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[Catholic Caucus] Modern US Religious Vocations Plummeting
Church Militant ^ | January 31, 2024 | Church Militant

Posted on 02/02/2024 6:37:31 AM PST by ebb tide

[Catholic Caucus] Modern US Religious Vocations Plummeting

Traditional liturgy flourishing

Religious vocations across the United States are plummeting, a new report shows, with 87% of religious communities reporting nobody taking perpetual (lifelong) vows in 2023. 

Fewer individuals are entering the age range typically associated with discerning a religious vocation.

Compounding the issue, aging religious communities are increasingly faced with the challenge of sustaining their ministries while also providing care for their older members. The dwindling number of younger members entering these communities exacerbates the difficulty of providing this care.

Tradition on the Rise

Still, some traditional organizations dedicated to the priesthood are demonstrating greater success in cementing vocations.

For example, the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter and the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest — both dedicated to the traditional liturgy — saw higher ordination rates in 2023, with three and four men ordained, respectively. 


This results in an average annual ordination rate of 3.5 for these communities, significantly outpacing the 0.28 average among the 508 religious orders reporting final vows taken in the same period. 

Rising interest in traditional liturgy among young people — a trend now acknowledged outside religious communities, including by mainstream media — may be reinforcing improved interest in ordination.

The New York Times recently published an article titled "Old Latin Mass Finds New American Audience, Despite Pope's Disapproval" to illustrate the resurgence in traditionalism. 

Priestly ordination includes a vow of celibacy and obedience to one's diocesan and ecclesial superiors, as well as the duty to administer the Church's sacraments.

The study, titled "A Report to the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops," was published this month by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

The study looked at 508 religious communities. Out of these, 438 had no one professing lifelong vows in 2023. In total, 144 people made perpetual vows, including 68 women and 76 men. On average, they were 36 years old.

Perpetual vows involve a life of poverty, chastity and obedience within the religious community. 

The only numbers increasing in the Church are those leaving.

This data follows liturgical shifts within the Church as well as demographic declines that have been cited as contributing factors. 

Changes in the Church

According to some, the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the introduction of the Novus Ordo Missae, or new Mass, in 1969 introduced reforms that might have negatively affected vocations.

For example, in a recent piece published in the Gettysburg Times, Greg Maresca argued along these lines:

The Catholic Church is nearly six decades into this post-Vatican II epoch and maintains a front row seat in reaping its contentious fruit that includes a significant drop in priestly and religious vocations, the closings of churches, schools, seminaries, convents, hospitals and even monasteries like the one in Elysburg [Pennsylvania]. The only numbers increasing in the Church are those leaving and the doors closing. God's Kingdom is meant to expand, grow, and proclaim. Ironically, that is what Vatican II had hoped for, but its results have proven just the opposite.

Critics allege that the introduction of the Novus Ordo Mass, intended to make liturgy more engaging and understandable to the laity by allowing the use of vernacular languages and the altering of some liturgical practices, may have backfired.  

Pope Francis issued a document in 2021 reversing Pope Benedict XVI's allowance of the Traditional Latin Mass. Pope Francis' edict requires primacy of the new Mass in Catholic parishes except in certain circumstances approved by diocesan bishops. 

Changes in the World

In addition to dynamics within the Church, societal demographic shifts may be contributing to vocational decline.

The United States has experienced falling birth rates, leading to a reduced demographic base from which new vocations might emerge. Fewer individuals are entering the age range typically associated with discerning a religious vocation.

TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: bogusordo; frankenchurch; vcii; vocations

1 posted on 02/02/2024 6:37:31 AM PST by ebb tide
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To: Al Hitan; Fedora; irishjuggler; Jaded; kalee; markomalley; miele man; Mrs. Don-o; ...


2 posted on 02/02/2024 6:38:12 AM PST by ebb tide
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To: ebb tide

This is a real crisis.

3 posted on 02/02/2024 6:45:43 AM PST by Wpin ("I Have Sworn Upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny...")
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: ebb tide

To be fair, the Catholic Church now has an excellent recruiting record among the LGBTQIA+2QWERTY.

5 posted on 02/02/2024 6:56:57 AM PST by Uncle Miltie (Objective: Permanently break the will of the population to ever wage war again.)
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To: Srednik

That’s the website’s name.

6 posted on 02/02/2024 6:56:58 AM PST by NorthernDancer (“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”)
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To: ebb tide

Here is a prayer I say many times daily.

Gratious and Loving God, We believe that you care for

all your creatures with wisdom and Love.

Take care of us Your Church this day.

Our Needs are Great and we thirst for Your Presence.

Open the hearts of many Raise up Faithful

Servants of the Gospel. Dedicated Holy Priests,

Brothers, Sisters and Deacons who will Spend

Themselves for your People.

Bless and Guide those serving your Church

With Courage and Perserverance. Grant that

Many will be inspired by their Faith and Example.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

7 posted on 02/02/2024 7:01:02 AM PST by Colonial35
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To: NorthernDancer

Yea, Michael Voris’ wonderful brand of sh*t. But you can tell me there is no stench, if you please.

8 posted on 02/02/2024 7:09:35 AM PST by Oystir
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To: Oystir
Blaming the facts on Michael Voris, who resigned in disgrace from Church Militant months ago? How disingenuous of you. Put this in your bogus ordo pipe and smoke it:

Religious converge on Vatican amid falling numbers, growing scandals

According to a recent study of religious life in the United States, this decline in membership is expected to continue.

Of the 508 consecrated communities that responded to a survey on the number of men and women who made professional vows in 2023, 438 reported having not a single member who did so, meaning 87 percent of American religious communities had no new perpetually professed members last year.

RELATED: Survey finds most U.S. orders didn’t have a single member take perpetual vows in 2023

At the same time, the image of religious life has been tarnished by scandal.

Most recently are the cases of Slovene Father Marko Ivan Rupnik, a former Jesuit who was expelled from the order last year and who faces allegations of sexual abuse from over 20 adult women, including members of a community he helped found in Slovenia; and the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), a Peruvian order whose founder Luis Fernando Figari has been sanctioned by the Vatican for various abuses, and which is currently undergoing an inquiry by the pope’s top investigating duo.

Amid these crises and more, many have called for a reform of religious life, with a specific evaluation of the vow of obedience in light of charges of abuses of power, authority and conscience.

Members and former members of countless orders have complained of suffering physical, psychological, spiritual, and emotional abuse from superiors who manipulate and mistreat underlings on grounds that they are the voice of God for those under their care.

9 posted on 02/02/2024 8:25:47 AM PST by ebb tide
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To: Wpin

Chill people. Just pray. God is creating opportunity. Saints are in the making. Francis the Worst and the bishops are the manure for a renewed, strong, vibrant Church of believers. “I’m Catholic” needs to become an embarassment again for the fake. The country is on course.

10 posted on 02/02/2024 10:22:16 AM PST by If You Want It Fixed - Fix It ( )
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