Where are the men?

I have read the threads about EMsHC and female altar servers, and I have noticed a lot of blaming going on. It seems that some here believe that these two things (EMsHC and female altar servers) have led to a decline in vocations and a decline in the faithfulness and seriousness of Catholics – especially in the U.S. Will eliminating the role of EMHC produce more priests, deacons, acolytes, etc.? Are we going to blame the decline in vocations on girls being allowed to be altar servers? Or should we blame this problem on Vatican II? Or is there another reason for the decline in men entering religious vocations?

As it is, not enough men are coming forward to fill these roles within the Church. But is it fair to blame it on those who step forward to help out when there aren’t enough **men **who are willing to take on religious roles?

Well, I don’t know if having female alter servers and EMHC has anything to do with the shortage of Priests or not. I remember a time prior to female alter servers and there was still a Priest shortage.

Not to be facetious, but why blame anyone? Instead of passing around blame, wouldn’t it be better to determine the cause of the problem and figure out what steps need to be taken to correct it? The shortage is just the symptom of a larger problem; it is not the problem in and of itself.

I don’t blame women for stepping forward. But I do believe that such roles are better suited towards men and intended for men by our Lord because we men need it; need it much more than women.

I often get upset about the lack of my fellow men that I see at Mass. Mom and the kids are there but Dad has something “more important to do”. I believe calling men to serve combats this problem; a problem that started with the abdication of spiritual duties by Adam.

Religion is for women. Real men do not need church stuff. That has been an attitude around long before Vatican II was even thought of. Futball and beer is for real guys.

My own opinion is that it relates to the mandate of chastity and celibacy. The ongoing scandle of homosexual priests molesting children may be the result of this. :frowning:

Has there been a shortage of males in religious roles for those churches who allow marriage for the called?

In my case, at age 62, I am probably considered too old for any of that stuff.

Yes definately the case in my Area. My co-worker is methodist and just last Sunday there was NOT one male over 12 years old in the building INCLUDING THE PASTOR. It is a small church that averages 35-40 each sunday. She said that men disappeared when pastor Carol showed up. Its the secularization of Society that is killing vocations to the priesthood along with a few other things of which includes in a very tiny way allowing female altar serviers. When the girls showed up for ALtar serving I quit. In fact a very large number of us boys quit…two of which were potentials to the priesthood…

Actually, the shortage of priests really has little or nothing to do because they can’t marry. And celibacy is not the cause of the sex scandal, which is a homosexual issue rather than one with pedophilia. If the priest being homosexual is the reason for the incidents, then why would allowing priests to marry solve anything? I doubt that homosexual priests are going to marry.

I’m very, very tired of hearing about how allowing priests to marry will solve just about everything. The shortage of priests is caused by men not answering the Call from God because they’re more interested in the world than in making the sacrifice and serving God.

The Latin Rite Catholic Church is not the only one with shortage of clergy. While I can’t cite the statistic offhand, I remember reading that the Orthodox Church and Eastern Rite Catholic Churches where clergy are allowed to marry also have shortages and the average age of a priest is higher than the Latin Rite CC.

And consider this: Denominations such as the Lutheran Church have their own shortages — and those denomonations not only have married men as ministers, but they also allow women as ministers. The local Lutheran parish didn’t have a pastor for a year until one could be found. Local Methodist, Lutheran and Episcopal churches have pastors leading more than one parish or have only supply pastors.

There is a shortage of priests because:

  1. Men are not answering the Call for whatever reasons. If not being able to marry is the main problem for some, then they probably don’t deserve to be priests anyway.
  2. We’re not encouraging men to enter the priesthood.
  3. We need more priests who actually seem like they enjoy what they’re doing. I have met many priests have problems with the Pope or don’t like this teaching or that teaching, etc. and follow along willy-nilly with every wayward theologian. Those aren’t great role models. But there are great role models out there. I know some of them. They also need to speak up and encourage young men to consider becoming a priest.
  4. We don’t pray enough for vocations.
  5. Making it clear that priesthood is a religious vocation, not a social service career.
  6. Larger families produce vocations. Stop contracepting and aborting.

Now that I’m sure I ticked off some people, I think I’ll say goodbye and pray for vocations before Evening Prayer.

Well, as far as I know, there’s a shortage of Eastern Catholic priests, and they are allowed to be married…

Why not check out the Catholic/Orthodox Churches that have a greater percentage of men and find out why? I have some guesses but I do believe that unless each Church does their own investigation they won’t believe what I’ve observed.


Brian Clowes wrote a book entitled “Call to Action-Call to Apostacy” The book clearly shows statistics of orthodox practicing dioceses vs. liberal dioceses. The orthodox dioceses win hands down and by a HUGE margin in numbers of young men in seminary for the preisthood. In fact I beleive that one of the conservative dioceses had more seminarians that all of the other liberal dioceses added together. Check out the book it is an eye opener. There needs to be a study done on parishes that do not allow female altar servers vs. those that do…I wonder if there is a difference in vocation numbers.

Very interesting !!:thumbsup: :eek: :thumbsup:

[quote=decn2b]When the girls showed up for ALtar serving I quit. In fact a very large number of us boys quit…two of which were potentials to the priesthood…

This is so sad - what on earth is the thought process going on in the minds of boys or young men who are scared off of altar serving by girls? After all, having girls in most schools doesn’t seem to keep the boys away.

As for implying that the boys were scared away from the priesthood as a result - well, some strong vocation those boys must’ve had! Can’t help wondering what sort of priests they would’ve made.

Trail, Tribulation, Chastisement and the trickle down effect of abortion, divorce, birth control, decline in US Catholic population, priest scandals, education cost, and I am sure that posters can add many more to the list. If we believe that God calls priests to serve, is God calling less to the priest vocation for the chastisement of current US policies, law, and sinfulness? I check on line and 51 percent of the US population was females, so the discrepancy between the two populations is small. How many Catholic families desire that their sons become priest? How many families discourage their sons from becoming priest? The Church will, in the end, will be Catholic and protected by Jesus the Body of the Church. How many future priests have been aborted? How many future priests have died from Aids shortly after birth? We do not know but I think we can assume that all of the above have created or allow the priest vocations to decline in the US and the world. IMHO.

The whole Church has been sissified. We used to be a manly Church. We’re the Church that gave the world the Crusades and the Inquisition. We used to burn heretics at the stake.

Now all we want to do is hold hands, engage in “dialogue” with people who would just as soon saw our heads off, call heretics “our brothers and sisters in Christ” and weep over unrepentant murderers and rapists being put to death by the state.

It’s no wonder the Church is having trouble attracting men to the priesthood. Why would a real man want to have anything to do with that kind of nonsense?

Actually they probably would have made great priests since they knew innately that the role of men and women are to be different in the church. But besides that, how many young boys do you know want to do the stuff the girls want to do. Be honest with yourself and don’t think in terms of an adult, but in the terms of a young person for a few minutes. The reaction these young men had of quitting serving because girls were doing it, is actually a natural reaction. Boys at that age don’t like things that appear to be “sissy”. They don’t like dressing up for dances, they don’t like playing with dolls, they don’t want to appear to be effeminate and since we don’t have many good male role models in their father, or the priesthood to show them that serving in Church can be a manly thing, of course they are going to have second thoughts about it.

Even I as an adult after approaching a couple of archdiocese and spending some time at the seminaries had second thoughts about priesthood, and it’s not because there were “girls” around, but because of the people I met were, well, I can’t think of a better word but sissies. The seminaries I visited were populated by what most men would call sissies. The clincher was when I was told I was too straight, too masculine to be a priest, not only by vocation directors but by other seminarians.

Where are the men? They are trying very hard in this day and age to hang on to their masculinity, and the priesthood and serving at the altar doesn’t seem to be the place for that these days. If you want men to serve, then let the role be a man’s role without infringement by the women, or by the effeminate, let them maintain their masculinity and show them that being religious isn’t a girlie thing. Fathers, stand up, learn to serve at the altar, and volunteer a couple of Sundays a year. Let them see, that you as head of the household aren’t ashamed to serve at the altar. Mothers, let your boys be boys, let them rough and tumble with each other but teach them manners, and how to show charity without making them feel like they are “such good little boys”. Boys want to grow up and be men, and men want to stay men.

I wish that the USCCB would encourage diocesan bishops to formally adopt the institution of adult male acolytes. I see this as a wonderful opportunity, not only for dad’s, but for retire man of the church fully capable of serving at the altar and providing adult supervision to the altar servers; male or female. IMHO.

Our parish, since inception back in 2000 has produced two priests and four additional men have entered the seminary…then again my parish is a Traditional Latin Mass parish. No innovations since 1962 here.


It’s more serious than what Lily implied. If altar serving is preparation for the priesthood then having female altars services is a message that this Church is either renegade or doesn’t wish to produce priests. It’s now just a political game. It isn’t that hard to figure out.

The Roman Church and much of Christendom has indeed become sissified. I’m willing to hold hands if the situation clearly calls for it but not when there is an issue of right and wrong. There is much to tell, but it is best if you discover it yourself.


This past Friday our Bishop instituted eleven more man acolytes in our parish. Overall our acolytes range from mid-30s to senior citizens. They serve at daily masses and weekends.

We have have a good group of seminarians. We have male and female altar severs. This past Tuesday with had a liturgical calebration and approximately 80 of them were elevated through the ranks. They were 50-50 boys and girls.

Yesterday the Bishop celebrated Mass and sponsored the meeting of the Central Texas Fellowship of Catholic Men. He told us to get organized and start moving. He will remind the pastors that we have his full support. If you want men to get involved in the USA, please join and support NCFM.

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