Nobody wants to be a Priest

There is an interesting article in Friday’s Independent about the struggles that the Catholic church is having with the brainwashing recruitment of Priests.

The number of priestly ordinations in Ireland has dipped below England and Wales for the first time in living memory, new figures reveal.

The recruitment crisis is a clear indication of how low the church has sunk in a country that once used to export Catholic missionaries to all corners of the globe and often provided Britain with a significant proportion of its priests.

Gasp! what a total surprise that is, I simply cannot think why this should be. Anybody out there got any idea why this might be happening?

The Irish church’s reputation has been battered in the past five years by numerous sexual abuse scandals and repeated revelations that senior church officials deliberately covered up the crimes of paedophiles priests.

What is shocking today is that the cover-up continues. Late last year the Christian Brothers issued a legal gag order against the Ryan commission and successfully stopped them naming over 200 abusers. Nobody has been prosecuted, instead this cult of complete gobshites has protected them all.

According to The Tablet, which obtained the new figures, there are just 99 men training for priesthood in Irish seminaries compared with 150 in England and Wales.

I can only speculate that there are now 99 Irish villages missing an idiot.

Fr Patrick Rushe, National Coordinator of Diocesan Vocations Directors in Ireland, said that the recent stories of sexual-abuse scandals has had a negative effect on recruiting.

…and apparently there is also a rumor that the Pope is Catholic.

The truly great news here is that the church is dying … the numbers of clergy are in decline ..

Unless Ireland finds a way to begin recruiting young men, the number of priests is expected to fall from 4,700 to just 1,500 by 2028.

The biggest problem the church faces is the lack of new recruits to replace older priests that die or retire. The average age for a priest in Ireland in currently 63 whilst clergymen over the age of 70 currently outnumber those under 40 by ten to one.

The true extent of the crisis was laid bare in 2008 when the Irish church admitted that 160 priests had died that year with only nine new ordinations.

Figures for nuns were even more dramatic, with the deaths of 228 nuns and only two taking final vows for service in religious life.

Similar shortages of priests have occurred across the Atlantic in the United States, where the church has also found itself mired in numerous paedophile scandals. Forty years ago there was one priest for every 772 American Catholics, now it is one per 1,603. In 1970, there were 8,000 students in US seminaries, today it is around 1,300.

But even staunchly Catholic countries like Poland – which underwent a religious revival following the collapse of Communism – are struggling to recruit new clergy members. Earlier this year the Conference of the Polish Episcopate announced that only 687 men enrolled in seminaries, a 30 per cent drop on the figure from 10 years ago.

The number of women joining religious orders has also declined, with only 354 joining last year, a drop of 50 per cent since 2002.

The number of priests in England, Wales and Scotland is currently hovering around the 4,400 mark – the equivalent of one priest for every 1,140 churchgoing Catholic, close to Ireland’s figure of one priest for every 1,200 church goers. In places like Brazil, the priest per capita level is 1:20,000

This is not about the demise of belief, its simply the decline of one mainstream form. Some will come to their senses and completely let go of superstition, but many will quietly move on and replace one older form with a newer more dynamic one such as Pentecostalism or Evangelicalism. Some might view it as a leap forward, but sadly its a step backwards.  The Catholics might indeed have some truly abhorrent, grossly immoral and dangerous ideas regarding the sexuality of individuals and also actively seek to prohibit women from having control over their reproductive processes. Tragically,   some of these newer belief systems that successfully attract those disillusioned with the more traditional are even crazier.

2 thoughts on “Nobody wants to be a Priest”

  1. Colin … seriously!!! … You wrote “I do not see the point of your article going out of your way to attack the institution of the Church itself.” … so doing nothing about 200 abusers except protecting them is OK with you? I attack the institution that protected and facilitated the abusers, and orchestrated the cover-up.

    You write, “Ireland is nothing without Catholicism” … I beg to differ, both the Ryan report and also the Murphy report is documented proof that Ireland is far better off without catholicism.

    You assert that Ireland without catholicism would be a mini America, yet this is simply not true either. Ireland has now, and always has had its own cultural identity. (Incidentally, I am Irish, I was born in Ireland, and have been through the educational system in Ireland, I am all too familiar with what was going on)

    You appear to miss the central point, this is not about a few bad priests, its about a corrupt cult that protected the abusers, turned a blind eye to it all, and still does.

    I stand by my term, “cult of complete gobshites”, its an accurate factual description. While you might feel I’m dishing out opinion and a bit of name calling, I’m not, I’m dealing with irrefutable accurate facts.

    To stand back, say nothing and not criticize is immoral – I refuse to be silent. You appear to believe they will put things right, but apart from saying “sorry” when the public spotlight is turned upon them, nothing has changed. The gagging order imposed by the Christian Brothers suppressing the names of 200 abusers from publication in the Ryan report still stands to this day.

  2. It’s a tad bit late to comment on this article but I just found it and I hope you still get this comment. I am praying for you Mr Gamble. It is my personal opinion that Ireland’s catholic communities will bounce back, they always have. Ireland is nothing without Catholicism. Conversely can the same be said about the Church? The Church could go on without Ireland, but what would Ireland be without a dominant catholic population? It would turn into a mini america (which is where I’m from) and that is a fate worse than death for any country. America is the vanguard for all that is sinful, immoral, unnatural and in many cases downright evil. Yes there was a crisis in the catholic church. No, not a single priest who has laid hands on a child in a deviant manner should have any protection, and should be subject to state/country/federal laws. That said, I do not see the point of your article going out of your way to attack the institution of the Church itself. You make it seem as though the Church trains, or I’m sorry, “brainwashes” it’s seminarians into molesting children. You are entitled to your opinion as is anyone else, but for someone posting an article on a site promoting critical thinking you leave less room for thinking and take on a mantle of abuse. I believe primary school children are taught that name calling and finger pointing doesn’t resolve anything am I right? The Church will fix it’s own problems under a VERY scrutinous light, as it should be, but things will improve. God is with us all. I pray you open your heart someday to the love of Christ our Lord. God Bless you.


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