I read with slight sadness today the news that only eight men were ordained as Priests this year in the whole of Ireland. It didn't really come as a shock considering the problems that the Church face in these troubled times.
I began to think why I never really thought about the priesthood as a vocation because there are some things that would appeal to me. The whole preaching from the Altar would be a huge attraction, a chance to "let rip", so to speak, once a week. I also like the service element of priesthood, being part of a bigger organisation with a common goal.
The big stumbling block, apart from the fact that I don't consider myself religious enough, is the ban on marriage. Getting married and having a family is my biggest ambition in life.
I have one mate in particular who would make an excellent Priest but because of the ban on marriage he said it wasn't an option. So instead he is going down the route of teaching Religion. That to me seems like a waste, why can't the Church see beyond Church law and embrace the 21st Century?
The ban on Priests marrying is not God's law, it is Church law! It was brought in to safeguard the wealth of the Church, which kind of puts to bed the notion of "Poverty, Chastity and Obedience"
With dwindling Church numbers, the continued fallout from the depraving sex scandals and a Church out of touch with the modern world; how long can the Church sustain this position?
I don't believe that our current Pope will make the changes that need to be made but I fear that by the time we do have a Pope who is prepared to make the hard decisions it may be too late.