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Church Turns To Facebook To Find Priests 286

Posted by samzenpus
from the give-us-this-day-our-daily-farmville dept.
crimeandpunishment writes "The Catholic church of France isn't looking for friends on Facebook, it's looking for priests. The church has turned to Facebook as part of a campaign to attract young people to the priesthood, in an effort to combat its drastically dwindling number of priests. It may be working. The Facebook page attracted more than 1,200 fans in one week."

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Church Turns To Facebook To Find Priests

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  • JUST WOW (Score:5, Funny)

    by thijsh (910751) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:52AM (#32071738) Journal
    Priests looking to Facebook as part of a campain to attract young people.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Locke2005 (849178)
      Unfortunately, since the minimum age to sign up for Facebook is 13, it is not very useful for recruiting altar boys. Sometimes the traditional ways work best...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MrNaz (730548)

        That's not the most ridiculous thing about this. Think about it, they're looking on Facebook for people who want to be celibate.

        I don't rate their chances very highly.

        • Re:JUST WOW (Score:5, Funny)

          by Forge (2456) <kevinforge@@@gmail...com> on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:49AM (#32073212) Homepage Journal
          I'm neither Jewish nor Catholic, but given the choice I would rather be a Rabbi. Rabbis are practically required to have sex. (You must be married. Preferably with children).

          The logic is beautiful in it's simplicity. A big part of your job in both rolls is guiding people throgh normal problems of life. Rebellious kids, angry wife, miserable mother in law etc... The kind of thing a virgin priest would know nothing about and thus give pointless advice.

          However if you are looking for impressionable male virgins, FaceBook is a good place to start but Slashdot would be better. Most ACs should become priests. They already live under vows of Poverty and Chastity. Obedience isn't that hard to learn.
          • Re:JUST WOW (Score:5, Funny)

            by schon (31600) on Monday May 03, 2010 @01:54PM (#32074786)

            I'm neither Jewish nor Catholic, but given the choice I would rather be a Rabbi. Rabbis are practically required to have sex. (You must be married. Preferably with children).

            A priest and a rabbi are seated next to each other on a long plane ride, and start talking to each other.

            As the flight progresses, they become friends, and start opening up a little bit towards each other. Eventually, the priest asks the rabbi if he's ever eaten a ham sandwich.

            The rabbi admits that yes, he once had a bite of a ham sandwich.

            The rabbi then asks the priest if he's had sex.

            The priest admits that he once broke his vows and had sex.

            The rabbi then says "sure beats the hell out of a ham sandwich, doesn't it?"

    • More seriously - dear Catholic church: maybe if you're having trouble with recruiting, it might be a good idea to look at your medieval personnel policies? You know, like maybe letting priests get married, letting women in, etc, etc. Might cut down on the pervert problem too. I'm just sayin'.
  • Really? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:53AM (#32071748)

    I thought AOL was supposed to be more popular with the pedobear crowd.

  • Wonderful (Score:3, Funny)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:54AM (#32071766) Homepage Journal

    That sounds like a good idea. We know there aren't any perverts on Facebook.

  • So, what are they going to do once every state has a law banning sex offenders from social networks?
  • by sizzzzlerz (714878) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:59AM (#32071830)

    Come on, guys, at least try to come up with something a little harder to shoot arrows at.

  • you really should add a Pedo Panic button as soon as possible!

  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday May 03, 2010 @10:00AM (#32071844) Homepage

    Perhaps they should actively seek to inspire people rather than trying to protect and defend themselves. There may have been a time when their church was above and beyond criticism, but those days are long gone. They need to accept this fact and focus on the positive rather than the negative. Furthermore, they need to look within themselves and to blame themselves for the current public opinion of their church. (In other words, instead of blaming the victims for speaking out, blame the people who did the victimizing!)

    Then, after all that, do good works... LOTS of good works. That used to work in the past. These days, one rarely hears much about the good works of the church...

    • The Church could completely reinvigorate itself and make sure there are plenty of priests by doing two things: (1) allow women to be priests; and (2) allow priests to marry. Until they do either one or both of those things they'll continue to weaken.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sznupi (719324)

        I don't think they can easily combat underlying circumstances. See, France and generally (though not as a whole...) Europe has changed, it's waking up. Secularization has progressed quite a lot; I wouldn't be surpised if, by the time of next Eurobarometer polls regarding faith, less than 50% of Europeans will declare themselves religious. It wasn't that far the last time...

        Priesthood, being a priest simply lost its social prestige. It's not "cool" (and this FB campaign likely won't change that...even if the

        • by nomadic (141991)
          Sure, the Church will never be as powerful in Europe as it used to be, but Europe has been demographically, politically and culturally dwindling in importance for decades. The Church could lose Europe and still become more influential on a global level (not that I'm saying that would be good or bad, I'm just a neutral observer).
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by sznupi (719324)

            Dwindling in importance? Are you certain? EU is considered quite readily as one of the most major powers lately, culturally it retains its identity fine (plus look past popculture; and also from where most of that popculture originated...); and demographically it won't be that big of a problem, I suspect - yes, it will need a wave of immigrants...so? Sure, there are failure stories, but also huge success stories (the largest population of "Muslims" in EU is probably in Germany; rather nicely integrated)

            As f

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        (1) allow women to be priests; and (2) allow priests to marry.

        No, no, no.... Wrong approach... Allow women to be priests and make it mandatory to attend weekly orgies for clergy.

        That would boast priesthood numbers for sure!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Locke2005 (849178)
        But, if they allow priests to marry, then then ones that don't marry will be suspected of being, uh... a little light in the loafers. The Catholic church has always been an outlet that provides a socially acceptable lifestyle for those that just can't stomach the thought of sex with the opposite sex. As such, I believe homosexuals have always been overrepresented in the celibate castes.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sznupi (719324)

          As such, I believe homosexuals have always been overrepresented in the celibate castes.

          That does seem to be the case, indeed. I have a buddy who, at one point, tried to become a catholic monk (not sure which order); he was eventually rejected from the monastery because of...mild (easily controlled) epilepsy; yes, those isntitutions are so archaic. But during his probation there it turned out not only that one of the ways of dealing with "hardships" of monastic life is quite rampant alcoholism (well, that might be a reason of rejecting epileptics, too...), but also that there's a way above ave

    • Why should the catholic church try to fix it self, when blaming others has worked so well.

      Granted it may just cause disbelief in most if you blame it on the jews [salon.com] or homosexuality [nydailynews.com] in some, but far more will believe it, especially in developing countries, the only place the church is still growing. And no I am not going to say that this proofs only non-educated people believe in god. That would not be nice. It would be the truth, but not nice.

      Oh and remember, the mafia isn't real, it is a plot by communism

      • One reason religious groups do so well in very poor countries is that they are one of the few groups actually helping the poor. Their governments may not be able or willing to help so these groups fill that vacuum. Once people become more prosperous and their physical needs are already met all that is left are the people who are religious by nature which is a much smaller number.

    • by FlopEJoe (784551)

      These days, one rarely hears much about the good works of the church...

      Is that because the church is not doing good works or that they are not being reported? I'm not defending the wrong doing in any way but the headline, "Priest in Pedo Probe" will beat, "Church feeds millions... just like last year" every time.

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday May 03, 2010 @10:01AM (#32071854)

    It will largely take care of the pedophile problem and the dwindling number willing to be priests in one shot.

    Priests marrying wasn't disallowed all throughout church history anyway, it was political nonsense to do away with questions of inheritance.

    • by Xtravar (725372) on Monday May 03, 2010 @10:11AM (#32071962) Homepage Journal

      The Catholic Church is the last (Christian) religious institution to have the "sacred dogma" marketability. It's a very large bullet point on their sales presentation slide. "We have been around the longest. We are full of mystical, intriguing quirks that lend to our legitimacy."

      Once they start giving in to modern concepts (and giving up dogmas), they begin to lose that essence and have less to compete against other Christian sects with.

      It's also a great source of pride, however depraved that may seem.

      So, they need to change slowly. They don't want to seem like some willy nilly religion that makes arbitrary rules. THEIR rules are from God.

      If they were to change in the midst of this pedophile scandal, it would seem as a reaction to the scandal and not edict from Heaven. That would lose credibility among followers, priests (who've had to be celibate all this time), and those potential followers looking in.

      In other words, the writing's on the wall, but the situation is delicate.

      • In other words, the writing's on the wall, but the situation is celibate.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by vlm (69642)

        Once they start giving in to modern concepts

        Jews got married long before the christian era.

      • It's a very large bullet point on their sales presentation slide. "We have been around the longest. We are full of mystical, intriguing quirks that lend to our legitimacy."

        Actually the Eastern Orthodox Church can trace a more direct lineage to the beginnings of Christianity than the Roman Catholic Church can.

        • by Rogerborg (306625)

          Actually the Eastern Orthodox Church can trace a more direct lineage to the beginnings of Christianity than the Roman Catholic Church can.

          True, plus IIRC they get a bonus spell from either the Necromancy or Divination realm at level 5.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      The requirement that priests remain celibate certainly both reduces the number of potential priests and also dramatically increases the chance that people who do join the priesthood will have unhealthy sexuality.

      • by UnxMully (805504)

        The requirement that priests remain celibate certainly both reduces the number of potential priests and also dramatically increases the chance that people who do join the priesthood will have unhealthy sexuality.

        Would they be allowed to be in a same-sex marriage? That would really set the cat amongst the pigeons...

        • by TheLink (130905)

          Bad for the brand.

          That would be like Coca Cola's CEO regularly being seen drinking Pepsi in public.

    • Indeed.

      Adult with normal Sexual Urges that he can not satify and let public know about it is pretty much guarantted to take advantage of someone weak.

      Similary, consider good well behaved catholic boy that does not really want relationship and sex with (adult)/(woman). Priesthood is perfect escape route: No more social pressure on "marrying and getting kids", likely to have few likeminded people around, authority power and access to kids... shudder.

      Just let normal people become priests instead of sexually fr

    • We're talking about a matter of doctrine here, not a matter of pragmatism. You're right that, from a pragmatic standpoint, it would largely just make more sense to allow priests to marry.

      You're also right that the Roman Catholic church didn't always require priests to take the vow of celibacy. But, it became part of doctrine in the past, and now will be forever going forward.

      The Church will stand by the position that you don't change doctrine because people don't like it. . . if someone wants to be a priest

      • by vlm (69642)

        But, it became part of doctrine in the past, and now will be forever going forward.

        Geocentricism forever!

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocentric_model [wikipedia.org]

      • Re:Goodluckwiththat (Score:5, Informative)

        by sznupi (719324) on Monday May 03, 2010 @10:35AM (#32072278) Homepage

        It's not a doctrine, it's an ecclesial law. Can be changed at a whim by one signature; wasn't even nearly a universal custom in the past (heck, around XIII century AFAI remember, when the Vatican envoy arrived in my area with the mission of sorting out actual introduction of celibacy...well, he did reasonably well in Czech; but in Poland he barely escaped with his life)

      • Not doctrine (Score:3, Informative)

        by TheLink (130905)

        It's NOT doctrine.

        If someone wants to be a priest, bishop or other "top leader of a church" I suggest they look at this first:

        http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Timothy+3&version=NIV [biblegateway.com]

        http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Timothy%203&version=NKJV [biblegateway.com]

        http://bible.cc/1_timothy/3-2.htm [bible.cc]

        The requirements there for Bishops and Deacons don't mention celibacy anywhere. In fact they do even mention "husband of but one wife".

        So there's above reproach, husband of but one wife, temperate, self c

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Princeofcups (150855)

          So there's above reproach, husband of but one wife, temperate, self controlled, good reputation with outsiders, etc.

          So practicing polygamists/adulterers/fornicators/pedophiles/homosexuals do not meet that standard. Nor do drunkards.

          It's a shame that those "standards" have never really been followed. I DID grow up Catholic. Baptism, communion, confirmation. I was even an alter boy. (And no I was never abused.)

          Anyway, everyone knew that a large percentage of priests were gay, but it was never talked about. Instead, if a young boy preferred to play with dolls instead of toy guns, then the relatives would say "He's destined for the priesthood." No joke, fact.

          I also went to Catholic high school, and one of the priests was regularly d

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      A. I am not Catholic.
      B. I agree with you but see A. so that doesn't matter all that much.

      I asked a priest about that once. His response was.
      "Your parish is your family. If you had a family of your own would have to suffer. Your personal family or your parish family."
      I can see that point of view. I think it is not correct but I can at least understand where they are coming from.

      • by vlm (69642)

        "Your coworkers are your family. If you also had a family of your own, one would have to suffer. Your personal family or your company family."

        I think it is not correct but I can at least understand where they are coming from.

        Corporate America?

    • As long as they equate the clergy with the vows of monkhood (celibacy) they will constantly handicap themselves. There is no need for it and no strong defense for it. Maybe a crisis that brings the church low will force its hand but even the child molestation crisis doesn't seem to be enough.

    • by Rogerborg (306625)

      Good news, everyone! All you priests who want to marry women are free to do so!

      [Shuffling of feet]

      Er... anybody? Is anybody at all here attracted to adult women?

      [Embarrassed coughs]

  • by assemblerex (1275164) on Monday May 03, 2010 @10:04AM (#32071898)
    Boyscouts,Nambla,MichaelJackson,GarryGlitter,Archdiocese of Dublin Accept Invitation Y/N?
  • 1,200 fans in a week is amazingly low for facebook.

    Some very stupid useless pages can get millions of fans in a week.

  • by VShael (62735) on Monday May 03, 2010 @10:15AM (#32072020) Journal

    Bonjour, je m'appelle Chris Hanson.

    Pourquoi n'avez-vous pas un siège de plus ici?

  • Wait, I thought Facebook was nothing but a hangout for pedophil...Ohhhhhhh, I get it. Nevermind.

  • by Hognoxious (631665)

    Won't somebody think of the children?

  • Dear Journalists,
    There are lies, damn lies, statistics and now facebook group sizes. All are meaningless but facebook groups are exceedingly meaningless. Although facebook might be the latest internet craze please get off your ass and do some real journalism. Please never quote how many people are in a facebook group again. I really don't care how many idiots clicked a viral marketing button because they have nothing better to do then drool over facebook updates all day at their computer/phone. The

  • I like this quote from Sam Harris... "I've read the books. God is not a moderate. There's no place in the books where God says, 'You know, when you get to the New World and you develop your three branches of government and you have a civil society, you can just jettison all the barbarism I recommended in the first books.'"

    Why do people still believe in Christianity? It is 2010. Must we propagate this insanity any further?
  • My cousin is a 28 year old Catholic priest and has a podcast. From the sounds of it, his diocese is really enjoying the youthful exuberance he's bringing to the area. All of us were a little boggled about the path he chose, but it seems to be working out nicely for him.

  • Why facebook? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tomp1000 (1364927)
    Why facebook? Why not somewhere more suited to finding a better selection of possible catholic priest candidates? Like 4chan for example?
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:00AM (#32072654)

    This really falls in the So What List. The catholic church is looking for more priests whats new. So they are using Facebook as a tool. So what... A good for them.

    Now this is just in bad taste for slashdot as it will only really be just a forum to make fun of problems that a religion is having.

    This Ain't News for nerds, this isn't news for geeks, if you are not interested in joining the priesthood it doesn't even matter. You just wanted an other forum to make fun of catholics.

  • LFG (Score:2, Funny)

    Church LF Priest. Need heals and good to go.
  • by bflong (107195) on Monday May 03, 2010 @11:11AM (#32072808)

    1 Timothy 4:1-5:
    1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

    Note how it says forbidding to marry is a teaching inspired my demons. I mean, wow, don't they read their own book?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Eamorr (1803236)
      ROFL. You've just proved your ignorance. Since when is the Lockman Foundation's bible authorised by the Catholic Church?
      • by bflong (107195) on Monday May 03, 2010 @12:09PM (#32073506)

        I couldn't find a Jerusalem Bible online fast enough.

        Here it is:
        1 The Spirit has explicitly said that during the last times some will desert the faith and pay attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines that come from devils,
        2 seduced by the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are branded as though with a red-hot iron:
        3 they forbid marriage and prohibit foods which God created to be accepted with thanksgiving by all who believe and who know the truth.
        4 Everything God has created is good, and no food is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving:
        5 the word of God and prayer make it holy.

        Here is the New American:
        1 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructions
        2 through the hypocrisy of liars with branded consciences.
        3 They forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
        4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected when received with thanksgiving,
        5 for it is made holy by the invocation of God in prayer.

        Here is the Douay:
        1 Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils,
        2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy, and having their conscience seared,
        3 Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful, and by them that have known the truth.
        4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be rejected that is received with thanksgiving:
        5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

        Anything else you care to complain about?

  • So how have they set in up? Once some guy has tried to "Friend" more than 100 tween boys he's never met before, does the Catholic Church automatically send him a pre-approved application form for entry into the priesthood?

    Credit card companies have something like that set up for people with bad credit, so it seems like a good way for the church to save time it might waste rejecting all the women and married men who might want to be priests.

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