I wonder if this is the Francis Effect that our friend Tommy counted on?
The current pontificate has coincided with a worldwide decline in major seminary enrollments. After many years of small but steady annual increases in the number of major seminarians during the reigns of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the numbers slightly dipped in 2012 then went down more steeply in 2013 and 2014. To be more precise: at the end of 2011 there were 120,616 major seminarians. This went down to 120,051 by end of 2012, 118,251 by end of 2013, and 116,319 by end of 2014 (the latest for which statistics are available). If the experience of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires is any indication, and if Francis manages to impose something of his vision on the actual process of priestly formation all over the world, we are convinced that we will see a collapse in vocations far greater than that which has already transpired in the first years of his pontificate.
Down nearly 4,000!
Great work Tom.
Stupendous work George.
Can't have too many rigid seminarians now, can we?