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Saturday, 28 April 2012

On trads and vocations

A commentator today on Father Z's blog drew attention to a report from Paix Liturgique, which, as I am moving back and forth between France and England for reasons of visiting, journalism and study, I am particularly interested in sharing. Here are some fascinating statistics highlighted in the study online,.

Two diocesan seminaries are always at the top of the list, ahead of many interdiocesan seminaries: those of Toulon and Paris, each at over 70 seminarians and both on the increase [2]. Naturally, this figure and increase are proportionately far more remarkable for the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon than for Paris. These results are undeniably due its bishop’s orientation: Bishop Rey, who comes from the Communauté de l’Emmanuel and is quite open both to the New Evangelization and to the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. In Paris, the enrollment figures for Parisian seminarians had exceeded 100 at their peak under Cardinal Lustiger, fell to 54 in 2007, and are now undergoing a measurable upswing (74 in 2011, of which 62 are from Paris). It should be noted that the Parisian seminary now seems to be open to “all tendencies,” meaning to the most traditionalist among postulanIt must be noted that the current stability, after a slow increase, is less significant than the overall proportion: over 15% of French seminarians are generated by hardly 5% of practicing Catholics—those who have access to the traditional liturgy every Sunday. Yet for our part we believe that the number of young people intending themselves for the extraordinary form would likely increase if only the right means were provided. According to the good old principle that one loves only what one knows and practices, there is no doubt that the more the extraordinary form is offered at the parish level, the more young people who until then were ignorant of it will discover it and, should the case arise, be in a position to choose the extraordinary form when they go to seminary.
If more parishes were opened up to the celebration of the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, if satisfaction were given to the desire of the faithful, and if this liturgical form were made more available for those who do not know it to discover it, then the number of “Summorum Pontificum” seminarians would undergo a considerable increase. This would have an immediate influence on the diocesan vocations curve. Why not do so?
And, I give the sensible result of the study first, so that you can put the rest of the letter in perspective.... And so, to finish, we express a wish that seems also to be common sense: that the extraordinary form of the Roman rite may find its rightful place in the celebrations of the Year of Faith that is about to begin.

[1] 20,000 seminarians in formation would be needed to make up for the dearth of priests. In this regard see Fr. Thierry-Dominique Humbrecht, L’avenir des vocations (Les Plans sur Bex, Switzerland: Parole et Silence, 2006).

[2] After these come interdiocesan seminaries totaling about 50 seminaries (Lyons and Toulouse), then those of Orleans or Issy-les-Moulineaux with about forty seminarians, then the many seminarians numbering about thirty candidates (Lille, the French seminary in Rome, the “Séminaire des Carmes” in Paris, Vénasque, etc.).

Note the connections....

Among the “smaller” dioceses, one cannot fail to point out the case of Vannes, which has about 30 seminarians, and Bayonne, which now boasts about fifteen seminarians, even though it had only two in 2009. It should be noted that in Vannes (Bishop Centène) as well as in Bayonne (Bishop Aillet, named late in 2008) the bishops may be considered to be fully in synch with Benedict XVI’s pontificate, and that this is not without some impact on the dynamism of local vocations. One may without exaggeration estimate the proportion of French diocesan seminarians who are directly sensitive to the Reform of the reform that Benedict XVI desires, including the motu proprio, at 30%. And to these diocesan seminarians must be added all those who choose to go the way of so-called traditionalist seminaries.

Thanks, to haribo, who drew this source to my attention. My comment included the fact that more NO women contracept than EF women, a statistic not scientifically proven, but learned from experience. Women talk about these things. And, family size, on average, is obviously larger among trad mums and homeschooling mums, both conservative groups giving vocations to the dioceses and religious orders, such as the FSSPs.

My other point is that the spirituality of the EF leads to a different, more God-centered life, which leads a young man to want to say the EF.