What do you people think of the Catholic church?

i’m considering being a priest due to the decline, your thoughts are welcome.

Our opinions on the Catholic Church should have no bearing on your potential priesthood. I’d say if you need to consult the opinions of a bunch of strangers in a roleplaying forum, you probably don’t have the conviction needed. But if you’re already set in your mind about what you want to do, then DO it.

I value the perceptions of the people and here you are being hostile, why?

Also, I’m not certain I want to, thus I seek opinions to either reinforce my faith or give me better advice…no need to get mad.

It was not my intent to be hostile, I was merely offering my advice. If it seemed hostile, recall that this is the internet. Try different tones with the same words.

yes, you’re right. I apologize.

The church doesn’t bother me, and I don’t bother it. The church does bother me, and I tell it to feck off. That’s basically my position on, well, all religion. That and the old chestnut ‘prove it’. :slight_smile:

I don’t take kindly to PAPISTS.

I’m a scientist so keep that in mind with my answer. I also agree with GAP in that this probably isn’t the right place for you to ask this in and furthermore, I honestly doubt that we will in any way alter your final decision. At most, people like to ask others to reinforce decisions they’ve already made.

Religion is the opiate of the masses. The catholic church is a relic of the past. Organized religion is a political tool used by those in power to communicate their views and opinions onto others. I do not believe that the Church practices what it preaches but I respect the few people that do.
If you look at declining church attendance, the role of religion in society is drastically changing in many parts of the developed world. If you want to be a priest, you should ponder on your relevance in the bigger picture.

I believe the Catholic Church is a sort of grand-unified veil over 1) many people’s irrational but authentic metaphysical experiences, 2) behavioral therapy, and 3) the human psychology. Catholicism is both a faith and a lifestyle. It is the composite of experiences from two millennia worth of followers. I think Catholicism is full of insights and truths, without being “true” in a broader sense. But I guarantee that <i>studying</i> Catholicism, whether or not you ultimately believe it, would be extremely fruitful.

Sinistral is right about declining numbers of church atendees. As a social force, religion is dying. So, as a priest, you’d probably have little influence, especially in the Catholic Church. BUT, if it makes you feel emotionally fulfilled, you should go for it. BUT again, you need to think long and hard if being a priest would ultimately make you emotionally fulfilled. There are numerous other ways to live a spiritual, self-sacrificing life without placing so many restrictions on yourself.

As for my views on religion in general, I believe that religion is simply used as emotional justification by people for their behavior, which is usually caused by genetics, self-interest and circumstance rather than a desire for morality or 'following God’s Will". People alter God’s Will to fit whatever is convenient for them depending on their own circumstances. So I’d say that as a priest, you would represent a farce. And, unlike ages past, you’d have little influence or power. But you could still have opportunities to do good and make people feel better; but as I said before, there are many other ways to do that without living in a Church and not having sex.

Giving a serious response, as opposed to one inspired by O Brother Where Art Thou, if you feel a calling to the priesthood, you should do it. The other comments here about religion being a farce or whatever probably won’t change your mind; if you’re considering the priesthood, you probably have strong beliefs. If you don’t have strong beliefs, definitely don’t do it (also, don’t do it if you feel like touching little boys).

Talk with your local priest. Talk with ones whose opinions you truly know and trust. Meditate on the subject. Pray for guidance. Our opinions ultimately don’t matter because, quite frankly, we don’t know you.

I wouldn’t say our advice is useless. Regardless of how seriously you do or don’t take religion or how much influence religion has these days, I would think long and hard about the restrictions there are for being a priest. Do you really think you could live like that, even in today’s modern world? Really ask yourself why you want to do this - is it because you feel like you have to make some kind of drastic change, or you’re trying to get over some kind of trauma or depression? Because those would be bad reasons.

If you want my real advice: Don’t do it. If you’re trying to find some sort of emotional fulfillment or meaning in your life, there are much better ways to find it than the priesthood. Also IMO, the priesthood is unnatural and potentially damaging, especially if you go in with issues. For literally decades and perhaps centuries, the priesthood has warped closeted gay men into child molesters. (Not saying you’re a closeted gay, but that’s one example of how the lifestyle can you screw you up). I suggest you Google “The Confessions of Father X”.

Without getting involved in a monster religious debate (that will no doubt ensue), what “we people” think of the catholic church has nothing to do with you wanting to be a priest. Being a priest means living a pure existence, something I can’t fathom and can’t give advice on. Since this thread isn’t techincally about what I think about religious organizations, then I’ll dodge that bullet :stuck_out_tongue:

If you need to ask us, you don’t have enough faith to be one.

Do what you want.

If you’re going to believe in something, you should understand the origin of your beliefs. Read the New Testament, Augustine’s Confessions, the “critical” Thomas Aquinas, and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Brilliant works, all of them, that are worth reading even for atheists. Consult the Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/) about every topic you’ve ever wondered about. I also recommend Plato’s Republic, as it implicitly offers an alternative and more cynical explanation of what Catholicism is all about. I don’t believe in Catholicism enough to be Catholic, but I generally endorse it.

Don’t be discouraged by the ridiculous comments about the sexual repression of priests. You know better than us what you want from life. Also read about the Maronite church, a branch of Catholicism of which my family are members, which allows priests to be married. Maronites are fully Catholic (unlike, say, Eastern Orthodox) and recognized as such by the Vatican.

Do you know any priests or monks personally? You should get in touch with them through your parish Youth or Young Adult group. You don’t know what it’s like to be a clergyman till you’ve met one. Consider whether you would rather be a parish priest or a monk in a monastery. And, I suppose, pray.

Don’t support the misogynistic, anti-human, regressive bureaucracy of the Catholic Church. It’s a disgusting institution. You can do a lot of good in society without hiding under the petticoats of a medieval political guild that gilds its buildings and symbols in luxury while decrying the materialism of the modern world, refuses to recognize the stark obviousness of the findings of science in many different areas of inquiry, grants legitimacy to dictators and fascists, and thinks gay people are more of a threat to the world than global warming.

I was raised Catholic. A Polish Roman Catholic, which means everyone around me was crazy for Pope John Paul II. I recognize the immense symbol of freedom he and Catholicism were for anti-Communisism, especially for the Poles. But being anti-something doesn’t make you a good person. In many areas of social concern, the Church is downright wrong and hypocritical. Anti-Communism is not pro-freedom. The church seeks to bar and censor notions of individual responsibility and liberty and remains enamored of paternalistic control over people’s lives. Its views on human sexuality belong to the Bronze Age. It protects criminals from prosecution in the US. DO NOT GIVE AID TO THESE MONSTERS.

You don’t need a frock to be a good person. Evaluate what you believe, act sincerely. Be a good friend to your neighbors, a source of comfort to those in need, an example to those who might look up to you, and a respectful opponent to those who you disagree with but otherwise do no harm to you or yours. But if you take up the cross on Rome’s behalf, you offer support to people who make it their business violate and suppress every ideal of individual choice that makes any evaluation of morality possible.

Edit: May I further comment on the nature of the Church’s bureaucracy, this time through anecdotal rather than general means? In my grandparent’s hometown in NY there were a few different RC churches. One was built by the poor residents back in the early 1900’s by literally dragging rock up miles from the river and putting it together buy hand. In the 80s/90s it got into financial trouble because the head priest was rather incompetent during a reconstruction effort which made the building beautiful but pissed away hundreds of thousands of dollars due to waste and mismanagement on top of the actual cost of the project. People were disgusted and started leaving the church. Eventually his term was up and another priest came in an was not only competent, but wonderfully so. He took the church from debt to having almost a million in the bank. People liked him. Some who’d left came back. There was no more waste, everyone was happy. Enter the Archdiocese of NY. They have to pay out money because priests other places in the state kept touching little boys. They decide operating costs in this town are too high and want to shut down a church and make it a mission to keep expenses down. Do they target one of the other three or four churches in town that had declining memberships and did no credit to the Church through community outreach programs? No, they target the one that’s run well, helping people, and attracting new parishioners because they want the money it has in the bank to pay off their pedophilia victims. Long story short, that’s the kind of petty bureaucracy you’re considering joining.

RPT: Given your impassioned arguments, I’m going to have to play Devil’s advocate here (no pun intended). If indeed your allegations of corruption are true, which I do not either doubt or endorse, then wouldn’t it be more productive to change the organization from within than to eschew it altogether? He is clearly devout enough to consider the path of priesthood, which takes quite a bit of sacrifice and faith to be a part of. If there was an organization whose stated cause appeals to me, but I find corrupt, it makes more sense for me to attempt to change the organization than to abandon it altogether.

I understand what you say, and I had considered it as I posted. Doesn’t it seem that the generic perception of priesthood - a holy man, a counselor, etc. - is directly at odds with what the RC Church produces? Think of the priest at the church I described in my last paragraph. He was, even by my nonreligious standards, a good man. Open, honest, temperate, respectful. What has the RC Church done for him? Threatened to turn the lights off on his congregation if they don’t meet the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, a disreputable form of extortion the proceeds of which now largely fund legal fees to protect child molesters. Ripped from the hands of a church that does a lot of genuinely good work in a poor, run-down has-been of a port/factory city. I can see no appropriate moral approach to such an institution that to oppose it without compromise, without regret, to hell with the cloak of tradition it hides itself behind.

There was a priest out in California recently who tried to do exactly what you describe. He was a normal priest who could not in good conscience tell his congregation to vote for Proposition 8 (the law banning gay marriage and throwing the lives of thousands of married couples and their families into turmoil), and advised them to vote against it. He was defrocked, disowned, told to have no contact with his congregation. You can not change an institution that brooks no dissent from within unless you have a critical mass of members who will take up the cause. That does not exist. So what do you do? Do you hide in the Church hierarchy and nurse your official heresies in private while publicly supporting positions like Prop 8 and corrupting your parishioners with your convenient lies and convincing yourself that all the lies, all the horrible beliefs you spread in the meantime will be worth it if the time ever comes where you can reveal and argue your true beliefs? And what will you be then? A liar, a deceiver, disreputable, unreliable to the Church, untrustworthy to the congregation you mislead. Is that the picture of a priest you want to be responsible for creating?

Rome is totalitarian. Oppose it. Make them admit their wrongdoing by simply being a better person than they are. Like I said, you don’t need a frock to do that. It would only get in the way.

Which decline? The decline of the Western economies, of the Western civilisation, of the Catholic Church?

This isn’t as negative as it’s made out to be.