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Saturday, November 27, 2004
Pontiff suggests stricter training in wake of sex scandal.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope John Paul II expressed concern Friday over the decline in priestly vocations in the United States, telling visiting American bishops that the drop presents a "stark challenge" that cannot be ignored.

He also suggested, in an apparent reference to the clergy sex abuse scandal, that seminary training needs to be tightened to instill a commitment to "holiness and spiritiual wisdom."

The pope has raised the sex abuse scandal and other problems facing the U.S. church as American bishops have been visiting the Vatican throughout the year.

In Friday's address to bishops from Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri, the pope outlined how bishops must provide for the future of the church.

"No one can deny that the decline in priestly vocations represents a starck challenge for the church ih the United States, and one that cannot be ignored or put off", the pope said.

He urged a progress of vocational promotion and a national day of prayer for preistly vocations.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops say nearly 500 new priests were ordained in 2003, down about half from 1965.

The pope's reference to seminaries comes amid plans for a Vatican sponsored investigation of U.S. seminaries, a project steming from the abuse crisis. The outgoing president of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, has said on site visits should start within a year.

(Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 10:29 PM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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