Fr Mannes once told me that when he, as a young man, first discovered the Latin Mass, he thought the priests who said it very holy; but came to think them also quite eccentric!
(Given the appalling behaviour, strange beliefs and general rudeness of many self-consciously modern post-Vatican II priests, no wonder. But still...)
As any decent priest will tell you - Fr Terence laughingly agreed, I recall - if a Catholic is not "anti-clerical" in a certain sense, he has not been catechized properly. Of course, as St Francis did, one should kneel down and kiss the hands of a priest, venerating his sacred office as a sacramental icon of Our Lord; but one should also hold a healthy candid attitude toward priestly faults and foibles - after all, much harm has come through excusing, being blind to, and even covering over serious clerical misbehaviour, though I speak not of real sins here.
Bishop McKenna of Bathurst, whom I knew some years back while he was still a priest based in Melbourne, told how he rather liked the somewhat disconcerting way members of the Neocatechumenal Way (when do they ever finish their neo-catechumenate, I wonder?) combine very great respect for the priest qua priest, with a very no-nonsense sense of the unworthy priest qua Christian man. This is a healthy attitude.
One thing that hanging around clerical circles will quickly confirm, is that priests think themselves very hard worked - but (as any layman can testify) would struggle to answer the demands of a full-time job. As my mother once asked me, What do priests do all week? It is proverbial that priests come in two sorts: those who work (too much), and those who don't (work enough). All the balderdash I've heard about clerical burnout! The few priests actually in risk of such would be the last ever to complain of it. As one Dominican always said, when throwing himself down into a chair after dolce far niente, "Exhausted, absolutely exhausted!" - "Oh yes, Father..."
Amusing too is the wry witticism that the social teaching of the Church applies only ad extra: priests can be as Pharaoh to their volunteer labour force, demanding extra work of people who have full time jobs of their own, if not families also... a puissant superior attitude can be painful. What can also give a bad impression is when clergy too quickly withdraw from some parish function for a clergy-only dinner: by all means, priests need to catch up, unwind, and enjoy themselves, but it can be very rude if they rapidly disappear from the parish bring-a-plate potluck lunch only too obviously to attend a rather better-stocked table nearby.
What I am getting to is that no one can escape the spirit of the age, even if one thinks oneself quite counter-cultural... indulging in a neo-Gothic romantic dream is all very well, but then it's off to the restaurant café for a rather good lunch (as I did myself this morning). It is excellent to make great martinis, but with this ought go dedication to one's duties - and some traditionalist priests are curates del mondo, flitting about from one pseudo-recusant chapel to another, while perhaps neglecting day-to-day humdrum matters. People and parishioners begin to talk, to tote up the days of Father's days away, and to wonder what their frequency signifies. If Father has good reason - a sick relative, a call of mercy, his due holiday - then no matter; but if he be touchy and angry about inquiries, is that a sign of an uneasy conscience?
There can be the temptation for traddie clergy to enjoy saying Mass here and there, reliving the derring-do of the intrepid, stubborn few in the dark years of persecution after Vatican II (not yet entirely over), but if they have the cure of souls in a particular place assigned them, then Canon Law does require more than a minimum attendance upon pastoral duties in that locale. As one hard-working parish priest observed about a certain Latin Mass sayer he knew, "Father says Mass - and that's it."
I have great respect and love for priests, true fathers in God, the men who make prayer and sacrifice, Christ's ministers to us sinners: but a true friend has a right also to make known constructive criticisms - just as I try to open my own eyes to my own enormities, and somehow work out my salvation. Pray for priests, and pray for me.