Every day, Aleteia offers a selection of articles written by the international press about the Church and the major issues that concern Catholics around the world. The opinions and views expressed in these articles are not those of the editors.
Wednesday 4 May 2022
1. Fact and fiction: Vatican II and the ‘vocations crisis’
2. Central Asian bishops’ conference elects first president
3. Egypt restores its oldest synagogue, on the site where the Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses
4. The Italian Church wants fewer and fewer godparents
5. What the Russian media thinks of the Pope’s interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera
Fact and fiction: Vatican II and the ‘vocations crisis’
For decades, it has been common to speak of a “vocation crisis” in the Church. More and more parishes are merging, and the number of seminarians is always decreasing. In some Catholic circles, many have taken to blaming the Second Vatican Council for this decline. The Pillar has attempted to analyze the numbers that bear witness to this, and seems to draw the conclusion that the “crisis” began before the Council’s opening years. Gathering data on the number of diocesan priestly ordinations per year in 17 major dioceses of the world, it finds that from 1950 to 1961, the number of diocesan ordinations had already dropped by 28% (Vatican II began in 1962). The reason for this decline is perhaps due to the fact that Europe and the world in general were emerging from two destructive world wars and nuclear threats. But even the dioceses of the developing world (Manila, São Paulo, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, etc.), analyzed by The Pillar over this same period, show a significant drop in vocations. Will this significant decline push the leadership of the Catholic Church worldwide to consider the controversial options proposed by the German synod? wonders the media outlet, mentioning the priesthood for women as an example.