Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Why are our seminaries also Woolly Mammoths?

Yes, frozen in time, lost in the mists of  50 years or so of history, the Catholic Seminaries are something of a shambles.
Please do not get me wrong. We have a small but growing population of good seminarians who have a taste for something more than guitars and tambourines on a Sunday; who want to do more than be jolly nice social workers and some who even wish to fulfil their vocation by merging into diocesan life and organising their parish. they want to save souls? That is what a priest is meant to do. Save the sinners, bring back the lapsed, counsel the Godly ones, rebuke the twittish ones but, in all things work towards the salvation of his flock.

What do they need in order to be good shepherds? Well, they need an orthodox outlook to begin with and they need to have some backbone and integrity. And it would help them in their role immensely if they were finally able to celebrate both forms of Mass.

Does this ring any err....bells?
If so, you're out!
 Why? Well, Father Christopher Smith on Chant Cafe has a very good post on the matter so please take a look; I do not think even the pinkest of limp wristed Catholics could find too much to object to there.

Sadly, we are led to believe that many young men who apply to their bishop as candidates for the priesthood are sunk before they begin if the review panel or Studies Director gets a sniff of anything like incense about their person.
If I was 20 years of age and believed that I had a vocation I would have no truck with what is generally on offer. Can you imagine being a closet traditionalist in the midst of a bunch of liberals, many of whom being, allegedly, homosexual in orientation?
I would hie me to the nearest FSSP or ICKSP PDQ!

That is, perhaps a message that those in charge of the seminaries might like to ponder upon. If they continue in their 1960s style of religious education they are going to drive more and more potential priests into the arms of the traditional seminaries.

What Father Smith concluded in his post was that there should be room for both forms of the Mass to be part of the everyday liturgy. That I believe is right (even though wild elephants could not drag me to an OF Mass as it is normally celebrated). But by dismissing those orthodox men the modern seminaries are closing the freezer door on themselves and electing to remain Woolly Mammoths.

Roll on climate change!


  1. Earlier this year, the Holy Father asked the world's bishops to "think with the mind of the Pope" on precisely this issue of enabling seminarians to learn to celebrate both forms of the Latin Rite. Archbishop Nichols said, "Personally, I don't think it's necessary...."

    Is it possible he didn't hear what the Holy Father said?

  2. Pattif - I rather think that the Archbishop does not hear very much of what the Holy Father says.