In France, Foreign Aid in the Form of Priests

Maia de la Baume, New York Times, April 7, 2013

In Togo, the Rev. Rodolphe Folly used to conduct exuberant Sunday services for a hundred believers of all ages, who sang local gospel music and went up to him to offer what they had.

In this quiet town in Burgundy, he preaches to a more somber audience of about 40 gray-haired retirees in an unadorned 19th-century church that can accommodate up to 600 people.

“In my country, we applaud, we acclaim, we shout,” said Father Folly, a Roman Catholic priest who spoke in the living room of his modern, modest house. “Here, even when I ask people to shake hands, they say no.”

Father Folly, 45, has settled in this town of about 9,000 residents, assigned to replace an aging priest. He has brought his jovial smile and good heart to a place where religious practice is weak, as it is in many other areas of France. He is part of a battalion of priests who have come to France from abroad—from places like Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon but also Vietnam and Poland—who now represent about 10 percent of France’s declining clerical ranks.

The Catholic Church in Western Europe and the United States has been coping with a severe shortage of priests in the last few decades, as many abandoned the priesthood or passed away. So bishops in the developed world have been reaching out to their counterparts in the developing world to bring priests from Africa, Asia and Latin America, where the priesthood is still an appealing prospect and vocations are booming.


The decline of the priesthood as a vocation is particularly pronounced in France, a country that defines itself as secular. Magnificent churches dot the country, but France’s clergy is old and ordinations of priests are in continuing decline. The average age of France’s 14,000 priests is 72.

About 1,600, the number of foreign priests has nearly tripled over the last eight years, with many being recruited to parishes in urban areas and the Parisian suburbs.

To church officials, this is not necessarily a bad thing. “They bring freshness, youth and another way to consider the pastoral,” said the Rev. Pierre-Yves Pecqueux, who heads international recruitment at the Conférence des évêques de France, the church’s bishops’ committee. “They have their own way to speak about faith, and a joy to believe in God.”

Most foreign priests are sent to France for three, six or nine years according to an agreement between bishops. They settle here on the basis of the “Fidei Donum,” (Gift of Faith), the 1957 encyclical that encouraged bishops to open themselves “to the universal needs of the church.” Some also serve as part-time priests, having come here primarily to study theology in French universities.


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  • The__Bobster

    So bishops in the developed world have been reaching out to their counterparts in the developing world to bring priests from Africa, Asia and Latin America, where the priesthood is still an appealing prospect and vocations are booming.

    I’ve posted an untold number of stories on NNN, where these imported priests ended up raping their young parishioners.

  • Katherine McChesney

    Whites aren’t signing on to be priests. There’s a shortage of them. Guess these blacks will bring their voodoo religion and their hatred of Whites to white countries.

    • GM (Australia)

      Worse still we are effectively putting a black person into a position of authority over us.

      I also do not agree that ethnic groups within our society need to have priests from their own nationality, this only delays their integration onto our society and aggravates their whole ghetto mentality.

      The Catholic Church needs to have a very good look at itself and work out why whites are not going into the priesthood.

      • NYB

        At best, Christianity is nothing but a historic relic in the West, filling a spiritual and administrative void for births, deaths and marriages.

        White nationalism must be the foundation of the successor to ‘Christianity’.

        • edie

          beware of men who wear robes

        • GM (Australia)

          But remember, protestant Christianity was an integral part of the society that we often like to look back to, a society that certainly had a lot of decent values that we would like to see restored. In fact the White Anglo Saxon Protestant (WASP) has been the most reviled target of the loony left since the late 1960s. I certainly link the decline in our society with the decline of mainstream protestant Christianity.

          Back in 1960 it was almost considered shock horror that a Roman Catholic was elected to the White House. Back then it was almost unthinkable that western countries would allow (as has since happened) a virtual invasion of 3rd World Catholics, Asians and Muslims. It was equally unthinkable that the USA would have a non-white president with Muslim connections.

          White Nationalism is desperately needed but we should not forget the Faith that was part of our civilization and helped make our civilization great.

          • saxonsun

            You’re completely correct about Protestantism, but remember that it represented non-conformity and protest at its start–and that was a good thing.

          • TheAntidote

            Mainline Protestantism is dead in the USA; dead as in, never coming back. It had a brief resurgence after WW2 but then suffered what we call “The Protestant Deformation.” Basically they tried to be relevant and modern and only wound up secularizing and rationalizing themselves into oblivion. I suppose the high point of the Protestant Deformation was the “God is dead” movement of 1963.
            The heirs of Wycliffe, Luther and Calvin in the USA today are the various fundamentalist cracker sects, snake cults of the Appalachians, and the black liberation theology cargo cults of the Negroes.
            Roman Catholicism is alive but on life support.

            Both the Pope and the Big Prods are fully on board with racial egalitarianism, multiculturalism and mud immigration so DON’T pin any WN hopes on “the historic faith of Europe”

      • Crystal Evans

        I hate to be honest but the only whites that would go into the priesthood are gay men. The celibacy requirement has scared away those men who would become priests if they could marry.

        • Brendan

          That wasn’t a problem in 1950. Why is it a problem now?

          • Crystal Evans

            We have become a sex saturated society. Young men want to have sex with women and eventually get married. and it is seen as unnatural for a man to be celibate for life.

          • TheAntidote

            I believe one way the RC Church might survive in the USA is to greatly enlarge the number of deacons. Deacons have wives, families and (before retirement) jobs/careers. So you could have three or four deacons in a parish preaching and baptizing, and one priest for eight or nine parishes saying masses and having the deacons and others distribute the elements.

          • anarchyst

            The celibacy requirement for Roman Catholic priests was put in place for economic reasons. During the middle ages, priests and bishops routinely willed Church property to their descendents. Celibacy was put into place to prevent Church property from being willed out of the Churchs’ hands. Celibacy is not dogmatic in nature and could be swept away by a pronouncement from the Pope.
            It is interesting to note that Episcopal priests can become Roman Catholic priests with very little “training”. Of course, when they convert to Catholicism, they bring their families with them.

          • It is my understanding that the celibacy requirement was imposed from the outside on the Church by European royalty and principalities. The reason was that so many people were leaving land to the church in their wills in order to have a good work on their record for when they met the eternal bar of justice that the RC church in general and the progeny of priests in particular was well on its way to owning most of Europe in terms of land. This made the secular rulers worried and they forced celibacy onto RC priests so that they wouldn’t have any blood heirs to which to will land.

          • GM (Australia)

            Celibacy is quite a serious issue issue, it is a matter for the Catholic Church to do a lot of soul searching over, it is not a matter for Amren. BUT, do readers of this site really believe that most African priests would practice celibacy?

          • Crystal Evans

            I don’t. I went to a Christian college in the 1970’s. We had a number of black African students who wanted to have sex with blue eyed blondes. I was never approached by them, which was a good thing.

          • jeffaral

            It has always been a problem. The Jesuits for instance are well known for their sodomistic practices.

          • TheAntidote

            Surely you meant to write sadomasochistic practices.

  • GM (Australia)

    I am not a Catholic but I have noticed that many protestant churches now have 3rd world pastors and ministers It is quite sickening, most of them have a very poor command of the English language and are often quite incomprehensible. Their ways are not our ways and there is no way I would share personal problems with any of them. While not (always) doubting their faith or genuineness lets face it, a position as say a pastor in an Australian church carries a lot of community prestige, provides a good salary package which often includes a house and car. In other words wealth beyond their wildest dreams compared with where they came from.

    My answer to this is simply “Vote with one’s feet”, the denominational HQ will soon get the message.

    • Crystal Evans

      The Catholic school that was attached to the church that I attended had nuns from the Philippines. They spoke English with a strong Filipino accent. A friend of mine went there and told his mother that the sister told him to pronounce the word chapel as cha-pel. No matter how much his mother corrected him on the wrong pronounciation. Said the sister was right. He finally learned to pronounce that word right.

    • edie

      this phenomena of bringing in 3rd world pastors is just more of the same insanity of liberals……….. the ugly people have revolted and turned the world upside down.

  • NYB

    The Christian church is a globalized farce which bears no interest for me, because it cannot speak to exclusively white interests. It is inherently a multicultural, middle Eastern import.

    I ascribe to the Völkisch interpretation of spirituality. Human beings are essentially preformed by blood, i.e. by inherited characteristics of race and genetics. Worship should be an affirmation of racial community .

    • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

      I have been explaining in many ways over seven years here on these posts why Christianity is bad for whites. But it is also bad for true white culture, which Christianity had to usurp and suppress to succeed. The only reason so many whites cannot bring themselves to part with it is because they have been indoctrinated for centuries and lack the will to see it for what it is.

      • NYB

        People cannot live in a spiritual void.

        If they let go of Christianity, they will have to jump to something else. For some it is secular humanism, new-age religions, or appropriating foreign creeds like Taoism or Islam. Most retain a nominal Christianity out of respect for tradition.

        It is unfortunate that alternative spiritualties, which are exclusively white and based on ancient pre-Christian roots, are not widely known or popular.

        • Peter Hitchens wrote an article asking for forgiveness for, at one time, being part of the problem that has ruined England such as being an arrogant athiest, socialist who really wanted for England to be multi-cultural. It was not like he had any great love of non-whites, it was just he disliked his own people. He is now a Christian, a believing Christian, but has said on a number of occasions that he was anti-Christian as well in a former life. It has devestated England, this becoming post-Christian. Now he is alarmed at all the white woman he sees wearing islamic garb. He really, really regrets his 1960’s generation and what they have done.

          • NeanderthalDNA

            As well he should.

          • Crystal Evans

            One thing that is interesting is that these white converts to Islam in England are often not accepted by the Pakistanis and other Middle Easterners who populate the country’s mosques as fellow Muslims. The women often find it difficult to find a Muslim spouse because their families object to them marrying a white girl.

        • Jason

          I’m a White Nationalist who has appropriated some Taoist ideas in my life. But I think you are right in a general way about appropriating alien religions. If they don’t speak to white interests they are empty. I am informed by Taoism merely as a philosophy or approach to solving problems, not as a ritualized religion. What I mean is, I don’t believe in Taoist gods; I do however agree with some things I find in it, like a correlative theory of causation, the wisdom of expressing strength by yielding, wu-wei, believing there is a non-theistic creative force that re-balances things and that chaos and order are two sides of one coin. I really believe these ideas can help White Nationalism in many ways. But I’ve also incorporated some pagan Odinist ideas, as well as some Stoic, Skeptic, Cynic, Epicurean. I confess I am one of those incorrigible philosopher types. Well, perhaps even White Nationalism might make room for a philosopher or two if we promise to sit quietly in the back and not pester anyone with any existential questions.

          P.S. my degree is in physics, how’s that for a contradiction?

        • Formerly_Known_as_Whiteplight

          This is why eventual white success has such a slight chance. I think most retain nominal Christianity out of laziness and a need for cheap, psychological comfort. I would point to Nietzsche in making this point. He pointed out that ordinary people would always need the false comfort of religion out of cowardice. Full consciousness if painful and only for the bravest.

          In my own search I have found that the old veneration of ancestors is a good place for white spirituality to be tied to because it helps identify who we are as individual whites as well as whites. Genealogy is a great place to do this. I have traced my own line back to the 11th century and the Battle of Hastings, for example. As I learned who my ancestors were, it helped me spiritually. Many ancient, Western religions venerated ancestors and they held for thousands of years.

          You last sentence is true. It is a shame that Pre-Christian European spirituality and religion is not popular among whites. I have a great old book called, “The Celtic Book of Living and Dying.” There is so much in it that would be useful to whites in finding their true identity as a people. But Asatru does exist and is available. I think that it is only laziness and a unwillingness to make basic psychological changes because it is so fundamentally challenging to the psyche. But until whites do that, they are slaves to Christianity which venerates a Jew as it’s god and is about Middle Eastern history and culture, far less European. I think that nothing less than intentional deprogramming is required. Without it, I don’t see any White Race movement succeeding in the long run, because Christianity destroys it at its root by principle.

    • NeanderthalDNA

      Vedic religions appear to share much in common with pre-Christian Celtic Druidism. No surprise, considering the common Aryan ancestral roots.

      Zoroastrianism also goes way back to EARLY Aryan beliefs.

    • jeffaral

      Crazianity has always preached an universal message.

  • Crystal Evans

    The Catholic church that I attended as a kid now has a priest from the Philippines. When I was a kid, the priests we had were white Americans. The Catholic church is out of touch with reality.Many of these third world Catholics see vocations such as the priesthood as a means to get an education that they could not otherwise afford. Two of my cousins attended a Catholic seminary high school for future priests and both dropped out and graduated from the local public high school. They had a grueling curriculum. Course included both French and Latin taught at the same semester.

    • TheAntidote

      The RC Church in the USA is abandoning the old ethnic parishes of the big cities and suburbs in a bid to hold the allegiance of the “Latinos” who are swarming across the border. Churches that were built by and for the Poles, Italians, and Germans a century and a half ago are being closed, consolidated and turned into Spanish-only chapels.
      It won’t do the RC Church any good because these undocumented immigrants (lol) aren’t much interested in the apostolic and catholic church. No, they want voodoo, santeria, and the drama of pentecostalism.

      • Crystal Evans

        True. Even in South America, Pentecostalism is growing rapidly. I have read that there are many Hispanics who come to US as Catholics but convert to Pentecostalism after they immigrate.

      • convairXF92

        My impression was that the traditional European-peasant ethnic parish churches were being closed in preference for the larger, middle-class “Americanized” parishes. The latter bring in more donations, are less of a cultural embarrassment to the liberals in the hierarchy, and attract wimpy white Americans who have failed at their life goals and so become solidly committed to modern Catholicism’s collectivism and self-sacrifice (stop in at any Paulist-run parish to see for yourself).

  • David Ashton

    The loss of belief in a Supreme Being in Europe is a major factor in the decline of the Church, but the superstitious stupidity of non-European races cannot restore faith in an objective Creator, who responds to prayer and sent his “Son” to save many people from perpetual torture after death. The social consequences of a loss of belief in immortality include rampaging hedonism, and a decline in family and racial self-preservation. In one respect the clergy have only themselves to blame for their own attacks on the credibility of the Gospels.
    This is an historic tragedy. Somehow we have to rethink religion in terms of the immortality of the species and the further evolution of its “higher forms”.

    • MBlanc46

      Perhaps we’re much better off just letting religion fade away.

  • a multiracial individual

    The demographics of supernatural belief:


    What does this tell you about magical thinking?

  • Howard W. Campbell

    If you want to know one of the primary reasons that the US has a shortage of priests, see if you can find a book called “Goodbye Good Men” by Michael Rose. A fair amount of the drop-off in seminarians is due to the fact that homosexuals have become the gate-keepers at most seminaries and run off those who feel called to serve. I am not Catholic, but had the opportunity to read this book while killing some time about 10 years ago.

    • convairXF92

      I think this was the same book I too read while killing some time about 10 years ago. Lesbian nun gatekeepers, right? They especially like to run off those with a pre-Vatican II, traditionalist approach and esthetic: if you say you recite the Angelus and do the Five Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary daily, but hint nothing of “social justice”, you won’t get in. (Note on the side: if you said those same things to a typical admissions officer at a US college, you wouldn’t get in there either.)

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    How could an African priest possibly connect spiritually with a European congregation? The entire idea is ridiculous. The races are different and they will therefore have a different way of belief, even if they’re members of the same religion.

    I hope Christian whites do the smart thing and leave churches that import third world priests.

  • jeffaral

    Thank God I am neither an African nor a Christian.

  • Corsair

    New York Times always finds a way to denigrate Christianity under the guise of journalism. Ms Baume editorializes in what is supposed to be journalism. “Many young French people consider Roman Catholicism the religion of guilt, often ill-adapted to social realities and harmed by continuing scandals over pedophilia. “

  • anarchyst

    During the “push” for so-called “civil-rights (for some)”, a priest in my church denigrated whites and pronounced that “blacks were not only as good as whites, but better than whites”. This happened some 60 years ago. I remember close to half of the congregation walking out.
    If the same statement were made today, I wonder how many white parishioners would walk out??

    • They wouldn’t walk out because they aren’t going to these churches to begin with.

  • Fr. John+

    This is why I left the Roman communion; when mandatory Spanish education is mandated by the Bishop of MINNEAPOLIS, you know that ‘the smoke of satan’ entered into the roman communion, in more ways than one. Only racially-aware, pre-schsim (AD 1054) Orthodoxy that noted that Christendom=Europe, and us alone, is the faith of the saints. All else, is the Whore of Babylon. Who knew the 16th-Century Reformers were so prescient!?

  • MadMike

    “Save us O lord from the wrath of the Norse Men” ,,,are the only words I want to hear from a Christian….