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Friday, April 27, 2007

Priestly Vocations Up

Fr. Finigan posted this on his blog "The Hermeneutic of Continuity":

Zenit reports on an increase in vocations in England and Wales in the article U.K. Vocations Appear to Be on the Rise. The number of those entering the seminary has risen from 28 in 2003 to 44 this year.

Father Paul Embery, director of the National Office for Vocations, is quoted as saying

"After several decades of decline in the number of those training for the priesthood, we have seen four consecutive years of growth, which is good news; however we have no guarantee that this growth will continue,"

Now wait a minute! We have had documents for years now predicting that we'll have to close parishes because the Church will run out of priests by 2020 or whenever.

Let's do the same sort of meaningless linear prediction. The rise from 2003 to 2006 is a 57% rise so we'll assume naively that things carry on in the same way over the next five three-year periods. By 2021 we will have 419 seminarians wanting to enter the seminary. So instead of closing Churches, we should be building new seminaries!

Of course I don't believe that the statistics "show" this. But I am skeptical about the predictions of disaster. Growth of a quarter of that rate would be very healthy indeed.(By the way, someone needs to explain to Zenit that England and Wales is not "The UK".)

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