Portrait of the Next Priests
THE WASHINGTON TIMES, July 5—The United States may suffer a priest shortage, the Washington daily reported, but it still has the highest priest-to-parishioner ratio in the world.
A series on the future of Christian clergy found that the largest Catholic seminary in the country, Mundelein Seminary in Illinois, has reached record enrollment levels. Tomorrow's priests have an average age of 36, older than usual.
When men leave the priesthood, a new study found, they typically leave because of celibacy, loneliness or lack of appreciation.
One candidate said that society's “awkwardness” about celibacy was one symptom of a larger inability to keep vows. “The biggest vocations crisis we have in the Catholic Church is marriage,” he said.
In general, said the clergy interviewed, the most important recruitment method was for individual Catholics to ask young men whether they had considered the priesthood.
Jehovah's Witnesses Barred from Pa. Prison
ASSOCIATED PRESS, July 11—The York County Prison Board of York, Pa., rejected a request by Jehovah's Witnesses to hold services for inmates, the wire service reported.
The board ruled that only major religions—Protestants, Catholics, Jews and Muslims—could hold group services. Officials added that no inmates had requested Jehovah's Witness services or complained about the lack of services.
County Solicitor David Craun said that it would be impossible for the prison to accommodate every group that wished to hold services.
Warden Tom Hogan said that if enough prisoners said they are Jehovah's Witnesses, the prison would allow services. But Jehovah's Witnesses Elder Edwin Rivera told the board that 52 inmates and detainees were seeking Jehovah's Witness Bible studies.
Schundler Says Opponent is Anti-Catholic
THE TRENTON TIMES, July 7—Republican candidate for governor Bret Schundler responded sharply to his opponent's attacks on his pro-life stance, the Trenton, N.J., daily reported.
Democrat Jim McGreevey, who is Catholic and pro-abortion, called Schundler a pro-life extremist. Schundler, a Presbyterian, said that McGreevey's comments implied “that anybody who adheres to Catholic teaching is an extremist, unfit for public office.”
“I don't think Americans like intolerance,” Schundler continued. “I don't think they want to elect an ayatollah.” Schundler added that it's not “immoderate” to believe that “every life has value.”
No, Danny Boy
PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, July 9—Rhode Island Catholics who want “Danny Boy” to be sung at a funeral Mass will be disappointed, the Providence, R.I., daily reported.
The Diocese of Providence's music commission made it clear that secular songs can't be used in Mass. Some churches quietly make an exception for “Danny Boy,” but The Providence Visitor, the diocesan newspaper, pointed out that the Irish standard was inappropriate. Save it for the wake or the reception, a music director urged.