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Has anyone else noticed this about young/middle aged Catholic priests vs older ones?

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  • Has anyone else noticed this about young/middle aged Catholic priests vs older ones?

    I don't go to Catholic Church anymore, I'm happily converted and still play at my beautiful little UMC which I love. When I was Catholic, though, I noticed that the priests above a certain age (maybe 65 now?) were always warmer, friendler, and more welcoming than those below that age. To me, it seems like the latter are far too often cold, stern, standoffish, and a bit arrogant. I've read that the younger ones tend to be much more Orthodox and conservative than their older coutnerparts, and I was just wondering why it seems like they are so much less friendly. My organ teacher, who has played at countless Catholic churches, would surely agree with what I'm saying. She tells me all the time she only likes older priests because the younger ones haven't treated her well for the most part. And, to be quite honest, I 100% see where she's coming from. What are y'all's thoughts on this?

  • #2
    I don't think there's any basis to draw a conclusion. Your experience, and that of your teacher, don't make it so.

    In general, I don't like classifying people on any basis, be it their age, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. People should be judged as individuals and by their actions, not pre-conceived characterizations, regardless of whether there's a factual, statistical proven basis for those characterizations or not.
    -Admin

    Allen 965
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    • #3
      What section of the forum is this thread listed?

      If you want to know about the Catholic situation, look for Leo Zagami.

      Many Catholics are aware of the change so not attending services is nothing new.

      I used to be an altar boy and that was eons ago. Went to Catholic schools as well.

      Then you have the other denominations that are lynch-tied to the 501(c)(3) so YMMV.

      Edit:

      Oh I see, there's a section called "Blower Room"

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      • #4
        AllenMDS,

        Since September, I've also been playing for a Catholic mass once a week (in addition to my own churches). I've worked with 4 priests during that time, and while I've not made the same observation you have, I can certainly understand someone coming to that conclusion.

        I also teach, and have noticed similar tendencies in that field (older vs. younger). For one to understand, one needs to work in a profession which has received an inordinate amount of coverage for the indiscretions of a few in the field. For those who enter the teaching field, whether real or imagined, the chosen occupation adds an extra level of scrutiny that can be hard to escape, especially because in some locations it may have been part of a culture of inappropriate activity.

        The net effect of those indiscretions on those who enter the field, is that the new people entering the profession are painfully aware they may be under additional scrutiny, and subsequently alter their personal attitudes and behaviors to ensure nothing they do can be used to falsely accuse them.

        I am currently mentoring a new teacher entering the field, and he has been accused of addressing one of the girls inappropriately (using a Southern term, i.e. dear or sweetheart), demonstrating a health concept in class inappropriately, as well as being too curt in an e-mail (addressing the question at hand without additional palaver). As a result, I have seen him begin closing the ranks to protect him self from accusation. Fortunately, we have a supportive principal.

        Are younger priests less friendly? I wouldn't blame them if they are. They are in a much-maligned field of work, and are having to pay for the sins of many older priests in the past. If I were to enter that field, it would change my behavior as a male because many are putting the entire profession under heavier scrutiny than they would for any other profession (like construction workers, pilots, bus drivers, computer techs, electricians, or accountants).

        Bottom line–I'm just attempting to provide another explanation for a perceived behavior. It has been my experience that if someone is letting his/her profession alter his/her behavior, (s)he needs additional support vs. judgement.

        Michael
        Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
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        • #5
          All my experiences in the past with different aged Catholic Clergy have been positive. Classes at Notre Dame, counseling sessions and practicing at churches I have been respected and treated very well.
          Lloyd

          Happily retired organist/pianist from the Church of the Brethren...Allen ADC-4300-DK.
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          • myorgan
            myorgan commented
            Editing a comment
            Ditto. Needless to say, I've played for short stints for several Catholic services in various locations over the last 40 years, and my experiences have been exactly what you have said, Icid.

            Michael

        • #6
          I've come to know a great many RC priests over the years in the organ business, and I really can't say that I see a trend either way. One of the "crankiest" I know of is an old guy, and my absolute favorite all-round outgoing super-cool nice guy, who I would want for a pastor if I were to convert, seems to be in his 30's. But I get the point brought up my Michael. Their profession has been so besmirched by the unscrupulous, bringing this extraordinary degree of condemnation and concomitant scrutiny of all priests, it's a wonder that anybody would enter the profession these days.
          John
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          • #7
            I have known a few Catholic priests and I must say that without exception they are very humble and generally very nice people. Two of them I have known better than the rest. The youngest is in his late thirties and really a super fellow. The other one is in his mid forties and equally a pleasant and good-natured person. The older ones, if I am to say anything about them - in a nice way I have always thought they might be a little "aloof" but I am surely wrong as I have not known any of them closely enough to justify this impression.
            Nico
            "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

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            • #8
              I agree with the OP's observation, but there's still too many priests out there to tell if it is much of a significant trend or not. I think it has to do with the culture that the younger ones were raised in. Culture has been changing at an exponential rate in recent centuries leading to huge changes in just a few decades or less in our current time. I think that, coupled with the fact that the older one gets, the wiser and more experienced they get, so it would make sense that the older ones are more personable while the younger ones are blunt, factual, and lacking social skills. I can't say I've experienced many memorable priests of the modern Catholic Church since I attend traditional services, but as for the traditional priests, they have to defend Tradition with precision and firmness on top of distinguishing the differences between other religions and the reasons why they are or are not good to follow.

              I enjoy both the wise, light and humorous personality of the older ones as well as the down to earth, blunt, and well studied younger ones.
              Last edited by Nutball; 03-10-2019, 09:34 PM.
              Allen 530A

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              • #9
                Originally posted by Nutball View Post
                there's still too many priests out there to tell if it is much of a significant trend or not. I think it has to do with the culture that the younger ones were raised in. Culture has been changing at an exponential rate in recent centuries leading to huge changes in just a few decades or less in our current time. I think that, coupled with the fact that the older one gets, the wiser and more experienced they get, so it would make sense that the older ones are more personable while the younger ones are blunt, factual, and lacking social skills. I can't say I've experienced many memorable priests of the modern Catholic Church since I attend traditional services, but as for the traditional priests, they have to defend Tradition with precision and firmness on top of distinguishing the differences between other religions and the reasons why they are or are not good to follow.

                I enjoy both the wise, light and humorous personality of the older ones as well as the down to earth, blunt, and well studied younger ones.
                If anyone has a few minutes to an hour, watch this video and others from LZ.

                This takes on another dimension that even Catholics are raising eyebrows and confused about the future of the Church.



                Something to mull over from a different perspective.



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