Clericalism and vocation


#1

Sometimes I am afraid of subjecting myself to ecclesiastical hierarchy, which is one of my hesitations towards my discernment of priestly vocation. I shall bring this to my spiritual director in my next meeting, but I would also like to listen to your opinion.

I come from a non-religious and slightly-anti-Catholic family. My parents always consider priests and nuns to be insane and hypocritical pedophiles, rapists, whatever you call them. Obviously my mother in particular regards priesthood as the abandonment of family duties and betrayal. And it is against human nature not to marry or have sex.

This attitude percolated into my mind implicitly. I am now 22, and when I was granted religious freedom to become a Catholic at the age of twelve, I would consciously avoid any conversation with the religious. I still remember back then an Italian secular priest sitting next to me after a daily Mass asking me how I learnt to kneel before the Eucharist, and my instinctive reaction was staying away from him. A pious Catholic lady brought along a seminarian to my parish and they wanted to sit with me, but I declined and instead sat alone.

Thus, while pondering on the possibility of becoming a priest or religious, I would inevitable think if it were really too foolish to give up my secular career to ‘subjugate’ myself under ‘evil church leaders’ - what if one day I really become a priest and yet my totalitarian superiors are plagued by clericalism? What if there is a lot of hidden ‘dark sides’ and politics within the church organisation? Not that there is no such thing in the secular world, but at least I can switch my job or my pains would be reimbursed by my salary, whereas in the church I have nothing.

What if I become a bad priest who fails to deliver the joy of Gospel? I always pray frankly to Jesus that if I would become a priest who brings scandal to the Church, better kill me now or at least withdraw his calling - our Church needs more saints but not sinners; our Church has had enough sexual abuses and politics and cannot afford to have more.


#2

While I admire your obedience to your parents, you’re an adult now, and if you’re not living under their roof, then socialize with priests and seminarians. Sisters, too. This is your calling, not your parents’. They may or may not get over it.

A simple line of “This is what I’ve determined that my Higher Power, whom I call God, has called me to,” may be sufficient. I said something similar to this to my future in-laws when announcing our engagement. My FIL was an atheist who followed the 10 Commandments; my MIL a non-externally-practicing Lutheran. My FIL, I believe, converted on his deathbed. While I prayed for him, I felt the Lord’s presence behind me. My FIL got the look on his face of “Oh, so you do exist.”

Pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet. Mentally go through your parents’ arguments, and put them to rest in your mind. If you can, find a priest with a great sense of humor and have him meet your parents while wearing civvies.

Have your Angel Guardian reach an understanding with their Angel Guardians about bad-mouthing other people. If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all. Or pray rather than spout.

I converted at 16, and I understand something of what you’re going through. Had the sex abuse scandal hit before I converted, I know my parents would have been worse off than what they were when I did convert. Mom advised me never to let my sons be altar servers. I somewhat regret following her instructions on that. He needed the interaction and the altar experience.

It’s a sin to condemn a group of people in a blanket fashion. Remind them that they are offending you by being like that, and you’d prefer that they not pre-judge. It’s insanity to say that all priests are pedos, when, in fact, they are not.

Hope this helps.


#3

What is the purpose of this thread?


#4

reassurance and experienced replies. Why do you ask please; that is more to the point. :confused:


#5

The O. post reads like a journal entry, that’s why I asked. The OP asked for opinions, opinions about what I don’t know. His mental state, his parents, clericalism, obedience to authority, an inclination toward a particularly scandalous sin?..more opinions can be given if there is more focus.

Ya know what, on second thought, forget it. Maybe he’ll do better without too many CAF opinions. Case in point - post # 5.


#6

What is the purpose of this post?


#7

Even though I forgot to quote post #4, it is a response to post # 4. Dare I ask what is the purpose of your post.


#8

Even though I forgot to quote post #4, it is a response to post #4.


#9

Even still, what is the purpose? You seem to have nothing to contribute.


#10

Whatever politics you would have to endure as a priest, you would still be delivering the Eucharist to people and performing many other valuable spiritual services to them. If you love God and want to serve His people, it seems like a great choice. If I could do it all over again, I might want to become a priest.


#11

If a lot of these feelings potentially came from what you heard growing up… it is understandable, but maybe it could help to just get to know really holy good priests? sure there are priests would there who are not so holy, but that shouldn’t shock us, and it doesn’t mean that most priests are like that.

Maybe it could help to see the Church not as an organization, but as Christ’s visible presence on earth, because it is His Body… the priests and the Bishops and of course the Pope are representatives of Christ in different ways. the Priest is the representative of Christ in a parish, and the Pope is His Vicar on earth. Any personal sins they have do not diminish the holiness of their state and vocation. So we can trust God working in His Church and be obedient to it :slight_smile: and if we encounter any bad religious or priests along the way, we just pray for them.

As for the fear of being a bad priest… if you really want to be a good priest and pray for that, trust God that He would help you to be a good priest. We shouldn’t let any fears keep us away from seeking or following God’s Will for us. At this point maybe you don’t know God’s will for you, but try to seek it without fear - that would just paralyze you and make it harder. It could help to get to know holy priests and see how normal and charitable they are…

hope that helps! God bless you


#12

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.