Our friend at Recovering Dissident Catholic, "Cathy of Alexandria" has a particularly good rant, which I feature here (with edits) as a "guest rant". My emphases and comments.
A good priest is hard to find. Heck, a PRIEST can be hard to find.
I "do process" for a living but there are times you just need flexibility around the process so you can just jump to the terminator.
Death and serious illness are one of those times.
There is too much of an effort these days to give lay people more control over the administration of the sacraments then they should. There is a huge difference between a parish administrator role and the priest. The parish administrator or business adminstrator or office secretary should not be controlling access to Father to the point that they are, in essence, stonewalling people under the guide of "not wanting to bother Father with more stuff"
For instance, and this has loooong been a source of anger for me, you want FATHER to visit a loved one in the home or in the hospital or in the nursing home and the immediate response of the ‘gatekeeper’ in the parish is: "I’ll send one of our LAY ministers" There are times where, I’m sorry, I just don’t WANT a lay minister. I want a PRIEST. I get even more furious if they continue on and get down to it: "Father doesn’t DO those types of calls" WTH?
We’ve probably all know (well, I do) of priests who are surprised to hear that people can’t access him when he’s needed because Father had no idea the office was pushing folks away from him. Father ends up giving his cell phone number and PERSONAL email address out so people can bypass the "office". Is that acceptable? It’s ridiculous. [Especially with our new tools of communication.]
In my opinion, the authority in the parish, the last word, the COO, is the pastor. God is the CEO and ultimate word. The pretenders can all go home. I know it’s harsh. There it is. [And when they do, Father will be even less available because he will also have their work to do.]
More and more people are bypassing the church weddings and funerals in favor of doing them at commercial wedding chapels and funeral home entirely. The commercial business world has figured out something we forgot: Give the people what they want AND what they need.
We need more vocations to the PRIESTHOOD.
Since one good rant deserves another, here is a little rant of my own.
Let’s be careful about prayers for vocations.
At times we should pray strictly for vocations to the priesthood. PRIESTHOOD! Deacons are great, but they are not priests. Religious women are great, but they are not priests. Religious men are find, but that is its own vocation. Married people are wonderful, but with a super small number of exceptions it is morally tedious to recount, they are not priests.
Often prayers for "vocations" are all lumped together, probably so as to avoid one of the great modern mortal sins: not being inclusive.
Fine. Do that. Pray for "vocations".
But let us pray for PRIESTS…. priestly vocations… vocations to the PRIESTHOOD.
And another thing… this is the Year for Priests. Yet I see this project and that effort for prayer for bishops, seemingly all the time. Great! Pray for bishops. Bishops are priests too. Bishops need constant prayers. I too am constantly telling people, imploring people to pray for our bishops, upon whom so much depends. I pray for a list of bishops after every Mass. But can priests have their year? Please? We pray for bishops all the time. It seems like every year is the year for bishops, right? At every Mass we pray for bishops by name, for heaven’s sake!
Okay… I must get back to work.
Thus endeth the rant.