Extrapolating from the comments made below by Ben Carson, it dawned on me why Catholic vocations are at such a low tide-or yet another reason than those commonly defined.
What Ben Carson notes about the black youth not growing up respecting authority is true for the way Catholic parents are referring to the clergy, even in so-called good Catholic homes.
We had good friends who were priests who served as brilliant examples of good priests for my son. We did not speak against the clergy in any general anti-clerical sense, but I have seen over and over in families where priests are so criticized that any young man who may consider a vocation would be discouraged from doing so.
Authority must be respected in the role of authority. Whether a particular person measures up to that role is another question entirely.
I respect the pope because he is the pope. I respect my bishop because he is the bishop.
The merits of the person are separate from the office, which is something many Catholics simply do not understand.
The great divide in the Church over the EF and NO families has caused problems with vocations. A young man must never think the NO in invalid, for example, and think he has a vocation. He must be willing to say both, unless he joins an order where the charism is only saying the EF.
Respect for the authority of the Church must be part of the young person's character if he thinks he is called to the priesthood. We have enough priests who do not love the Church and we absolutely do not need more like that, either liberal or conservative.
Sadly, with parents wanting to be friends rather than parents, too many young men have not had experience with authority. They simply do not know how to submit. And, an adversarial attitude is not the mark of a vocation.
I see this daily.
And, this attitude would be a deterrent to a young man considering a vocation. Or, he simply would not last in the seminary. Only a young man who is humble, who is teachable, can learn to be a priest.