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(RNS) Young men today “want to give their life for something that counts. These men are tired of living in a culture of relativism. They want to say there must be something true, beautiful and good," says the Rev. Mark Latcovich, president of St. Mary Seminary outside Cleveland.


  1. Pope Benedict ragged relativism so badly and so much that it has become a pop concept for many writers. Benedict and those writers err monstrously to infer or claim that relativism is not real and honorable, at least as real and honorable as the absolutes they claim should guide all thought and action.

    Let us begin with what is simple and closest. We are all related to our parents and other relatives. That’s physical, but it’s relative. We are all related, like it or not, to the society and culture in which we live. We are all related or reject relationship with varieties of religious and political thought that are part of our culture.

    Those who presume that their chosen absolutes are the only right ones denigrate the very relativity of their choices among absolutes. They infer they have a contact others lack in some kind of “relationship” with the absolute Divine. In so doing, they raise themselves to equal status with the Divine, the ultimate absolute, and that is the most unreal and hideous expression of absolutism possible.

    • This makes no sense. Are you saying Benedict (and other non-relativists) are wrong? As in, they are absolutely wrong? In an absolute sense? The irony must be lost on you. If you were a true Relativist, you should admit that his opinion is just as true as yours.

      It looks to me like you are having it both ways by saying Benedict can’t say relativism is wrong (since all Truth is relative, according to you), while at the same time you get to say Benedict is wrong.

      Becoming comfortable with ambiguity is no virtue.

  2. This is a minor uptick, 10% over 8 years, a little over 1% per year. True, it shows some minor growth after years of decline, but we are still ordaining only one priest for every 2 who retire, die or resign. The fact is that every day in the U.S., there is one priest fewer than the day before. Even this the uptick, we will still have to close parishes unless we begin to ordain married men. We have more than 17,000 permanent deacons, most of them married. They would make excellent candidates. The hierarchy prefer celibacy over the Eucharist.

    • those 17,000 permanent deacons are called permanent deacons for a reason. they are deacons forever, deacon is not some lesser vocation, but a calling in of itself. Priest are ordained transitional deacons first, a big difference.

      I don’t think celibacy is nearly as big a reason as people act like it is. if God is calling one to the seminary, what that entails doesn’t really matter. I think just cause the idea of celibacy goes against modern society so much, which places sexual intercourse on the highest level of value. People who deny that for something higher doesn’t make any sense to our society

    • True, there will still be a deficit before we get back to an optimal operation level, however, married priests is clearly not the solution. As if those eccesial communities that do allow married priests are overflowing with vocations…take a look at the Episcopalians.
      It’s also interesting that we mainly hear the argument against celibacy from married laity (not presuming anything about “PQuotidiano”) but how about asking us content celibates?

      “The hierarchy prefer celibacy over the Eucharist.” – No, the Church prefers holding fast to tradition (2 Thes 2:15) that’s effective over lowering disciplinary standards.
      And “lolz” is right the diaconate is a calling of its own. Bottom line is God is providing in a time when there is no natural reasons why we’d have such an interest in the priesthood following confusion after Vatican II and scandals in the Church. Let’s continue to pray for and promote vocations! – the harvest is abundant and laborers few.

    • If you will notice, in the article, they also mentioned the huge decline in Protestant ministers in the same time span. If I am not mistaken, they are allowed to marry, so how is getting rid of the celibacy rule going to help? I’m not opposed to allowing married priests (since there already are a number of them in service today), I just think that is not what the problem is.

    • Married men would make far worst priests since their main focus will be their wives, children, and grandchildren. As St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:27 : “Are you free from a wife? Do not seek marriage. . . those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. . . . The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband.”

      It doesn’t take a genius to understand that married clergy are not the answer for us going forward, especially since many people in my (Millennial) generation are choosing not to get married at all. Instead we are going to have a shortage of both celibate priests and married fathers, with high illegitimacy rates. So you see, married clergy might have looked like an attractive option in 1981, but in 2015 this is not feasible. My fear is that in 2035 it will look even less feasible since many children won’t even know what Christian marriage looks like.

  3. “Those who presume that their chosen absolutes are the only right ones denigrate the very relativity of their choices among absolutes.”

    That in itself is an absolute statement. But as others have already pointed out, you were probably to drunk to realize it

  4. I’m not Catholic but I have seen the good things that Catholic religious and clergy do day by day that go unreported in the press, and I can only say that this strikes me as good news. Thanks for reporting on this.

  5. In the 1920’s the Servant of God Luisa Picarreta was given a prophecy that God would remove His ministers from the altar [[no vocations]] because the number of sacriliges committed by the congregation will have reached an unacceptable number [[ie. communion is a state of mortal sin]] and Jesus told her “So that you will know when that time has come I intend to publish the sins of my priests”.
    A priest who for 25 years was a psychiatrist specifically for priests with sexual problems (and wrote a book about it) left and got married to a nun he had courted for three years to make her leave the community to marry him. He says in his book “I am reluctant to say this but I will because I have found that it is true, that priests who pray two hours daily are completely happy and at ease with their sexuality and celibacy”.

  6. It’s not the numbers of priests or nuns that matter, it’s the quality of the clergy and that hasn’t improved at all. I guess if you worship Mexicans and loathe America’s native born, hate liberty, and want to destroy the United States, you’ve got a place in the Catholic clergy! Jesus loves traitors!

    • What are you talking about, Alecto? Our seminarians go through nine years of training in theology, philosophy, sacraments, liturgy, and more. They go to parishes for field education in order to learn the heart of the people and how to minister with and to them. I’m not saying that we don’t have some priests who have issues, but, really? I truly don’t understand your point, but I think your comments are way off base in what you do say.

  7. I agree with you, Gilhcan 100%.Relativism is necessary to help one grow. If one thinks that his choice c is true good and beautiful to the exclusion of relativism, just be careful if you feel you have a relationship with the absolute divine that others lack.