10 Danger Signs Your Priest Has Serious Problems with His Vocation

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Pope Francis condemns careerism among priests and religious. Treating one’s priesthood as a career rather than a personal calling from God to live a life of service and holiness is contrary to the Church’s teachings on the true nature of Catholic priesthood.

“Using especially strong language on one of his favorite themes, Pope Francis decried a plague of careerism among priests and urged them to renounce their personal ambitions for service to the church — warning that failure to do so would make them look “ridiculous.”

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“Careerism is a leprosy, a leprosy,” the pope said June 6, in a speech to students from the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the school for future Vatican diplomats. “Please, no careerism!”

All types of priestly ministry require “great inner freedom,” the pope said, which calls for “vigilance in order to be free from ambition or personal aims, which can cause so much harm to the church.”

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Priests must make their priority the “cause of the Gospel and the fulfillment of the mission” entrusted to them, not self-fulfillment or public recognition, he said.

Such self-denial “may appear demanding,” the pope said, “but it will allow you, so to speak, to be and to breathe within the heart of the church.”

By “cultivating a life of prayer,” he told the priests, one can transform daily work into the “gymnasium of your sanctification” (Catholic News Service).

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Here are some signs that your priest is infected with the leprosy of careerism and, therefore, has serious problems with his vocation as a servant of God. This calls for the laity to pray for priests and be vigilant against clerical abuse to help them overcome careerism:

1. He is often conscious about his physical appearance.

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Priests are expected to be role models in hygiene and decency with regard to attire. But if he is too conscious of his looks and acts like ordinary teenagers, be warned that he have fallen in love with somebody or is having personal issues he cannot let go. It is normal for a person who falls in love to be extra conscious about their appearance and health.

2. He is often unavailable in the parish church.

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Priests are normally busy on weekends, especially Sundays, because most of the sacraments in the parish are celebrated during these days. Except if priests has other duties in the Church or seminary, they are expected to be available on weekdays. If they are not available and always out-of-town, then be warned that they may have personal affairs or relationships they are busy with during ordinary days.

3. He lacks enthusiasm when celebrating the sacraments.

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If the priest celebrates the sacraments such as the Mass, Baptism, Matrimony, etc as if he is only doing them as a chore, without enthusiasm, then be warned that he may have problems with his prayer life. One can easily feel the sanctity of the priest through his aura, demeanor, and level of spiritual enthusiasm in celebrating Christ’s sacraments.

4. He is often in need of money.

Priests have allowances and can receive stipends when celebrating masses. But if he engages in funding raising without a reasonable cause, be warned that your priest might be financing something such as a fancy car or supporting his own family which can be contrary to his vocation.

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5. He is often temperamental.

It is understandable that a priest might get angry if something goes wrong in his parish plans and see wrongdoing of his parishioners. After all, priests are also humans. But if he is suddenly different from his usual self and becomes easily irritable even in trivial things, then be warned that he might be in serious crisis with his vocation. He might have some serious personal problems which may be contrary to his vocation.

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6. He doesn’t prepare well his sermons.

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One can easily tell through the aura and sermon of the priest if he is a holy and spiritual person or he is just doing a chore. A good priest prepares his sermons well. He must not exceed 15 minutes in his homily as suggested by Pope Francis. He must not also use his sermons to vent his personal issues and unfulfilled needs.

7. He loves to show off his latest gadgets.

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Priests who love to show off his latest gadgets, such as iPhones, hoover boards, Mac Pros, and other expensive equipment, are giving wrong impressions to the laity. Why would they act like secular persons if they are spiritual leaders of the Church? They are supposed to be role models in Christian virtues and not commercial models for the latest expensive gadgets. Lay people would then start to doubt the sincerity, spirit of poverty, and holiness of their parish priests if they see them owning and using expensive gadgets.

8. He likes fancy cars.

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Craving for fancy cars and SUVs seems to be the common preoccupation of the new generation of priests. Instead of making themselves role of models of practicing the spirit of poverty mentioned in the Beatitudes, they become status symbols of a middle class lifestyle. The diocese must have a strict policy on owing and using luxury vehicles for their priests as this practice is contrary to the simple lifestyle of Jesus.

9. He is worldly in his ways.

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Priests can be sociable beings but not socialites.As pastors and witnesses of the Gospel, they must be aware that there personal actions, tastes, and activities must not be interpreted by the laity as worldly or materialistic. Lay people can easily spot a priest who is spiritual from a worldly one.

10. He is having an affair.

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Although lay people can sympathize with priest’s loneliness and lack of intimacy in parish church, they are also alarmed if they know their priests are having an affair with women or men. Persistent concubinage and other forms of illicit sexual union by priests are forbidden by the Church’s Canon Law. Once a priest engages in concubinage or sexual abuse, he loses gradually his vocation and lives a double life. He loses his credibility and becomes a liability to the Church. The Catholic church paid millions of dollars as damages in courts due to clerical sexual abuse in the US and around the world. The most common challenge faced by many priests today is how to satisfy their need for intimacy without leaving the priesthood.

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

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Is Your Country Vulnerable to Disasters? See the List of the World Risk Index Report

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The World Risk Index 2016 ranked 171 countries according to how exposed and vulnerable they are to natural hazards, including earthquakes, floods and storms. Topping the list are Vanuatu, Tonga, Philippines, Japan, Costa Rica, Brunei, Mauritius, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Bangladesh. Except Japan and Brunei, one can notice that many in the top 10 are poor and developing countries. Yearly disasters is one reason why these countries experience  underdevelopment and extreme poverty.

Photo source: https://twitter.com/UNEnvironmentAP/status/769001042084147200

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Source:http://www.wheninmanila.com/philippines-now-3rd-most-disaster-prone-country-according-to-latest-world-risk-index/

The Natural and Social Spheres of Vulnerability to Disasters

Examine the diagram and see the connection between natural disasters and social vulnerability of people to calamities:

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Source: http://www.wheninmanila.com/philippines-now-3rd-most-disaster-prone-country-according-to-latest-world-risk-index/

Examine the list below and judge whether your country is vulnerable to disasters or not, Rank 1 would mean the the country is the most vulnerable (Vanautu) and Rank 100 (Laos) as the least vulnerable to calamities.

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My country, the Philippines, is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world. It ranked #3 in the list below.

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What is the consequences for the Philippines being ranked as one of the most vulnerable countries to disasters according to the report?

"The findings of the study, which was published by scientists from the United Nations University and from development organizations, mean that not only is the Philippines at great risk from natural disasters, but Filipinos are also more vulnerable to these natural hazards than people in most other countries. To put it bluntly: the higher a country is ranked in this index, the greater the chance that its inhabitants will die in a natural disaster, a thought that should be of some concern to local politicians and to everyone else in the Philippines" (http://www.wheninmanila.com/philippines).

How about yours? Do you see your country in the list below? Here is the list of countries in the world which are vulnerable to disasters:

The Top 100 Vulnerable Countries Worldwide

1. Vanuatu
2. Tonga
3. Philippines
4. Guatemala
5. Bangladesh 19.17
6. Solomon Islands
7. Brunei Darussalam
8. Costa Rica
9. Cambodia
10. Papua New Guinea
11. El Salvador
12. Timor-Leste
13. Mauritius
14. Nicaragua
15. Guinea-Bissau
16. Fiji
17. Japan
18. Viet Nam
19. Gambia
20. Jamaica
21. Haiti
22. Chile
23. Benin
24. Guyana
25. Niger
26. Madagascar
27. Dominican Republic
28. Cameroon
29. Chad
30. Honduras
31. Cape Verde
32. Senegal
33. Togo
34. Djibouti
35. Burundi
36. Indonesia
37. Sierra Leone
38. Zimbabwe
39. Burkina Faso
40. Albania
41. Afghanistan
42. Myanmar
43. Cote d’Ivoire
44. Mozambique
45. Uzbekistan
46. Suriname
47. Ghana
48. Mali
49. Netherlands
50. Guinea
51. Sudan
52. Nigeria
53. Malawi
54. Mauritania
55. Kyrgyzstan
56. Liberia
57. United Republic of Tanzania
58. Ecuador
59. Swaziland
60. Bhutan
61. Trinidad and Tobago
62. Algeria
63. Sri Lanka
64. Comoros
65. Panama
66. Zambia
67. Congo
68. Serbia
69. Rwanda
70. Ethiopia
71. Central African Republic
72. Pakistan
73. Lesotho
74. Kenya
75. Tajikistan
76. Greece
77. India
78. Peru
79. Belize
80. Uganda
81. Angola
82. Morocco
83. Colombia
84. Turkmenistan
85. China
86. Malaysia
87. Eritrea
88. Georgia
89. Thailand
90. Cuba
91. Bosnia and Herzegovina
92. Armenia
93. Gabon
94. Yemen
95. Mexico
96. Venezuela
97. Romania
98. Republic of Macedonia
99. Syrian Arab Republic
100. Lao People’s Democ. Republic

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