Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Nuns and Priests Seen Opting for Tradition

Edit: who would want to belong to an organization that looks like a storefront for a massive institution which has only the most facile connection to the Catholic Church?  Most ardent young people with a lot of energy and creativity don't want to belong to an institutional dinosaur, they want to belong to a profound mission, an adventure and a vocation.  They want to know that someone has called them to do what they are doing.

You'll never get that working for a massive pile of capital which attempts to benefit a vague abstraction like humanity, progress or some other vague cause.

Anyhow, even the Old Yorke Times and Pinch Sulzberger are picking up on this story, even if they are putting it in the context of the mostly useless Apostolic Visitation.

Published: August 10, 2009
A new study of Roman Catholic nuns and priests in the United States shows that an aging, predominantly white generation is being succeeded by a smaller group of more racially and ethnically diverse recruits who are attracted to the religious orders that practice traditional prayer rituals and wear habits.
The study found that the graying of American nuns and priests was even more pronounced than many Catholics had realized. Ninety-one percent of nuns and 75 percent of priests are 60 or older, and most of the rest are at least 50.

They are the generation defined by the Second Vatican Council, of the 1960s, which modernized the church and many of its religious orders. Many nuns gave up their habits, moved out of convents, earned higher educational degrees and went to work in the professions and in community service. The study confirms what has long been suspected: that these more modern religious orders are attracting the fewest new members.
The study was already well under way when the Vatican announced this year that it was conducting two investigations of American nuns. One, taking up many of the same questions as the new report, is an “apostolic visitation” of all women’s religious orders in the United States. The other is a doctrinal investigation of the umbrella group that represents a majority of American nuns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

1 comment:

Gabriel Austin said...

Accuracy! accuracy! The Leadership tra la la claims to represent. Was there a vote? How large is the majority? Is it a majority of nuns or only of the orders? How many of the leaders are in the millionairess income bracket of the head of the Catholyc Health group?