Monday, 30 May 2016

Priests "Too Busy to Know Whether They're Too Busy"

The Pope has said that priests have to stop being so lazy, and be more available for their congregations.

"That's absolutely great," said Fr McGuire of the Craggy Island Parish, "I'll have to make myself more available.

"I do have masses at 6pm on Saturday. Then 7, 9 and 11 on Sunday. And visits to the sick and dying. And random people knocking on the door asking for money. And then there's the street pastoring. And the two masses each week day. And confessions. And, as there's so few vocations and so little support from elsewhere, I've taken over the church at Rugged Island as well. But I'm getting on OK and I hope, if things work out OK, that I might be able to have some lunch on Thursday."

For a comparison, we asked the Revd Geraldine Granger, of Dibley Parish, whether she thought that Church of England priests might have similar problems. But she told us that, since Dibley has been merged with the Ridgeway Benefice, the M40 Cutting Benefice and and the parish of St Jude's the Useless, she hasn't really had much time to consider whether she's a bit busy.


  1. We have to have sympathy for Catholic Priests, whose life is solitary with only the things described here to give them any human contact. They don't receive a stipend (so a bit like NSM or SSM) and rely on the generosity of their congregations to provide an allowance to survive. They have a susceptibility for Gin and morose medication, no wonder they're always smiley and a little tactile when they get to have a decent conversation with ordinary people.

    The Craggy Island example isn't really true to life, as they seem to have a house keeper and endless quantities of tea and rock cake (whether they want it or not) and having three Priests in a parish, is just so outlandish.

    Anglican Priests operate in a different way, admin burden, facilities management, project management, fund raising, church yard rules, allow some pastoral care, worship, mission and prayer to be squeezed in each Sunday (unless in a multi-parish benefice, when every third Sunday applies). But they're compensated by a comfortable house, expenses of office, a stipend (not salary) and an acquired knowledge of church law, (that doesn't burden a Catholic Priest in the same way - they only have to deal with the body of the doctrine and Catechism of the Catholic Church).

    I often wonder how either species survves without meltdown?


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