German cardinal decries seminarians' religious education
Munich, Nov. 8, 2007 (CWNews.com) - 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.
Is the penny starting to drop now? Are the bishops beginning to realise what a disaster the ‘renewed’ catechetical programmes foisted upon the faithful worldwide since the Second Vatican Council have been? Are they ready now to withdraw these modernist catecheses and replace them with something that actually teaches the Catholic faith? Melancholicus is not impressed by the impassivity of the bishops when nearly two generations of Catholics have grown up without any kind of adequate knowlege of Catholicism thanks to the conciliar revolution. It is a sad commentary upon this wretched state of affairs when even aspirants to the sacred priesthood, who by definition are supposed to be interested in religion, have no solid formation in the Catholic faith.
Melancholicus is glad that Cardinal Wetter has at least noticed the problem. His solution would be to add an extra year to seminary formation; perhaps the ‘spiritual year’ called for by the Second Vatican Council but, ironically, is found only in the seminaries of traditionalist communities. This would be a good start. But what of the majority, who will never pass through seminary? Are they to be left in as great ignorance of their religion as before? Melancholicus hopes this does not come as a surprise to Cardinal Wetter, but the problem of ignorance in matters of faith is not confined to the seminaries.
It is time for a thorough overhaul of all catechetical programmes in use throughout Europe. Over thirty years of experience has shown that these programmes are useless and do not teach the faith. There is nothing for it but to scrap them all, lock, stock and barrel — but will the bishops actually act while there is still time? The situation is as bad in Ireland as it is elsewhere. Many concerned souls are labouring, praying and lobbying the Irish bishops for the withdrawal of the diabolical Alive-O programme, but their entreaties have so far fallen on deaf ears. In the meantime, another generation of Irish youth passes through the Catholic school system and graduates at the last with a breathtaking lack of knowledge of the Catholic religion they are supposed to have studied for so many years.
And still the bishops are sitting on their hands...