As I noted in a previous post (see here), the Diocese of Worcester has some sort of animus against men who feel called to the priesthood but who accept, promote and defend the Church's Magisterial teaching. There really is no denying this. Candidates such as Jonathan Joseph Slavinskas are entirely welcome within the diocese (see here), but I am not permitted to even apply as part of a discernment process.
This is most unfortunate. Dr. Germain Grisez explains that, "Since the ordained priesthood and diaconate provide the necessary ministries of the word and sacraments to the whole Church, every member shares a common duty to foster vocations to this service."
This duty, which pertains to all Christians, is codified in Canon Law:
"A duty rests upon the entire Christian community to foster vocations so that sufficient provision is made for the needs of the sacred ministry throughout the entire Church; Christian families, educators and in a special way priests, especially pastors, are particularly bound by this duty. Since it is principally the concern of diocesan bishops to promote vocations, they should instruct the people entrusted to them concerning the importance of the sacred ministry and the necessity of ministers in the Church; therefore they are to encourage and support endeavors to foster vocations by means of projects especially established for that purpose." (Canon 233).
Paragraph 2 of the same Canon also states, "Moreover priests, and especially diocesan bishops, are also to be solicitous that men of a more mature age who consider themselves called to the sacred ministries are prudently assisted IN WORD AND DEED and duly prepared."
When I contacted the Worcester Diocese to express my interest in DISCERNING a priestly vocation, I received no response whatsoever. When I wrote Bishop Robert McManus expressing my interest, again, no response. This is promoting vocations? This is being "solicitous" for mature vocations while assisting such in "word and deed"?
Of course not.
Every so often local parishes will offer a prayer intention for vocations. But without any real effort to promote and foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life, such prayer intentions amount to little more than a dog and pony show. Bishop McManus apparently has such disdain for me (pesky magisterial Catholic that I am) that when I phoned him to inform him that my "pastor" at the time (Fr. Joseph Jurgelonis) and his "pastoral staff" wouldn't schedule a Mass for my departed father, he actually laughed.
Feel the love of Christ Jesus.
Folks, if we really want to turn the tide within and outside of the Church, we will need to be more accepting of men who are orthodox in their faith and who feel called to the priesthood. The laborers are few. Can we afford to prohibit men faithful to the Magisterium from having a place at the table?
Related reading here.