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Pope says standards must be maintained during vocations crisis

John Paul II has insisted that the vocations crisis being faced by many dioceses and religious congregations must not lower the level of formation of future priests.

"The decrease in seminarians and missionary vocations must not attenuate the quality of discernment, nor the spiritual and moral exigencies required by the priestly ministry," the Holy Father wrote in a message published on Friday.

"The proclamation of the Gospel to the men and women of our time calls for faithful witnesses, inspired by the Spirit of holiness, who are signs for their brothers through the force of their word and, above all, the authenticity of their lives," the Pope added.

John Paul II made this appeal in a message sent to Fr Pierre Shouver, superior general of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost, which next year will celebrate its third centenary. This congregation is experiencing a vocations crisis in some countries.

The Pope urged the congregation to "help seminarians to prepare themselves for their ministry with a human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral formation that will enable them to be integrated in the ecclesial life of their dioceses."


29 May 2002