With the heightened media coverage on the Catholic Church over the last couple of weeks we have had many pundits from the main stream media talk about the priest shortage in the United States and they offer their predictable suggestions. They usually frame it in the fact that the Catholic Church is a sacramental church and will die without priests who they see merely as sacramental deliveries systems. We get the normal if only they changed the discipline of priestly celibacy. If only they ordained women to the priesthood. If only they would stop being decisive about abortion, contraception, and homosexuality.
Now I find all of this highly ironic, especially coming from such outlets as the L.A. Times. I find this ironic since almost all of the main stream media is suffering from a readership/viewership crisis. They have embraced the very progressive agenda they want the Catholic Church to adopt and it has resulted in a decrease in the amount of people they can reach. In the broadcast media only Fox News has been on the increase while cable news pioneer CNN has been on a rapid decline. The L.A. Times has been in a free fall with its subscription level. If a very liberal paper can’t gain readers in what is suppose to be an area that is such a bastion of liberals why in the world should anybody care about any advice they offer to the Catholic Church about a vocation shortage. They of course make the case that this has happened because of the broadening of the media market. They would find the argument laughable (and rightly so) if someone said the decline in vocations was because of the number of competing religious entities. If I were to give them advice as to how to increase their reach they would ignore me since I am not part of their organization, yet they have no problems as non-Catholics to give advice as to how the Catholic Church is run.
Many have mentioned the fact that we have never had a vocation crisis, but instead have had a failure of some to recognize their own vocations. This failure is also specifically geographical. CatholicNewsGeek reports about Casoni a very small town in Italy where one out of 80 people become priests. There has been a boom in vocations in places like India and Africa and around the U.S. their are pockets of healthy increases in the number of seminarians. Now going by the MSM playbook they would expect that these increases would be in places that most closely embrace the progressive agenda or have watered-down Catholic teaching to some degree.
|Lincoln||89, 412||38||1 in 2353|
|Arlington||399,326||24||1 in 16638|
|Denver||367,996||83||1 in 4433|
|Los Angeles||4,100,000||63||1 in 65079|
The opposite though is in fact true.
That in diocese noted for their adherence to the magisterium, that they are not only increasing the number of seminarians but in some cases are building new seminaries. Yesterday I asked readers if they knew the number of seminarians in L.A. One reader said he called the diocesan office and the the lady who answered was evasive and would not answer. I had no problem obtaining these numbers for the other diocese who prominently listed these statistics. I found out via a reader that the number of seminarians that were to become priests in the L.A. diocese was 63 with 32 of them being foreign born. Over half of the people enrolled in their seminary are from other dioceses. In 1999 L.A. had 63 people in their seminary so the number has not changed since then. Denver had 63 four years ago and now has increased it to 83.
It would be great if the next time some MSM pundit asked a Catholic about the priest shortage that they in turn asked them about the MSM readership/viewership shortage. In fact we could term it a "Communication Crisis" and say that they need to change their dogmatic teaching about radical feminism, abortion on demand, homosexual acts so that the main stream media could actually identify with the main stream audience. That they are out of touch and need to conform to what the majority of their audience believes.