Priests are caught up in a dysfunctional system that makes a healthy emotional life impossible, suggests an academic scholar, spiritual director and Benedictine monk
Among the greatest blessings of my priestly ministry, I count the many retreats I have preached to religious sisters, nuns, monks and diocesan priests in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. The experience has given me an intimate knowledge of those who serve the Church as priests and nuns.
During confessions and personal conversations, retreatants open up with exceptional candour. Within a few days of doing little more than simply listening, a picture begins to emerge of the health and wellbeing of a community, a diocese or a local church.
This unfiltered access to the inner motivations and struggles of countless nuns and priests has persuaded me that the Church remains an unparalleled force for good in the world. These priests and Religious are frank about their struggles, frustrations and failings but remain patiently devoted to their mission. In spite of its flaws, no other body in the world cares for the poor, the immigrants, indigenous people, the promotion of women, quite in the same way as the Church does.