Feeling betrayed by the clergy


I think the people prior to Vatican II could make the reverse case. In other words–all they heard about was the justice of God and Hell. One of my former bosses had a saying “The only difference between clergy and ministers was in how loud they yelled.” The point he was making was that clergy of all sects emphasized fearing God and Hell.

The generation raised under this–is now elderly. These are the people who are in Confession every week and tend to be extremely scrupulous. They think non sins are sins and they think every sin is a Mortal Sin.

So one could argue that just as much damage was done when the Church emphasized justice over mercy and sin over Grace.

I think what we are living in now is a time of reaction. In reaction to preaching a Gospel of fear and Hell the Church has gone totally in the opposite direction where nothing is a sin and Confession isn’t necessary. Look at Pope Francis–according to him, failing to recycle is a mortal sin. Such would appeal to a younger generation that think the greatest sins are those against the environment. I don’t mean to suggest that we have no duty to care for the environment or recycle–I am suggesting that I find it hard to believe failing to recycle is a mortal sin. The point is that the Church is reactionary. Prior to Vatican II, the Church was at one extreme, now the Church has gone to the other. We need to find a balance between preaching God’s justice and God’s mercy. That is not always easy.

I will say though that I, like you and frustrated with the poor catechesis and lack of substantive teaching and preaching the past 40 years.

I have always believed that what the Church needs the most are priests who are lions on the pulpit but lambs in the confessional. We need priests who unapologetically teach and defend the Faith–while at the same time are approachable and pastoral with their flocks.


Talking about becoming priest, my young colleague (staff) just told me on Monday after a long period of discernment has decided to join the seminary. He will need to process his resignation from his presnt job. He is one of the active young people I know and I was not surprised that he finally decided to become a priest. He will make a good priest. At least from the superficial disposition, like he has a cut for the vocation.

God bless.




Yes you right. Instruction on applying God’s justice.can be difficult
but Is easy.

When you apply the
Instruction training of
John Paul Jackson. In 27 minutes applying gods justice. Can Chang your life

The keys to receiving God’s justice. Releasing burdens


Definitely @simonjosiah1 it is important to forgive those that you feel have failed you or disappointed you. For all we know, Jesus has allowed this in your life to perfect you in Holiness. It has been said that people in our lives serve as our camel hair shirt.


This has been said by many, but please pray for the clergy. Then forgive them. “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us…” I know it’s not easy, but you’ll feel so much better when you do.

Take your Catholic education and your spiritual growth into your own hands. There are so many resources, you don’t need to depend on the priest alone for this.

I didn’t have your experience, nor many of the other experiences mentioned on CAF regarding priests. Reading posts like this makes me think I should be thanking my priests more than I already do.



I believe it also depends on your perspective.

My sister claims that all she heard from the pulpit when growing up was about sin and hell. That’s not what I remember at all. She was also quite disobedient and involved with boys to a dangerous level whereas I went along with what my mother said and didn’t really hang out with anyone. I think that this may have made her more sensitive to any mention of sin whereas I may have been less so.

The same goes for today - if we expect to hear about certain topics and do not, we are disappointed. Instead of focusing on the negative, take whatever you can that is offered in the homily and try to apply it to your life.

Not all priests are especially gifted in all aspects of their priesthood. Many have been burned too many times by negative comments about things they’ve said in their homilies. I think it’s high time we take the time to compliment them more often for what they do right instead of tearing them down for what they do wrong. A simple card of thanks costs little in money and time but could make a world of difference.


I also felt similar.
I wish that they can pay more attention because when you are alone you can do mistakes for example in recieving Communion.
Also need help for other stuff,sometimes I forget they are for help/confide/compassion/navigate but feel them as some untouchable rock stars,but i guess i am wrong


To the OP, I agree, people who are charged with the responsibility of the moral upbringing of young people bear a heavy burden – I think Our Lord said something about that? :thinking:Millstone around the neck if they cause young people to sin?
We live in such a permissive time. Love is more than hugs and smiling and affirmations, isn’t it? I am so sorry that you didn’t receive proper moral guidance, especially from a priest. It sounds like you have done some things that you really regret. :cry:


I’m totally agreed. We are living in an increasingly sinful age, with sexual immorality, drugs, anti-Christian violence, moral relativity, and political ideologies that push sloth and thievery as virtues, yet the Catholic Church is not acting as the strong voice of moral authority it should be. Sitting in many churches, one might never realize there’s such a thing as sin at all, listening to their parish priest. I do blame Vatican II, not that it was in some way in error, but that many reform-minded individuals in the Church used Vatican II as an excuse to push a lot of rather wishy-washy stuff as @simonjosiah1 called it. Unfortunately Pope Francis seems far more concerned with predicting the weather (a matter on which he has no authority or training) than saving the souls of his Church, so I don’t expect change to happen from the top down.

The one glimmer of hope I have, for my own generation and those to follow, is that it seems younger priests are returning the Church to an older style, willing to provide the sort of moral certainty that is so lacking in every other aspect of western life. Many of these same young priests are also (at least in my experience) also rather charismatic and very capable of talking about God’s love. I do believe it’s quite possible to provide an answer to the moral ambiguity Catholics encounter outside of the parish, and do so in a compassionate and compelling way. Some of these younger priests are delivering. Sadly there’s just not that many of them, I think a consequence of the same poor catechism OP and myself received. I do think it takes a certain amount of moral certainty preached at the pulpit to inspire young Catholics to choose the priesthood.


I think this is good advice.

The clergy cannot do it all themselves. They need us to help them.

It is easy for us to have unrealistically high expectations of our clergy. We want them to be eminent theologians, deft pastors, skilled orators, able administrators, charismatic evangelists, and courageous leaders all rolled into one. Certainly, that would be awesome if every priest were like that! But that’s not a realistic expectation. We all have our gifts and talents. No one person has every gift.

So if we recognize that our priest may be a bit weak in one area, help him. Don’t drop him negative letters complaining about what he’s not doing. Don’t grumble and complain about him behind his back. Offer to help. If you think that good catechesis is in short supply, volunteer to be a catechist.

And, of course, pray for your priest and all priests. Whether we agree with their choice of topics and delivery of their homilies, they have literally given their life for Christ and the Church. They have forgone marriage and children. They have forgone their freedom to up and move whenever they feel like it. They have forgone much free time and privacy. And they do it all for the love of God and the love of the souls under their care. Let’s not be quick to presume they do not care.

Certainly, no priest is perfect. If we go looking for their faults, we can easily find some. But it’s for more fruitful if we try to build them up and help them as we can.


I’m not expecting too much from them or to be great theologians, but to remind the congregation of the importance of the rosary, perhaps with some quotes from saints. Or to remind the congregation to go to confession and dying in mortal sin will send you to hell - to remind people of basic catholic theology, but they don’t


Nobody was stopping you from reading the Bible and the Catechism. And your memory is not perfect. Maybe, the priests did say all the things you’re saying they didn’t. Whenever I’ve taught people things, they only retain a percentage. Every time confession comes up, the priests tell us and there is a line in the parish bulletin.
Just live from today.


The primary teachers of the faith to young people SHOULD be their parents. That is the promise that is made by adults when they marry and have children Baptised. Sadly, many do not take this requirement seriously.

If parents do not put any importance on learning or practicing their faith, what makes anyone think that the clergy is going to be able to do it.

The Church is just as much it’s members as it is it’s clergy.


but parents should also be guided by their priests.


Yes, that is true.
But a priest can only do so much. He is responsible for many souls, parents, only the ones they bring into the world.

Have you always been Catholic or are you a convert? If you were born Catholic, did your parents make sure that you were taught the faith? If not, are you just as disappointed with them? If not, why not?


i am disappointed by them, but they grew up after vatican II,but thats another matter.
But I am also disappointed in priests for not preaching the truth, which is what this post is about. Also the post is about priests behaviour I have experienced, if you read the top, I went to world youth day with a priest and he was talking about the women he fancied - not appropriate.


I grew up after VII. My parents and grandparents grew up before the council. I know more about Catholicism than any of them.

As far as the priest admiring an actress, there is nothing wrong with that. He is human after all.


These went out in the 50’s/60’s. I had an Irish priest who told like it was and didn’t mince words, he was still loved for it. To find the same today only the FSSP are like it. Elsewhere the emphasis is on policies that do not pose a discomfort to the faithful, with the results we see today.


Many are victims of the liberals of the ‘spirit’ of Vatican II. It is still around but fading. You see it whenever one places more importance on leftist political ideology than on the teachings of Jesus. Prayer as stated above is essential but also good advice from Fr. Z here…

Your parish priest and YOU.


It may be that your pastor has gotten lost. He may need encouragement and correction from lay people to guide him into his proper place and role.

You may need to care for the soul of the priest who has the care of your soul.

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