Except perhaps in very conservative communities, men with sufficient social skills can find sex and companionship without need of a matrimonial commitment (and for those who lack social skills, a willingness to marry is unlikely to provide much compensation). The culture’s unrelenting message–repeated in Hymowitz’s article–is that women are doing fine on their own. If a woman doesn’t need a man, there’s little reason for him to devote his life to her service. Further, in the age of no-fault divorce, “reliable husbands and fathers” not infrequently find themselves impoverished by child support and restricted by court order from spending time with their children.
...Boys and young men are no less rational, or capable of adapting to incentives, than girls and young women are. They are, in fact, adapting very well to the incentives for female power and independence–which inevitably also serve as disincentives to male reliability and self-sacrifice.Extramarital sex is not an option for Catholics so practicing Catholic men are faced with two choices: taking their chances with the modern marriage regime if they want sex (and it should be pointed out that Catholics divorce and remarry at almost the same rate as the general population) or embracing a life of chaste celibacy, usually as either a priest or religious. It's not a coincidence that the radical decline in numbers of priests and religious has paralleled the crisis of marriage. The family is a kind of domestic church. Priests and religious don't make vows of chaste celibacy because sex is bad, but because they are sacrificing something good for a greater good. If marriage and sex weren't good then it wouldn't be much of a sacrifice. The men who make the best priests are also the kind of men who'd have made great husbands and fathers.
If the domestic church is dysfunctional or nonexistent, then men are that much less likely to become either married fathers or priests or religious because they don't have a model to emulate. It's one thing to read the lives of the saints, it's quite another to see and experience the pursuit of holiness around us. This is why calls to ordain married men as priests as a means of solving the priest shortage are misguided at best. What happens when Father's wife frivorces him - will the parishioners pony up in the collection plate so he can cover the annulment stipend?
The Church needs strong marriages as much as she needs more priests and religious. She can never completely separate herself from the culture, which is why it's vital that she continually call out the world for its favorite sins. Liberalism and feminism have both made inroads into the Church; they're stronger in some places than in others. All Catholic men, be they single, married, priests, or religious, must live upright in the truth, and never submit to the enemies of God and man.