Sharp decline of religious vocations in America and Europe


#1

Is this really worrisome to the future of Catholic Church?


#2

my diocese (harrisburg, pa) is in the top ten for producing vocations in the country!! and i am a candidate right now!


#3

No not really they will come back soon


#4

The Catholic Church can never falter. Matthew 16:18-19.

That being said, in Europe and the Americas, the Church is numerically in decline because of people apostatizing for instant gratificatory secular modernism.

There have been many periods in many places of revival of popular piety in the Church, so keep fighting the good fight and don't lose hope. It looks grim but we don't see the whole picture, only God and His angels and saints.


#5

They tell me St. John's Seminary in Boston is full. However, I would think that quality is of far greater value than quantity... To have both is the best of all worlds...


#6

[quote="mayxanh, post:1, topic:315855"]
Is this really worrisome to the future of Catholic Church?

[/quote]

I can't speak for Europe, but in the US the decline in priestly ordinations stopped about a decade ago. Since then the number of ordinations per year has been level or slightly higher. If this trend is also reflected in the numbers of persons entering religious life, then perhaps things are turning around.

Granted, there will be less priests (and religious) than in the past century. But the US, Canada and Europe have a far higher ratio of priests to parishioners than other parts of the world. And in places such as Africa and South America, the number of Catholics is soaring, despite the tiny numbers of priests and religious. So I don't think Europe and the US need to worry about such things.

A far greater problem for the US is the steady decline in sacramental marriages and infant baptisms. If we are losing Catholics (and we are in the US, big time), and we not raising new Catholics, then the future will bring unpleasant changes far more important than the number of priests.


#7

[quote="Dale_M, post:6, topic:315855"]
A far greater problem for the US is the steady decline in sacramental marriages and infant baptisms. If we are losing Catholics (and we are in the US, big time), and we not raising new Catholics, then the future will bring unpleasant changes far more important than the number of priests.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

Archbishop Chaput has said something similar in the past. The vocation crisis is actually those no longer answering the call to authentic marriage. He says that if that is fixed then religious and priestly vocations will increase. Basically religious and clerical vocations are often from strong, devout Catholic families so strengthening marriage and the family will lead to those that aren't afraid to answer their vocation (what ever it may be).

Right now I think we are going through a period of correction. The mid part of the last century was more of an anomaly from what I understand. While it would be great to have hundreds of cloisters filled with nuns praying for the church or to have 2 or 3 priest in every parish I don't think it realistic even in the best of times. As I understand it many seminaries are full so it might just be a mater of time before the new equilibrium is reached.


#8

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.