Via Integra

Fr Mark's progressive Anglo-Catholic take on European Christianity

  • This is my collection of material about the current state of the churches in Europe. I am interested in looking at how they are dealing with the pressing issues of our time: the issues of gay people and women in ministry/ leadership are particularly pressing at the moment, as is the area of declining church attendance.

    I would like to see how Europe's traditional religious institutions are coping with the new Europe currently being forged, in which public opinion and ethical attitudes are becoming inceasingly pan-European, and are evidently presenting a series of strong challenges for the churches.


Posted by Fr Mark on June 10, 2010

Decline in priestly vocations in Poland

From, 28.04.10:

The number going into the priesthood and religious life is falling in Poland, a report released by the Conference of the Polish Episcopate reveals.

Last year, 687 men enrolled at the country’s forty seminaries, seven less than the year before.

But over the past decade, the number of candidates for priesthood declined by close on 30 percent. The number of diocesan seminarians fell by almost 18 percent, from 4773 in 2000 to 3732 in 2009.

Still, one in four clerics in Europe is a Pole. In women’s orders, the situation is alarming. In 2009, they were joined by 354 women, about 50 percent less than in 2002.

“The year 2000 and the beginning of the 21st century in Poland – the last years of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II (…) – were a sort of nationwide religious retreat and encouraged many uncertain, undecided young people – to enter the seminary,” national priest for vocations, Father Marek Dziewiecki told a press conference in Warsaw.

Southern Poland has been the most vocation-rich area for years, with Tarnow, Rzeszow and Krakow topping the list. Central Poland comes second while the smallest number of priestly vocations is registered in western and northern Poland. Father Dziewiecki points to post-war resettlement of people which destroyed the social fabric uniting people and their parishes as well as the impact of West European lifestyles among the causes. The recent pedophilia scandals in the Catholic Church are also blamed for the vocation crisis.

-“These are terrible injuries to the Church, which also effect young people,” the priest said.


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