"Conversations around the kitchen table may be more responsible for the shortage of Roman Catholic priests in the U.S. than influences from American culture."
Or so says USA Today.
Nearly half of all those to be ordained Catholic priests in the US this year received some sort of discouragement from family, friends, priests or others.
I'd be willing to bet a d**m sight more than half of those who go into it are also told that theatre is a lousy life and a nearly impossible way to make a living, and there's no shortage of actors...
I have nothing on which to base this other than gut feeling, but my guess is that the problem has less to do with the active, any discouragement than with the passive, the lack of any encouragement.
That and, not so much a secular culture that glorifies everything, good and bad, that the religious life is a renunciation of, but the rampant "Catholic" culture that for the past few decades has gone out of it to make the priesthood seem superfluous.