Is it any less ‘stifling’ and ‘suffocating’ in any educational environment? Think about it – in any educational environment, there will be perspectives that are being presented as ‘correct’; does the fact that it is the Church who is presenting the perspectives automatically make it ‘stifling’ or ‘suffocating’?
“Think skeptically to everything they teach you. Because they have no evidence to back it up.”
Two thoughts: a seminary isn’t a brainwashing institute – they don’t tell you “don’t think” or “don’t question”! In fact, the Church doesn’t teach this perspective, either: we are made by God with an intellect that demands the kind of rigorous thought that philosophical and theological education stimulates!
Second: anyone who says “there is no evidence” hasn’t thought through the questions sufficiently. To these people, it is necessary to challenge them with the questions “what kind of evidence is appropriate?” and “what standard of evidence is sufficient?” before acquiescing to their assertions.
“You are going to be miserable for the rest of your life.”
Interesting – because surveys have shown that priests rank high in terms of life satisfaction. Point them at Rossetti’s Why Priests Are Happy: A Study of the Psychological and Spiritual Health of Priests.
“The Church does more harm in this world than it does any good.”
“Proof, please?” seems the most reasonable response.
“You will be brainwashed.”
For someone who is discerning priesthood I find these rather tough to answer.
Good! That means that deep down, you sense the lie in their assertions. However, as you discern, it will be necessary to consider their objections, and find answers for yourself. Don’t worry, though: every ‘happy, holy, and healthy’ priest has met these objections head-on and found that they have no merit…