I have been contemplating the reason why so many young male youths fall away from the Church here in Ireland. The numbers of non-practicing youth are staggering. Yesterday, I posted the article on statistics of belief and non-belief among college age youth.
The hidden root of some of this disaffection is weak male leadership in the home, the Church, and in government and business.
The protector male protects not only his wife and children, but society and culture. He has a stake in the national consciousness of being individuals with a common heart, a common purpose.
Negativity is not part of the attitude of the protector, nor is cynicism, signs of the peter pan syndrome.
Here in Ireland, peter pans dominant. Some women have told me they would never marry an Irishman because they do not take their place as heads of families, but prefer passivity to leadership.
Yesterday, a good priest told me that a major evil in the priesthood is sloth. Sloth is the hardest predominant fault to combat and finally destroy according to Garrigou-Lagrange.
Sloth leads to abdication of roles, a nine to five attitude towards duty, a curtailing of personal growth. That sloth can be found in some who are priests is a tragedy for the laity. Without leadership, the ship of the Church crashes on the rocks of sin. This is the case here. The Church has been greatly weakened by sloth and laxity. I think in some places such lax men are called "couch potatoes".
How many men do we know who do not engage in necessary conflict as it is too painful or disturbing for them? They want a quiet life. Sadly, the days of the country curate living a quiet life fishing and reading the classics, doing the minimum for his parish are days gone by, only to be found in literature.
The Church finds Herself in the midst of the worst battles seen for centuries. Sloth does not win battles. Hard work and simplicity do.
Slothful men lay down the staff of leadership and like the bad shepherd allow the wolves to enter the fold.
That one priest can criticize some of his fellow priests shows the depth of the problem here. Youth can spot a hypocrite a mile away and the bad priests and neglectful husbands and fathers will have to face God as to why they did not work on their predominant fault.
Being a Catholic man, like being a Catholic woman, entails hard work.
We are battling for our soul and the souls of others. There is no time for sloth. This quaint phrase from a popular old book on country curates is not true in 2013: 'T WILL BE ALL THE SAME IN A HUNDRED YEARS.
No, it will not, despite all those who dream of the old days when men did not necessarily have to measure up to the great role of protector.
I shall do a post on Friday on the predominant faults of women.