Sunday, December 30, 2007

A shortage of Priests

Trendy vicars are pretty toe curling,as are gimmicks to attract the gullible. I don't care how many chocolate bars are chucked about by 'Vicar of Dibley' wannabees, there is no way I'd go to a service.

The Catholic Church is not above the odd gimmick such as a 'Priests calendar'. Now I wondered if they would do a 'Calendar Girls' and strip off, but no, there are limits in this bid to encourage men to become priests:

Twelve Catholic priests have swapped their pulpits for favourite pastimes in a calendar designed to try to recruit young men to the priesthood.
The priests, from the Diocese of Leeds, are pictured in an array of activities, including reading celebrity magazines, watching baseball and DIY.

Each featured priest also reveals what inspired them to join the church.

The calendar has been created as part of a drive to encourage teenagers to take up Holy Orders.

It comes as the Catholic Church faces a national shortage of people entering the profession.

Hmmm, no mention of one of the 'hobbies', that of preying on the young and vulnerable.

I note also that in a strong Catholic country like Mexico there is also a shortage :

"This is a real crisis of vocation," said Elio Masferrer, a religion expert at Mexico's National School of Anthropology and History.

Some blame the rise of a secular Mexico, where young men have improving job opportunities and increasingly reject celibacy.

So the draw of a life of repressed sexuality , telling others what they can and can't do with their bodies and generally poking their noses into others sex lives (hmmm, not sure about that image), is starting to wane. Good.

It also means the old Priests have to keep going :

To compensate for the lack of new blood, older priests are putting off retirement. In Mexico's capital, the average age of priests is now 66, and at one downtown church, a 93-year-old cleric celebrates Mass in the morning and hears confession in the afternoon.

"Old priests have to work until they keel over," Aguilar said.

Pic is taken from a calendar of 'Hot Italian Priests'!