chapter  7
4 Pages

Priests at Work

ByAndrew M. Greeley

In the fifties Catholic Digest Magazine commissioned Gallup to undertake a comparative study of American Catholics and Protestants and their clergy. Anyone who has listened to Catholic laity comment on preaching knows that the subject is likely to occasion brutal denunciation of the incompetence of the Sunday preachers. In the absence of the data from the original Gallup study, it is difficult to explain this phenomenon. Somehow none of this unhappiness seems to have made it through rectory doors. One very rarely hears in conversation among priests that preaching may be a major ministerial problem for them. Quite the contrary, anyone who has a reputation for good preaching—calls to the rectory asking what Mass he will say— is likely to fall victim of the contumely of other priests as in, "yeah, he's a pretty good preacher, but he doesn't do much else and he's hell to live with."