Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New vocations` crisis

There appears to be a new vocations crisis plaguing the Catholic Church in the UK: a shortage of vocations to the episcopate! I can`t remember there being anything like this before but the situation is getting very serious. Sees needing a new bishop at the minute include East Anglia, Brentwood, Leeds, Liverpool, Hallam, St Andrews and Edinburgh, Paisley and Dunkeld. The Catholic Hierarchy site provides a quick guide but its list of vacant sees does not include Hallam and Brentwood where the bishops have passed the retirement age so I include those too.

I think most readers of this blog would have been excited by the appointments to Shrewsbury and Portsmouth not least because bishop Davies introduced the Institute of Christ the King to his diocese. Conversations with groups of priests often touches on the lack of recent appointments: East Anglia has been vacant since July 2011.

So something else to pray about as the English bishops attend a retreat at Villa Palazzola this week.

7 comments:

rachel said...

Father,
I believe all the present and retired Bishops,while they are all on retreat in Rome, have just been visited by none other than Cardinal Marc Ouilett who is in charge of appointing Bishops worldwide,one would hope that perhaps Archbishop Nicholls would have impressed on him the need for new Bishops for the vacant see's because there are a few more to deal with soon,perhaps coadjutor Bishops would be the way foreward.

Et Expecto said...

Rachel, I don't think that the hold up entirely lies with Cardinal Mark Ouillett and the Congregation for Bishops.

It is far more likely that members of the Bishops' Conference are raising objections to the names being put forward by the nuncio. It is probable that some members of the Bishop's Conference are fearing the arrival of more bishops in the mold of Bishops Davies and Egan.

I have no more information than anyone else, but would suspect that the purpose of the visit of Cardinal Ouillett was to deliver a severe reprimand to the bishops for holding up episcopal appointments.

Damask Rose said...

I had no idea so many sees were vacant. It's quite exciting in a way, indeed as you point out Father. The possibility of having more bishops appointed such as their Lordships Davies and Egan, would be tremendous and spiritually uplifting for all.

rachel said...

Thankyou for that,I had no idea that the Bishops Conference were allowed any input!!! Ah well,in that case we will probably have to wait a hole lot longer!!!Pray for the difficult job poor Archbishop Mennini has to do!!!

GOR said...

I would contend Father that there is no shortage of episcopal ‘vocations’ per se in E&W. I further suspect that ‘many are called, but few are chosen’. And the lack of ‘choice’ may have more to do with more bureaucratic concerns than Divine approbation.

As Sir Humphrey explained regarding CofE episcopal candidates, they need to be of the “right sort” to the existing powers that be: ”…the sorts of chaps who speak properly and know which knife and fork to use.”

Mutatis mutandis, I think that could also be applied to the current situation…

EFpastor emeritus said...

Maybe we have too many sees!

AGH said...

Father,

The three Scottish dioceses you mention are only those currently with sedes vacans. In addition, Bishop Devine of Motherwell celebrated his 75th birthday in August of last year, and Bishop Cunningham of Galloway Diocese was 75 in February of this year. Five out of eight vacant sees is a rather sobering thought...