I recently talked to my English teacher, a catholic who don’t go to attend Mass every Sunday anymore, about the declining of priests in the archdiocese and she made an interesting point. She said that we live in an age that teenagers (even kids) can gain access to sexual activities extremely easily. From movies and TV shows to books to news. Priesthood requires a lot of sacrifices but teens of this generation get caught on the “cannot have sex or get married” portion of the vows. My teacher, she also touched on the greediness of people, how they like to make money and live a wealthy life instead of serving people, serving God. Then the topic got switched to money in politics.
I completely agree with her statement. Many teens know about erotic movies like Fifty Shades of Grey or the movie recreation of it. If they can’t watch it in the theater, they could either watch it on the internet. Youtube streams it for three dollars and if you really try you could even get it for free. I recently finished “13 Reasons Why” and I was shocked! These characters are basically my age… 16-17 and yet they are getting drunk, doing drugs and having sex. It’s weird, my time in high school is so not like this! maybe it’s just me being me: boring and introverted. One of the sex scenes was so much that I have to turn my eyes away. More to my list of reason why I hate sex. Along with suggestive contents, the internet also serves free and easy to access porn too. How many teens out there are getting away with watching porn and masturbating? How much of them are Catholic? Maybe they didn’t know it’s a sin, but would they care if it is a grave sin? Parents around the nation, how many times a day do you think you actually see your kids? How many times did you wonder if your kids were even at home at all? Maybe they spend their whole day after school hanging out with friends, coming home at night and sleep right away. Then they wake up and leave for school without you even knowing. Maybe they didn’t even come home at all… About the internet, how many of you (parents) know anything about what your kids do on the internet? Everything you know are things that they let you know. On the computer, you can certainly check their search history but what if they use incognito mode? what if they use their phone? Can you control everything they do? If you can’t stop them from committing sinful actions, how are you gonna teach them about faith, about the work of God? How are they gonna be inspired to become priests if they don’t know who God is?
I feel like this is one of the major reason why the amount of people inspired to become priests has significantly declined. Technology happen. The authority could not keep up with technology and the internet as fast as those who they suppose to police.
I believe that the Vietnamese communities are not affected as hard for they are very strict about religion. That is why almost every Sunday masses in my parish are filled and the catechism classes are filled. Despite the fact, as I stated before, only me and one other have thought about Priesthood and are actually serious about it. What I have described and what my English teacher has pointed out might just only be a part of the problem. Maybe it does not bring more vocations instantly but it certainly will strengthen the faith in the community, especially the youth. The more they are exposed to God, the more God will call them. We can certainly help them answer the calling and get them to seminary and ordained.
I have more people to talk to, I will report back!