Church must not create selfish 'little monster' priests, pope says

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis has said men studying for the Roman Catholic priesthood should be properly trained or the Church could risk “creating little monsters” more concerned with their careers than serving people.

news.yahoo.com/leave-comfort-zone-serve-poor-pope-tells-priests-155328485.html

I suppose that can happen. There is much less prestige in becoming a priest now that there was even twenty-five years ago though.
It doesn’t seem like a very good career choice for those looking to become fabulously wealthy

My own experience with parish priests over the years, limited as that may be, was not that any of them were little monsters. The one that was absolutely the best at giving sermons though, and wrote inspiring books, reportedly was a bit of an egoist anda tyrant, and the other priests and workers in his house talked about him behind his back

It is kind of funny that way on these forums too. Very often the ones that talk the best and most interesting theology are the ones who are the biggest jerks.

:shrug: :rolleyes: :thumbsup:

How do you know ?

It is kind of funny that way on these forums too. Very often the ones that talk the best and most interesting theology are the ones who are the biggest jerks.

Saying that is lack of charity.

A lot of times those people who are very good speakers and dynamic, etc are type A personalities. This makes them come off as jerks and as kind of “full of themselves” but in reality they are very good people. They just kind of like to be in control and only see things as a big, dynamic picture. They also tend to be demanding and have little patience. Priests all have their strengths and weaknesses and so do we so I do not think it is nice to sit there and call them jerks.

Well, I listened to his sermons and they were wonderful.
And I met his successor in the park and he talked about him behind his back to me.
I am not sure if this is what you are asking me though.

Saying that is lack of charity.

I didn’t mean it to be uncharitable. The pope was talking about monster priests, and I was just trying to relate what he might be talking about back to my own experience.
I wasn’t talking about anyone in particular.
But let’s face it. Over the past decade I have been doing this, the religious people on these forums can be really quite mean and nasty too each other- real little monsters in the words of the pope- and it is not a lack of knowledge or often even amazing spiritual insights that make them/us? that way.

My limited experience of priests is that they constantly work so hard battling selfish monsters with loving kindness, fortitude and forgiveness. There have been many times when I have been appalled and saddened at the abuse suffered by parish priests by members of the laity. Some seem to forget that a priest is a human being and does significantly more than celebrate mass, is not blessed with the talent of mind reading, omnipotence or the ability to be in more than once place a the same time and that he has a large flock and not a flock of one or two sheep.

I’m not suggesting that priests are perfect, just that it would be nice for Pope Francis to call the laity to support the parish priest more, and obviously support the Church by reporting concerns in accordance with the Diocesan and Vatican guidance.

I’m going to go on a limb here, but I think this “little monster” thing concerning regarding prestige very much applies in countries with different cultures than Canada, the USA & Western Europe. For example: South America, Africa, etc. Also, one can apply it to the sex abuse scandals.

Also, I disagree that the priesthood has less prestige now then it did years ago. The priesthood is growing again and young men are excited to be called to the vocation. Where I live there are currently 12 men enrolled in the seminary with 8 being considered and they ordained 6 this year. That is ALOT for a small diocese in North Dakota. The men who are coming out of the seminary that belong to our diocese are extremely intelligent and dynamic. The Church is on fire here and it’s because of these new, young priests who are showing young people that Christ and the Catholic Church is IT. So I wouldn’t say that the priesthood no longer has “prestige”.

:thumbsup::thumbsup:

It would be nice for Pope Francis to call the laity to support the parish priest more.

And why didn’t he say that? Up till today, I haven’t heard any encouragement to priests from the Pope. If I missed it, could anyone help with the quote ?

But the Church being on fire and people excited about the faith is not the same thing as prestige for a priest. A priest from a little diocese in North Dakota has little chance of advancing his career up the hierarchy and his impact is obviously limited by the numbers of people he serves (also they are very busy traversing the wide distances). (Unless they are in one of the cities). He is not going to become famous or “powerful” beyond perhaps serving the biggest parish in the diocese or serving the bishop, or working in the seminary. Then he still has to deal with the opinions of secular people, which if you read any comments section of the news article dealing with the Church.

Pray for your priests always and offer Holy Hours of Adoration for their poor souls.

Glenda

I agree. I also wonder if Pope Francis’s “little monster” reference to some bad priests is heavily biased by his experience in South America (and maybe Italy). As a mostly Catholic culture, perhaps priests there get more prestige and are more prone to letting it go to their head.

There is nothing ‘little’ about the monstrosity that the sex abuse priest and bishops unleashed on the Church.
The pope does have a job to do smash that morbid culture, if indeed that is what the priestly culture has become.

If his message is blunt and uncharitable on the outside, it sounds like he is making a declaration of war on something within the ecclesiastical structures of the Church.

There have been many human monsters through history (we can all name many). I would not attach the word “monster” to Priests in any way. Even within the context of the abuse crisis, there were something like 2-4% of the Priests who were guilty, which means 96-98% were NOT guilty.

Instead, I would applaud and encourage and pray for all Priests, while at the same time admitting that formation can be improved. I would NOT use the word monster in association with Priests…they bring us Christ in the Eucharist, they bring us forgiveness in confession, they bring us baptism, and confirmation, and marriage, and the anointing of the sick–they bring use daily Mass, and Sunday Mass, they bring us the saints and Mary our Mother, they bring us the Bible, the Catechism, schools, and all the fantastic teachings of the fullness of Christ. They bring us the Grace of Christ; they bring us the love of Christ. They help the poor and the sick.

They do all that, and so much more, for the love of souls and for the love of Christ and His Mother. They do that with little earthly reward, and they are often overworked and stretched thin, and attacked for doing their God given ministry. They do that with little or not thanks–they do all that as an act of love.

Without Priests there would be no Catholic Church.

I applaud and encourage and pray for all Priests.

Priests bring us Christ in the Eucharist, they bring us forgiveness in confession, they bring us baptism, and confirmation, and marriage, and the anointing of the sick–they bring us daily Mass, and Sunday Mass, they bring us the saints and Mary our Mother, they bring us the Bible, the Catechism, schools, and all the fantastic teachings of the fullness of Christ. They bring us the Grace of Christ; they bring us the love of Christ. They help the poor and the sick. They do all that, and so much more, for the love of souls and for the love of Christ and His Mother. They do that with little earthly reward, and they are often overworked and stretched thin, and attacked for doing their God given ministry.

Without Priests there would be no Catholic Church. May the Lord bless all His Priests and help them perform their calling in true love and charity.

I am a little surprised to about the pope’s choice of words, and it didn’t seem that he was using it in the context of the sex abuse scandal either. Even when I toned his own word back to ‘jerk’, some people found that even to be uncharitable.

I think that your statistics are fairly accurate. The incidence of actual pedophiles in the priesthood was exactly the same as the population at large. Most incidence were more accurately described as hebephilia, as it was mainly teenaged boys involved. One of the main problems with the Churches policy, aside from crass covering up, is that it was based on bad social science which thought these kind of sexual dysfunctions were treatable, and that it would be best for all involved to keep everything hidden.
Those policies and ideas have long since been cleared up and recognized as being horrible. This is a problem that has largely been taken care of in the Church now, and it had been before St Francis entered into the papacy.
There is something horrific though, if not outright monstrous of administering the Eucharist to the choir boys WHILE engaging in sex with them. This verges on demonic sacrilege to my way of understanding at least.

“Little monsters” does seem to be over the top as a way to describe household tyrants and egoistic priests, and for certain it is probably not a good way for the laity to begin to describe any priests in the office, but if nothing else it does show that this pope is dead serious about shaking things up big time in the ecclesiastical offices of the Church.

Bravo, Holy Father! :smiley:

Unfortunately, this is a significant problem in more than one parish I’ve been to. It becomes about who can build the biggest bell tower or adoration chapel, who can collect more $$ (or, to be precise, Rs.) for Mission Sunday, who has the fanciest generators (electricity is expensive) or the loudest loudspeakers (to compete with the nearby Hindu temple or Muslim call to prayer); some of these “pastors” couldn’t care less if you were contracepting, having abortions, marrying outside the Church, or getting up to all kinds of other tricks, as long as you can help advance their careers and ambitions. :frowning:

Fortunately, such men are not yet the rule. But the fact that they exist is a wake-up call, and I think the Pope is doing well to fire a warning shot in their direction. :wink:

I agree. Relatively speaking, in many countries where the church is growing priests are well off and given great respect. In fact I spoke to one missionary who said they had to be very careful with vocations because young men saw becoming a priest as a way to get an education and then lead a relatively comfortable life.

If the problem is that a successful third world church is attracting people to see the priesthood as a good career path, is there really anything that could be done on a papal level to counter this?

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