Yes I actually know of the book you recommend and the reasons stated pertaining to vocations directors and the liberals in seminaries.
However that explains the western problem. How do explain the African, Asian and Eastern problem of vocations where doctrinal orthodoxy is more prevalent? Especially in Africa marriage is a huge thing.
I agree with you on this one. I live in Germany. There is ONE parish here, about half an hour’s drive from where I live, which advertises confession 1/2 hour a week on Monday evening. Confession appears to have been almost phased out, and replaced by penitential services during Lent. This is a great trial for me.
Standard around here is 1h on a Saturday afternoon. There’s 3 parishes within about 15min from me and they all have confession within about an hour of each other. Unfortunately, for people who aren’t free between 3 and 5:30pm on a saturday afternoon it doesn’t work so well.
I’m from South Africa, Catholicism in Africa is beyond the period of being mission territory. It’s generational now. Deeply entrenched with local priest and bishops mostly running the church here. We even have our own cardinals.
It’s not mission territory anymore. Maybe in one or two places here and there but most of it is simply catholic dioceses like anywhere else.
So no, the vocations problem in Africa but also most of Asia is not explained by the book you mentioned. In Africa the big thing with the priesthood is marriage.
No, you misunderstood what I mean by mission territory.
For example: in the United States, the entire nation is covered with Dioceses, everyone having a bishop and diocese. However, there are still “mission Dioceses”
Below is a link to Catholic Extension which helps the mission dioceses of the United States.
Mission dioceses are identified as isolated and/or financially under-resourced dioceses. So while they have infrastructure and legally the same as other dioceses, they differ because of geography and resources (human, structural, and financial)
Human resources = priests, deacons and lay missionaries / staff / volunteers
Financial resources = $
Structural resources = seminaries, Catholic colleges, Catholic schools, etc. For example, how many seminaries exist in Africa? Looks like only 6 African nations are home to most (if not all) of the African seminaries. The United States alone has 189 seminaries, while Africa has only 33 major seminaries (according to Wikipedia).
So what’s a bigger issue with Africa? Celibacy or the lack of local seminaries? From what I understand, many Africans who are interested in the priesthood, from poor areas either (1) cannot afford to go to another nation to study in the seminary or (2) don’t want to be so far from home for 5-7 years. The United States has 189 seminaries (and used to have more) because we realized that there is a major advantage to training priests close to home (at least for some of their preparation).
The biggest issue in Africa is hard to quantify. But a significant one is marriage which steals vocations away.
Many priests have started rogue and schismatic organisations so they can “allow” themselves to marry. Others do not persue their priestly vocation further because of the cultural demands of many African cultures for a man to be married.
In fact Pope Benedict XVI spoke to the African Synod of bishops held in Rome about this very problem. It’s a major issue.
I think there are Mega Churches out there that specialize in “hell” every Sunday, but, thank goodness, the Church has progressed to teach how to live by the Gospels and Corporal Works of Mercy instead of old scary rhetoric.
One day, I saw two roads. One was broad, covered with sand and flowers, full of joy, music and all sorts of pleasures. People walked along it, dancing and enjoying themselves. They reached the end without realizing it. And at the end of the road there was a horrible precipice; that is, the abyss of hell. The souls fell blindly into it; as they walked, so they fell. And their number was so great that it was impossible to count them. And I saw the other road, or rather, a path, for it was narrow and strewn with thorns and rocks; and the people who walked along it had tears in their eyes, and all kinds of suffering befell them. Some fell down upon the rocks, but stood up immediately and went on. At the end of the road there was a magnificent garden filled with all sorts of happiness, and all these souls entered there. At the very first instant they forgot all their sufferings.
~ St. Faustina; excerpt 153 from The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska ~
Woe to you who command others! If so many are damned by your fault, what will happen to you? If few out of those who are first in the Church of God are saved, what will happen to you? Take all states, both sexes, every condition: husbands, wives, widows, young women, young men, soldiers, merchants, craftsmen, rich and poor, noble and plebian. What are we to say about all these people who are living so badly? The following narrative from Saint Vincent Ferrer will show you what you may think about it. He relates that an archdeacon in Lyons gave up his charge and retreated into a desert place to do penance, and that he died the same day and hour as Saint Bernard. After his death, he appeared to his bishop and said to him, “Know, Monsignor, that at the very hour I passed away, thirty-three thousand people also died. Out of this number, Bernard and myself went up to heaven without delay, three went to purgatory, and all the others fell into Hell.”
~ St. Leonard of Port Maurice ~
A fear of Hell pushes us to not want to offend God. That then pushes us to seek Heaven, and then opens up a desire to love God because to love God is to do His will.
So I don’t think marriage is the main problem. Lack of seminaries seems to be a bigger issue for me (at least on paper).
NOW: perhaps some of these nations do not allow Perm Deacons? If not, why? Do they fear the Deacons will complete against the priests? Or is it because they lack the proper infrastructure to train deacons & priests?
Deacons are a great blessing to the Church in America. Many of them focus on prison ministry, hospital/hospice/nursing home ministry, and other outreach/evangelical ministries. This allows priests to focus on other things, without needed to neglect these important ministries.
And in some areas without a resident priest, Deacons can lead communion services and public Liturgy of the Hours, adoration, benedictions, weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc without needing the priest to travel to the parish.
EXCEPT dear friend that is NOT what the bible itself teaches, and was an early reformation Lutheran invention.
Kames 2: 11-20 “ For he that said, Thou shalt not commit adultery, said also, Thou shalt not kill. Now if thou do not commit adultery, but shalt kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.  So speak ye, and so do, as being to be judged by the law of liberty.  For judgment without mercy to him that hath not done mercy. And mercy exalteth itself above judgment.  What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him?  And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food: And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit?  So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself.  But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith.  Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble.  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”
THE REAL ISSUES IS NOT FAITH & WORKS; BECAUSE WE CATHOLICS DO NOT TEACH THAT WE CAN WORK OUR WAY INTO HEAVEN…RATHER IT REST IN THE MEANING OF “WORKS” WHICH IS A BIBLICAL SYNONYM FOR “CHARITY”
Guys. I don’t really want to identify it but you could with a little research. It is a sad state of affairs right now. I can’t get a job in the Church as a Catholic but the liberals or lutherans will. Just have to keep fighting I guess. It is cyclical and we are at the bottom now. The Church is so powerful that it will always be under attack from all directions.
I went to an All Souls Mass tonight. There were about ten groups/individuals praying for their loved one they lost in the past year. The names of those who were born into eternal life for that parish was 54. As I looked around, most had a small support group; some sat alone in agony. Where are the families? I know Loss causes separation, but how low a turnout for the dead.