Europe Faced with “a Growing Sterility of Vocations”

Source: FSSPX News

Bishop Diego Coletti.

At its meeting from November 3 to 5, 2011, in Rome, the Pontifical Work for Ecclesiastical Vocations published a document entitled Pastoral Orientations for the Promotion of Vocations to the Priestly Ministry.  The text presents an inventory of vocations in the world and provides some pointers to remedy the rarefaction of vocations in a Europe so recently Christian.

Particular attention is drawn to an analysis of the different factors favorable and unfavorable to the birth of vocations.  According to this document, the environment should not be considered as the only cause of the decrease in the number of priestly vocations, particularly in the countries that have known a “long Christian tradition”: “the causes of a growing sterility in vocations is not so much to be found in the indifference or aggressiveness of the outer world, as in the internal weakness of the Christian testimony of the faith.”

Mentioning the demographical decrease, the crisis of the family, a secularized mentality... as so many social and cultural phenomena that are unfavorable to vocations, Bishop Diego Colette, bishop of Côme (Italy),  pointed out the difficult conditions that surround the life and ministry of the priest.  The prelate denounced the marginalization of the priestly figure, as well as the deviations that turn the priestly ministry into “a trade like the other trades”.  And he recalled the negative effects of the “scandal caused, in some cases, by the seriously immoral behavior of certain members of the clergy.”

At the end, the document suggests some necessary means to encourage the calls to the priesthood.  It mentions, for example, the importance of an “integrate pastoral care”, of a new missionary and evangelizing impetus, and insists upon the whole ecclesial community's responsibility. – The “experience of Tradition” that Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre wished to make freely available in founding the seminary of Ecône is not advised by the Pontifical Work for Ecclesiastical Vocations. (sources: apic/imedia – DICI#245 Nov 26, 2011)