Just a thought, less priests because of smaller families?


#1

Don't you think today's family sizes is partly to blame for less priests, especially in countries with low birth rates like fully industrialized nations? Because priests are celebate, fathers are likely to discourage their only son from becoming a priest because they want grandchildren bearing the family name. Unlike in the past where big families would normally have 3-5 sons or more.

Purely an opinion, but does anyone else out there think that this could be an issue with some families?


#2

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:1, topic:217395"]
Don't you think today's family sizes is partly to blame for less priests, especially in countries with low birth rates like fully industrialized nations? Because priests are celebate, fathers are likely to discourage their only son from becoming a priest because they want grandchildren bearing the family name. Unlike in the past where big families would normally have 3-5 sons or more.

Purely an opinion, but does anyone else out there think that this could be an issue with some families?

[/quote]

To be honest, I don't think so. I think it really is more of people turning away from the Church and Holy Orders in general. Though you certainly bring up a great point. :thumbsup:


#3

One of many. Others include greater emphasis on material wealth and secular society.


#4

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:1, topic:217395"]
Don't you think today's family sizes is partly to blame for less priests, especially in countries with low birth rates like fully industrialized nations?...

[/quote]

Yes, I think it's one important reason.

ASD

Traditional Latin Mass: Translation and Grammar


#5

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:1, topic:217395"]
Don't you think today's family sizes is partly to blame for less priests, especially in countries with low birth rates like fully industrialized nations? Because priests are celebate, fathers are likely to discourage their only son from becoming a priest because they want grandchildren bearing the family name. Unlike in the past where big families would normally have 3-5 sons or more.

Purely an opinion, but does anyone else out there think that this could be an issue with some families?

[/quote]

Yes, smaller families plays a part, but in accordance with that would be that parents with one son, are reluctant to see their son become celibate.

They after all look forward to having grandchildren.

Jim


#6

I was discussing with a friend last night and it was something that came to mind. I know like especially in many cultures having a son carry the family name to the next generation is important. So in most families today who may have only one son, it might be an issue with the pressure from the dad or even granddad.

I know its not the only reason, but I suspect it could be one big factor out there that a lot of people miss.

Also, seminaries still seem to be full in many poorer nations where birthrates are high. Africa, Latin America, etc.


#7

Well I have one son, and I would've been thrilled had he decided to become a priest.

But I have a daughter who has given me two grandsons. :)

Jim


#8

You know, I think you have a point! If there is a very small family, there is more emphasis on the children to come up with grandchildren. There are other issues at work too, but I never thought of this before.

I would add that we are becoming a less religious and a courser society. Religion is not held in high esteem by those forming society's opinions. Less religion, more birth control, and the acceptance of abortion.

Another factor is the rising tax burden with a weak economy. People want the goodies. With government consuming more and more, families are pushed into having both spouses work if they want the material things. That hardly leads to big families.


#9

=ConstantineTG;7200021]Don't you think today's family sizes is partly to blame for less priests, especially in countries with low birth rates like fully industrialized nations? Because priests are celebate, fathers are likely to discourage their only son from becoming a priest because they want grandchildren bearing the family name. Unlike in the past where big families would normally have 3-5 sons or more.

Purely an opinion, but does anyone else out there think that this could be an issue with some families?

Absolutely: along with:

a HUGE decrease in Catholics atending Sunday and Holyday Mass [1970 = 73% ; 2007 =23%] and in this same PEW report the number of Catholics [self-professed] going to Confession even once a year had dropped from over 60% to about 10%

Communion in the hand and unnecessary ORDINARY ministers of Holy Communion

Priest now "on stage" facing us changing the emphasis from Christ to us.

An evident lack o piety and holiness at Mass [talking ect.]

Altar girls not just Altar boy's a primary source for future priest

The sex scandals

Far to many "feel good" homilies [afriad to offend]. When's the last time you headr a homily on SIn, Heaven and hell, on "intrinsict evils" in our time, on the Sacraments; what they mean and who can accept them?

And there are additional reasons as well.


#10

[quote="PJM, post:9, topic:217395"]
Far to many "feel good" homilies [afriad to offend]. When's the last time you headr a homily on SIn, Heaven and hell, on "intrinsict evils" in our time, on the Sacraments; what they mean and who can accept them?

[/quote]

Quite recently in fact.


#11

In my mind it has to do with "sacrifice."

Peole have to be willing to sacrifice their wants and needs to the Lord. This means Parents have to be willing to give up the idea of grandchildren (I heard this regularly from parents when their sons talked about the possibility); it means Sons have to be willing to sacrifice their ability to have children so that spiritual children may be born and grow; it means that people have to put aside the culutural imperative of getting as much as we possibly can before checking out of this life.

People are not willing to sacrifice, and thus few priests!

I am also of the opinion, that constantly carping and criticizing about priests and what they do (sometimes it is needed, I grant that) has created an environment of negativity. Young men are not stupid and when they see this kind of nastiness (and it's amazing to me how this nastiness has enveloped Catholics of all stripes)...WHY would they want to be a priest?

Nastiness is rampant and thus few priests!


#12

PJM

Absolutely: along with:

Communion in the hand and unnecessary ORDINARY ministers of Holy Communion

Priest now "on stage" facing us changing the emphasis from Christ to us.

An evident lack o piety and holiness at Mass [talking ect.]

Altar girls not just Altar boy's a primary source for future priest

These have nothing to do with the decline in the numbers of priest.

Jim


#13

Yes, I think that this is a factor - not the most important one, perhaps, but still.

I know that maintaining the family name line is not really that important; but, well, there is something in me that would be a little disappointed if there were not going to be a next generation of s.

Also, and more importantly, there is the matter of filial piety. It is not a concern in my case, since my parents are reasonably well off and I am not their only child; but if they were poor and if I were their only son, I do not think that I could pursue in good conscience a calling - such as that of monastic life, or perhaps even that of a friar - that would not allow me to take care of them in their old age.


#14

=ConstantineTG;7201283]Quite recently in fact.

Consider yourself BLESSED!

Here is another perspective on your OPQ; which certainly is correct.

WHY are familes smaller; does Contraception factor in and what about Abortions.

Might God be permitting this FACT of smaller families = fewer priest as a warning to all of us?


#15

Personally, I know of two priests who are 'only sons' in their families. And their parents were generous enough to offer them for the holy priesthood.


#16

[quote="PJM, post:9, topic:217395"]
Far to many "feel good" homilies [afriad to offend]. When's the last time you headr a homily on SIn, Heaven and hell, on "intrinsict evils" in our time, on the Sacraments; what they mean and who can accept them?

And there are additional reasons as well.

[/quote]

October 23, 2010.


#17

I don’t think it works that way. The sons need to freely choose to be priests then work hard to become one. The parents offering them doesn’t mean much. I can offer my son for the priesthood and to Harvard, doesn’t mean he’ll be accepted into either one.


#18

[quote="PJM, post:14, topic:217395"]
Consider yourself BLESSED!

Here is another perspective on your OPQ; which certainly is correct.

WHY are familes smaller; does Contraception factor in and what about Abortions.

Might God be permitting this FACT of smaller families = fewer priest as a warning to all of us?

[/quote]

Not quite because that priest I speak of was reassigned recently.


#19

[quote="Impertinens, post:13, topic:217395"]
Yes, I think that this is a factor - not the most important one, perhaps, but still.

I know that maintaining the family name line is not really that important; but, well, there is something in me that would be a little disappointed if there were not going to be a next generation of s.

Also, and more importantly, there is the matter of filial piety. It is not a concern in my case, since my parents are reasonably well off and I am not their only child; but if they were poor and if I were their only son, I do not think that I could pursue in good conscience a calling - such as that of monastic life, or perhaps even that of a friar - that would not allow me to take care of them in their old age.

[/quote]

I forgot to add one point that its the traditional families that care about the lineage. While more modern (liberal?) families don't. Problem is liberal families aren't interested in the faith.


#20

[quote="SamH, post:17, topic:217395"]
I don't think it works that way. The sons need to freely choose to be priests then work hard to become one. The parents offering them doesn't mean much. I can offer my son for the priesthood and to Harvard, doesn't mean he'll be accepted into either one.

[/quote]

Well, the sons DID FREELY CHOOSE to be priests-and they worked DARN HARD in the seminary!

You can't equate Harvard and the priesthood....the first one's temporal [meaning TEMPORARY] and the other is eternal!

Maybe a poor word choice on my part.


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