The Case for a Diocesan Priestly Promise of Poverty, by Andrew J. Peach 

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A diocesan priestly promise of poverty could make the priesthood more appealing to the right men and less appealing to the wrong.

By Andrew J. Peach, Crisis Magazine, April 13, 2023

Andrew J. Peach, J.D., Ph.D., is a former philosophy professor and current attorney. …

Andrew J. Peach

The Catholic Church is facing a “priest crisis” in two senses: (1) fewer men are entering the priesthood and (2) many who are entering are not fit for the office. A diocesan priestly promise of poverty may alleviate both problems.

Diocesan priests currently make two promises—ones of celibacy, and one of obedience to the local ordinary (bishop). Although, as the USCCB website notes, there is an expectation that diocesan priests “will lead a life of simplicity consonant with the people they serve,” diocesan priests do not make a promise of poverty. The long-time pastor of my childhood parish had a summer home and a boat. …

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