The Key to the Next Conclave: Seminaries.


I draw your attention, dear reader, to the following information gleaned from this blog [my emphasis]:

“….the figures show a decrease in seminarians in those dioceses where the bishop reflected the attitudes of the secular world. A classic example provided is that of the Diocese of Spokane, whose seminary lost a lot of seminarians under Blase Cupich. Pope Francis later appointed Cupich Archbishop of Chicago and created him a Cardinal during the last consistory.

All of these data provide food for thought, and they are crucial when talking about the future Church.

……the Church is looking for the profile of the next Pope with the goal set on increasing vocations to the priesthood, rather than on a change of narrative, as happened last time. This is a decisive change of paradigm. After the pontificate of Benedict XVI, the primary goal was to generate a consensus and even to generate revenues – and this was one of the goals of the economic reform – now there is the need for a Church with enough strength to fulfill its mission to the world. A Church able to pray – last polls in Germany show that not even the priests pray and to feed the flock with the Eucharist and with clarity of faith, instead of a Church committed to pastoral plans.

In the end, all of these criteria can be found in the new Archbishop of Krakow, Marek Jedraszewki, whom Pope Francis appointed on December 8 to be Karol Wojtyla’s third successor in Krakow. The new Archbishop’s profile does not seem to fit with the profile of bishops that Pope Francis usually favors – and in fact, he was not even considered a candidate for the post. In Lodz, where he spent the last years as Archbishop, he lived in a particularly difficult environment, insasmuch as the city was dominated by post-communists and socialists. Despite that, he was able to refound the Catholic environment by staying close to doctrine and by being outspoken in criticizing gay culture and defending the family. He is no showman, he has a calm temperament and projects clear values – say observers from Poland.

Is Jededraszeski’s appointment the first outcome of the renewed need for priests that can be glimpsed as a theme in the new document on seminaries? It is too early to say. However, it is noteworthy that the document de facto confirms the criteria of admission to seminaries as they were established over the course of the years, with no particular adjustments [controversially, this includes a firm prohibition of admission to men with a deep rooted homosexual tendency]. The work already done in the past is thus acknowledged. Moreover, the document emphasizes that this work done must be carried on until the end. Revolutions were expected. Confirmations came instead.”

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