Occasionally at the parish, I will preach a homily about masculine spirituality, or about the role of the husband as the servant-leader of the home, or about how the priesthood is a calling for young men to consider…

Without exception, I will receive a small handful of emails from a small handful of older BabyBoomer (Those born between 1945-1964) women upset that I have touched on the subject. Amidst the content will be a line about how women do most of the volunteer work around the parish; “just look at who serves as readers, EMHCs, catechists, and hospitality ministers.” After I tell them I’m willing to sit down with them to discuss any wounds they’ve received from men in their lives, I go on to say that the fact that women do nearly every ministry in the parish is a problem because it has made men passive, and absent in the Church. This creates a vicious cycle as the boys in the parish see nearly no male examples of Christian service save the priest, and thus do not take interest in serving the Church, or even remaining faithful to her.

Typically, I don’t get any response from those who were complaining about those points whatsoever.

Many Baby Boomer Catholics (male and female) that lament about how women are not “represented enough,” fail to see the demographic makeup of nearly every parish committee, liturgical service team, and the general congregation at Sunday Mass.

Heck, even altar girls are far outnumbering altar boys now in many places, and many seem to rejoice in it. Nevertheless, they continue to complain about how women are not represented enough while the faith dies among boys, young men, and downstream from that, young women.

At the campus ministry, however, I hear the young women lament about a lack of representation as well, but not about themselves. They lament that young men are not represented enough. While the school I chaplain is 60-65% female to begin with, the makeup of our ministry exceeds that percentage. In the spring of 2017 when new officers of our ministry were elected I sat down with the four young faithful ladies and told them that my big emphasis in the fall would be in building up the fraternity of the men in the group which would hopefully lead to more men attending our events overall. I told them that this would include expanding how many altar servers we used (formerly just one server in street clothes) to many in high-quality albs, and that I was going to make that ministry exclusively male. I would also begin a men’s night at a local sports bar after our Sunday Masses.

Their reaction was not visceral, or disappointment, or even confusion. Rather, they thanked me. They breathed a sigh of relief, and told me that they would support these decisions, if folks were to complain about them. I’ve heard of no complaints over a year later.

When I speak with women my age (mid-30s) and younger they are not concerned about women’s ordinations, or having a voice in the Church. They are concerned with the lack of men in the Church, and if they will find a husband who shares their faith, and will lead them and their children in that faith. They have rejected the infiltration of secular feminism into Catholicism, and long for strong men to step up. They don’t long for a voice in the Church, they long to hear masculine voices singing at Mass, and praying the rosary aloud.

When it comes to the married women in the Church from the younger half of GenX and down they are mostly concerned if their daughters will find Catholic men to marry, or if their boys will find a place to serve the Church. Boys want to do boy things, and when we don’t have any gender specialization they tend to check out as the activities are “girly.” We can try to chastise them for this as the latest Star Wars movie did, but all that does is push them more and more away, and solidify in their minds that Church is something girls do.

Folks, we need to seriously look at how few men are involved in Church, especially the young men. We need to really re-examine if dropping all-male ministries was a good thing. Younger women have few options for male Catholic role-models, male Catholic friends and Catholic husbands these days.

Part of that is how we have lost the art of courtship (which is another article altogether), but part is that the BabyBoomer politics of female empowerment has been our operating method in the parishes for generations now. Every study has shown that the largest factor in whether or not a child, male or female,  will continue to practice the faith into adulthood is if the father of the home practices the faith. If we continue to try to “empower” women with time-worn leftist tactics, we will only continue to push men out of the Church, and the women will follow too.

What can be done about this?  Well, young men: start devotional groups among yourselves, and ask the priests to be a part of it. Look into processions with the Eucharist and/or images of saints, and volunteer to do the literal heavy lifting in those processions, and around the parish grounds. Then invite your sons and nephews to be a part of these events in a special way. Buy them a suit and tie for devotionals, and work gloves for labor. Let them know they are partaking in the life of the Church using the gifts of masculinity God gave them. If it is a mix of male and female servers, at least try to get server teams segregated by gender at the Masses like some parishes have done (i.e. Saturday Evening Mass is all female, and Sunday Morning Mass is all male).

Young ladies, support these endeavors and stand up the ladies in the parish who gawk at it. Tell them that the lack of men in the Church is a problem for women too, and something is finally being done about it. Talk to your priests, and talk to the commissions at the parish about the need to bring back male exclusive ministries at liturgies. Tell them how Catholic men are sparse, and how it is hurting Catholic women. Tell them you want your daughters and nieces to have strong boys of faith as friends, and someday as husbands. Tell them their attitudes are hurtful.

Do not allow yourself to be bullied because of your youth as Jeremiah was commanded not to be (Jer. 1:7). Your youth is powerful, so use that power for the salvation of souls. Men in our culture are hungry for tradition, meaning, direction, and healthy relationships. So let us not lose them because we were too afraid to confront a weak ideology from the 70s.

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Comments

28 COMMENTS

  1. When I was in high school, the common line was that church is for “girls and fags.” In the local churches what you describe tended to be the case, where women dominated the non-priest roles, while the priests themselves were often more effeminate than the women. Why would a young man want any part of that? This is not the case everywhere, but in diocese where it’s true, I can’t imagine the vocations are too high,

  2. It took me awhile to compose my thoughts enough to respond. As a practicing Catholic and a long time defender of our faith I have to say, I’m taken aback by your slanderous comments and complete ignorance.
    It is women’s fault that men are not ‘stepping’ up? What a slap in the face to all of the women who have kept our faith going and a slap to all of the men who have stayed involved and who do not see themselves as needing to be an all omnipotent being in our faith and our homes. This smacks of evangelical preaching instead of the Catholic-based dogma I was taught…..by good priests and nuns. What you are really commenting on isn’t faith-based, but coming from a throw-back attitude based on 1950’s( and earlier) attitudes. And it comes from a place of fear…….the faith will not survive unless we ALL work together and stop this silly pandering to males based on a false idea that they cannot manage unless they are ALWAYS in charge. Good, strong, smart males…..the men I want my daughters to marry, are self-assured enough to know everyone has an equal place at the Lord’s table and in his Church.

    • Leslie,
      There is much to study on this subject. Numerous books on why men don’t go to church and what the feminist movement has done to the faith of men and boys. You are uninformed as to the statistics and the consequences of your vision of a “self-assured” male. You are a typically ignorant church going woman who thinks everyone likes the pink silk hanging from the altar. Actually, we really hate what your types have done. So we don’t come to church. Men are different from women. Don’t ask a young man to hold hands with a girl during the Our Father – he will hate you. I know, I have 3 boys and I know how I feel about the feminist kumbaya junk. Your way depletes and destroys a man’s act of worship. You have no idea the damage you cause. There is nothing for men in the church and so you can have it to yourself. As for me and my family we have found a more reverent and masculine Mass. It is the Mass of the ages called the Traditional Latin Mass. Happily, you feminists can’t mess with it. And because of this my sons have decided on their own to sing in the choir and serve at the altar. They are attracted to the priesthood. The verdict is in – women, despite their best intentions, break the church and men do the opposite, they build the church. Read a few books on Church demographics while you cool off and the rest of us work on the damage you have inflected upon men and boys.

      • Well said Joey. And I’m a woman so I can have an opinion. Thank you for clarifying the real truth that boys run for the hills when girls start taking over. This is the epidemic weakening the altar serving contribution of boys everywhere.

        • May I ask, then……..why did girls come to serve at the altar?? why did women become ecumenical ministers?
          I work with plenty of men and I can tell you they are NOT intimidated by anyone, including me. I am an equal. When we speak of men and women thus…as one having to be subservient to another, we lessen everyone’s worth.

      • So, what you are saying is this……..the Church is only attractive to you when it fits with your version of what looks masculine? It seems to me you are more concerned with the trappings of a Mass rather than the substance. For me, I wouldn’t care if a Mass was said in a barn as long as I got to hear the Word of God. It is an affront to the Catholic Faith to reduce it to ‘silk’ and ‘hand-holding’.
        “Kumbaya junk”? LOL….the changes to the Mass are not instituted by women in the parish, but by bodies of MEN! So, please….spare me. And the Mass you speak of? I remember that Mass because I was young when Vatican II came about. Oh, wait! Wasn’t that all men who made those changes??? In the 60’s? Before women could even have credit cards??? So, you see….your ‘theory’ about what is going on in the Church is just totally off. What you and your family are doing is a throwback from before Vatican II and against the present- day teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. I’m very happy for you if it is what has brought your family peace and a desire to hear the Word of God. But God’s words are not just for you and the Church is not just for you.
        If women have ‘damaged’ men and boys by becoming an active part of the Mass and the Church then it doesn’t say much for your sense of self, does it? And the case you are making isn’t of males being masculine and strong and self-assured, but of men being weak and subject to injury if women can do what they consider to be ‘male’ jobs/tasks/ etc. I would never paint my boys with that brush. They are men…….and they are men who do what it is they want to do and let others live their lives because they are unaffected by the silly things you are using as gauges of self-worth. In other words……they are not intimidated by women who can do……THAT is a masculine man.

    • Leslie thank you so much for writing this comment and for continuing to defend it when someone essentially said you can’t argue this point because you’re a woman and you don’t understand. As a young woman reading an article like this, so clearly flawed, I start to wonder whether I’d like a place within the church. Reading your comment is really helpful and allows me to see that it’s not everyone who feels this way and not everyone sees men as so weak that we need to cater to them by demoting women. I won’t argue what I see wrong with this article because you’ve already done it so well and I see the type of responses you received. Anyways thank you and blessings

  3. Leslie, it might be a good idea to stop using the word “male” and “female” instead of men and women. Marxist feminists explicitly pushed it in order to dehumanize people, by using language that had been reserved for animals.

    >[is it] women’s fault that men are not ‘stepping’ up?

    It doesn’t matter whose fault it is. The fact is that the Church has been massively hurt by young boys not being able to see a strong masculine presence that they could emulate.

    >What a slap in the face to all of the women who have kept our faith going and a slap to all of the men who have stayed involved and who do not see themselves as needing to be an all omnipotent being in our faith and our homes.

    By this do you mean it’s humiliating? It is humiliating to come face to face with the fact that often our efforts are not as fruitful as we’d like, even when we have good intentions and try our best. However, as Pope Francis says, “Humility can only take root in the heart through humiliations.” It is almost (and I’m not even sure that qualifier needs to be there) certain that it would be better to follow in the footsteps of the town of Lu in northern Italy.

    >This smacks of evangelical preaching instead of the Catholic-based dogma I was taught

    Forgive me, did no one ever encourage you to read the First Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Corinthians? Is there a specific dogma you were thinking of when you wrote this?

    What is apparent on this Earth is not what will be in heaven. Consider the authority within the Holy Family while Christ was on earth and each person’s place in heaven.

    >coming from a throw-back attitude based on 1950’s( and earlier) attitudes.

    It seems to come from both common sense and reason, given that boys are looking for men to emulate, and if they do not find them in the Church they will begin to ignore the Church. It also is from Tradition, which is apparent in your own comment. And it is plainly in the Bible.

    >And it comes from a place of fear

    If you are not afraid of what the Church will go through after the priests who are over the age of 60 die I don’t know what to tell you. Tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of souls will be lost who might have been saved had there been more vocations in the past 60 years. The question is not who or what is at fault, but what can be done to encourage boys to be more serious about their faith as they grow into men, and having role models in the Church for them to imitate seems like an obvious thing. It also seems obvious that boys don’t want to be a part of something they see as “girly” (whether or not it is truly girly).

    >the faith will not survive unless we ALL work together

    I agree, though I suspect we have a different idea of what it means to work together. It is like an orchestra, where each contributes in a special way, and if everyone played the exact same music, instead of having harmony and melody, the music would not be nearly as rich and meaningful.

    >stop this silly pandering to males based on a false idea that they cannot manage unless they are ALWAYS in charge.

    Again, using the word “males” (or “females” for women) comes from Marxism, which is inherently evil.

    You’ll find in the history of the Church many women with authority, including determining who the true pope is, saving a nation from the brink of disaster, or literally having authority, in a certain very limited respect, over God. You’ll also find these women were all extremely humble, and were only doing their duty given their state in life.

    >Good, strong, smart males

    Same comment about “males.” The goal of the devil with the use of this word is to separate man from God.

    >the men I want my daughters to marry, are self-assured

    That is a good thing.

    >everyone has an equal place at the Lord’s table and in his Church.

    It seems readily apparent that my priest has a higher place than I in the Church, more so for my bishop and to an extreme degree for the pope.

    >at the Lord’s table

    I do not know if all are equal at the Eucharist on earth, assuming everyone is in a state of grace. It seems obvious, however, that those in a state of mortal sin are not equal to those in a state of grace, and probable that because someone who receives our Lord more suitably receives more grace, that there is an inequality even among those in a state of grace.

    If by this you meant heaven, it is clear in St. Thomas Aquinas that because no angel is equal to another and the Saints take the places of the fallen angels, that in heaven there is not equality, but hierarchy. But of course, everyone in heaven is perfectly humble and so is content with their place.

  4. No, I did not mean humiliating.
    but while we are on the subject, I feel the need to point out how you seem to believe it is character building to be humiliated, but then how is it you see a need for boys to not feel humiliated by seeing females( oh no! I used that word) taking part in the Mass? Is that not the same thing?
    Me thinks you talk out of both sides of your mouth.
    I cannot be bothered to dissect this line by line because much of it is based on a twisted understanding of what I stated, which is fine. I have already spoken to our parish priest…….this isn’t what is accepted or expected in the Church and as I said to the other gentleman, I’m glad if where you practice your faith gives you peace. That is, ultimately, what we all want.

    • >how is it you see a need for boys to not feel humiliated by seeing females( oh no! I used that word) taking part in the Mass

      It’s not that it’s humiliating. Humiliation is seeing yourself as you are. The problem is that boys want to be men, and look to what men do to emulate that.

      >a twisted understanding of what I stated

      I also think your understanding of what you’re reading is twisted.

      > I’m glad if where you practice your faith gives you peace.

      I hope you find peace as well. God bless.

  5. Perhaps the boys of today stay away because they don’t want to risk being sexually assaulted by predator priests. The church is becoming irrelevant and the priests and bishops, who are so much further up the hierarchy than we are, have only themselves to blame.

  6. Leslie , thank you for taking the time to speak out. The vitriol you’ve had to endure in return is dehumanizing, to use the word Ed used in reference to feminism. This is a perfect example of basic everyday misogyny. Just wanted to let you know you’re not alone in your response to this post.

    • TY, Beth. I really appreciate the support!
      I love my Church……..I passionately protect it. But this is just disturbing, Handmaid’s Tale kind of stuff. And it makes me sad to think men are being raised to believe this………that solving their feelings of weakness or lack of worth can be done by demeaning women for their choices not being in line with those of controlling males. My teen boys suffer from none of this……..if anything, they have asked me for as much info as their father and on varied subjects. They see me, their father and themselves as capable of, truly, anything. Let’s hope this isn’t a portent of things to come.

  7. There seems to be little logic in asserting that because the majority of positions of service in a parish are filled by females, that it somehow follows we shouldn’t talk about masculine spirituality. Such is the very reason we should talk about masculine spirituality; it is not apparent. We may even be reaching out to the “fringes” our community – parish community – by reaching out to males, thus adhering to the exhortation of our Holy Father Pope Francis to reach out to such.

    On the flip side of the argument, if the majority of positions of service or leadership being filled by females in the parish is the reason we shouldn’t bother talking about masculine spirituality, then why should we feel the need to fill these positions with females based on the idea the idea that they are “underrepresented” in the leadership of the Church? Based their same logic, it would be reasonable to respond by asking, if women are so “underrepresented” in the leadership of the Church, then why bother filling all these positions at the parish level with women? Of course, such would not be reasonable to ask, but it’s just as reasonable as asserting that we shouldn’t bother talking about masculine spirituality when most position of leadership or service at the parish level are filled by women.

    Such who think we should fill as many positions of leadership at the parish level with women because of their “under representation” in the Church, then say we shouldn’t bother talking about masculine spirituality because most of the positions of service are filled by females, seem to want to have their cake and eat it too on an intellectual level here. Such nonsense may have worked the past few decades to brow beat pastors into shutting up when wanting to do something about the lack of men at the parish level, but, as intimated in this article, millenials have been through this deconstructed gender construct forwards and backwards and found it wanting, if anything for the wanting of the presence of men at Mass, and won’t be convinced by such shoddy logic just because it rings of the now hoarse battle cry which prompted social change throughout the 60’s and 70’s.

    • The only reason women have been filling more and more roles within the Church is that men are not. Speak all you want of ‘male spirituality’ as if it is any different in God’s eyes. You were certainly circular and fixated on that phrase……….the fact is, many are not hearing the call of the Church and not because of lack of male representation…………because, by design, that would be a self-defeating act then, wouldn’t it??? I think you are the one showing “shoddy logic” by using that as a reason. If men want to fill more roles, again, within the Church, let them come and do so!!!! I see no one stopping them. Now, if what you really mean is to forcibly remove and bar women from being in many parts of the Church, that is entirely another thing.
      If men had wanted to continue to fill these roles ‘taken over’ by females, then you are kidding yourself. It is like a child owning a toy he has grown tired of, bored with and casting it aside only to have a reawakening of need for said toy because someone else has picked it up, dusted it off and seen the true value in it. Too late…..you may share the ‘toy’, but not keep it from others.
      Grow up……..and if you believe you have the pulse of the upcoming generations, I’d advise you to take another look. I hear them all of the time and issues with gender ‘deconstruction’ is a non-issue for the vast majority. It has taken me a long time to wrap my head around some changes…….from things you have said, you are way behind me!

  8. Please read 1 Corinthians in order to see how there are distinct callings and ways of pursuing God’s will between men and women. What are your sources of information for knowing that lack of male representation has nothing to do with young men not hearing the ‘call if the Church’? It is true that many men are not interested in taking over the roles of liturgists in parishes, which roles have chiefly been filled by women the past few decades, nor of dusting off and playing with such toys as felt banners, wicker baskets, or incense bowls, so I will concede you that point. it is worth noting, however, that the ‘children’ I’ve see playing with such toys are getting on in years. With regard to my thinking I have the pulse of the future generation, it is simply what I have gathered by being a part of this generation, and from talking to others of my generation who go to Mass regularly. There are indeed others of my generation who don’t see things the same way, but, if they are Catholic, they for the most part go to Mass very seldom and think very little of such issues of how reverential or how ‘relevant’ the liturgy can be, or of the proportion of a parish’s congregation being compromised of males. The vast majority of people of my generation who do go to Mass regularly, however, are not convinced that just saying something like that all the changes in the Mass that were made at the Second Vatican Council were made by men is an automatic reason to say oh gee your right, Pam, why don’t you and your friends go ahead and take over the planning of the liturgy here at St. Catherine’s. They would not dismiss such a point completely, but expect you to qualify it with further explanation as to how what the men did was somehow lacking, and, given the needs which then needed to be filled, how the further involvement of women would contribute. As intimated by myself and others here, however, such explanation would be quite a task seeing as how women are plenty involved at many liturgies and, men, not so much.

    • I am finding this very difficult to read and, therefore, difficult to answer……..
      -What are your sources of information for knowing that lack of male representation has nothing to do with young men not hearing the ‘call if the Church’?
      Well…….it is logical. no? I mean, women became more involved BECAUSE men were dropping out. The Church has always been male-dominated and still is…….women were used more often due to lack of male involvement. So…..if males want to be more involved it seems to me the solution isn’t to walk away but to come back and work!
      -With regard to my thinking I have the pulse of the future generation, it is simply what I have gathered by being a part of this generation, and from talking to others of my generation who go to Mass regularly.
      You mentioned millennials in your previous post, not the aging generation…….are you a millennial?
      -however, are not convinced that just saying something like that all the changes in the Mass that were made at the Second Vatican Council were made by men is an automatic reason to say oh gee your right, Pam, why don’t you and your friends go ahead and take over the planning of the liturgy here at St. Catherine’s.
      Ummm……..ALL of the Bishops are male!
      And if you wanted to be part of the liturgy then be part of it! Who is stopping you??? And who is Pam??
      -They would not dismiss such a point completely, but expect you to qualify it with further explanation as to how what the men did was somehow lacking, and, given the needs which then needed to be filled, how the further involvement of women would contribute
      What ARE you talking about??? “What the men did was lacking?” Huh??? I was commenting on the statements made revolving around women taking over men’s roles and making them feel useless(I’m paraphrasing)
      No one said lacking…….but some did say they walked away. I see plenty of men in our parish…..if you do not, then go to your priests and together figure out what is happening within your parish. Has anyone ever considered this isn’t a male vs. female issues, but rather our society in general? The lack of family involvement and the general self -centered, it’s mine, mine, mine behavior? The refusal to accept personal responsibility…….just a thought.

  9. Speaking as a baby boomer, I am sick to death of all the finger pointing at my generation. The fact that women are so active in Church Ministries is fine. But it does not exclude the ability of men from participating as well. The church needs to reach out to men and ask for their help. You can take it from me that, as a wife I do my best with that very same mission. The comments that I received from my husband have nothing to do with women being active in ministries, nor with the baby boomer generational input, and everything to do with other Church issues.

  10. As a woman and as a baby boomer and also as someone who was out of the Church for 34 years, I can say that what I see today compared to what I saw as a teenager, is completely out of whack. The Traditions of the Church did get tossed out after Vatican II by renegade priests and bishops who handed over the liturgy to a committee (of mostly women) to do as they willed within the Church.

    Do not even attempt to hold my hand at the praying of the Our Father. That truly is a Kumbaya moment that has no place in the Mass, nor does laity using the Orans position during prayer. Female altar servers, useless. The position was to assist young men in seeing the beauty and wonder of being a priest and fostering a desire to become a priest. In Cara’s survey in 2017 of the 444 ordinands that responded, 77% of them stated that altar serving was a ministry that they participated in. There is a real and consistant correlation between altar serving and vocations to the priesthood. 80% of the ordinands came from households with two parents, who were both Catholics. It has already been shown that one of the greatest indicators on whether or not children will continue in their faith, is if they witness their father worshiping and serving. The third factor after fathers influence and altar service was the encouragement of their parish priest.

    Sadly to say, our entire society or the women in our society have tried to stamp out all signs of masculinity in men. Women somehow have mistaken equality with having to be the same and it has nothing to do with that. God created men and women for specific roles and our pagan society has been determined to destroy all of that. I am old enough to remember the start of the women’s movement and the way it has turned out resembles nothing of what the initial goals were.
    I say this because clinging to the worldly way of diminishing men has got to stop and it should stop because we do see this lack of men involved in the individual parishes. Not all of them, but enough of them. We also see that lack of ongoing Church attendance once children have gone off to college. The base just isn’t holding.

    I belong to a Newman Center Parish and I have to tell you that as this particular parish has changed pastors, it has grown to having standing room only Masses on Sunday (mostly students) and confession available six days a week, I am seeing young men, college students who are amazing in their energy and love for the Lord. I cannot tell you how much I love being at daily Mass and hearing a sea of male voices in back of me. The young women are there too, but what has brought this out are holy and spirit filled priests and religious brothers, all incredible role models for these students. You add the St. Paul Outreach men and women and you have something that is pulling in the young and engaging them.

    It is not only time to really push for more involvement of men in our parishes, but also to engage the young in the ministries. I would gladly trade young men and women for the old ladies who have been hogging the lectern for the past twenty years. How to go about that, I haven’t quite figured out.

    I have to say that those who have been in and have led ministries for many years somehow start to feel like the ministry is theirs. It is an extension of them and they cannot see that there is a time to step down and let others take the reins and if you can enlist young men and women to do that, you need to do that. It isn’t about you. It is about coming together to praise and worship the Lord. When the position in the Church becomes more important than the reason you are even there, it may be time to sit down and spend some years just getting to know Jesus.

    • Hey Deb
      Wonder where you go to church? Maybe even just a city? I might move there with my teens!
      Or send them to college there.
      The forwarding of this article to me from my daughter coincided with my most recent lament over the lack of boys and men in our church who know the Faith and are passionate about it. My guys only see the priest saying Mass and hearing Confessions. Everything else is done by girls–altar serving, lectoring, pastoral associate duties,Faith Formation, retreats.
      No man can provide for his family on a church salary. This is actually one of the factors in filling positions with women.
      But there is also resistance to helping guys just hang with guys. I tried to start a guys teen basketball night(and include evening prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in the adjoining church)The all-women staff nixed because we didn’t include girls!
      So there is great misunderstanding about the importance of separating boys and girls at certain times in their development, including faith development. Much of this above discussion, however, unfortunately avoids the elephant in the room: the male celibate priesthood.
      If you don’t accept that as being the model that Christ gave us(like, if you doubt his male celibacy), and if you don’t fully accept in humility the teachings of your Church on this, then there is no point talking at all about men vs women at church.
      The original author’s argument makes a great deal of sense in light of the fact that the precipitous drop in vocations to the priesthood means that future generations will not have easy access to the Sacraments, especially Confession and Eucharist. Based on the Lord’s words, the Catholic Church knows that the Sacraments are the means of grace that He instituted and commanded. Why have a church, if we are not going to do as he said, according to the Church authority He gave us through Peter?

  11. “When I speak with women my age (mid-30s) and younger they […] are concerned with the lack of men in the Church, and if they will find a husband who shares their faith”

    Yeah, that’s the standard party line, isn’t it. All the single women say it, as do their mothers. So it must be true, right?

    Wrong. Father, you have faithful single men in your parish. Lots of them. You probably don’t know any of them. What does your parish do to encourage “community”, where people can interact socially and singles might occasionally get nudged together? Not segregated groups like “young adults”… not lectures like “theology on tap”. Just social events like a weekend carnival, a dinner or a dance. This is the framework that every parish used to have, but these kinds of events died out about a generation ago.

    So as a single man in my 40’s, I can say with great certainty that I’ve never met any of your single women. Never ever. I was never ever given any opportunity to do so.

    Maybe men are supposed to keep quiet and not admit this kind of stuff, but this “there is a lack of men” whining has simply got to stop. It’s just not true.

  12. Great, but could you try convincing our bishops that there is a problem? They continue to pour vast church resources into their “Offices for Participation of Women in the Church”. Supported by most of our priests. Whenever I’ve suggested, hey maybe we could have just a little time, money and effort put into encouraging and supporting the participation of men in the Church, they laugh it off as a joke.

    And it’s a total waste of money. The uber-feministas who want nothing less than “priestesses” will never be satisfied with anything less, even if it’s “women doing, running and controlling absolutely everything in the Church with the single exception of the priesthood”. And the faithful Catholic women who actually want to serve the Church and be good Catholics see no need for it. They don’t serve the Church in order to go on a feminist power trip, and the bishops “support” for them doing so is a turn-off.

  13. My husband jus brought up another salient point. If feminism, as it is being called, is influencing the church to dissuade mens’ involvement, specifically priestly vocations, why aren’t women feeling more empowered to join religious life as a sister?
    So, really, there is an overall decline in vocations, and my husband thinks it is because we have all become unaccustomed to the kind of sacrifice it takes–whether, financial, psychological, time-related,etc.–to follow the call to priesthood or religious life. We don’t like giving up things.
    That said, we all need holy men and women to inspire us to greater sacrifice, and to show us the way. This is what the author is trying to do with young men for the priesthood.

    • Because the problem is not true feminism (which seeks to have women respected and given opportunities to develop their full potential as women, radically equal to men but quite different to men, which is a consequence of Catholic theology – it has not arisen in any country or culture not influenced by Catholicism). The problem is as the author says, “secular feminism” – misandry, women aping the worst aspects of men in their fallen state – aggression, power-seeking, bullying, lording it over others etc. and denying their femininity. Those embracing this perversion of feminism do not seek to become nuns because they rightly see that the religious life (like the priesthood) is about service, selflessness, love of God and others, not a power trip.

  14. I wonder what a difference would be made if all of us decided to fast and pray for the church on a regular basis? It’s so easy to argue, not so easy to deny ourselves and set aside time for Adoration. Where is God in all the above discussion? Do we hunger and thirst for Him in the same way as someone who is deprived of freedom to worship openly?

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