L DORR1AN, March 27, stretches the imagination to believe that 'proxy' priests will materialise while full vocations continue to dwindle. That it would be more realistic to believe that the need of these may never arise because of a proportional diminution in the number of practising Catholics.
If things were to continue in the Church unchecked in the direction some have taken, with the deliberate detraction from the sacred and special character of the Catholic Priesthood, by various means by radical priests and others, for whatever reasons, this could be true.
The more this happens the more the credibility of the Church and the Priesthood suffers, coupled with the increasingly obvious lack of respect for the Holy Eucharist.
L Dorrian hoped to learn at a parish meeting on vocations 'just what is so unattractive about the priesthood now'. Is anything so unattractive as deliberate disloyalty, especially if the reason given is a thinly disguised pseudo ecumenism? It certainly won't attract other Christians — they will only despise us.
But thank God. these priests are relatively few though the damage they do to the Church is out of all proportion to their numbers. According to the Press there are about fifty priests in this country who wish to leave the priesthood and this is well to know.
Aren't we the laity in part responsible for what has happened by our own moaning and groaning over the doctrines of the Faith in the face of the freedom' of the modern world?
Do 1 detect in L Dorrian's letter the faintest hint or anti-clericalism? Is it too far fetched to imagine that such a , thing could happen in this country? What a sad thing this would be for all those good and faithful priests. I believe it is true to say that there is now a slow recovery in the number of vocations since Pope John Paul was elected. There is no half-heartedness as to the meaning and character of the priestly vocation in him, nor in his teaching of the Catholic Faith. He is the leader we need because in his strength and conviction he attracts other Christians and non-Christians alike. K. Foster Basildon Essex