Friday, May 27, 2011

I Propose A Biblical Solution To The Vocations Crisis

These are rumored to be urinals at the Vatican.  OK, it's probably photo shopped, but they do say one picture is worth a thousand words.

I have some thoughts about the issues Cardinal Pell of Australia has articulated in this homily on lack of vocations. Pell gave these thoughts during an ordination ceremony for five priests for the Archdiocese of Melbourne.  Here's his pertinent thoughts:

WHEN there are no vocations of any type for decades we need to examine the priorities of the Catholic community itself, said the Archbishop of Sydney, George Cardinal Pell.

“Some Catholic communities unfortunately are not life giving,” said the cardinal in his homily as five young men were ordained to the priesthood in an “historic celebration for the Church” at St Mary’s Cathedral last Saturday.

“Some Catholic communities can be contraceptive, even while Catholic life seems on the surface to continue vigorously.

“This phenomenon of different growth rates deserves examination and discussion
, although focusing energies on the promotion of faith, on encouraging the recognition and love of
Jesus as the son of God as well as the son of Mary (‘I am in the Father and the Father is in me’), on regular prayer, Catholic orthodoxy, and an explicit and regular explanation to young people of the need of priests and Catholic leadership and service in many areas is essential; and sometimes missing or obscured.”

I got to thinking about this different growth rates thing and the contraception thing and the fact he as a single celibate male is castigating others for not having enough orthodox children to support his life style choice, and it dawned on me there is a solution.  Pope Benedict could mandate polygamy for the priesthood.  After all there is far more biblical justification for polygamy than there is celibacy.  And even if some of the sister wives were engaging in illicit contraception, this wouldn't matter as a priest could just add more wives to compensate for the 'dry' wives.  And speaking of 'sister' wives, they could literally be sisters in the convent sense.  This is already rumored to be happening in Africa, and the West has hundreds of unused convents not yet taken over by orthodox new orders of nuns that would be available for use as communal homes.  Imagine it, one priest could be personally responsible for literally creating dozens of new priests.  Laity would then only have to keep a keen eye out for the 'incest' thing which seems to be sort of endemic in these kinds of situations--at least I noticed this when living in Salt Lake City.  Those traditionalist Mormon polygamy practitioners did seem to be in jail for incest quite frequently.  I suppose the solution would be to just transfer those too attractive young female relatives to another parish.

Speaking of incest, I think Maciel was kind of on this track of polygamy rather than celibacy.  He just didn't have it fully thought through. He was pretty polygamous in his actions, but didn't have the courage of his convictions to come out and show JPII and Benny how advantageous his solution to the vocations crisis could be.  Plus he screwed the whole thing up, which put the Legion way off track in following Nuestro Padre's total example.  The Legion really could have been legion.  I guess some other orthodox cult leader will just have to make a better attempt to get it right.  Obviously this whole idea would not appeal to feminazi heretical progressive women, so we can't expect this church shaking idea to be embraced from the left---well maybe some of the men. Men like John Edwards for example.

If Benny proposed this, imagine the numbers of priests it would attract.  If secular society has a little bit of a problem with this, the sister wives could have legal contracts in place in lieu of secular marriage licenses.  Kind of like the Church already thinks about gay marriage.  What's good for gays is good for priests.  Besides, the tax issue could be solved by declaring each extended family a religious organization, which is after all, exactly what the Vatican already thinks a family should be.  

So there you have it, the perfect solution to the priest shortage.  Can't wait to hear from the Vatican about my solution.  Why I might even get a preferential job cleaning the gold urinals in the Vatican.  What more could a post menopausal Catholic woman ask for?


  1. At the risk of making a more modest proposal, one could look to a scriptural answer.

    1 Timothy 3 outlines the qualities required of a deacon and of a bishop (as there weren't priests in those days *cough cough*).

    The requirement for both was that they be married (monogamously) and have children.

    *sighs* If only the Church would follow the Bible....

  2. @ Tim,

    Wow, great reference, for the unwashed like me:

    1 This saying is trustworthy: 2 whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.
    Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable, married only once, temperate, self-controlled, decent, hospitable, able to teach,
    not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle, not contentious, not a lover of money.
    He must manage his own household well, keeping his children under control with perfect dignity;
    for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of the church of God?
    He should not be a recent convert, so that he may not become conceited and thus incur the devil's punishment. 3
    He must also have a good reputation among outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, the devil's trap.
    4 Similarly, deacons must be dignified, not deceitful, not addicted to drink, not greedy for sordid gain,
    holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
    Moreover, they should be tested first; then, if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
    Women, 5 similarly, should be dignified, not slanderers, but temperate and faithful in everything.
    Deacons may be married only once and must manage their children and their households well.
    Thus those who serve well as deacons gain good standing and much confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.


    Word: seder

  3. I would appreciate it if you guys would stop coming up with biblical verses taken quite out of context that refute my thesis.

    And you are right Tim, back in the REAL good ole days, there were no priests. "cough cough".

    If I wasn't so enamored with my own solution, I would be compelled to congratulate you on the pertinence of Timothy 1--except for that verse 11 thing.

  4. I love this line "he as a single celibate male is castigating others for not having enough orthodox children to support his life style choice" Love, love, love it.

  5. But are you certain he is celibate? Obviously he could be talking the talk but taking an entirely different walk...

  6. What a wonderful solution to the priest shortage! Women wouldn't be second class in the Church anymore! They'd be on their way to sainthood and like so many other women in the Old Testament that shared one husband who fathered so many faithful!!! Oh, what delight to imagine!!

    Wouldn't the world be grand if all women could clean the golden toilets at the Vatican!!??? That's practically a deacon because it gets one so close to sacred parts of the priesthood!! Priceless!!!

  7. Oh, heck. This is going to make me look like a real nerd. But I happen to know that the urinals come from an exhibition in Japan a few years back. There was a big stink about it (they should have put some of those toilet blocks in) and I blogged on it because it's the sort of thing I always blog on.

    So, not a photoshop.

  8. @ Mad Priest

    The Nun Urinal is the most provocative photo I have ever seen on this blog. I have made some pretty crazy comments (BDSM imagery & Opus Dei, for example) but this whole topic and illustration seems one for the ages. We commentators have been very muted and respectful, all things considered.

    I love Colleen's writing, especially when she shows her snarky, edgy side. It must drive the literalists crazy.


  9. You guys just stop it. Mad Priest you have totally ruined my retirement fantasy. Seriously, do you think nun urinals truly need urinal pucks? Or that said pucks could ever cover the stink. For that I would have to put on my 'latex rubber' gloves and we all know latex rubber anything would not pass muster in the Vatican.

    The puck thing was for you p2p.

  10. @Colleen,

    My Dad's the true Maple Leaf fan. We've been waiting since 1967 for that championship season. What are you saying? Does the demise of the franchise have something to do with Vatican 2? I never thought of that before because Toronto the Good is a Protestant town.

    Anyway, picking up on your your theme of perversion, I thought the reference to latex was for me too. Lady Gaga wears a latex nun outfit, while outrageous, seems much less objectionable than using latex for condoms.

    Regarding the Nun Urinals, Mad Priest's comment intrigued me. Googling around gave some interesting results. Moslems were outraged when they mistakenly thought the urinals portrayed modestly dressed Islamic women. Someone enhanced the photos to show that the women were wearing crucifixes and all seemed right again on that website.

    On other websites those who commented said the urinals could be found in the Vatican! Nobody seemed to dispute that assertion. So that's the image the Vatican projects, and it isn't any better than Lady Gaga's. Dominaton/submission, perverted religious imagery. Yep.



  11. Brother, I think I could have never quit the seminary had I known there would have been a whole temple full of Vestal Virgins reserved for me only. I would not even have to suffer the self induced murder of jihad. Or maybe it would be similar to jihad as I have trouble enough satisfying one wife. But then again its might be better to take the good with the bad. Great proposal!

    Could you imagine what a person could do on Ebay with golden nun urinals! What a golden parachute for retirement!! Think of all the trips with an enlarged prostate. Could piss the day away. dennis

  12. Cardinal Pell doesn't mention what seem to me the two core reasons for decreasing vocations in developed countries.

    1. There are other routes besides the priesthood and religious life for the bulk of young Catholics in these countries to become educated.

    2. The Catholic laity decided that the Church's practice of removing children from their families at 12 or 13 to go to novitiates or minor seminaries was simply immoral.

    There were cases of this in both my mother's and my father's families in Ireland. My mother told us when we were still in our teens that she considered this a major wrong.


  13. Colleen... you must right a book. soon.