August 15, 2005

Recruiting Priests

You don't hear much talk these days about Catholic priests being heroes, but that's the take a new vocations poster is pitching. It's the brainchild of Fr. Jonathan Meyer of Indianapolis (pictured on the poster), and it shows a young priest in a cassock (huh?) holding a rosary and a cross. It's supposed to evoke the character of Neo from The Matrix, and it looks just like a movie poster, including the R-rating logo ("restricted to those radically in love with Jesus Christ"). They're sending 5,000 of these things to the World Youth Day meeting in Cologne, Germany, this week as a means of recruiting young NeoCons, er, NeoCaths, er, Neos for the priesthood. Here's the link: click here. Here's the picture.

Priest as Hero?

I certainly don't object to using ideas and images from popular culture to recruit for the priesthood and religious life, but this image doesn't really evoke a commitment to social justice or a fundamental option for the poor or anything else that the post-Vatican Council II Church is all about. It seems more 1955-ish than 2005-ish, sunglasses notwithstanding. I'm wondering if we really want guys in the priesthood who find this imagery appealing.