Pope Benedict will take a particular interest in Ireland’s vocations to the priesthood and religious life, as the figures which the bishops have reported to Rome are far from encouraging.
Over the past decade, diocesan seminaries have been progressively shut down, as vocations have plummeted. In 2000,133 students were studying in the four remaining seminaries. Last year, there were just 21 clerical students left in the last two seminaries.
Seven years ago, when the bishops...
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