Earlier this week I went to a meeting of local clergy, and it was about the most depressing thing ever. This is what people talk about when they say that the morale of the clergy is low, and that there is an endemic spiritual malaise in the priesthood. One priest tried to bring it up, without getting very far. There was a palpable disinterest in addressing the pressing questions of shrinking parishes and schools, whole generations missing from church attendance, and populations that are ignored in our pastoral practice. Even something that is supposed to be exciting, the coming pastoral visit of Benedict XVI , was treated more or less like just another hassle.
Now I have my own ideas about diagnosing the spiritual malaise of the Catholic clergy and religious life. But I never know if they are just my own pet concerns. So what do you think is at fault in the alleged low morale of the clergy, or for their spiritual malaise?