France: After Lille, the Bordeaux Seminar Is Closing Its Doors

Source: FSSPX News

Open since 1901, the St. Joseph Seminary of Bordeaux will close its doors at the beginning of September 2019. Jean-Pierre Cardinal Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux, made the announcement in a statement, May 18, 2019.  He wrote, “It is with a heavy heart that I make this decision, but the good of the seminarians and concern for their formation must take precedence over all other considerations.”

The reason for this decision is simple: the numbers are too low. Only a total of five seminarians are expected to start their formation in 2019. “This does not allow us to offer a quality community life to these young men in formation,” explains Cardinal Ricard. According to the recently promulgated Roman norms, the minimum number for the life of a seminary is between 15 and 20 seminarians. The seminarians of the diocese of Bordeaux will join the St. Cyprian Seminary in Toulouse or the French Seminary in Rome.

According to the Bordeaux prelate, this decision “is coming up on the horizon of national reflection on the establishment of seminaries in France” because “there are too many houses with too small numbers.”

In March 2019, for lack of a sufficient number of candidates, Bishop Laurent Ulrich, Archbishop of Lille, called "for a year of reflection” concerning the diocesan seminary of Lille which forms the seminarians of nine dioceses of the North of France: Lille, Arras, Cambrai, Amiens, Reims, Soissons, Chalons, Langres, and Troyes.