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Vatican sends inspector to examine Australian seminaries

A Vatican-appointed official has finished a four-week fact-finding tour scrutinising Australia's eight seminaries and their formation methods for the priesthood.

Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi, a Dominican from Naga City in the Philippines, is the Vatican's apostolic visitator responsible for offering advice and reporting back to Rome on how priests are trained around the world.

The Catholic Leader reports that he began his visit to Australia with an inspection of Banyo Seminary in Brisbane late last month, before going on to Sydney, Wagga Wagga, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

Archbishop Legaspi told the Leader he was on a mission from the Holy See to see how priests are trained in Australia and to allow a dialogue with Rome in regard to priestly formation.

While unwilling to be drawn on his observations or the diminishing number of pirests in Australia, he said Australian seminaries were similar to those in many parts of Europe, in that they still mainly relied on large complexes to house and train seminarians.

Catholic Leader