Recommendations Made By The Priests
Four suggestions that came up constantly by active and resigned priests in the study: Problems Felt by Catholic Priests in the First Five Years of Priesthood. Study conducted by the National Federation of Priests’ Councils and Dr. Dean Hoge, Life Cycle Institute at the Catholic University of America.
1. More openness about sexuality. Seminaries need more open discussion of sexuality in general and of topics such as celibacy and homosexuality in particular. Discussion needs to take place in classes and also in formation programs and personal counseling.
2. More realistic seminary training. Provide more real-life experiences during seminary training, including having pastoral year away and having women in some seminary classes.
3. More attention to the newly-ordained. Bishops and chancery officers should give more attention to new priests, and older priests serving as mentors should be more available to help them.
4. More support programs. Encourage support programs and gatherings of priests where they can share their experiences. A number of priests suggested “support groups that discuss real issues, not just exchange pleasantries.”