Friday, November 9, 2007

German cardinal decries seminarians' religious education

How come this doesn't surprise me? This could be some of the seminaries here in the US, or in many parts of the world. Thanks be to God a bishop recognizes the problem.

Munich, Nov. 8, 2007 ( - Cardinal Friedrich Wetter of Munich has complained about the lack of religious knowledge among candidates for the priesthood in Germany.

Cardinal Wetter told reporters in Bavaria that the Church might be compelled to add another year of seminary training, in order to provide remedial education for young men who begin priestly training without an adequate knowledge of their faith.

Extending the length of seminary training could aggravate a shortage of young priests in Germany. The DPA news agency reports that 264 young men entered the country's seminaries in 2006-- a number that is sharply down from figures that reached over 800 in the early 1980s.
Better to "aggravate the shortage" than to let poorly-formed men out where they will spread error through their own ignorance. That's why things have been so namby-pamby, and why fluff has been trying to pass as catechesis.

Hopefully, the seminarians are being taught also to have a deep prayer life, rooted in Eucharistic adoration and Marian devotion. Some rectors are now requiring adoration. Without prayer, all the knowledge in the world will not help a priest do a seemingly impossible job and keep his sanity, or even remain a priest.

Some of the finest parish priests I know, realize that with all that goes on, it takes getting up at 4:00 in the morning to get a solid, hour or two of prayer in. This is true of other priests with very busy schedules, such as Fr. Corapi, who has acknowedged his very early rising to pray.

An Example for Seminarians
The case of Fr. Albert Lauer, now deceased, is the perfect example of how seminaries can neglect proper development of prayer life, and what effect it can have on a priest. Fr. Lauer acknowledged nearly losing the priesthood to the effects of it. I profiled his story last year, discussing his near-fall, and complete rise - all on account of a solid prayer life.

We lay people could use to emulate this, even if it means getting up 15 minutes earlier to get in a Rosary, read Scripture, or just sit quietly in mental prayer.

Pray for our priests and seminarians!

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