The Priest Shortage Revisited

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The following post is by contributor Fr. Donald L. Kloster, a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport. Fr. Kloster is the parochial vicar at St. Mary’s in Norwalk, Connecticut. He is also a graduate of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary Philadelphia, having completed his Master’s Thesis in Moral Theology. A native of Texas and a graduate of the University of Texas (Austin), Fr. Kloster also spent two years as a student (and then novice) at the 7th century Benedictine Abbey of Disentis, Switzerland.

It seems like the question keeps coming up and yet there seems to be little to no response from our Bishops. Every year since 1965, the priest to faithful ratio has gotten worse. There is not much more than hand wringing going on to solve the problem. The trend keeps spiraling downwards. The seminaries of yesteryear are almost all closed, consolidated, or operating at minimal capacities.

What about the elephant in the room that is the ratio of priests to faithful? Back in 1950, there was 1 priest to every 652 Catholics here in the USA. In 2010, it was 1 priest to every 1,653 Catholics. In 2016, the most recent numbers available, there was 1 priest to every 1,843 Catholics. So, we have about 3 times less priests to tend to the flock than we had 66 years ago who were serving the faithful. The priestly apostolate is being spread over ever thinning ranks.

There is one Diocese that should be the model. The Diocese of Lincoln is the only Diocese that has consistently been in the top 20 Dioceses producing vocations since the downward trend after 1965. Their ratio as of 2016 is 1 priest to 598 Catholics. Their numbers are just better than the 1950 ratio. Another noteworthy occurrence is that their number of male religious has nearly tripled since 1950 going from 35 to 96. That increased number of male religious is perhaps a singular occurrence in all of the USA Dioceses. Why other bishops aren’t implementing similar programs, speaks volumes. Perhaps the vast majority of USA bishops aren’t really interested in reviving vocations to the priesthood. You can’t keep on the same failed course and expect positive results or even a continuous positive trend.

In 2017, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter did an internal survey of priests to faithful in their parishes worldwide. As a Religious Order, they would make an above average size USA Diocese since they have around 287 priests. Their survey indicated that they are right at 1 priest to every 250 faithful or more than 2.5 times better than the 1950 USA priest to faithful ratio of 1 to 652.

There were many who clamored for fresh air to be let into the Church during and after the Second Vatican Council. Later, even Pope Paul VI admitted that the smoke of Satan had entered the Church. All of the leading spiritual indicators and sacramental numbers are down since the end of the Council and there are no real overall up trends within the Novus Ordo parishes. So where is the “renewal?”

I would submit that we stop looking in the direction of the Novus Ordo; the veritable “front door” of our attention. It is a distraction. We need to look at the “back door” and the side windows to see the true flowering of the Church. The Traditional Latin Mass only parishes are producing more fruit, more renewal, than even the pre-Conciliar Church. The Traditional Latin Mass parishes are beating all of the pre-Conciliar numbers. They are authoring a true springtime resplendent with ripe and succulent fruit. The Traditional Latin Mass parishes are only being let in the “back door” since there is so much resistance from the hierarchy. Of what are they so afraid? Why is the Traditional Latin Mass so threatening? I thought the idea was to renew the Church. Why do they turn their backs on authentic renewal? The bishops allow any language under the sun except for the language preferred by the Second Vatican Council!

The vibrant priest to faithful ratio among the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is only the tip of the iceberg. The National Survey on the Traditional Latin Mass parishes I am doing with the help of Mr. Brian Williams has astounding preliminary numbers (800+ samples so far). The National Survey will conclude on October 29, 2018. I want to dispel, in any fair minded individual, the notion that the society is responsible for the failing Church numbers. Come November, we’ll try to publicize the results of the Survey as widely as possible. It is a spiritual problem that can only be rectified by returning to what practically evangelized the whole world. The Novus Ordo and Traditional Latin Mass faithful live side by side. They have the same modern challenges. However, when you ask them about the faith, they give much different answers statistically.

My dear brethren in Christ, there is a very simple course to more vocations. Be friendly to the Traditional Latin Mass parishes. If you don’t want to promote it, at the very least, stop blocking it! There is absolutely no harm to the Church when we say the Mass that was said for 19 centuries as a universal practice. If we want vocations, we must be humble enough to admit the source and conduit; the Traditional Latin Mass. Our seminaries were full when we had the Traditional Latin Mass. They will fill up again if we allow the Traditional Latin Mass an unencumbered and a freely celebrated praxis.

Photo credit: Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest 

Posted on May 28, 2018, in holiness, liturgy and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 43 Comments.

  1. Rod Halvorsen

    Excellent article.

    A study should be done in Africa where the faith is reported to be growing, as the African experience is different than that of the developed world.

    I am not certain how what the vocations situation is in Africa. A report on that region would be interesting, as would an evaluation by nation and/or tribal region.

    Thanks for a good article. Those of us blessed with a TLM parish {in my case, FSSP} are blessed indeed. May others come to receive this blessing as well.

  2. Please convince the Pope. He hasn’t got the message after 5 years at the helm. On the contrary he has done a lot of damage by forbidding and closing down traditional orders, despising both clergy and Catholics who love the traditional rites. Now he us lamenting over acute shortage of priests. Unfortunately he is still looking at the wrong places for solutions.

  3. Theodore M Seeber

    I disagree, but only slightly.

    There is one hallmark of traditionalists that the novus ordo, by and large, have lost.

    Vocations come from large families.

    I do not believe it is the liturgy alone that has made the difference, or for that matter, any difference.

    What made the difference was the slow acceptance of birth control among Catholics starting in the 1950s.

    Small families=few vocations. Large families=many vocations. It’s as simple as that.

    • Mr. Seeber-

      I wish it were as simple as your last line, but it cannot be. The Novus Ordo parishes and Traditional Latin Mass parishes live in the same society. It is the difference between driving an old 1970’s Ford Pinto and a sleek loaded 2018 Mercedes. They’ll both get you to your destination, but one is a much better conduit.

      I’ve been in several parishes where both the Novus Ordo and the Traditional Latin Mass were offered side by side. Give the kids of those Masses a test, heck give their parents a test! It’s not a question of live births per woman! The Mass forms us on a very deep level. I began to discover the differences when teaching 8th grade confirmation class and I had some Eastern Catholics already confirmed in their infancy, who were in my class. The Eastern Catholics never changed their liturgy and the products of those Liturgies were much better formed in their catechism. Now, it’s apples and oranges when asking religious question of Novus Ordo kids and Traditional Latin Mass kids. Granted, there are some Novus Ordo kids who know their faith very well, but they are the EXCEPTIONS. The Traditional Latin Mass kids almost universally know their faith, they are the NORM in their formation grouping.

      In every sacramental metric, the numbers are astoundingly different. I’ve been told since I was a boy that the society is responsible for a lack of vocations, lack of sacramental reception, lack of Mass attendance, it’s flat out misguided at best. The TLM parishes have 7 times the vocations. The TLM parishes have 4 times the Sunday Mass attendance. The TLM parishes have 6 times the collection (the last one makes absolutely no sense if I buy into your point above). There are two conduits for Latin Rite Catholics. One is the bare minimum and the other is full of the maximum fruits.

  4. Is it possible that the Latin Mass parishes maintain because people who prefer the Latin Mass switch parishes to attend those churches? There are not many of them. I prefer mass in the vernacular because I don’t need to read the translation from the Latin. That’s what we did before Vatican II.

  5. Shawn Marshall

    The Diocese of Lincoln is dedicated to affordable Catholic schools for practicing Catholic families. Tuition is about $1000 bucks at tops – perhaps. Altar BOYS makes a difference in vocations also. I have no hostility to the Latin Mass, served for 8 years, but I only dimly knew the Latin I was reciting. The missals had everything ‘trotted’ so there was no problem really ‘following’ the Mass and the Latin Mass was the same all over the world which gives UNITY to the church – one of its true markers – right? We have a very reverent Novus Ordo Mass at our parish in Roanoke Va – and our parish has 4 in seminary – so a very beautiful and reverent New Mass is probably Good too but it perhaps should include more touches from the Latin. Every Sunday I long to hear the Sanctus pealing from the choir loft – the English words could be spoken too – and a simple innovation like that could tie the two rites closer together. People seem to love to recite the Agnus Dei as well. Sometimes I think of bribing the choir director to do a Sanctus in 3 parts or voices – it would be stunning in our church as we have an excellent choir.

  6. Michael Floyd

    In my diocese here, London, Ontario, I have had this very conversation with numerous priests. To a man they believe that the revival will happen when they find just the right program and implement it in the parish. These programs always take place in the church basement (they see the liturgy as irrelevant!!) and very often are something that worked in protestant churches. They acknowledge their own failures to pass on the entirety of the Faith but every plan of action must happen within the box of a gradual slide towards further protestant-izing the faithful. It is very disheartening to watch because the faithful, at this point, don’t realize that they are not being fed the Catholic Faith! It is so bad here that most parishioners will accept protestant belief and practice as Catholic belief and practice unquestioningly.

  7. “Why is the Traditional Latin Mass so threatening?”
    -that is the question … it’s a heart breaker

    To have both TLM and NO in the same Parish is a blessing. If more Parishes had TLM as it’s High Mass, as we had back in the day, the Church would be on the road to recovery.

    That Bishops don’t implement this is one thing, that they don’t want to do so is sadly another -and I for one have no idea why it is this way.

    • Threatening? Not here in our Diocese (Harrisburg). In late April, our Bishop offered a Solemn Pontifical Mass for the 100th Anniversary of St. Lawrence Chapel and it even made front page in the Diocesan paper, “The Catholic Witness.” Novus ordo attendees from the Cathedral Parish of St. Patrick also attended this Mass. Then last weekend, the Bishop of Harrisburg offered another Solemn Pontifical Mass, this time for the Lancaster Latin Mass Community. We see Bishops, Archbishops from other dioceses being invited to offer Pontifical Masses; however, in the Diocese of Harrisburg, our own Bishop will do it (even if one of our Chaplains has to hold a notecard with the Latin for the Bishop, such as in the “Ecce Agnus Dei…” part before Holy Communion. Last year, only three diocesan priests were ordained. This year, six, including a young deacon who was assisting at the novus ordo parish in which I helped out as hospitality (though I am not registered with that parish. I am registered with the Latin Mass community here). The Cathedral is packed during holy day of obligation Masses. The one where I helped out is very well attended even at the 7:00 p.m. Sunday Mass! I am surprised that people say Dioceses are hostile to TLM, because in the Diocese of Harrisburg, that is not the case.

      • You must realize that you are most certainly the exception rather than the rule. That said, I have found, in my own experience since switching to the Latin Mass, the greater hostility toward the Latin Mass coming from clergy rather than laity, and when the occasional snide remark is made from the laity, it’s someone my age (60+), who hasn’t darkened the doors of a Latin Mass in 50 years.

    • “That Bishops don’t implement this is one thing, that they don’t want to do so is sadly another -and I for one have no idea why it is this way.”

      One reason, I suspect, is that it’s because many priests are lazy. The TLM is, for lack of a better term and from the viewpoint of the New Mass priests, labor intensive. There’s really no way to phone it in.

  8. Franklin Peter Uroda

    IMO, Roman Catholic priests-men-are needed to dispense the Sacraments. Their other duties can, and are done by the non-ordained, male or female, e.g., finance; Chancellor; Tribunal. Back before Vatican II, I was an altar boy, and I frequently served The Holy Sacrifice, where the only participants were the priest, my mother, and I. And the celebrant spoke Latin in a low voice, which I am sure my mother didn’t understand, nor me-before HS Latin. Years later-at a Trappist monastery-still before Vatican II-I experienced the early morning celebration of the Holy Sacrifice, in which the only participants were priest and server: There were about 30 priests lined up at side altars doing the same thing-two participants-celebrating Jesus’ Sacrifice. These Trappist priests were contemplatives-did not serve the parishes on Sunday-with no active duties in the diocese. They were a group of priests whose only Sacramental duties boiled down to celebrating the Holy Sacrifice and perhaps hearing an infrequent Confession. For the remainder of the day, most of the Trappist priests either farmed or worked at other jobs for the community, e.g., did the laundry, or were electricians. In all of the parishes that I’ve been in since 1972, there has been a fervent, holy and faithful group of men who have been ordained: Catholic Deacons. And just like some priests, are outstanding delivering homilies. Surely these men would readily volunteer to offer the Holy Sacrifice and dispense the other Sacraments-except perhaps the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the faculties of which could be designated for experienced confessor-councilors. It wouldn’t take any more time than it does now in their diaconal duties. There are already married Roman Catholic priests who offer The Holy Sacrifice, so being married should not be an obstacle to ordination. And they could all learn to offer the Holy Sacrifice in the TLM, The scaled-down ordinations of full-time priests would then not be so harmful to dioceses and parishes.

  9. Good article!

    “There are two conduits for Latin Rite Catholics. One is the bare minimum and the other is full of the maximum fruits.” (Fr. Kloster: May 29, 2018 at 6:44 am)

    There are at least three conduits for Latin Rite Catholics in North America, England, Scotland, Wales, Australia and the Torres Straits, and Japan (two small communities). The third conduit being the Ordinariate Mass—Divine Worship: the Missal. I suggest people try it to experience whether or not its fruit is to their taste, so-to-speak.

    Our Ordinariate community is hosted at a shrinking diocesan parish. We have a good rapport with the Latin Mass community in our area, which is hosted at another diocesan parish. While there is a Sunday TLM, there are few if any daily (EF) Masses. Several TLM-goers attend our daily Masses, which are reverent, ad orientem.

    Our Ordinariate parish has doubled in size over the past five years—praise God! Originally mostly former Anglicans, the congregation now consists of a majority of cradle Catholics and converts from other ecclesial communities. We have several young families with five or more children.

    Mr. Williams wrote: “We need to look at the “back door” and the side windows to see the true flowering of the Church.” Perhaps one of those side windows is the Ordinariate and Divine Worship. And, if the Ordinary Form is a “1970’s Ford Pinto”, and the TLM “a sleek loaded 2018 Mercedes”, try a Rolls Royce—Divine Worship: the Missal.

  10. Patricia Amoratis

    I pray for the Latin Mass and be said as Post Vatican one was said. I long for the love and the mystical grace we all would receive. We desperately need that grace to fight the temptations of this world. God Bless all your efforts in bringing this to fruition.

  11. Good points, but I’m confused with the conclusion you come to. You praise the Lincoln Diocese, which is certainly a traditional one, but in the end, you say that the only way to go is back to the Latin Mass. The Lincoln Diocese is excellent, but alas, it is still a Novus Ordo Diocese. So why the continued vocations and devotion? Don’t get me wrong, I attend the Tridentine Mass often, but I also think that there is room for the Novus Ordo. The Lincoln Diocese is proof of this. It is living it Vatican II like Pope Paul VI envisioned.

    • Thank you Daniel. I had supposed someone would raise your point.

      1.) Lincoln is an example that of the best the Novus Ordo has to offer
      2.) Lincoln is not the typical Novus Ordo Diocese and my point was that people take notice that no one (other Dioceses in mind) is running in their ecclesial direction. In fact, the trend (among almost all Novus Ordo Dioceses) is to get farther away from the Lincoln model.
      3.) The FSSP and other traditional orders are beating Lincoln’s numbers two fold
      4.) The Lincoln Diocese is friendly to the Traditional Latin Mass

      The Novus Ordo will never be very fruitful since it is built on options. The liturgy should never be manipulated by anyone, least of all each celebrant and his particular preferences. The Mass of Paul VI is no where near the stratosphere of the Liturgies directly descended from the Apostles (Peter, Mark, James, and Thomas). The Eastern Rites NEVER changed and that is the lesson to be learned.

      • Rod Halvorsen

        Couple things;

        “The Novus Ordo will never be very fruitful since it is built on options.” I and my wife are converts and members of a FSSP parish. In discussing “good” NO parish liturgies with a NO friend, he will point out that Fr A’s parish is great and so is Fr B’s, but Fr C’s not so much. My response to him is that Fr’s A&B might very well have a “great” liturgy except both are modified according to the personal opinions of Fr’s A&B, so it seems legitimate to ask if either “great” expression truly represents the “NO” liturgy as there is in a sense no such thing as a single NO liturgy. I have been asking since I was converted: “Just what IS the required standard for NO liturgy?” No one seems able to provide that answer. What I hear over and over is “That wasn’t the intent of V2 and that isn’t what Pope PVI intended!” but when I try to really get it nailed down as to what is acceptable…the variables creep in.

        Thus, using the term “NO” seems to me to be similar to using the term “Protestant” in that it is a very generic term without any hard and fast meaning. This is different than the TLM where the rubrics are quite universally applied and at the very least, more easily assessed and where violations of the rubrics are easily picked out and identified.

        Also, just as a sidelight, I think it would be an interesting study to see what one change might do to vocations over time; banning of girl altar servers. That one change that was allowed seems to me to be one of if not THE single worst and most devastating modifications and hindrances to vocation growth, especially in small parishes.

        Again, we do need to be cognizant of the fact that the Church is active in Africa and for the most part, Africa is NO. We in the FSSP have an outpost in Nigeria, and there are a few other spots where the TLM exists, but basically, the largest truly active segment of Catholics worldwide is said to be in Africa, and Africa is at this point, NO. And many variables in liturgy exist there.

        One last thing. If we want to see growth in vocations, don’t lower the standards for youth involvement in the liturgy, increase them. For that matter, if we want to see growth in the Church herself, don’t appease the lowest common denominator of non-believer, increase it. Take a hard look at the Early Church and the demands then existing for penance, baptism, confirmation and the like, and see what happened. Just maybe we should start incorporating more of THAT in our faith and less “aggiornamento”…..

  12. I dont think it is the traditional mass per se. I believe it is the lack of youth and young adult ministry effort in parish, school and University.

  13. Greeting Fr. Kloster.
    Excellent article! I would be interested in republishing this in my newspaper, Oremus Press, with your permission. Please advise. Thank you.

    • Yes, please reprint it (in full) as you wish.

      There is a word change needed in the second paragraph. It reads “3 times less priests” and should read “3 times fewer priests.”

  14. Stuart Schultz

    Well done Father Kloster! Being a coach, all coaches are looking for ways to make their teams more successful. What we always do is look at the successful teams and try to find out why they are so successful. I have even gone to these coaches personally and asked them questions and watched their practices. It just confuses me why these Bishops are not doing the same thing. Maybe it is the sin of pride. I have also noted going to these parishes that allow the Traditional Masses that the confessional lines are always longer. Sad to say, the Traditional Mass that I was attending to in a city in Texas, the Bishop took away the rite of Confirmation and Confession. Go figure?

  15. How does my parish with a weekly TLM participate in the national survey you are conducting? Thanks.

    • @Restoration

      If your parish has the TLM only, your pastor may have already been asked. I selected 15 TLM only parishes (out of about 60) from around the USA for their size and geographic location.

      Talk to your pastor and if he’d like to be added, anyone may contact me on his behalf.
      Fr. Kloster
      St. Mary’s Norwalk, CT (203) 866-5546

  16. I don’t enjoy being a wet blanket, and there are a couple caveats to this question. I love the TLM and FSSP, and I believe in the power of both to renew the Church over time. That said, the assumption that the ratio of FSSP priests at 250:1 is a positive indicator seems upside down in the current context. The declining diocesan ratio relates to a mostly captive total of parishioners in a diocese, and clearly indicates declining vocations. The FSSP ratio, on the other hand, and given the current context, mostly indicates the attractive power of the TLM—the FSSP parishes are based on attraction, not territory. Wouldn’t it be a better near term indicator of the power of the TLM if the ratio was 1000:1? 2000:1? What am I missing?

    • The ratio is faithful to priests. The higher the ratio, the worse for the said Diocese. The Diocese of Lincoln has a very good ratio of 1 to 598. The 1950 number for all of the USA was also a good number 1 to 652. My own Diocese is 1 to 2230 which is almost 4 times worse than 1950 USA or 2018 Lincoln. Then there is my former Archdiocese of Guayaquil, Ecuador. I was there for 7 years. Their ratio is 1 to 8,501 which is 14 times worse…get the idea?

      There is almost no more exclusively territorial Mass attendance. People almost universally go to the parish they prefer, especially in cities where they have options.

      I have been in at least 4 parishes where the Novus Ordo and TLM were said in the same parish; vastly different vocation production numbers. There is no real comparison since the Traditional Latin Mass vocations are about 7 times the numbers we are seeing enter convents and seminaries for the Novus Ordo faithful per capita.

    • A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

      Throwing out one word criticisms are easy. Making a case to defend your position is a horse of a different color.

  17. Meet the six new priests of the Harrisburg Diocese. https://scontent.fagc1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/34200314_1925518980793036_1959955497431859200_n.jpg?_nc_cat=0&oh=1472d2609a4def42aa8dd08ec17bb4a6&oe=5BBEDCAB

    Again, the way traditionalists keep saying that the priests of the novus ordo are old, please look at these young men. Six is even one more than the batch in which our FSSP Chaplain was ordained in Nebraska (Our Chaplain was in the same batch as the late Father Kenneth Walker).

    Bishop Gainer (yes, the same Bishop who will offer the Holy Sacrifice for the TLM Communities in the Diocese) said something very interesting, since one of the newly ordained priests is actually the third to enter the priesthood. When he was acknowledging the parents of the newly ordained priests, he gave them the greatest credit because it is from them that the children get their love for God and the desire to enter religious life. Even my faith was not from Catholic Schools or from any form of Mass. It was from my mother, who nurtured it in me. Despite straying at times, I would then be called back to my faith. I was raised novus ordo, not TLM. I am registered with an FSSP TLM community. I do not foster any division in the Church, however, because such division plays right into the hands of the devil, who told God that he would destroy the Church. So I beg to differ with the TLM producing vocations. It is the family itself, starting with the parents, that forms the religious. While our FSSP Chaplain seems to be in a family of religious (ten siblings, a sister who is a Carmelite nun, two brothers in the FSSP seminary), one of the newly ordained diocesan priests is the third n his family to enter the priesthood.

    And btw, there were visiting priests from Nebraska in today’s ordination. And the Gloria sung by the choir was the exact same Gloria sung in the Latin Mass. The Agnus Dei was also in Latin. When the Bishop was doing the Consecration, I was listening to his words after the bread and wine were changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus. The words were just about the same as the words in the Latin Mass (almost identical to those in my Baronius Press TLM Missal).

    • Harrisburg, PA has a priest to faithful ratio of 1 to 1,515. It’s not a horrible number, but it’s not in the same ball park as the FSSP.

      I never once have written the Novus Ordo priests are old. But since you went there, their average age is much higher than the priests serving the Traditional Latin Mass parishes. That is just a fact no one can get around. The Traditional Latin Mass produces much more fruit than the Novus Ordo. Look at your average Novus Ordo parish roster; not a lot of youth. Go to any TLM and there are lots of young adults and children present.

      • I attend both, help out with both (coffee/social hall setup, donuts 4th Sunday, Church cleaning for TLM, hospitality and occasional giftbearer for novus ordo) and I have noticed just about the same number of children, young adults and old in both Masses. In our Latin Mass Community, I have seen our Chaplain on his own (when he was the only priest for our community) making the preparations because either the young altar boys did not make it, or they were late. I was just relieved to see one young man praying get up and go to the Sanctuary to help him. Then in such a case, the altar servers are the older men. Just today, our Chaplain had to operate the same way he did when he was the only priest in our community. Since our other Chaplain was leading the Buckley Pilgrimage, our Chaplain returned to the Confessional Box when Mass was over (with two Chaplains, one hears confession while the other offers the Holy Sacrifice). Novus ordo here even has Masses especially for the children because of the number of children in the parishes. Even some of my older co-hospitality in the novus ordo have certain Mass times that they prefer because in the other Masses, they say there are “too many children.” TLM is said only twice on Sunday. The novus ordo in which I help out has four Masses every Sunday (three in the daytime, one at night. I help out with the one at night). Not to mention, in that Church, though there are girl altar servers, the boys are starting to outnumber the girls. I have been to a number of Masses in which the altar servers were all boys. In some cases, all three boys are siblings. Must be the work of the Miraculous Medal (The Church has one of the miraculous medals owned by St. Catherine Labouré, as well as a relic of the saint herself)

        Speaking of young ones, I just overheard during today’s ordination, a teenage young man whisper to his mother, “Thank you for taking me to this.” A priest in the making?

        As to lines for confession, same. I guess the novus ordo might have longer lines, because there are two long lines for two Confessionals (both sides of the Church. There were times I even saw one of our FSSP priests and one of our TLM altar servers in line for Confession at the Cathedral). There is only one Confessional for our TLM. But overall, in our diocese, both Masses are very well attended, sometimes packed to an extent that you have to just stand at the back or hear Mass from the narthex.

        But then again, I am talking about the Diocese of Harrisburg. It might be different in another Diocese.

  18. “I never once have written the Novus Ordo priests are old. ”

    I’m so sorry. Please forgive me, Father, I didn’t mean you. I have read in other traditionalist blogs and pages about novus ordo priests being old. There is always that comparison that the novus ordo has old priests while the TLM has young ones. That is why I mentioned the age factor.

  19. Sometimes more of something is not better…like mosquitoes too many overly clerical traditionalist priests can be a real problem (think back to the 1940’s and 50’s).

    • Yes, too many priests is a real problem. Too many priests bringing communion to the sick. Too many priests teaching in our schools. Too many priests to hear confessions. Too many priests in the military. That sounds a lot like a modernist monk I knew who told one of my close friends that he prayed too much; impossible!

      You are a very small minority if you think fewer priests is a good thing. Can arguing from a negative produce a positive? It’s like someone terminally ill arguing that we need fewer doctors!

      • I didn’t say “too many priests”, I said “too many overly clerical traditionalist priests”.
        The
        ones who strive to present Christianity as a ritualistic pelagian cult.

    • Your words are modernist speak for no priests.

      The so called “overly clerical traditionalist” (your words exactly) priests give us far more fruit. My study is showing that they are attracting far more people to the pews.

      Yes, there are traditional priests who are less than exemplary, but they are the exception and the great minority.

      I can cite you case after case of Novus Ordo priests who refuse to visit hospitals, say the Mass so quickly you would think there was a fire imminent, don’t return phone calls, and almost won’t hear confessions; those priests are the rule in the Novus Ordo. There are many good Novus Ordo priests, but they are the big minority. Most Novus Ordo priests are comfortable in their upper middle class lifestyles and can’t be bothered to do much more than say the Mass and then disappear to their life of dinner parties, TV, and their minimalist sacramental disengagements.

      What you fail to remember is that vocations are drying up all over the West. We are in a critical shortage! However, the Traditional Orders are cranking out vocations to spare. If we are being honest, we must ask why and then be humble enough to admit wherein the future of the Church lies.

  20. To Kenneth,
    In USA, post WWII saw a decline in good men entering the priesthood. Frankly, a lot of them died during the war. Because of this the standards for the seminary started to decline. Same number of priests but lower caliber.

    This problem has occurred at least once in Catholic history. Look back to the Black Plague in Europe. Decimated a third of the population including good priests & potential priests. Standards were lowered to become a priest because bishops were desperate to find any man to reasonably shepherd the flock. This resulted in the overall corruption of the 1400s bringing about the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s. (IMO if the standards were kept at that time, Martin Luther should not have been allowed to become a priest.)

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