While the LCWR and
Traditional Catholicism Is Winning
There were 467 new priestly ordinations in the U.S. last year, and Boston's seminary had to turn away applicants.
By ANNE HENDERSHOTT AND CHRISTOPHER WHITE
In his Holy Thursday homily at St. Peter's Basilica on April 5, Pope Benedict XVI denounced calls from some Catholics for optional celibacy among priests and for women's ordination. The pope said that "true renewal" comes only through the "joy of faith" and "radicalism of obedience."
And renewal is coming. After the 2002 scandal about sexual abuse by clergy, progressive Catholics were predicting the end of the celibate male priesthood in books like "Full Pews and Empty Altars" and "The Death of Priesthood." Yet today the number of priestly ordinations is steadily increasing.
A new seminary is to be built near Charlotte, N.C., and the archdiocese of Washington, D.C., has expanded its facilities to accommodate the surge in priestly candidates. Boston's Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley recently told the National Catholic Register that when he arrived in 2003 to lead that archdiocese he was advised to close the seminary. Now there are 70 men in Boston studying to be priests, and the seminary has had to turn away candidates for lack of space.
What explains the trend? [continue reading "Traditional Catholicism" at the WSJ]
The photo at top is of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia (aka, the "Nashville Dominicans"). I think the average age now is around 28-30. The average for the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, is even younger. Both communities are bursting at the seams. These are active Dominican communities, involved largely in education. This doesn't even consider the contemplative branches of many orders that are still growing. In New York, there is a growing Franciscan community of friars and sisters who work with the poorest of the poor, and the dying. I'd be remiss to not mention the social justice work done by the ever-growing Sisters of Life, as well.
There are many others I could mention - dioceses, communities for men and women religious where vocations are booming. And, there is a great deal of diversity among these communities, in terms of what they do to build up the Body of Christ. Religious communities and diocesan vocation programs, which are faithful to the doctrines of the Church, and not wanting to "move beyond" that, are growing steadily while those which dissent are dying out. The average age in those communities is up in to the 70's and many have had to merge.
There is a great interview done by Al Kresta on this topic. Here is the overview:
First Topic - Vatican Demands Reform of Leadership Conference of Women Religious
The Vatican has called for a thorough reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the umbrella group that represents most of the women's religious orders in the US. After a thorough investigation of the LCWR, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) concluded that "the current doctrinal and pastoral situation of LCWR is grave and a matter of serious concern." The CDF concluded that a Vatican intervention was necessary to reform the group. Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle has been appointed as the Vatican's delegate to supervise the reform of the LCWR. The archbishop has been charged with helping LCWR leaders to revise the group's statues, plan its programs, review liturgical texts, and reconsider the group's affiliations with other organizations. We talk with Sr. Johannah Paruch, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George.
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