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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.


Supertradmum said...

28 April 2012 at 7:13 am
haribo, it is not merely a question of “one’s personal liturgical preferences” but one’s entire spirituality. The way a traditional person approaches the liturgy and God, is, I think, very different from the way a NO person does so. Also, how can a traditional young man, without going against his conscience, assist at Masses where there are liturgical abuses? The other reason for this statistic, as least in Europe, and I have been in Europe for over a year, is that the NO families contracept and the trad families do not. This is obvious merely by women discussing their own personal lives with other women, something men do not do. I can assure you that every Catholic married woman bar two, of child-bearing age I have met either in Malta, Ireland, Britain or France, are practicing birth-control, not NFP. So, the statistic shows a hidden reason why there are more traditional sems, and that is their mothers have other, more children. Having said this, I know two moms, personally, whose sons who are traditional, have gone into diocesan seminaries. They anticipate, however, saying the Latin Mass as well as the NO.

Supertradmum said...

Catholic families get what they work for and deserve…no religious leadership from the dads, no vocations; no daily rosary, no vocations; no discipline, no vocations; no respect for the priests and the Eucharist, no vocations; no mother in the home, no vocations; no catechesis in the home, no vocations; insistence on lukewarm Catholic schools, no vocations; and, repeating myself from above, contraception in the family, no vocations. Obviously, God can call men out of darkness to be priests, but vocations usually start in the home.

Just another mad Catholic said...

With regard to 'suitability for vocations' can someone please explain why a man who has lead a dissolute life before conversion (St Augastine, St Jerome, St Andrew Corsini), an overly worldly life (St Ignatius of Loyola, St Francis of Assisi or be a dead man walking (phllip gerard Johnson)is allowed to try his vocation, but GOD forbid that a young man'sparents are divorced?

From my experience, and from what I've been told the view that the overwhelming majority of Orthodox/Traditional Vocation Directors seems to be that from the moment his Father/Mother walked out the door he ceased to be a viable candidate for Holy Orders/religious profession.

PS: No talk about 'carrying your cross' and 'God's will'; such condescedning comments generally give me the desire to break something, namely the commenter in question

Anonymous said...

What happened to the SSPX rumors? They have lots of vocations too. We could use them.

Supertradmum said...

I am hardly condescending, when there are people in my own family who have become priests from broken families. I do not understand why you think certain objective criteria is condescending? There are always exceptions. And the world of the great saints you mentioned is not our world of seminary training. In fact, I know men in their forties, who just went to their bishop and asked to enter the seminary. Not so now, as the initial process can take up to two and one-half years, with more criteria such as a degree in something, no debt, etc. All boys must now do a pre-seminary year in some countries, in an environment of a seminary, without being in the seminary, such as Valladolid. Many boys in three seminaries with which I am familiar take boys from divorced families. That is not the point. In addition, 50% of the men in 2011, who were ordained, in a very thorough survey, claimed that their families were against them becoming priests. An amazing statistic. My points were that many vocations come out of prayerful, religious homes, and from families which say the rosary. That God calls men according to His plan, means that some men are not from some homes. I made that clear as well. I do not know any boy who was turned away because of his home situation. However, the dioceses do make men go through about three day of psychological testing, which may or not reveal problems caused by SOME broken families. Right now, I know several young men, coming up for their ordination for the temporary deaconate, who do not have dads at home. However, the priest shortage is owing to families which do not foster religious life at home.

Supertradmum said...

As to the SSPX, those relations are still in discussion....keep praying. But, of course, if the group is accepted as a personal prelature, the churches will be in the SSPX and these priests will not be in regular parishes, but SSPX parishes.

New Sister said...

Dear Supertradmum, I've been away and am just now tackling the daunting task of catching up on Etheldreda’s place. I would like to share my special affinity and gratitude for those seminarians who are going in to diocese with a preference for the TLM. This is volunteering for white martyrdom, but we so need them there, in the dioceses. And it does seem that this is what the Holy Father is calling for right now– to have both liturgies side by side, that they may “mutually enrich” one another. (By the way, my sponsor for Confirmation was/is a clinical psychologist. When I told her about the Holy Father wanting the two liturgies side by side to “mutually enrich one another,” she busted out laughing!)

Anita Moore said...

However, the priest shortage is owing to families which do not foster religious life at home.

That's certainly part of it, but not all of it. Liberals in chancery offices who screen out orthodox men have contributed greatly to the priest shortage. Liberals like the priest shortage, because they think a shortage of priests will eventually force the Church to start ordaining women. It's also part of the "golden age of the laity" ideology, pursuant to which laymen are invited to usurp clerical roles. (Which, when you think about it, is really the crassest form of clericalism, since it's tantamount to saying that the authentic role of the laity is worthless, and our lives are meaningless unless we can do what priests do.)

Supertradmum said...

Hi, welcome back all. And for those who know conservative boys, encourage them to go into the orders, or a diocese where they will get support from their bishops, as it is a hard journey.

Supertradmum said...

Anita, you are absolutely correct on your point of the push for female involvement in liturgy.

Supertradmum said...

New Sister, you make me laugh as well, with your stories...yes, we must pray and I am so glad that some seminaries in Europe are more "tolerant" of the more trad boys, than most of those in America seem to be.

Just Another mad Catholic said...

Ok I’ll take your point about the three Saints I mentioned but what about Mr Johnson? I have nothing him personally but why is he allowed to try his vocation when he is a dead man walking but I am ruled Automatically ruled out of CONSIDERATION simply because 11 years ago my dad decided that he didn’t mean it when he said “till death do us part”? This isn’t a case going to seminary and then dropping out; I am not even allowed to TRY, TRY!! my vocation because my dad ran off with another women , WHERE oh super one is the JUSTICE in that?

I feel as if I’m being punished for the sins of my Father(is that some point of Church doctrine not covered in the Catechism?), and what’s worse is that I’m being punished by men who have everything that I ever wanted; a mother and father who loved them unconditionally and are still together, lots of siblings and a vocation; and I have to bear the brunt of their condescending remarks. According to them I am the filth of the earth, right there with Sodomites and pedophiles; there are times when I want to let the monster within run rampet across the face of the earth, when I want to drown my pain with the weeping of Widows and Orphans and stalk the night; a shadow of dread and terror until I meet the ‘anointed hero’ who will plunge a dagger into my heart and send me off to hell where I surely belong.

All because I’m not even allowed to try the conscecrated life that I’ve fallen head over heels in love with