Who wants to talk about the priest's wife whose husband had a heart attack because the people in the parish stressed him so badly that he fell over and never got back up again? Then she's stuck in a little apartment that a 21 year old frat brother wouldn't live in and bagging groceries down the street. The care packages come for a few weeks, then she's on her own.
Which is why I think it is so important for a priest's wife in the Slav world to be a teacher, a nurse, something that has the benefits. It's important for the priest to have adequate term life insurance and a burial amount in whole life. The parish should buy that for him, the term life. If you haven't met someone who died without life insurance and had young children you really should it will open up your eyes.
Also I know a few guy's whose wives have good jobs and carry the benefits for the family.
Of course you don't head into the priesthood (or at least you shouldn't be heading into it) if you expect a yacht but you should be able to see the doctor if you need to, or buy the kids a jacket without having to sacrifice new shoes and just duct tape the ones you have.
Why do you think many of the rural parishes now have celibate priests or monks in residence and at the age close to medicaid?
It's a catch 22, the people aren't there anymore. No one but the person who hides the treasury records in their stove (yes, I said stove) knows really how much the churches have.
People forget that priests are people too and you can't leave a man out there hanging with no money to survive.
I know of a priest in Cleveland that is pastor to two parishes, and had to take a 40/hr a week job for the medical benefits, because neither parish wanted to pay to hire him full time.
But don't you worry, he's still expected to visit the sick, those in prisons, and show up at every pierogi dinner!
Then there's the priest, now deceased, who needed surgery, the parish refused to pay the Blue Cross Blue Shield bill as required by diocesan by-laws and the poor man had to suffer the indignity of going on public assistance to secure the surgery. I could go on and on, but for the sake of preserving the dignity of those still living, I will keep my mouth shut.
It is more than ironic that the descendents of those who fought so 'passionately' against priestly celibacy (really nothing more than a disguise for their real agenda - property rights - ) are so notoriously parsimonious when it comes to their pastors and their families. You see it in ACROD, UOC-USA, OCA and a few other places where the connection to the former Greek Catholic past has obtained near 'mythological' status in terms of what really was going on then. Just ask any PK who grow up and stayed a parishioner and had to endure the nonsense at the 'annual meeting' when the pastor's compensation issue came up.
Truth be told, I don't know any married priest in those jurisdictions who is a full time priest who would not trade the rectory, honorariums etc... in for a moment in exchange for compensation at least somewhat similar to that earned by comparably educated men in secular fields such as social work counseling or teaching. At least that way you can provide for your family in the event of unforeseen tragedy.
Stashko is probably right - the Serbs he knows did not fight that fight (they fought plenty of other good ones though!
) and he may not have been exposed to such behavior in his experience. You can't lump all Slavs together any more than you can lump all Arabs or all Greeks. (Heck, we have two small Greek parishes in our little community that refused to combine because the founding families came from different parts of the Hellenic world. It's not just the Ukrainians, Lemkos and Rusyns who drink from that cup!)