Questions about being a priest


#1

Why is there a lack of priests in America, I am sure this is too broad a topic to really answer in one swoop so to change it around,

when has there been an abundance of priests ? when was there a decline and can anything be drawn upon in between to come to a logical reason for an answer ?

Then if there are parts of America where priests are in need do bishops ever contact others across the nation asking if they can transfer a priest to their area ?

I look at the numbers for my state of Florida and it appears we have a good bit of priests, but it doesnt account or rather tell how many are active versus retired but looking at the numbers it appears there are more priests than churches in Florida.

Then again it also doesnt mention what these priests are doing, some could be teachers, or doing a million other things.

but again if a state is lacking in priests to serve a parish, could one contact another state/ bishop for transfers,

from what i vaguely understand priests are allowed to request a transfer but if one wanted to go to an area in of real need i suppose a priest could just present some sort of letter stating that they would be willing to volunteer to be transfered to an area of need if deemed appropriate…

also

and bare with me because it is almost an odd topic to an extent,

but in regards to exorcisims, I do realize not too long ago there was a confrence on this topic for Catholic Priests…

there is a process to go through to actually verify if one is possessed , discernment etc…

but would it be out line if were a priest to tell his bishop he would like to be considered to be called upon if someone does claim to be possessed.

Not that one would be actually looking forward to such an event or even looking for a fight persay, but merely stating that he is not afraid to be called upon…

would this be considered out of line ?

I would also imagine if one were to approach a priest about being possessed that there are rules to follow, in regards of contacting a bishop and proceeding from his direction…

and fyi these are just my own personal questions im not out looking for demons or anything of the sort.

lastly who does a priest go to, to confess his sins ?

I know during mass there is the washing of the hands, and the prayer is said ( and i know there is a technical name, im sorry i do not know what it is called ) I assume this prayer is a form of some kind of confession/absolution so the priest may concecrate the Eucharist,

but do priests confess to other priests ? how does that work ?

and do Priests have the right to vote for politicians ? I mean they are still Americans so that legal right i think is still there or does the Church not allow it from a Canon Law, or is it just assumed that since there is a seperation of church and state that means religious people of any faith give up that right to vote ?


#2

Hi John. Thank you for your interesting questions.

Just a suggestion to you: you may want to separate out all the different questions into their own post/thread.

You might get better responses to each individual question, instead of one big long post with lots of questions sprinkled throughout.

I live in FL too and in my diocese we seem to have enough priests for the very large parishes to have 2-3 priests each; mission churches have at least one full time or one part-time priest assigned to them.

However we also have a multitude of retired priests in our diocese as well. Retired priests can always be called upon by the bishop to "pinch hit" on a short-term temporary basis for a priest who may be ill or on vacation so that masses get said and the dying get their sacraments.

As for exorcisms, I always refer those interested to contact their local diocesan office and ask to arrange an interview/appointment with the diocesan exorcist. If there is not one appointed for the diocese in which you live, you can usually find one in a neighboring diocese.


#3

John78,

Just to give you an answer or 2. Priests (diocesan/secular) are incardinated into their diocese. Transferring out, while it can be done, is not routine or turnkey. Meaning, just because a priest might want to go help another diocese, his bishop has the right to say no. He can always bring it up to the later to Rome.

Priests are men that need to go to confession just like you and me. Yes, they go to other priests. They cannot go to confession to themself. We need to recall that; maybe remembering that will make it a little easier for some of us to go.
Exorcisms are a serious business as you know. Priests would be authorised by their bishop to do an investigation as to whether or not an exorcism is to be performed. Mental illness and other possbilities need to be ruled out as humanly is possible.
As to the priest shortage, take a look at this article townhall.com/columnists/patbuchanan/2002/12/11/an_index_of_catholicisms_decline
Pat Buchanan gives Kenneth Jones " 2002 "Index of Leading Catholic Indicators" a good, fair look. There are indeed a lot less priests then we once had. Pray for good, holy vocations to the priesthood and religous life, asking Our Lady's intercession.

CB


#4

[quote="john78, post:1, topic:288024"]
lastly who does a priest go to, to confess his sins ?

but do priests confess to other priests? how does that work?

[/quote]

Like every Catholic, priests have to go to confession as well. They confess to other priests. No priest can absolve himself; it's not possible.

It works the same way it would for you or me - the confessing priest is the penitent, and the confessor priest hears his sins, absolves him, assigns a penance, etc. As always, the confessor is bound under strict and absolute secrecy.

[quote="john78, post:1, topic:288024"]
and do Priests have the right to vote for politicians ? I mean they are still Americans so that legal right i think is still there or does the Church not allow it from a Canon Law, or is it just assumed that since there is a seperation of church and state that means religious people of any faith give up that right to vote ?

[/quote]

Absolutely priests have the right to vote in the United States, just like any other citizen. And I'm sure they do vote; it is their civic duty as much as it is anyone else's.

In the United States, however, most (probably all) dioceses do not permit priests to publicly endorse specific candidates, because if they did the Church would lose her tax-exempt status. Also, if I recall correctly, canon law - not civil law - does prohibit priests from holding certain public offices. So the Catholic Church does not allow a priest to run for the U.S. Senate, for instance.

Separation of church and state doesn't mean that a religious person has no public voice. On the contrary, people of every faith, for whatever reasons they prefer, must be allowed to participate in a state's public/political life.

What it means is that the state won't base any of its laws on beliefs specific and exclusive to merely one religion: because that would favor that religion over others.


closed #5

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