“People say that there is a scarcity of priests. In truth, what an adorable mystery it is that there still are priests. They no longer have any human advantage. Celibacy, solitude, hatred very often, derision and, above all the indifference of a world in which there seems to be no longer room for them—such is the portion they have chosen. They have no apparent power; their task sometimes seems to be centered about material things, identifying them, in the eyes of the masses, with the staffs of town halls and of funeral parlors. A pagan atmosphere prevails all around them. The people would laugh at their virtue if they believed in it, but they do not. They are spied upon. A thousand voices accuse those who fall. As for the others, the great number, no one is surprised to see them toiling without any sort of recognition, without appreciable salary, bending over the bodies of the dying, or ambling about the parish…”
— Francois Mauriac, quoted here.
Image from “These Hands Bring Me Jesus“ by Stephen Golder