(Paris) In many areas in secularized Europe a veritable spiritual desertification is taking place. Emblematic of this is the crisis of vocations in France. The figures speak for themselves: in 1966, France had 4,536 seminarians. A few years later, in 1975, their number had plummeted to 1,297. The decline had slowed, but it continued. In 1996, there were 1,103 seminarians. It was followed by another slump: in 2005 there were only 784. In 2011 they finally achieved with 710 seminarians, the lowest since the time of the French Revolution.
If mathematics is not an opinion, the results since 1966 show a decline of 84 percent. "This is the result of the modernist theologians turning to promote that with which they have destroyed the sense of the supernatural. The figures are of such clarity that they might bring even ,modern' theologians to blush and should let them fall forever into a penitential silence. Anyway, they require no further comment," said the traditional blogger Cordialiter .
What is needed is a serious analysis of a catastrophic situation. "Numbers are neither traditionalist nor modernist. They are facts that we need to take note of," says Cordialiter.
The situation in France is dramatic. In foreseeable next few years, there will be even fewer active priests.The average age of priests is in these dioceses is already at 75 years.
Key to the vocation crisis is ignored in the dioceses
"The situation is seriously dramatic. It is not a reason to sit back, but there is also no reason to despair," said Cordialiter. Within the vocation crisis, opposing trends can be observed. While the diocesan clergy almost threatens to go extinct, the orders and communities of the Old Rite are growing. The vocations that are growing today, lead young mento where the faith, the liturgy, the faithful to Christ, Scripture and Tradition are taken seriously.
"The hope is that more seminaries will be opened, where it is makes possible an even greater number of tradition-bound young men to strive for the Catholic priesthood. It is the holy priests, who will who will model their vocations."
Where the Sacred Liturgy is celebrated reverently and worthily, where the teaching of Christ is faithfully proclaimed and the order of the Church is respected, there even today can be found vocations. These flourishing oases in the desert, the communities of tradition, some ancient monasteries and several new institutions should all come to the attention of Church leaders, for in them is hidden the key to overcome the crisis of vocations.
Astonishingly, the diocesan church leaders prove sluggish, disinterested or even hostile. "The dilemma is that the way to overcome the crisis of vocations is in front of everyone, but many - and I speak only of those who are responsible -. are looking pointedly away." One has the impression that they want no improvement. The reasons are complex and go deeper. It is not only "convenience" or "world adaptedness", but in many cases it is about a "different theology". In order to avoid having to address this question, they would prefer to put up with the decline of priestly vocations.
"The diocesan bishops are responsible for how they respond in their diocese to the vocation crisis, whether the good example is ignored or is imitated. They will be held accountable for it. Regardless of this the dissolution of the diocesan clergy progresses and it is only a matter of time before the ordinations of tradition exceed that the Novus Ordo, at least in France," said Cordialiter .
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org