It’s tough being a pastor – Catholic or otherwise

90% of pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week and 50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job.

And 70% of pastors feel grossly underpaid.

Most pastors feel unprepared.

90% feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands and 90% of pastors said the ministry was completely different than what they thought it would be like before they entered the ministry.

Many pastors struggle with depression and discouragement.

70% of pastors constantly fight depression and 50% of pastors feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living.

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Editor’s note: This article deals specifically with Protestant pastors. It seems to me that Catholic priests tend to be better prepared for ministry, even with the sad state of affairs that still exists in many of our seminaries and the shortage of priests. Does anyone know more about this?

Catholic writer analyzes Pope’s interview, takes exception

Is Pope Francis a wishy-washy spineless pope? Perhaps a pawn, to be used by the liberals inside and outside the Church? Does he see what others see happening in our Church? Does it bother him?

I have a very dear Catholic friend who is freaking out because I am “having issues” with Pope Francis. It’s not that I don’t WANT to like him and think highly of him, I do. I really, really do. But… it’s just not happening for me.

I tried to give it time after the whole “Holy Week Debacle”[Muslim women foot washing etc]… he was ‘new’, he was a “different kind of pope”… he “needed time”… Well he still hasn’t grown on me, instead I have more issues now with him than I did months ago! That is not to say, I’ve tossed in the towel, I haven’t. I will continue to pray for him, my Church and myself to come to some sort of peace with “my issues with Pope Francis”.

My most recent “issues” (like oh so many other Catholics out there) are from his interview. *sigh*. Here are my thoughts on what the Pope said in his recent American Magazine interview.

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Rejecting and/or destroying the gifts of God can’t lead to anything good.

We began our discussion with the Papal theologian how the Catholic Church could defend its ‘hard teaching’ on contraception.

Fr. Giertych emphasized that the issue is about a reality that applies to everyone. He explained, “it’s not only a question of being in sync with Church teaching, it’s being in sync with reality, with the nature of the human person and the nature of love, which we received from God, whereas the Church’s teaching is showing us the way towards that supreme love.”

For Fr. Giertych there is nothing difficult about the answer of why the Catholic Church forbids contraception. “Because it distorts the human sexuality, and elevates the moment of sexual pleasure, whereas it denies the fundamental finality of sexuality, which is the transmission of life,” he said. “Sexual activity has been created, devised by God, as a way of transmitting life and expressing love, whereas contraception separates the transmission of life which it excludes, and then focuses uniquely on the pleasure, which generates, as a result, egoism.”

“The main reason why the Church says ‘no’ [to] contraception,” said Fr. Geirtych, “is that it destroys the quality of love, and marital love, which is a way of expressing the graces of the sacrament of matrimony, which is a way of living out the divine charity which is infused in the body and soul of the spouses.”

He explained that “marital love is to be of the supreme quality” but “contraception boils down to the saying of the spouse, ‘There’s something in you that I love, but there’s something in you that I hate, and I hate the fact that you can be a mother. So I require that this will be poisoned.’ Well, this is not love. It is not possible for a husband to say to his wife, ‘I love you truly,’ if at the same time he demands that she poisons in her body the capacity to transmit life, to be a mother.”

“That distortion of sexuality,” he said, “distorts human relationships, distorts the entire living-out of human sexuality.”

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A Buenos Aires Catholic journalist paints a curious picture of Pope Francis, when he was still a Cardinal.

A sworn enemy of the Traditional Mass, he has only allowed imitations of it in the hands of declared enemies of the ancient liturgy. He has persecuted every single priest who made an effort to wear a cassock, preach with firmness, or that was simply interested in Summorum Pontificum.

Famous for his inconsistency (at times, for the unintelligibility of his addresses and homilies), accustomed to the use of coarse, demagogical, and ambiguous expressions, it cannot be said that his magisterium is heterodox, but rather non-existent for how confusing it is.
His entourage in the Buenos Aires Curia, with the exception of a few clerics, has not been characterized by the virtue of their actions. Several are under grave suspicion of moral misbehavior.
He has not missed any occasion for holding acts in which he lent his Cathedral to Protestants, Muslims, Jews, and even to partisan groups in the name of an impossible and unnecessary interreligious dialogue. He is famous for his meetings with protestants in the Luna Park arena where, together with preacher of the Pontifical House, Raniero Cantalamessa, he was “blessed” by Protestant ministers, in a common act of worship in which he, in practice, accepted the validity of the “powers” of the TV-pastors.
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Editor’s note: And did we mention, he is a Jesuit?

Hindsight isn’t 20-20: Pope Benedict admits the disastrous consequences immediately following the second Vatican Council, but blames the media.

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Father Ratzinger in street clothes at Vatican II

His Holiness admits the disastrous consequences immediately following the Council: “this Council created many calamities, so many problems, so much misery, in reality: seminaries closed, convents closed, the liturgy was trivialized”

Yet, the “this Council” referred to by the Holy Father is not the real Second Vatican Council, the one that actually functioned in Rome for three years and produced documents.  No, Benedict XVI claims an imposter Council, the “Council of the Journalists” is the one that caused all these disastrous consequences.

If only the real “Council of the Fathers” had been allowed to do its job undistorted by the media all would be well for the Church!  “The world interpreted the Council through the eyes of the media instead of seeing the true Council of the Fathers and their key vision of faith”. “The journalists’ interpretation of the Council was political.”

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Editor’s note: I’m no media fan, but it was the bishops … not the media … who instituted all the various “reforms” that subsequently “gutted” the Catholic Church … cheered on by radical theologians like Fr. Joseph Ratzinger.

Worried? Here’s a list of 10 saints you should know.

As Catholics, much can be gained by studying the lives of the saints. Far from living easy lives, these men and women have struggled with many of the same anxiety producing problems experienced by you and I. Furthermore, we know that they’ve ended up we all want to go – Heaven! Are you anxious or worried? Do you have serious problems in your life? Here are 10 saints that you should get to know. We can learn A LOT from their lives.

1. Saint Dymphna – Many Catholics who are anxious are familiar with Saint Dymphna, the patroness of those afflicted with nervous disorders and anxiety. According to tradition, she was born in Ireland (in the 7th century) to a pagan father and a Christian mother. When Dymphna’s mother died, her distraught father traveled in vain searching for a new wife. Eventually he reached the unimaginable conclusion that he would take Dymphna as his wife! At the urging of a priest, she took flight and was ultimately located and murdered by her father. It’s easy to see the kind of emotional stress that this young girl was under and equally understandable to see why she became known as the patron saint of those who suffer from anxiety. Many miracles are reported to have taken place at her shrine in Belgium, located near the place of her death.

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Video explains serious problems linked with the use of chemical contraceptives

Watch the video