, not just in Boston.
The problem is that people disagree on where the blame should go. Some conservatives say that the answer is to ban all men with homosexual tendencies from the priesthood altogether. Other people say that getting rid of clerical celibacy is the nswers.
Right, which is why trying to ascribe blame is a losing proposition.
you got that right. wise words.
The Seminaries in Boston are corrupt, they were before everything came out, and they will be after. You'll notice that while I believe both in Boston and the secular priesthood, I'm not running over to St. John's, I'm running to the House of Studies.
(this rage is not directed at you, but:) Nothing makes me angrier than people who conflate the shortages of priests/church closings with the sex-abuse crisis. We have had a crisis in the number of priests for decades. On the news this morning there was a commentator (who I usually like very much) who responded to this story with "they are closing a church in my neighborhood and I will never put another dollar in the basket because of that" WHAT??? That has nothing to do with this.
There are shortages of priests everywhere, as another person wrote. My suspicion is that the general trend in seminaries across the country is to discern impediments and not vocations. We have gotten so hung up on why certain people can't be priests that we are not nurturing the genuine desire to serve and live a life for others that is behind the call to priesthood.
I've talked with priests about this. I live in and worship in the Diocese of Paterson and our numbers for the seminary have tripled in the last few years, which means we went from 3 to 9 actually I think we have 12 currently studying.
People no longer discuss vocations as an option for a "career". I mentioned that my friend was asking her 4 year old son if he wanted to be a priest like the one from their parish, and my mom said is she nuts, and I shot back the answer my friend gave "he should know that it's an option."
So many people are looking for grandchildren and only having 1 or 2 children, so their priority will be carrying on the family name. It drives me crazy that people blame the "sex scandal" for a lack of vocations, there was a lack before it.
A lack of vocations stems from not fostering them, and expecting a certain personality to be a priest.
i too hate when people argue that there are fewer vocations because of the pedophilia scandals. pedophilia happens at the same rate in the general population as it does in priests....after all, they are human too. that's not to minimize how hard it must be to be abused by one's priest, but the way the media has gone after the Church for the failings of a handful of priests is just more anti-catholic rhetoric really. they can't get their heads around the idea of why celibacy is important, so they blame the concept for creating a sexual disease.
ok now that i've ranted....real reason for posting: priests need our prayers too :)
A PRAYER FOR PRIESTS
John Cardinal O'Connor
Lord Jesus, we your people pray to You for our priests. You have given them to us for OUR needs. We pray for them in THEIR needs.
We know that You have made them priests in the likeness of your own priesthood. You have consecrated them, set them aside, annointed them, filled them with the Holy Spirit, appointed them to teach, to preach, to minister, to console, to forgive, and to feed us with Your Body and Blood.
Yet we know, too, that they are one with us and share our human weaknesses. We know too that they are tempted to sin and discouragement as are we, needing to be ministered to, as do we, to be consoled and forgiven, as do we. Indeed, we thank You for choosing them from among us, so that they understand us as we understand them, suffer with us and rejoice with us, worry with us and trust with us, share our beings, our lives, our faith.
We ask that You give them this day the gift You gave Your chosen ones on the way to Emmaus: Your presence in their hearts, Your holiness in their souls, Your joy in their spirits. And let them see You face to face in the breaking of the Eucharistic bread.
We pray to You, O Lord, through Mary the mother of all priests, for Your priests and for ours. Amen.
As far as I know, most mainstream denominations are facing clergy shortages all over America- and I think pretty much everywhere but Africa. If you want to meet some folks trying to bridge the gap, come visit us at textstudy
There is a very informative book on the "priest shortage" that might offer some insight. I highly recommend Goodbye, Good Men by Michael S. Rose.