10 Points about prospective priests

I received some points of reflection from a priest friend who is a member of one of the oldest religious families.  I edited two of the points with his permission.

1. Prospective priests (Religious or Diocesan) are not looking primarily for community life, as we live it. They are looking for a Church-related mission that they believe in.
2. Prospective priests want to know what the Pope teaches, not what the U.N. teaches.
3. Prospective priests do not want to sit around with older “veterans” and listen to the latter whine about the Pope, Rome and the bishops.
4. Prospective priests are not in favor of women’s ordination. Period.
5. Prospective priests do not want to attend Masses that resemble hootenannies, Quaker meetings, or Presbyterian services.
6. Prospective priests are not ashamed of the Pro-life movement, they’re for it.
7. Prospective priests do not want to hear their brothers mock the Pope and gripe about liturgical norms.
8. Prospective priests do not want to study at theological unions/seminaries that are embarrassed by Catholic teaching.
9. Prospective priests know that Vatican II was not the only, or even the most important, Ecumenical Council.
10. Prospective priests are not embarrassed by Marian devotion, and are seen praying the Rosary.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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50 Responses to 10 Points about prospective priests

  1. frleo says:

    This sounds like most of the young men who have contacted me about studying for the priesthood in my diocese. I think it is spot on.

  2. Mike says:

    Another: Prospective priests aren’t afraid to learn basic competancy in Latin, even in their later years!

  3. trad catholic mom says:

    Amen!

  4. hicks says:

    This is true of every seminarian that I know. I don’t why it is so hard for some people to understand this, but a man in this place and this time is simply not going to give up married life and sex in exchange for a life of mediocrity, passive aggression, and complaining. If I ever worry about the future of the Church, I only have to look at my seminarian friends and I know that it will be a very bright future.

  5. mike cliffson says:

    Are they letting them into the seminaries? I’ve heard stories…

  6. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Where I am the seminarians seem to show the same cross section of attitudes toward the things on the list above as previously. I wonder if there is a location difference sometimes.

  7. wanda says:

    I pray that many of the prospective priests will become diocesan parish priests. We are in dire need of them. The closing of churches and cutting of mass times is often blamed on ‘lack of priests’. This ‘cluster’ arrangement is, pardon me, for the birds. We were recently told that the days of one priest for one parish is over. I pray that will not be so.

  8. Clinton says:

    I agree that these are all encouraging signs. However, I wonder if these prospective
    seminarians shouldn’t keep these attitudes to themselves if they want to make it
    into/through some seminaries. (Y’all be careful out there).

    I’d like to think that if these traits are becoming more evident among prospective priests
    that means that the stranglehold the ‘progressives’ have had upon the process of admissions
    and dismissals at seminaries has been broken. This current dearth of vocations has been, largely, a manufactured famine IMHO.

  9. benedetta says:

    Exactly right and coming soon to a parish near you. Amen, Thanks be to God, Alleluia!

  10. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Last week Denver’s seminaries (St. John Vianney and Redemptoris Mater) offered Eucharistic adoration in the shared chapel (what a beauty!) on the occasion of the Holy Father’s sexagenarian sacerdotal jubilee. The corridor leading to the chapel bore portraits of the ordination classes. Big classes through 1968, tiny classes from then through 1995, a few years with no new ordinations and then rapidly growing classes for the past decade.

    May the rest of the world bounce back from the excesses of the twentieth century as well as the Church appears to be doing.

  11. RichR says:

    Priests who fit in the profile listed in the OP will inevitably attract more men to the priesthood. I think the Church has learned this the hard way during the past 50 years.

  12. mdoneil says:

    Apparently I am a prospective priest. I’ve long thought that I was.

    I should probably see somebody about that.

  13. kkollwitz says:

    This sounds like my son, who will live in the diocesan discernment house this Fall, and the other new priests and seminarians I know in South Carolina.

  14. pinoytraddie says:

    Two More Points:

    Prospective Priests are willing to promote weekly Rosary & Eucharistic Adoration in their Parishes.(Related to # 10)

    Prospective Priests are “Saying the Black and Doing the Red” in The Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of The Mass.(Related to #2 and #5)

  15. Clinton: This current dearth of vocations has been, largely, a manufactured famine IMHO.

    Yep. Bingo. And the reason is not only in order to weed out the orthodox candidates for priesthood on general principles, but also because it’s a pathetic attempt to force Rome to (a) abolish celibacy, but especially (b) ordain women.

  16. Tom T says:

    Wonderful post. Do I hear Dominican? I read they are doubled up at the Noviate in Wash. D.C.
    and there is a waiting list for weekend vocational retreats at St. Joseph`s Province in N.Y.
    I wonder if it has anything to do with their faithfulness to the traditions of St. Dominic?
    Pax Everyone

  17. 11) Prospective priests are not interested in being called “Bob”

  18. esiul says:

    Regarding Pinoytraddie—— Amen to your point re the Rosary and Eucharistic Adoration
    And Miss Anita Moore O.P. — Yes, they learned from Europe. In Austria this past week or so
    250 priests signed a petition regarding among other demands your issues a and b.
    There wasn’t a word from Cardinal Schoenborn. At least he cancelled the “Western Mass”.
    No doubt pressure from Rome.

    And Fr. Z., I will pray for your intentions. Happy you considered me to blog, thank you.

  19. Jaceczko says:

    Sounds like seminarians I’ve had as students.

    (Not that I have a perspective on all those points.)

  20. denysmartyr says:

    As a recently ordained diocesan priest, I am both proud (and slightly embarrased) to confirm this post. Proud, because I think that my home parish pastor growing up (an older priest who has since retired) would approve of the direction the younger clergy are taking, and slightly embarrased, because of the reality that these points needed to be stated in the first place. The “Biological Solution” will deal with many of these problems, and the examples of Bl. John Paul the Great and Pope Benedict XVI are leading the Church forward through these tough times. Meanwhile, the griping veterans may yet be inspired by those who aren’t angry, who still enjoy the wonder and awe of this vocation. Most importantly, the efficacy of prayers for priests cannot be denied. God is working!

  21. Joan A. says:

    It’s great if men like this are up and coming, but what do we do with the 50-65 year old priests clogging our parishes now, who all seem to be “progressives”, who won’t let us kneel, who think guitars are contemporary, and a tabernacle is something for hide & seek?

    This is no small problem, heresy is being taught daily and you almost cannot find a simple orthodox Mass (not trad! Just orthodox.). Meanwhile children are absorbing it all.

    I worry the Church cannot afford a wait of another 15-20 years while the good fellows finally get ordained and the old ones retire…

  22. Trevor says:

    I think this pretty much describes the current seminary environment, Father (although you have slight differences in views and temperaments in each seminary). Some guys are a bit more “in your face” when it comes to church issues (and might be zealous preachers), and others tend to be more composed (and try to reach people through the channels of the heart). Both are loyal to church teaching.

    As for your points, I would say that I think it’s important for seminarians (and the other lay faithful) to get to know the older priests in their dioceses. I’ve spoken with a lot of the older priests in my diocese, and all my discussions with them have done wonders in helping us understand our differences. In my estimation, the ones who stayed in the priesthood are men who love God and want to serve Him, but for the most part, received a pretty poor academic, human, and spiritual formation in the late 60s. They were pretty much left to figure stuff out on their own, and thus turned to whatever sources were available (many of these antithetical to Church teaching). This poor formation, combined with a lack of understanding in the theological richness that has come out of the teachings of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, has led to the divisions among us. Additionally, they think most current seminarians are cold and uncharitable, who are solely concerned with theological matters, and have little pastoral skills (whereas they’d spent their priesthood trying to be “omnia omnibius”). Additionally, they can’t understand many seminarians’ desires for older things like cassocks and classical devotional books (which they see representative 50s Catholicism and the uber-strictness of the 50s seminary). I think it’s important for us seminarians to show these older priests that their perceptions of us are false. We are in the seminary because we do love Christ and his flock, and our preference for older things doesn’t imply a desire to “turn-back the clock” (at least among those who understand that the 50s were not a “golden age”).

    My only “disagreement” is with point nine. While certainly not the only Council, I think it is still immensely important to the modern Church. I think the documents of the Council, when read in conformity with the teachings of the past and with the writings of subsequent Popes, will lead to the conversion of the modern world that we all hope for. This “new evangelization” won’t be possible if we only reach for the canons of Trent and bracket Vatican II. Instead, we must use both under the guidance of the Spirit.

    P.S. And I will say that I think the seminaries now are really top-notch now (and as I meet seminarians from various places, I think we all agree we’re receiving an excellent education). It’s really hard to imagine the horror stories of years gone by (like homosexuality in the seminary and persecution for orthodoxy). This is certainly not the case now, and I don’t think men in seminary should feel the need to hide anything from superiors (like some posters suggested). The formators know the current seminary climate, and even if they’re not fans of the TLM themselves, they’re not going to throw a man out if he wants to learn it (although it might be a problem if he’s studying to be a diocesan priest and dismissive of the OF or expresses a desire to say the EF exclusively).

  23. Brendan McGrath says:

    I’m 29 — I’d say the ones that apply to me are numbers 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. (But not the potential belittling of Catholic social teaching behind #2. With #6, yes, but remember that evangelizing/catechizing is like fishing (“fishers of humans,” etc.) — if you pull too hard, the line will snap. As for #7, not “mocking,” but criticism is often warranted.)

    Regarding #4 — regardless of what one thinks of the Church’s teaching on women’s ordination, I say that one thing we should do is return canon law back to what it used to be, so that lay people can be made cardinals (i.e., cardinals, but not ordained as deacons, priests, or bishops) — and then, we could make female cardinals. I.e., women would be among the those electing the Pope. In fact, as a sign of humility and respect for the feminine genius, what if the college of cardinals were to consist entirely of lay female cardinals?

  24. disputationist says:

    Re #9, while it’s wrong to say that Vatican II teaches some kind of radical discontinuity, insisting that it’s “not the most important” Council, seems to be the same mistake as insisting that it somehow displaces everything else. After all, it was the most recent one and at least by virtue of that must have addressed issues very important to our times. I feel like #9 could be phrased better, without any implied disdain towards what is after all a valid Ecumenical Council convoked and confirmed by the Roman Pontiff.

  25. jflare says:

    Brandon, I truly don’t see much benefit to be gained from causing a lay man or lay woman to become a cardinal. Your comments suggest to me a rather strong interest in wielding power and authority like a political figure. That’s not precisely the role they’re intended to fill. They do wield a healthy degree of authority in the Church, both as individuals, and as members of the College of Cardinals, yes. This does not make them akin to senators, representative, or presidents in the usual American sense of democracy. They aid the pope in administering the Church’s efforts, they elect a new pope when needed.

    In fulfilling their roles as cardinals, they may individually or collectively seek lay guidance from both sexes on various matters.
    I don’t think “genius” of either male or female variety has been unfairly suppressed…

  26. Banjo pickin girl says:

    I think we are painting with too broad a brush here, using our individual experience and extrapolating to everybody. I personally know many priests who have been ordained in the last 5 or 10 years who do not hold to the things in this list and many in seminary now who do not. You can give a group of men the same formation but it won’t necessarily affect all of them in the same way. This also holds true of the Dominicans or any other “traditional” order. I know Dominican priests who have been ordained recently who detest Latin, chant, etc. and say they think the liturgy is “stuffy,” are concerned with the security that being in an Order affords, etc. Wearing a habit is not a guarantee of orthodoxy or of anything else. They are still people with their own likes and dislikes.

    Also, some of the most orthodox priests I have known are diocesan priests who are either in their 70′s and 80′s and were formed before “time of confusion.” I have also known some who were formed in the early 1970′s who are very orthodox and are like the people in the list above.

    I wonder sometimes if seminaries are not using the priest shortage as a reason or even an excuse to pass people who would not have been passed many years ago thus causing more variability than there used to be. But then I wonder, wasn’t there a always a lot of variability because people are variable? Priests are not machines produced on an assembly line. They have hopes, dreams, feelings…

  27. TaylorKH says:

    Re: #9 about Vatican II: I hope that prospective parish priests will respect Vatican II and be obedient to that ecumencal council per the intent of the Holy Spirit. I recommend that Vatican II not be treated any differently than any other ecumenical council (with the exception of its timely and appropriate application), for it is the same Holy Spirit which guides all ecumenical councils. Focus instead on how the Church can improve upon the obedient and right execution of the Council’s teachings in keeping with all of the existing teachings / truths of the Faith.

  28. Paul says:

    Indeed this is true.

  29. Scott W. says:

    denysmartyr, you wrote:

    As a recently ordained diocesan priest, I am both proud (and slightly embarrased) to confirm this post. Proud, because I think that my home parish pastor growing up (an older priest who has since retired) would approve of the direction the younger clergy are taking, and slightly embarrased, because of the reality that these points needed to be stated in the first place.

    Another commentor mentioned the “weeding out” of the orthodox faithful in the seminarian process. Recently, I’ve read some comments to the effect that a good part of this weeding out occurs in the CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) program. It is my hope that such shenanigans are a local and exceptional problem, but if you would, was your CPE experience faith-affirming, or kooky? Elaborate?

  30. Brendan —

    The whole point of having a collegiate “elector” system is that the electors have skin in the game — ie, they enter knowing that each one of them might become Pope, and that each one may become boss or serve directly under the person elected. This is supposed to discourage corruption and dirty dealing, because even the nastiest jerk can see that papal payback is a bad thing, and that bureaucratic Curia payback is equally bad for the Pope.

    When laymen (actually, cardinal deacons who were allowed to continue to live with families as lay Italian noblemen, as many technically-clerics did back then) were electors, they were equally subject to becoming pope at any moment, and having to give up their families and be ordained and consecrated. Of course, history shows that lay cardinal deacons did not in fact give up their families and worldly concerns, and instead operated the Church Militant as the Bank Me-litant. This is not what one would call “an encouraging precedent”.

    So… either you’re saying that either woman electors would be second-class electors, unable to become pope and therefore more tempted than the men to wheel and deal and use the moment’s power with all the ruthless abandon and corruption they can muster; or you’re saying that women’s ordination is okay and should come from the top down, even though that’s not what the papal electoral system is for.

    You’re also saying that the Church should open itself up to potential scandal by locking together cardinals of both sexes for long periods of time. (And yes, obviously this _shouldn’t_ be a problem, but it never works out that way, does it? Human frailty is nothing to dismiss.) Beyond that, even though the Domus is a lot bigger than, say, the Sistine Chapel plus a bathroom and some closet-sized bedrooms, the way it used to be, you’d still be in a position of men and women being bound to bug the heck out of each other by being in close proximity and using the same bathrooms.

    And of course some schmott dictator would have his lay woman cardinal elector raped, or her children credibly threatened, or so forth. It wouldn’t be the first time that happened to a male cardinal elector either, I’m sure, but there’s something about being a woman which makes evil types much more likely to try this sort of persecution and coercion, to the point that it becomes almost a certainty. Of course, you could say that you would only have woman cardinal electors from civilized countries, but nobody can predict the political future with certainty. There is a great deal to be said for old, celibate male electors as having fewer hostages to fortune and less reputation for being coerceable. (Especially since most dictators’ favorite methods of physical coercion kill old geezers pretty easily — even the methods that don’t leave marks.)

  31. And of course, if you have tottery old celibate clergy guys as electors, they’re less likely to try physical coercion or physical negotiation (ie, fighting) on each other. They also don’t stick around forever as individual elective forces, imposing their individual ideas of church governance for the next fifty years. Women generally live longer than men, so you’d have to pick a REALLY OLD laywoman or religious woman as an elector, just to be sure.

  32. Forgot that the current law makes cardinals only able to elect up to a certain age, after which they don’t get to go to conclave at all. (Which I understand was a reaction to greater longevity among cardinals.) So that point of mine doesn’t count at present.

  33. Ismael says:

    I really truly wish and hope this is true and real and that these prospective priests will soon become true priests and aid the healing of the wounds in the Church.

  34. Tom T says:

    It is an easy argument to make that there are differences between seminaries and orders and individuals if your going to micro examine the problems that were a result of misinterpretations
    and misconceptions of Post Conciliar Documents from VatII. The tension between traditional and novus ordo and the teaching of theology that distorts Catholic social teaching such as seems to come out of CTU in Chicago along with many others can lead one to examine directions and environment that lean towards conservative thinking versus progressive liberal on a macro scale.
    There is obviously a freedom to choose one`s direction and thinking no matter what your educational background may be and even that can change over time. However on a larger scale in comparing orders there are major differences that can`t be ignored. The difference between Jesuits and Dominicans is one example I would use. The numbers speak for themselves and the stark differences in theological teachings coming from formation is attributed to the Thomistic
    Theology taught at Dominican seminaries. Another glaring example would be the MSC Sacred Heart Missionaries that come out of CTU. In Europe and Australia many other foriegn countries
    they don`t wear anything but civilian casual dress and one would never know they were religious.
    I believe that a great deal of the formation of priests is derived from the influence of superiors
    and or bishops in the diocese where seminaries are located. The sruggle between liberal progressive and traditonal has been going on since the VatII Documents were being discussed
    and presented to Pope Paul VI. I read some of the conversations that went on and are still going on
    between the theologians and philosophers from the left and the right in classic literary warfare
    all attempting to get Pope Benedicts attention. And so on and on it goes and we can be encouraged
    by the discussions going on in Rome that will give us yet another change in the celebration of the
    Eucharist. According to an article in CNS called the ‘reform of the reform’ there will be a new
    Mass that combines the Novus Ordo with the Tridentine hopefully to keep everyone happy. Stay tuned. Pax

  35. Sister H. says:

    Great list! We could say the same thing about prospective Sisters; what a shame that the people in positions of authority don’t agree and/or would still see such candidates as “backward” or unsuitable! :(

  36. pinoytraddie says:

    Another: Prospective Priests are Willing to Use More Latin in Their Liturgies and Public Devotional Exercises (e.g, Rosary,Way of the Cross,Pilgrimages,Blessings,Processions Etc…)

  37. pinoytraddie says:

    Prospective Priests also Continue to seek Formation after their respective Ordinations and Mutually support Each other.

  38. Martial Artist says:

    The list strikes me as an eminently reasonable core for a checklist used to discern a vocation to the priesthood, or the permanent diaconate.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  39. BLB Oregon says:

    The great irony is the number of out-of-touch Catholics who think the “biological solution” is going to result in a Church that is more liberal than it is now. I cannot tell you how many Catholics I meet who really think that Rome is but one generation away from ordination of women. They somehow don’t get that the College of Cardinals put in place by John Paul II naturally selected his successor, Benedict XVI. I don’t know who they think is electing the next pope, but the way they talk, they’ll be surprised to find it isn’t Pope Joan II.

  40. Mdepie says:

    I can not comment on the change in the opinions of newer seminarians, other than to say I hope it is correct. In my diocese there are a relatively small number of newly ordained priests. The sample size is to small to spot a trend of any kind. As a parishoner, the pace of change is slow, imperceptible. The Church I know is still largely a creation of the local DRE lady…

    I do have a question that perhaps one of the bloggers who noted how important Vatican II was might respond to, ( or anyone else for that matter) It is not meant to be argumentative. ( Although It might come across that way.

    I am puzzled when it is said that it was an important council that might help with the “new evangelization”. It seems like they only truly doctrinal teaching was the statement on religious freedom, which basically made the case that the government should not be expected to make Catholicism the national religion, and that freedom of religion was more or less a natural right. This was probably in itself a good thing, although may have also lead to a kind of religious indifferentism. It has been a long time since I heard anyone in the mainstream Church argue that Catholicism is true and thus by definition other religions are more or less false.

    Beyond this it seems to me the real effect was to creat a number of documents which were potentially ambiguous and preceded what is , by every statistical measure a complete collapse of the Institutional Church. ( I won’t belabor all the dreary details, they have been well described by others and are probably well known the those who read Fr. Z’s blog) Although this collapse is multifactorial, it certainly was not prevented by Vatican II, and one could easily argue that because the documents allowed for plausible heterodox interpretation they served to support the positions of those interested in the “spirit of Vatican II” as a justification for much of the demolition of the Church we have witnessed. What I can not understand is what tangible, measureable “good” can be said to be directly caused by Vatican II? After Trent ( I know.. I know…. Trent was an imperfect council held over many years and often sparsely attended…) We had a clarification of Catholic Doctrine, and the Catholic Reformation, or Counter Reformation, the founding of the Society of Jesus and the Ursulines along with other orders. I think most historians have argued that the institutional Church was stonger post Trent that before. This would be true even if Non Catholics historians were read.

    I am not arguing that Vatican II was “invalid” in some way. It just strikes me that the actual, measureable, empirical evidence is that now 50 years out the Church worldwide and particularly in the West is is much worse shape by every tangible measure and it seems to me spiritually as well than before Vatican II. I know of no other council of which this could be said, and I do not understand why there is such a need to keep defending it. It seems clear to me while the intentions may have be good, the council failed and it might be helpful rather than looking back if folks asked what about this council was different. Whenever I read comments that suggest otherwise I just can not escape the impression that those who see Vatican II as having been overall a positive are living in an alternative universe.

    I am wondering why others do not see it this way. It seem obvious to me.

  41. Brendan McGrath says:

    Jflare and Suburbanbanshee — Thank you for addressing my comments; I don’t agree with everything you said, but I think you made a number of good and/or interesting points. Thanks again!

  42. Tom T says:

    Alas,others have indeed challenged and are at this moment going back and forth on this very subject and you are quite correct to point to Dignitatis Humanae where much of the arguments
    seem to be centered.The dispute continues for and against the popes who guided the council and put it`s innovations into practice. According to Pope Benedict XVI as cited in http://www.chiesa by Sandra Magister, Innovation and continuity in the Church is the key to interpreting the council on which Benedict XVI insists is the only way that can make sense of the variations introduced by Vatican II. “It is a hermeneutical of renewal in continuity”-words of Pope Benedict-
    but is rejected en bloc by the Lefebvrists and also fail to satisfy some thinkers of the traditionalists
    sphere increasingly disappointed with Pope Benedict. The most blunt in denouncing the rift is the elderly and respected theologian Brunero Gherardini and of course as you mentioned the dispute centers around Dignitatis. On the other hand we have an essay by the philosopher Martin
    Rhonheimer who agrees with the Pope that the “historical decisions” that the Church has modified,
    and” her inmost nature and true identity” the Church has maintained continuity. Then comes a
    very critical review, written by Archbishop Agostino Marchetto called “A council can also make mistakes. ” A Bolognese disciple of Fr. Dossetti, the historian Enrico Morini joins the dispute
    with “Tradition is also made with ruptures. ” So you see you are not alone in your questions. I`ll
    take Benedict`s side and wait and see what happens. My humble view is he is trying to keep both sides satisfied which is a delicate balancing act and may account for the revision of the Mass to
    both appeal to the traditionalists and the liberals however, that only partially addresses the problem with Dignitatis Humanae to some involved in the dispute. Pax

  43. rollingrj says:

    What a great list!

    Now, how does it apply to us laity?

  44. Supertradmum says:

    Bravo! This list corresponds with my experience of teaching the “John Paul II” generation of seminarians, who, sadly, in many places, must stay at “periscope depth” in the seminaries in order to stay in…

  45. Tom T says:

    rollingrj
    Everything that comes out of Rome involves the laity. The changes effect your manner of worship,
    your weekly celebration of the Eucharist and guide your Faith. Which is what precipitated the
    controversial discussionof the Novus vs. Tridentine Masses of which you have a choice of attending
    and was just made more readily available by Pope Benedict`s Universae Ecclesiae. Pax

  46. rollingrj says:

    Tom T

    I agree with your response wholeheartedly. I think I stated my question incorrectly; your reply give me the inspiration to revise.

    Now, how should it affect us laity, meaning how should it move us closer to conversion if we aren’t in agreement with any of these statements?

    If those discerning their calling to the ministerial priesthood think about these, shouldn’t we as laity?

    There. More verbose, but clearer.

  47. Tom T says:

    rollingrj

    I am not really qualified or educated enough to answer your question about discerment and
    and your calling to the ministerial priesthood. Perhaps Fr. Z could address that or you might
    want discuss your reservations about what is being discussed here with a spiritual advisor.
    May God Bless you and guide you in your discerment. Pax

  48. Tom T says:

    rollgrj

    I think I may have misunderstood your question. I re-read your statement. You are not discerning a call to the priesthood. I apologize for that. I should have read it more carefully.
    I still don`t know how to answer your question because I don`t know what points you disagree
    with. Conversion is a personal matter between you and God and I believe you should consult a
    spiritual adviser about which points in the discussion you disagree with, particularly as it relates
    to your conversion. Again I am not really qualified to give spiritual advise. God Bless.

  49. quinquagenarian seminarian says:

    The years of confusion and the destruction which befell the Church following Vatican II matched almost step for step the disintegration of society. A civilization which legalized the murder of its most defenseless citizens and then promulgated burgeoning depravity and shameful vice along with its culture of death, had to expect corruption to taint its governing institutions, civil, and ecclesial, alike. I’m speaking about those who governed the church during these years in questionable or spotty union (or open rebellion) with the Holy Father; or at least those who were playing fast and loose with their role as shepherds. God gives wise and prudent leaders to a people who seek after him with their whole heart. Let us hope to be such a people, with such leaders. After all, Holy Father Pope John Paul the Great certainly had more to do with the rehabilitation of this earth than just the fall of Communism!

  50. Tom T says:

    I agree about Blessed John Paul II. And through those times of disintegration of the Church and society it seems God always sends great people who keep His Church going. St. Benedict lived in
    such times and thanks to him we have a 1500 year old rule that many pattern their lives around.
    There were the great Abbots of Cluny and when everything fell apart again I am reminded of St. Dominic and St. Francis of Assisi and many many others that date back to the second century.
    Sadly we may be going through such times now. Civilizations seem to run in cycles and the Church
    always goes through difficult times but always seems to return to it`s core dogmas and beliefs.
    Sorry, just rambling. Pax