Germany: Alarming decline in vocations

Source: FSSPX News


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For the first time in Germany, the number of priestly ordinations slipped below the 100 mark in 2008, announced a communiqué of the Conference of Directors of Seminaries of Germany on November 25. Only 95 priests were ordained in all of the 27 dioceses.

This is “alarming”, declared Franz Joseph Baur, the spokesman of the Conference, because since the start of the records of statistics in 1972, there have never been so few priestly ordinations. The number of new entries into seminaries is also falling: in 2008, there were 176. The stability noted these last three years has unfortunately not been maintained, he lamented. Twenty years ago the number of ordinations and entrants at the seminaries was double the numbers of today.

“Those responsible for the training of priests cannot be satisfied with these figures,” acknowledged Franz Joseph Baur. In favor of the practice of very strict conditions for admissions, “the superiors do not yield to the argument of the lack of priests and do not recommend that bishops ordain candidates who might subsequently not live up to the demands of the priesthood.” The potential of ideas, according to him, is not yet exhausted. He considered the process of changes in the dioceses as a positive thing. The orientations of the pastoral and the Church life at grass roots must be reinforced. It is only thus that the priestly vocation will regain its attraction. (sic)

Today 871 seminarians are preparing for their ordination in German seminaries, compared to 1,817 fifteen years ago. ((Sources: apic /kna)