Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Birth control and the priest shortage

At Mass today the priest preached about and prayed about the lack of vocations to the priesthood. He noted that he had suggested the priesthood to many likely young candidates, but they always said no. He reported that one of the main reasons they said they would not pursue the priesthood was because they were the only sons - sometimes the only children - in their families, and they felt an obligation to carry on the family line and have grandchildren.

He went on to another major reason they give - the loneliness, which he dispelled - but I was thinking about the first reason he gave.

So many Catholic families have just one or two children, just like the rest of the culture. There might be medical reasons, certainly. but I suspect the main reasons are delaying marriage and delaying having children, and using birth control. In this they would be like the rest of society in having smaller families.

In earlier times when families were larger and had several sons, it was easier for one to heed the call to the priesthood. But no more.

There are other negative consequences of birth control - increased sickness in women (including cancer), less respect for women, the undermining of marriage, and fewer workers and producers and consumers.

But for the Catholic Church, it is one of the factors that has led to fewer priests.

Pax et bonum


Do Not Be Anxious said...

You neglected improper teaching. In my parish (Christ The King, Ann Arbor, MI) of only 800 families there is 24/7 adoration, buses of kids going to Steubenville teen conferences, a Sunday-night teen mass that is very well attended with teens only, charismatic prayer each Friday night, and huge support for home schooling and tuition subsidies for Catholic school education. Oh, and a "starter family" is considered 5 children. We have many families with 10 or more. (One of 13 has 7 priests and nuns among the children). And we ordained 5 men to the priesthood this year.

If you want to bake a cake, you need all the ingredients.

A Secular Franciscan said...

I did not "neglect" it.

I was talking about what the priest said - and he did not mention improper teaching. The major reason he mentioned was the small families, and it was that that I was addressing.

Pat, Marcus & Alexis said...

"He went on to another major reason they give - the loneliness, which he dispelled - but I was thinking about the first reason he gave."

Well, in terms of loneliness, as an only child, even with a loving spouse, when your folks get up there in age, and its all on you, that's pretty darned lonely.

How often I wished I had a brother or sister when my mother, my then surviving parent, was dying.

Pat, Marcus & Alexis said...

I posted on a vaguely related item awhile back:


Interesting to note how we seek to defeat nature, and in defeating it, we can make ourselves sick.